I have a new to me truck & TC with no owners manual info. for the airbags, so I have no idea what PSI range to run? I know there is no magic number but want to make sure I am in the ballpark? From what I've read here in searching, I should level the truck out side to side first, then??? I found info. on what to do next with "stable loads" but I Don't have those... So where should the bump stops be? overload spring, PSI etc.? At least looking for a starting point... Thanks.
Also, is it reasonably easy to add air to them with a bicycle pump? If so, I can hit the road and add air along the way to get the right feel... If not, I'll have to hit some gas stations.
The pressure you will run will vary with the load. The goal is to air up enough to keep your rig level without disengaging your overloads. Bump stops will help you level up (run more pressure) while keeping your OLs engaged. Also you will want to take into consideration side to side pressure as you mention specially if you have a slide. The variables will be primarily how much water, people, gear, tongue weight of trailers you're carrying.
An onboard compressor and remote controls sure helps make this process easier but a tire pump that can go as high as may be needed could be hard to find or at least a lot of work to get the volume you need. There are several relatively inexpensive 12v compressors available.
'11 GMC 3500hd SLT DRW D/A 4x4 Spray-in, Air Bags w/comp & controls, TL, Superhitch, 48" Supertruss, 9.5t Warn, front rcvr, Fox Shocks, '11 AF 1140, DB, AC, Gen, Solar, Thermal Windows, Wardrobe, Rear & Side Awnings, 18' Lund/40hp Honda 4 stroke
If by airbags, you mean those little rubber things that keep the bed off of the rear axle and the leaf springs from doing backbends, that number is dependent on how loaded the TC is - if I remember correctly, our airbags had about a 120 psi max, and fully loaded (we boondock a minimum of three times a year) we put in between 105 and 110 - water is heavy and we also needed to carry our generator and fuel for four or five days with us. That being said, we also aired up our truck tires to about five pounds below max pressure - the main thing is to keep the bed of the truck as far from the rear tires as you can (we aimed for at least a six inch clearance as some of the roads got kinda rough). The numbers are rough, and the chances you have the same stuff we did are highly unlikely, but it's probably easier to take a little air out than to find a place to put some more in.
Oh, and on a resonance note - front stabilizers make for a much more comfortable (and probably safer) ride...if you don't have them, save up and get some...they look like little shock-absorbers that connect the front of the TC to a spot just in front of the windshield.
And, if you were actually asking a completely different question, please feel free to ignore me :-)
Bob & Lori (BNL)
2012 Tracer 230FBS (Cupcake)
2012 Ram 1500 ST Hemi 5.7 (Smoke)
Why didn't we do this sooner ?!?!?
as noted...it will take some trial/error. We used to run 50-75 psi...then I backed off; 20 passenger side 45 psi driver side and the ride is much better.
The over loads are slightly engaged...I found if I get off the overloads the ride gets bouncy.
I do carry a bike pump...have never had to use it...I set the pressure after loading when I am checking my tires and thats it...
I am very pleased with how our set-up handles.
2006 Chevy D/A CC
"Good People Drink Good Beer"-Hunter S Thompson
I have the in-cab controller, but for years I used a bicycle pump and it was very easy. The volume on the bags is small enough that a bike pump inflates them quickly. I air mine up so the factory overloads are just starting to contact the bump stops. On my truck, that equates to around 60 psi.
You want enough air that the suspension doesn't bottom out. You don't want too much air or the ride will be very bouncy. The proper pressure is somewhere in between.
I like the way 25 psi rode but it would bottom out on bumps. I have to run 40 psi to keep that from happening but now the ride is bouncier than I would like.
What your actual load is will determine what psi is best for your bags. Examples: Our 1993 Chev 2500 ext cab LB 4X4 truck worked best with 50-55 psi in the bags with our Lance 9-1/2' camper weighing 2920 lbs loaded to travel with full water tank and all can goods etc, frige full, and personal items etc. Our 2004.5 Chevy 25000HD D/A crew cab LB 4X4 with the same size Lance in a 915 model weighed 3160 lbs loaded like the 9-1/2' Lance mentioned liked 40-45 psi iin the bags. Our 11'4" heavy Lance with built in 3400 watt generator etc loaded ilke the other Lance Campers were on the same Chevy D/A truck likes 65-70 psi in the bags.
Remember that a longer floor plan TC sticks out farther behind the rear bumper and that means the camper's weight balance point is farhter behind and heavier on the truck's rear wheels.
Just have to experiment with psi's to find what works best for your setup. Too low a psi means you're not getting enough support and is likely to bottom out on bigger bumps. Too high a psi causes too much roll or tipping and makes the truck handle bad to terrible.
A superb CC LB 4X4, GM HD Diesel, airbags, Rancho's, lots more
Lance Legend TC 11' 4", loaded including 3400 PP generator and my deluxe 2' X 7' rear porch
29 ft Carriage Carri-lite 5'er - a specially built gem
A like new '07 Sunline Solaris 26' TT