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Old 01-09-2009, 11:26 AM   #1
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Ok........

Now I need Air Bags. I'm looking at Air-Lift.
any suggestions?
Also, I have Reese Signature series 5th wheel hitch. It has the custom rails that mount under the bed w/ brackets that mount the the frame rails.

Does anyone know what Air Bag kit I need to work with what I have?


Thanks in advance!
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Old 01-09-2009, 12:39 PM   #2
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Remember, air bags will not increase your trucks rated capacities. BTDT, and it is a band aid at best. As for what bags to get, remember that Firestone makes about 99% of the air bags in use today, so it really is only up to price and what you can find to fit your truck. Best advise is to ask a qualified sales person for the correct part number.
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Old 01-09-2009, 01:32 PM   #3
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I have Firestones with the built in compressor and under dash gauge and switch. I love being able to adjust on-the-fly. It doesn't do much for the weight rating, but it sure smooths out the ride. I can jack up and lower the hitch a little as I hook up. It also helps level the trailer after hook-up when load changes.
Besides, I tapped in and plumbed in a quick disconnect at the trailer plug in the rear so I can air up tires, swim tubes, adjust airhitch, and blow sand away from steps,,,etc.
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Old 01-09-2009, 04:16 PM   #4
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Quote:
(Agent Orange) .... Now I need Air Bags ...
out of curiosity, what makes you say that?
what is your goal with bags?

and I like Glen41's idea of a tap for the air at the trailer plug in, thats got to come in handy a lot!,

i installed Firestones on my truck. Don't install the bags with just one shared air supply for both sides. Each side should have its own.
On my truck, the two nipples for air come out from the two centered little holes on my license plate. Real snazzy
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Old 01-09-2009, 08:36 PM   #5
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I been spending a lot of time getting everything ready for the trailer.

I hooked up to the trailer and the rear of my truck compressed about 3 inches. The truck was not level at all. I also have dropped shackles in the rear to level the truck when not in use.
The air bags should raise the rear of the truck.

Aren't diesels great. I pulled the trailer(toy-hauler) and it pulled easily just terrible ride with the rear compressed.
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Old 01-09-2009, 08:39 PM   #6
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Glen41...

Which kit did you buy? From Firestone? What type of 5th wheel hitch do you have?

Thanks.
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Old 01-09-2009, 08:43 PM   #7
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450Donn...

I know it won't increase the load rating. I'm under that. The problem I'm having, is that it's sagging too much in the rear and no one seems to know if their air bag kit will work with a Reese signature series hitch, because of the extra brackets bolted to the frame.

Do your air bags mount inside or outside of the frame rails?

Thanks.
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Old 01-10-2009, 08:09 AM   #8
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IMHO rear end sagging 3 inches when loaded is placing your truck in an overloaded situation no matter what the weights say.
But to answer your question the Firestone bags are mounted between the bottom of the frame and the top of the axle tube.
When I was pulling with a "3/4 ton" Chevy 2500HD D/A, and i dropped the trailer on the back, before the air bags I dropped about 1-1/2 to 2 inches. That was excessive IMHO. Went the air bag route and then i was able to maintain level when hitched, but the handling characteristics were terrible. Went to a dually and the exact same load and it is a world of difference in ride and handling.
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Old 01-10-2009, 08:35 AM   #9
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Maybe not 3". Probably more like 2".

I also have 2" dropped shackles in the rear, not 1" like I said in an earlier post. So the rear of the truck is definitely lower than the front.
I also don't have anything loaded in the rear of the toy hauler. Which will give more tongue weight. Right?
Also, the leaf springs might be worn out. My friend, that owned the truck before me, hauled a 3-axle tongue trailer w/ a tractor on it that weighed 14,000 lbs. he says. That's way too much weight. Oh, and he pulled it from Memphis, TN to New Jersey. Though, the truck pulls like a champ.
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Old 02-10-2009, 03:54 AM   #10
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I dont think you can find any differences except the labels. On the Airlift link, run your mouse over the 3 pics on the middle right of the page. It will change the image in the top center.

Airbags can help a droopy rear end, but as noted above wont change the TV GVWR. I dont have any fancy hitch brackets so I cant help there. I did have to move one of the L brackets on my Reese 16K mount.

Im sure the onboard compressor is nice, but I dont have one. I just measured the height of the truck bedwall unhitched and marked a broom handle. Hooked up the 5th wheel and put the broom handle back. Mine dropped about 1 1/4". I put about 22 PSI in the airbags and brought it right back up to level. They work great and it has been 8 years now. Not one problem.

Best place to buy I have found is still www.jegs.com $228.00 for the Airlift complete (about 2 months ago, they were $203.00).

Airlift 5000:
http://www.airliftcompany.com/LoadLifter5000.html

Firestone Ride-Rite:
http://www.roughcountry.com/fi...ne_airbags-2330.html

My installation write up.
http://members.cox.net/bruce.w...rBagInstallation.htm

I added a small alum plate to the driver side bracket to hold the valve stems.
http://members.cox.net/bruce.w...AirbagValveStems.jpg
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Old 07-05-2009, 10:48 AM   #11
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I have the Firestone Ride Rite bags with a Reese 18K Signature Series: no problems. Installed the bags in 2006 and installed the hitch about two months ago. No installation conflicts at all, and everything works well together thus far. I'll second the in-cab control with separate controls for each side.

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Old 07-06-2009, 03:12 PM   #12
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What I am not clear on with air bags, is what effect it has on the ride of truck when the fiver is hooked up. I understand the bags will raise the truck back up somewhat from the weight of the fiver, but how much do the bags help the ride from the fact that the fiver is adding that "chucking" and "up and down" effects to the ride on the truck. Do the bags help that or is that where you start looking at air pins and air hitches.
In other words, if you truck sags, which mine does, do you immediately start with air bags, get it back to somewhat level and go from there?
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Old 07-06-2009, 05:04 PM   #13
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To answer your question is a bit more than a "better" or "worse" reply. Since I'm new to towing a FW, I can't speak from much experience in towing, but I can tell you from tons of experience hauling my truck camper for the last seven years.

When I loaded my camper before I put on the air bags, the truck would squat on the overloads which generated a very stiff ride. After installing the bags, I was able to get the load off the overloads and improve ride quality significantly. It's not like riding on pillows because the extra load does affect the ride quality. Keeping that extra weight off the overloads will improve the ride quality to a very much seat-of-the-pants better ride.

I've towed the FW across the Cascades and up/down the I5 between Seattle and Portland a couple of times. The "chucking" and "up and down" you mentioned are felt in my truck. It isn't significant but I know it's there. I don't believe you'll alleviate it wholly with the bags due the forces of physics at the hitch and the trailer hitting the bump or rut separate from the tow vehicle. I don't have an air pin or hitch but do have a full articulating disk on my hitch (Reese Signature Series 18K)

I don't think you would go wrong by starting with the air bags and getting your tow vehicle level. You'll notice improved ride quality immediately and may determine the "chucking/ups & downs" is insignificant afterwards. I will add that if it's within your budget to get the in-cab control (dual valves: one per side), tank & compressor, by all means do so. You will have superior and instant control and a lot of adjustment on the move to work with over a simple fill port on each side.

I hope this helps with giving you the information you're looking for.

BF
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