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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm planning on towing my TD home this summer, about 1800 miles, on a tandem axle trailer with my '98 Ram 1500 4wd quad cab. I'm looking for any input on things I can do to make the trip as easy as possible on the Ram. I plan on getting a set of 285/75R16 AT or All-season tires for it to use instead of my 33" SSR's. I'm also planning to get a larger tranny cooler and maybe a high cap tranny pan, along with a tranny temp gauge. One more thing I might do is get an electric fan for it. I already have a class III receiver hitch, along with the wiring and the electric brake box. Do you think this will be too much for my truck even with these upgrades? Is there anything else I can do to reduce the wear and tear?
 

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That's good, the temp guage is a great idea, the trans cooler and deep alum pan is the way to go, and not driving in od is a good idea
 

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lubing everything up.
changing all your fluids and filters.
adjusting antifreeze to a summer mix.
using bm stacked plate tranny cooler.
get cooling system checked.
checking belts
checking brakes.

do a good all around inspection and you should be fine.
 

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Run a tank of fuel injector cleaner before you make the towing trip. Run a grade higher octane fuel for towing to prevent ping. My 88 RC is NOT prone to ping but pulling a heavy trailer on 87 octane it will. Magnum engines like in your truck are more prone to ping without load, so definitely go at least a grade higher to tow.
 

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Drive slow, don't rush it with a 6000 lb anchor on a trailer behind your truck and prep your truck Joe said.

Oh yeah, drive slow...it sucks, but it'll get you there.
Tim
 
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Add a additional tranny cooler if you don't already have one. Get the temp gauge. The fan is most likely overkill unless your trip will be lots of start-stop driving...highway will most likely keep the temps down cause the converter is locked up and not causing heat.

I would buy/beg/borrow/steal a set of 225/75R16s for the trip...I towed 8000# with my 3.55/auto/CTD with 265s for 2100 miles...I was glad I had the CTD. You will be surprised how much power is required to keep that much weight rolling...285s will only make it worse. You can alway sell them or keep them for use later. Make sure you anticipate the added fuel expense...I went from 20+ empty to 14.5 mpg loaded...makes a big dent in finances.

Class III hitch...make sure it has the extra factory added support plates one the sides...or it might tear the hitch from the frame. Get a weight distributing hitch like discussed before...you won't need helper springs if you do and it is set correctly.

Make sure your trailer brakes are working...the trailer I towed had the wiring screwed up...if you can't manually slide the trailer tires by engaging the actuator, have them checked!

I would change the engine oil, tranny, tcase, and rear diff fluids if you haven't lately, probably right before the trip. Check yoour oil frequently, my CTD never used oil for 150,000 miles...I went through a quart towing my truck home...it hasn't used a drop since. And change the tranny fluid once you get home...cheap protection.

Also, as stated before, drive with the OD off. I couldn't with my CTD cause I could only run about 55 mph and it was screaming...with a gasser you should be ok to do this. Anticipate the hills...you see one coming up, either slow down before it f you are going down or drop a gear and get the RPMs up before you start pulling it...it will make a big difference.

And plan on taking your time...you will be stressed out from towing...either due to weather (wind blowing you around), other drivers, road being rough, whatever...you will get tired quicker, so plan on taking more time and stopping more frequently. It took me three full days to get home on a trip I normally drive in two. And I have towed quite a bit...it will make you tired cause you are always waitng for what's next. When you stop, obviously check you bindings and hitch, wiring, lights, etc.

19464

 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for all the help guys! I've heard of weight distributing hitches before, and I understand the concept, but how are they installed? Is it something that bolts to my truck or to the trailer?
 
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They insert into the receiver, then your trailer hooks to the hitch. Then you install the torsion bars in the hitch and connect them to the trailer tongue.

That is the super short version anyhow!
 
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