Truck Questions

List of my current questions. I’ll be adding more as I study the options that are available on trucks.   This will help in identifying the price point/truck capacity for each truck with the options we prefer. I’m reading the brochures and researching what I don’t understand. Researched answers will be in red text.

  • Air Suspension.  How do they work, how hard to upgrade after the fact, and don’t know that they would improve tow capacity. Do they just improve ride and level out the trailer/truck stopping the truck from sagging under load?
    • Per Ram: Available rear Auto-Level air suspension ensures level loads no matter the cargo or terrain. With the push of a button, the driver can select from two smart ride height selections, Normal and Alternate Ride Height, for better alignment with a trailer with automatic electronic adjustments to maintain a level load. Contained within the frame-mounted compressor, tank and lines, it’s all done in relative silence
  • Alternator options.  Are they needed or not?
  • Navigation systems. Right now I don’t use a portable GPS in my car that has a built-in navigation system. And if I was to buy an RV GPS, would I really use the trucks navigations system. Or, does navigation just come with other components we might use such as blue tooth to phone.
  • Steering assist systems. I’ve learned that at least Ford and Chevy offer a system that changes the steering input such as at lower speed less input is required.
  • After market purchases. Is it really worth having the factory handle some. For example with Chevy and GMC if you option in fifth wheel hitch prep then you must option in the spray in bed liner. Wonder what options might be cheaper and better if done after the fact.
  • Transmission and Axle Ratio: Both can change a trucks capacity, base weight and more. How do you pick the best for your driving conditions?
    • I’ll probably just go with the manufacturers suggested for what ever tow rating can handle 19,500 pounds with a little safety margin. 
  • Payload: What would be the typical loads we would carry (fuel, people, pets, cargo) which would tell us what was left for pin weight.
  • Minimum turn length: Wonder if there is a difference in how much space is required to make a full circle. I had read, for example, where the Ford F450 had a tighter turn radius than the stock F350. However you can get an option with the F350 front end that would equal the F450. Figure this can make a difference when maneuvering tight campground roads when backing into a site. The Ford F450 has a wider front axle that give it a better turn radius.
  • Blind Spot Warning: I know the 2017 Fords have a light that warns if you have someone in your blind spot that includes the trailer. Karen has it on her car and we love it.
  • What about horsepower vs torque: I’ve always understood that torque is what got the load moving and horsepower is used to maintain a speed.
    • Clipped this explanation off a website. “Diesel owners tend to pay attention to the torque ratings of an engine more so than peak horsepower. Both are of equal importance. An engine producing greater torque will have the greater ability to overcome large loads from a standstill, accelerating a heavy trailer up to speed from a dead stop, for example. Likewise, greater horsepower potential translates into the ability to keep a heavier object moving at a constant speed.”
  • Engine idle shutdown: No idea what this is.
  • Truck bed sides: Some have to raise their trailers two inches at the axle for truck side clearance.
    • I’ve been reading you want the trailer’s floor towed flat and level. And leave 6″ clearance between the top of the bed sides/tailgate and bottom of the fifth wheel.
    • I know on the Fords the bed sides are lower in the F350/F450 than the F250/150s.