Post 57: Need Extra Firmness?

Need Extra Firmness?

Utah - Bonneville Salt Flats
Had to have a shot of Bill standing in front of our rig on the Bonneville Speedway Salt Flats

OK, sorry for the suggestive title of this post! Just trying to attract some visitors lol.

As many of you know, we have a 2008 Chev Silverado 2500HD. We pull a 31″ 2016 Springdale that weighs in around 8100 pounds. We are well within our towing capacity but it has felt a little unstable.

We put new shocks on it this year and immediately saw an improvement in the ride. However. we were still experiencing some uncomfortable situations when pulling the trailer over rough roads.

Standing still, the rear of the truck was sagging a bit, despite maximizing the equalizing hitch system. We were even more concerned that the rear end would be even lower when we were towing down the highways.

The final straw was when we hit a major bump or hole, the truck and trailer rocked back and forth (porpoising) a lot more than seemed natural.

Back in our old home town again.

After we got back to our old home town (London, On) to visit, we went to a garage we trusted in St Thomas, Ontario (Elgin TireCraft). Bill explained to Nate (an old racing buddy) what we were experiencing. He discussed several options with us (re-arch the leaf springs, add a leaf spring or add something called ‘Air Lift‘ support bags).

After careful consideration we decided to go with the LoadLifter 5000 lb Air Lift support bags, which are adjustable from 5lbs to 100lbs of air. Suggested installation time is 2 hours (very aggressive, took us 4-5 hours).

Air Lift has several other options, but this is what was recommended to us. After careful consideration, this seemed to fit our needs.

We purchased the kit (about $550 Canadian). Our oldest son (Bill) agreed to help us install the airbags. The instructions were very detailed, but you need to pay careful attention to them. After a bit of back and forth, we had the Air Lift units assembled and were ready to install them. One of the steps is to remove the original bump stops from the truck. One side came off pretty easily, but the drivers side was not happening lol.

We gave up and decided to ask Elgin Tirecraft to use their torch to remove the final bump stop.

Nate was so helpful, he scheduled us in on a busy Friday and after only 15 minutes or so, the mechanic had the bump stop removed.

Returning ‘home‘, Bill was able to complete the installation in an hour or two.

After installation of Air Lift!

Once installed, the difference was remarkable. Putting 80 lbs of air into the bags, raised the truck and trailer so the angle was just above level at the hitch. What a difference! The truck and trailer were much more stable and drove so much easier!

When we are not pulling the trailer, we reduce the air to around 30 lbs. This gives us a stable ride that is comfortable.

Air Lift Products sells On-Board Air compressor, but we choose a simple bicycle pump to inflate the air bags. Only takes a dozen or so pumps to get the bags to 80 lbs.

We highly recommend the Air Lift product (and no, they are not paying us or giving us free product to write this review lol).

Safe travels!

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