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Old 05-16-2015, 11:38 AM   #1
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Air Suspension on RAM 1500 (All Wheel)

I have a 2015 RAM 1500, 5.7l, with factory 'all wheel' automatic 'air suspension'. I have used it with a weight distributing hitch with my 1997 21' Excella with no issues and it works great.

My 2016 25' RB Flying Cloud comes in mid-June. The hitch weight in the catalog states 835lbs and I know it will be higher than this when fully loaded.

Does anyone have any experiences they could share with me towing an Airstream of 25', or longer, with the RAM 1500 factory all wheel 'Air Suspension'?
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Old 05-16-2015, 12:17 PM   #2
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I believe it is essentially the same system that is on my 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee. Although sometimes it seems to have a mind of it's own it is a very comfortable system to use and has great control. I tow my 20's with it. Both have about a 700# hitch weight. I use an Andersen Hitch system.

When I got my 2012, there was very little information on how to set up the rig with a WD hitch, and none in the full manual. The dealer did not know either, and they are a very good one with people who care. So, I had to learn how to do it on my own. There may be information now in the Ram and Jeep manuals, but there was none in 2012.

What I learned was that you must set the system up on a dead level lot, ramp, or other location. You MUST turn the air suspension off (on my Jeep, you hold the up and down buttons on at the same time for 10 seconds). Then carefully back the rig to the trailer and hitch it up. You then can use the normal wheel fender height measurement system to level and set your WD hitch bars. When done, turn the suspension back on (or drive over 15 mph, and it will go on automatically). You will be set to go.

However, I strongly recommend you check it all by going to a scale and weighing each axle, truck and trailer, to be sure you did things right. The air suspension will make things level no matter what, and if you did not set it up right, you can over load the rear axle and tires, as well as under load the front of the rig.

All of this may be obsolete information on the new RAM, see what the manual says about it now. If it still says nothing much, follow the above process.

And be sure you know how to turn off the air suspension system in case you ever need to change a tire. It is critical to disable it, or you can't jack it up properly.
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Old 05-16-2015, 12:34 PM   #3
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Doesn't the new Ram 1500 with air suspension also lower the vehicle at highway speeds for better fuel mileage?
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Old 05-16-2015, 01:04 PM   #4
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My 2012 Grand Cherokee does that, about 3/4' lowering over 62 mph. I have no idea if it makes any difference. I can't detect it, solo or towing.
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Old 05-16-2015, 01:53 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by idroba View Post
I believe it is essentially the same system that is on my 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee. Although sometimes it seems to have a mind of it's own it is a very comfortable system to use and has great control. I tow my 20's with it. Both have about a 700# hitch weight. I use an Andersen Hitch system.

When I got my 2012, there was very little information on how to set up the rig with a WD hitch, and none in the full manual. The dealer did not know either, and they are a very good one with people who care. So, I had to learn how to do it on my own. There may be information now in the Ram and Jeep manuals, but there was none in 2012.

What I learned was that you must set the system up on a dead level lot, ramp, or other location. You MUST turn the air suspension off (on my Jeep, you hold the up and down buttons on at the same time for 10 seconds). Then carefully back the rig to the trailer and hitch it up. You then can use the normal wheel fender height measurement system to level and set your WD hitch bars. When done, turn the suspension back on (or drive over 15 mph, and it will go on automatically). You will be set to go.

However, I strongly recommend you check it all by going to a scale and weighing each axle, truck and trailer, to be sure you did things right. The air suspension will make things level no matter what, and if you did not set it up right, you can over load the rear axle and tires, as well as under load the front of the rig.

All of this may be obsolete information on the new RAM, see what the manual says about it now. If it still says nothing much, follow the above process.

And be sure you know how to turn off the air suspension system in case you ever need to change a tire. It is critical to disable it, or you can't jack it up properly.
I do believe you are correct the air suspension technolgy on the RAM is essentially what was originally developed on the Jeep. And like you I have really enjoyed it. The RAM manual, that comes with the truck, does NOT give you any instructions in how to hitch up a weight distributing hitch with the air suspension options. I had to down load the expanded version, 900 pager, of the user manual off the RAM website to find the instructions/procedure for doing so. That's nuts to have to do that since, as you are aware, if you don't know what you are doing things can go pretty bad for you or your truck (I have included a file describing the procedure, but apparently you did a pretty good job on your own).

Thank you for you input!
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Old 05-16-2015, 02:01 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by idroba View Post
My 2012 Grand Cherokee does that, about 3/4' lowering over 62 mph. I have no idea if it makes any difference. I can't detect it, solo or towing.
I don't know if your Jeep does this but the RAM version of the air suspension will NOT lower the suspension at high way speeds if either of these conditions exist, I tested it out and it will not lower if: One, the tow haul mode has been engaged (even if a trailer is not connected). Second, a trailer has been plugged into either of the trailer electrical plugs on the bumper (even if the trailer haul mode has not been engaged).

Like you, I have not really tried to see if my mileage is better when the truck has lowered itself at high way speeds. I can't remember where I read this but it is suppose to make the difference between 1.0-1.5 mpg on the RAM. Even if it doesn't, lowering the pickup can only help is overall stability at highway speeds.
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Old 05-16-2015, 02:19 PM   #7
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I have a 2014 Ram 1500 with the 4 corner air suspension and tow a 2015 25 ft RB FC. with the Blue Ox WD hitch. I have taken 4 trips so far and have not had an issue with the set up. Been to the Coast in Oregon 3 times and to Bend Oregon through a snow snowstorm once. The dealer in Portland set up the WD hitch. When I connect the trailer to the truck I set the truck at normal ride height, connect the trailer to the hitch. Then I raise the trailer as high as it will go to connect the WD bars, then lower the trailer to put the weight on the hitch. The last thing I do is lower the truck to entry height and then back to normal ride height just to make sure the truck is sitting level to start. I have not noticed any handling issues when traveling faster then 62 mph and having the truck lower itself. If you step back and look at the whole set up it is level from the front of the truck to the back of the trailer.
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Old 05-16-2015, 02:20 PM   #8
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Idroba, I just noticed where you are from. I sent you a private message. I am new to this Forum and pretty challenged with its navigation so I hope you got it. Also, I thought i had attached a file from the RAM manual on hitch adjustments with air suspension for you. I can't see that it uploaded for your viewing. Tried twice but no go. I am sure it is user error. Let me know if you got my private message.
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Old 05-16-2015, 02:37 PM   #9
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Greg:

I got one private message and will respond to it next few minutes. I did not get any attachments though, although my system says I have two private messages there is only one there. So something got lost somewhere. Nothing on Air suspension.
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Old 05-16-2015, 03:08 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goofy FC View Post
I have a 2014 Ram 1500 with the 4 corner air suspension and tow a 2015 25 ft RB FC. with the Blue Ox WD hitch. I have taken 4 trips so far and have not had an issue with the set up. Been to the Coast in Oregon 3 times and to Bend Oregon through a snow snowstorm once. The dealer in Portland set up the WD hitch. When I connect the trailer to the truck I set the truck at normal ride height, connect the trailer to the hitch. Then I raise the trailer as high as it will go to connect the WD bars, then lower the trailer to put the weight on the hitch. The last thing I do is lower the truck to entry height and then back to normal ride height just to make sure the truck is sitting level to start. I have not noticed any handling issues when traveling faster then 62 mph and having the truck lower itself. If you step back and look at the whole set up it is level from the front of the truck to the back of the trailer.
This is great to hear since your 25'RB FC trailer should have the specs as mine as the RAM. Out of curiosity have you weighed on a scale to determine any of your weights, theoretically we should be good as long as we watch the overall payload limit on the RAM, they seem pretty low with the air suspension? Lastly, on your trips how much stuff (people and junk) do you think you are carrying in your RAM? Thanks for the input.
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Old 05-16-2015, 03:18 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by idroba View Post
Greg:

I got one private message and will respond to it next few minutes. I did not get any attachments though, although my system says I have two private messages there is only one there. So something got lost somewhere. Nothing on Air suspension.
I am going to try and upload the WD instructions for air suspension again. I noticed that the file type I tried originally was in TIFF format and I just changed it to a pdf file. Maybe it will work now? Ok it was user error I think I figured it out.

RAM Air Suspension & Hitch Adjustment.pdf
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Old 05-16-2015, 03:18 PM   #12
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Hi Greg,
I usually pack pretty light. I replaced the table and small bench with a Lazy-Boy recliner so with every thing else I would say total truck extra weight is 500 lbs and the trailer another 500 lbs. No I have not had the time to get it weighed on a scale yet.
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Old 05-16-2015, 03:37 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Plan-B View Post
I am going to try and upload the WD instructions for air suspension again. I noticed that the file type I tried originally was in TIFF format and I just changed it to a pdf file. Maybe it will work now? Ok it was user error I think I figured it out.

Attachment 238525
Greg,

Thanks, I finally was able to see it. No such instructions in my full Jeep manual.

It looks like the system I figured out is very similar to the one RAM has in print now. The differences are that they don't mention being on a very level spot when you do it, and that apparently the RAM has a JACK suspension setting. That is good. The 2012 Jeep leaves you to figure out how the hell to jack it up, especially in the very limited manual supplied as original (but you could order the full manual, and I did, no charge).

Nice to know that Chrysler/Jeep has figured out that people us WD hitches and have flat tires, and it is appropriate to tell them how to deal with that, not leave us to figure it out on our own. Also nice to know that what I figured out is what they now recommend....lol.
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Old 05-16-2015, 04:01 PM   #14
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The dealers don't even understand this air suspension stuff. If I had not dug into it, far more than the usual owner, and you had a flat...you would never get the truck tire off. If you can't shut that leveling off you would have your hands tied trying to get the tire off the ground, much less figure out the WD sequence. I don't know how you figured this out on your own.
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Old 05-16-2015, 04:43 PM   #15
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Thanks Greg, next time out I will see how close my truck is set-up following the instructions you included in you post.

Thanks David
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Old 05-18-2015, 02:40 PM   #16
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I owned a 2011 RAM 1500 Longhorn 6 speed 4WD Hemi (loaded) and ordered a 2014 RAM 1500 Longhorn (loaded) but added the 8 speed and air suspension. I tow a 27' 2014 Flying Cloud and towed with both trucks. I have made no changes to the trailer or hitch set up(Reese Strait-Line Dual Cam Sway Control). I find the 2014 with the 8 speed gets approximately 2 more miles to the gallon in all around driving and 1 to 2 miles better towing. I have 30,000 miles on the truck and love the transmission and air suspension. I found the towing to be better and can only attribute that to the air suspension. Prior to the Airstream I towed a Mobile Suite fifth wheel using a RAM 3500 diesel thousands of miles and was not looking forward to towing a tag-along trailer. I find the set up I now have to be excellent. There is no sway when I pass or someone passes me. I travel expressway as much as possible and tow at the speed of the traffic.The transfer of noise or bumps is reduced considerably with the air suspension. The ability to raise the truck in parking lots to reduce door dings is a neat side feature.
I will be looking at ordering a 2016 with the exact same features. Mileage - local short trips 18-19, long trips 22-23 and towing 12-13.
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Old 05-18-2015, 08:18 PM   #17
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I owned a 2011 RAM 1500 Longhorn 6 speed 4WD Hemi (loaded) and ordered a 2014 RAM 1500 Longhorn (loaded) but added the 8 speed and air suspension. I tow a 27' 2014 Flying Cloud and towed with both trucks. I have made no changes to the trailer or hitch set up(Reese Strait-Line Dual Cam Sway Control). I find the 2014 with the 8 speed gets approximately 2 more miles to the gallon in all around driving and 1 to 2 miles better towing. I have 30,000 miles on the truck and love the transmission and air suspension. I found the towing to be better and can only attribute that to the air suspension. Prior to the Airstream I towed a Mobile Suite fifth wheel using a RAM 3500 diesel thousands of miles and was not looking forward to towing a tag-along trailer. I find the set up I now have to be excellent. There is no sway when I pass or someone passes me. I travel expressway as much as possible and tow at the speed of the traffic.The transfer of noise or bumps is reduced considerably with the air suspension. The ability to raise the truck in parking lots to reduce door dings is a neat side feature.
I will be looking at ordering a 2016 with the exact same features. Mileage - local short trips 18-19, long trips 22-23 and towing 12-13.
My 2015 is a Laramie (4wd) and loaded too. Is your 2014 RAM 4WD, if so our GVWR will be the same too? Looks pretty apples to apple and I am glad to hear you are loving it. I also will be using the same WD hitch as you.

As you I am getting remarkable fuel mileage for this kind of HP on a V8. Better than sticker EPA MPG. And the ride and convenience of the air suspension have been just super.

Do you have an estimate of how much payload/junk weight you put in your Ram (people and bed cargo) when pulling your 27FC?

Thank you for your experience it has been very helpful.
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Old 05-18-2015, 08:21 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Setats View Post
I owned a 2011 RAM 1500 Longhorn 6 speed 4WD Hemi (loaded) and ordered a 2014 RAM 1500 Longhorn (loaded) but added the 8 speed and air suspension. I tow a 27' 2014 Flying Cloud and towed with both trucks. I have made no changes to the trailer or hitch set up(Reese Strait-Line Dual Cam Sway Control). I find the 2014 with the 8 speed gets approximately 2 more miles to the gallon in all around driving and 1 to 2 miles better towing. I have 30,000 miles on the truck and love the transmission and air suspension. I found the towing to be better and can only attribute that to the air suspension. Prior to the Airstream I towed a Mobile Suite fifth wheel using a RAM 3500 diesel thousands of miles and was not looking forward to towing a tag-along trailer. I find the set up I now have to be excellent. There is no sway when I pass or someone passes me. I travel expressway as much as possible and tow at the speed of the traffic.The transfer of noise or bumps is reduced considerably with the air suspension. The ability to raise the truck in parking lots to reduce door dings is a neat side feature.
I will be looking at ordering a 2016 with the exact same features. Mileage - local short trips 18-19, long trips 22-23 and towing 12-13.
I forgot one last question on your 2014 RAM, what rear end ratio do you have?
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Old 05-19-2015, 02:19 AM   #19
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I keep my load light at all times. Since it is only my wife and I we travel light. Carry a minimum amount of fresh water and keep the black and gray tanks empty. Use cruise as much as possible due to computer technology. The differentials are non-spin and I believe 3.55. I find the RAM Hemi engine technology to be way ahead of the competition. Example "Multi Displacement System" (MDS) turns off the fuel in four cylinders when power is not needed. Not big into Facebook but there is a picture of the 2011 with our 2011 Airstream and a picture of 2014 truck only. Look the same as I love the paint colors. Might repeat the same is available on a 2016.
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Old 05-19-2015, 09:04 AM   #20
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I keep my load light at all times. Since it is only my wife and I we travel light. Carry a minimum amount of fresh water and keep the black and gray tanks empty. Use cruise as much as possible due to computer technology. The differentials are non-spin and I believe 3.55. I find the RAM Hemi engine technology to be way ahead of the competition. Example "Multi Displacement System" (MDS) turns off the fuel in four cylinders when power is not needed. Not big into Facebook but there is a picture of the 2011 with our 2011 Airstream and a picture of 2014 truck only. Look the same as I love the paint colors. Might repeat the same is available on a 2016.
My rear end is 3.21...The 3.55 is no longer available in the 1500 with 5.7l and 8 speed. You have to jump up to the 3.9x. I can't really figure out why the 3.55 is no longer available but from what I am told with the 8 speed its not an issue, who knows. Thanks again. I'll check out your picts.
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