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Are Lifted Trucks Worse for Towing?

There are several reasons why people might lift their trucks. Some do it for off-road purposes to clear obstacles more easily. Others do it for aesthetic reasons, to make the truck look more imposing or rugged. Let’s face it; they look pretty darn cool. But what if you want to tow a trailer or fifth wheel? Is it better or worse for towing if you have a lifted truck?

There can be advantages to lifting a truck, but several ways achieve different results. It’s vital to understand that with each method of raising a truck, there are trade-offs in what you can and can’t do with your lifted truck. 

This is especially essential to understand regarding towing ability. We’ll discuss how you can lift a truck, as well as what the advantages and disadvantages are so that you can make a well-informed decision. Let’s get started.

What Are Lifted Trucks?

A lifted truck is a vehicle that someone has modified with a lifted suspension. This increases its height, making it taller than a standard truck. Lifted trucks have become increasingly trendy in recent years. Many people choose them for their off-road capabilities, while others like their looks.

What Is the Difference Between a Body Lift And a Suspension Lift?

A body lift raises the truck’s body, leaving the frame and suspension at their original height. With a body lift, the towing ability for the truck remains the same. A body lift is typically less expensive but lifts the truck from 2 to 5 inches.

A suspension lift raises the entire truck, including the chassis, and owners usually install larger wheels. Body lifts are less expensive than suspension lifts, but they do not provide as much ground clearance. A suspension lift, however, reduces towing capacity.

A suspension lift is generally much more expensive, requiring replacing related components, but can increase a truck’s lift by 9 to 12 inches.

Suspended truck driving fast down highway.
If you’re looking to do some off-roading, a suspended truck could work great for you.

How Does Suspension Lift Affect Towing? 

Suspension lifts increase the ground clearance, which can be great for off-roading, but there are significant considerations regarding towing.

The higher you lift a truck, the more of a hit you’ll take to its handling. This means you’ll have to drive slower, particularly when turning. The truck will also suffer from worse fuel economy due to increased weight and aerodynamic drag. 

The alignment will be another significant factor when employing a suspension lift. With the truck’s chassis raised higher, the bumper will move. Pulling any bumper-pull trailer will require a drop hitch, which can be expensive and reduce the towing capacity. 

A fifth-wheel trailer is not a good idea to pull with a suspension lift. The increased height of the truck bed, in turn, reduces the trailer’s clearance, which is necessary to pull a fifth-wheel trailer correctly.

Towing can be done with a shorter lift but could lead to instability, lack of clearance, and dangerous driving conditions, particularly on roads that are not smooth.

Pro Tip: Looking to buy a new truck? We uncovered The Best Dually Trucks for Towing in 2022.

Are Lifted Trucks Worse for Towing?

There is some debate over whether lifted trucks are worse for towing, but most of it boils down to the lift you use and the increased height.

A body lift has little to no effect on a truck’s towing capabilities. When a suspension lift is in use, the debate changes dramatically.

The increased height can make the truck less stable when towing, leading to accidents. Additionally, lifted trucks have a higher center of gravity than standard trucks, which means they are more likely to roll over when towing heavy loads. 

Towing with a suspension-lifted truck will require extra consideration regarding the necessary modifications to tow safely. You can change specific components, but the towing ability will take a hit and require an added cost.

Black suspended truck parked in parking lot.
The increased height of a suspended truck can make the truck less stable when towing.

Can You Tow With a 4 Inch Lift?

Keeping the suspension lift to a lower height reduces the modifications necessary to tow a trailer and reduces safety concerns.

A four-inch lift still requires a drop hitch to bumper pull a trailer, but it may not seriously affect a fifth-wheel trailer. Though this is still a matter of much debate, there are many truck owners with four-inch suspension-lifted trucks that swear by their ability to pull a fifth wheel.

It may not be easy to get the fifth-wheel trailer completely level, but you should have enough clearance for driving smooth roads, such as highways. Backing up or traveling on rougher roads can be a concern, as limited clearance becomes an essential factor.

You should always consult your truck’s manufacturer to see if there are any special instructions for towing with a lifted truck.

Pro Tip: Want to tow your RV with a truck? These are The Worst Trucks for Towing a Large RV Camper.

How Much Lift Is Too Much for Towing? 

There is no definitive answer to this question. It depends on the specific truck and its lifted suspension, as well as available components to enable safe towing. However, it is generally advisable not to lift your vehicle more than necessary, if at all, as this can decrease your stability, fuel economy, and safety.

Can I Tow a Gooseneck Trailer With a Lifted Truck? 

You can tow a gooseneck trailer with a lifted truck. However, you will need to consult your truck’s manufacturer to ensure that you can tow this type of trailer.

Certain modifications may be necessary to pull a gooseneck trailer with a lifted truck. It also depends upon how big of a lift you have. The higher the lift, the less chance you can safely tow a gooseneck trailer or any other trailer.

Is It Worth Towing With a Lifted Truck? 

Lifted trucks can have some disadvantages, but they also have many benefits. To many people, they have a cool factor that looks more impressive than standard trucks. If you are considering a lifted truck, be sure to weigh the pros and cons carefully to decide if it is the right choice.

Lifted trucks are more difficult to drive and may worsen your fuel economy. Additionally, lifted trucks can be more prone to accidents. Lifted trucks can also be more expensive than standard trucks. They may require special modifications to tow heavy loads.

We wouldn’t recommend much of a suspension lift, if at all if you intend to do a lot of towing over long distances. If you like the look of a lifted truck, a body lift would be a better choice, as it doesn’t change the truck’s towing capability.

Whatever you choose to do, be sure that your truck falls within the limits of what the manufacturer says it can and can’t do with the modifications that you intend.

Have you ever driven a lifted truck? Tell us your experience in the comments!

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