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Rear springs need help. Airbags?

Discussion in 'Chevy Truck Talk & GM News' started by azhobo, Sep 23, 2013.

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  1. azhobo

    azhobo New Member

    Anyone have experience using airbags to help with rear suspension sagging under load? Please share your thoughts about the different brands available. Pro's and con's of any of them you may have used?
    Better or worse than upgrading rear springs to accommodate more weight?
    I'm looking at trailer pin weights of about 1600 pounds, and the pickup isn't liking that very much. I'm still 600 pounds under the rated payload, can't imagine trying to push any higher. All other weight limits are well within allowable specs for the pickup.

    Thanks,
    Bob
  2. tbplus10

    tbplus10 Super Moderator Staff Member Platinum Contributor 1000 Posts 100 Posts

    Have you ever heard of Roadmaster Active Suspension?
    http://www.activesuspension.com/
    I used to be a big fan of airbag systems, I had them on 4 of my last 5 trucks, after trying out the Roadmaster system on my 2011 1500 while towing a loaded car trailer (5200lbs) I was sold.
    Keeps the truck level with a load on or in, assists with traction by stopping wheelhop.
    Easy install in less than an hour in the driveway with basic handtools.
    Being a mechanical system it doesnt need to be turned on or set-up, ready when you are to take on a load, when its not needed the suspension retains its factory ride qualities.
    The price is also well under the cost of a quality airbag system.
  3. aloxdaddy99

    aloxdaddy99 New Member 1000 Posts 100 Posts

    X2 on the Roadmaster. It is not very expensive. Install should take no more than an hour (that's with beer breaks) and not a factor when unloaded.
  4. Conlan Rose

    Conlan Rose Super Moderator 1000 Posts 100 Posts

    Also as a GMTC member you get a discount on RAS. RAS is made in the U.S. and their support people actually call you.
  5. azhobo

    azhobo New Member

    I was not aware of the Roadmaster Active Suspension product. Went to their website and checked it out, seems to be an excellent product, well made, etc.
    My trailer weight can get up to 5.5 tons, approaching max tow rating, but still within the spec's for my pickup, and payload weight will normally be close to 1600 pounds, also well within spec's. Are any of you gents using the Roadmaster product for those kind of loads?
    Thanks,
    Bob
  6. Conlan Rose

    Conlan Rose Super Moderator 1000 Posts 100 Posts

  7. ChevyBoy2009

    ChevyBoy2009 New Member 100 Posts

    Hmm i think i might get a set!
  8. tbplus10

    tbplus10 Super Moderator Staff Member Platinum Contributor 1000 Posts 100 Posts

    I regularly approach those size loads (and occaisionally pass them) in my 2003 Crewcab dually when towig a 45' Carson tripple axle gooseneck carhauler with 3 cars or construction equipment on the deck.
    The truck has been using a RAS for about 6 months now with great results on more than a few cross country runs.
    The RAS made the truck ride somewhat better than bags when theres no load on the deck.
  9. Necred

    Necred New Member

    I have same issues, How would/could this setup be better than "add a leaf"...?
  10. tbplus10

    tbplus10 Super Moderator Staff Member Platinum Contributor 1000 Posts 100 Posts

    AAL's (add a leaf) stiffen the suspension, when the truck is loaded or unloaded, if your an older guy like me the kidneys, back, and bladder just dont like this anymore. Due to design the RAS system doesnt start stiffening the suspension until you add weight, and the increase varies according to the amount of weight.
    My 2011 has its nice soft factory ride until I load the bed and or hook up a trailor, then it slighly squats on the RAS springs, maybe 1/2" and starts taking the load. Another benefit is the RAS acts like a sway control system and a traction system too, I no longer get wheel hop on slick surfaces.
    The RAS wont lift or rearch your springs like an AAL, so if you have sagging springs it brings them near stock specs but no added height.
    You can adjust the RAS preload to stiffen the system up if its to soft for your needs. AAL cant be adjusted, firmness or softness is what you get.

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