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Old 09-01-2014, 06:36 AM   #1
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Air bags on tow vehicle?

Has anyone installed air bags on their tow vehicle? Does it help ease the road conditions we encounter? I'm not likely to do the installation on this myself so if you've added them to your vehicle, what did you buy and did you have a nationally-recognized company install them? Thanks!
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Old 09-01-2014, 06:46 AM   #2
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Are you having problems with chucking or bouncing or both?
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Old 09-01-2014, 07:39 AM   #3
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Had Air-Lift air bags installed on our RAM by Camping World. I'm very happy with them. They don't make the ride all that much rough and really help out supporting the weight of our 5th wheel.
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Old 09-01-2014, 10:35 AM   #4
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I have the Air-Lift system also but will never purchase the Air-lift system again. My reason is they Air-Lift does not provide parts service for their system. I purchased an Air-Lift 5000 system in April 2011 and this is out of production now and you cannot purchase replacement parts for repair. I have called the company and asked with no luck. Their answer was to buy a new air controller and compressor to replace a simply solenoid valve that has failed.

I would purchase a firestone air bag system or from Heelwig Air lift system for my truck if I was looking now.

My Air lift system was installed by myself and son at his business. Having a vehicle lift makes installation easier and faster than laying on a creeper and crawling under the truck and using jacks and jack stands.

Jim W.
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Old 09-01-2014, 10:40 AM   #5
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I have a 'saggy butt' 2011 Ford F250CCLB. Last year I installed the Firestone Ride-Rite bags. Couldn't be happier!! Without the trailer I run them at 20psig, with the trailer, 40psig. In each case the truck is leveled out, the handling greatly improved and over bumps, minimally more rough. I manually fill mine as IMO, the fairly expensive automatic systems are not cost effective for me though may be fine for others.
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Old 09-01-2014, 12:52 PM   #6
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I changed the shocks to Bilstien's and did PacBrake air bags, air horn, air chuck under the hood and in cab independent bag controls on my 2011 RAM Dually. I run 5psi empty and 30 loaded. I did not need bags as the truck rode level with 4,500# pin weight.

The shocks and bags really evened out the roads.

Not sure why someone would run their bags at 20# unloaded?????
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Old 09-01-2014, 04:39 PM   #7
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I just installed AirLift 5000's on my F250. The truck rides better and I can feel my front suspension more @ 11 lbs. pressure unloaded. It does make the truck ride level when towing my fifth wheel which means it'll handle and brake better than if my rear end was sagging. I can tell a big difference with the bags installed. Too bad AirLift doesn't assemble their product, as the instructions are written in Russian. Only way I ever got them assembled was to see someone on UTube put them together. Hanging them on the frame and axle was the easy part.
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Old 09-01-2014, 09:17 PM   #8
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I have the Firestone RideRytes, I am very happy with them. No fancy in-cab system, just a Schrader valve on each side. A couple of pointers: Don't be tempted to tie the two bags into one air source, you will create handling problems and if you have a B&W GN hitch, make sure whatever brand you get will not interfere with the B&W setup. I carry a little cheesy air pump with me to air them up if I decide to reduce pressure when we unhook, takes about 25 seconds to air them up (once I find where I put the pump)...
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Old 09-01-2014, 10:06 PM   #9
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Prior to what we have now we had a 2012 GMC 3500 single rear wheel. It had a lot of bounce or chucking with our fifth wheel probably because we were very close to max payload with the pin weight of the Winslow. I got a set of Air Lifts and they did help tremendously. Knowing that was a band aid approach we bit the bullet and got the dually. Prior to selling the 2012 I took the Air Lifts off and debated whether or not to put them on the new one. I decided to go ahead and am glad I did. They give a little better ride when empty with just the minimum 5 pounds of pressure. Towing I run 25 psi which seems to be the sweet spot for the best ride. I do have the remote controlled compressor which has worked fine so far.
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Old 09-04-2014, 04:19 PM   #10
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I have the firestone air bag I believe they are the 5000lb cap. And I absolutely love them made a huge differance with our TT
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Old 09-08-2014, 05:51 PM   #11
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So who is making the better bag? Since I am installing myself and have a 5 the hitch in my 2013 f350 superduty which has the least amount of problems installing . Don't plan at this time putting in a on board compressor , probably add later , like ask Santa Clause for it ! I'm like everyone else looking for the best deal and something that is going to last .
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Old 09-08-2014, 08:43 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emtff722 View Post
So who is making the better bag? Since I am installing myself and have a 5 the hitch in my 2013 f350 superduty which has the least amount of problems installing . Don't plan at this time putting in a on board compressor , probably add later , like ask Santa Clause for it ! I'm like everyone else looking for the best deal and something that is going to last .
When I did my mostly Google and Ford Truck Enthusiasts forum research on bags, I did find more reported failed Air Lift bags. Now, is that a good way to do a research - maybe it was slanted for some reason, but to date, my Firestones have not had any leakage/unwanted air loss since installation 11 months ago, including pulling a big 5er many miles. Are both brands good? Probably both are really equal.
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Old 09-08-2014, 08:59 PM   #13
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Firestone RideRytes on my GMC 2500HD 4x4 and they have worked great since installed 2 1/2 years ago. Schrader valve for each side. Pull a 24' tag toy hauler, and various trailers/loads in everyday use. Truck also serves as a Toad regularly.
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Old 09-09-2014, 05:29 PM   #14
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Thank you both IC2 & Thunderfoot for the great info . I've always had good luck with FTE and IRV2 in obtaining knowledge and info. I assume Firestone is very user friendly as far as install . My 5er weighs around 12,500 and though it would improve the ride. Does anyone have a better deal on their bags ? Once again thanks for your input gentlemen .
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