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Open Roads Forum  >  Truck Campers

 > Airbags and handling issues

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Kober

Arizona

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Joined: 02/01/2003

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Posted: 10/10/06 08:25pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Spent the long weekend relaxing with the wife atop the Chiricahuas at 8700ft. It rained pretty heavily during the last two nights and the road back down was pretty rough. The truck did a lot of swaying left to right and it was getting a bit tiresome. I was traveling light loaded only for a weekend for two. I looked down and saw the airbags were at 40lbs. I started to release air until I only had about 15lbs in both bags and man, what a difference! I can only suspect that the overlaods came into play and kept the truck upright. Releasing all the air was no good and caused bucking and bottoming.
I still like the airbags to level the truck on hardtop roads and when I'm loaded to the gills and hauling the boat but when lightly loaded and on rough roads too much air in the bags is worse than no bags at all.
Lesson learned.
BTW, I was camped at a spot with a pretty good left to right slope. The bags were a great help when I released all the air on the left and pumped the right bag up with 95lbs. I'd guess I got about 6 inches worth of leveling that way. I took some pics and will post if anyone is interested.


2004.5 Dodge 3500 4x4 DRW CTD 600, Warn Winch etc,
2008 FUZION 362.
PATRIOT GUARD RIDER, AMERICAN LEGION RIDER
Retired 25 years US ARMY, retired 24 years business owner

jdtrotter

Big Pine

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Posted: 10/10/06 08:36pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Interesting information about the airbags---thanks

Always love to see pictures---do post

Diane





BradW

Mayor of Flat Rock

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Posted: 10/10/06 08:37pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have read many posts similar to yours about airbags making sway worse on Dodge trucks. I've read several posts where Dodge owners have installed and then removed the airbags intirely. There must be something unique about the way Dodge sets up the rear suspension on their trucks.

Brad

travelnutz

West Michigan - On the Lakeshore

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Posted: 10/10/06 09:03pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

On my GM truck the airbags work wonderful on any type roads, especially rough roads. They are the AirLift 5,000 lbs bags. I keep them at 55-60 lbs. I've been using airbags since my 1993 3/4 ton Chev. There has to be a reason you have the problem. I'd find out what is causing it and fix or revise it. The benefits of the air ride is unmatched.


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

jmtandem

western nevada

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Posted: 10/10/06 09:14pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

on my '05 Dodge 3500 dually the bags made a huge difference hauling the camper. Just don't over air them and only add air until the overloads are just touching. I have the 2.5 inch energy suspension bumpers so it rides level and does not sway badly at all.


'05 Dodge Cummins 4x4 dually 3500 white quadcab auto long bed.

hbski

Huntington Beach

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Joined: 07/18/2006

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Posted: 10/10/06 09:53pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The engineer / dodge 3500 / TC / firestone airbag owner perspective:

The issue is that the airbags are mounted inside of the frame rails. Thus, when they are supporting load they are effectively moving the support reaction inward toward the centerline of the truck. This reduces the suspensions moment arm to react sway and thus allows more sway. A better way to mount the airbags would be outside the frame directly over the existing springs, which I will do one of these days. For now, I've got those 2.5 inch bump stops to install


'06 Dodge 3500 4x4 QC LB DRW
Ride-Rites, Hellwig, Torklift Tiedowns, Fast Guns, Superhitch
'07 Okanagan 117DBL

Kober

Arizona

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Posted: 10/11/06 12:18am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

hbski wrote:

The engineer / dodge 3500 / TC / firestone airbag owner perspective:

The issue is that the airbags are mounted inside of the frame rails. Thus, when they are supporting load they are effectively moving the support reaction inward toward the centerline of the truck. This reduces the suspensions moment arm to react sway and thus allows more sway. A better way to mount the airbags would be outside the frame directly over the existing springs, which I will do one of these days. For now, I've got those 2.5 inch bump stops to install


I think the bump stops in addition to airbags would be the best.

Kober

Arizona

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Joined: 02/01/2003

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Posted: 10/11/06 12:54am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

edited

* This post was edited 10/11/06 08:49pm by Kober *

Hoko

Washington state and Elisrass South Africa

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Joined: 08/20/2006

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Posted: 10/11/06 07:12am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Adding the airbags to my Dodge SRW shortbox 4X4 made an exceptional difference to the sway and handling. I would not be nearly as comfortable without them.

FF1063

NY

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Posted: 10/11/06 07:59am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

.

* This post was edited 10/09/07 05:49pm by FF1063 *

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