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Old 03-22-2023, 11:51 PM   #1
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2017 25' Flying Cloud
Queen Creek , Arizona
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RAM 2500 Air Suspension and International 28RBT, yes or no?

Last week I put on order a 2500, 6.4L Hemi w/ Laramie trim including all the bells/whistles plus the Off-Road Package. We will be towing a new lightly loaded Airstream TT (28 ft and GVRW = 7600 lbs.) I'm coming from a 2017 F-150 Platinum simply needing more payload. I'm sure the 2500 will tow beautifully, but do I need to consider going back and exchanging the off-road capability (coils including tuned shocks w/ hill descent control) for the factory auto level and air bag suspension? (We do not plan to ever tow a 5th wheel.) We use a Blue Ox WD hitch. We like the way the 2500 gasser drives already. In advance thanks for your comments/expertise.
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Old 03-23-2023, 04:10 AM   #2
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2019 28' Flying Cloud
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Your Ram 2500 is a perfect match for a 28' Airstream and whatever configuration you choose will be OK.

Concerning the off road package, it will bring no benefit to your trailer towing ability. The softer springs are designed to go over large boulders and will not add to towing stability. The same goes for the off road tires with their deeper, softer tread.

You won't need the air suspension unless you plan on carrying a heavy load in the bed. The 900 lb hitch weight of the trailer by itself is not enough to make your truck sag. In fact, it will nicely balance out the weight of the engine on the front axle so that your truck will have a better weight distribution than when it's unloaded. That said, air suspension may be a nice feature to have.
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Old 03-23-2023, 06:07 AM   #3
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If I were ordering a new truck I would definitely order the air suspension. If you look at the specs the back of the truck sits a little lower to the ground. Another reason to have the air suspension is that the headlights will always be properly aimed down the road since the truck will be leveled.
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Old 03-23-2023, 06:09 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crispyboy View Post
If I were ordering a new truck I would definitely order the air suspension. If you look at the specs the back of the truck sits a little lower to the ground. Another reason to have the air suspension is that the headlights will always be properly aimed down the road since the truck will be leveled.
Rare is the modern vehicle without auto-leveling headlights. I've had them on every vehicle since 2012.
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Old 03-23-2023, 06:23 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by propchef View Post
Rare is the modern vehicle without auto-leveling headlights. I've had them on every vehicle since 2012.

They must be a rare thing as I have only seen them on luxury vehicles.
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Old 03-23-2023, 06:26 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rbaldwin View Post
Last week I put on order a 2500, 6.4L Hemi w/ Laramie trim including all the bells/whistles plus the Off-Road Package. We will be towing a new lightly loaded Airstream TT (28 ft and GVRW = 7600 lbs.) I'm coming from a 2017 F-150 Platinum simply needing more payload. I'm sure the 2500 will tow beautifully, but do I need to consider going back and exchanging the off-road capability (coils including tuned shocks w/ hill descent control) for the factory auto level and air bag suspension? (We do not plan to ever tow a 5th wheel.) We use a Blue Ox WD hitch. We like the way the 2500 gasser drives already. In advance thanks for your comments/expertise.
Chose the most compliant suspension option, no lift, no stiff.
Air bags are good for leveling a truck with a heavy load, but do little to enhance the towing experience.
A properly set up weight distribution hitch is all you need to level the tow vehicle & Airstream.

Sweet Streams...

Bob
🇺🇸

Our best picture of 'level'.👍
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Old 03-23-2023, 06:36 AM   #7
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Quote:
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They must be a rare thing as I have only seen them on luxury vehicles.
Any vehicle with LED headlights, including the new Ram and Silverado, has it. Before that they were standard with anything other than the base-sealed headlamps. Even some of those are servo controlled. It isn't limited to "luxury" vehicles.
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Old 03-23-2023, 07:01 AM   #8
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I am towing a 2015 28RBQ International with a 2020 Ram 2500 Laramie 6.4 with a Blue Ox hitch. Just over 17,000 miles on this setup and some pretty rough roads (Alaska Highway last year) with the bed of the truck loaded. 3,000 lb payload is a luxury on long trips! Measuring the front wheel well when I first set up the hitch, there was less than 1/2 inch variance hitched or unhitched before hooking up the bars. I tow with the bars but would not hesitate to tow on the ball if I needed to. VERY smooth, relaxing tow, never a worry.
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Old 03-23-2023, 07:31 AM   #9
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Nice to have but not required

Rich, congratulations on choosing the RAM 2500 gasser! We have a 2019, first year for the new model and love it (rear coils).

Another benefit of the Off-Road package is it includes Bilstein shocks. Our RAM does not have them but I just ordered a set after getting feedback from two fellow Forum members.

A good friend on the forum has a Limited with rear air suspension and loves it. Iíve ridden in the back seat (without the trailer attached) and itís super comfortable. I think itís a better daily driver setup but the stock rear coils do a great job. Iím not disappointed that we donít have the Air Suspension.

You canít go wrong either way - enjoy your new ride!
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Old 03-23-2023, 08:34 AM   #10
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We love the air suspension on our 2022 Ram 2500 and tow a 23 foot Safari. Maintaining a constant ride height is a benefit but what we really like is the ride without the trailer. Since it is a constant ride height, the air pressure is lower when lightly loaded and the suspension is more compliant. Another benefit is being able to select a level truck setting that drops the rear a bit. We typically tow with that setting. Also like the the ability to drop all the air out the lower the rear a couple of inches and making it a bit easier to load or unload the truck bed.
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Old 03-23-2023, 09:53 AM   #11
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I tow my 2021 27FB Flying Cloud with a similar truck - 2020 Ram tradesman 6.4 gas engine with off road package. Tows great. My true tongue weight is around 1150. I get significant squat when on the ball only. I use an equalizer system with a longer shank and it works well.
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Old 03-23-2023, 10:10 AM   #12
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Old 03-23-2023, 10:34 AM   #13
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I've been very happy with my 2020 2500 RAM Cummins Limited with Air Suspension pulling our 27' footer. The Air Suspension does definitely help keep it level. Regardless of the headlight leveling issue (or non issue), having a level riding truck adds to the stabilization factor. But another real added benefit is the ride when empty, in my mind, it rides like a half ton.

Our style is to camp and explore the boonies on and off road with our truck. Never a problem crossing creeks, climbing steep dirt roads with boulders. I believe most of the benefit of the off road package is really hitting big bumps and whoops at speed. The air suspension has worked really well for us, as there is no need for speed when off road.

Either will work fine.
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Old 03-23-2023, 11:23 AM   #14
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Delray Beach , Florida
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Great Ride

Quote:
Originally Posted by ArstrmComTru View Post
I tow my 2021 27FB Flying Cloud with a similar truck - 2020 Ram tradesman 6.4 gas engine with off road package. Tows great. My true tongue weight is around 1150. I get significant squat when on the ball only. I use an equalizer system with a longer shank and it works well.
I have a 2018 Ram 2500 (diesel) towing a 2018 27í Flying Cloud FBT with a ProPride and no airbags. My tongue weight is 940lbs and it tows great.
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Old 03-23-2023, 12:25 PM   #15
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2014 27' FB International
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Agree fully with Andy543. If you need airbags in the future (for heavy bed loads), you can purchase aftermarket airbags for under $200 without an installed air compressor (no need for the air compressor model) and install them yourself.

I had airbags in my F250, but found that they created towing issues when any air was added and towing my 28 foot Airstream. I now maintain them at 5 pounds pressure to keep the bags in operational condition. Yes, airbags work great when you are pulling a 12,000 - 15,000 pound 5th wheel.
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Old 03-23-2023, 12:43 PM   #16
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My RAM 2500 has the rear air suspension. I like it for several reasons:
1. It always keeps the truck (and AS) level (of course it has to be set up correctly)
2. It rides better when not towing
3. Being able to raise or lower the bed a bit as needed is a nice feature.
4. It is not as ridgid when when towing.

It was an $1800 option IIRC. If I were ordering a new truck I would get it again.
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Old 03-23-2023, 01:15 PM   #17
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A contrary thought: The KISS principle (keep it simple stupid) would caution against adding compressors, bags, level sensors, tubes, wires, and electronics to your suspension. I have personal experience with two vehicles (Jaguar sedan and Yukon Denali) with such “advanced” suspensions which were delightful when new, and maintenance nightmares over time. I sold the Jag and completely rebuilt the Yukon suspension with performance aftermarket parts.

With high pressure gas shocks and progressive springs the feeling of control and the ride in the Yukon is at least as good. In hindsight I don’t think much of the self leveling feature either: when towing it kind of fights with weight distribution, and if you’re just hauling an occasional load from Home Depot at 30 mph across town who cares.
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Old 03-23-2023, 03:55 PM   #18
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2021 30' International
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Congrats!

[QUOTE=rbaldwin;2666982]Last week I put on order a 2500, 6.4L Hemi w/ Laramie trim including all the bells/whistles plus the Off-Road Package. We will be towing a new lightly loaded Airstream TT (28 ft and GVRW = 7600 lbs.) I'm coming from a 2017 F-150 Platinum simply needing more payload. I'm sure the 2500 will tow beautifully, but do I need to consider going back and exchanging the off-road capability (coils including tuned shocks w/ hill descent control) for the factory auto level and air bag suspension? (We do not plan to ever tow a 5th wheel.) We use a Blue Ox WD hitch. We like the way the 2500 gasser drives already. In advance thanks for your comments/expertise.[/QUOTE

We have 30RBT International and tow it with 2021 Ram 2500 with Air Suspension and just love it for all the reasons people have already said. I would not have a Ram truck with out it either 2500 or 3500. The other option I'd recommend if you are ordering is the Ram Boxes...best thing on a truck since the "hitch". Keeps the clutter out of your cab and makes it easy to organize small things while on the road. Have fun and safe travels.
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Old 03-23-2023, 07:12 PM   #19
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2020 30' International
Ingleside , Illinois
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I have the air suspension on my 2020 Ram 2500 Limited MegaCab and absolutely love it. It keeps everything nice and level with zero squat. I tow a 2020 International 30RB and it is a perfect match. Also, I have the 6.4 Hemi with a 4.10 rear end. Absolutely could not be happier with my TV, or of course my AS. Good luck with whatever you decide.
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Old 03-24-2023, 06:07 AM   #20
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2017 30' International
Ringle , Wisconsin
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We have a 2017 30 International Scerenity RBT and tow it with a 2020 2500 Ram 6.4 Hemi with the Air Ride and love it. Hooks up easy once you set the level mate up correctly. I can hook up by myself and often click the hitch lock without getting out of the vehicle deactivating the air ride when the bed rises. Pulls nice and rides very nice. Also rides nice empty bed. We stepped up to the Laramie with the Air Ride when one came available and are so glad we did. Others have commented on how well the truck rides for a 3/4 ton while passengers, empty bed. My lovely wife had a siatic joint back issue and prefers riding in the truck over her vehicle.

Either choice will work for you. I have 55000 on the truck and 95% of the miles are empty bed. We don't off road so this solution was by far the best for us. Changing tires when they went to the Michelin LTX defender's was also a game changer for ride quality.

Also with it came the Trailer TPMS system from Ram. They give you 4 TPMS valve stems that you need to install on your trailer tires. After set up it registers on your factory dash system and works great.
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