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brockhals

Airbags for Towing

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I'm thinking about adding airbags to handle the tongue weight when towing my boat.  With these low hitch locations I'm about 4" low to get the trailer level after squatting the truck (tongue is probably about 700 lbs or so, but the coupler is high mounted on the trailer too).  I thought about getting a rise hitch to account for the difference and keep it and the truck level when towing, but then I can't open my tailgate.  So, I'm hoping airbags will do the trick.  My question - Say I need 70 psi to level the truck and trailer, if I leave that 70 psi in the bags at all times, will my ride suffer any?  I've had super springs before and they stiffened it up and I don't want that to happen on this one.  Stock Denali with the 6.2

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It sure will. It’s gonna be taller in the back (which might be too high to hitch the trailer) and it’ll definitely be bouncy.

 

The best way to do it is to buy an onboard air system as well. I’ve used the wireless one from airlift.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

 

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700# isn't that extreme for your truck.

 

Could this be an easier solution? You said the coupler is "high mounted", can you reconfigure the coupler on the trailer to drop it down a couple inches? some are adjustable, or you could obtain some plates that bolt up to the existing tongue. Even having a custom shop re-weld it in a lower position might be easier, unless you really want the airbags and on-board compressor.

 

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have you looked into something like sumo-spring, sounds like a good solution for your issue. also maybe a weight distribution hitch, might not be too ideal for a boat since you hook and unhook quit often with a bout but 700tongue weight that lead me to believe your boat is 7000lbs which could benefit from a WDH

 

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700lbs should be about 2" of squat.  What's the drop on the current hitch?  You can flip them over.  Most have two ratings.

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I put sumo springs on my '18 for the occasional hay hauling and tractor towing.  They worked great!  Limited the squat and weren't in play in normal driving.  I'll probably add them to my '20 AT4 in the spring.

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22 hours ago, MichLakes said:

700lbs should be about 2" of squat.  What's the drop on the current hitch?  You can flip them over.  Most have two ratings.

I'm running it as a 1" rise currently so a new hitch would certainly be an option,  but any taller and I can't open my tailgate

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22 hours ago, NonTypicalCPA said:

I put sumo springs on my '18 for the occasional hay hauling and tractor towing.  They worked great!  Limited the squat and weren't in play in normal driving.  I'll probably add them to my '20 AT4 in the spring.

I've looked at those as well.  So no impact to normal driving?

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25 minutes ago, brockhals said:

I've looked at those as well.  So no impact to normal driving?

I can't speak for Sumo, but I had their competitor rear bumper springs from Timbren. I found that unless you are loaded to the point of riding on them, they are more annoying because unloaded you will occasionally hit them going over a bump and then its just obnoxious. The problem is that they shorten the free suspension travel, and then make contact. So if your trailer drops your axle enough to ride on the SUMO's then that would be a nice ride. But with only 1" of drop you would likely be banging off those bump stops every time you hit a dip in the road.

 

Based on my experience, I would not recommend the NON-adjustable bump stop springs. Instead I would consider some manually adjustable air springs. But instead of either, I actually installed Hellweg helper springs on my ride. Similar to adding a leaf, but easier to install and they can be "adjusted" by tightening the u-bolts more for heavier load. And they are not noticeable when driving unloaded.

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2 hours ago, brockhals said:

I've looked at those as well.  So no impact to normal driving?

None at all. Made no difference in the ride.  And I never felt them or heard them during normal driving or when I was hauling.

Edited by NonTypicalCPA

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3 hours ago, aseibel said:

I can't speak for Sumo, but I had their competitor rear bumper springs from Timbren. I found that unless you are loaded to the point of riding on them, they are more annoying because unloaded you will occasionally hit them going over a bump and then its just obnoxious. The problem is that they shorten the free suspension travel, and then make contact. So if your trailer drops your axle enough to ride on the SUMO's then that would be a nice ride. But with only 1" of drop you would likely be banging off those bump stops every time you hit a dip in the road.

 

Based on my experience, I would not recommend the NON-adjustable bump stop springs. Instead I would consider some manually adjustable air springs. But instead of either, I actually installed Hellweg helper springs on my ride. Similar to adding a leaf, but easier to install and they can be "adjusted" by tightening the u-bolts more for heavier load. And they are not noticeable when driving unloaded.

See I looked at both and the sumo are softer and get harder the more you compress them that is why I thought they might be better but without prior experience with either. I would say to listen to you considering you have at least tried them.

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14 hours ago, Moend said:

See I looked at both and the sumo are softer and get harder the more you compress them that is why I thought they might be better but without prior experience with either. I would say to listen to you considering you have at least tried them.

Well, you could be right about the Sumo's being softer. But I still think you'd know when you hit them.

It comes down to knowing how you plan to use the truck. I haul lumber and landscaping materials around, and I'm happy with my helper springs. My trailer is only rated for 3,000 lb for lawnmower, etc. so tongue weight has never been a problem for me.

The newer trucks sag a lot less under load than the old generations. The springs are stiffer, and therefore a lot of people complain about the ride when unloaded already. There are a bout 17 million threads on here complaining about the shocks, but people forget the springs carry the weight. Sumo springs are designed to help by removing the load from the leaf pack and basically your frame is riding right on the axle with a chunk of rubber in between. Its not an improvement in ride quality.

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I have the Timbren's and notice no difference in normal everyday driving....EXCEPT when I hit a big bump like railroad tracks or something like a frost crack in the road.  In those situations they come in contact with the bumps stops and it feels stiff.  I will say that they are great when towing and wouldn't be without them on my current setup.  I might try Sumo next time as they are a more progressive spring rate as NontypicalCPA mentioned.

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I tried the firestone airbags and they didn't fit correctly.  Sent pics to Firestone and they had no comment, except they had never seen that issue before.  Tried the Timbrens and they bottom out in the smallest rise in the road.  Felt like ran over a pothole.  Just raise the hitch height and be done with it.  

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Carry a block to go under the trailer jack might be the easiest/cheapest. (If I’m understanding you’re problem correctly)


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

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