Need to increase payload capacity..... - Diesel Truck Forum - TheDieselGarage.com
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-19-2015, 06:03 PM Thread Starter
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Need to increase payload capacity.....

I have an '06 Ram 2500 CTD Quad Cab 4x4 that originally was purchased for multiple uses, including occasional commuting and hauling horses in a gooseneck trailer. Now that the horses are gone and I've got a better commuter it sits a lot but we're thinking about a 5th wheel. The problem is that the hitch weight on most of them is beyond what this truck is rated for if I also account for loading.

Is there an acceptable (i.e., safe, sensible) way to increase the carrying capacity by a few hundred pounds? I've seen suggestions for swapping out the rear leafs for 3500 parts but that doesn't provide the frame perches for the upper overload leaf.

Air bags, maybe, or is there an add-a-leaf or heavier-duty leaf spring replacement solution?

The frustrating part of this is that the GVW of the trailers I like are well within that limit for this truck....the limiting issue always seems to be the payload (hitch weight, plus me, passengers, and the big cooler in the back seat).
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-20-2015, 04:10 AM
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I would go with Air Bags. Springs will make the truck too stiff in the rear when not loaded. It will beat you to death. With Air Bags you just lower the pressure when you are not needing the extra load capacity. Resulting in the ride you currently have.

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-20-2015, 01:35 PM
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I put the Firestone airbags on both the 07.5 and 13 truck. I wasn't overloaded buy pin weight but used them to level the truck out and it prevents bottoming out the rear suspension when hitting the bumps. Only needed 25-30 psi to level it out.

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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-21-2015, 04:34 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks Dave! I wasn't sure if bags were a valid way to increae capacity or not. A lot of what I see says they're more for handling the specified load better than to handle more load. Any particular type recommended for this job?
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-23-2015, 04:47 PM
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I too was concerned about payload capacity when thinking about airbag(s). You have to consider the risk of how much you have loaded and where you're at if/when you lose air, for whatever reason. The spare tire area doesn't hold my 35" spare anyway, so I went with a custom-design install of a single commercial-rated 5k bag and carry a spare - easily swapped out, if ever needed.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-23-2015, 07:43 PM
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I went with the Air Lift for my 5th wheel camper load. Also added the on board compressor. Levels out nice and rides even nicer.

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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-26-2015, 05:10 PM Thread Starter
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It sounds like air bags are really the way to go. I watched a few of the videos from SDtrucksprings.com...nice information there as far as applications of the different products. Thanks, guys, this has been very helpful!
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-31-2017, 02:36 AM Thread Starter
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Two years later we have the 5th wheel and the air bags and compressor installed. Right now it's powered up directly from the batter with a toggle switch. Not ideal but it works when I need it to and I can turn it off so that it doesn't leak down and drain the battery.

I have a relay so I can power it up with key on power but I have no idea where I can find a keyed 12V tap that I can reach without a bunch of hole drilling. I don't mind going through the firewall to do it if I have to but I'd really rather just put it all under the dash.

Can someone point me to a key-on powered line under the dash that's easy to access? I don't see any way to pull 12V out of the fuse box w/o drilling through the lid and that just doesn't seem like a good idea.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-31-2017, 10:00 AM
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If you're just powering a relay, the radio is a good spot.
It may be ACC not IGN but that won't matter in this application.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-01-2017, 12:50 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks!

My problem is finding those sources without tearing things completely apart. I'm hoping to find either an ACC or IGN source (you're right, it doesn't matter for this application) somewhere near the gauge cluster so I don't have to dismantle anything.

I just swapped the stereo out in my G35 and I'm not in the mood for a major project. The stereo power tap might make sense but I don't know where that bundle runs under the dash to get to it. Maybe I just don't see well enough.

Is there something on the OBD II connector that wouldn't mind a couple of milliamps being pulled once in a blue moon? It doesn't get any easier than that as far as easy access.

The good news is that I've fixed the leak (bad fitting in the kit) so it won't leak down any time soon.
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