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Old 04-21-2010, 07:08 AM   #43
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LarryC, I'm not surprised at your favorable report and observations about the AirSafe. I've experienced exactly the same sensations since I got mine about five years ago. I equate it to the difference between being hit on the chest with a sledgehammer with only a steel plate protecting you, and being hit with that sledehammer with a beachball protecting you. The foot-pounds of force may be the same, but the effects are quite different.

I agree that the weight-transfer situation with a heavy-duty truck is not as inflexible as some may assume. I found this out on a 5000-mile crosscountry trip a couple of years ago. I was about 100 miles into the trip when one of my weight-transfer bars fell off and started clanking on the road. It was a failure of the retaining clip. I took both bars off, planning to get a replacement up the road. But lo and behold, the truck and trailer rode and handled so well that I finished the trip without the bars.

My F250 handled my 800-pound hitch weight very well. I know that some weight is taken off the front axle (which actually has relatively little more extra capacity to handle weight anyway), but with my 1000-pound cast-iron diesel engine sitting way up there, my front axle weight is about the same as a gasser F250 is without the hitch weight.

I found that my rig handles very well without weight-distributing bars on my 6000-pound trailer, but I still use the bars when the mood strikes me. I don't depend on the weight-transfer bars for my sway control, because I use two of the classic sliding-bar sway control devices with excellent no-sway results.

I too have found with my 800-pound hitch weight, about 45 to 50 pounds in the AirSafe brings the hitch to the OK level. When I hauled a new 36-foot triple-axle trailer for 150 miles home for my son the other day, I did not know the hitch weight, but the hitch took 70 pounds of pressure to bring it to the OK level. The ride home was smooth as silk. When we got home, I got my scale and weighed the trailer's hitch weight, and it was 1150 pounds. Although I don't intend to load my ClassV AirSafe to its maximum rated load of 1400 pounds, if I did, it would probably require near the maximum rated pressure of 100 psi to get the job done.

As I've said before on this forum, the AirSafe delivers exactly what their website promises, no matter what the beer-swigging paper-napkin philosophers and doodlers may say :-)

Best of luck on your great Alaskan trip. I bet you'll be mighty glad you've got those big Firestone airbags on that AirSafe working for you. As bad as the Interstates get in the lower 48, I'll bet Canada's and Alaska's frost-heaves will make them look mild.

Thanks for your operator's report. And please let us know how you do in Alaska when you return.
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Old 04-21-2010, 12:56 PM   #44
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We're getting more and more anxious to get on the way....gotta take care important things now, like putting new line on the reels and getting some new tackle for one of the salmon runs...
I have internet access, so will keep ya'll posted as the trip progresses. We've got a lot of stops to make on the way, visiting people whom I used to work with...
Have a good day..
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Old 05-17-2010, 08:51 PM   #45
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Hey ya'll, here's an update on the AirSafe hitch I bought shortly after I started this thread. We left for the Alaska adventure on Tuesday, May 11. After the initial leg of the trip, we are now in southern Indiana, with about 900 miles of experience with the AirSafe.
About the only thing I can say is that after pulling trailers around the country for the past 35+ years, I sincerely wish I would have bought one of these years ago. It's fantastic, and that's an understatement. Expansion joints, etc on the interstates are finally smoothed out, the dips and bumps are minimized....
To say the least I would recommend one to anyone...
Larry C
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Old 05-17-2010, 09:00 PM   #46
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Hello Larry,

Glad to hear the purchase was worth it. Can you post some pictures of the setup?

Enjoy your trip.. sounds great.

Vin
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Old 05-20-2010, 09:02 AM   #47
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Photos of my AirSafe setup

Here are 4 pix of the AirSafe on my Dodge/Cummins/30' Excella. These were taken upon arrival at the Elkhart County Fairgrounds campground yesterday afternoon. (A really great public campground by the way)
It appears on the pictures that the "tilt" of the ball slopes downward. This is not the case, as the truck/trailer is backed into a site that is a but uphill.
There is 42 psi in the airbag, and the w/d bars are in the 5th link. I've been experimenting on various pressures and bar tensions, I'm still not finally decided on 5 or 6 links. A little better ride with 6, but for some reason I think I like 5 links better.
We've got 1,000 miles of experience with the Airsafe, I really wish I would have boght one years ago.
We're on our way to Alaska, so before the summer is over, I will have a lot more "AirSafe experience"
Larry
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Old 05-20-2010, 09:11 AM   #48
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Hi Larry,

Great pics. I have decided like you to purchase the airsafe. Should be here next week. I had to go with a Class 6 due to the extra tongue weight of my trailer. I was considering the Mor/ryde suspension for my truck but with the cost of that setup and the inevitable replacement of my truck in the next 3 years with an even larger service truck I decided to go with this setup. The pictures look great. The links are nice and even. I really want to experiment with this setup and get it right. One advantage of this hitch is getting into my yard. My driveway is steep and I have to take it at an angle so I dont drag bottom. Now I can let the air out of the bag which allows the rear to increase in height and up I go. Keep the comments coming.
What did you torque the bolts to that secure the bracket to the airhitch? It says 50 - 100 lbs.. 75lbs??

Thanks Vinnie
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Old 05-20-2010, 11:24 AM   #49
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Larry,
One thing I noticed in your pics is that the power cord and safety brake disconnect cable just sort of dangle. With the type of clip that you put thru your tongue that has a loop, you could do as I have been doing, and that is to run the cable and cord thru the loop on top of the tongue clip. To do it you will probably have to cut off the white cable ties attached to the power cord and A frame.
I still haven't had a chance to install my hitch yet. Maybe I'll get to it this weekend. I am still preping the unit and getting it packed at the same time. I move pretty slo doing this stuff. I work on it for a couple of hours and rest for 2 days.
Things keep changing but I hope to hit the road for a week or so in early June.
Glad to hear your trip is going well and that the hitch is doing it's job.
We want to see pics of the truck and trailer with Alaska mud and dust on it too, not just shinny bumper/ hitch picks alone! Now that we know you have a camera, and know how to post pics here, we expect no less.
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Old 05-21-2010, 06:34 AM   #50
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Good morning Vinnie,
I torqued the bolts to 100 foot pounds as that was the max recommended by AirSafe.

The MorRyde system you are looking at is a great system, I considered it for my truck, but cost was the deciding factor. The next Airstream I buy though is going to have it on though...
Have a good day
Larry
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Old 05-21-2010, 06:37 AM   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluto View Post
Larry,
One thing I noticed in your pics is that the power cord and safety brake disconnect cable just sort of dangle. With the type of clip that you put thru your tongue that has a loop, you could do as I have been doing, and that is to run the cable and cord thru the loop on top of the tongue clip. To do it you will probably have to cut off the white cable ties attached to the power cord and A frame.
I still haven't had a chance to install my hitch yet. Maybe I'll get to it this weekend. I am still preping the unit and getting it packed at the same time. I move pretty slo doing this stuff. I work on it for a couple of hours and rest for 2 days.
Things keep changing but I hope to hit the road for a week or so in early June.
Glad to hear your trip is going well and that the hitch is doing it's job.
We want to see pics of the truck and trailer with Alaska mud and dust on it too, not just shinny bumper/ hitch picks alone! Now that we know you have a camera, and know how to post pics here, we expect no less.
Good idea on the clip and the cord! As for the mud and dust on the truck and trailer, I guess that's inevitable! I'll probably cry about it, maybe if I cry loud enough, maybe my wife will wash it for me! (Fat chance of that)
As the trip progresses, I'll send more pix.
Larry
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Old 05-22-2010, 12:30 AM   #52
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You folks all have much bigger rides than me, but I thought I'd pitch in for us 'little haulers' that the baby Class 3 works quite well on my Tacoma / Basecamp combo. I pull on very rough roads... 20% grades on gravel to get into my remote location... The Airsafe is fantastic. They often have better-then-advertised sales if you call them up... and their web-site sure could use some modernization...

100% happy with it. I got the Class 3 for $250... and for anyone not needing the weight distribution functions it is a good deal.
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Old 05-22-2010, 12:31 PM   #53
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UPS tracking shows it will be here on Tuesday! I cant wait. I had to do some creative banking to slip this purchase through the checking account without total disclosure..

It came to $1325.00 for the class 6 and the bracket. Kinda pricey but based on what im hearing worth the investment. I too will post pictures of the setup here if you want once I get it. Good report.

Thanks Vinnie
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Old 05-22-2010, 05:45 PM   #54
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UPS tracking shows it will be here on Tuesday! I cant wait. I had to do some creative banking to slip this purchase through the checking account without total disclosure..

It came to $1325.00 for the class 6 and the bracket. Kinda pricey but based on what im hearing worth the investment. I too will post pictures of the setup here if you want once I get it. Good report.

Thanks Vinnie
They use standard Firestone bags... so if they ever did happen to wear out they are easily repaired.
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Old 05-23-2010, 07:06 AM   #55
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LarryC, thanks for the report. We'd all like to be on that trip humming the Johnny Horton song "North to Alaska".

About the truck suspension, I drive a 1996 F250 with rear springs that have been toting a load for 14 years now. To help my ole truck, I added a set of Firestone RideRite air bags on the rear several years ago. That brought her up in the rear just like when she was young, despite the heavy "camping-ready" load I keep in the bed of the truck. I've found the combination of Firestone air bags on my truck and on my AirSafe hitch to be a very good match, with a lot of ride adjustment and cushioning effects at play.

Keep those reports coming!
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Old 05-23-2010, 08:36 AM   #56
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This may or may not be important to some, but this is some info I found when I looked into Air Ride Hitches:

When Weight Distribution Bracket is used on any Air Ride receiver hitch you must reduce tongue weight capacity by 20%, example… Class 5 – 1,400 tongue weight reduces to 1,120 lbs, Class 6 – 2,000 lbs to 1,600 lbs, Class 8 – 3,000 lbs to 2,400 lbs.

This is merely to assist folks in selecting a size if they, like me use weight distribution as we know from the start that the hitch weights are rarely close to what's listed. As an example, the listed hitch weight of my trailer is about 800lbs. I bought a weight hitch and I was about 125lbs more than that, and I don't keep many heavy things inside, up front. If for some reason a few more things were placed inside, up front, or you upgrade to 40lb LP tanks, or you modify your battery box for larger more powerful batteries (which are usually heavier), then in my case, I'd be pretty close to the max or exceed it on the Class 5....and though class 6 would be overkill........

It's not hard to hit or slightly exceed a 1000lb hitch weight on a late model Airstream 25' or larger.
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