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 > Your Opinion On Air Bags

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Larryzv7

Fairfield, CA

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Posted: 08/01/22 11:27am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Do air bag suspension on the rear of trucks help with towing? I was told that they not only help with towing but can also help to save gas when towing?

They are expensive so I am trying to find out the pros and cons before purchasing air bags for my truck. I now have a 2018 F-150 with Ecoboost and a full tow package, and a 2018 conventional trailer (Heartland Mallard).

I also have a weight distribution hitch and two sway bars, but my truck is still sagging a little in the rear when connected to my trailer, and the trailer fish tails a little depending on how fast I drive. I am thinking maybe air bags can remedy this?


2012 Ford F-150 3.5L w/Ecoboost
2012 Heartland Prowler 5th Wheel



way2roll

Wilmington NC

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Posted: 08/01/22 11:35am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Do you have a need for increased capacity or does your tail end sag to the bump stops? Most common reasons for fishtailing are improper weight distribution in the trailer, overloaded trailer, too short of a wheelbase on the tow vehicle, too much weight on the tongue, and/or speed, or your truck is simply too small to pull it safely.

I am not sure how they would help with MPG.

On edit, Your truck's tow capacity is 5k-8k lbs depending on how configured. Remembering to add occupants and gear to subtract from that number. I am not sure which heartland Mallard you have but a 2018 mallard 32 for example has a dry weight of almost 7k and a max weight of 8600 with a hitch weight of 560.

Again, not knowing all the details, but there is a good chance you are at or over the capacity of your truck.

* This post was last edited 08/02/22 10:29am by way2roll *   View edit history


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WNYBob

Tonawanda, NY

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Posted: 08/01/22 11:40am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Yes they do help with saving. I no not have the on board remote compressor. But I would get the ones that have an internal bump stop, with out them I have to keep 5# min pressure.

way2roll

Wilmington NC

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Posted: 08/01/22 11:44am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

WNYBob wrote:

Yes they do help with saving. I no not have the on board remote compressor. But I would get the ones that have an internal bump stop, with out them I have to keep 5# min pressure.


How do they help MPG? Weight is weight. Lifted or not that weight still makes it's way to the tires and compresses and causes the same friction resistance.

Grit dog

Black Diamond, WA

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Posted: 08/01/22 12:11pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Stiffening the rear suspension (with bags or any other means) can/will help tow "better." Fuel savings? lol, not sure where that notion would come from.
And cost being "expensive"? Under $400 for a quality set of 5klb bags is not much or any more than other options.
Want a cheap/free option that you can try?
Before hooking up, clamp some wedges between the lower overload leaf and the rest of the spring pack. Aka, poor man's stable-loads. That will stiffen the suspension some, by engaging the overload leafs immediately.
If you only need a little bump in support, you can make some semi permanent ones for about $30 total. I like using plastic felling wedges and dado a little groove for hose clamps and clamp them on. Can make free ones out of wood or hockey pucks first to try it out.


2016 Ram 2500, MotorOps.ca EFIlive tuned, 5” turbo back, 6" lift on 37s
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time2roll

Southern California

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Posted: 08/01/22 12:20pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Air bags will help with leveling and keeping the suspension from bottoming out on a dip. Not going to help with fuel economy.

Maybe just need to crank on the weight bars a bit to move more weight to the front axel. What are the bars rated vs trailer weight? Pictures of the hitch set up might help someone see what needs adjusting. Definitely re-read the install manual to check the procedure looks correct.

Does your signature picture need updating?


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2112

Texas

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Posted: 08/01/22 12:28pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I bought a pair of Timbrens for my 1997 F150 and it made a world of difference. More stable and no sag. I pulled them from that truck and now have them installed on my 2011 F150 in my sig.

Consider Timbrens or Sumo Springs.

Replacing the P tires with LT tires helps with stability as well.

This is my truck with 4200lbs on the 4000lb rear axle using Timbrens

[image]

* This post was edited 08/01/22 12:57pm by 2112 *


2011 Ford F-150 EcoBoost SuperCab Max Tow, 2084# Payload, 11,300# Tow,
Timbrens, PullRite SuperGlide 2700 15K
2013 KZ Durango 2857


Hank85713

Tucson, Az

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Posted: 08/01/22 12:29pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have and have had bags on my trucks. Biggest thing they ADD capability to keeping it level and then that helps keep the trailer level and as a result may improve the areodynamics of the load since high front end causes more air resistance (?) low front on trailer increases resistance from the trailer (?). This all supesition but it does sound reasonable. My SIL has the v6 with turbos dont think he has/had bags just bought a new truck no towing yet but when he did tow it really did not squat. So you might want to weigh the truck with trailer and then see if you can determine hitch weight to see if too much weight is foreward on truck.

Retired JSO

North Georgia Mountains

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Posted: 08/01/22 12:35pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Just my 2 cents from owning pickups for farm/work/play. If you have a towing problem with sway or just an uneasy driving experience and your towed trailer is properly set up, then you need a larger tow vehicle.





valhalla360

No paticular place.

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Posted: 08/01/22 01:33pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hank85713 wrote:

Biggest thing they ADD capability to keeping it level and then that helps keep the trailer level and as a result may improve the areodynamics of the load since high front end causes more air resistance (?) low front on trailer increases resistance from the trailer (?).


If you are sagging so much it affects the aerodynamics, you are grossly overloaded.

First thing is to take it down to the local CAT scale and see what the real weights are. At the very least give us the specs on the truck and trailer, to give an idea if it sounds like a reasonable combination.

Swaying usually implies the trailer weight distribution is off and airbags aren't going to solve that.

Airbags can help if you are marginal but grossly overloaded, it's not going to solve the issue.


Tammy & Mike
Ford F250 V10
2021 Gray Wolf
Gemini Catamaran 34'
Full Time spliting time between boat and RV


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