We all want to get the most out of the equipment we buy. If money were no object, we would buy the biggest trailer and truck on the market offered. But, that just simply isn’t an option for most of us. We’re often using our towing vehicles on daily bases for things other than towing. So somewhere in the middle of a massive tow rig and an economical grocery getter is where our vehicles end up.
Just like the previous scenario, our suspension is also a compromise. If all trucks were designed to haul the max GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) the suspension would be very stiff. That would be OK if the truck was always loaded. However when not loaded it would be very uncomfortable to ride in. If they were designed to have a very plush ride, when you loaded the trailer and cargo up, the truck would sag and be very scary to drive. Then you add into the equation that hauling horses if very different than hauling a boat or RV. Horses move around and can shift weight on your towing vehicle. So how do we get a good ride unloaded and maintain ride quality with our horse trailers and shifting loads?
RideTech has developed an advanced towing solution that automatically levels your vehicle for varying loads. Unlike other load leveling kits, the LevelTOW system is designed to not only level the truck under load but also improve ride quality. Oh, and did we mention, it does this all automatically once activated? While automatic, it can be controlled by the manual up/down switch also supplied in the kit.
The system is a complete package that includes variable rate air springs, quiet OE grade air compressor, automatic leveling sensor and industry leading Monotube shocks.
Although removing the wheels to install LevelTOW kit 81214004 isn’t necessary, we have here, to make viewing the installation easier. We will be installing the LevelTOW kit on a Chevrolet 3500 HD Dually.
The first step is to remove the jounce bumpers and insert the jounce bumper cup insert into the cup.
It is very critical to get the insert completely “clocked” into the cup. This requires a screwdriver or pry bar to get it twisted all the way. The three pictures below show Jounce bumper, the incorrect and correct ways of installing the insert. This picture shows the cup incorrectly “clocked” into the jounce cup.
This shows the correct location of the insert in the cup.
Once the cup inserts are correctly installed the upper bracket can be installed.
Assemble the air spring to the lower bracket and bolt it to the axle with the bail clamp (u-bolt), carriage bolts and secure it to the upper bracket with the large combo stud. Make sure the alignment pin is in the appropriate hole in the upper bracket.
Next we move to the automatic air management system. Mount the compressor frame bracket to the frame using the supplied self-tapping screws.
Mount the compressor system to the frame bracket.
Run the wires to the height sensor location, power and activation wires, and controls inside the cab per the instructions.
Install the sensor with the supplied self-tapping screws.We can now cut the rod for the height sensor to connect the sensor arm to the axle or leaf stack. There are a few brackets in the kit. We used the axle bracket and modified it to attach to the leaf stack.
We installed our controls in a panel in the dash. You can also use the supplied bracket to mount them under the dash.
The last step is to install the supplied shocks. We opted to get the front shocks also to optimize the ride quality of our 3500.
Now that the LevelTOW kit is installed on our Chevrolet 3500HD we’re ready for towing our precious cargo, safely and comfortably!
Ridetech’s LevelTOW kits are available for all late model tow vehicle and available at most truck and trailer accessory stores or directly at www.ridetech.com. These kits do not require a certified mechanic to install and can be completed with simple hand tools.