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Old 02-21-2024, 10:36 PM   #1
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Need for adjustable air springs

Hello, does anyone think I need air springs which are a type of airbag to keep the truck and 5th wheel from sagging? I’m getting my hitch put on this Friday and because the truck is pretty high, I may be looking at adding the lift kit which is an additional expense, but the hitch I have does have 4-5 (can’t remember) settings and the installer said he would put it on the lowest setting so hopefully that will be enough to run level. Anyhow, one of my mechanics recommended I add these adjustable air springs, but I’m wondering if these are more for larger/heavier 5th wheels.

Thank you,
Marjorie
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Old 02-22-2024, 01:36 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shlm2umac View Post
..... I may be looking at adding the lift kit which is an additional expense....
First item - do I recall correctly that your particular trailer is the Gen 1 version 5.0TA (tandem axle) with leaf springs?

If yes, then the 'lift kit' often mentioned on this forum in reference to trailers with the torsion axle will not apply; lifting a trailer with leaf springs is a different undertaking. For now let's hope that won't be necessary.
_____________

Setting that aside to discuss the need, or lack thereof, for 'air springs' ...

IIRC yours is a ~20xx Ram 4x4 truck?

Please note that a certain amount of 'sag' is perfectly normal and acceptable when a load is imposed on any truck. The question to ask: Is the truck 'sag' when loaded excessive or disproportionate front-to-rear?

I'd suggest starting by recording truck 'sag' measurements both front and rear before the hitch is installed. Measuring from the ground to high-point of each wheel-well arch is easy and repeatable; the main thing is to always measure the same way with the truck parked on level pavement of course.

I would not have 'air springs' installed at the time of hitch installation.

I would then, after the hitch installation at its lowest setting, connect the rig and again with everything on level pavement.
  • See if the trailer is very close to level or if not is 'nose low'. If this is the condition I would adjust the hitch height to bring the trailer as close as possible to level or very slightly 'nose high'. Then, with the trailer 'level', record the truck's 'sag' measurements again (always both front and rear, with all on level pavement)
  • If the trailer is 'nose high' with the hitch at its lowest setting, then you'll have to get into trying to lift the trailer on the leaf springs; for now let's hope that's not the case, come back and post here if it is.
Assuming (hoping) you can get the trailer 'level' by adjusting the hitch height without the need to 'lift' the trailer, come back to this forum thread and post all of the recorded 'sag' measurements after that is done. We can then opine about the amount of sag, whether or not it is excessive or disproportionate front-to-rear.

I'm suggesting this procedure to help determine whether or not any truck rear lift assist (e.g. 'air springs') is really needed. IMO there's a good chance that will not be needed and would be a wasted expense.

All just for your consideration, I look forward to seeing your 'sag' measurement results after the whole rig is together with the trailer 'level'.

Good Luck.
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Old 02-22-2024, 07:18 AM   #3
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Yup, what Alan said.

Also, Marjorie, it would be valuable when ppl are trying to help you if they knew what trailer you actually have and your tow vehicle. From previous discussions, I believe yours is not a 2020 Escape.

To edit or add your information you can do it in a couple ways. Personally, I find the easiest when I'm looking for someone's info is to have it right under their user name.

To do that go to the green bar near the top of the forum page, on the left click on USER CP (for Control Panel). Once on that page, down the left side you'll see a list of choices. At the top of the list click on Edit Your Details. At the bottom of the first section click on RV Year and Model. Delete "2020 Escape" and add in your correct info, both year and model ie. 2015 5.0TA. Having your tow vehicle info there like some do makes it easy for forum members to help you with questions without asking or having to guess.

There is also a way to add your info at the bottom of every post, like Alan's above. Just ask how to do it if you prefer that.
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Old 02-22-2024, 07:54 AM   #4
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I'd like to amend the suggested 'sag' measurement procedure I posted above.

Rather than measuring from the ground to the high-point of the wheel well arch, please measure from the center of the wheel hubcap to the high-point of the wheel well arch (everything else still holds).

This eliminates a variable relating to tire pressure when the measurements are made.
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Old 02-22-2024, 08:55 AM   #5
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Oh my. I think someone told me before (might have been you, Alan) to change that and I forgot. Thank you for the reminder.
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Old 02-22-2024, 08:57 AM   #6
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Thanks for your detailed and thorough (without judgement) support Alan! Blessings.
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