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Suspension Enhancement for 2012 Chevy Suburban Towing Large Boat

Question:

I have a Suburban with the tow package and tow a large boat 25 close to the rating with a near 1,000 lb tongue weight. The car handles it awesome for power and control with EOH brakes, but the rear suspension cant handle the tongue weight, even with a weight distributing hitch. My wife gets carsick from the sway, though the WD hitch Equalizer helps a lot. It helps most when I slightly over-compensate with the spring bars to barely the front end, which to me says the rear springs are just too soft. I put on rear Bilstein HD shocks as a first step, which helped damp the oscillation but the rear springs are still too soft they are the same as the non tow package springs. Im looking for a suggestion on what to try next. I had Timbrens on my prior Ford Expedition used for same trailer but found them very harsh. The Sumosprings look interesting and am curious if you would recommend the one that fits between the coils or the bump stop replacement model. I dont think the inside coil airbags would do what I want - I tried them on my Expedition and while they helped support the weight I found them very bouncy - no damping. My inclination is to try the coil s first as it seems like they would offer more gradually progressive spring rate and damping than the bump stop model, but would appreciate your guidance. Id also welcome if you have other suggestions. Overall the car tows the heavy weight awesome except for the rear suspension softness. I tow 1,000-3,000 miles a year, often in the mountains of western VA.

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Expert Reply:

As a first step, I would recommend confirming you have a correctly rated system by determining the fully loaded and ready to tow tongue weight of your trailer. Keep in mind that the weight of anything stowed in the cargo area behind the rear axle also needs to be considered as tongue weight. If the tongue weight of your boat and trailer exceed the capacity of your system, it would certainly explain why its not working as well as it could. I have linked you to an FAQ article explaining how to confirm your trailer tongue weight. If you confirm that you are using a properly rated system, next review the instructions to ensure that the system has been set-up correctly.

If the system you are using is correct for the trailer weight, and has been correctly set up, then we can look into a suspension enhancement product.

I believe your best bet would be the Sumo Springs, part # SSR-204-40, which would replace your existing jounce stops. According to the manufacturer, this solution would be better suited to your heavy boat. Because it replaces the jounce bumper instead of sitting in the coil spring, the springs will only come into play when the rear suspension is under heavy load, like when hauling or towing. The Sumo Springs should be a bit softer than the Timbren springs you mentioned, but will still get progressively more stiff as more weight is applied.

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Mike L

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