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Old 04-17-2013, 11:41 AM   #1
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Air Bags Needed for 5er?

Of the two previous 5th wheels we have owned, I never needed extra suspension support on my TV. I have a F350 dully but just purchased a 06 KOTR 37 RLQS 5r that is more than double weight of last unit.

Do trucks put air bags in to tow rigs that big? I am upgrading my hitch to a 20k and brake controller to cover 3 axles, if I need the bags also I need to get that done before delivery.

Any thing else you can think of I need? I just do not want to pull into dealership and have them tell me "surprise you need to also buy this_____
for their costs can be a whole lot more than if I pick them up and do the install myself.

Thanks!!! Jim
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Old 04-17-2013, 12:19 PM   #2
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I installed Firestone airbags to lift the backend back up to the stock level - about 2 inches. I believe in my bags as they work great. One other thing that helped was getting better shocks - Bilstein 5100.
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Old 04-17-2013, 12:49 PM   #3
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If your new fiver is like the one at this link, that seems like quite a bit of trailer for your truck. (Unless I'm mistaken, max tow for that truck is around 12,000 pounds link to Ford Specs).

While certainly useful for some purposes, it's my understanding that air bags don't increase towing capacity.
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Old 04-17-2013, 05:41 PM   #4
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The GCWR of your truck was 20,000# and it probably weights close to 8000# loaded and wet. That leaves 12,000# for a loaded trailer. If you have the camper package, your GVWR is probably 11,500#. So that leave 3500# for a pin weight of the trailer.

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Old 04-17-2013, 06:36 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kro1957 View Post
Of the two previous 5th wheels we have owned, I never needed extra suspension support on my TV. I have a F350 dully but just purchased a 06 KOTR 37 RLQS 5r that is more than double weight of last unit.

Do trucks put air bags in to tow rigs that big? I am upgrading my hitch to a 20k and brake controller to cover 3 axles, if I need the bags also I need to get that done before delivery.

Any thing else you can think of I need? I just do not want to pull into dealership and have them tell me "surprise you need to also buy this_____
for their costs can be a whole lot more than if I pick them up and do the install myself.

Thanks!!! Jim
My Truck came with air bags and I use them to bring truck up to level when towing my fiver. They seem to give a better ride. I use 30 PSI in them when towing.
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Old 04-17-2013, 06:58 PM   #6
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I called my friend Jerry who is a longtime Ford Diesel Mechanic, he is in ranch country in S. Dakota so works primarly with trucks all the time in his line of work. Also has a 16k 5r and pulls it with a F250. He told me they have pulled it to Calif, Florida, NY, and has bags in his truck but did not think I needed it in mine. Also told me Ford underestimates towing capacity, taking in consideration all types of driving conditions but knows guys with trucks like mine that haul a whole lot more in weight than I do. I think if I take in consideration that I will not be pulling this around all of the time (at least not right away) and we live in the great plains, if I drive at a reasonable speed and take braking consideration into factors I should not have any problems at all.) Keeping it light as possible wouldn't hurt either. It's a Ford though right! Tough as nails!!
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Old 04-17-2013, 07:12 PM   #7
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Except if you have an accident and your insurer and police start pokin around. Theres two things that are working against you in this scenerio...1- liability 2- your safety and everyone else's on the road. Just because you can doesn't always mean you should.
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Old 04-17-2013, 07:41 PM   #8
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I'd hook it up and see how low the truck goes, if it makes you uncomfortable then get some bags.
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Old 04-17-2013, 08:04 PM   #9
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Weigh the truck loaded and wet and then do the math. The numbers tell you what your limits are. Air springs on the back do not increase the tow or load rating.

I had Timbren rubber springs on my 2002 F350 crew cab dually and with the first 5er right at my limits on GCWR and had a little room on GVWR. The pin weight set the truck down just enough to touch the overload springs and when you hit a bump, it jarred the truck. The Timbrens did help to cushion the pin weight a bit, but nothing to increase the tow or payload rating.

We bought a larger trailer fully knowing the the 2002 was beyond it's ratings by over 2000# and the GVWR was against the limits. The truck did OK, but you could tell it struggled with the load.

We now have a 2012 F350 CC DRW, GVWR = 13300# and GCWR = 30,000#. Wow what a difference in pulling the trailer. It handles the weigh better than the overloaded 2002.

I know you see folks and hear from that that they pull over manufacturers limits, but I do not recommend that. As a minimum, weigh the truck and work through the numbers to know how close or over you are and make the decision based on your numbers.

Ken
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Old 04-17-2013, 08:58 PM   #10
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Quote:
Any thing else you can think of I need? I just do not want to pull into dealership and have them tell me "surprise you need to also buy this_____
for their costs can be a whole lot more than if I pick them up and do the install myself.

Thanks!!! Jim
Your F350 DRW has a 8250 RAWR thats gonna' carry 99 percent of the 37 RLQS pin weight. I see some 37 RLQS owners report 16k-17k gross which figures a pin weight in the 3200-3400 lbs range.

Your F350 DRW rear axle with the hitch in the bed may 3500 lbs which leaves 4600-4700 lbs before going over axle/tire loads.

You say you can install bags yourself then I wouldn't add anything till you make a short run and then make a decision if any suspension help is needed. That can be done anytime after you get the unit home.

Besides Firestone and Ride-rite air bags check out 1999-2007 Ford F-250/350 4x4 4-Link Rear Air Suspension | Kelderman system.
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Old 04-18-2013, 10:57 AM   #11
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You will probably need to add RideRite air bags to bring the headlights back down to earth when on the road. I got along for over 10 years without air bags, but then I NEVER towed at night.

No, airbags won't help with your poor overloaded dually other than to make the headlights stop blinding on coming drivers.

I can't find the GVWR for the 37RLQS, but if it has a GVWR of 20k, then you can expect a wet and loaded weight of at least 18k with a hitch weight of about 3,600 pounds. Your 2002 Dually has a GVWR of 11,500 pounds, so with a hitch weight of 3,600 pounds that leaves only 7,900 pounds for the wet and loaded tow vehicle without being overloaded. My '99.5 F-250 diesel weighed that much, so I'll bet you'll be overloaded.
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Old 04-18-2013, 11:25 AM   #12
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The KOTR Tag reads:
GVWR 18000
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Old 04-18-2013, 05:28 PM   #13
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As a formerly overloaded 5er puller
I finally weighed my truck and it STUNNED me how much it weighed...
I had weighed both of them many time and while a bit over on rear gawr and under everything else... I thought we were good...

weighed the truck and I was over the trucks gvw by 1600 to 2000 lbs !!!!

go weigh your truck and see how you really are...

airbags just hide the overload is all they really do
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Old 04-19-2013, 09:26 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kro1957 View Post
The KOTR Tag reads:
GVWR 18000
Do Yourself a favor. Take your truck without trailer, but with full fuel and any baggage, tools, ect, that you carry in the truck when towing. Go to a Cat Scale and weigh it. Be sure that the hitch is in the truck. Now go get your trailer loaded and weigh it and the truck together, then the trailer without the truck. It is the only way to see just where you stand weight wise. You can't go by the tags and what the dealer says. I think you will be surprised. I know I was when I weighed mine. BTW I tow a Jayco Designer with my Ford F250 LARIAT Super Duty with air bags to bring the truck up to level when hitched up to fiver.
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