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Old 09-03-2011, 11:34 AM   #1
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2012 23' FB International
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Treating my AS to a soft ride

Mr. Newby here with a question. I've just bought a 25 FB Inter. and the TV is an 08 Tundra extended cab/61/2' bed. Am a complete stranger to towing but have had a wonderful experience on this site. My question revolves around multiple posts addressing reduced shock loads to the trailer while towing. I know there are pillow-like airbags that are placed at the rear axle. Do these devices increase spring rate or simply dampen shock loads? If they are a significant help at protecting the AS, does anyone have a recommendation for a particular brand? Also, but off the subject, if one is hooking up at an RV site and the electrical outlet is rated at 50 amps is it safe for my outfit? I assume that there is no higher draw from my trailer than the 30 amp that the ac or other 110v needed. Thanks for your collective help!
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Old 09-03-2011, 11:43 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Luftnoggin View Post
Mr. Newby here with a question. I've just bought a 25 FB Inter. and the TV is an 08 Tundra extended cab/61/2' bed. Am a complete stranger to towing but have had a wonderful experience on this site. My question revolves around multiple posts addressing reduced shock loads to the trailer while towing. I know there are pillow-like airbags that are placed at the rear axle. Do these devices increase spring rate or simply dampen shock loads? If they are a significant help at protecting the AS, does anyone have a recommendation for a particular brand? Also, but off the subject, if one is hooking up at an RV site and the electrical outlet is rated at 50 amps is it safe for my outfit? I assume that there is no higher draw from my trailer than the 30 amp that the ac or other 110v needed. Thanks for your collective help!
Air bags and/or air shocks, DEFEAT the purpose of a load equalizing hitch, when the air pressure is above absolute minimum, since they will carry the load and prohibit the hitch bars from transfering that load.

The master circuit breaker for the 120 VAC, is rated at 30 amps, making that the maximum current that can be drawn by the trailer.

Andy
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Old 09-03-2011, 11:44 AM   #3
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There has been lot of discussion about the shock loads. From what I read I could not conclusively say an Air Safe hitch or equiv. or truck airbags would improve the shock loading in the trailer. Most likely the bulk of the shock loading comes through the trailer's own tires and suspension. It may improve the ride in the truck and I can't see it hurting the ride in the trailer. So my thought is money no object, it may help and can't hurt. I didn't modify the suspension in my Tundra and it pulls my 25' smoothly. I'd suggest you try it without modifications.

What I do to minimize shock loads is to drive at the slow end of the spectrum (55-60), run the tires a little lower than some here (55 psi) and replace the tires on a more frequent schedule than some. Balance of the tires is important, research Centramatics. I also attempt to avoid known bad roads, and slow down on unavoidable ones.

To keep it in perspective, there are some users here with very high mileage on their trailers with little or no damage from shock loads. Users who have traveled Alaska highway, or generally the good, bad, and ugly of US roads.

Your 30 amp plug will not fit into a 50 amp outlet. If the site has 50 amp service, there will also be a 30 amp outlet. 30 amp is the most common electrical RV hookup.
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Old 09-03-2011, 11:48 AM   #4
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There has been lot of discussion about the shock loads. From what I read I could not conclusively say an Air Safe hitch or equiv. or truck airbags would improve the shock loading in the trailer. It may improve the ride in the truck and I can't see it hurting the ride in the trailer. So my thought is money no object, it may help and can't hurt.

What I do to minimize shock loads is to drive at the slow end of the spectrum (55-60), run the tires a little lower than some here (55 psi) and replace the tires on a more frequent schedule than some. Balance of the tires is important, research Centramatics. I also attempt to avoid known bad roads, and slow down on unavoidable ones.

To keep it in perspective, there are some users here with very high mileage on their trailers with little or no damage from shock loads. Users who have traveled Alaska highway, or generally the good, bad, and ugly of US roads.

Your 30 amp plug will not fit into a 50 amp outlet. If the site has 50 amp service, there will also be a 30 amp outlet. 30 amp is the most common electrical RV hookup.
Some sites only have a 50 amp hookup. For these, you can get a 50 amp to 30 amp adapter, or "dogbone". I keep one in my strorage compartment...have had to use it only twice, but when you need it, you need it.
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Old 09-03-2011, 12:11 PM   #5
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Welcome to the forum Luftnoggin.

Also, in some older parks there may be only a 20 amp service. An addapter is available.

My experience with air shocks and air bags has been that mine had failure to retain air pressure, in two different vehicles. It's just something else to maintain. I think you will be ok without. And, maybe safer without! The WD hitch is a must have.
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Old 09-03-2011, 01:08 PM   #6
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Just another opinion to be taken with a grain of salt, but reducing tire pressure on your Airstream may give a softer ride, but it opens up the possibility other more serious problems. Checkout numerous forum threads on tire failures to read others' horror stories.

For trailers, Airstream and most tire stores recommend running the maximum rated tire pressure printed on the sidewalls; e.g., LR-D = 65 psi, LR-E = 80 psi. In the southwest desert, I personally wouldn't consider running anything less.
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Old 09-03-2011, 01:52 PM   #7
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Been trying to understand this since I tow a 25' trailer with a very stiff truck, Dodge 2500. It seems to me the critical component must be the load bars. Sure, the truck rides rough. But that also means it does not displace as much as one with softer springs. I just do not see how reducing the motion of the truck on a bump is going to translate to more load or shock on the trailer. I do see how stiff load bars would put more load back to the trailer frame when going through dips. I do not think you really have to worry much about the truck beating up the trailer if you use the reccomended load bars. If this is dead wrong, I would be glad to have someone explain it to me.
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Old 09-03-2011, 03:17 PM   #8
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Some sites only have a 50 amp hookup. For these, you can get a 50 amp to 30 amp adapter, or "dogbone". I keep one in my storage compartment...have had to use it only twice, but when you need it, you need it.
Just last week, I put in at a site that had a bad 30a breaker on the post. It was either rehitch and move or use the dogbone adapter. I chose the latter.

When I am pulling a lot of current (AC or heat pump plus water heater), I often use the dogbone and plug in to 50a instead of 30a on the post. That way, if a breaker ever pops, it will be the breaker inside the trailer and not the one on the post. Much more convenient. Also, in hot summer, when the voltage tends to get a bit low, the 50A is usually a volt or two higher.
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Old 09-03-2011, 03:20 PM   #9
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Just last week, I put in at a site that had a bad 30a breaker on the post. It was either rehitch and move or use the dogbone adapter. I chose the latter.

When I am pulling a lot of current (AC or heat pump plus water heater), I often use the dogbone and plug in to 50a instead of 30a on the post. That way, if a breaker ever pops, it will be the breaker inside the trailer and not the one on the post. Much more convenient. Also, in hot summer, when the voltage tends to get a bit low, the 50A is usually a volt or two higher.
Yup, I've noticed the voltage diff. before too.
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Old 09-03-2011, 04:38 PM   #10
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Bag it

Hi Luftnoggin,

We towed our 25fb for three years before I decided to install the airbags (Firestone RideRite). I had a hard time getting the rear of the Tundra high enough with just the weight distribution bars(Equal-i-zer 1000#), and the drag of the bars on the brackets affected the steering. The bags allow more suspension travel, and the ride is quite a bit better, especially over big dips. The airbags will change the weight transfer setting a little, but it's not hard to dial it back in. I also have Rancho adjustable shocks because the factory shocks on the Tundra were pretty weak. It takes a little time to tweak all the variables, but this setup works best for us because we usually carry a lot of gear when we go camping.

Welcome to the forums!

Terry
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Old 09-03-2011, 07:55 PM   #11
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I tow with an '08 Tundra with the 5.7 V8. I also have the TRD suspension and I have no problems with my set up. I use an Equalizer hitch, 10K bars and have it dialed in lightly. My rear end sits down just a tad over an inch and the front is basically the same as when unhitched. I do not take loads of stuff when camping and my "ride" is smooth. I don't have to deal with open drawers and/or popped rivets.

If I wanted to load more in the bed I might look into the air springs, but for now, I like my setup.
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Old 09-03-2011, 08:58 PM   #12
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I have an 08 sequoia and put the firestone air bags in the rear springs. Two reasons

1: it rides better with ten psi not so much bounce
2: my rear end went down with the trailer and I had to crank the equalizer down hard to get it level which put a lot of stress on the trailer frame.

Also when I put new axles and shocks on the trailer the ride of the tv was a lot better. Didn't feel the bumps and jolts as much.
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Old 09-03-2011, 10:42 PM   #13
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My two cents..... don't spend 'em on air-bags.
On a conventional suspension the springs are what control compliance, want a softer ride?, put in softer springs.

Bob
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Old 09-04-2011, 12:28 AM   #14
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Air bags

Rollertoaster,
Its me, Luftnoggin, I.e. Air Head! Otherwise known as HM The Dog! Terry, that post was from your friend J. Crowder. Not doing and end run around your input but trying to understand the dynamics of towing and balanced loads! Let's part the wind together in the near future.
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