Reflections on upgrades after a 3-week road trip.

Fasttimes

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Got back about week ago after a 3-week road trip pulling my 30ft travel trailer from South Florida all the way on up to the Smokies and Asheville area. I wanted to give my impressions on all the upgrades i did prior to this trip to help out the old girl in pulling what I knew would be a maxed out/limit trip. Perhaps this will help others...

2010 Expy, Eddie Bauer, HD tow package. 150k miles.
My overweight self and 3 teenage boys/men. This annual trip was going to be the highest passenger load, these nephews keep growing!
2015 27RBDS Winnebago Ultralite (30' overall length). 6950 pounds, loaded.

Efforts to help with trailer weight were taken, utilizing the CAT scale prior to the trip several times really helped dial it in. I reorganized weight, ditched things I didn't need, and went down to one 20lb propane tank all in effort to get the tongue weight just where I wanted. Most heavy items were moved from front storage of camper to storage over the axles inside the trailer. Things like tool kit, some hoses, leveling blocks, etc. Two bikes were added to the rear bike rack I've installed on the trailer. This also helped in lifting some of the front tongue weight I imagine.

Several upgrades were done to the truck prior to the trip.

Sumo spacers added to rear springs
Front and Rear Hellwig Sway Bars
New Michellin LTXs, max PSI while towing
New spark plugs and cleaned throttle body
Flushed transmission oil and filter

Impressions:

Sumo spacers added to rear springs -- this did help in lowing rear spring travel distance and kept the truck level on that last bit of sag I would have prior to installing. I'm happy with the outcome. You do feel the road imperfections and speed bumps more on the down side.

Hellwig sway bars -- Definitely happy with them. Less sway in cross winds and semi's blowing by. Stiffer ride, but for my towing needs definitely a benefit.

New set of tires -- More confident traction in the rain, max psi gave assistance to truck in stiffness for the towing and kept her tracking straight.

New set of plugs and throttle body cleaning -- this had a tremendous benefit. I could feel more power in the truck when accelerating while under tow and saw the best gas mileage I've ever had on a trip. Figure I gained about 1-1.5 more mpg. May not seem like much, but it is when your getting 9 mpg.

Transmission oil and filter -- I purchased an OBD module to monitor my transmission temps, especailly in FLA in the heat and when we got to the mountains and headed on up. Although having 150k miles on the transmission it performed great. I never saw temps spike above 210 in the steepest climb, most of the tow I was at about 197.

Overall I was extremely happy with how the old girl handled the trip. It also helped me confirm some of the debating I had been going on recently with my self about the need/want to move on up to a F250 class truck. For the trailer I have and the tows I generally do, the Expy did just great. The old Expy handled everything I threw at it and performed best it ever had while under tow. I will eventually upgrade to the latest gen Expy and will apply the same upgrades when I do.
 
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Fasttimes

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Very easy. One can of throttle body cleaner and an old tooth brush. Think it was like 4 bolts and a couple electrical disconnects that you have to "unlock" first before pulling off. No gasket to replace, just stuck a clean rag in the hole after lifting off the TB. It was extremely dirty.
 
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Fasttimes

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How are the swaybars when NOT towing or loaded down?
I notice a little more levelness to the cab when exiting and joining the highway, other than that not noticing much more. I notice the sumo-spacers a lot more, especially when going over speed bumps and such, definitely not as soft as ride as before. But not like unbearable.
 

Kjhawkeye1

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Very easy. One can of throttle body cleaner and an old tooth brush. Think it was like 4 bolts and a couple electrical disconnects that you have to "unlock" first before pulling off. No gasket to replace, just stuck a clean rag in the hole after lifting off the TB. It was extremely dirty.
Hey thanks for this. Did this today and I am surprised at how easy it was and how much of a difference it made! $6 and 45 mins later and the acceleration is smooth as butter. Wish I had done it at the start of summer or when I had the plugs changed out 10K miles ago. Again, many thanks.
 
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