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Old 09-25-2021, 06:59 PM   #1
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Which Hitch and Air Bags for an Eagle HT 31MB

We ordered our 2022 Eagle HT 31MB a few weeks ago, looking at an early November delivery, and Iíve narrowed down to the Reese M5 or the B&W Companion hitches. I have a 2017 F250 SD 6.75í bed with OEM puck system, and Iíve asked the dealer to have the MOryde Orbital installed instead of a slider. Iím simply looking for suggestions regarding which hitch.

Also curious if yíall are using Air Bags in the rear end. Iíve watched too many videos, read too many reviews, and it seems most towing with a 3/4 ton are installing them under the assumptions itís better to have it and not need it. My F250 has the Camping and 10k packages installed, no level or lift kits, so Iím kinda curious if I will even need bags with a HT rig. My buddy pulls his Refection 150 without any squat issues with his GMC AT4. The dealer prefers not to make suggestion on payload enhancements, but for the time being I have 100lbs to spare between the suggested pin weight and my yellow sticker inside the driver door.

We are weekender type glampers who like the perks of full hook ups. Weíre moving up to the FW from a TT, typically drive <100 miles radius from home at this time, but multiple Disney trips are on the 2022 adventure list.

Thanks for you support and advice in advanceÖ and yes I have done some searching on here, but mainly stuck reading the daily updates.

Cisco for Now,
Rick
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Old 09-25-2021, 07:49 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bcane98 View Post
We ordered our 2022 Eagle HT 31MB a few weeks ago, looking at an early November delivery, and Iíve narrowed down to the Reese M5 or the B&W Companion hitches. I have a 2017 F250 SD 6.75í bed with OEM puck system, and Iíve asked the dealer to have the MOryde Orbital installed instead of a slider. Iím simply looking for suggestions regarding which hitch.

Also curious if yíall are using Air Bags in the rear end. Iíve watched too many videos, read too many reviews, and it seems most towing with a 3/4 ton are installing them under the assumptions itís better to have it and not need it. My F250 has the Camping and 10k packages installed, no level or lift kits, so Iím kinda curious if I will even need bags with a HT rig. My buddy pulls his Refection 150 without any squat issues with his GMC AT4. The dealer prefers not to make suggestion on payload enhancements, but for the time being I have 100lbs to spare between the suggested pin weight and my yellow sticker inside the driver door.

We are weekender type glampers who like the perks of full hook ups. Weíre moving up to the FW from a TT, typically drive <100 miles radius from home at this time, but multiple Disney trips are on the 2022 adventure list.

Thanks for you support and advice in advanceÖ and yes I have done some searching on here, but mainly stuck reading the daily updates.

Cisco for Now,
Rick

100 LBs minus people/pets, hitch, drinks/snacks, gadgets, weather tech mats, bull bar, and anything else that was not on the truck as it rolled off the line. Youíre gonna be way over. Bags will only make it worse, because they count against that number. How will you be on axle weight?
Iím not saying people donít do it, but you will never make the numbers work.
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Old 09-25-2021, 08:39 PM   #3
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Which Hitch and Air Bags for an Eagle HT 31MB

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100 LBs minus people/pets, hitch, drinks/snacks, gadgets, weather tech mats, bull bar, and anything else that was not on the truck as it rolled off the line. Youíre gonna be way over. Bags will only make it worse, because they count against that number. How will you be on axle weight?
Iím not saying people donít do it, but you will never make the numbers work.

I quit playing that ďnumbers gameĒ after reading all the negative replies that people were making based on how to make my truck fit a toy hauler Ö Iím close on the numbers including all those added extras, but not to the point itís going to be a huge unsafe gap. I almost didnít post the bags question here, but this forum seems a little more friendly than many of the other Iíve been reading regarding suspension.

Iím mainly looking for advice on which hitch thoughÖ
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Old 09-27-2021, 05:02 AM   #4
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New to the FW world, but I've been carrying a TC for years.

Not sure what your truck configuration is, but I'm guessing it's a diesel given that you're close on the hitch weight compared to the truck carrying capacity (the number around which us TC owners jump through hoops to avoid buying a dually)

We always head to the scales with a new truck and the expected weights we'll carry camping in the truck minus the TC.

We look at our rear axle weight (the front isn't usually an issue) and then lookup both the manufacture gross rear axle weight (RAW) as well as the actual rating of the axle the truck has.

If we're over the RAW, we consider wheel and tire upgrades. The RAW is calculated in part on the wheels/tires. I was over with my 2020 F350 due to 3200lb rated tires and 3500lb oem rims. Installed Toyo tires with load index of 29 (or 30?) rated for ~4k and Method rims rated for 4500 (maybe 5k).

With the tires still being the weak leak, from a safety perspective, I'm comfortable that the wheel/tire combo and the 11k(?) axle rating can handle the load. The stiffer rims and tire sidewalls also improved handling.

I've owned air bags twice and won't again. Might be okay in the FW world where the bed weights aren't as extreme.

I did install Stable Load lowers which engage the lowest and strongest spring in the pack early. This was the best modification for stability I've made. The F350 also has the oem overload spring up top so I put in the Stable Load uppers to also engage that earlier. Added Rancho 9000 adjustable shocks to dampen the load better and the rig rides great.

My long winded point is, you may be able to gain some piece of mind and load capacity with tire/wheel mods.

Just my humble thoughts, ymmv.
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Old 09-27-2021, 05:49 AM   #5
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I have bags on all four corners. Not really a "need" but a "want". I'm surprised at the ride quality. Soft and smooth. My helpers are barely touching the brackets. I feel it's the best ride that way.
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Old 09-27-2021, 08:29 AM   #6
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Reese M5 with Airlift air bags and on board compressor and love it.
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Old 09-27-2021, 09:12 AM   #7
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I installed a pair of Firestone bags in the back of my TV a couple years back, as my TV does not ride like it did when new. I do not have an onboard compressor.

Firestone made it easy to pick out the right set for my TV. Installation was really easy.
I did change the plumbing aspect a little bit from the installation manual. I purchased a Tee, so both bags are tied together, with a single fill port.
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Old 09-27-2021, 06:37 PM   #8
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Well…I hade a long answer typed up for you and lost it all. New user issues.

Anyway, I will shorten it up. It is hard to suggest suspension changes until you get a base line. I suggest you pull the camper as is and see if any issues. Ride height, sagging, bouncing or whatever.

As far as the right hitch, between me and my BIL we have gone through Anderson, Reese and B&W. We both use B&W. Simple and pulls very well..

I made several changes to my 2017 PS suspension as well as my 29.5BHDS to make it perfect for me. I would be happy to help you make yours perfect for you if you have any issues.
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Old 09-28-2021, 05:01 AM   #9
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Similar to CarolinaCamper I've run both a Reese and B&W hitch - IMHO the B&W is by far superior. The B&W is definitely heavier, but the build and ride quality make up for that. Needless to say, the Reese is long gone.

I've had bags on my last two trucks and love them. They've even helped improve the unloaded ride.
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Old 09-28-2021, 06:31 AM   #10
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Which Hitch and Air Bags for an Eagle HT 31MB

I had an HT I towed with a GM 2500 without bags and a B&W hitch. Love my hitch. It sat level and towed wonderfully. I was right at GVWR and a couple hundred over on longer trips. My current setup has similar proportions but a 1 ton and heavier FW. I like to tinker so I added Firestone bags after a couple years. At first, I really liked the bags. Not towing, theyíre unnoticeable. Towing, even with 15lbs in the bags itís kind of harsh. Iím still trying to work this out.

Point is, if youíre within or close to GVWR, Iíd maybe order the bags but not install them and see how it feels for a couple trips.

Being the Ford sits pretty level unloaded vs the rake of my pre 2020 GM it may be a different story, but that was my experience.
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Old 09-28-2021, 08:00 AM   #11
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Quote:
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SNIP:

I did change the plumbing aspect a little bit from the installation manual. I purchased a Tee, so both bags are tied together, with a single fill port.

End Snip:
I put a lot of thought into this - maybe too much.... but tying them together is great for getting the same pressure into them quickly and by all means a good method, but after setting the pressure, I would Isolate them again - a simple open/close valve would accomplish this well.

The reason I would isolate them is this - when going around a corner, you load the outside bag - the extra weight tries to compress the bag, which squeezes the air out of it and if tied to the other bag, there is now a place for that air to go - to the inside bag, which has a lower load on it now due to the turn and inflates - thus causing your vehicle to lean into the turn even more.

My bags are totally isolated - because i often have very unbalanced loads (truck does well more than just pull my 5'er), so I can control each bag independently to offset that load. Mine are remote with an onboard compressor, so I can adjust on the fly while going down the road.
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Old 09-28-2021, 04:33 PM   #12
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I put a lot of thought into this - maybe too much.... but tying them together is great for getting the same pressure into them quickly and by all means a good method, but after setting the pressure, I would Isolate them again - a simple open/close valve would accomplish this well.

The reason I would isolate them is this - when going around a corner, you load the outside bag - the extra weight tries to compress the bag, which squeezes the air out of it and if tied to the other bag, there is now a place for that air to go - to the inside bag, which has a lower load on it now due to the turn and inflates - thus causing your vehicle to lean into the turn even more.

My bags are totally isolated - because i often have very unbalanced loads (truck does well more than just pull my 5'er), so I can control each bag independently to offset that load. Mine are remote with an onboard compressor, so I can adjust on the fly while going down the road.
At the risk of derailing the ops thread I will also say, when my BIL called and asked the same question as to whether to isolate or pair the air bags. The air migration was a concern but also in the event of an air bag failure, if the bags are isolated you can have a rapid deflation on one side while not on the other. But admitting the risk of air migration was much more prevalent than a failure we went with the isolation.
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Old 10-05-2021, 01:29 PM   #13
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Reese M5 with Airlift air bags and on board compressor and love it.
I run this same setup on my 17 Ram 2500, pulling a 2021 31MB and LOVE it. Just replaced my Timbrens with the bags and the ride is so much better.
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Old 10-06-2021, 07:20 PM   #14
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I run this same setup on my 17 Ram 2500, pulling a 2021 31MB and LOVE it. Just replaced my Timbrens with the bags and the ride is so much better.

I went down to a local custom truck / Jeep shop to start the air bag process, and ironically they recommended the Timbrens SES over the air bag systems for what I was going to doÖ I was kinda surprised by that tbh. I have a potential delivery date for the beginning of December, weíll see how it goes with the Timbrens for now, but if itís not what I expect then bags it will be.

Thank You All for the information provided so far Ö Trust me it is valued and greatly appreciated
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Old 10-07-2021, 06:32 AM   #15
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My hitch shop I use doesnít recommend airbags either. They aim you towards Timbrens as well. I get it. No maintenance. No real install time.
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Old 10-07-2021, 07:49 AM   #16
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Our 5th GVWR is 15250# and the last trip over the CAT Scale showed at 13k# with 3k# on the pin (with a Mor-Ryde pin box). We tow with a ‘13 350 using a B&W Companion hitch. We experienced a bit of squat which I addressed with Timbren’s.
I’d suggest a trip to the scales and get your current TV weights to see if you have enough rear axle payload to carry your expected pin weight.
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Old 10-07-2021, 08:11 AM   #17
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I went down to a local custom truck / Jeep shop to start the air bag process, and ironically they recommended the Timbrens SES over the air bag systems for what I was going to doÖ I was kinda surprised by that tbh. I have a potential delivery date for the beginning of December, weíll see how it goes with the Timbrens for now, but if itís not what I expect then bags it will be.

Thank You All for the information provided so far Ö Trust me it is valued and greatly appreciated
I liked my Timbrens. They were cheap and I installed them myself. I didn't however like how they ride, they are rough, a lot of bouncing. If you don't do much towing then you'll be fine.
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Old 10-07-2021, 08:34 AM   #18
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My order of concerns regarding weak links are tires, wheels, axle.
Stock tires are typically around 3200# so #6400 total.
Toyo ATs at E rating on stock 18" rims are good for #4080 lbs/tire so you're up to #8120.
Stock rims are typically around #3500 for #7k limit.
I'm running Method rims rated for #4500 so #9k combined.
My 2020 F350 stock rear axle is rated for something around #11k. Don't have link for that but it's out there on the inter webs somewhere.


Tires

Method Wheels
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Old 10-11-2021, 12:46 PM   #19
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I liked my Timbrens. They were cheap and I installed them myself. I didn't however like how they ride, they are rough, a lot of bouncing. If you don't do much towing then you'll be fine.
Iíve read several comments about Timbrens giving a rough ride but it hasnít affected our unloaded ride quality at all. They do a great job on the squat and install was a pretty easy DIY.
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