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Old 09-17-2006, 11:23 PM   #1
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Air bag suspension on TV instead of WD?

O.K. I did the search function and I still need an answer. Why are air bags on the back instead of a WD hitch a no no?

I'll admit I'm lazy and hate lugging that heavy dang hitch out to the truck when I go campin. I like the idea of addin air and bein on my way.

Before you suggest locking the hitch on the truck. I live in Los Angeles and no lock will stop the crooks in this town.

The vehicle facts:
Trailer is a Safari 25FB.
Truck is a '06 F250 Crew Cab short bed 4X4 PSD.
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Old 09-17-2006, 11:37 PM   #2
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ok goin' camping

answer these questions first?

1. airbags where?

2. do you understand what w/d does? explain it in 2-3 sentences.

3. what is that little 2inch box on the back of your truck and how is it rated?

then we can focus on your real question....

cheers
2air'
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Old 09-17-2006, 11:52 PM   #3
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ok times up!

just kidding of course.

here is a thread from another forum site...

http://www.rv.net/forum/index.cfm/fu...d/14265335.cfm

pretty good details on why...

also a thread on airbags, air suspension, load leveling suspensions and so on....

the woodalls rv forum also has a good thread/s on these issues.

http://www.woodalls.com/cforum/index...s/forum/40.cfm


cheers
2air'
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Old 09-18-2006, 12:55 AM   #4
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Short answer, the tow vehicle is like a tweeter totter with the fulcrum at the rear axle. The airbags do nothing to move weight back to the front tires. Most times a vehicle that is light in front isn't going to track down the road very well.

-Bernie
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Old 09-18-2006, 09:39 AM   #5
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I know how a WD hitch works.

Our friends who we go camping with tows a 22ft Komfort with a 2wd F350. He uses a Firestone airbag system on his rear axle with no WD,anti sway etc. He originally put in the airbags for his camper. I have not seen and he has denied any sway or other handeling problems. Of course by adding air he levels his unit. So I am wondering about this.
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Old 09-18-2006, 10:25 AM   #6
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I'm suprised he even needs to "level" a truck that heavy. I used to occasionally drive work trucks like that, and heavier, hauling construction equipment on flatbeds that were surely much heavier than a 22' camper. those trucks (350's and up) wouldn't sag a bit in the rear end. The rear axles and suspensions are more than stout enough to support that weight without unloading the front axle. different story with a half-ton.

OTOH...a friend of mine who tows a late model 19' bambi w/ a 3/4 ton behemoth has reported a big difference between using the wd hitch and without. I don't know if its from the rigidity of the connection and inherant anti-sway, or the WD effect itself, though.
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Old 09-18-2006, 12:11 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goin camping
I know how a WD hitch works.
a Firestone airbag system on his rear axle...I am wondering about this.
well gc if you know how wd works thats great.

when someone ask 'why' anything the degree of 'answer' depends on the questioners frame of reference.

airbags can go many places. they can part of the hitch, replace the tv front or rear springs, assist the current springs ft/rr...

air bags have little effect on sway or yaw...and neither does w/d...as you already know.

some hitch designs are w/d-anti sway indepenent. others anti sway depends on proper w/d setup...which is yours?

bags lift the rear, some wt shift occurs but not to the degree that properly rated and adjusted w/d can provide.

raising the rear is dynamically different than w/d which may lower the tv some but more evenly...so handling is different

link between tv/trailer is more vertically mobile with bags which affects other dynamics like braking, steering, cornering and so on.

bags need inflation and loose air. bags rupture. having had this happen on a moho...i don't recommend the experience.

bags don't increase axle capacity. bags change ride quality.

try'em. get some weight measures of your setup. see what really happens to the load at each axle. some folks are very happy with air bags.

back to the 2inch box...
what is the rating? how is it rated?
what does your airstream tongue weigh?
can your receiver tolerate your tongue load without w/d?

using air bags is not a no no...

like many issues related to towing...

it is a know-know...

cheers
2air'
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Old 09-18-2006, 01:00 PM   #8
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Goin Camping,
Curious what hitch system are you currently using?
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Old 09-18-2006, 02:53 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goin camping
I know how a WD hitch works.

Our friends who we go camping with tows a 22ft Komfort with a 2wd F350. He uses a Firestone airbag system on his rear axle with no WD,anti sway etc. He originally put in the airbags for his camper. I have not seen and he has denied any sway or other handeling problems. Of course by adding air he levels his unit. So I am wondering about this.
The WD system has been around for many years and seems to be the most efficient and economical way to solve the problem of a lite front end. Airbags have also be around a very long time as have air shocks, I would think that if they were the best way to solve a know problem we would be speaking of the different types and brands of airbags and air shocks to solve the problem.

I am always willing to learn something new and have a very open mind. If you feel that the airbags will work better, give them a try and provide some feedback. I am also very tired of hauling heavy bars and I am sure many here could buy some very fine accessories for what they have invested in their anti sway and hitching equipment. I will follow the thread to see what I can learn.

Jim
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Old 09-18-2006, 05:50 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AZstreamin
Goin Camping,
Curious what hitch system are you currently using?
My hitch is a Reese with the two square torsion bars. Works great. I have no complaints at all with it.

As to the other issues.

I am assuming that a 3/4 ton axle can withstand the tongue wieght which is less than what the axle is rated for. Yes I know assuming is dangerous. That is why I asked the question.

If the first assumption is valid (big if) Then the issue of front axle wieght comes into play. As stated in the original question it is a 4X4 with a diesel engine. So would the wieght of that balance out the tongue wieght on the back. Leaving me with a balanced unit?

Now 2Air gave some interesting and thought provoking information. To wit. The vertical elasticity and how that comes into play during cornering and braking. That is what I was looking for when I asked the question. The next time I pass by my truck I will see what the max tongue wieght for the hitch is.
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Old 09-18-2006, 06:47 PM   #11
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GC,

I have both!

I use an Equal-I-Zer hitch for my 19CCD and my Sprinter has Firestone air bags over the leaf springs at the rear. The hitch is initially set up with minimal air in the bags to properly transfer the tongue weight forward to the front axel and rearward to the trailer, as any quality WD hitch will do.

The bags are to compensate for the rear end sag that Sprinters experience when heavily loaded. When properly adjusted, the ride and handling are very nice. I just completed an 8500 mile cross country trip and was most pleased with the set-up! Air bags alone will NOT perform the functions of a WD hitch and certainly will do nothing for sway control.
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Old 09-18-2006, 09:10 PM   #12
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lewster ,i myslf have that same setup and air pressure is about 20 psi. The WD handles the load as intended ,the bags really are for abit of leveling if needed ,say if im not towing and have a load in the back ,i can air up good to go .I think you can have both ,but not rely heavily on the air bags doing
more than the WD is doing ,mostly the Wd should get the vehical and trailer
leveled out on its own ,I may have a load of firewood on board so I may
put another 10 psi in the bags or so to level the travelall out.

Scott
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Old 09-18-2006, 09:54 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goin camping
My hitch is a Reese with the two square torsion bars. Works great. I have no complaints at all with it.

As to the other issues.

I am assuming that a 3/4 ton axle can withstand the tongue weight which is less than what the axle is rated for.
GC I sure would think so....I believe we have the same trucks F250 PSD FX4 CC Shortbed don't have the specs at my finger tips. Do you have the tow package with class V receiver?

My real concern was by eliminating your Reese hitch system would that also eliminate your sway control? Also, don't know how air bags will impact the off road package you have on your truck.
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Old 09-18-2006, 10:28 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AZstreamin
GC I sure would think so....I believe we have the same trucks F250 PSD FX4 CC Shortbed don't have the specs at my finger tips. Do you have the tow package with class V receiver?

My real concern was by eliminating your Reese hitch system would that also eliminate your sway control? Also, don't know how air bags will impact the off road package you have on your truck.
AZ, Yep, we have the same truck. The proper legnth air bag should not impead the stock suspension travel or tear because of it.

You know I see a lot of folks towing all kinds of stuff that is alot heavier than an A/S w/o anything but a slide in hitch and they seem to be level and towing just fine and I wonder how. Since I don't see trailer carnage on the freeways on mmy travels through Ca. and Az I can only surmise that it is possible to tow without W/D and anti sway saftley.
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