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Air bags or air hitch


jerryneal

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I need a little help. I have a F350 dually pulling a 35 foot fifth wheel. Gross weight around 17k with water and the usual "stuff" Pulling from north Georgia recently, I took I-285W around Atlanta. There was substantial construction on the north end of the perimeter with 20 miles of patched concrete. This was some kind of rough road. Traveling a very conservative 40 miles p/hr almost shook the filling from my teeth! I don't have air bags on the trunk and using a standard 5th wheel hitch. There has to be a better way to pull and smooth out the ride. Talking with the buddies, some say air bags on the truck, other say a fifth wheel hitch with air bags, some say both. Before I blow the bank account on this one, any suggestions are greatly appreciated before I shake my 5th wheel to oblivion!

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Both club - I replaced the iron springs with air and put an air hitch in the box for the trailer.

 

Spring replacement company is gone, look for something like the Kelderman 4 link. - https://kelderman.com/ford_cab_chassis_air_suspension_ambulance_design _ I have 300K miles on this.

 

Hitch, http://www.mountainmaster.net/airhitchcom.html - I've got close to 75K on mine.

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Guest ticat900

I need a little help. I have a F350 dually pulling a 35 foot fifth wheel. Gross weight around 17k with water and the usual "stuff" Pulling from north Georgia recently, I took I-285W around Atlanta. There was substantial construction on the north end of the perimeter with 20 miles of patched concrete. This was some kind of rough road. Traveling a very conservative 40 miles p/hr almost shook the filling from my teeth! I don't have air bags on the trunk and using a standard 5th wheel hitch. There has to be a better way to pull and smooth out the ride. Talking with the buddies, some say air bags on the truck, other say a fifth wheel hitch with air bags, some say both. Before I blow the bank account on this one, any suggestions are greatly appreciated before I shake my 5th wheel to oblivion!

I would suggest one of these.http://www.etrailer.com/faq-fifth-airborne.aspx

along with air ride overload bags on the truck

 

those air hitches are neat but you already have the proper hitch.why spend 2200$ when you can have a reasonable

compromise with airborne pin for under 1000K

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A fifth wheel air hitch is the best. It is built way HD more than any other on the market. Mine is formed steel 3/8" thick and rides on air bags. Also has air pump and sensor to maintain ride height automatically. Uses the Brinkley head and will be your best asset in a collision. It can happen and does more than reported. Does improve truck ride due to cushion between coach and it. I have never seen the sanity in spending tens of thousands on your dream home and putting a cheap hitch on it. Get one like mine, Henselys, or one of the others. My truck rides well with the pin weight. Empty it is rough on rough roads but that is nature of the beast. Some spend lots of money to cushion the truck but I have read reports of towing issues with it. Lots of leaning, sagging on one side in curves and such. I have personally never ridden in one. The air hitch will be way less stress on your coach also.

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Actually I think you are possibly asking two questions. How do you make the ride feel better in the truck and how do you improve the ride of the 5er. To improve the ride of the 5er you need an air hitch and Mor/Ryde IS suspension on the 5er. This will greatly improve the ride for the 5er but the ride in the truck will still feel more or less the same. Adding air bags to the truck may improve the ride in the truck especially when towing but may not do much of anything for the 5er. In my opinion to improve both you will need to work on both. Best Wishes, Jay

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If this only happens on one section of road why do you want to start throwing money at it. I use air bags on our F350 DRW and they will help the ride in the truck but will do nothing for the trailer, using a air pin box or hitch will also help the truck ride but not the trailer you have to upgrade the trailer suspension to help its ride.

 

Denny

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Thanks all. Great information. Just some follow up. I can deal with the rough ride in the truck. Usually with the 5ver in back it's usually smooth. This is our first 5ver and still adjusting. Pulling the trigger at the end of the year and will be hitting the road 9 months out of the year. Know this north Georgia experience isn't unique and just don't want to beat our new home to death. Like the idea of the air hitch as a first effort. Again, thanks much for sharing your experience.

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LIsten to grumpydoc.....if you want to smooth out the trailer ride a combo of Mor/ryde IS and an air ride hitch will give you all the improvement to be gotten. Each alone will help, but together they do a very good job. If choosing just one, I'd likely lean to the M/R. JMO, and you could argue in favor of just the air ride hitch, too.

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Here's a little personal experience, our 2001 HH Premier had standard suspension with shocks and even with air bags on the truck the ride in the truck and trailer was not the best. When we ordered our 03 HH we ordered it with Mor/Ryde RE (the old style that uses rubber blocks like the IE uses) and it was like night and day the difference in the way it pulled and rode. After almost 12 years we are still using a standard Reese 20K hitch and standard pin box and unless it's a very bad road we have no problem with the ride.

 

I've always been one to go to the source of a problem, in this case the trailer ride and not fixes to mask the problem, like air pin boxes and hitches.

 

Denny

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  • 2 weeks later...

The reason for an air hitch is to dampen the inertia between the truck and the trailer. In this case 9000 lb versus 17000 lbs, the trailer just pushes the truck around.

 

Air bags are on the truck suspension to keep the truck level with the load of the trailer on it. The spring rate, with the trailer, on should be proper. The advantage of air bag suspension is that when the trailer load is off, the air spring pressure isn't needed and the truck will ride better unloaded. So air bags will really not make the ride with the trailer on better.

 

The MOR/ryde IS suspension allows the trailer wheels to react to bumps and dips in the road without transmitting the force to the other wheels, a much smoother ride for the trailer.

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Actually I think you are possibly asking two questions. How do you make the ride feel better in the truck and how do you improve the ride of the 5er. To improve the ride of the 5er you need an air hitch and Mor/Ryde IS suspension on the 5er. This will greatly improve the ride for the 5er but the ride in the truck will still feel more or less the same. Adding air bags to the truck may improve the ride in the truck especially when towing but may not do much of anything for the 5er. In my opinion to improve both you will need to work on both. Best Wishes, Jay

 

X2

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  • 3 weeks later...

Update. Purchased a Hensley Trailer Saver. Took a trip back to the North Georgia mountains last week and drove through Atlanta. The air hitch made a huge difference. Couple of stretches where considerable construction was underway with very uneven road. The 5'ver and truck were very smooth. Just wish I had been an Escapee and read the forums before I made my first purchase. Oh well, the joys of RV life. Thanks again for everyone's input. Greatly appreciated.

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We tend to associate air hitches with the fifth wheel side of travels but we have two friends who have used an air hitch to tow their travel trailers. Both say that it is a great improvement for towing a very heavy RV. I wouldn't be very practical for our little TT but they are interesting. Here are a couple that folks might find of interest. I have wondered why they don't seem to be more common?

 

Air Safe Shocker Hitch

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