Tongue weight where air bags are justified ?

UTEngineer

Tremor Fiend
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Location
Salt Lake City, UT
Current Ride
2021 Ford F-250 Lariat 7.3L w/ Tremor & Blackout Packages
Current Ride #2
2017 Polaris General 4-Seater w/ Tailpipe Turbo
My bumper pull travel trailer has a tongue weight of ~ 1200 lbs.

Only carry 200 to 300 lbs of gear in the bed … plus two small kids in car seats in the back seat (wife and I in the front seats).

Wondering what tongue weight justifies installing air bags on my new 2021 F250 7.3 Tremor ?

Anyone out there have experience with a similar tongue weight with & without air bags installed ?

Appreciate any friendly feedback.


Side Note: Had Airlift air bags with the Airlift air compressor and wireless remote on my 2019 Duramax … but never towed without the air bags to know if they were truly necessary. Also put limit straps on my rear suspension to keep the tire techs / mechanics from potentially damaging the air bags by lifting the truck without properly supporting the rear end (saw them do this to another guy’s truck and damage the air bags ?).
 
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Shouldn't need them with a properly set up weight distribution hitch. The factory hitch is rated for 2100 lbs.
Agreed … I need to spend the time next weekend setting up my Equalizer brand weight distribution hitch (had it since 2017 … now three different trucks).

Already got 3 different drop height shanks thanks to my previous truck towing at stock height, 2 inch lifted height, and 4 inch lifted height … so adjusting to the proper hitch height won’t be an issue.

However, I distinctly remember the Equalizer instructions saying to measure your front wheel well height before starting … put the trailer on the ball with no weight distribution and measure the front wheel well height again … subtract the two measurements … then add washers until you get ~ 50% of the wheel well height difference back when sitting on the ball using the weight distribution bars. I took the time to do this procedure on my 2017 F150 since I was towing ~ 9,000 lbs. But honestly, just ran the same weight distribution setup on the Duramax because I was too lazy to set it up specifically for the Duramax (never had any issues).

Now the “not-so-fun” part of setting up a new truck for camping begins ?
 
I pull my trailer, 11.5k fully loaded with my current F150 with an equalizer hitch with 14k bars and it rides fine. Going to use the same system on my Tremor when it arrives.

Tongue weight is 1200 measured on a cat scale.
 
I pull my trailer, 11.5k fully loaded with my current F150 with an equalizer hitch with 14k bars and it rides fine. Going to use the same system on my Tremor when it arrives.

Tongue weight is 1200 measured on a cat scale.
Sounds like your travel trailer is a little heavier than mine (+1500-2,000 lbs). Also, my travel trailer design has the fresh water tank at the very front, plus the full propane tanks puts it at ~1,200 tongue weight. Here is a picture of the setup with my previous Duramax.

1627859586486.jpeg
 
Sounds like your travel trailer is a little heavier than mine (+1500-2,000 lbs). Also, my travel trailer design has the fresh water tank at the very front, plus the full propane tanks puts it at ~1,200 tongue weight. Here is a picture of the setup with my previous Duramax.
Here my current setup. The Tremor will be a much better tow rig but so far the F150 had handled it for 2,000 miles this camping season.

PXL_20210403_171524002.jpg
 
Here my current setup. The Tremor will be a much better tow rig but so far the F150 had handled it for 2,000 miles this camping season.

View attachment 29315
Pulled our travel trailer with a 2017 F150 w/ 3.5L Ecoboost & 10-speed transmission for two camping seasons … from Utah to Montana and back … and Utah to California and back … towed surprisingly well … amazing what these new half-tons can tow. But I will admit it felt so much safer towing with a heavy duty truck with bigger brakes … especially with high side winds hitting the travel trailer.
 
I had airbags on my 2019 duramax and I honestly think they are only good for leveling your headlights. Suspension is suppose to squat by design. Now if you’re riding on your bump stops them that’s another story and you’re probably over loaded at that point
Big difference between the bumps and the overload springs.

Yes if you are riding on the bumps that is a bit much but riding on the overload springs is normal
 
Our TT was showing about 1200 pound tongue weight with the fresh water tank full and both grey and black empty other than a few gallons in black before we left for a trip this summer. No issues or need for bags at that weight with 4 bodies in cab, firewood and other crap in bed. I use a Recurve R6 WDH for long hauls, but have also pulled with about 1000 pound tw using just the weigh safe drop hitch.
 
I pull a TT about 13.2 fully loaded about 1680 on the hitch. I use a WD hitch setup properly and it can be a little rough sometimes.
On my dually don't use WD and we hit overloads quite often. The trailer is pretty brutal on single wheels and have tried airbags before on my other single wheels and by the time you air them up enough to work ride just get more harsh.
This is lots and lots of trial and error and I do know how to setup WD.
So my humble opinion WD setup properly the best way to roll!
 
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I pull a TT about 13.2 fully loaded about 1680 on the hitch. I use a WD hitch setup properly and it can be a little rough sometimes.
On my dually don't use WD and we hit overloads quite often. The is pretty brutal on single wheels and have tried airbags before on my other single wheels and by the time you air them up enough to work ride just get more harsh.
This is lots and lots of trial and error and I do know how to setup WD.
So my humble opinion WD setup properly the best way to roll!
I agree. My bags were aired up so much to get me level that I think it hurt the ride.
 
One other thing, if you actually go off roading standard airbags won't play well with your suspension. These truck actually can articulate a fair amount. Unless you do a cradle setup these trucks will tear standard airbag setup..
 
I think I concur with the other opinions. Airbags are really only good for getting headlights back on target but can really make for a harsh ride. I'm not a big fan of suspension leveling for that reason. Properly loaded the truck is nearly level with the trailer attached. WD hitch restores front axil load and steering control. Baring unusual circumstances I doubt I'll be adding air bags to the 350 KR. We will be pulling a 28' standard trailer less than 13K pounds and 1300 tongue weight. Probably will run somewhere between 9K and 11K for most outings. ? ?:cool:
 
Piling on to the idea that air bags just level the headlights. If you want to level the truck, get air bags. If you want to improve handling (and as a consequence level the truck), use a weight distributing hitch.

This video show how the weight on the axles changes with each setup. Air bags actually removed a bit more weight from the front axle.

 
Piling on to the idea that air bags just level the headlights. If you want to level the truck, get air bags. If you want to improve handling (and as a consequence level the truck), use a weight distributing hitch.

This video show how the weight on the axles changes with each setup. Air bags actually removed a bit more weight from the front axle.

Oh and to add on to this, the place where air bags shine is fifth wheel and gooseneck towing. The pin weights are notably heavier than conventional, and the weight is already farther forward so there’s less need for weight distribution - don’t mind the fact there isn’t a way to redistribute the weight.
 
Piling on to the idea that air bags just level the headlights. If you want to level the truck, get air bags. If you want to improve handling (and as a consequence level the truck), use a weight distributing hitch.

This video show how the weight on the axles changes with each setup. Air bags actually removed a bit more weight from the front axle.

I clicked on the video and realized as soon as it started that I'd watched it before. Great share and very educational for those new to towing and even good details for those with experience. ? ?:cool: ??
 
I clicked on the video and realized as soon as it started that I'd watched it before. Great share and very educational for those new to towing and even good details for those with experience. ? ?:cool: ??
Yep, I’ve already shared it a number of times here on the forum, and ain’t gonna stop! Such a good one. ? ?
 
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