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Recommended Air Helper Springs for 2016 Ram 2500 Towing Heavy 5th Wheel Trailer

Question:

So I have a 2016 Ram 2500 6.7 crew cab 6-4inch box 4x4 and I am just now realizing that my max payload rating is around 2,300 lbs. The problem I have is that I just ordered a 2019 Keystone Cougar 368MBI 5th wheel which has a listed hitch weight of 1,980 lbs 11,500 lbs trailer shipping weight. I never wouldve thought that I would be that close to the limit with a 3/4 ton Ram but it appears that I will in fact be pushing the limit. Im not in a position to upgrade my tow vehicle to a 1 ton DRW so thats not an option currently and I also dont want to cancel my order of the 5th wheel. What Im wondering is if the Firestone Red Label air springs will help to overcome the fact that I will more than likely exceed my trucks payload rating? Theres gotta be a 5:1 safety factor with these ratings but Im sure youll really never know. I also planned to order a Reese 5th Airborne Sidewinder pin box I see 3 of them with different prices but I cant make out what the differences are and a Demco 21K hitch. My truck has a 3inch lift 3inch front and 1inch rear, all new springs and shocks no spacers and when you add the extra height from the suspension and the 35inch tires, my truck sits a little higher than factory height 2inch to 3inch higher. So another question I have is should I go with the Demco Hijacker SL Series Flat Deck 21K 5th Wheel Trailer Hitch with 9inch height or should I go with the Demco Recon 21K 5th Wheel Hitch - Single Jaw - Above Bed Item # DM8550043 with a height of 15-1/2inch to 18?

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Expert Reply:

The Firestone Ride-Rite Red Label Extreme Duty Air Helper Springs # F2706 referenced in your question are confirmed to fit your 2016 Ram 2500. These heavy duty air springs feature a 7,500 pound capacity, but they will not actually increase the payload capacity of your truck. This is really the case with any aftermarket suspension enhancement system. What this system will do, however, is equip your Ram to better handle weights within its capacity. This means that the Firestone air springs will definitely still provide benefits, especially if you plan on approaching the truck's limits with your new Keystone Cougar Fifth-Wheel Trailer. They will reduce strain on the rear axle to help prolong the life of the truck's suspension.

So while I cannot recommend exceeding the factory limits of your Ram 2500, I do recommend installing the springs to enhance its rear suspension for towing a trailer that will creep up to the truck's capacity. I have attached an installation video that you can use for reference.

Then, we do have a few Reese 5th Airborne Sidewinder units available. The main difference between these and all the Sidewinder models is the particular pin box model they are designed to replace on the trailer. Because these will replace the factory pin box, you will need to determine what pin box model is on your 2019 Keystone Cougar. This information should be located on the pin box, either with a sticker or stamped onto the unit itself. If you don't yet have the trailer on hand, you can call the manufacturer with your VIN and they should be able to provide you with this information.

For example, the Reese 5th Airborne # ST400-5AS16K is designed to replace the Leland 7910, 7920, and 7921 pin boxes.

Moving onto the fifth-wheel hitch, the Demco Recon # DM8550043, along with the Custom Rail Kit # DM8552025-71 (if you don't already have base rails installed) that you referenced is a great system for towing your trailer. This particular hitch actually doesn't have an overall range of height adjustment, but instead specific settings that can be used. The hitch can be 15-1/2 inches tall, 17-1/4 inches tall, or 18 inches tall.

In order to see if the lowest setting will be low enough to tow your trailer level with your lifted truck, you will need to take a couple measurements on the truck and trailer. On your truck, you will want to measure from the ground to the floor of the truck bed. Then, on the trailer, you will want to measure from the ground to the bottom of the king pin. The difference between these two measurements will give you the height you need on a hitch to tow the trailer level.

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Chris R

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