Do Lift Kits on Trucks Ruin the Towing Capability?

Pickup trucks are America’s most popular type of car, and it’s easy to see why. They look awesome, they’re strong enough for any job under the sun, and their size makes you the king of the road.

But truck obsessives can’t be satisfied with the factory options. You don’t buy a truck to fit in, you buy a truck so everybody else on the road notices when you drive by.

Lift kits raise trucks higher off the ground, making them look burlier and more aggressive on the road. Depending on the type of lift, they can also turn your truck into a pro-level off-roading machine.

You may have heard that lift kits ruin towing capability. Don’t worry! If you choose the right lift kit, you can tow a camper while driving a truck that towers over the road.

Types of Lift Kits

There are three basic types of truck lift kits: leveling kits, body lifts, and suspension lifts. Which type you should choose depends on what you use your truck for.

Leveling Kits

Pickup truck suspensions usually create a slight downward angle from the back of the truck to the front.

The extra height on the back allows the truck to carry heavy loads in the bed. The higher the back end of the truck, the more weight it can carry without bottoming out. The downward angle also improves aerodynamic performance.

Leveling kits are the most subtle kind of lift kit. They use spacers to lift the front end of your truck around 2 inches. This extra height brings the front of the truck up to the same height as the rear.

Most people install leveling kits for aesthetic reasons. The higher front end makes your truck appear taller and more imposing on the road.

Leveling kits also give you a little more space to install larger custom tires, which can improve off-road performance.Leveling Kits and Towing

Leveling kits do not affect your truck’s towing capabilities. Your leveled truck should still be able to tow the same amount of weight as it could when it was stock.

Body Lifts

Body lifts are the next step up (no pun intended) when it comes to jacking up your ride. This type of custom truck lift uses spacers to raise both ends of your truck’s body. Body lifts can give your truck 2 to 4 inches of extra height.

The main reason people choose body lifts is that they are cheaper than other ways of lifting your truck. Since only the body gets lifted, the suspension stays where it is. This means the truck drives mostly the same as it did pre-lift.

Body Lifts and Towing

You don’t need any special equipment to tow a trailer with a body-lifted truck. Towing performance should be about the same as it was before customization.

Note that this only applies if you lift the body of your truck 4 inches or less. If you go over that threshold, the added space between body and suspension will increase instability. This could make it unsafe to tow heavier loads.

Suspension Lifts

Suspension lift kits are the best option if you want to use your lifted truck for serious off-roading. 

In a suspension lift, the components connecting the wheels to the frame are angled down. This raises the axles, differentials, and body of your truck higher off the ground.

Suspension lifts are the most complex custom lift kits. Modifying the suspension requires custom springs and shocks to accommodate the extra height. The braking system also requires modification when the suspension gets lifted.

For all of these reasons, it is a good idea to get a professional to install your suspension lift kit. Installation errors can cause damage to your truck and even make it unsafe to drive.

The complexity of suspension lifts makes them the most expensive option for lifting your truck. However, if you’re lifting your truck for more than aesthetic reasons, suspension lifts are the superior choice.

When you lift your truck’s suspension, you reduce the chance of damaging the underside of your truck on off-roading trails. The increased range of motion on a lifted suspension improves off-road performance and climbing ability. 

Suspension Lifts and Towing

While suspension lifts can improve off-road performance, they can negatively impact your truck’s highway driving and towing ability.

Trucks with lifted suspensions have a high center of gravity. That makes them less stable on the road and can make it less safe to tow heavy loads.

Lifted trucks usually have soft suspensions to improve off-road ride quality. This type of suspension is prone to sagging under heavy loads. The sag will reduce traction on your front tires, causing you to lose control.

The sag can also turn into a maintenance issue. A saggy suspension will cause components like springs, shocks, and brakes to wear out more quickly.

That being said, you can still tow trailers in a lifted truck. Depending on the height of your lift, you may need to install a drop hitch. This tool lowers the ball on your trailer hitch to the proper height for towing.

You can also install an air suspension instead of conventional springs. This allows you to adjust the height and firmness of your suspension, combatting sagginess.

Even with these adjustments, a suspension-lifted truck is going to lose some of its towing capacity. The good news is that unless you’re towing massive fifth-wheel trailers or toy haulers, you shouldn’t have to worry. A lifted truck is capable of towing a medium-sized camper or boat.

If you regularly haul huge goose-neck trailers with tons of weight, you probably shouldn’t use a lifted truck. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have the monster truck of your dreams! It just means you need 2 trucks: a work truck and a fun truck.

Creating Your Dream Truck

Lift kits don’t ruin your truck’s towing capability, but if you want a lifted truck that can tow you should rely on professional advice and expertise.

If you’re ready to own the awesome lifted truck you’ve always wanted, the San Antonio truck lift specialists at Outlaw can make your dreams a reality. Their experienced technicians can help you select the lift kits that are right for your needs.

Whether you’re looking for Jeep Wrangler lift kits or kits for your truck/SUV, Outlaw has you covered. Professional installation will give you peace of mind as you carve down the highway or bounce around dirt trails. 

Outlaw does more than lifts, too. From vehicle wraps to custom truck grills, they offer everything you need to make your truck stand out from (and over) the pack.

Top 6 Reasons to Tint your Windows this Summer

Here at OUTLAW Off-Road + Performance our priority is our customer’s safety, vehicle performance, and durability — this is what OUTLAW’s excellent customer service is about.

1) Get a FREE OUTLAW T-shirt

We are running a promotion for window tint and wanted to share the benefits of upgrading your vehicles tint! With the purchase of any tint here at OUTLAW we will gift our customers a free T-shirt until the end of August!

2) Block those harmful UV Rays

One of the leading causes of skin cancer is sun exposure. The New York Post shared insight which may be shocking to some. The average American will spend 152 hours commuting in their vehicle. The finding comes from a survey by OnePoll for

One of the risks of long car commuting is excessive time in the sun. Texas traffic is no joke, and the simplest way that you can block out harmful ultraviolet rays is by tinting your car windows.

Most window tints will block out 90-99% of harmful UV rays. Preventing sun exposure however is not the only benefit behind adding window tint. Window tint could significantly reduce the amount of energy the car seats, dashboard, and other areas inside the vehicle absorb thus reducing heating.

3) Texas is HOT — Keep that heat out!

Window tint materials come in different designs. Metallic, carbon, ceramic, or some variations of the three. The type of material and tint intensity will determine the total solar energy rejected (TSER). When shopping for tint make sure to check the manufacturers guarantee on how much TSER will be blocked. As a rule of thumb, darker tint will have higher TSER than films that are lighter and clearer.

The films with higher TSER result in less heating in your vehicle, both while driving and parked outside in the sun. By lowering the total amount of heat absorbed by your vehicle you will be able to save your air conditioning (AC) from working harder to cool down your vehicle. Your car will also start using less fuel to run you AC. Other benefits that will save you money also include longer lasting life. AC units which are overworked on hot summer months are more likely to fail or depreciate quicker. This results in more maintenance or replacement for your cooling unit.

Your AC is not the only part of your vehicle which will benefit from less sun energy. If you are looking to preserve your cars upholstery, window tint may be just the solution you are looking for.

Crew applying dark tint on customer's car
Crew applying dark tint on customer’s car

4) Cut the fade! Tint helps keep interiors looking fresh

Car upholstery looks best cleaned, varnished, and well-maintained. However, if your car upholstery is beginning to fade, look less finished, and lacking color, sun exposure and UV rays may be the reason behind it.

It is not just your car seats the experience damage, any finishes inside the vehicle in plastic, vinyl, or textile material will experience wear from prolonged exposure in the sun over years of use.

Leather is particularly susceptible to sun damage and will over time lose its touch, feel, and appeal if not properly protected against UV rays. Consider adding window tint to increase the longevity of your car’s interior and preserve more of your cars value over time!

5) Keep your ride on the down-low. Get to driving in privacy!

Get that cool, calm look with privacy tint and state-of-the-art solar blocking technology.

The most common reason why drivers enjoy window tint is for the added privacy and security.

There are different shades of window tint. Under Texas law all windows should allow 25% or more visible light transmission value (VLT).  There are exceptions but for the majority of people it is best not to go darker than 25% VLT.

Most window tints that have VLT values of 25% or more will grant the driver and passengers a much higher level of privacy and safety while preventing expensive fines and points on your license.

Fines for the first infraction can cost you anywhere from $20-25 and an order to remove the tint. Removing tint can be much more expensive than that, but receiving multiple fines will lead to larger fines up to $275.

Window tint percentages
Window tint percentages and visible light transmission value (VLT)

6) Less glare, safer driving.

Beyond all of the benefits listed above, window tint promotes safer driving. By blocking out sun glare and keeping your eyesight sharp, window tint can reduce the likelihood of obscured sight and thus wrecks. Window tint can also reduce glare from headlights at night.

Some people think window tint hinders visibility out of a vehicle but this is not true. Window tint simply prevents unwanted light and harmful sunlight from entering the car.

If you would like to tint your windows come down to OUTLAW Off-Road + Performance and we will consult you on how best to retrofit your vehicle. We are located at located at 12120 IH35N San Antonio. We specialize in lift kits, tires and rims, shocks, bumpers, accessories, leather seats, tint and wraps for 4X4 and pre-runner trucks.

Take advantage of our window tint promotion and receive a free OUTLAW T-shirt when you outfit your car with a brand new tint of your choice!

Find us at, OUTLAWSA on TikTok, and OUTLAW_SanAntonio on Instagram.