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Old 03-19-2012, 01:33 PM   #1
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Do I need air bags?

I've got an '06 F350 SRW that came from the factory with overload/helper springs. The GVWR on the truck is 11400. The curb weight is 7650...weighed it Friday with a full tank of fuel. The RGAWR is 7000 lbs. and the FGAWR is 5600 (not sure why those two don't add up to GVWR, but that's a question for a different time). Based on the numbers, my TV cargo carrying capacity is 3750. I am soon to be picking up a 2012 365SAQ with a dry king pin weight of 2060. Just as info, the GVWR of the 365SAQ is 14060. We will be moving from a tow behind...we unloaded all our gear this weekend and everything weighed in at 520 lbs. What I wanted to find out was some opinions on whether or not air bags are required. I assume they will be suggested, but I want some real experience to help me decide. With new trailer, hitch, and all other costs (and today's fuel prices), I am of course being prudent money wise. I was quoted $450-480 installed (non-compressor...$750-780 w/ compressor). The shop quoting me said the helper springs are worthless and will just flatten out with that kind of weight. Of course I have to decide whether he was just trying to sell me air bags or was he telling the truth. Just thought I'd see what some experienced 5'ver folks think. Thanks in advance!
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Old 03-19-2012, 01:47 PM   #2
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Just read through another thread with someone asking the exact same question with regards to the exact same camper (different TV). All replies were completely in favor of the air bags. Guess that pretty much helps answer my question....now the question is, compressor or not. Would be nice knowing the compressor was there if ever needed for other air needs too.
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Old 03-19-2012, 01:47 PM   #3
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Unless there's someone out there with a similar setup (and he/she reads this post), my guess is that your only realy answer is to try it out. According to your numbers, you won't be overwieght, so you probably won't break anything by not having bags. But obviously your stability will suffer if the travel is limited. I'm going to bet that you will "want" bags to improve the ride, but you will be OK w/o them. I bought bags to put on my half ton and they installed in about one hour (no compressor). I found the best price on Amazon if that helps any.

I will be picking up our new FW that has a KP weight of only 1.7k lbs and I'll be hitching it to my '05 Silverado 2500HD Duramax. I'm hoping that my ride will be fine with this setup, but if I have problems, chances are you will have similar issues. Good luck!
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Old 03-19-2012, 01:56 PM   #4
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Thos I dont have info to help answer your original question I can tell you installing bags yourself is not a big task. I did the bags on my 1/2 ton cost about half what you were quoted. Another option to look into are Timbrens they are basically overgrown bumpstops and look to be even less work to install than bags.

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Old 03-19-2012, 01:56 PM   #5
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I bought the Airlift airbags and compressor and installed them myself, took about 2 hrs and just love the ability to be able to add or subtract air on the go or anytime. Think I paid around $350 for everything.
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Old 03-19-2012, 01:58 PM   #6
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The only reason that you'd want to add the air bags is to control squat at the rear. On your truck I'd be guessing how much squat you'd have with that pin weight. The objective in the end is to have the TV reasonably level.

The side benefit may be improved ride quality when hooked up.

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Old 03-19-2012, 02:05 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kraftchick View Post
Just read through another thread with someone asking the exact same question with regards to the exact same camper (different TV). All replies were completely in favor of the air bags. Guess that pretty much helps answer my question....now the question is, compressor or not. Would be nice knowing the compressor was there if ever needed for other air needs too.
Again, I went through the same decision making process. I ended up going w/o the compressor to save cost as I didn't plan on having my half ton that long. Turns out, I didn't even have it long enough to test the bags with our new FW; ended up trading for a diesel before installing the hitch. If I had a newer truck that I KNEW I was going to keep for many years, I would probably go with the compressor. I suppose it would be easy enough to move the compressor to a new truck, but I didn't want that extra headache then.
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Old 03-19-2012, 03:25 PM   #8
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You will not need them, the only benefit you may get will be in ride comfort. As for leveling out your ride I do not think that will be required.
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Old 03-19-2012, 08:58 PM   #9
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You will likely have to wait to see how and if it squats. It does help with the chucking and pitching of the truck/trailer also. If you get the airbags, the compressor, especially the wireless remote compressor is a thing of beauty. I love being able to get exactly the right amount of air depending on the situation (like the concrete freeways of Houston!). You won't regret this if you can afford it.
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Old 03-19-2012, 09:16 PM   #10
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I have a 2011 ford f 250 srd and the same sandpiper 265 saq. I towed from atl to orlando and it did good. When i got back from the trip I had some firestone air bags installed. They make all the difference in the world. You will need them to keep from hitting your bump stops. I got the dash mounted gage with the onboard compressor. You will not be sorry that you got them! As for the camper, make sure that that floor is not bubbling up. I was told that they have had quite a few that have done the same thing. I just got mine 1.5 months ago and the floor started bubbling up. The dealer who I purchased it from was terrible. Forest river had to come pick it up and ship it to there center in Alabama. Good luck!!
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