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Rear springs need help. Airbags?

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

  1. azhobo

    azhobo New Member

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    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
    #1
  2. tbplus10

    tbplus10 Moderator

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    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.
    #2
  3. aloxdaddy99

    aloxdaddy99 New Member

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    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.
    #3
  4. Conlan Rose

    Conlan Rose Super Moderator

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    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.
    #4
  5. azhobo

    azhobo New Member

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    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
    #5
  6. Conlan Rose

    Conlan Rose Super Moderator

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    #6
  7. ChevyBoy2009

    ChevyBoy2009 New Member

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    Hmm i think i might get a set!
    #7
  8. tbplus10

    tbplus10 Moderator

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    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.
    #8
  9. Necred

    Necred New Member

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    I have same issues, How would/could this setup be better than "add a leaf"...?
    #9
  10. tbplus10

    tbplus10 Moderator

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    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.
    #10
  11. dsfloyd

    dsfloyd New Member

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    The RAS seems like a great solution and as others have said get great reviews. I only have experience with the Firestone industrial Airbags and think they are great. That bieng said the RAS system is something I would consider if I didnt already have bags.
    #11
  12. JimmyA

    JimmyA Member

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    The RAS is on my Bucket List!
    #12
  13. CKNSLS

    CKNSLS New Member

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    You have 2,200 pounds of payload as indicated by the yellow and white sticker on your driver's door jam? It's located under the tire sizes and says something as follows-The passengers and cargo for this vehicle shall not exceed XXXX?

    What does it say?
    #13
  14. Necred

    Necred New Member

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    My towing cap is 9400, but ive yet to come close to that, my tractor is 4200 & trailer around 2000 & my truck will squat like a baby. Even with ton of gravel its obvious. Im actually looking to buy a 2500 when/if guy makes up his mind..
    #14
  15. CKNSLS

    CKNSLS New Member

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    Your right-you will not come close to your towing capacity in a half-ton. YOUR PAYLOAD is different from the towing capacity. On a half-ton truck YOU WILL ALWAYS RUN OUT OF PAYLOAD before your TOWING CAPACITY.

    As a general rule you can't tow the maximum the manual states because you will run out of payload first. A ton of gravel is overloading your truck. I am guessing your payload is not more than 1500 pounds.
    #15
  16. Necred

    Necred New Member

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    Yeah, & this (gravel) was also on a trailer. I paid for a ton but it was one scoop...so how will this system or how much should this system allow me to pull/haul? I had to get another hitch with higher ball mount to keep trailer jack from scrubbing ground....The most I would pull is a 4200 tractor with 800lb mower on a 2k trailer so my tongue weight shouldn't be exceeded.
    #16
  17. Conlan Rose

    Conlan Rose Super Moderator

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    This system will help your truck actually handle and utilize what its rated for, if you go to http://www.activesuspension.com/ the RAS website they explain how RAS works and what it can improve. They truly have all the answers you need and if you still have questions you can call them and talk to an associate.
    #17
  18. dsfloyd

    dsfloyd New Member

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    Nothing will allow you to legally pull/haul more than what your truck is rated for. My bags are rated for 5000lbs but my payload limit is only around half that. On a trailer most the weight is not on the truck so it just has to help level from the tongue weight.
    #18

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