2021 Tahoe z71 rear squat with travel trailer

swamp

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New to the forum. Looking for some recommendations with rear squat when towing with travel trailer. Have 2021 Tahoe z71 with the signature package that includes the max trailering. When hitching up my 3080lb travel trailer the rear of the Tahoe squats 2 inches. Tongue weight of trailer is about 460lbs. Weighed on CAT scale when hitched up, Tahoe front axle 3020lbs, rear axle 3640lbs, trailer 3080lbs. Max trailering capacity 8200lbs and max tongue weight on Tahoe is 820lbs. Using Andersen weight distribution hitch but despite that still have the 2inch squat. Travel trailer is just about level. I do not have the air ride suspension package that can adjust the vehicle height. Any recommendations to help with this?
 

bobsburban

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Hi Swamp,

Had the same problem towing my 1706FB Winnebago with Z71 springs and Bilstein 5100 shocks after deleting the air ride suspension on my LTZ. Had to install Air-Lift 1000 air bags to get things back to level even with a Husky WDH. Running 40 lbs in the bags when the trailer is hooked up. It's level, porposing is gone, and ride is much better. Firestone also makes some bags that a lot of folks use.

Either way, they solved my issue.

Bob
 

swamp

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Hi Swamp,

Had the same problem towing my 1706FB Winnebago with Z71 springs and Bilstein 5100 shocks after deleting the air ride suspension on my LTZ. Had to install Air-Lift 1000 air bags to get things back to level even with a Husky WDH. Running 40 lbs in the bags when the trailer is hooked up. It's level, porposing is gone, and ride is much better. Firestone also makes some bags that a lot of folks use.

Either way, they solved my issue.

Bob
Thank you for the information. Sorry for the delayed response. Did you install the air-lift 1000 yourself or did the dealer do that? If you did it yourself then how complicated was it? My dealer is recommending timbren bump stops to hopefully help with the squat. Just seems crazy that the Tahoe can handle 820 tongue weight and our camper tongue weight is 470lbs and the Tahoe squats. Also did you have an issue with the Tahoe wiggling side to side when over a certain speed while towing your camper? We are having this problem despite WDH set up properly and camper weight distributed properly as well.

Suzanne
 

bobsburban

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Thank you for the information. Sorry for the delayed response. Did you install the air-lift 1000 yourself or did the dealer do that? If you did it yourself then how complicated was it? My dealer is recommending timbren bump stops to hopefully help with the squat. Just seems crazy that the Tahoe can handle 820 tongue weight and our camper tongue weight is 470lbs and the Tahoe squats. Also did you have an issue with the Tahoe wiggling side to side when over a certain speed while towing your camper? We are having this problem despite WDH set up properly and camper weight distributed properly as well.

Suzanne

Hi Suzanne,

First, lemme clear a misconception and that is I have a Suburban. I just cross-post here a good bit because the 'Burb forum isn't as busy as this Tahoe forum. Sorry for the confusion. That said, I don't have any wiggling issues with the longer wheelbase - one of the 'Burb's advantages when it comes to towing. I've (unwillingly) pulled as fast as 80 and no wiggling issues. We're using a Husky WD hitch with the 800 - 1200 lb bars.

Now about the bags and tongue weight. It's bit of a mystery to me as well:

1) I'm measuring 400 lbs of tongue weight with a Sherline scale that fits under the ball of the trailer's hitch. The factory spec for my trailer is 300 lbs. Best I can surmise, that's supposed to be wet - meaning 40 lbs of propane and an Interstate Group 24 battery. I've upgraded to 30 lb LP tanks, which added about 60 lbs (10 lbs per tank of gas, plus the 20 lbs more that each tank weighs) and I've added another 120+ lbs with a Stromberg-Carlsson rack over the LP tanks which holds two 5 gallon Jerry cans full of gasoline. Plus what I store in the trailer's front storage compartment. I'd think the Sherline would be showing 475 - 500 lbs, so the double axles are obviously picking up some of that load.

2) Assuming the 400 lbs is a correct measurement of hitch weight, and there's another 100-ish pounds of hitch and sway bars to add, we're looking at 500 - 525 lbs on the rear of the truck, which is rated for 800 lbs. And I've got 1250 lb rear springs - an upgrade from the factory 1000 lb springs that came with the air-ride suspension. It still squatted with the WD hitch pulled up tight enough I worried about it breaking. The ball is set for the correct height so that the trailer leans forward just enough to prevent sway that can be caused by the trailer leaning backwards. Of course, there's another 10 gallons of fresh water we carry in the back along with luggage, fishing gear, tools, and recovery gear, so that contributes some more weight. Finally, there's also the possibility that the factory specs for the Winnie's hitch weight are so much BS.

Hence the Air-Lift bags. My longtime mechanic and I installed them. It's not overly complicated - you could do it at home but I just don't care to crawl around on the driveway that much anymore. You basically squish the empty bag up between a couple of the lower coils and keep feeding it through until it's all inside the spring. Not as easy as it sounds - the plastic is pretty stiff. Other than that, the most difficult thing we encountered was ensuring clearance for the air lines beween the top of the bags and the spring perches. I also found out you can't always judge the spec sheet. After a conversation with Air-Lift, we measured the free length and the inside diameter of the springs before ordering the bags. Indeed, they were not the Z-71 spec bags but the nice thing about Air-Lift is they make a lot of different sizes so you can get very close to a perfect fit.

Since we got them installed, everything has squared up nicely. I run 10 lbs normally around town and then 40 with the trailer. I might try 45 on this next camping trip just to see. But it's a huge improvement.

Bob
 

swamp

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Hi Suzanne,

First, lemme clear a misconception and that is I have a Suburban. I just cross-post here a good bit because the 'Burb forum isn't as busy as this Tahoe forum. Sorry for the confusion. That said, I don't have any wiggling issues with the longer wheelbase - one of the 'Burb's advantages when it comes to towing. I've (unwillingly) pulled as fast as 80 and no wiggling issues. We're using a Husky WD hitch with the 800 - 1200 lb bars.

Now about the bags and tongue weight. It's bit of a mystery to me as well:

1) I'm measuring 400 lbs of tongue weight with a Sherline scale that fits under the ball of the trailer's hitch. The factory spec for my trailer is 300 lbs. Best I can surmise, that's supposed to be wet - meaning 40 lbs of propane and an Interstate Group 24 battery. I've upgraded to 30 lb LP tanks, which added about 60 lbs (10 lbs per tank of gas, plus the 20 lbs more that each tank weighs) and I've added another 120+ lbs with a Stromberg-Carlsson rack over the LP tanks which holds two 5 gallon Jerry cans full of gasoline. Plus what I store in the trailer's front storage compartment. I'd think the Sherline would be showing 475 - 500 lbs, so the double axles are obviously picking up some of that load.

2) Assuming the 400 lbs is a correct measurement of hitch weight, and there's another 100-ish pounds of hitch and sway bars to add, we're looking at 500 - 525 lbs on the rear of the truck, which is rated for 800 lbs. And I've got 1250 lb rear springs - an upgrade from the factory 1000 lb springs that came with the air-ride suspension. It still squatted with the WD hitch pulled up tight enough I worried about it breaking. The ball is set for the correct height so that the trailer leans forward just enough to prevent sway that can be caused by the trailer leaning backwards. Of course, there's another 10 gallons of fresh water we carry in the back along with luggage, fishing gear, tools, and recovery gear, so that contributes some more weight. Finally, there's also the possibility that the factory specs for the Winnie's hitch weight are so much BS.

Hence the Air-Lift bags. My longtime mechanic and I installed them. It's not overly complicated - you could do it at home but I just don't care to crawl around on the driveway that much anymore. You basically squish the empty bag up between a couple of the lower coils and keep feeding it through until it's all inside the spring. Not as easy as it sounds - the plastic is pretty stiff. Other than that, the most difficult thing we encountered was ensuring clearance for the air lines beween the top of the bags and the spring perches. I also found out you can't always judge the spec sheet. After a conversation with Air-Lift, we measured the free length and the inside diameter of the springs before ordering the bags. Indeed, they were not the Z-71 spec bags but the nice thing about Air-Lift is they make a lot of different sizes so you can get very close to a perfect fit.

Since we got them installed, everything has squared up nicely. I run 10 lbs normally around town and then 40 with the trailer. I might try 45 on this next camping trip just to see. But it's a huge improvement.

Bob
Bob,

Thanks for the information. Looked under the Tahoe and the area where the air lift bags would go inside the spring has another component inside so the bags would likely not be useful in my situation. The bags sound great and do not look complicated to install per YouTube videos but looks like would not work in my case. My tv dealer said Tibbren bump stops would be the only solution at this time. Appreciate your response and hope to figure this out soon.

Suzanne
 

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