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A good portion of pickup owners either has their truck lifted somehow or want to have it lifted! However, that raises questions regarding reliability, capability, and more. Today, we are going to be talking more specifically about towing!
Towing a trailer with lifted trucks can be done; however, you will want to solve some issues first. With a lift comes higher hitches (that need to be lowered), which causes issues with 5th-wheel trailers and problems with the center of gravity on trailers.
Let’s dig into each of these things, discuss why they are an issue, and find some good resolutions to ensure that your lifted truck can easily tow.
1. The hitch needs to be dropped down.
An essential part of towing a trailer, especially larger trailers, is balancing the weight to keep it safe on the road (front, back, and side-to-side).
Lifted trucks, if not thought through, can throw off that weight by placing the tongue of the trailer too high off the road. This can be a big deal that can cause trailers to fishtail or even fall off the hitch if it becomes too much of a problem.
Thankfully, this is an easy fix for those that think about it! You can quickly and inexpensively purchase a hitch receiver with a drop (this one has a 4″ depth). Like your hitch, you need to ensure that this drop receiver can handle the weight of the trailer you are looking to tow.
Making sure that your trailer stays level, rather than having the tongue too high or too low, can make all the difference between a safe ride, to being seriously hurt. An alternative way of resolving this issue would be to put a lift on the trailer itself, much like the off-road trailer you see in the picture above (getting a hitch receiver with a drop is easier)!
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2. 5th wheel tongue is too high
5th wheel trailers also cause quite the issue when dealing with a lifted truck! These trailers attach and rotate in the bed of a pickup truck rather than at the bumper. While this better distributes weight over the axle of a pickup truck and gives better capability when towing, it does cause issues with lifted pickups.
If you have a 5th wheel, you should not be towing it with a lifted truck, as these are designed to work with stock trucks and can cause the trailer’s weight to sit too far back and cause fishtailing.
The only effective way to resolve this issue is by utilizing an air suspension on your truck that can be lowered back to stock levels whenever you want.
A big part of maintaining the towing capacity, and other capabilities of a pickup truck with a lift is getting a high quality one. If you are looking to lift your pickup, you might want think about buying yours from here.
3. Higher center of gravity results in less weight on the front axle
Yep, you guessed it! Another weight-based issue as a result of being a lifted truck. The last thing you want is too much weight on the rear of a pickup and too little on the front axles of the trailer. This can cause the front end to lift off the ground if you are not careful.
The easiest way to make this happen is to have too high of a lift with too much weight on the rear axle. There is only one way of getting this issue resolved outside of just not having a lift or at least a minimal one!
If you have seen those extremely high lift kits installed on trucks, it can be a hazardous modification because of this one thing. You want to maintain traction on the front or rear of your vehicle.
In these cases, a leveling kit is better for your build if you want a lifted look but don’t want as many drawbacks.
Frequently Asked Questions
Lift kits are a hugely popular way to modify a truck to get better clearance for off-roading and look cool! However, they have some drawbacks: they lower the safety when you tow heavy trailers.
It may not cause much of an issue with smaller, lighter trailers; however, it can be a hazard when looking at higher speeds with a heavier trailer. Anyway, I hope this article helped you learn more about what to keep an eye out for to stay safe! Have a great time building up your truck.