Heavy Tundras choice of suspension

jmllenos

New member
FWIW, the Tundra is somewhat over-engineered and underrated as it comes from the factory. Toyota lent an unmodified Tundra to a ranching operation where it was pulling +12k lb cattle trailers and performing general ranch duties on rough roads for 100k miles. Didn't seem to cause any undue wear. The Toyota engineers obviously stated that they don't condone going over the tow ratings, but that they weren't surprised the truck fared as well as it did.

That aside, I agree with the above post: there is more to GVWR than springs and tires. I don't know what the OP has on his Tundra so that it is already within 100-200lbs of GVWR. If you need to exceed that 1.5-1.6k payload on a frequent basis, I'd heavily consider getting a 3/4 ton.

For suspension, I'd take OME (either the old nitrochargers or the newer BP-51's) in a heartbeat over anything else. ICON makes very capable suspension setups, and I'm sure they last for a while. OME still has a better reputation for reliability and longevity. The tradeoff is that OME won't have the same degree of comfort and ride compliance as a high-end ICON kit (at least according to those who've done direct comparisons). I'd trade a little bit of comfort for better reliability.
I have started shedding weight. Removed a drawer system so I can be at GVWR.
This is my first overlanding vehicle and I will use it to gain experience so I can plan better for my next rig.
 

Desert Dan

Explorer
Do you have a camper etc.?

Look into Old Man Emu Dakar rear springs and Firestone Air Bags. Use Daystar Cradles for off road work.

I have OME Dakars but didn't add the extra leaf yet.
 

jmllenos

New member
Do you have a camper etc.?

Look into Old Man Emu Dakar rear springs and Firestone Air Bags. Use Daystar Cradles for off road work.

I have OME Dakars but didn't add the extra leaf yet.
Yes I do. I already have Airlift bags and Cradles. I just wanted to beef up the other suspension.
I have seriously shifted my attention to OME BP 51.
How’s the ride with Dakar’s?
 

Desert Dan

Explorer
It rides pretty well. I have a Northstar TC 650 camper. I may put in the extra HD leaf if I need it. I only have about 20psi in the airbags.
I put on TRD Pro front springs and shocks before I went the camper route. I have full skid plates as well.
 

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nickw

Adventurer
I have started shedding weight. Removed a drawer system so I can be at GVWR.
This is my first overlanding vehicle and I will use it to gain experience so I can plan better for my next rig.
Smart...mechanical capacity aside and not trying to sound to much like anybody's dad, but if you are exceeding GVWR, you should step up to a rig that is rated to handle the weight like the HD 1/2 tons or a 3/4 ton. Dealer warranty is the least of my concern, legal risk if you were to get into an accident is the stuff that is really going to hit you hard.....
 

nickw

Adventurer
So much more to the GVWR than just the springs and tires. What will you do about frame, steering, brakes, suspension joints, ..... ask Toyota if going over their GVWR will affect warranty.

I've seen a Ram go into a dealership while on vacation with a broken front knuckle u-joint. The dealer scaled the truck and formally voided the warranty.
Can you imagine what the insurance company would say if you got into an accident....$300k liability claim, sorry....
 

rruff

Explorer
Can you imagine what the insurance company would say if you got into an accident....$300k liability claim, sorry....
I've never heard of it happening. Certainly the GVWR isn't a safety rating, else all vehicles would need to pass the same safety standards. And a Tundra that has a slightly too big camper on it is going to stop quicker and maneuver better than most large trucks, RVs, and people pulling trailers.

If they can make a good claim that you were negligently stupid, that is another matter. But being over GVWR a reasonable amount doesn't make that case. For non-commercial vehicles, the weight you carry is up to the individual. There is no legal requirement.

GVWR is a CYA for the manufacturer. If you are over they can deny a structural claim on warranty, like the example of the Ram given above.
 

jmllenos

New member
Thanks for the tips/pointers/responses guys. I just got off the phone with my insurance (Amica) and told them I will occasionally be over the GVWR by 200 lbs when going on longer camping days. They said they will cover. The problem would be if someone tries to make a case that I was driving unsafe.

Anyways, here is my rig. I have steel rear bumpers with swing away arms on order and it will be 200 lbs. I already took off some items to keep the weight under GVWR. The only time I will go over is whenI have another passenger and adding 5 gal of gas and water.
 

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nickw

Adventurer
I've never heard of it happening. Certainly the GVWR isn't a safety rating, else all vehicles would need to pass the same safety standards. And a Tundra that has a slightly too big camper on it is going to stop quicker and maneuver better than most large trucks, RVs, and people pulling trailers.

If they can make a good claim that you were negligently stupid, that is another matter. But being over GVWR a reasonable amount doesn't make that case. For non-commercial vehicles, the weight you carry is up to the individual. There is no legal requirement.

GVWR is a CYA for the manufacturer. If you are over they can deny a structural claim on warranty, like the example of the Ram given above.
Define "reasonable"....

You absolutely have exposure by knowingly overloading your rig. What an insurance co. is going to do with that is TBD. What lawyers will do with that is a TBD. Same with a Jury. They are all risks, we can't define the probability, but they exist, likely LOW....but why risk it at all?
 

peekay

Adventurer
Define "reasonable"....

You absolutely have exposure by knowingly overloading your rig. What an insurance co. is going to do with that is TBD. What lawyers will do with that is a TBD. Same with a Jury. They are all risks, we can't define the probability, but they exist, likely LOW....but why risk it at all?
My wife is a partner at a law firm and she's done a ton of defense work on products liability cases, particularly automotive related. She's never heard of a case where the GVRW is an issue unless a vehicle was severely overweight and even then, the other side has to show that the overweightness caused the accident. Based on the OP's circumstances, you are "overlawyering."

By your logic, you should not drive even 1mph over the speed limit.
 

Dalko43

Explorer
Smart...mechanical capacity aside and not trying to sound to much like anybody's dad, but if you are exceeding GVWR, you should step up to a rig that is rated to handle the weight like the HD 1/2 tons or a 3/4 ton. Dealer warranty is the least of my concern, legal risk if you were to get into an accident is the stuff that is really going to hit you hard.....
A "HD" 1/2 ton is not the same thing as a 3/4 ton.

You can sprinkle fairy dust and pretend all you want that these "HD" F-150's and Silverado's are actually more capable more regular 1/2 tons, but the simple fact is that the OEM's change very little with those "HD" variants. They're there more for marketing and bragging rights than anything else.

If you want to carry 3/4 ton loads, get a 3/4 ton....enough said.
 

Trikebubble

Adventurer
I have Dakar leaf pack with an extra leaf along with airbags and daystar cradles in the back. The leaf pack deals with the majority of the weight pretty well, and I have the airbags there just to supplement things (and to fine tune my level when camping.
I run an MCM Fabrication mid-travel set-up with ADS Racing shocks with external reservoirs and rear triple bypass and 700 pound springs up front. The shocks could be considered overkill, but we've run a lot of logging and forest service roads and gravel highways and I like the fact these shocks don't give up on washboard quite like the stock ones do. I also run the MCM Fabrication uca's up front, and I'm netting about 3.5" of travel. I also have a TRD rear sway bar to help stabilize things in the twisties. I am currently running E-Rated Ridge Grapplers in a 295/18, but will be going up to a true 35" soon.

The ride is certainly firm, but I like it. The truck and camper actually handle mountain road twisties quite well. Power is not an issue at all, and either are the stock brakes. Tundra brakes are pretty beefy for a 1/2 ton and she stops without any real concern at all when required.

I have spoken with a guy who runs full OME suspension with Dakar leaf packs plus 2 additional leafs, no airbags at all... and he is quite satisfied with his setup.

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