Suspension advice

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warrenfinley

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Joined
Feb 3, 2006
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I am in the process of buying a new 2006 Ford F350 4X4 Long Bed Powerstroke Diesel with a GVW of 11,500#. I will be using this to tow a 5W no longer than 30' with an approximate GVW of 13,000#. I will be using this truck most of the time for my daily driver, not towing.

My question is this: Which suspension package(s) would be best for me? I don't want the truck to be unnecessarily harsh riding for daily driving, but I don't want to suffer towing ability either. Ford offers 1."Camper package" which incledes heavy service front springs, rear stabilizer bar and slide in camper certification. 2. "Heavy Service Suspension Package" which includes heavy service front springs and a steering damper. 3. "Stabilizer Package" which includes heavy service front springs and rear stabilizer bar. 4. "FX4 Package" which includes Rancho brand front and rear shocks and a steering damper.

I don't want to make a mistake, so any advice will be appreciated!
Thanks
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Frankly I doubt if you need any of those extras.  The standard suspension should be fine if the GCWR is sufficient (I've heard the 2006 Superduty has a 26,000 lb GCWR - true?).

Check the rear axle GAWR - that's the other place that a heavy fith wheel loads up. The pin weight on a 13000 lb fiver is likely to be 2000 lbs, so make sure the rear axle can carry that as well as whatever loads you place in the truck, especially in the bed. If there is a "Payload option" or something like that to increase the rear spring capcity, it might be a good idea if you are nearing the rear GAWR, though ride will suffer.

Any of the packages with the rear stabilizer might have some modest value, but I would not think it was by any means necessary. The Camper package is for slide-in campers and not relevent.  The Heavy Service package is, I think, oriented towards snow plowing and that sort of thing.

Also, from what I read elsewhere, I think the 4x4 with Dual wheels may have the rear stabilizer as standard.  You probably want the towing package, though to make sure you get the connectors for lights and trailer braking.
 

2006F350

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Dec 6, 2005
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393
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Memphis TN
I have a 2006 F350 Crew Cab, Long Bed, DRW, Diesel, Torque Command. It also has the Tow Boss package (4:30 gears, that is what up's the GVW), and camper package. When not towing, I reduce the tire pressure to 50 lbs and it rides like a caddy, and when getting set up to tow, I run the tp back up to 60lbs (mfg recommendation). The ride is a bit harsher, but still not that bad. What kind of trailer you looking at that weights 13K and only 30'? Reason I ask is that I have a 36' (37' actually from rear bumper to pin), and it only weighs 13K with a GVW of 14K - empty pin weight of 2380. The CVW of the truck is 13,000 lbs and a GCWR of 26,000 lbs. I also use my truck as a daily driver. The 4:30 gears puts a bit of a dent in the milage, but it still gets about 1 to 2 MPG better than my previous F150 SuperCab with the 5.4L gas engine. Towing ... down hill with a tail wind, I may break 13MPG (actually got 12MPG on my last trip from Austin TX to Memphis TN). Personally, I would get the camper package at least. The description doesn't mention it, but I believe you get heavier rear leaf springs with the camper package. That will stiffen up the rear a bit which you want with a fifth wheel. I'm not sure the others will really do much for your trailering.

Larry
 

Carl L

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Mar 14, 2005
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west Los Angeles
Whut Ron said.? ;D

The truck as you specified tows 15,800# according to Trailer Life's Tables.? 4WD suspensions tend to have a lot of compliance and stiffness.? ?I would not fuss with any add ons, bar the trailer towing package, until use demonstrated a need.? ?Any pick up in the F250 class on up is going to have a harsh ride when unladen -- they are engineered for load carrying.? Since towing is the critical need, you are going to have to get used to it.?
 

warrenfinley

New member
Joined
Feb 3, 2006
Posts
2
Thanks everyone for your input. I just picked up my new truck and was pleased with the suspension information I received from the forum. It helped in my buying decision. I appreciate all the input!

Warren
 

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