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Old 02-12-2010, 05:14 PM   #1
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Air ride 5th wheel or not

Does anyone here have experience with air ride fifth wheels such as air-safe, trailer-saver and others. If so I would love to hear about your experiences, pros and cons. Also do I even need an air ride fifth wheel? I am just concerned with a brand new trailer that I am planning on keeping for a long time, it is a triple axel that weighs 13,800lbs. dry so I figure I am going to be between 18,000 and 20,000 loaded. My only experience with fifth wheels are with my semis this will be the first in a pickup. Thanks a million for any feedback
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Old 02-13-2010, 03:22 AM   #2
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WOW..Good Luck!
sooo...what are you buying?
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Old 02-13-2010, 09:12 AM   #3
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I assume you are asking about an air pin box?
Yes, I towed my fiver without one for about 6 months and changed. There is a big difference. In fact watching the fiver in the mirror can be kind of mesmerizing. The fiver moving up and down and the truck is rock solid. All that movement is now absorbed by the hitch and not the truck. I would also suggest ordering something like the centerpoint suspension system or one of the rubber bushing units like a morride. I understand they also do a great job of smoothing the fiver out. With that much fiver I sure hope you have a MDT or something bigger?
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Old 02-13-2010, 10:25 AM   #4
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Wonder what he is looking at for a trailer? 5K to 6K of carrying capacity is unusual.
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Old 02-13-2010, 10:37 AM   #5
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I need to work on my profile and signature, it is a 43ft. toy hauler with a 14ft garage and large holding tanks and fueling station plus large tank for the gen set
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Old 02-13-2010, 11:28 AM   #6
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What are you going to pull it with. Not a 2500HD D/A I hope!
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Old 02-13-2010, 10:34 PM   #7
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IMO, I would not purchase a 5-r without a MOR/ryde suspension & pin box. The difference between not having & having them is night & day. Hauling w/your truck will be much more enjoyable & comfortable with the systems.

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Old 02-14-2010, 06:42 AM   #8
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Going to be pulling with a 2010 Dodge 3500 dually 4x4 when ever it gets here from the factory.
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Old 02-14-2010, 08:25 AM   #9
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UHHH Are you sure about those numbers? While the Cummins can pull a mountain across the ocean I have my concerns about that loaded fiver not exceeding every number on that truck.
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Old 02-14-2010, 10:07 AM   #10
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I have had the Dexter AirFlex suspension on my Teton for 6 years now. I would recommend this system. This is about bullit proof as it gets. This is a full air ride suspension just like you find on 18-wheelers. This system was designed for large horse trailers that carry expensive race horses. Each wheel has an airbag that is about 10 inches in diameter. Auto leveling is accomplished with an on board compressor. In other words the trailer will always be the same height regardless of the load. This works great for me because we use our fifth wheel in the craft show circuit about half the time. I carry a lot more weight for a craft show than I do for just a pleasure trip. My custom Teton has a 7,000 lb cargo capacity.
The full air suspension works great with my Big Foot hydraulic stabilizers. After leveling the trailer automatically I dump the air from the suspension which results in the coach being near the ground and all the weight being on the four hydraulic jacks.
I would also agree with the other fellows. A one ton pickup, (class 3), will be grossly overloaded trying to pull a 20,000 lb trailer. I would advise you to look at a class 6 or higher truck.
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Old 02-14-2010, 04:31 PM   #11
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I figure, with your knowledge of semi's, you're aware of weight limits for tow vehicles.

However, I highly recommend reading this article authored by one of our seasoned members & use the spreadsheet linked at the bottom to run the numbers on your rv & truck. With a toyhauler that large & loaded up, you're going to want to be sure you are within your truck's ratings to safely travel & most importantly...stop. I, too, am concerned a 3500 isn't enough for the size/weight of 5-r you have.

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Old 02-14-2010, 09:05 PM   #12
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Thanks a million!

I appreciate all of the input and the concern over the setup I have chosen. I agree it is going to be a lot of weight for that truck. The 2010 3500 is rated for 17800 lbs. which I should be under on most trips, only on occasion will it really be used as a true toy hauler and be loaded to the upper level that I had quoted. The toy hauler was mainly bought for the layout seeing as we only have one child so far we didn't see the need for a bunkhouse but we still wanted to take friends on occasion. After looking at almost every model available at the Cleveland I-X center show we walked through this model and fell in love with the layout and five queen sized beds yet only one dedicated bedroom. So to make a long story short we will probably only take the golf cart on most trips and if I do get too heavy I can always hook up the Peterbuilt.... or the Kennworth......or the International, it just seemed like a good excuse to buy a new truck and the boss (my lovely wife Holly) agreed. So to clarify my first post on this thread, I was wondering about an air ride hitch more than the pin box. I have looked at the trailer saver and I am concerned about the pivot point being ahead of the capture plate where as the air safe hitch is a true four air bag system and allows unlimited movement of the 5th wheel plate. I was hoping someone here had experience good or bad with one of these or possibly another brand that I have not looked at. Thanks again for everyones input it is wonderful to have a forum with experienced people that are happy to share their knowledge with a newbie like me.
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Old 02-14-2010, 09:44 PM   #13
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Oh sorry to burst your bubble, but that number is figured using an absolute base truck. No options no passengers no nothing. The GCWR is still 23,500 right? If so, the truck ready to travel will scale around 8 grand Add over 4000 for pin weight and you will exceed the GVWR and loading that fiver even partially you will probably exceed the RAWR, the tire ratings and probably the GVWR. As a truck driver you of all people should understand overloading!
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Old 02-14-2010, 11:39 PM   #14
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Ryan,

You're right, we need to stay on topic here. Even I got side-tracked. Let's keep this to the subject of air ride hitches. Please excuse our hijack.

Here's an older thread with several posts on the Trailer Saver.

We did not have a Trailer Saver for our previous 5-r because we wanted a hitch easily removeable so we could haul other items in the truck bed. Plus our 5-r was not heavy enough to warrant such a system. But I can see where having one would certainly make driving more pleasant with a heavier 5-r if you're gonna be on the road a lot - like full-timer status. It's possible that if you're just going to be a weekend warrior & add a few weeks of vacation per year, it might be overkill to have an air ride hitch. Just something to think about.

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