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Air ride pin VS air ride hitch


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I have a 2012 redwood Fifth Wheel 38GK with a factory installed Lippert Tri Glide Air Ride Pin Box by Trailair . This Pin has rollers that I believe are to absorb shock when braking. Can anyone clarify the purpose of these rollers?

I just purchased a 2012 Volvo 730 that I am contemplating singling but that is an issue for later. 

I know this has probably been debated before and I have searched for answers but I am still unclear on what I should do. I have read that I shouldn't have both an air ride hitch and an air ride pin as they can end up working against each other. I really don't want to spend the big dollars on an air ride hitch if I don't have to. If I really need one, do I need to also replace the air pin to a solid pin. I am very much wanting to install my Demco Recon hitch (or similar) on the truck and letting the air pin absorb the shock. Has anyone done this and is this a good idea or not? I realize that an air hitch is a better choice but I want to know if just the air pin will work and I also know that I can't use the Volvo's current hitch.

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Air pin boxes are a good product on lighter trailers, unfortunately, the people who sell these like to "stretch the truth". It boils down to the pin weight of the trailer vs. that single air bag. All airbags are rated at 100 psi for their maximum load, but work best 50% of that pressure (just like your car tires work best at 32 psi). The design window is between 40% and 60% or 40-60 psi. Easy to check on your hitch. Inflate it to the recommended working position and read the pressure. If it's between 40-60 psi you are good, if it's 75 psi you are on the hard side, at 80-90 psi you basically have a rock hard air bag, (like running your car tires at 50-60 psi). I've seen rows of heavy trailers sitting at dealerships with pin boxes, I'm sure the sales manager came up with the idea of nice "up-sell"  (these were not "free") to the customers, "you know if you get this rig you need one of these", what the customer needed was a truck mounted air hitch.

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Welcome to the site Happycampper.  You sound like someone I spoke with in Spragge Ontario a couple of weeks ago.  If so you don’t waste time.  hone eagle will be the other member you spoke with the week before.  FYI, phoenix2013 above is the original designer and manufacturer of the ET hitch considered by many here to be the best for heavy fifth wheels.  

 

Nigel

 

 

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Oh my, that is SWEET!  Welcome to the"dark side". 

Find out what your actual pin weight is, and decide accordingly.  We have a modest pin weight (about 4,000#) and are getting by with a three bag TrailerSaver, bought used.  If we get a heavier trailer, I'll spring for an ET hitch.

 

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Nice ! 

A cushioned hitch(air or rubber) should be on a 'list', (the list never gets smaller).Listen to Henry ,if the air in the trailer  bags is approaching 70 psi -they might as well be solid there just isn't enough room for bigger/squisher bags - your choice .

Down the road from you is a campground owned by a long time ontario HDT'er he has his finger on the resources and what's easy or not because of your location, wait for the season to slow a bit and call him.

When you get a chance get your campground into the resourse  guide as a good HDT stop - on the transcanada  etc etc.

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Thanks to everyone for taking time for this question even though the answer was always painfully obvious... $$$. I was just hoping there was someone out there that had done this and had great results. I will hitch my fiver to my Ford to check the pressure on the air bag and see what happens. And don't worry I knew what I was getting myself into...

I will try and list my campground soon. Thanks.

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  • 8 months later...

I looked up the Jackalopee -- Seems awfully expensive for a bunch of relays.  Doesn't Tekonsha 119130 for $30 do the same thing?

You could then get a splice it into the middle of a 7 way round to 7 way blade pigtail and you are done for about $60.

Seems like you could do it for even less $$ if you just wired up a 7 way blade socket from the Tekonsha adapter.  And I'm guessing there are other adapters out there for even less than the Tekonsha.

tekonsha.jpeg

Etrailer has an article talking about ways to do this.  They list 4 different adapters for combining the brake and turn signals.... https://www.etrailer.com/question-111684.html

Edited by CA_Tallguy
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From my experience with the Hoppy solid state converter, only the expensive $90 version was any good.  The cheap $30 version are prone to burn out.  Used the high end Hoppy for 10 years after burning out two cheap ones. The expensive version had shorting protection.  The Jackalope is not that expensive when compared to a reliable interface for your trailer taillights.

If you want to splice your own connector, find the side of the truck with stop-turn light wiring which is used on the tractor rear end.  The rest of the truck is stop/turn wired.  But wiring directly into the truck wiring can lead to light computer problems.

 

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2 hours ago, CA_Tallguy said:

I looked up the Jackalopee -- Seems awfully expensive for a bunch of relays.  Doesn't Tekonsha 119130 for $30 do the same thing?

You could then get a splice it into the middle of a 7 way round to 7 way blade pigtail and you are done for about $60.

Seems like you could do it for even less $$ if you just wired up a 7 way blade socket from the Tekonsha adapter.  And I'm guessing there are other adapters out there for even less than the Tekonsha.

tekonsha.jpeg

Etrailer has an article talking about ways to do this.  They list 4 different adapters for combining the brake and turn signals.... https://www.etrailer.com/question-111684.html

Remember, you get what you pay for. With a Jackalopee when you call the help number you talk to the guy that made it. Not some call center.

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3 hours ago, CA_Tallguy said:

I looked up the Jackalopee -- Seems awfully expensive for a bunch of relays.  Doesn't Tekonsha 119130 for $30 do the same thing?

You could then get a splice it into the middle of a 7 way round to 7 way blade pigtail and you are done for about $60.

Seems like you could do it for even less $$ if you just wired up a 7 way blade socket from the Tekonsha adapter.  And I'm guessing there are other adapters out there for even less than the Tekonsha.

tekonsha.jpeg

Etrailer has an article talking about ways to do this.  They list 4 different adapters for combining the brake and turn signals.... https://www.etrailer.com/question-111684.html

Our truck had the Hoppy version when we bought it. Went thru two of them and I biggest issue is it went bad either on a trip or was noticed during our pre trip inspection and now there was no time to order a new one and get it installed before traveling. Also the Jackalopee has additional features like LED lights and other connections to make hook up easier. If you go the Hoppy version carry a couple of spares, it might last a few years or a month, no way to know. We no longer use those units.

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4 hours ago, CA_Tallguy said:

I looked up the Jackalopee -- Seems awfully expensive for a bunch of relays.

And a trouble free circuit board ( unless you let it get full of water)  and spare terminals and led's so you can trouble shoot easily and easy installation and.......

We have one on our first truck.  We also have one sitting on the workbench to be installed on the next truck.

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We have a ProPride 5th wheel suspension hitch. Still tweaking it to dial in the proper spring-to-load settings. It does NOT take care of chucking like the feature sheet indicates. I'm thinking about putting a Rotoflex pin-box on the trailer. No real suspension in the Rotoflex, just sliders and bumpers dampening the fore and aft movement.

So a combination can help the trailer ride, but I would not feel comfortable about both hitch and pin-box offering suspension.

iE3VsRCl.jpg

And the price of Jacalopee is worth it on so many levels. Absolutely makes the process of connecting your equipment painless....and it works.

Mine is under the white-box on the back of the cab. The kit came with enough of everything to run the RV connection to the rear of the truck easily. 

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I'm not seeing anyone complaining about failures of the Tekonsha unit in the reviews.  They have given it 4.8 out of 5 stars at eTrailer.

Some things I read said that you HDT folks were supposed to be more DIY inclined but I'm starting to wonder!  For under $20 you could buy the exact same relays Jackalopee uses and it wouldn't be hard to wire them up.  I'll sit down and draw out a schematic and post.

There is nothing magic about this Jackalopee box.  I think these are the same relays as used in the Jackalopee -- Beuler brand.   Just $3.59 ea.  https://www.qualitymobilevideo.com/bu5084.html

If people are willing to spend $180 (or $280 with a few extra wires) on a handful of relays and a few LED's, wow, I should print up some circuit boards and have some made, then put them on Amazon.

Am I missing something that all this does is combines the turn and brake signals?   If you want test LED's, just get a trailer wiring tester for $10 https://amzn.to/3toFUBq

The other commercial models like Tekonsha may be all electronics rather than relay based.  Electronics should be a more reliable design since they don't have any moving parts, but in the end, it's probably doing to depend on the quality of the electronics and how much they are protected or resilient in the face of vibration/dirt/moisture.   Same thing with relays except they have the additional consideration of moving parts and contacts to wear out or corrode.

Someone developed what they think would be a good electronics based design here: https://www.electroschematics.com/trailer-stop-turn-signal-converter/.   At the end of the page, they noted some problems with a commercial model they purchased at UHAUL due to low quality, inexpensive components.

 

new_18_15.jpeg

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The Jackalopee is $160, and the wiring kit is another $96.  If you add all the costs of building a home brewed unit, including a nice weather resistant box and some band-aids, the Jackalopee isn't a bad deal, and it works. I don't doubt you can find 7 wire cable for cheap, but Henry doesn't do cheap.  YMMV.

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17 minutes ago, rickeieio said:

The Jackalopee is $160, and the wiring kit is another $96.  If you add all the costs of building a home brewed unit, including a nice weather resistant box and some band-aids, the Jackalopee isn't a bad deal, and it works. I don't doubt you can find 7 wire cable for cheap, but Henry doesn't do cheap.  YMMV.

What he said. 

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I agree with you Rick.  I thought the Jackalopee was good value when I bought mine nine years ago.  I certainly don’t have the skills to build anything as good for less money.  Two hundred thousand kilometres later still works flawlessly.

 

Nigel

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 5/4/2021 at 7:16 AM, rickeieio said:

And a trouble free circuit board ( unless you let it get full of water)  and spare terminals and led's so you can trouble shoot easily and easy installation and.......

We have one on our first truck.  We also have one sitting on the workbench to be installed on the next truck.

Hey, my Jackalopee worked, even full of water if you remember. I had one led floating in the water after it rusted loose but the thing still worked.

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On 5/4/2021 at 11:52 AM, CA_Tallguy said:

Some things I read said that you HDT folks were supposed to be more DIY inclined but I'm starting to wonder!  For under $20 you could buy the exact same relays Jackalopee uses and it wouldn't be hard to wire them up. 

You keep pushing your D-I-Y method which is fine, if it works for you. To some of us D-I-Y means installing, not building. I didn't build my inverter, but I did install it and wire it.  I didn't build my brake controller but I installed it also. I didn't twist strands of copper together and coat it in plastic for either install. Some here have actually built their own beds, most have them built. And not a single D-I-Y'er built their own truck. We ALL bought one. D-I-Y can mean different things to different people.

You've made it clear, in more than one thread (and about half of your posts here) that for $20 you think you can beat the Jackalopee, and I'm happy for you. But I'll stick with a tried and true version that I know works when needed. 

Edited by Big5er
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