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Old 04-16-2014, 08:17 AM   #1
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What do air bags do for you on a gas coach?

Do air bags improve handling or ride? How so?

Just wondering why someone might want to add airbags to a late model Ford chassis.
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Old 04-16-2014, 09:04 AM   #2
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Best $
towing upgrade
we did to our 05 6.0, pulling an SOB 5th wheel.
They did make the unloaded ride a little stiffer.
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Old 04-16-2014, 09:41 AM   #3
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I'll kick off what I'm sure will be a firestorm. But, I think air bags are sometimes a crutch for an overloaded vehicle OR a hitch setup that is improper in capacity or setup. Air bags will level out your tow vehicle but they do nothing to increase the payload capacity of the tow vehicle. Especially with a tow behind, I think you are much better off with a proper WD hitch strategy and staying within your limits. You can make a better case for them if you are pulling a 5er; to level out the TV; perhaps reduce chucking; but again; not to exceed vehicle capacity.

There are many people who swear by them and I'm sure they provide benefits in the right circumstances. I'm just saying, don't use air bags to "cover up" a problem.
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Old 04-16-2014, 09:56 AM   #4
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I believe he is talking about a Motorhome not a truck/trailer combo.
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Old 04-16-2014, 10:18 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by travyp View Post
I believe he is talking about a Motorhome not a truck/trailer combo.
That's correct a 38 foot Encounter on a 2011 Ford F53 22000 chassis.

I am not overweight according to the scales; I do have a 1 1/4 inch height difference with the right rear being the low point. It does not really show visually but I've measured and found this difference consistent over time. I have addressed via load management carrying the heavier items on the left side but it's a fairly balanced load. I do have a large slide on the right side that is not quite half the coach length.

So I might use the bags to adjust the height on the right bringing it up an inch I gather. So far this difference has not affected use or handling that I know of.

So what about handling? With a steering shock, track bar, tire pressures, and load management I have handling improved 95% over what it was when I first drove it off the dealers lot. Are bags going to make any difference in handling?

Thanks all for helping me understand....

Roll
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Old 04-16-2014, 10:59 AM   #6
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I have a 2014 F-53 18k chassis and also have a slight height difference with the rear being the low point but no difference side to side. I also have a safe-t-plus steering damper and have moved the front & rear sway bar link to the inner position. I don't tow but may be in the future so I to am wondering what benefit air bags would provide. With that being said, I would never use airbags to provide relief for over GAWR issues.
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Old 05-14-2014, 11:20 AM   #7
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I'm a Class C guy but this should still apply.. I have factory air bags installed and have run with them set at like 25psi with and without towing a Wrangler 4 door and the coach runs down the road pretty good with not to many issues other then the effects of an 18 wheeler.. now do nothing different but pump the bags up to 85/90 psi and the unit is much more stable going down the same highway and the big trucks are not so much of an issue.. it's a 31' coach so it tends to ride pretty good to start with,, the only Big difference i've seen is sharp speed bumps in some Camp grounds are more of a sharp drop off that make the dishes rattle.. not sure I explained that clear or not.. but bottom line it made a nice change for the better with side to side movement or to help get it under control.. and I do not have any extra sway bars or steering dampers other than what came on it from the factory..
hope that helps some..
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Old 01-21-2015, 01:03 PM   #8
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I have them on my coach. Didn't know it first couple of trips and we rolled quite a bit. Found the airbag inflation points, filled to 55psi and never looked back!
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Old 02-22-2015, 04:32 PM   #9
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I agree ours are pumped up to 85ish and itis good.
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Old 03-25-2015, 10:03 PM   #10
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I can only give my personal experience. I have a 1997 Georgie Boy Pursuit with the Ford F-53 chassis. Before I discovered that it had air bags in the rear It would rock and roll going down the road and in turns. When I found that it had air bags in the rear I traced the lines where you add air to the bags in one of the compartments. I put 60 PSI of air in each bag and Wow what a difference in Handling. Much more stable now and no more rock and roll. So yes they do help handling and stability. I also have a steer safe on the front. I am going to add a track bar in the future to improve the handling even more.
Mel
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