Airbags for towing?

gwittman

Adventurer
Martin, I have used Airlift bags on the rear of two different Rangers for a total time of around 25 years. They are great for towing and Overlanding. Air does need to be in them at low pressure when not loaded because they can collapse and the folding can cause damage to the bag. This is not a big problem but the pressure should be checked occasionally. They do need to be replace periodically but last a pretty long time and they are not that expensive.
They really stabilize the rear of the vehicle as well as eliminate excessive sag in the rear. I highly recommend them over any other means of stiffening the rear. I have tried Add-a-Leaf springs and that makes the ride terrible when not loaded and does not stop sag when loaded heavily. I know you have coil springs but AOLs would be the equivalent of installing stiffer coils.
 

kojackJKU

Autism Family Travellers!
They are good if you are loaded all the time. but why put something in that's harsh when unloaded? airbags are ideal.
 

chilliwak

Expedition Leader
.
As KojackJKU already pointed out, 1500 Suburbans have coils, not leafs. ;) Anyway, the only time I need the extra capacity is when I'm towing - I don't want a stiffer spring that is going to make the truck ride like a buckboard when I'm not pulling the trailer, especially since our vacations usually consist of us driving somewhere, setting up a camp and then spending several days driving around (without the trailer) seeing and doing stuff.

Ahh yes. Funny how our trucks evolve from a leaf to coil suspension. I remember back in the 60s when some pick ups had coil rear suspension. I guess if you only need it for towing it might suit your needs best. I have just seen so many trucks on the trail left cripled because of defective or punctured air bags. Good luck with your upgrades. Cheers, Chilli...:wings:
 

gwittman

Adventurer
The helper air bags just help with the load. If one gets damaged you can still drive the vehicle. I have damaged one before by hitting a deep pot hole at high speed with a heavy load. I was able to keep driving until I could find a place to pull over and fix the problem. I too carry a spare air bag for such occasions.
 

Burb One

Adventurer
I wanted airbags but for my lift kit they didn't sell tall enough air bags, so I went with these and am 100% happy. I would like to have the on the fly adjustability of air springs, but these may be a better maintenanceless solution.

http://www.supersprings.com/products/coil-sumosprings/

Their customer service was very good, answered the phone and directed me to the correct model after some measurements.
 

kojackJKU

Autism Family Travellers!
Did you contact airlift directly? They have TONS of different options that are not listed. Pretty well, measure your spring, they have something to fit.
 
Rather than going with airbags, have you considered using a good weight distribution hitch? From the photos I saw, it did not appear that you had one. I have a 1 ton truck that does have airbags for use with the 3,300 lb truck camper, but with the trailer hooked up, the airbags are down to their minimum pressure. Our trailer is roughly 7,500 lbs fully loaded, with a tongue weight of 900+ lbs. A side benefit is sway control. Putting weight back on the front wheels is not a bad thing. Anderson and Blue Ox hitches seem to be effective and quiet (ours is noisy).
 

BigTex

Observer
Martin-
I ran those Airlift 1000 bags on my 2005 Z71 burb, and they worked really well. I too, only used them for towing. I routed the airline along the fuel fill tube, and terminated the Schrader valve in an existing hole inside the gas door next to the fuel fill. I didn't have to drill any holes, and the valve was hidden/protected. It was pretty slick. It's also fun to watch people's reactions when you open the gas door, hold up an air hose, then watch the back of the truck raise up a couple of inches!! Good luck, it took me about an hour and a half to do both sides, but I went ahead and pulled the coils out. The bags were pretty rigid rubber, and it was easier to do not laying on my back under the truck.
 

Martinjmpr

Wiffleball Batter
Rather than going with airbags, have you considered using a good weight distribution hitch? From the photos I saw, it did not appear that you had one. I have a 1 ton truck that does have airbags for use with the 3,300 lb truck camper, but with the trailer hooked up, the airbags are down to their minimum pressure. Our trailer is roughly 7,500 lbs fully loaded, with a tongue weight of 900+ lbs. A side benefit is sway control. Putting weight back on the front wheels is not a bad thing. Anderson and Blue Ox hitches seem to be effective and quiet (ours is noisy).
.
Given the relatively low weight of our trailer (2000# and probably 250 - 300# tongue weight) I think a WD hitch would be overkill for us. If we ever get that Airstream my wife won't stop talking about, a WD hitch will probably be necessary. ;)
.
Martin-
I ran those Airlift 1000 bags on my 2005 Z71 burb, and they worked really well. I too, only used them for towing. I routed the airline along the fuel fill tube, and terminated the Schrader valve in an existing hole inside the gas door next to the fuel fill. I didn't have to drill any holes, and the valve was hidden/protected. It was pretty slick. It's also fun to watch people's reactions when you open the gas door, hold up an air hose, then watch the back of the truck raise up a couple of inches!! Good luck, it took me about an hour and a half to do both sides, but I went ahead and pulled the coils out. The bags were pretty rigid rubber, and it was easier to do not laying on my back under the truck.
.
Ah, that sounds like a slick arrangement and even better, no laying or crawling on the ground to air up/down. :26_7_2:
 

mccustomize

Explorer
I used a Hellwig system on my Silverado, with some modification due to the lift height/suspension travel.

Daystar makes these slick floating bottom brackets that allow for full droop on long travel vehicles without damaging the airbag.
AirBagCradle.jpg


Then I used airlift spacers to keep it at the correct height.
AL52150_1000.jpg


One thing to keep in mind is if you "T" the lines from both bags together you are effectively eliminating much of what helps keep your vehicle stable. When the lines are T'eed together and you go around a corner air is transferred from the bag under compression to the inside bag which results in less stability. If you run them on separate lines it keeps the pressure in each bag constant with keeps the bag in compression stable under cornering loads.
 

Forum statistics

Threads
186,185
Messages
2,883,039
Members
226,050
Latest member
Breezy78
Top