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Old 11-13-2014, 05:19 PM   #1
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Air suspension advantage or not

I have a 2011 Ford F250 XLT 6.7L Diesel and I pull a FR Silverback LTDTS 33 foot fifth wheel. I am a little below max weights for truck and trailer. I was thinking about adding rear air suspension to help stabilize the ride.

Is this money well spent, and what would the advantages be.

Thanks In Advance
Dick
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Old 11-13-2014, 05:51 PM   #2
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Not sure what you mean by "stabilize" the ride. Can you be a little more specific?

When we were pulling our TT, I put air bags on the back of the truck only to level the truck when NOT pulling the trailer and when I had a heavy load in the back of the truck. When pulling our TT, all I had to do was adjust the Hensley Arrow weight distribution system.

With a 5'er, air bags would help in leveling out the truck if the pin weight of the trailer was too much for the suspension of the truck.....in which case, you might just be overloading it. Air bags might shift a little of the pin weight forward, but I seriously doubt if it would be very much.

So, unless you give us a little more info, I'm at a loss for providing more advice.
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Old 11-13-2014, 05:54 PM   #3
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I have Firestone Ride Rite air bags on my 2500HD DA and I love 'em, money well spent. I can adjust them to loaded vs non-loaded conditions and they are not very expensive unless you just have to have the on board compressor and control.
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Old 11-13-2014, 05:58 PM   #4
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Money well spent IMO. I have them on my F-250 when towing our 5er to 'level' the ride for the most part.
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Old 11-13-2014, 06:07 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by road dogs View Post
I have Firestone Ride Rite air bags on my 2500HD DA and I love 'em, money well spent. I can adjust them to loaded vs non-loaded conditions and they are not very expensive unless you just have to have the on board compressor and control.


I agree no need for an onboard compressor. What are some of the benefits that you have noted. Maybe my question should have been....Why do people install air bags on the tow vehicle?

Thanks for the reply
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Old 11-13-2014, 06:40 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lanerd View Post
Not sure what you mean by "stabilize" the ride. Can you be a little more specific?

When we were pulling our TT, I put air bags on the back of the truck only to level the truck when NOT pulling the trailer and when I had a heavy load in the back of the truck. When pulling our TT, all I had to do was adjust the Hensley Arrow weight distribution system.

With a 5'er, air bags would help in leveling out the truck if the pin weight of the trailer was too much for the suspension of the truck.....in which case, you might just be overloading it. Air bags might shift a little of the pin weight forward, but I seriously doubt if it would be very much.

So, unless you give us a little more info, I'm at a loss for providing more advice.
How do you like your Phaeton? It is a very nice coach and Tiffin has a excellent reputation. I had a 2007 CC Magna Monet last year but sold it. At the time we were going to hang it up but several months ago we purchased a 5th wheel Once you have had an RV it just gets in your blood.

I am not over loaded and my pin weight is 900 lbs under. I had read on another forum that air bags would improve the ride.of both the truck and the trailer. If not then maybe I asked the wrong question. Why do people install air bags on their trucks? I forget who supplied the air leveling for my coach but I really liked it.

Dick
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Old 11-13-2014, 07:17 PM   #7
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I put'em on my 2003 F250 recently. While my rear end doesn't dip too bad when hitching up my fifth wheel trailer, my AirRide suspension levels up the headlights, etc. I carry a small air tank bought at Harbor Freight to make adjustments.

11 lbs. pressure is kept in the bags when not towing, and the rear end rides just a little firmer than stock springs. I don't know if it's my imagination, but it seems I can feel the front suspension damping a little bit better. I really like the rear air bag suspension, and consider them well worth the price.


I installed my Air Rides. Warning: AirRide instructions read like they're in a foreign language and there are a bunch of parts that must be assembled. I went on UTube and found someone putting air bags on the same model truck and copied their what they were doing. Then I had to assemble the second set of bags--in reverse. AirRide units should come assembled.
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Old 11-13-2014, 07:28 PM   #8
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Adding air bags will likely stiffen up the ride along with helping to level out the truck. It will not smooth out the ride. Shocks will do that.
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Old 11-13-2014, 09:37 PM   #9
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I have them on my F350 DRW. Even though I am well within the truck's capacity, they all squat when you set 4000 lbs on them. I prefer a level ride and not getting high beamed all the time. An on-board compressor is a luxury. Those that have them say they are great. Those w/o don't miss them.
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Old 11-14-2014, 07:54 AM   #10
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Thanks to everyone for the replies. My truck does squat about 3 inches and I had not thought about the headlights. I can see where riding level might be an advantage. I found a set of Firestone Ride-Rite Air Helper Springs - Double Convoluted on ETrailer and now I'll have a project to keep me busy this winter. I found this info on their site. It talks about some of the advantages of air bags and it would appear that it will help stability

  • Maximize safe load-carrying capacity, increase stability and improve ride quality
    • Install between your Ford F-250 and F-350 Super Duty's frame and its rear suspension
  • Keep your Ford F-250 and F-350 Super Duty level when you are hauling a heavy load
    • Improve steering control and braking when you are hauling or towing
    • Level your headlight beams
    • Reduce tire wear
  • Maintain even load distribution with air pressure, leveling off-center loads
    • Air bags adjust manually, side to side, with individual inflation valves
  • Reduce strain on rear suspension
    • Prevent permanent sagging and excessive friction in leaf springs
  • Increase stability
    • Absorb road shock for a smooth ride
    • Soften contact between axle and frame to prevent bottoming out
Thanks for the replies
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Old 11-14-2014, 06:51 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigd3 View Post
How do you like your Phaeton? It is a very nice coach and Tiffin has a excellent reputation. I had a 2007 CC Magna Monet last year but sold it. At the time we were going to hang it up but several months ago we purchased a 5th wheel Once you have had an RV it just gets in your blood.

I am not over loaded and my pin weight is 900 lbs under. I had read on another forum that air bags would improve the ride.of both the truck and the trailer. If not then maybe I asked the wrong question. Why do people install air bags on their trucks? I forget who supplied the air leveling for my coach but I really liked it.

Dick
Hi Dick... yes, the air bags will help in leveling your truck once the trailer is loaded and will help in keeping your headlights pointed correctly. I really don't think the bags on my truck actually "improved the ride"...maybe the opposite...made it a little more rough.

The CC's are wonderful coaches...just really, really too bad they went out of business. We have several friends in our rv club who have them. We do like our Phaeton as it is head and shoulders above our previous coach (Safari Simba DP). We have the long one with tag axle, four slides, and a bunch of really neat things inside. We spend about 5 months during the spring/summer/fall on the Oregon coast and living in this thing is almost like living at home.

One more little piece of advice... get the on-board compressor and controller as you can adjust the ride as you drive and easy to inflate/deflate whenever you want.

Good luck

Ron
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Old 11-15-2014, 11:25 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigd3 View Post
I have a 2011 Ford F250 XLT 6.7L Diesel and I pull a FR Silverback LTDTS 33 foot fifth wheel. I am a little below max weights for truck and trailer. I was thinking about adding rear air suspension to help stabilize the ride.

Is this money well spent, and what would the advantages be.

Thanks In Advance
Dick
Are you talking about air bags to suplement the existing suspension or replacing the existing suspension with an air ride.

http://stengelbros.3dcartstores.com/...-_p_6688.html#
https://kelderman.com/e350_e450_air_..._controls_2011

I considered an air suspension for the 450 but decided I did not do enough driving to warrant it.
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Old 11-15-2014, 12:37 PM   #13
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Quote:
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Are you talking about air bags to suplement the existing suspension or replacing the existing suspension with an air ride.

8M000097 Link Air Ride Suspension for F-450, F-550 Super Duty Chassis Cabs
https://kelderman.com/e350_e450_air_..._controls_2011

I considered an air suspension for the 450 but decided I did not do enough driving to warrant it.
Just the air bags to supplement stock suspension. Primarily I just want to be able to level the Truck and possibly get a better ride quality
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Old 11-16-2014, 04:08 PM   #14
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I found out today that the Firestone air bags I was thinking about buying will not work with the custom frame rail kit that I used to install my fifth wheel hitch as it covers the hole in the truck frame that is used to connect the top flange of the air bag kit to the frame. from the inside. This is the frame rail kit




Has anyone had this problem and were you able to solve it? According to Reese it will void the warranty if I drill a hole for the new Air Bag installation.

All of this is making me look to another way to solve the problem. Has anyone had any experience with Super Springs?

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