View Full Version : Air Bag Inflation Question

07-08-2009, 12:51 PM
Added airbags when we got the new rig. Never had them before. Dealer inflated them to approx 35 lbs and truck and rig sit nice and level. But I feel like I'm driving a boat now. What do you all run in your bags, and do you just inflate them until level or do you fine tune them to your liking? I don't really like the "boat" feel. I also don't have the in-cab control so I can't mess with them while driving to find the perfect feel.

07-08-2009, 01:26 PM
I too have the manual inflation method. I usually run 32 pounds when I am pulling the Landmark. I run about 5-10 pounds without. Seems to work for me. I have only had them for a little over a year now but I really like having them when I tow.

Good luck,

07-08-2009, 03:46 PM
I recently put air bags on my F-250. I inflated to 35lbs, it looked good so left it there and seems to tow fine. I deflate to about 7 when I'm not loaded.

07-08-2009, 03:54 PM
What are the recommendations for getting some with a built in compressor?

07-08-2009, 04:09 PM
combine billy, I thought about getting the onboard compressor, but decided that I could use the extra cash for something else. I'm thinkin Corona. Seriously, I like the idea, but I can just air them up by hand with my compressor. Just my thoughts.


07-08-2009, 05:58 PM
I put the new version of the Air Lift bags in my truck, they come with a compressor and wireless remote.

The wireless version will maintain a constant pressure (within 3 PSI)

As the bags heat up during the day they bleed air out, when they cool down air is pumped back in.

Well made, nice system.

07-08-2009, 06:09 PM
What are the recommendations for getting some with a built in compressor?

I have the on board compressor. They have pressure switches that keep a minimum of 5 pounds it them with the truck unloaded. They say you should never run with them completely empty. When I hook up the fifth wheel it shows 30+ pounds on the gauge with out adding air.

07-08-2009, 07:50 PM
To answer the OP question, on my Dodge (both of them) I never got any floating sensation. I had a 2500 and a 3500 dually. I don't think you should be getting that feeling either and you might want to double check that they are installed correctly and that there is nothing else amiss.

07-08-2009, 09:56 PM
I run mine at about 65 pounds. I like a firmer ride and it seems to control the bouncing better especially on I 30 in Arkansas and I10 in Texas, Louisiana.

07-09-2009, 02:59 PM
Thanks for the answers. I'll check everything out and play with the air pressure. I didn't think it was supposed to ride like it does.

07-14-2009, 05:53 PM
Did the dealer inflate them before or after hooking up the trailer? I know my pressure more than doubles when I put the pin weight down on the truck... mine goes from 20psi to between 45 and 50 (temp depending) - if you were already at 35 and THEN dropped the weight on there, it could running at 80 or more now -
Just a thought.

07-15-2009, 07:42 AM
Good point spookdawg13. I had thought about that and then forgot. I measured them when unhitched and they are at 35. So I need to measure them while hitched and see I guess. Maybe I'm running way over what I should be although it seems if I was the ride would be much stiffer than it is. Now it's like riding a porpoise over any good bumps.

07-15-2009, 08:29 AM
I put in about 30 pounds prior to hook up. I have the onboard controller and gauge mounted inside my glovebox, compressor mounted just in front of the fuel tank. I usually run 60-65 pounds. Once I hooked up and forgot to increase the air pressure. Started driving and something just didn't feel right, drove like a boat. Then I checked the gauge, figured out that the pressure was low, had the wife increase the pressure to desired amount while we were driving. Could actually feel the difference as it was pumping!

07-15-2009, 09:25 AM
I run 38lbs measured prior to hooking up the trailer.

07-15-2009, 09:34 AM
I run mine on 60 prior to hooking up. It goes to about 80 when hooked.

07-15-2009, 04:21 PM
Man. I run mine at about 85 PSI when hooked up and my F250 and Cyclone ride very smooth. I run about 20 when I am not towing and at about 45 when I am towing my boat. The Airbags really helped out with the weight issue on my trailer and I love them. I also have the on board compressor and that really helped me out when I went to Pizmo and got stuck in the sand, I aired down, got out of the sand and used my hose that came with the compressor to air up and I was on my way. D.

07-30-2009, 11:18 AM
I have an '01 2500 HD with the bags. I have only had them on a short time, but really like them. The ride is a bit more bouncy but far less harsh on bumps. I usually run 30-40 psi with the trailer hitched. The factory GM shocks are horrible. I had added Bilsteins several years ago. A better shock will help control the bounce. I would reccommend adding new Bilsteins before passing judgement on the ride. I can understand your complaint - the heavy front end on my Duramax bounced considerably before changing the shocks. Also, we have the optional suspension on the trailer, without shocks. I am suprised how well everything works together. This is our first fifth-wheel.

I'm hoping to add the wireless compressor setup this Christmas for fine tuning.

Another thought is keeping the trailer level. If the trailer is not level, one of the trailer's axles will be loaded more than another. I have found that I have less weight on the front trailer axle since I added the bags since the truck now rides higher in the rear. I may have to experiment with slightly lower pressures.

07-31-2009, 09:45 PM
Gave the wireless system a good workout this week - 750 mile from Elkhart to New Jersey.

You can stand 30 feet away and "eyeball" the truck height with the remote.

Set a pressure and forget it, the unit maintains the set pressure as the bags warm up and cool down.

Have 50 psi in the bags before you hook up? After hooking up and turning on the key you will again have 50 psi in less then a minute.

The wireless is simple enough to operate that I was experimenting with different pressures for my ride home. For the most part I settled on 75 PSI.

The remote has two "favorite" settings. My number one setting is the minimum 5 psi and the second is the loaded with trawler connected air.

Another advantage I found when I got home at 1:30am.
The rear stabilizing jacks hit my driveway as I tried to back in (a little steep).
For the second attempt of backing in I just hit the 1st memory on the remote and dumped the air. This lowered the front enough that I was able to get up the driveway.

08-07-2009, 07:56 PM
Added airbags when we got the new rig. Never had them before. Dealer inflated them to approx 35 lbs and truck and rig sit nice and level. But I feel like I'm driving a boat now. What do you all run in your bags, and do you just inflate them until level or do you fine tune them to your liking? I don't really like the "boat" feel. I also don't have the in-cab control so I can't mess with them while driving to find the perfect feel.
I run 15 psi towing (makes everything level).....5 psi unloaded.

08-14-2009, 09:36 AM
I run mine like most the folks here around 30 - 40 psi, i experimented from lakeview ohio all the way back to Enterprise Al and found that 50+ all the way up to 80psi started giving me chucking and more than normal bounce, i have the guages and switches, compressor and tank and it was money well spend, took about 2 hours to install everything after spending a day to decide where it all would go. I put the compressor and tank in the space above the spare tire and they fit great, i also put in a relay to power the compressor and ran the signal wire from the pressure switch up under the hood to keep it all protected.
using the bags when i park i inflate up to about 80psi in a flash then drop the front feet get her level and deflate to unhook, with the ranch hitch and b&w ball it is a snap and very fasy no levers and no messing with anything.

the guage and compressor are worth it, especially for filling tires, and inflatable toys!!

08-14-2009, 11:45 AM
02 chev duramax short bed, ext cab, oversized tires, 2500 pulling 3950 cyclone. I have Firestone air bags and at first did not have in cab pressure guage and controller. Added in cab controller and believe me it is much much nice with the ability to add or let out air depending on the roads. Much better. I run 7-10 empty and up to 85 when towing to keep pickup level and adjust how it is handling as I am going.

08-17-2009, 09:08 PM
I see a lot of 1/2 tons with air bags, and I feel they just keep the springs loose and allows the housing to go back and forth. My springs are plenty stiff on my F250. I was contemplating adding bags to soften the ride, will they cause my neck to shack with the minimum amout of air. My neck shacks now because I am to stiff on the springs.

09-09-2009, 10:33 AM
I am pulling a 2900RK Ssundance/ Pullrite super 5 hitch - with a 05 F-250 6.0 PSD - almost at max GVW, rig handles and rides super great - i do sit abouth 2" -3" ?? low on truck rear axle. Would air bags solve this ? Hopefully they wouild not upset my smooth ride ? ? I would like to hear some advice .thanks

09-09-2009, 10:55 AM
I had the same sagging look to my truck even before the weight if the hitch. My truck came with the "plow package" which raised the front end 3.5" from factory. Installing air bags cured that, the truck still rides great. I only needed a 2" lift and the Firestones can lift 5" when installed properly.

09-09-2009, 09:27 PM
what in the world is "neck shack" ? ?

09-09-2009, 10:58 PM
perhaps it should be neck shakes.

Retired CPO
09-10-2009, 08:36 AM
I recently installed the Firestone Ride Rite Air-Bags w/Compressor & Loved it. Like othere have said so well I run them at 5-7lbs dry, & 20-25 loaded with the Fith Wheel. It mostly depends on the weight over the center of your rear axel. Also considering that I have a Trail Air Hitch with a Air Bag as well so I have no need for thee higher air presures that others require. Once set for a trip I seldom have to adj. I check daily cold all air Bag presures & tires before I roll out.

09-10-2009, 11:59 AM
I now have about 1500 miles towing with the new trailer.
As posted above I am using the air bags with the wireless controller.
The wireless is a great option!

Not only for the ride adjustment but I also use it to "help" the trailer jacks. There have times now that I have either dumped all the air or pumped it up to the max (100 psi) to "level the trailer" some before putting a load on the jacks.

I am using 5 psi with no load (the minimum for the controller and bags) and typically 75 psi without the bike in the garage, 65 psi with.

Occasionally I have added or dumped air depending on road conditions, but almost always go right back to my preset 65-75 psi.

09-10-2009, 12:53 PM
Neck shack is when you have to much spring in the back. I was getting that with my truck when the extra leaf was on. Now I just did a nice trip with the springs on my F250 back to stock. It is going to stay like that too.