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Old 07-27-2016, 06:45 AM   #1
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Ram 3500 Rear Air Suspension

I'm considering a new Ram 3500. I would definitely go with the Cummins / Aisin combo but I'm still not sure on bed length. While I'd love the additional payload of the 8' bed, that additional overall length intimidates me. Right now we just have a 7000 GVWR travel trailer but I want to future proof with my next truck.

My question is, does anyone have the air suspension and is it worth the expense? My main motivation to get it would be to improve the ride quality when there is no load in the bed. Does it accomplish that? This truck would end up being a daily driver. I have owned a 1 ton Ford and driven a 3/4 ton Ram but there are no Rams in my area with the air suspension to test. If it is worthwhile I would have to order the truck.

Any help and opinions would be appreciated.
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Old 07-27-2016, 07:01 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jim223 View Post
I'm considering a new Ram 3500. I would definitely go with the Cummins / Aisin combo but I'm still not sure on bed length. While I'd love the additional payload of the 8' bed, that additional overall length intimidates me. Right now we just have a 7000 GVWR travel trailer but I want to future proof with my next truck.

My question is, does anyone have the air suspension and is it worth the expense? My main motivation to get it would be to improve the ride quality when there is no load in the bed. Does it accomplish that? This truck would end up being a daily driver. I have owned a 1 ton Ford and driven a 3/4 ton Ram but there are no Rams in my area with the air suspension to test. If it is worthwhile I would have to order the truck.

Any help and opinions would be appreciated.
I put aftermarket air bags in. I liked the advantage of leveling it when I wanted. I have two valve stems beside my license plate.
I run my rear tires on my Ram 3500 at 55 psi when not loaded and have to pump them up to 80 psi to tow my 5th wheel anyways so the compressor is already out.
I run my air bags at 20 psi when not loaded to keep the bags excercised and pump them up to tow.

It was also cheaper than the auto air level system.
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Old 07-27-2016, 09:00 AM   #3
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All reports I have read praise the air ride setup. I love it on my HDT. The heavier the camper the more benefit it would be.
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Old 07-27-2016, 10:57 AM   #4
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I put aftermarket air bags in. I liked the advantage of leveling it when I wanted. I have two valve stems beside my license plate.
I run my rear tires on my Ram 3500 at 55 psi when not loaded and have to pump them up to 80 psi to tow my 5th wheel anyways so the compressor is already out.
I run my air bags at 20 psi when not loaded to keep the bags excercised and pump them up to tow.

It was also cheaper than the auto air level system.
I went with after market bags too since I bought a new leftover 2014 in 2015. In the rear I only keep about 45lbs with the trailer and about 25 without.

Pretty cheap investment. Provides a smooth and level ride

Not to hijack the thread, but why do you run at 80 psi when loaded. That seems really high for a newer truck.
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Old 07-27-2016, 12:15 PM   #5
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The factory air suspension is great when it's working. However in 8-10 years (maybe less) those bags will deteriorate and need replaced and will be EXPENSIVE to replace, same with the pump if and when it fails. If you don't plan on keeping the truck that long then go ahead and order it. However unless you massively upgrade your trailer you won't need it. If and when you ever do need the added support you can add aftermarket bags quite a bit cheaper. If I remember correctly that OE air suspension is like $1300.
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Old 07-27-2016, 01:12 PM   #6
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The factory air suspension is great when it's working. However in 8-10 years (maybe less) those bags will deteriorate and need replaced and will be EXPENSIVE to replace, same with the pump if and when it fails. If you don't plan on keeping the truck that long then go ahead and order it. However unless you massively upgrade your trailer you won't need it. If and when you ever do need the added support you can add aftermarket bags quite a bit cheaper. If I remember correctly that OE air suspension is like $1300.
Please show me proof that the bags are going to deteriorate?

I have 24K on my 3500 RAM Dually with Factory Air. It's worth every penny!

I run mine in Alt trailer mode aLL the time as I like the more level ride. I run my rear duals at 35 solo and the truck rides just as good as friends Z71 3500 GMC SRW SB 4x4.

There is NOTHING to set, the truck sits the same with or without a load. the loaded ride is great with no bouncing.

I am at full RAWR of 9,750# in pic.

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Old 07-27-2016, 03:24 PM   #7
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Please show me proof that the bags are going to deteriorate?

I have 24K on my 3500 RAM Dually with Factory Air. It's worth every penny!

I run mine in Alt trailer mode aLL the time as I like the more level ride. I run my rear duals at 35 solo and the truck rides just as good as friends Z71 3500 GMC SRW SB 4x4.

There is NOTHING to set, the truck sits the same with or without a load. the loaded ride is great with no bouncing.

I am at full RAWR of 9,750# in pic.

Not sure how he is supposed to show you proof. But it is common sense that rubber will wear down over years of exposure to the elements. Please read below:

Because they’re made of rubber, air bags usually “age out” before they wear out, notes Dave Vanette, new business development manager at Firestone Industrial Products. “This aging out process has a lot to do with the heat history of the part and exposure to ozone,” he explains. If an air spring is run predominately where the average temperature is high, it accelerates this process.
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Old 07-27-2016, 04:16 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Cummins12V98 View Post
Please show me proof that the bags are going to deteriorate?

I have 24K on my 3500 RAM Dually with Factory Air. It's worth every penny!

I run mine in Alt trailer mode aLL the time as I like the more level ride. I run my rear duals at 35 solo and the truck rides just as good as friends Z71 3500 GMC SRW SB 4x4.

There is NOTHING to set, the truck sits the same with or without a load. the loaded ride is great with no bouncing.

I am at full RAWR of 9,750# in pic.

Are you saying having 24k miles on you truck is proof they won't need replace at 150k?
Yes, the air suspension is wonderful when towing heavy loads, but a 7000lb trailer is not a heavy load for a Ram3500.
Look around and see how many older Lincolns, Expeditions, Mercedes, and Range Rover Sport have sagging suspensions and it's typically because the air bags on their optional air suspensions have dry rotted and the bags now leak like a sieve. Sure the Ram's setup is a little different but the problem of dry rot will be the same, and Ram probably has a patented system that will keep aftermarket suppliers from making a direct replacement meaning you'll have to go to the dealer to buy them if you want them replaced. This is why mechanics often retrofit those lux vehicles back over to the standard (non-air ride) suspensions when these systems fail (either the pump or the air bags).
Does the Ram's air ride suspension have its niche on the ram3500? Absolutely!
But it's not needed for the average buyer who is going to daily his Ram3500 unloaded and just on occasion load up his light travel trailer (or even a heavier 5th wheel) for some short weekend trips and maybe a few longer trips each year.
If you want this suspension, great! However, adding complexity rarely adds to reliability.
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Old 07-27-2016, 04:20 PM   #9
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My guess is by then there will be some after market MFGs jumping on the bandwagon. Like everything else on the suspension, there's always another alternative to OEM.
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Old 07-27-2016, 04:20 PM   #10
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Thanks for the replies guys. Since my current TT is very light in relation to a 3500 it seems like it would serve me no purpose. It would probably be more beneficial to add a system in the future when we upgrade our camper.
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Old 07-27-2016, 04:33 PM   #11
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^^^ great choice!
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Old 07-27-2016, 05:17 PM   #12
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I agree, and for smoothing out the ride a canopy and a couple hundred pounds sitting on the rear axle will smooth it out quite a bit. Doesn't really affect mileage much if any either.
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Old 07-27-2016, 06:34 PM   #13
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I went with after market bags too since I bought a new leftover 2014 in 2015. In the rear I only keep about 45lbs with the trailer and about 25 without.

Pretty cheap investment. Provides a smooth and level ride

Not to hijack the thread, but why do you run at 80 psi when loaded. That seems really high for a newer truck.
I'm running Transforce AT LT285/60R20" tires. That's what they call for.
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Old 07-27-2016, 06:41 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Nut4speed View Post
Are you saying having 24k miles on you truck is proof they won't need replace at 150k?
Yes, the air suspension is wonderful when towing heavy loads, but a 7000lb trailer is not a heavy load for a Ram3500.
Look around and see how many older Lincolns, Expeditions, Mercedes, and Range Rover Sport have sagging suspensions and it's typically because the air bags on their optional air suspensions have dry rotted and the bags now leak like a sieve. Sure the Ram's setup is a little different but the problem of dry rot will be the same, and Ram probably has a patented system that will keep aftermarket suppliers from making a direct replacement meaning you'll have to go to the dealer to buy them if you want them replaced. This is why mechanics often retrofit those lux vehicles back over to the standard (non-air ride) suspensions when these systems fail (either the pump or the air bags).
Does the Ram's air ride suspension have its niche on the ram3500? Absolutely!
But it's not needed for the average buyer who is going to daily his Ram3500 unloaded and just on occasion load up his light travel trailer (or even a heavier 5th wheel) for some short weekend trips and maybe a few longer trips each year.
If you want this suspension, great! However, adding complexity rarely adds to reliability.
Just stating I have used my truck for 24K and highly recommend the rear air ride.

No matter what I say you are going to have a negative comment about the bags. So my positive comments and personal experience is for those who are in the market.

FWIW the bags are made by Firestone.
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