- Installing Air Bags For Towing
- Ford Ranger Suspension Load Assists
- How Many On Here Run Airlift Air Bags On Their Trucks?
Installing Air Bags For Towing – This post may contain affiliate links. All our posts are written and reviewed by RV and travel experts. The Mortons on the Move writing team is all experienced campers and travelers. In addition, Tom and Cait Morton review all items and are RV technicians and consultants and live the RV lifestyle full time. They have also traveled the world for business and pleasure.
Vehicle suspension is a tricky subject for heavier vehicles. If you use your truck or SUV for towing or hauling, it’s good to understand the ins and outs of suspension. If your load is unevenly distributed, you may experience safety issues while driving.
Installing Air Bags For Towing
You may have heard about the different types of suspensions and aids available on the market. Airbag suspension is one of the most common additions to the options list, although it is not new. Let’s learn a little more about truck airbags.
Choosing Which Airbags Are Best For What You Tow And Haul
When you hear “airbags,” you might think of a few different things. First, the airbags that pop out of your car’s dashboard during a crash are not the same ones we’re talking about here. We’re also not talking about the air ride feature typically found on larger commercial vehicles. We’re talking about air assist bags that provide support to your spring suspension or provide lift above your leaf springs.
This type of airbag works to stabilize and level your vehicle when you add heavy loads. Whether you’re carrying a lot of gear, a trailer or a camper, the weight of your truck and the items you’re towing should be evenly distributed. If this is not the case, a delay will occur. Deceleration can affect the safety of your steering and braking system and the integrity of your rear axle.
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Auxiliary airbags are usually installed on top of or next to the existing springs in the vehicle. These bags are not designed to support the full weight of the vehicle itself, but instead support the existing springs. The kit you choose will come with a way to attach the bags to the vehicle frame.
Finally Installed Rear Air Bag Suspension!
This is an airbag we installed on our Ram 3500. Notice how it sits between the rear axle and the truck frame.
The airbags must then be connected to an air filling supply line. These lines can be connected to a built-in air pump or to a valve for an external air pump. Outdoor air filling is a cheaper option because you can use the same pump you use to inflate your tires, but it is not as fast as an on-board unit.
IMPORTANT: Although it is easiest to tie the airbags together into one tee on each side of the vehicle so that only one inflation is required, this is not recommended. The reason is that when the vehicle swings to one side, the air simply compresses to the other pocket. This can have a negative effect on the vehicle’s sway rather than a positive effect.
On our Ram 3500 we didn’t have a built-in air compressor and simply filled each airbag with the same pump we used to inflate our tires. These are the filling ports near the license plate at the back of the truck
Add Airbags To Help Tow
Depending on who makes your airbag suspension components, your system could last more than 100,000 miles. We have personally used our Firestone Ride Ritual for over 100,000 miles without a single leak. However, this was not for off-road use and more for highway stability. In terms of time, it should last about ten years before you need to replace the bags. It is usually more of a rubber degradation problem than a wear problem. Like tires, the bags will naturally deteriorate over time.
When choosing airbags for your truck, it all depends on the setup of your vehicle. You need to know what type of suspension system is already in place and what your truck’s engine can handle.
It wouldn’t be wise to install additional towing options if your truck’s engine isn’t up to the job. Make sure you take stock of all aspects of your new airbag setup before sinking all your money into a purchase.
Your truck model affects which airbag system is right for you. This is installed on a Ram 5500 truck with a service bed
Air Suspension Spring Bag Kit 5000lbs For Ford F 150 2wd 2015 2020
The best way to ensure you make the right choice is to do some research before putting your mind or your wallet to rest. Take a moment to review these top-rated truck airbags and use the information you gather to help you get a better idea of what your truck needs.
About: These adjustable air assist springs ensure that your load is level. And they give you more control and a more comfortable ride when towing. They help eliminate sagging, swaying and bottoming. The kit comes with everything you need to complete the installation. You’ll even get a handy manual to guide you through the process.
Features: LoadLifter 5000 kits can help tow the heaviest loads. They have a leveling capacity of up to 5,000 pounds and you can adjust them from 5 to 100 PSI. These airbags come with a limited lifetime warranty and a 60-day ride satisfaction guarantee.
About: Firestone’s Ride-Rite auxiliary spring kit works best for light trucks, vans and various RVs. These air springs have a weight capacity of between 3,200 and 5,000 pounds. The kit comes with everything you need to install, and Firestone has several kits available for a range of vehicles.
Ford Ranger Suspension Load Assists
Features: The Firestone Ride-Rite kit includes air springs, an air line, hardware, upper and lower brackets, inflation valves, push-to-connect air fittings and detailed instructions.
About: Waverspeed Loadlifter 5000 airbags help with load stability for Ford F250, 350 and 450 Super Duty 4×4 trucks. This kit specifically fits 2011 through 2014 models. It provides a leveling capacity of 5,000 pounds for trucks with leaf springs.
Features: This truck airbag kit reduces sag and rear bounce and can replace your factory bumper. However, we recommend professional installation for this kit.
About: This is one of the more expensive but very well equipped kits. It is installed on Chevy Silverado and Sierra 1500, year models 2007 through 2018. However, it will not fit on a truck with a rear stabilizer bar.
Hp10002 Alpha Hd Rear Air Suspension Kit For 2003 2020 Dodge Ram 1500 Mega Cab/2500/
Features: Airmaxxx Air Over Load Tow Kit has a leveling capacity of 5,000 pounds. It includes an air suspension compressor and fits most fifth wheel and gooseneck hitches.
About: The Pacbrake Alpha kit is a super heavy-duty air suspension assembly with a leveling capacity of 7,500 pounds. This truck airbag kit works for Dodge, Ford, GMC and Chevy pickup trucks. And it fits the three-quarter ton and one-ton pickups, making it a pretty flexible setup.
Features: Like any good kit, the Pacbrake air suspension kit comes with all the components you need to get it hooked up and running smoothly on your truck in no time.
About: The Timbren Suspension Enhancement kit is rated for a leveling capacity of 6,000 pounds. It’s a good investment for DIY truck owners, and you can install this kit with just a set of basic hand tools. It’s less expensive than the other setups on the list, at about $250 per unit.
How Many On Here Run Airlift Air Bags On Their Trucks?
Features: There is a lifetime warranty on this airbag suspension. And there are no air lines or fittings to allow leakage.
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Now that you know a little about airbag suspension, you can continue your journey in learning about proper towing safety. Adding airbags to your suspension system will evenly distribute the towing load and prevent your vehicle from sagging in the rear. And you can even prevent your rear axle from becoming overloaded or broken.
Do you think your truck would benefit from adding airbag suspension? Tell us your thoughts in the comments!
Need Help!! Airbags With A Gooseneck
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Very happy with the Timbren SES system on my truck. Really helped stabilize the ride with my RV. Good choice if you don’t want a compressor system.
@Mortons on the Move, I’m not happy with my airbags. When my truck is empty it doesn’t handle bumps well. There was no mention of this in the advertisement.
How do I use a built-in compressor without putting them together? Thank you. Any help is greatly appreciated. Daaf
Ford F 150: How To Install Airbag Suspension
@Mortons on the Move, tying the bags together won’t cause a swing and separating them won’t prevent it. Heavy duty trucks tie each axle to a single leveling valve and if that isn’t a problem, there is a top heavy duty dump truck with 3/4 inch lines. for an additional suspension with 1/4 inch lines it will not be a problem.
You can use two separate lines with two separate fill valves, or valves to plain
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