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Author Topic: will air bags help with ride quality?  (Read 767 times)

henkelphoto

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will air bags help with ride quality?
« on: February 19, 2017, 04:09:15 PM »
Hi guys!

I've got a Ram 1500 for a tow vehicle. My TT is a Keystone Hideout 177lhs. The GVWR on the trailer is about 4400 lbs which is well within my tow capacity. The trailer is a single axle trailer. We also have a wdh with sway control.

Now, when we tow there is a bit of bounce from the trailer, I'm assuming mostly due to the single axle design. Would adding air bags reduce the bounce from the trailer?
Dodge Ram 1500
Keystone Hideout 177lhs

Dickie125

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Re: will air bags help with ride quality?
« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2017, 04:19:48 PM »
Probably not.  Good shocks and better tires would IMHO be a better place to start.

Stephen S.

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  • Marshmallows and Irish Cream. Mmmm.
Re: will air bags help with ride quality?
« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2017, 05:22:56 PM »
Check tire pressure too. You might have a couple of basket balls bouncing down the road. You want to find the right pressure for the trailer, not the max pressure on the side of the tire.
Stephen S.
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'99 Winnebago Chalet
2002 VW Beetle
2007 Yamaha TW200
Home town: Mableton, GA

RVfixer

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Re: will air bags help with ride quality?
« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2017, 08:16:13 PM »
This is not an easy question to give a short answer to....but I'll try.  IF you have a late model 1500 that has front and rear coil springs...if you have the WD hitch set up properly (actually set properly by the instructions), if you have the trailer loaded correctly with the proper tongue weight and are within all the weight ratings and you still get a little bounce from the "coil" springs...air bags will help tremendously.

I have a 2012 Ram 1500 with coil springs front and back.  Bought the truck new and a TT new to replace my old set up.  The dealer set up the Equal-i-zer WD hitch incorrectly.  I corrected that and had everything correct and well within all the weight ratings and ranges.  I got a little bounce...not bad, but it was there due to the rear coil springs on the Ram.  I put on a set of Air Lift 1000 air bags inside the rear coil springs.  Took myself and a friend helping about 2 hours to complete the installation of the air bags.  The result was fantastic and I love them.  I cannot talk to air bags on other trucks or in conjunction with leaf springs.  However, on a Ram with rear coil springs...my air bag kit was less than $100 (3 years ago) 2 hour install, no removals required from the truck to make the install and they are great.  When towing I put 20 PSI in the air bags and there is a huge difference. 35 PSI is max.  I drop them down to 10 PSI when no towing, 5 PSI is minimum.  If I forget to drop the pressure down I don't notice any difference except it is stiff going over a good size bump.

Note:  If you follow the manufactures instructions it will take perhaps 4 hours or more to install the air bags and you will have some skinned knuckles.  I did the install a much easier way that I'd be happy to post if there is interest.   

RedandSilver

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Re: will air bags help with ride quality?
« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2017, 08:24:52 PM »
Air bags have nothing to do with reducing any bounce.

They are designed to reduce the amount of compression on the rear springs and help keep the rear
of a vehicle from sagging when the weight of a trailer is added.  Probably used more for when a Weight Distribution Hitch
can't be used.

I put air bags on my SUV for just that purpose because I can NOT add a WDH to my trailer.
The air bags did reduce the amount the rear end would lower when I attached my trailer.
They made/make almost no difference in ride quality with or without a trailer attached. 

I would recommend a Tongue Scale so you KNOW how much tongue weight is really on the hitch.
If you are too heavy on the tongue then you need to move stuff in the trailer rearward and if too light forward.
Getting that set right ALONG with proper tire pressures for the weight you are carrying will give you the best chance to stop any bouncing.
2002 Rexhall Rose Air  Cummins 8.3  350hp

RVfixer

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  • Posts: 203
Re: will air bags help with ride quality?
« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2017, 10:24:15 PM »
No further comment

toys4dad

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Re: will air bags help with ride quality?
« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2017, 06:40:33 PM »
has anyone used the airbags in the northeast with 0 degree temps.  light towing in winter and 31' 5th wheel in the summer.  do they hold up?

kdbgoat

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Re: will air bags help with ride quality?
« Reply #7 on: May 15, 2017, 07:13:04 PM »
Many people have. A lot of vehicles come with air ride from the factory. I know the bags are heavier, but semi trucks run them everywhere, in temps lower than 0 degrees.
I know you believe you understand what you think I said,
But I am not sure you realize what you heard is not what I meant


2016 Leprechaun 319DS

Wireman134

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Re: will air bags help with ride quality?
« Reply #8 on: May 15, 2017, 08:27:22 PM »
Hi guys!

I've got a Ram 1500 for a tow vehicle. My TT is a Keystone Hideout 177lhs. The GVWR on the trailer is about 4400 lbs which is well within my tow capacity. The trailer is a single axle trailer. We also have a wdh with sway control.

Now, when we tow there is a bit of bounce from the trailer, I'm assuming mostly due to the single axle design. Would adding air bags reduce the bounce from the trailer?
Yes, Air Lift will reduce spring compression on these soft sprung half ton trucks. Air bags do not replace WD and allow trailer suspension to do it's job, adding sway control and restoring ride height to TV. I agree most RV centers fudge WD installations. Make sure you have at least 10% tongue weight. If rear sags more than a inch from unhitched height, ball height, angle or bar tension need to be addressed. I run 20-30 lbs. in my Ride Control bags with no sway control just WD spring bars. No issues. Air Lift lifetime warranty on bags. Just replaced after 15 years. Easy to install on leafs easier with coil springs.
2000 Silverado 1500 EC Z71 5.3L 325 hp DS intune, Airlift, 34" Alu 1.25"radiator, B&M 70266 trans cooler, oil cooler, Vet servo, Mag- Hytec, Pro comp ES9000, SUV brakes
2015 Venture Sonic 220VBH, 300W Solar/350 ahr AGM/1200w inverter, 75W Dual Band Ham base. Camping weight 5,100lbs on dual 2800 axle

lynnmor

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Re: will air bags help with ride quality?
« Reply #9 on: May 15, 2017, 09:27:08 PM »
has anyone used the airbags in the northeast with 0 degree temps.  light towing in winter and 31' 5th wheel in the summer.  do they hold up?

AirLift recommends that air brake anti-freeze be added to the bags.

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: will air bags help with ride quality?
« Reply #10 on: May 16, 2017, 09:46:02 AM »
If the air system doesn't have an air dryer, some sort of drying agent (that's what the "antifreeze" really is) should be added to the system.  Modern medium & heavy duty diesels with air brakes have an air dryer built in, plus facilities to drain excess water from the air reservoir. After market add-on air systems seldom do, so some care against water-damage (and not just in winter) is recommended. Not a concern if air pressure is rarely adjusted, but regular use of the compressor will add a bit of water vapor each time. The water can cause corrosion at any time and can freeze in valves and nozzles in winter weather.
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

 

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