And I would have to say they are correct. Bags are used on gas coaches mainly to level the ride not make it softer. You would have to go to the Kelderman Air ride system if you want to soften the ride. I had bags on the rear of my previous F53 chassis and they were used only for coach leveling while on the road.
Steve & Sally
HiTee & Hudson (Our Little Poms)
Houston & Heidi (Forever In Our Hearts and Never Forgotten)
04 NEWMAR MACA 3778 W22
05 pt Cruiser Vert 5 speed
Demco baseplate with Commander Tow Bar
True, We run bags on the rear of our workhorse chassis. They are seperate from each other so we can level from side to side. The motorhome also sways less. The ride is 'harder' but more comfortable for us because of less sway.
The do MORE than level - they increase the springing so side-to-side movement is lesened- and they further restrict from bottomming-out.
The basic suspension is not soft, and that will continue - but better handling may make it seem softer. I prefer air bags to Timbrens which can also help with excessive movement - adjutability. The best thing - air bags are cheap - so there's no risk.
What's not been explained here is, there's a couple of things to consider here. First and most important, go and get the rig weighed. Do a rear, front, and then the whole thing. Now, compare the actual weights to what's listed in your chassis specs. That will give you an idea of how the springs are loaded in comparison to what they're intended to support.
Now, lets say your rear springs are rated for 13,500 lbs and, your actual weight is only 11,000 lbs. Well, you're springs do the best ride and control when they're carrying very close to their rated weight. But, if you've got that much spring left, because you're that much under weight, then yes, it will ride rough. Now, some of the answers you've received are correct in the fact that air bags DO help level a rig, from side to side. But, just in case you ARE that much under weight, adding those bags will simply increase carrying capacity and therefore it's highly likely that it will make the ride even stiffer than you already have.
It's the same with the front end. For instance, in our last coach, a '99 Bounder, 34V, had a front axle weight rating of 7,000 lbs. But, the front end of that coach weighed 5500 lbs. That was a 1500 lb difference. Talk about a ROUGH ride! Now, as usual folks here suggested I go to Koni shocks or even what I already had, Bilsteins. But, unless you know and understand coach suspensions, and exactly how shocks work, just throwing parts at a problem and hoping for an intended result, is NOT a smart way to try and correct problems.
As far as answering your post, get your rig weighed, find out it's specs, compare, and now you can make an informed decision as to the installation of air bags.
Scott and Karla SDFD RETIRED
2004 Itasca Horizon, 36GD Slate Blue 330 CAT
2011 GMC Sierra 1500 Ext Cab 4x4 Toad 2008 Caliente Red LVL II GL 1800 Goldwing KI60ND
i run sir bags in front and rear. rear is a bolt on installation i run 65 psi on the rear it does level the rear end i cant tell its harder but it does drive better. i do pull a 2007 chevy 4 door truck. that said i cant see where in texas you are but for spring or alignment i would use Ray's Champion Spring in fort worth. ther do big trucks
shocks soften the ride.
Airbags assist the spring rate. Usually they add about 1000lbs extra per spring.
Wandering off topic a little here, but shocks control/dampen suspension movement - assuming there is some. If the springs are so stiff they limit travel, the nicest shocks available aren't going to help much?
You also have to consider the age of the MH, would not do it on a new (less than 5 years old), but over time, leaf springs will sag and loose their strenght then allowing the axle moving further up, THEN the rebound of the axle is increase dramatically and gives a very hard ride.
When I installed the Ride Rite system on my Mirada it significally improved the ride, by getting rid of that rebound factor; I started with 20 lbs in front and 40 in rear, now my sweet spot is 40 front and 75 rear, of a capacity of 100 lbs per bag. How do I know it works ? all I have to do is deflate them to 5 lbs each and feel my teeth rattle LOL
Since this system increase the axle capacity, I am researching if I can install smaller capacity leaf springs to improve the ride even further.