Suspension Air Bags for Towing Small Trailers - Fiberglass RV


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 01-17-2015, 07:13 AM   #1
Senior Member
 
John Hussey's Avatar
 
Name: John
Trailer: 2000 16 ft Casita Spirit Deluxe
Florida
Posts: 169
Suspension Air Bags for Towing Small Trailers

Suspension Air Bags

Kits & Parts for Air Bag Suspension | SuspesionConnection.com

- A quick, fast, cheap, and easy-install solution for some towing applications, especially for those pulling a 16' (or smaller) Casita.There are many, many models and manufacturers of these air bags, for about all applications, all designed to keep your rear end up! The reason: they can keep as much as 1,000 pounds of your rear up!!

So, for those towing the lighter weight 16 foot Casita, consider suspension air bags for your tow vehicle. Once installed it is ever so simple to fill them with just a short blast or two of compressed air to adjust your camper tongue to a near level trailer position. This is a simple (and cheap) solution for those towing with smaller vehicles, when tongue weight begins to sag the rear of their tow vehicle...


I wish I had known about them before my massive-mile trip this past summer from Florida up to the ALCAN, through much of northern Canada & Alaska, and around much of the north country on those frost-heaved & deep-dimpled, pock-marked roads. My Jeep has coiled spring suspension in the rear and when I returned home the constant bouncing had about flattened them. I bounced so much that at times I was airborne. In fact, the batwing antenna had slapped down upon the roof so many times from the ups and downs that it actually slapped the end of it completely off! As I neared the end of the four month trip the Casita tongue had begun sinking lower & lower to the ground upon the hitch. I had to begin twisting the chains, just to keep them from dragging the ground. Still, there never was any indication of sway. I was using just a single sway bar. But it was not a pretty sight when I pulled into my driveway back home in Florida, ~13,500 miles later. It just looked bad, like a deep "V" forming between the Jeep and Casita! Even unhooked, the nose of the Jeep kept pointing slightly upward, because of the weaker, flatter coliled rear springs, rather than pointing slightly downward.


All was repaired with a simple fix - with new coiled rear springs and new air bags nesting inside them, installed for $350 CASH! The estimated price was for $450 but Cash Talked for a sizable discount! Side note: Always offer it AFTER you get your first estimate. I could have saved half of that with air bags installed BEFORE the trip!!..


I don't use a WDH and have never needed one with the 16' Casita. It's towing weight is only about 2500-2800 pounds, with just about ~300 or less pounds on the tongue. There might even be some situations where these cheaper, easier to use, air bags would suffice for some towing applications rather than using the harder to use WDH. But, that would be up to you to decide.


I don't have the heavier 17 footer model so I can't opine how air bags would work with them, nor would I hazard a guess. But in my application, as well as for others with smaller trailers, I see them about as handy as sliced bread! I wish I had known about them years ago. My kayak would have ridden better on the vehicle's roof and I could have saved the cost for the new rear coiled springs on the Jeep. And, my Alaska trip would have been so much easier! Its so much better now towing with those air bags in place, even with just ten pounds of air in them. Now the two together even look better.
__________________

__________________
John Hussey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-17-2015, 08:48 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
Name: None
Trailer: None
None
Posts: 2,730
Had a set of Airlift 1000 's in my 2011 Ram 1500 . Installed a set in my 2014 Ram 1500 yesterday . They work well to level when towing but are not the answer to an undersized TV . I have a 17 ft Casita with about 425 Lbs of tongue weight and the bags bring everything into line plus help dampen the bounce on rough roads
Cost for the Airlift 1000's bags plus labor to install was about $125 Total
__________________

__________________
steve dunham is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-17-2015, 09:58 AM   #3
Member
 
Pineapple Man's Avatar
 
Name: Pineapple Man
Trailer: Scamp 13'
Ohio
Posts: 97
Anyone try these on mini-vans ? with 13's ?
__________________
PineappleMan
Pineapple Man is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-17-2015, 10:31 AM   #4
MC1
Senior Member
 
MC1's Avatar
 
Name: Wayne
Trailer: Nest fan, Airstream Sold
Ontario
Posts: 2,006
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Hussey View Post
Suspension Air Bags


I don't use a WDH and have never needed one with the 16' Casita. It's towing weight is only about 2500-2800 pounds, with just about ~300 or less pounds on the tongue. There might even be some situations where these cheaper, easier to use, air bags would suffice for some towing applications rather than using the harder to use WDH. But, that would be up to you to decide.
No doubt there is a time and place for air bags. In most applications they do make the ride firmer / rougher.
Personally, with a 2,500+ lb trailer I would be going the WDH route. It would make for a nicer ride with increased stability compared to just adding the bags. Ideally with a WDH I would also add a bit more tongue weight. It would just work better overall.
__________________
MC1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-17-2015, 10:32 AM   #5
Senior Member
 
Bob Miller's Avatar
 
Name: Bob
Trailer: 1973 Hunter Compact II
California
Posts: 7,912
Airlift's are used inside of existing coil springs to help maintain level towing/hauling and are not intended to be used to increase a vehicles towing capacity. See note at the bottom of this link: Air Lift 1000 Air Bags for Coil Spring SUVs and Vans | Air Lift Company


There are "airsprings" also available that work with leaf spring suspension, and cost almost 3X as much, but the same cravat applies.
__________________
Bob Miller is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-17-2015, 11:16 AM   #6
Senior Member
 
Jon in AZ's Avatar
 
Name: Jon
Trailer: 2008 Scamp 13 S1
Arizona
Posts: 5,565
Registry
Don't many newer unibody vehicles say not to use WDH? My Pilot does. Fortunately it has a stiff enough rear suspension that even at maximum tongue weight it only drops less than 2". My 13' Scamp lowers it less than an inch.
__________________
Jon in AZ is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-17-2015, 11:46 AM   #7
Senior Member
 
Name: None
Trailer: None
None
Posts: 2,730
Wdh

Quote:
Originally Posted by MC1 View Post
No doubt there is a time and place for air bags. In most applications they do make the ride firmer / rougher.
Personally, with a 2,500+ lb trailer I would be going the WDH route. It would make for a nicer ride with increased stability compared to just adding the bags. Ideally with a WDH I would also add a bit more tongue weight. It would just work better overall.
I use both a WDH and the Airlift 1000's . I find my ride and stability to be the same towing as not towing. I was told by Casita and many others that this was unnecessary or overkill but it works for me . My setup makes towing a more enjoyable and safer endeavour for us . . I like the feeling that I am in control of my truck & trailer versus the other way around
__________________
steve dunham is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-17-2015, 12:09 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
Bob Miller's Avatar
 
Name: Bob
Trailer: 1973 Hunter Compact II
California
Posts: 7,912
Good points Steve.
Those that say things like "I don't even know it's there" cause some concern though.
I have seen at least two accidents where a TV pilot pulled back in to soon and the trailer hit the 2 mph slower truck they were passing.
When towing you should never forget what's behind you.
__________________
Bob Miller is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-17-2015, 12:20 PM   #9
MC1
Senior Member
 
MC1's Avatar
 
Name: Wayne
Trailer: Nest fan, Airstream Sold
Ontario
Posts: 2,006
Quote:
Originally Posted by steve dunham View Post
I use both a WDH and the Airlift 1000's . I find my ride and stability to be the same towing as not towing. I was told by Casita and many others that this was unnecessary or overkill but it works for me . My setup makes towing a more enjoyable and safer endeavour for us . . I like the feeling that I am in control of my truck & trailer versus the other way around
Steve... sounds good. Can I ask what your tow vehicle is? Did you find that the WDH alone was not enough? Just curious as to why you have both the WDH and the bags.

I am interested in your set up as I too considered adding bags to our set up. In our case with the WDH set up right we are right at (but not over) our front and rear axle ratings. I'm very fussy when it comes to set up etc and loaded ready for travel the butt of the car sits about 5/8 of an inch lower than I would like (see pic below). In a perfect world the whole works would look great nice and level.

Anyway I talked with our local towing specialist and he said adding bags could be done (the car has coils), would get the car level, would give a rougher ride, and would not improve handling and stability in our case.

Thxs for any thought or tips you have learned from your set up.
Attached Thumbnails
infiniti weit img_4557.jpg  
__________________
MC1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-17-2015, 12:24 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
FRED SMAILES's Avatar
 
Name: Fred
Trailer: 13 ft Boler
Kootenay's of BC
Posts: 624
Registry
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pineapple Man View Post
Anyone try these on mini-vans ? with 13's ?
We have a 13 Boler, towed with a Sienna Van.
We are off to Calif. in a couple weeks. It will be our first trip with
the Max Air 1000s in the rear coils.
They were cheap and easy to install, in a month or so I ll know if they stand up.
The van has a great ride in stock form and with the addition of the bags
aired to 35 psi the ride doesn't suffer too much even empty.
I wonder how long they will last
fred
Attached Thumbnails
IMG1172.jpg  
__________________
FRED SMAILES is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-17-2015, 01:17 PM   #11
Senior Member
 
Name: None
Trailer: None
None
Posts: 2,730
Quote:
Originally Posted by MC1 View Post
Steve... sounds good. Can I ask what your tow vehicle is? Did you find that the WDH alone was not enough? Just curious as to why you have both the WDH and the bags.

I am interested in your set up as I too considered adding bags to our set up. In our case with the WDH set up right we are right at (but not over) our front and rear axle ratings. I'm very fussy when it comes to set up etc and loaded ready for travel the butt of the car sits about 5/8 of an inch lower than I would like (see pic below). In a perfect world the whole works would look great nice and level.

Anyway I talked with our local towing specialist and he said adding bags could be done (the car has coils), would get the car level, would give a rougher ride, and would not improve handling and stability in our case.

Thxs for any thought or tips you have learned from your set up.

We have a 2014 Ram 1500 Big Horn Quad Cab- 5.7 ltr Hemi V8 -8 speed VF transmission - 3.92 rearend - 10,250 Lbs towing capacity -1480 Lbs payload capacity -6800 Lbs GVWR . I haul firewood in my truck bed and with a trailer (No WDH ) The coil suspension in my truck gives a great ride when driving unloaded but is a little squishy when loaded . The air bags make the truck drive/ haul better when hauling wood . My WDH was set up at the Casita factory for my trailer/ vehicle but the trailer was empty . I now use the air bags to do the final leveling when towing the Casita.. I don't haul wood all the time and for any great distances so I leave my WDH set up for the Casita instead of changing the settings back and forth
__________________
steve dunham is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-17-2015, 01:36 PM   #12
Senior Member
 
Carol H's Avatar
 
Name: Carol
Trailer: 22' Airstream Formerly 16' Scamp
British Columbia
Posts: 11,731
Registry
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
Don't many newer unibody vehicles say not to use WDH? My Pilot does. .
Yup they do, as well as some full time all wheel drive vehicles as well.
Carol H is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-17-2015, 02:01 PM   #13
Senior Member
 
Glenn Baglo's Avatar
 
Name: Glenn ( second 'n' is silent )
Trailer: 2009 Escape 17B '08 RAV4 SPORT V6
British Columbia
Posts: 4,369
The problem I have with these posts on WDH ( and other subjects ) is that a phrase like "does not recommend" becomes "must not" when it hits the interweb.
My RAV4, for instance has one sentence in the manual. It is printed in black on white. All other cautions and warnings are in black on yellow and some with warning symbols.
Attached Thumbnails
RAV manual 3.jpg   RAV manual 2.jpg  

__________________
What happens to the hole when the cheese is gone?
- Bertolt Brecht
Glenn Baglo is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-17-2015, 02:44 PM   #14
Senior Member
 
Jon in AZ's Avatar
 
Name: Jon
Trailer: 2008 Scamp 13 S1
Arizona
Posts: 5,565
Registry
Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenn Baglo View Post
The problem I have with these posts on WDH ( and other subjects ) is that a phrase like "does not recommend" becomes "must not" when it hits the inter web...
Made me check, and you are correct. It is a recommendation against, not a blanket prohibition, for my Pilot. Thanks for pointing that out.
__________________

__________________
Jon in AZ is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Do air bags help? Somey Towing, Hitching, Axles and Running Gear 11 03-11-2012 03:15 PM
Air Bag Suspension Installation / Tacoma Viron Barbay Towing, Hitching, Axles and Running Gear 6 08-26-2009 12:07 PM
Truck Air Bags with.......17' Casita Wiliam H Towing, Hitching, Axles and Running Gear 4 08-11-2009 06:05 PM
Load helpers/ Air Bags/ Timbrens Taylor Kissinger Towing, Hitching, Axles and Running Gear 2 03-15-2009 05:11 PM
Air bags vs. Helper springs on Chevy Astro Gary Little Towing, Hitching, Axles and Running Gear 8 09-21-2006 07:40 PM

» Upcoming Events
No events scheduled in
the next 465 days.
» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:05 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.