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Old 12-18-2013, 01:30 PM   #1
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Air suspension

I am confused by all the references to Air bags,/suspension stuff.

I have yet to get my TV for my 5er and although I understand the principal behind it I am not sure if I need them for a 5th wheel. I have been looking at the system advertised on iRV2 (Air suspension) and wonder if anyone out there can help me understand if I need this and air bags, or if at all...
Are they 2 separate items doing the same job... (I am thinking yes) and if so which is preferred by the majority. I am not a mechanic and so will have to have them installed by a pro, are they difficult or expensive to install?

there seems to be a lot of info on these items, but which are the best to go with and why?

My apologies to those who think this is a stupid question, but I truly do not know anything about these things.

Thanks for any help.
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Old 12-18-2013, 01:53 PM   #2
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There are a variety of rear suspension options for TV's. Some replace the existing springs with airbags and are fairly involved as to the removal of the original suspension and installation of a complete replacement. Other options include "helper" air bags to assist the original springs or sometimes a "hybrid" system that replaces the leaf spring shackle with an airbag and associated locating linkage. I have the firestone helper airbags and have had excellent ride quality both towing and empty. I am sure many opinions will follow.
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Old 12-18-2013, 02:42 PM   #3
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I don't have air suspension and am very pleased with the ride of our tv - towing and non-towing. I recommend you first buy a tv that has the towing capacity and payload capacity to handle your 5er; and try it. If the ride is too rough, then look into air suspension.

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Old 12-18-2013, 03:31 PM   #4
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thanks to both of you, Valid point... try and then decide, I was under the impression that I would 'have to have' extra suspension to tow a 5er...

I also didn't know there were 'helper' air bags so if I do need them this is what I shall look into...

Appreciate the advice...
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Old 12-18-2013, 04:30 PM   #5
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The majority of products are "helper" air bags to aid the springs, as stated.
Usually full air ride suspension is just that, only air bags holding the frame up and nothing else. THOSE can ride amazingly.
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Old 12-18-2013, 05:12 PM   #6
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I have the rear springs replaced with air bags and related hardware, they are also called air springs. I did it to adjust the ride height of my pickup, had to lower it about 5" so the 5er towed level. The ride height of the truck doesn't change, loaded or empty. And the ride is fantastic loaded, a bit stiff empty, but still better than springs. You need a good set or shocks regardless of which method that you end up with.
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Old 12-18-2013, 05:36 PM   #7
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We sell a lot of load support products, which would also be considered helper air bag systems. I can check to see if there's a kit for your application if you'd like. Feel free to message me your info. Thanks!
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Old 12-18-2013, 06:23 PM   #8
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IMO buy the 5th wheel you like 1st. Then get the truck to match. That way you'll have plenty of truck. And in the best case scenario get a truck that's bigger than what you really need cause like everyone else you'll upgrade latter. So that way you'll only need to upgrade the 5th wheel and not the truck too.
Plus you won't need any suspension mods if you get the proper sizes truck.
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Old 12-18-2013, 06:33 PM   #9
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Air springs (are bags) suspensions are superior in many respects to spring suspensions. But they cost more, therefore you will not see them on pickups anytime soon. Their biggest advantage is that they are infinitely variable in weight carrying capacity. That's why they are pretty much standard in heavy commercial applications. Your pickups come in three flavors, 1/2 ton, 3/4 ton and 1 ton. The chassis will have some differences but the primary differentiator will be the size of the suspension springs. Should those trucks be manufactured with air bag suspension, same airbag could be used in all three versions of the truck. By adding or subtracting air pressure that same airbag can go up from 1/2 to to 1 ton capacity and back down as you shed the load.
Theoretically, you could do it with spring suspension by adding and subtracting spring leafs, but that wouldn't be very practical.

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Old 12-18-2013, 06:47 PM   #10
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...therefore you will not see them on pickups anytime soon...
Air suspension is currently available on Ram 1500s, and will be available on the 2500s and 3500s this spring.
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Old 12-18-2013, 06:58 PM   #11
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The air bags most people use on their pickups do not add payload capacity to the truck. They simply level the truck with the load on it. I have Firestones on mine and love them. I think the may help dampen the bucking or chucking a little and they seem to work in harmony with my 5th Airborne pin box.
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Old 12-18-2013, 07:01 PM   #12
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WOW! lots of great info here, thanks a bunch. I do have my 5er and am looking for the TV at this time, (used) I sure don't have the $$ for new, 3500 is my aim as I hopefully will be able to upgrade in a couple of years. So thanks for all the detailed info, it will be a help also in- case I find a TV with air bags already installed (at least I will know what they are talking about.)
Many thanks for all contributions, certainly helped me understand it all much better...
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Old 12-18-2013, 07:05 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MIFarmer View Post
Air suspension is currently available on Ram 1500s, and will be available on the 2500s and 3500s this spring.
I stand corrected. Please pardon my ignorance, I haven't bought or looked at a pickup for some time.

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