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Open Roads Forum  >  Fifth-Wheels

 > TrailerSaver BD3 vs. Air Safe 20K

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SteveRankin

Sequim, WA

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Posted: 06/22/12 09:09pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

OK, folks we're getting ready to upgrade our hitch/pinbox setup. We're currently running a Pullrite Super 5th & 5th Airborne pinbox which is just fine on normal paved roads, but we're beginning our preparations to go back to the Arctic where we'll be pulling our new trailer over about 4000 miles of primitive unpaved roads.

The $64K question is which is best?

  • TrailerSaver BD3
  • Air Safe 20K


Ideally, I'd like to hear from folks that have had both, but I'm also interested in hearing from folks that have either about what they like, what they don't like and why they picked the one they did.

FYI, the trailer is a Northwood Fox Mountain 245RKS; GVWR 9500#.


Steve & C. J.
Gracie Rough Collie
Bo'sun Bichon Frise
Marli Lab

2011 Fox Mountain 245RKS

1998 Bigfoot 25C9.6B

2010 Dodge Ram Laramie 3500 4X4, Cummins 6.7, Crewcab SRW LB
TrailerSaver BD3 & MOR/Ryde

Our Arctic by RV trip

Our Beaver motorhome Technical page


jetenbu

Southeast Texas

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Posted: 06/22/12 09:29pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have the Trailer Saver TS3 and highly recommend it. It made all the difference in the world on my rig. Mine has an onboard air compressor and adjust to the weight of my fiver automatically. I do not think you can go wrong with a Trailer Saver but they are very expensive brand new (Over $3000 I think). I bought mine from a guy who had gone from a fiver to a motorhome for half the price of a new one. When I bought it it was 3 years old. If you buy a used one, especially if it has not been used for a while, you want to make sure it is very well lubricated so you can go into all 3 positions (10 o'clock, 9 o'clock the hitching position and 8 o'clock the locking position). Mine was not lubricated and I destroyed my tool box and tail gate by dropping the fiver on it. I took it to a RV place and they lubricated it and got it working again.

I also had to get the 3" riser to clear the bed of my Dodge Dually sufficiently to give me the 5" clearance I wanted.

Towing with it is a dream and I wonder how I stood my Curtis hitch so long. Good luck no matter which hitch you buy. I hope this helps.


Jim

RV: 2012 Montana 3625RE Quad Slide SKP#108921
TV: 2004.5 Dodge Dually 3500 HD
Favorite Quote: ''Life's tough, pilgrim, and it's even tougher if you're stupid.''-- John Wayne

Warning: THIS RIG PROTECTED BY SMITH AND WESSON!

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silverback31b2

Upstate NY

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Posted: 06/23/12 06:32am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We just got the BD3 a week ago +/- and have only towed with it for 67 miles to test it before a month of camping and testing in July. It's amazing, what a difference over a rigid hitch. Small concern with an airbag they hopefully worked out.


2011 Silverback 31B2
2011 F350 Superduty, Crew Cab, 8' box, 4x4, 6.7 PSD, Lariat, Loaded
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okiejoe

Oklahoma City

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Posted: 06/22/12 11:35pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

X2 on the Trailersaver, no need to say anything else jetenbu said all I would have said, I also have Dodge and added the riser.

SteveRankin

Sequim, WA

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Posted: 06/22/12 11:50pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

While I might prefer the TS3, it overhangs the mounting rails by quite a bit and that interferes with the fuel tank and tool box in the forward part of the truck bed - hence the requirement for the TrailerSaver BD3 or Air Safe. The BD3 & TS3 are different designs, so unfortunately experience with a TS3 doesn't help us.

We've been using a 5th Airborne pinbox with our Pullrite since the beginning, so our ride has been pretty nice all along. Our objective is to make the connection between the truck and trailer even more cushioned with an air hitch and Mor/Ryde pinbox.

I'm wondering about:

  • The relative ability of the TrailerSaver and Air Safe to deal with the radical angles that come with getting off pavement in the boonies.
  • The amount of maintenance needed to deal with rough roads and dusty conditions.


jetenbu wrote:

I have the Trailer Saver TS3 and highly recommend it. It made all the difference in the world on my rig.
I also had to get the 3" riser to clear the bed of my Dodge Dually sufficiently to give me the 5" clearance I wanted.

Towing with it is a dream and I wonder how I stood my Curtis hitch so long. Good luck no matter which hitch you buy. I hope this helps.


* This post was edited 06/23/12 12:37am by SteveRankin *

jetenbu

Southeast Texas

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Posted: 06/23/12 06:00am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have the MorRide pin box as well. I would think that the 5-6 inch clearance from the bed would be enough for going off road. No matter what hitch you use, you are going to have to maintain it in dusty conditions. The main thing should be bed clearances. I have a net tailgate on mine so if I was to go off road, the tailgate clearance would not be a problem. If you have a tailgate you may have problems with any hitch in extreme up and down angles going straight or even worse if you have to make a sharp turn that goes up and down before you trailer can straighten out.

I know of no hitch that stands high enough off the bed of the truck to eliminate any concerns of which you describe.

mguay

Northern NH

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Posted: 06/23/12 06:43am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I haven't made the jump to an air ride hitch yet....but FWIW I wouldn't go with the Air Safe for one simple reason. It uses the same Valley head as the Reese that I had. The dealer replaced the head three times and they all banged loudly. I trashed the Reese and went to a B&W Patriot and no more banging. The difference is that the jaws in the Valley head do not completely encircle the king pin. They use two different areas of the pin to apply foward and aft torque. Someone will correct me if I'm wrong...but I believe that the TS Holland Brinkley head has jaws like a B&W.


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PegLW

SW Missouri

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Posted: 06/23/12 06:59am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We have the TrailerSaver BD3 and are very happy with it! We've towed our rig over 15,000 very comfortable miles with it. We recently traded our truck for a new 2012 F350 and had to buy an adapter plate for the hitch but it works very well with that too. Just towed it over 500 miles in the last couple of weeks. To us, the extra $ for the TrailerSaver was worth every penny.

Peg


Dave and Peggy
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Garry&Gayle

Hemet, Ca.

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Posted: 06/23/12 07:34am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have the AirSafe with the Holland/Binkley head 25K, I have over 15K towing across 3/4 of the US and I would not be without it, best of all no lubrication required except for the head; with either air hitch you will need to get rid of the 5th Airborn pinbox, they will work against each other.

SteveRankin

Sequim, WA

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Posted: 06/23/12 10:59am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We did considerable prep to our rig for our 2009 trip:
  • Arctic Fox 29V travel trailer; lifted 1" plus 34" off-road LT tires
  • Chevy K2500HD lifted 3" and the same 34" off-road LT tires
  • Pullrite 2000K hitch

We had some problems we're striving to avoid the next time:
  • Trailer was too long - 58' overall. Too long to get into some places & too much rear overhang that dragged 3 times
  • Hitch was a PITA to maneuver and had serious problems with the rough roads.

Our new 5ver is 2' shorter, so we're roughly 10' shorter when hitched. A 5ver does have clearance issues that a TT doesn't, but the trailer will be several inches higher after installing Mor/Ryde IS suspension and upgrading from 15" ST tires to 17" LT's (on Dodge OEM wheels). I'm guessing we'll be able to have up to 8-9" of clearance between the truck bed rails and the trailer when all the prep is done and we're in "off-road mode".

We're A-OK with maintaining stuff in the dusty conditions - we went through 3 air filters on the Duramax in 3K miles in 2009, and we lubed the chassis every 1000 miles. But, we're not OK with having to make repairs enroute resulting from inadequate equipment.

jetenbu wrote:

I have the MorRide pin box as well. I would think that the 5-6 inch clearance from the bed would be enough for going off road. No matter what hitch you use, you are going to have to maintain it in dusty conditions. The main thing should be bed clearances. I have a net tailgate on mine so if I was to go off road, the tailgate clearance would not be a problem. If you have a tailgate you may have problems with any hitch in extreme up and down angles going straight or even worse if you have to make a sharp turn that goes up and down before you trailer can straighten out.

I know of no hitch that stands high enough off the bed of the truck to eliminate any concerns of which you describe.


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