Do I need gears with 33s?

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Apr 4, 2012
sorry for the stupid question but Im building my LC (1997 AE) with two things in mind being able to tow my Travel Trailer (2011 Outback 210 RS) this summer and a trip to Argentina next year with the wife and kids Im buying alot of stuff but i do have a question .. (or two)

I have the OME 2.5 lift and want to go with 285s (I think that would be 33'' rubber will I need to gear up? down? how does that work? is it just the rear diff or the front also? I have a twin compressor (ARB) with both front and rear Lockers waiting to go in but I know 0 about gears
what brands should I be looking at?
How much does the trailer weigh?
wow great link thank you

the trailer is about 6000 LB and yes I know its over the Limit but with the BBk a top of the line EBC, sway controll and above all responsible carefull (Slow) driving it feels just as safe as it did behing my Z71 Tahoe last summer
Check the web site for each brand of tires. 285s are not all the same diameter. Most web sites will tell you the actual size with the rim size. I was suprised how much each brand varies when I was looking to buy. I wouldn't regear either. I have BFG AT 295/75/16 and have no problems. They actually are a little bigger than 33 inches
I wouldn't tow that with an 80, but I have another option. There's one guy on the board that tows a monster boat with his 80 so it can be done. I would consider regearing for regular towing. Most 285's are around 32" BTW. Good luck.
So, you're trailer is 6k?

I towed a lot with my 80. It was a 94 with 250,000 miles and 285s. I towed a dump trailer with 7k worth of debris in the trailer. The load with trailer that trip was around 9k. I had 0 problems. I towed a 1979 f350 to the crusher on my car trailer. The load that time was around 5500. Those were just a few of my local trips to the crusher.

I also towed a 1995 ford f150 on my car trailer from Bristol tn to Atlanta ga. Up the 5-9% grade it did
45mph in second at about 2500 rpm. On the flats I easily cruised 65 mph. That truck weighed ~5k and trailer is right at 1500lbs.

You're 80 will be fine towing. Install trailer brakes. pulling is easy stopping is the hardest part of towing anything.

Jus retread your post and saw you've already towed the camper with your 80. As far as handling goes your 80 outweighs that Chevy by quite a bit.

Depends on where you are going to drive as well. At altitude, the motor on the 80 series is anemic. Climbing grades out west above 4000 ft altitude convinced me. After getting passed by every vehicle on the road, including the big rigs with trailers, I regeared to 4.88's. I have never regretted the money spent on it.
There are 2 aspects to this, if you don't regear you will feel like you lost a little power, but if you are ok with that I suggest that it is better than the alternative.

I had a very well know shop regear and rebuild my axles and in less that 2,000 miles I had leaks coming out of the pinion seals.

If your trip is going to be relatively flat I say don't regear, if there are steep long hills I don't think there is much else that you can do, maybe re-evaluate your camper needs and see if you can trade for a lightweight version of one similar to what you have.

I never bothered re-gearing on 33's , but I live near sea level & the boat I pull is a sub-20' alum sled - no guess on weight on trailer, it was a 'slow lane only' - thing the time I pulled it over the Cascades / Stevens Pass. I'll guess @ ~3.5K with all the crap & passengers???

Altitude will be your biggest variable here - do much elevation change towing? What level do you start at (no location)?

I'd def re-gear for 35's - but 33's were fine with a 1FZ-FE. That was my experience anyhow.

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