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Old 08-16-2012, 11:21 AM   #1
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Harsh ride will Trail-air or 5th airborne help

New here and looking for some advise before I buy something that I do not need. I bought a Coachman Chaparral 269bhs this year and this is my first 5th wheel. it seems to slam pretty hard over rough roads and bridge/overpass transitions. I have looked around and read a bunch of threads about the air pin boxes but I am towing with a medium duty truck and everything I read is about smaller trucks. I am towing with a 1957 5700 series 2 ton truck with a reese 15K slider hitch. Don't need the slider but the hitch was free so I used it. Anyone have any experience with the medium duty trucks? I am planning to put air ride off a freightliner FL70 this winter but was wondering if I would be wasing money on the air pin box. Here is a pic of what I have.


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Old 08-16-2012, 11:38 AM   #2
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I know I'm totally off topic here but I sure hope you will tell us more about your truck. I've never seen a 50's truck with 4 doors, let alone suicide doors!

What is the current drive train and what was the original purpose for this type of truck?

'98 Gulf Stream Sunsport 325, 7.5L Banks Power Pack, Koni FSD's, Air Bags, ReadyBrute Elite,
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Old 08-16-2012, 11:47 AM   #3
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When we had our 5th wheel (40 foot) and a one ton dually I had the Trail Air 5th wheel hitch and it really made a huge difference in the ride.
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Old 08-16-2012, 12:07 PM   #4
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Love the truck !! If you are going to add air anyways, I would go with a Morryde pin box instead, this is what I used on my 41' Newmar being pulled by my C5500 TopKick. No bucking, very smooth ride.
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Old 08-16-2012, 12:40 PM   #5
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I am using a Trail Air Tri Glide and did wonders for the ride. It has been on two different trailers.

I think if I had had to do it over again though, I would do a little research on air hitches before I made a decision.

Love the truck---I bet you get one or two rubber neckers in the cg.
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Old 08-16-2012, 12:48 PM   #6
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Had a 5th Airbourne on my 35 foot Travel Supreme 5th wheel pulled with a 3/4 ton Ford diesel short bed and it made a lot of difference. It has a shock absorber and an air bag inside the Airbourne. Can put what ever amount of air in bag that works best. Did not cut down on all the bounce and chucking, but made quiet a bit of difference. I also had Firestone air bag on the back of my truck. Have a Tiffin class A now.
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Old 08-16-2012, 12:48 PM   #7
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I'd like to see more pics what a tow vichicle
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Old 08-16-2012, 12:53 PM   #8
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Thanks for the replies. I will have to look into the Morryde. I am really more concerend about hurting the trailer more than anything else. The truck was a beveage truck with box with roll-up doors on the side. It was just a single cab. I made it a crew cab. It is acually on a 2003 GMC medium duty chassis which had very similar weight rating and size to the original. Went with the 2003 for updated axles, brakes, motor, and tranny. It just has vortec 350 with a 4l80e tranny. Does very well pulling the camper. Gearing is everything. Get 8-9 mpg towing. I am actually going camping and headed out from work now but will check back in on Sunday night. Here is my web shots link.
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Old 08-16-2012, 02:51 PM   #9
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Cool truck, but I'm wondering if the harsh ride you're complaining about is more a result of a lack of spring travel on the truck's rear axle. A 30' FW isn't putting a lot of pin weight on the truck.
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Old 08-16-2012, 03:05 PM   #10
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Beautiful job on the truck. The air ride will make a big difference on the ride of the truck and the front of the 5er. Go with the air pin box too, you won't be sorry. Also if you want the ride even better, go with something like the equa-flex equalizer on the trailer springs. I had the dexter one on my last 5er and they made a world of difference in the ride. Right now I have Air lift road tamer air ride set up on my dually and the air pin box with shock ( I think it is Airbourne) on my present 5er. Rides like a cadillac, I do need to put the rubber bumper equalizer on the trailer, just haven't gotten to it yet. If you have any questions, just holler. Again beautiful tow rig.
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Old 08-16-2012, 06:23 PM   #11
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We had a 5th Airborne, it was a big help.
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Old 08-17-2012, 06:19 PM   #12
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My K-Z came with the 5th Airborne pin box already installed, so I can't really say how much it helps. But I'm certain if your TV is sprung a little tight, the airspring will absorb much of the harshness instead of transmitting it directly to the trailer frame.
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Old 08-17-2012, 10:09 PM   #13
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Springs are really designed for the full load, and have little or no give without that load. Same for air springs, so you could get the same issue with the FL70.

Either an air hitch or an air pin box, but not both. Or so say the guys pulling large (20,000# +) trailers with Class 7 and 8 trucks.

The Mor-Ryde pin box is wonderful. Took off the air ride pin box and put on the Mor-Ryde and got rid of all the chucking and smoothed out the ride. Also replaced the trailer axles with the Mor-Ryde IS system. Those changes really smoothed out the ride.
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Old 08-18-2012, 10:42 AM   #14
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No one has addressed something that will give you cushioning in ALL directions, not just up and down. You need to cushion movement in all directions - - UP, DOWN, FORE, AFT, SIDEWAYS. The only way to make that happen is with an air hitch. Air pins move up and down - - good and they help. The air hitch, like Air Safe hitch will give in all directions which not only cushions the blows to the kingpin framing on the fiver, but cushions that hurky/jerky action going on between the truck and fiver. I have the MorRyde pin box and it helped, the but the Air Safe made the pinbox unnecessary with its action. Amazing the difference in the ride. But, be ready to spend more money, but you will have an amazing hitch as well as a better ride.

Previous post mentioned the MorRyde IS suspension - - my ride was so terrible that was my first change. Helped tremendously, but did not solve all the problems. It sure did change the condition of the contents in the fiver at the end of a long hard day though.


ps: gorgeous job on the truck - - really neat.

2003 Dodge HO 6 speed Laramie Dually, Jordan controller, RDS fuel tank, Air Ride 25K hitch
Carriage 36' fiver, Onan 6500, Prosine 2K inverter, 3 slides, MORyde IS and Kingpin
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