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Old 04-05-2013, 11:06 AM   #21
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Let's talk air bags...

I've had the gauge, controls, and compressor installed in cabin before for the air bags on my old Tahoe. Definitely a convenience and luxury item.

I don't find myself tweaking the airbags that often on my smb plus I already have a compressor installed for air ups.

I think unless you're adjusting airbags daily might not be worth the extra cheddar to pay for and install in cabin airbag gauges and control.

Airbags do help me balance the rear of my smb. If I load up my right rear aluminess box with Jerry cans and genie it leans that way. A quick pump of air to the bags and I can correct the lean.

By the way for towing without a weight dist bar your putting all the weight on your tongue and over your rear axle causing the front to rise and leaving you less than ideal tire contact up front = less traction = less control. I see probably 80% of people towing on the road with no setup at all. Pretty unbelievable.

Good read here: http://www.etrailer.com/faq-weightdistribution.aspx

Also check out the Equalizer hitch. Combats weight dist and sway in one system.
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Old 04-05-2013, 11:21 AM   #22
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Re: Let's talk air bags...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Silver350
So does the sway or anti sway bar improve handling when towing? Seems to me like it would minimize input from the trailer when braking going into corners.

Edit: or would air bags have a similar effect?
Yes, a sway bar does help. But really a weight distribution hitch is the best upgrade for towing. Airbags don't seem to help trailer handling too much (in comparison), until you get a really heavy load where the leaf springs become too soft.

Also, a weight distribution hitch helps the ride on bouncy roads (like those drainage whoops in the desert). It makes both ends of the van work together, instead of the front dipping, then coming back up right as the back end dips. It basically gets ride of the see-saw sensation.
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Old 04-07-2013, 10:27 AM   #23
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Re: Let's talk air bags...

Great info guys! I was out for work and couldn't get to the thread...

I have a 97 with an Action Van 6" lift. So, different rear springs and the blocks to raise it up. I am having sag issues when towing or hauling a bike. It sits almost level with zero load, but I get the trailer on and I get sag:



I also feel the rear is a bit softer than I would like. I was thinking hauling a bike with bags would make life nicer. It's kind of like the thought that too little sag allows the rear to squat under load and while great traction is nice, it causes the motor to work harder.

I'm not looking at trying to have wheel spin, but thinking the load transfer only causes more work for the van at speed and especially with the trailer...

The trailer never has more than 2 motorcycles in it so, it isn't too heavy. The van vs the dually seems to struggle more and i thought bags MIGHT help a bit.

Interested in that sway bar idea also. Any links to one?
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Old 04-07-2013, 10:31 AM   #24
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Re: Let's talk air bags...

Oh, and yes, it is a 2WD...
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Old 04-07-2013, 10:37 AM   #25
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Re: Let's talk air bags...

I also do not go off road with mine. But, I do haul street bikes regularly in the back and that's when I feel a little difference...

I have no spare tire under the van - Aluminess spare carrier.

On the notion of compressors and plumbing separately... Do I need two compressors at that point? If so, am I better off right now due to budget, getting it set up to be filled from the back and getting compressors later? I can easily place the compressors in the back as my inside is bare to haul bikes:

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Old 04-07-2013, 11:38 AM   #26
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Let's talk air bags...

I guess you didn't read some of the post above
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Old 04-07-2013, 11:51 AM   #27
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Re: Let's talk air bags...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ocsmb
I guess you didn't read some of the post above

Thanks for the smart ass and VERY useful post. IF you read and comprehend my post above, I was simply providing some details as to what I am hauling and the van type I have. There was a post about on board vs in board on the compressors. I also didn't see ANYONE state other than to plumb them separately as to whether that means two compressors or if one can be used via a valve system that will allow inflation of each bag at different times if need be.

I also asked about a sway bar and a link. Maybe I missed that...

I was just asking about the compressors and the sway bar. I provided what I tow to see if maybe the leveling for the trailer was a better idea, but I do a lot of hauling within the van as well...
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Old 04-07-2013, 12:19 PM   #28
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Re: Let's talk air bags...

I have a two inside valves with a single dual needle gauge all being supplied by my extreme air. Not sure but I've always figured with the slight loss in pressure that the bags loose over time adding the gauge and valves wasn't that much extra for the benefit. Besides it forces me to run the compressor for a short period of time once and a while. YMMV
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Old 04-07-2013, 12:27 PM   #29
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Re: Let's talk air bags...

The AirLift kit has one compressor and gauges/valving to keep them separate.

Mike
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Old 04-07-2013, 04:39 PM   #30
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Let's talk air bags...

I think a SMB without sway bars is dangerous on the road . Way too prone to tippiness. A trailer seems to compound this since it throws some more weight side to side. Mines an IPD, now Roadmaster, in the rear. Some weight distributing hitches include an anti-sway mechanism in the tow bar.

You also need to weigh your stuff; perhaps your trailer has too much tongue weight. Otherwise you're going to end up doing some expensive experimenting.
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