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Old 09-17-2013, 01:26 PM   #1
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2012 16' International
Morro bay , California
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 3
Air Shocks

I am pulling a 19 foot Bambi with a Toyota Highlander. When I first installed the hitch, the trailer caused the back end to really sag even though the Bambi is not terribly heavy and well within the towing range of the Highlander. On a recent trip over the Tioga Pass it did fine. I have installed an equalizer which has greatly helped, especially on corners. However, there is still a sag between the trailer and hitch. I asked my dealer about installing air shocks. I was told they were not designed for weight distribution and that they do not recommend them. My problem is not great, but I do feel the vehicle and trailer fighting with one another when I go over bumps. Does anyone have any words of wisdom?


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Old 09-17-2013, 02:48 PM   #2
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You may need some help fine tuning the hitch head angle and the leverage arms.

I removed all the steel spring parts front and rear and went with a level ride air suspension on the truck (air bags front and rear with regular shocks). The rear air bags have expansion tanks to help cushion bumps even more. Air shocks do not change the spring ratings or axle ratings and if over inflated can make for an even stiffer ride.

Determine your actual tongue weight with scales. The factory literature tongue weight numbers are usually very low as compared to the reality. The 450 pound number could be closer to 650 or 700 pounds depending on the hitch you are using.

As an example, our 25FB International Serenity has a literature tongue weight of 833 pounds, but with the Hensley hitch head installed at the dealership with full propane tanks, the Shurline scale reported a 1,150 pound tongue weight.

You might find you are overloading the hitch on the Highlander.

Good luck in your research.

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Old 09-21-2013, 09:38 PM   #3
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Brigham City , Utah
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I think you also may need to adjust the height of the hitch ball in addition adjusting the spring bars. I suggest considering Firestone or AirLift air bags. We use them on our 2010 Armada SE, and they provide just the right amount of additional support. We keep our Airstream's weight to about 8,500# to stay well within our GCWR of 15,100#.

Good luck
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Old 09-22-2013, 04:15 PM   #4
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Avoid air shocks-the shock mounts were never intended to support weight.Air bags can come in handy if the springs are too light.They do add one more item to be concerned with as a maintenance item
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Old 09-22-2013, 04:30 PM   #5

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Zanadude Nebula , Milky Way
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Thumbs up Get your weights...

They are not "air shocks", they are air lift bags and do nothing to aid in weight distribution.
If you can't get your rig level with your WD bars there is something that needs to be addressed with your hitch set-up.

What information do you get from your CAT scale tickets?

Hard to advise anything without the needed information.



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