trip/airbags - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-29-2006, 12:16 PM   #1
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Trailer: Scamp
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Well I'm back from CA. 4200 miles and only 1 scamp 16 ft green logo in Buffalo WY.

My sienna is low so I welded on a set of wheels on the hitch which saved me countless scraping. In fact the tongue jack hit sometimes. so i took it off and installed a side swivel jack. The Scamp rides close to level A little down in front.
I have heard about airbags. My query is how much will airbags raise the sienna and what pressure? What are the pros and cons? Thanks for advice.
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Old 04-29-2006, 04:55 PM   #2
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Trailer: Trillium
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Quote:
Well I'm back from CA. 4200 miles and only 1 scamp 16 ft green logo in Buffalo WY.

My sienna is low so I welded on a set of wheels on the hitch which saved me countless scraping. In fact the tongue jack hit sometimes. so i took it off and installed a side swivel jack. The Scamp rides close to level A little down in front.
I have heard about airbags. My query is how much will airbags raise the sienna and what pressure? What are the pros and cons? Thanks for advice.

I put ezlift air bags inside my coils on my 1995 Lumina mini van, because the factory air shocks wouldn't hold up the tongue weight ( they were leaking bad).
they didn't add to the height of the van, but, most important, with 20 psi in the bags the tongue weight of my 17 foot trillium didn't make the van sag at all. For regular driving, i left them set at about 6psi. I like them so well, I am going out to remove them from my burnt van, and put them in my newer(to me) duplicate van. the only thing I ever found was that if you left them at 20 psi, the van rode a little stiff with no trailer on.
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Old 04-29-2006, 06:40 PM   #3
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Trailer: 84 16 ft Scamp
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Several years ago I removed 3 of the 5 leafs in each of the leaf springs on my 83 diesel Jimmy and added a Firestone auxiliary air suspension system. It sure tamed the rear axle jump on highway seams.

I keep about 30 psi in solo and go up to 90 psi when towing a large trailer or about 50 for the Scamp. That keeps the rear ride height about right.

To make the zerk fittings accessible, I drilled holes in the rear bumper on each side of the license plate. Then I have a decent sized portable 12vdc compressor staged alongside the spare wheel/tire in the back.
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Old 04-30-2006, 07:27 PM   #4
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Name: Brian
Trailer: Boler (B1700RGH) 1979
Alberta
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I have a 2004 Sienna with Firestone Coil-Rite air bags added inside the rear coil springs. For my use, it's almost all "pros", with the only "con" being leakage from the fittings if you don't get the tubing inserted into them just right.

Generally, the idea of the air bags is to allow the suspension to ride at the same height with a heavy load as it would normally with a lighter load. The rear is supposed to come down somewhat with load (almost every truck or van sits rear-end-high when empty), and the extra spring force of the air bags reduces the amount of drop. I load up my Sienna with our cargo (which drops the rear suspension mildly), hook up the trailer (with about 300 lb of tongue weight), and pump up the air bags to restore approximately the height I was at with cargo but before trailer. It sits level, and that takes about 20 PSI of air.

The fittings for most add-in bags are regular tire valves. I mounted mine (separate for each side) together on a bracket which is strapped to my hitch frame.

Please keep in mind that additional springs do not increase the load capacity of the vehicle or the axle, but I find that they do really help, both to maintain appropriate ride height and to add stiffness for better control.

I suggest that Sienna owners also check out SiennaClub.org for everything you ever wanted to know about Siennas... and more. There's really nothing unusual about the vehicle, but the reality of the internet today is that there's a forum for just about anything.

One last bit of Sienna trivia: in a comparison test, someone I know found that the Sienna rear dropped less under the same test trailer load than its two major competitors, but owners complained more. It seems that the curved roof line makes it look like it's drooping more. I know that dragging the rear is a real problem (I dragged the hitch leaving a trailer dealer for a test pull with a friend's Sienna), but it is for all vehicles of this type, which is why air suspension is such a good idea.
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