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Old 08-26-2017, 07:36 AM   #1
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1997 34' Limited
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Airsafe Hitch on '17 Ram 2500 4X4

I have been thinking of purchasing an Airsafe hitch. I had access to a Class V Airsafe and also airsafe's 14" drop shank for the weight distribution mount. I mocked it up on my truck and even in the lowest settings I could not get my ball height anywhere near my usual 19 1/2". I missed by a good 3 inches. Have the new trucks gotten too tall for this to work properly or am I missing something.

As of now I have not purchased anything as it didn't look like it would work.
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Old 08-26-2017, 08:13 AM   #2
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Did you put the full weight of the trailer on the ball? Your truck will drop when weight is applied.On my 2017 F350 I am on the second hole from the bottom.
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Old 08-26-2017, 08:46 AM   #3
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No, when I saw it was that far off I did not go any farther. I no longer have access to the AirSafe so I can not try it again. Just curious, when you set yours up what was the ball height prior to dropping the trailer weight on it.

I think the "17 Ford F-350 is taller than my Ram. Maybe there is still hope.
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Old 08-26-2017, 09:57 AM   #4
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You've a tridem axle trailer. That's a lower tongue weight than if tandem. Designed this way for this purpose.

As a half ton could do the job, now you're worried about beating up the TT with a stiff truck suspension? Don't you carry over a thousand pounds in the back of that truck all the time?

First step is ideal TV tire pressure. This will be found by use of a certified, three-segment truck scale. CAT Scale is a national chain with both locator and user phone apps.

Assuming you're using a WD hitch with integrated anti-sway, set that to best effect with scale-derived values (other threads) with full fuel, passenger weight equivalent and full propane and fresh water in trailer. Ideally, both vehicles loaded as if for camping.

Take the rig across again with one tire off pads to find the heaviest load per wheel on each axle, front and rear. The heaviest loaded tire determines pressure for that axle.

Remaining inside the vehicle manufacturers tire pressure range, use the lowest number per the tire manufacturer Load & Pressure Table.

Test by running the combined rig about 1.5-hrs at a steady-state speed, and make a planned exit into a rest area, etc, coming to the lightest stop reasonable.

Check tire pressure. If, from cold measurement that morning, pressure rise is no more than 5-7%, you're good. 10% means it needs more air (try 5-psi on LT Range E tires).

Re-test as needed.

Somewhere near that verified "safe" number is the ideal TV tire pressure for your truck (TT should be to sidewall maximum).

An Airsafe is a gimmick. Offers no advantage to handling, either. Just the opposite. Which with that truck you should worry. The trailer is more stable than the truck. Same with tire pressure that is too high. Bad thing. If you have to spend money, then a Pro Pride or Hensley Arrow hitch is a far better use.

Maximum TV tire contact patch trumps other considerations, and, happily, coincides with softest ride. (Get this, first.)

FWIW, this what I've had to do not only with my personal rig, but in signing on with a tanker firm where no one had established ideal tire pressures. 5-psi on these giant 120-psi Michelin singles is significant. I've gone thru it several times and then had to find a shop that could alter my automatic trailer tire inflation system per factory method. After consults with Michelin, other tanker drivers/firms, etc.

See posts by CapriRacer and Tireman9, two tire engineers who post here. Before you spend money on a gimmick likely not needed, tire pressure is basic.

A high quality digital gauge, or a calibrated Longacre Racing mechanical gauge is needed (to go with the torque wrench you must use on each trailer lug nut every time you move the trailer). As your trailer is older, research the threads on axle replacement. It's a measurement. Trailer ride quality depends on this.

And change the truck shocks to Bilstein. Don't wait. The higher the quality in that brand line, the better. Not optional, you'll find. (Fox or King brands if you want to spend).

Good luck!


.
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Old 08-26-2017, 06:16 PM   #5
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We use a Class VI AirSafe with 12" drop shank with Equal-i-zer WD combo on our '15 Ram 3500 Cummins (Club Cab and Long Bed) - works great. Our AS is a 27FB Classic (9k GVW, around 980 tongue weight). Everything level, combined vehicle weights with tools, full tanks and running gear at around 17,000 lbs. Based on our experience, I highly recommend this combination - great handling and never a pillow out of place or drawer/cabinet opened!

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Old 08-27-2017, 04:14 PM   #6
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Wrong of me to call this a gimmick. Makes it sound like it doesn't work. I'd imagine it does.

But lengthening drawbar never a good idea. As well as adding potential weak links.

Tire testing after WD testing.

Anyone running around with a near empty truck bed (under 1k) is adding a bandaid. Should have been a better TV choice.

No one would say my Dodge rides all that well, but the above takes most of the problem away (I'm usually at gross when hitched).

Best aftermarket shocks are the other part.

Start simple. Get numbers, and test.
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Old 08-27-2017, 07:00 PM   #7
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Airsafe Hitch on '17 Ram 2500 4X4

The advantage of the Airsafe hitch has nothing to do with shocks or tire pressure or even a towing with 3/4 or 1 ton truck.If you had towed with one you would understand.

Sorry but your foolishness of posting BS on this forum is getting old.........

Your a CanAm follower and I get that,good for you,but not everyone here wants to hear this ranting and raving that you and the other followers on this forum keep repeating over and over.we don't all drink the Can am Coolade,sorry. Running down other people's vehicle choices and their equipment seems to be your strong point and actually knowledge on some of these threads is your week point.

Pretty sad Slowmover.
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Old 08-27-2017, 07:43 PM   #8
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Air Safe

I have had a Air Safe hitch for four years. 2011 Dodge 3/4 ton two wheel drive.
Very happy with performance, no open drawers, everything where we left it and problems with hitch at all. YMMV.
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Old 08-27-2017, 08:31 PM   #9
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AirSafe

We have had AirSafe Class V for 3 years. 2015 Chev HD2500 with equalizer set up. Couldn't be happier. Contact AirSafe with what you have and ball height and they can get you what you need. They are great people to work with.
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Old 08-27-2017, 08:34 PM   #10
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AirSafe

Also a plus for me is that I can open the truck tailgate with the Airstream hooked up with the AirSafe hitch where I could not with a standard hitch.
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Old 08-28-2017, 05:05 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moflash View Post
The advantage of the Airsafe hitch has nothing to do with shocks or tire pressure or even a towing with 3/4 or 1 ton truck.If you had towed with one you would understand.

Sorry but your foolishness of posting BS on this forum is getting old.........

Your a CanAm follower and I get that,good for you,but not everyone here wants to hear this ranting and raving that you and the other followers on this forum keep repeating over and over.we don't all drink the Can am Coolade,sorry. Running down other people's vehicle choices and their equipment seems to be your strong point and actually knowledge on some of these threads is your week point.

Pretty sad Slowmover.
A longer drawbar is better? Show us. It increases risk, it does not diminish it.

And unlike you I've done this more than forty years. But unlike Can Am I don't have videos and published articles to lay it out.

You made a bad TV choice. Now it needs a bandaid. Makes a bad thing even worse. Upsets you others point that out.

You wanted it , you got it. But I doubt you did the preparatory work to allay the bad ride problem.

I'm sure mine doesn't ride as well as yours solo, empty. But it stays loaded and it doesn't occur to me that I need a bandaid to fix a ride problem when WD and tire pressure are the answers.

Try to stay to the technical part.
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Old 08-28-2017, 11:10 AM   #12
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Airsafe Hitch on '17 Ram 2500 4X4

Lol.... I believe your Hensley arrow hitch listed on your profile increases your draw bar length about the same as a Airsafe hitch.But that's ok

Please tell us all about your current tow vehicle Slowmover.

Actually my tow vehicle rides great loaded and unloaded.So does my Airstream.
This is my 3rd F350 in this exact configuration in the last 6 years and I would not change a thing.We pull 15k to 20k per year in all terrains.
The bandaid fix comes to those who choose to pull with a under rated vehicle not designed for the application.
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Old 08-28-2017, 06:27 PM   #13
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Last summer, we went from Seattle to the Internat'l Rally in WVA. By the time we got there, the microwave had fallen on the floor twice and occasional rivets had popped and were missing. I then ordered a Class 5 AirSafe & long dropbar and had them shipped to my home, in Seattle, where I installed them upon my return. The AS now rides much smoother, with nothing dropped on the floor & all rivets remaining intact.

Proviso: I was unable to attach my Blue Ox to the lowest holes in the AirSafe and keep the trailer level. Therefore, I bought a 12 inch piece of 1/2 inch by 6 inch steel plate, drilled appropriate holes in it, painted it black, and bolted it between the AirSafe and the Blue Ox, resulting in the trailer's now dropping down to level.

I have also mounted a camera at the bottom of the tailgate, directed at the A-frame of the trailer. It's really instructive to watch the camera as the truck rides over potholes etc --- instead of violent jarring, the AirSafe simply damps the vertical oscillation, resulting in a noticeably smoother ride. All the AirSafe is is simply a one-airbag vertical shock absorber, but it does absorb and damp down much of those vertical shocks.

For me, the big downside of the AirSafe/Blue Ox combination is that it likely weighs over 100 lbs, so getting it off the ground and into the truck's 2 inch receiver is a real task for this 74-yr old codger. I did get it up there and in, eventually, but I have not removed it since.

Note: 2015 Ram/Cummins 2500 crewcab shortbed with 2016 AS FC 27 RB.
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Old 08-31-2017, 11:57 AM   #14
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I believe I weighted my Class5 AirSafe at about 75 pounds a few years ago. It is a heavily constructed device, built to last while in heavy-towing service.

I bought it new about 10 years ago because I was experiencing some popped rivets and skin tearing on my Airstream which was blamed on the heavy springs of my F250 at the time, I believe by Andy in California. Since I began using the AirSafe, all such problems disappeared.

If, as Slowmover says, it is only a "gimmick," it is one that really does work as advertised.
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