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Author Topic: Airbags really raise capacity?  (Read 364 times)

samthetramp

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Airbags really raise capacity?
« on: September 26, 2018, 09:47:17 AM »
In my trade thousands of us use campers as opposed to being in motels while on a job. Many of those have told me that having airbags installed can boost your trucks towing capacity up to 5000lbs more than stated. I've also been reading on here that towing capacity and how much a truck can safely handle are 2 different things. I bought my truck knowing I would be getting a bigger camper but now wonder if I don't have enough truck. Really looking for some clarification on this.

Alfa38User

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Re: Airbags really raise capacity?
« Reply #1 on: September 26, 2018, 10:06:45 AM »
Air bags cannot increase the towing CAPACITY, only the manufacturer can do that when he builds the vehicle.  All they can do is perhaps aid the ride somewhat. Airbags sometimes have a very useful roll to play but increasing capacity is NOT one of them.

Your truck has several capacity maximums stated on various stickers. The axle capacities, tire weight capacities, the cargo or load/ payload capacities and the combined gross weight (trailer plus truck) towing capacity have to be respected. Will the truck break if you exceed one or more of these?? Not likely, but the wear and tear on the vehicle will take its toll and it may not handle very well either, especially under adverse conditions.
« Last Edit: September 26, 2018, 10:11:23 AM by Alfa38User »
Stu
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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Airbags really raise capacity?
« Reply #2 on: September 26, 2018, 10:10:00 AM »
Not a simple answer, since "not enough truck" doesn't say where the weak link in the chain resides.  Sometimes the shortcoming is rear suspension (weight CARRYING) and adding air bags can help somewhat. Other times the shortcoming is the attachment point for the hitch receiver, or the rear axle gearing, the drive shaft connections, or the truck's brake system.  Adding air bag does nothing at all for any of those.

Generally, if the the trailer weight (GVWR) exceeds the truck Max Tow rating, air bags will NOT help.  The Max Tow is based on the ability to PULL, not to CARRY.  If the problem is too much tongue weight, then the bags might assist to some degree as long as the hitch receiver is adequate.
Gary
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darsben

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Re: Airbags really raise capacity?
« Reply #3 on: September 26, 2018, 11:59:33 AM »
Your trucks payload is your trucks payload.
towing capacity means little if you overload the trucks
1990 Fleetwood Southwind on P30 chassis located in
Central NY in summer and beautiful Casa Grande AZ in winter

samthetramp

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Re: Airbags really raise capacity?
« Reply #4 on: September 26, 2018, 02:55:17 PM »
Well I've read several threads on the subject of what can my truck pull/carry and while they make sense they're also a little confusing since the yellow border staicker on my truck only deals with tire pressures with the exception of stating don't put more that 2268lbs of stuff in it. GVWR is stated at 10,000lbs. Rear axle rating is around 6900lbs. Both of those ratings are on a different sticker on the door itself. Yellow bordered sticker also says to see owners manual for more info which I haven't done yet. I have a 2018 Dodge 2500 diesel/auto with the Tradesman trim package. I need to figure out what I can safely handle before shopping for another camper. I haven't decided on a 5ver or another TT yet. I like each for different reasons.

I know this has been on here many times but what is the formula for figuring out what my truck will handle?

Thanks

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Airbags really raise capacity?
« Reply #5 on: September 26, 2018, 03:41:13 PM »
Quote
yellow border staicker on my truck only deals with tire pressures with the exception of stating don't put more that 2268lbs of stuff in it.
That's the cargo capacity, aka payload, that we are talking about. Tongue or pin weight is part of the truck cargo, so you have to heed that limit if you want the truck to stay happy.

Adding air bags can help the rear suspension and maybe allow more cargo, but the cargo capacity is also limited by the axle GAWR and the tires used (each tire has a max load rating too).  You can't simply say "add air bags and tow 5000 lbs more".

Somebody said the truck GVWR doesn't change, but that is mostly rhetorical. None of the official ratings change unless a certified chassis engineer makes a formal re-evaluation and issues a formal opinion.  Realistically, that ain't gonna happen!  Since these are private vehicles, the question is a practical one rather than a legal one.
« Last Edit: September 26, 2018, 03:44:45 PM by Gary RV_Wizard »
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samthetramp

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Re: Airbags really raise capacity?
« Reply #6 on: September 26, 2018, 04:42:42 PM »
Ok so according to the stickers on the truck the yellow one says max payload is 2268lbs.

The one with the weights says GAWR Rear is 6520lbs and GVWR is 10,000lbs.

Tires are E rated tires. Firestone Transforce. 

Should I run the truck over some scales to see what it weighs itself? Does that figure come into play?

Is the 20% of trailer weight on a 5ver the number I need to have at or below the payload number?

ip076

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Re: Airbags really raise capacity?
« Reply #7 on: September 26, 2018, 05:11:39 PM »
20% of the 5er loaded to travel, plus whatever you have in the truck for people, pets, and gear...that total needs to be less than the payload number.

I suppose a scale wouldn't hurt, you could assume your payload is GVWR - actual weight.  Though with this you need to ensure you respect axle weight ratings. 

2268 would work for a smaller, lighter 5er.  My 35' Bighorn weighs about 14,500 going down the road.  20% of that alone will exceed your payload on that truck.
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samthetramp

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Re: Airbags really raise capacity?
« Reply #8 on: September 26, 2018, 05:19:20 PM »
Yeah that sucks. Wish I would've known about this before getting a 3/4 ton. I can't begin to tell y'all how many people I know that are using 3/4 tons to pull 10-15,000 lb campers. Just don't want to get myself in a bind if something does go sideways. We all know how insurance companies are when it comes to giving your money back.

John From Detroit

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Re: Airbags really raise capacity?
« Reply #9 on: September 26, 2018, 05:25:12 PM »
Air bags improve the ride. they do not change the capacity. ANY capacity.
Nothing adds excitement like something that is none of your business
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SpencerPJ

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Re: Airbags really raise capacity?
« Reply #10 on: September 26, 2018, 05:25:46 PM »
Well I've read several threads on the subject of what can my truck pull/carry and while they make sense they're also a little confusing since the yellow border staicker on my truck only deals with tire pressures with the exception of stating don't put more that 2268lbs of stuff in it. GVWR is stated at 10,000lbs. Rear axle rating is around 6900lbs. Both of those ratings are on a different sticker on the door itself. Yellow bordered sticker also says to see owners manual for more info which I haven't done yet. I have a 2018 Dodge 2500 diesel/auto with the Tradesman trim package. I need to figure out what I can safely handle before shopping for another camper. I haven't decided on a 5ver or another TT yet. I like each for different reasons.

I know this has been on here many times but what is the formula for figuring out what my truck will handle?

Thanks

There are a few more questions that need answered, but this link is exactly what you are looking for
https://www.ramtrucks.com/towing-guide.html

darsben

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Re: Airbags really raise capacity?
« Reply #11 on: September 26, 2018, 05:42:36 PM »
Payload capacity will usually be the most limiting factor on most rigs.
So if you have 2268 of payload first ADD UP the weight of all passengers, the weight of the fifth wheel adapter installed on the truck,  the weight of your tools, the dog,  and anything else you put in or on the truck like camp wood, barbecue grill etc.
Now subtract that from the payload capacity of the truck.   the remainder is the GROSS pin weight of the trailer do not use the dry weight use the gross weight of the trailer.   pin weight is about 20% of GROSS trailer weight. DO NOT USE DRY WEIGHT.
Now if towing a travel trailer the remainder is GROSS tongue weight allowed for the rig, tongue weight is 10-12% of GROSS TRAILER WEIGHT.
« Last Edit: September 26, 2018, 05:46:00 PM by darsben »
1990 Fleetwood Southwind on P30 chassis located in
Central NY in summer and beautiful Casa Grande AZ in winter

sightseers

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Re: Airbags really raise capacity?
« Reply #12 on: September 26, 2018, 06:07:21 PM »
Airbags will allow you to carry a heavy load... easier,  as any overload spring system would do.  The tire are load ratings the really important safety thing.   

and being a privately owned truck... there is no "legal" weight restrictions. (except for tires).    You can legally modify your truck to carry more weight with bigger springs, wheels and tires or whatever you want,  add a 1 ton dually rear axle to it if that makes it easier to tow your trailer.

It's your truck.   You can make it into what ever you want. (they're likely gonna find some way to void your warranty anyway  :)

as far as insurance, You will be liable for the full amount of your vehicle insurance policy,  no matter if a bad weld breaks, or you fall asleep driving it.

It's not a commercial vehicle,  vehicle weight restrictions are not enforced by the infamous Yellow door sticker.   You can remove that sticker the day you buy the truck. 

That Yellow sticker weight limit is for those tires at that air pressure.  If you change to larger tires...that Yellow sticker is VOID.

you do not need any government approval, permits or licenses to do this work...( as long as you don't do it for a living).

you can do this to it if you want     ;D :))
« Last Edit: September 26, 2018, 08:46:23 PM by sightseers »

grashley

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Re: Airbags really raise capacity?
« Reply #13 on: September 26, 2018, 07:45:47 PM »
Very good information from you and (mostly) good advise. 

Your Payload is exactly what it says.
Same for rear axle rating, tire rating, GVWR, GCWR.

Air bags DO NOT CHANGE any of these numbers.

The Payload, by definition is the GVWR minus the truck wt as it left the factory, so no need to get it weighed.

With regard to sightseers, you are a private vehicle, so not subject to AS MANY inspections as commercial vehicles.  The yellow placard is not a big deal.  The white one with GVWR numbers is important.  There are several Canadian provinces and a few US states that do  inspect and weigh.  The GVWR is the gospel to them.

Remember, the FW adds 20% of its actual weight to the bed (think Payload, rear axle capacity).  A TT only adds 10% - 12% to the rear end.  You can safely tow a heavier TT than FW.
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samthetramp

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Re: Airbags really raise capacity?
« Reply #14 on: September 26, 2018, 08:40:24 PM »
Grashley where are you at in Western KY? I'm just outside of Owensboro.

samthetramp

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Re: Airbags really raise capacity?
« Reply #15 on: September 26, 2018, 08:42:15 PM »
Payload capacity will usually be the most limiting factor on most rigs.
So if you have 2268 of payload first ADD UP the weight of all passengers, the weight of the fifth wheel adapter installed on the truck,  the weight of your tools, the dog,  and anything else you put in or on the truck like camp wood, barbecue grill etc.
Now subtract that from the payload capacity of the truck.   the remainder is the GROSS pin weight of the trailer do not use the dry weight use the gross weight of the trailer.   pin weight is about 20% of GROSS trailer weight. DO NOT USE DRY WEIGHT.
Now if towing a travel trailer the remainder is GROSS tongue weight allowed for the rig, tongue weight is 10-12% of GROSS TRAILER WEIGHT.

Yeah I checked out this site earlier today. The payload max on it is a couple hundred more than my actual. I'm guessing from things the dealer added on.

samthetramp

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Re: Airbags really raise capacity?
« Reply #16 on: September 26, 2018, 08:45:03 PM »
Well it looks like I can either trade for a 1 ton or look at TT's. I was really wanting a 5ver. Really need more storage space.

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Airbags really raise capacity?
« Reply #17 on: September 27, 2018, 08:27:42 AM »
Quote
Yeah that sucks. Wish I would've known about this before getting a 3/4 ton. I can't begin to tell y'all how many people I know that are using 3/4 tons to pull 10-15,000 lb campers. Just don't want to get myself in a bind if something does go sideways.
Well, the wheels don't fall off just because the max payload is exceeded by 1 lb.  Or even 100 lb.  Exceeding the payload rating is like walking out on thin ice: the more you weigh, the riskier it is, and the further out you go the more likely any fault may be severe.

In many cases the payload limit of a 3/4 ton truck is a suspension and tire limit, in which case suspension assists and bigger tires can do the trick.  Another shadow-factor is that 3/4 ton trucks are usually GVWR-rated to stay under the DOT guidelines for weight class. Many states draw a line at 8600 lb GVWR for an increase in regulations and/or driving license class, plus the federal DOT uses GVWR to determine when regs for marker lights and other "big truck" requirements kick in.  Thus it is possible that the Payload on a 3/4 ton is artificially limited by its lower GVWR.

The difficulty in all this is that it requires a detailed understanding of the mechanicals of the specific truck. Most people aren't  knowledgeable enough to do that, and the  data as to why the limit is what it is is near impossible to obtain.  Therefore exceeding the Payload rating is a gamble and anecdotal stories from others about the benefits or dangers of exceeding payload are pretty much useless when considering your own truck and trailer.

Your insurance worries are baseless.  Read your policy - there is no clause that says no payout if the owner or driver is negligent or foolish.  Your insurance still covers the vehicle if you are reckless or drunk or any other foolish action.   An extended warranty contract, on the other hand, will likely deny reimbursement if there was contributory negligence that may have caused mechanical failure.  You are also more susceptible to civil suits for liability if you have exceeded recommended limits, whether speed or weight or customary practice.
« Last Edit: September 27, 2018, 08:34:28 AM by Gary RV_Wizard »
Gary
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sightseers

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Re: Airbags really raise capacity?
« Reply #18 on: September 27, 2018, 08:41:27 AM »
  The white one with GVWR numbers is important. 

No.

That white sticker can also be removed.  The only thing that can't be removed is the actual VIN tag on the vehicle.

You can hand build your own car or truck with no White sticker at all....   It's called a SPCN vehicle (special construction).

I have a friend that had the whole side of his truck damaged in an auto accident.  The repainted replacement door frame has no stickers on it at all  !    ( so I guess he shouldn't even try to go to Canada...eh ?   ;D )

There is no weight restriction enforcement on Non Commercial use vehicles.   The reason they enforce it on Commercial trucks is Tax revenue...not Safety.

If any cop sees what appears as an unsafe vehicle.... he can ticket and/or tow it if he sees fit......they don't have to look at any stickers or weigh anything.
« Last Edit: September 27, 2018, 09:01:48 AM by sightseers »

brclark82

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Re: Airbags really raise capacity?
« Reply #19 on: September 27, 2018, 09:01:21 AM »
Well, the wheels don't fall off just because the max payload is exceeded by 1 lb.  Or even 100 lb.  Exceeding the payload rating is like walking out on thin ice: the more you weigh, the riskier it is, and the further out you go the more likely any fault may be severe.

In many cases the payload limit of a 3/4 ton truck is a suspension and tire limit, in which case suspension assists and bigger tires can do the trick.  Another shadow-factor is that 3/4 ton trucks are usually GVWR-rated to stay under the DOT guidelines for weight class. Many states draw a line at 8600 lb GVWR for an increase in regulations and/or driving license class, plus the federal DOT uses GVWR to determine when regs for marker lights and other "big truck" requirements kick in.  Thus it is possible that the Payload on a 3/4 ton is artificially limited by its lower GVWR.

The difficulty in all this is that it requires a detailed understanding of the mechanicals of the specific truck. Most people aren't  knowledgeable enough to do that, and the  data as to why the limit is what it is is near impossible to obtain.  Therefore exceeding the Payload rating is a gamble and anecdotal stories from others about the benefits or dangers of exceeding payload are pretty much useless when considering your own truck and trailer.
Your insurance worries are baseless.  Read your policy - there is no clause that says no payout if the owner or driver is negligent or foolish.  Your insurance still covers the vehicle if you are reckless or drunk or any other foolish action.   An extended warranty contract, on the other hand, will likely deny reimbursement if there was contributory negligence that may have caused mechanical failure.  You are also more susceptible to civil suits for liability if you have exceeded recommended limits, whether speed or weight or customary practice.

This is the best advice I have seen on here regarding 3/4 ton towing capacity when talking about newer generation trucks. 

The rear suspension and tire load rating is ALWAYS the limiting factor in newer generation HD trucks.  Same engine, same tranny, same brakes, same trailering safety features, and (on GM's at least) if you have a diesel they have the same rear axle, as the 1 tons. Put some helper springs or airbags on the back and make sure you don't go over your tire weight ratings or axle weight ratings and you're just as safe as the 1 tons you just don't have the sticker that says so because MFR's need to make an HD truck option at 10k GVWR.

The insurance question always comes up too but Gary answered that well.  I know a guy in my town that totaled his Jeep while getting his 3rd DUI and insurance not only paid out but covered a rental car until they officially took his license away  :o

Now, Could you be held criminally liable if you caused bodily harm while towing over GVWR?  I don't know

I own a 1 ton because I knew about payload and what I was gonna be towing before I bought it, but I would never trade a 3/4 ton I already owned for a 1 ton SRW if it was only because of the increased payload.

Have you ever seen the Jerry Seinfeld's dry cleaning warning label stand up bit?  That's what the yellow sticker debate reminds me of  ;D

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JJU2xjYaWNM

samthetramp

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Re: Airbags really raise capacity?
« Reply #20 on: September 27, 2018, 01:28:40 PM »
Thanks again for all of the advice and info guys.

grashley

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Re: Airbags really raise capacity?
« Reply #21 on: September 27, 2018, 06:44:00 PM »
Sam:

Paducah.  Not too far  ;D
Preacher Gordon, DW Debbie
09 Grand Junction 35 TMS  Progressive HW50C
Andersen Ultimate hitch
2013 F350 Lariat LB SRW Supercab diesel 4X4   TST TMS  Garmin 760
Nimrod Series 70 popup (sold)
It's not a dumb question if you do not know the answer.