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Author Topic: Air bag helper springs on truck  (Read 6547 times)
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manifest
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« on: June 12, 2012, 09:10:21 AM »

Looking at putting helper bags/ load lifters/ helper springs/ tow bags on my '07 Dodge we pull our trailer with.  Has anyone every had a truck with them? Do they help that much with the ride or do they make it worse or just make the truck set more level?  Looking at the AirLift Co. kit they make that seems very simple to install but never talked with anyone that has them.  Just wondering what I could do to make our 2100mile trip to the salt more comfortable.

Zach
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manifest
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« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2012, 09:16:06 AM »

Or would a weight distribution hitch better the situation?

Truck only bottoms out when we hit really bad spots in the road.  It doesn't set nose high, just level when loaded completely.

2wd Mega Cab Dually pulling a 24" enclosed (trailer weight approx. 7000#)

Zach
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thundersalt
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« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2012, 09:36:06 AM »

Weight dist. hitch should be all you need. That is a relativly small trailer for the size of the truck. Get at least a 750 lb bar system(1000 lb would be better). Also set it up with a sway control. Don't pull the chains up on the bars to much or you can loose traction on the rear. Air bags are ok but from my experience they do make the ride rough.
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« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2012, 09:42:46 AM »

I put the air bags on my Dodge and was very happy with the wy they stabilized the truck when I was towing my trailer. Until last weekend when I hooked up and found the bags don't hold air anymore. Still it's a '92 Dodge and this is 2012. Guess I got my moneys worth.
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manta22
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« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2012, 10:36:17 AM »

Zach;

I tow a 25" travel trailer with my 2004 Dodge 3500 (1 ton) diesel pick-up. It is a 2wd non-dually rig with anti-sway plates and an equallizer hitch. I've never come close to bottoming out the read springs. Check to see how much tongue weight you have; if it is very high and you also have the bed of your truch heavily loaded it could cause a problem-- especially if it is a 1500 or 2500.

Regards, Neil  Tucson, AZ
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Regards, Neil  Tucson, AZ
Glen
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« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2012, 11:14:27 AM »

I put the air bags on my Dodge and was very happy with the wy they stabilized the truck when I was towing my trailer. Until last weekend when I hooked up and found the bags don't hold air anymore. Still it's a '92 Dodge and this is 2012. Guess I got my moneys worth.
[/quote-]

Rich, I had air bags on my Dodge and had to replace the plastic cross over air line. That fixed the air loss. The Air bags really helped my Dodge. The Silrerado I have now doesn't need air bags as the springs do the job.
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Glen
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manifest
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« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2012, 12:16:48 PM »

3500 dually 2wd.  The truck alone weighs in around 7200# and with four of us in it with the bed full of luggage, coolers, and such it probably comes in around 8400#.  Trailer loaded is close to 7000# I would guess (thinking the trailer weights 3000-3500# itself empty).  One thing that is making me second guess the bags are the fact that they need air in them at all times to keep from wearing out and the fact that it may not ride any better with and without a load.  We have always ran a friction type sway control which handles that but the ride is a little rough for the ones in the back seat while motoring down the interstate.

Zach
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« Reply #7 on: June 12, 2012, 03:04:36 PM »

"......but the ride is a little rough for the ones in the back seat while motoring down the interstate."
If its sitting low with no WD hitch, it's probably bouncing on the snubbers.
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McRat
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« Reply #8 on: June 12, 2012, 03:27:52 PM »

No way you should need airbags on a dually with a 7k trailer.   Airbags INCREASE the spring rate.  High spring weight makes for bumpy ride.  Make sure you have good shocks.

Your tongue weight should only be about 700-1000lb and that should not be bottoming a dually.

For the best results:

Take your truck to the scales and jot down front and rear axle weights empty, and total weight.  You will use this number a lot, so write in your glovebox or door jamb.  Also write down your bumper height unladen.

Hook up the loaded trailer and get all three axle weights.  Do not use the equalizer bars yet.

Get the rear tires on p'up to read an increase of 10-15% of the trailer weight.  You do this by adjusting the load fore and aft in the trailer.

Now tighten the equalizer bars until the bumper height goes back to stock height.

Check to make sure your front tires are not overloaded.  If they are, then loosen the equalizers until you are good.  

We use a 3500SRW (8120 unladen) to tow a bumper pull 12-14k lb trailer.  Equalizer bars, tongue weight, shocks and tires, are all very important for a smooth ride and safe emergency handling.

My bet is you have too much tongue weight.  Tightening your bars is not a replacement for correct trailer balance.  



« Last Edit: June 12, 2012, 03:30:10 PM by McRat » Logged
gray63
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« Reply #9 on: June 12, 2012, 03:31:31 PM »

I have air bag helpers on my Tundra. They seem to make the truck more stable pulling my
closed trailer. I still use the bars to move more weight to the front axle.
Dave
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RichFox
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« Reply #10 on: June 12, 2012, 05:45:56 PM »

Glen; I am hoping for something like that. I havn't looked at it yet. It still made the round trip to the lqake and back
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« Reply #11 on: June 12, 2012, 06:31:34 PM »

2011 Silverado 1500 - Air Lift air bags installed.  Easy install and ride great.
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1leg
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« Reply #12 on: June 12, 2012, 08:44:05 PM »

No way you should need airbags on a dually with a 7k trailer.   Airbags INCREASE the spring rate.  High spring weight makes for bumpy ride.  Make sure you have good shocks.

Your tongue weight should only be about 700-1000lb and that should not be bottoming a dually.

For the best results:

Take your truck to the scales and jot down front and rear axle weights empty, and total weight.  You will use this number a lot, so write in your glovebox or door jamb.  Also write down your bumper height unladen.

Hook up the loaded trailer and get all three axle weights.  Do not use the equalizer bars yet.

Get the rear tires on p'up to read an increase of 10-15% of the trailer weight.  You do this by adjusting the load fore and aft in the trailer.

Now tighten the equalizer bars until the bumper height goes back to stock height.

Check to make sure your front tires are not overloaded.  If they are, then loosen the equalizers until you are good.  

We use a 3500SRW (8120 unladen) to tow a bumper pull 12-14k lb trailer.  Equalizer bars, tongue weight, shocks and tires, are all very important for a smooth ride and safe emergency handling.

My bet is you have too much tongue weight.  Tightening your bars is not a replacement for correct trailer balance.  

I had a 2004 dodge dually and towed a 24ft 7000+ trailer and agree completely with the above statement. You don't have a spring rate problem you have a load distribution problem. when you get the equalizer hitch set up right you won't even know a 7000lbs trailer is there, except you might drive a little slower in California. Remember 55 for autos towing trailer. grin
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Jerry
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« Reply #13 on: June 12, 2012, 08:50:33 PM »

No way you should need airbags on a dually with a 7k trailer.   Airbags INCREASE the spring rate.  High spring weight makes for bumpy ride.  Make sure you have good shocks.

Your tongue weight should only be about 700-1000lb and that should not be bottoming a dually.

For the best results:

Take your truck to the scales and jot down front and rear axle weights empty, and total weight.  You will use this number a lot, so write in your glovebox or door jamb.  Also write down your bumper height unladen.

Hook up the loaded trailer and get all three axle weights.  Do not use the equalizer bars yet.

Get the rear tires on p'up to read an increase of 10-15% of the trailer weight.  You do this by adjusting the load fore and aft in the trailer.

Now tighten the equalizer bars until the bumper height goes back to stock height.

Check to make sure your front tires are not overloaded.  If they are, then loosen the equalizers until you are good.  

We use a 3500SRW (8120 unladen) to tow a bumper pull 12-14k lb trailer.  Equalizer bars, tongue weight, shocks and tires, are all very important for a smooth ride and safe emergency handling.

My bet is you have too much tongue weight.  Tightening your bars is not a replacement for correct trailer balance.  





Killer info right here. Thanks
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manifest
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« Reply #14 on: June 13, 2012, 05:54:17 AM »

Nothing has changed in the placement of our weight is the wild thing.  We had a single cab swd 3500 dodge that we pulled this trailer with all over the east coast drag racing our 3200# Super Stock car with and it seemed to ride better.  I agree that it does seem like we have too much tongue weight but there isn't much to move around, our car is rear engined and only weighs in at 2100#.  Tool box and parts and a pit bike are all that are in the front portion of the trailer.  One of the main reasons I have been leaning towards bags is we hope to get a 38-42' gooseneck in the next few years and I don't want to back track with the truck and have to do bags then.  Thanks for all of the info though.

55 in CA for trucks towing trailers?  I'll giggle bout that all the way west this year when I set the cruise on 75...

Zach
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