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Old 10-17-2023, 10:18 AM   #1
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To add airbags to F350 or not??

We've pulled our 321RSTS about 6K miles with our F350 SRW. It handles mostly "okay". Tongue wt is approaching 2500 pounds, and we are NOT overweight per the scale but there is about a 4 inch drop to the back bumper when the trailer is dropped on and driving seems to be just a wee bit "floaty" in the front end. Nothing bad. Debating leveling this out with some air bags, or wouldn't it make a significant difference in handling?
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Old 10-17-2023, 10:24 AM   #2
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We put airlift bags on our f250. I run the bags between 50-70psi depending on the roads and what we have loaded. Run with the bags empty when not hitched up.
Gets you off the rear helper springs and pushes front back to level
Truck rides as well or better with trailer.
YMMV
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Old 10-17-2023, 11:33 AM   #3
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I have bagged all of my Super Duty Trucks. My current F350 has the Airlift 5,000 Ultimates which come with an internal jounce bumper so the bags can be run nearly empty. I have an onboard compressor and adjust as I go but I am mostly in the same range as Roadrunner. I pull a fairly heavy travel trailer and don't like to go too high on the psi because it throws off my weight distributing hitch setup.
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Old 10-17-2023, 02:12 PM   #4
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I pull a Pinnacle with a 3500 dually Ram with Air lift 5000 bags set at 40 psi rig sets pretty much level and bridge approaches are no longer a white knuckle experience. Donít have any swaying but thatís the dually advantage.
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Old 10-17-2023, 05:40 PM   #5
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I have a F350 LB Dually and installed the Airlift XL 7000's with the dual wireless air control. I like them a lot.
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Old 10-17-2023, 07:36 PM   #6
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We tow 13k# with out F350 and have 3k# on the pin. I was going down the air bag route but decided to try Timbrens. Installation was pretty easy and the result is very good. I needed to address the squat when under load and it does the job well. Some folks report a rough ride after installing and driving unloaded. I haven’t had that at all.
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Old 10-17-2023, 07:38 PM   #7
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We pull the same trailer with an F-250 with the high capacity tow package. The truck naturally sits 3 and a half inches high in the rear. The trailer drops it 3 inches to virtually level.

My only adjustments were to the B&W hitch. It’s been lowered to the lowest setting and moved to the forward setting. The trailer now feels stuck to the truck, as it should.

No airbags required with this setup.
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Old 10-17-2023, 07:48 PM   #8
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Iíve got the same trailer. I was previously towing it with a Chevy 3500 SRW. I added bags on that setup, but in hindsight the trailer was not heavy enough to warrant bags on that truck. To get it level only took 15-20lbs and then I was using the bags in conjunction with the 3500 overloads making for a somewhat harsher ride. Anything more than that and my back end was higher than the front. Ford may be a different ballgame. Maybe more sag relative to the front end since theyíve always sat more level unloaded than my 2019 Chevy 3500 which had a pretty good rake to it.

If you do get them, Iíd highly recommend an on board compressor. I wasnít a believer and now Iíve got one on my 2500. So much more convenient.
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Old 10-17-2023, 09:53 PM   #9
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I’m surprised you would need airbags though with an F350 and only 2,500 lbs of pin weight. Our 31MB has a similar GVWR to yours and haven’t seen a need for airbags, Timbren’s or Sumosprings. I personally feel it’s important for the suspension to be able to flex to save wear and tear on the trailer.
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Old 10-17-2023, 10:36 PM   #10
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On our 250, without airbags, some surprise bumps and bridge transitions were so bad we almost came out of our seats a few times. Airbags (40-50#) took out 90% of the problems. Sumo Springs on the trailer made it even better. Now severe bumps are few and far between.
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Old 10-18-2023, 04:28 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bourbonman View Post
Iím surprised you would need airbags though with an F350 and only 2,500 lbs of pin weight. Our 31MB has a similar GVWR to yours and havenít seen a need for airbags, Timbrenís or Sumosprings. I personally feel itís important for the suspension to be able to flex to save wear and tear on the trailer.

I agree. That was what I was as sort of trying to get across in my post to him. I added them and didnít need them, so the suspension didnít get to work like it should causing a harsh ride.

Now, on my 2500, I need them and it makes for a great ride at 35lbs of pressure due to the softer suspension.
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Old 10-18-2023, 06:18 AM   #12
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I too added Timbrens in place of the factory bump stops. Easy to install, no air needed and the ride is excellent while towing and feels more stable. Makes no difference when the truck is not hooked as they donít touch. I also added the Sumo springs to the fifth wheel and now the combination rides and drives more like one big unit instead of feeling like your towing something.
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Old 10-18-2023, 04:21 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TxLoser View Post
I agree. That was what I was as sort of trying to get across in my post to him. I added them and didn’t need them, so the suspension didn’t get to work like it should causing a harsh ride.

Now, on my 2500, I need them and it makes for a great ride at 35lbs of pressure due to the softer suspension.

Yeah, that makes sense to me without the 3500/350 overload springs which do make a difference.

I just don’t want someone to see this thread that isn’t familiar with towing a fifth wheel to think they automatically need airbags or Timbrens or Sumosprings. I was one of those people on our first trip with our 31MB that put on Timbrens before our trip and I couldn’t believe how terrible the ride was not to mention the stress I’m sure they transferred to the frame of the trailer. We just got back from a week long trip from Phx to CO and the difference in ride quality without the Timbrens was amazing. Plus the ride without a load is now much better too.
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Old 10-21-2023, 10:37 PM   #14
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Same as all the above. I had airbags on my 2013 F250 which really helped level the truck so the headlights aren’t pointing in the air as well as a better shock absorbing ride. I now have a 2023 F350, that does not need as much help but the airbags are a still a welcome addition for all the reasons of the above responses.
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Old 11-16-2023, 08:52 AM   #15
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We run airbags on our 2020 GMC 3500 dually and couldn't be more happier. Without the bags - rough. Run at 35 lbs and runs smooth. 10lbs unhooked.
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Old 11-16-2023, 10:33 AM   #16
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2023 F350, previous 2013 F250 towing 14K Fifth. Both had airbags and were helpful in leveling and especially when driving on bouncy interstate or city freeways and bridge crossings to help cushion and absorb some of those big uneven pavement bounces. Well worth it! Yes, you can get along without and get a get a great look at the sky when driving and just accept the bounce cycle when you hit an uneven spot. I use at 50# - 60# when needed and 5# when unloaded. It's more expensive but very convenient to have the compressor to change settings as needed.
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Old 11-16-2023, 11:04 AM   #17
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We have a 23 355MBQS and a 2022 F350 SBCC. The trailer runs about 2800+ on the tongue which drops the rear a good 4" so I added Airlift 5,000 Ultimates to level the truck out. I only run about 30 in them and it does a fine job. I did notice that if you check the pressure in NJ and then drive to FL where the temps are 30 deg warmer, the pressure goes up a good bit (PV=nrT).
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Old 11-18-2023, 08:22 AM   #18
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I’ve ordered a 2024 with the high capacity tow. Will be curious to see how it does. I have Firestone ride-rite on my 2016 F250 and it made a huge difference.
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Old 11-20-2023, 09:53 AM   #19
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On my Ford F350 I installed TorkLift stable load suspension upgrade for the upper overload springs https://torkliftcentral.com/rving-an...des/stableload to mitigate the 2 inch bed compression on the upper overload springs. Lower cost and easier to install than air bags.
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