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Old 06-23-2015, 07:32 AM   #1
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possibly adding air bags

Hello I have a 2015 Sunset light 270bh which is being towed by a 2011 F150 Ecobeast Maxtow with a Equilizer 4k hitch and I seem to squat in the back of the truck and the ride is really rough with a lot of sway. When I measure the height of the truck it appears to measure good when hooked up. So I am considering air bags, what are your expert opinions and then what do I do with this fancy hitch?
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Old 06-23-2015, 07:45 AM   #2
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Do you know what your tongue weight is loaded?
If you have max tow, and max payload, factory brake and sway control, it seems odd to me you would be having to much trouble if the hitch is setup correctly.

Do you have the 17 in. E rated tires? If so, what are you running for air pressure?
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Old 06-23-2015, 07:57 AM   #3
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Unfortunately I do not know my tongue weight. I have 18" e rated Michelin LT tires running 50 psi.
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Old 06-23-2015, 08:58 AM   #4
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does your front end lift when connected, or is you back end just squating. if your front end hight loaded is higher than unloaded you need to readjust your hitch. tilt the head down and raise your brackets up to put more pressure on the bars. this will also help with sway as more pressure meanes more friction for anti sway. your truck actually has a 3in rake. rear is 3 inches higher than front, so if the rear squats a couple of inches when all is said and done trailer and truck should ride level. I did add firestone workright spring helpers (similar to Timbrens) to my F150, to help keep some of the factory rake, but it is not required.
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Old 06-23-2015, 10:09 AM   #5
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Are you sure your tires are 18 in.?

What's printed on the side wall for max load at max air pressure, and what does it say for max air pressure?

Reason I'm questioning you is I have the same truck as you say you have, and mine came with LT245/75R17 E rated tires.
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Old 06-23-2015, 11:47 AM   #6
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Yes Lloyd my tires are 18's Lt275/65r18, with an 80 psi max pressure.
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Old 06-23-2015, 12:33 PM   #7
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OK. That's good to get that verified. I guess when I got my truck I don't think they were an option.

Now. next time you hookup, put about 70--75# in the tires. That should help.
Next follow what cw3jason posted.

Find a scale that you can weigh on so you know what you have. Other wise you're just shooting in the dark. For all you know right now, you could 3000# on the hitch, or maybe only 100#.
Get everything figured out as to what they are before spending any money on air bags.
If you want to spend a little money right now----get yourself a tongue scale.

Amazon.com: sherline scale

It's cheaper then air bags. Then you will always know where you are with the loading for a trip.
In my opinion, you shouldn't need air bags if you get it set right.
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Old 06-23-2015, 12:41 PM   #8
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I am in the process of trying to talk the rent-a-cops (overpaid security guards with huge ego's) into letting me weight the trailer at work on a scale that is hardly ever used. Otherwise hopefully I can talk a local grain mill into letting me use their scale.

I leave next week for South Dakota and hope to have this figured out.
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Old 06-23-2015, 12:48 PM   #9
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Sound good. I weigh locally here the same way.
Try and get as many different weights as possible.
truck alone
truck & trailer
front and rear axles on the truck with and without trailer
trailer alone
trailer only while hooked to truck
Do all of this when the trailer and truck are loaded the way it is when you go camping.
Good luck
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Old 06-24-2015, 07:46 AM   #10
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Running higher pressure in the tires will help. When towing I would be running 75 to 80 lbs in load range E tires.
Getting it weighted will help to determine if the hitch needs adjusting - bar tension-load /position.
Remove the OEM shocks and install Bilstein shocks.
Air bags will help with the sag and ride.
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Old 06-24-2015, 10:09 AM   #11
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I ended up putting load lifter 5000 airbags on my old TV (03 gmc 1500). They were awsome. Turned the truck into a caddy.
I had the same problem with sag. WD hitch was diled in as much as i could get it without breaking the bars. My tongue weight was around 900, plus i had a bunch of bikes and other stuff in the bed.
Before the bags my rear would fall almost 6 to 8 inches. I got them because one of my springs was worn a bit and the truck would sit unevenly.
I did end up trading up on my truck though. After to a few weigh-ins like some other posters suggested, i found that my gcvwr was over by 1500lbs and my front axle weight was close to max.
I am moving from the east coast to the west, so a new TV was in order. I wanted to safely tow my rig, not barely tow it.

Long story longer, i really liked the feel of the bags. Softened the ride too.
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Old 06-24-2015, 08:14 PM   #12
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I have Firestone Ride-Rites with onboard compressor, and they are awesome if you need them. However, I don't think you need them. I agree with the others that you need to make sure your hitch is set up properly, and then boost your air pressure in your tires to 75 to 80 psi. 50 psi in a Load Range E tire is underinflated, and will cause you problems with wear and overheating, not to mention sway. I think you'll be just fine with the correct setup and tire pressure.
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Old 06-24-2015, 08:39 PM   #13
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I wish I had more time before my big trip, I will inflate the tires more, even though the tire stealership told me to follow my door. I just hope I am not white knuckles all 1400 miles. My old Jayco was a lot easier to tow.
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Old 06-24-2015, 10:01 PM   #14
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I weighed my 2016 st27bh on a portable scale and my tongue weight was 800# with 2 batteries, 2 30# tanks over half full, and water tank over half fill. Black and grey were about full. Had chairs and fishing gear in front storage.

I'd go airbags, it's what everyone does who wants to keep the ride comfy when unloaded.
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Old 06-25-2015, 06:36 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PokerMunkee View Post

I'd go airbags, it's what everyone does who wants to keep the ride comfy when unloaded.

I don't have air bags, and there sure isn't anything wrong with the ride on my tv.
Like stated previously, get the hitch setup correctly, and pump those tires up in air pressure. 50# of pressure just isn't enough. You will have all kinds of sidewall flexing, and that will cause sway...... big time.
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Old 06-25-2015, 08:31 AM   #16
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Lloyds advice is sound go that route before you jump to the Air Bags.
And yes 50lbs is not enough.
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Old 06-25-2015, 09:28 PM   #17
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I agree. I put airbags on my previous truck (Silverado). It helped with leveling but not much with sway. Went with a 10 ply tire and much improved. I don't really understand how the pressure stated on the door panel can apply to all tires placed on the vehicle. I am inclined to think the tire manufacturer should now more about their tires than the manufacturer of the vehicle.
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Old 06-25-2015, 09:51 PM   #18
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Look at the Roadmaster Active Suspension. It levels out the truck, and helps against sway. I've had it for 2 years and like it better than the air bags. Check it out.
Roadmaster Active Suspension Kits | Helper Springs | Overload Springs
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Old 06-26-2015, 05:16 PM   #19
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I like it. May need to install on mine.
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Old 06-26-2015, 05:54 PM   #20
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I agree. I put airbags on my previous truck (Silverado). It helped with leveling but not much with sway. Went with a 10 ply tire and much improved. I don't really understand how the pressure stated on the door panel can apply to all tires placed on the vehicle. I am inclined to think the tire manufacturer should now more about their tires than the manufacturer of the vehicle.
Tim, I went to several tire manufacturer web sites and they all say follow whats on the door. Then I emailed Michelin and their response was they will need all the weights for each corner of the truck, which does not sound that easy. But I am going to inflate them to 70 and see how it does driving around this weekend. While I look for a scale.
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