Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard GRM+ Memberand Director of Marketing & Digital Assets
4/30/21 1:33 p.m.

We’d been making fantastic progress outfitting our 2001 Ford F-250 to serve as the perfect tow vehicle. But each upgrade also added weight, and our truck was starting to show the strain.

It certainly wasn’t dangerous–turns out that doing the math and making sure we stayed within its factory ratings might not have been wasted effort, after all–but we knew every tow to the track would be much more comfortable with some suspension upgrades.

First, let’s define the problem: When fully loaded, meaning a slide-in camper and an enclosed trailer, our truck needed gentler inputs, and far more of them, than it did empty.

Picturing balancing a ball on your nose vs. rolling it on the ground, and you’ll have a working understanding of what our truck was like to drive loaded vs. empty. The air-filled helper springs fitted by the previous owner certainly assisted, but we knew we could do better.

Part of that was just simple physics: We were asking our chassis to operate near the limits of its design, and driving a big, top-heavy vehicle will always require a steadier hand than driving a Miata.

But we knew from past experience that a few simple upgrades could make our truck much more composed under load, so we rolled it into the shop and went to work.

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APEowner GRM+ Memberand Dork
5/4/21 9:13 a.m.

When I ordered my '01 Super Duty I specified the camper package because of the rear sway bar.  I don't like slide in campers and in 280k miles of ownership I never used one but I did like the rear bar. 

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