Air bags

Discussion in 'Tow Vehicles, Hitch & Towing' started by Family Travels, Nov 24, 2019.

  1. Family Travels

    Family Travels New Member

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    So we're trying to prepare for next years camping season. We have a 2014 Chrystler Town and Country and I'm curious to anyone with a similar year put air bags on out of need or is it not necessary? Our pup is a 1993 Jayco with a weight of 2300lbs. Thanks!
     
  2. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

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    I dont have them or a van. But i think the air bags help with rear sag, so you have to see how much sag you have first then decide if you need the air bags or spacers.
     
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  3. mattlreese

    mattlreese Active Member

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    I have a Pacifica and would put airbags on it if they were out. My dry weight is 2500 lbs, closer to 2800 loaded and the suspension does sag more then I would like. However, I have 5k miles towing without any issues.

    So in your case since the air bags are not that expensive and you can watch youtube videos on how to install them I would go ahead and add them. Otherwise you will need to be extra careful with how you load the van and the front of the popup.
     
  4. Snow

    Snow Well-Known Member

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    First several questions have to be asked.. 1) - Does your van have a factory tow package? 2) - What is the GVWR of the trailer or a loaded for camping scale weight? Betting you'll find it weighs more then 2300lbs..

    Next are you just combating rearend sag, or do you need a WDH? Only way to know this is to either be very observant or park the van empty on a flat level surface and measure the ground to wheelwell lip height, then load up everything and everyone as you would if you were going camping, park the van in the same flat level spot again and remeasure all 4 heights .. if the height or the front wheelwells have raised more then 1.5-2 inches, you need some sort of WDH (please note ** Not all vehicles and not all trailers can handle a WDH, so before rushing out to buy one, do you homework with google and check, and not just on a Caravan web form..)

    If the front height doesn't increase much less then 2 inches.. you could probably get away with airbags to help support the rear end, do note that airbags will level out the van, they will not help distribute the weight better or place weight back onto the front wheels..

    As I have said many times on this and other mini van questions, They are great for moving people, large items and for soccer mom/dad duties and cheap on gas for day to day driving, but they are not and have never been designed much for towing more then a utility trailer, with exception of the truck framed minis from GM and Ford (Astro/Safari and Aerostar) .
     
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  5. kennedyma

    kennedyma Member

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    I put bags in my Jeep Wrangler Unlimited and it was the best thing I ever did. So nice to be able to adjust the rear ride height.

    Towing an 1,850lb pup, so I’m well within the limits.
     
  6. Family Travels

    Family Travels New Member

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    Luckily my father in law gave me his WDH when he upgraded to his 5th wheel. That being said I shouldn't have too much of an issue then.
     
  7. bheff

    bheff Well-Known Member

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    Add your tow vehicle and pup make and model to your profile signature and then people can give better answers. Use caution with a WDH. Make sure your tongue is boxed in and not C channel.
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2019
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  8. joet

    joet Well-Known Member

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    It all depends on what the bars are rated for. 600, 1000, 1800 lbs. For a pup you would want a 600lb bar
     
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  9. Family Travels

    Family Travels New Member

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    So much to learn... I get the gist of most of it but I really appreciate how much I'm learning here.
     
  10. MNTCamper

    MNTCamper Active Member

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    I highly doubt that you need a WDH for the camper you have listed, it is quite light. First thing I would do is measure the Jayco connection height unhitched and level - this is the height that you want you receiver ball to be when towing. Typically, I set the ball height up for the target height +1". Measure your rear end height unhitched and then hitched. If the drop is excessive, then you will want rear support such as air bags, or load assist rear shocks if they are available for your van. This also depends on how you load your van and passengers. First thing I would do is set your height and check for sag with your existing set up and then go from there. Quite a bit of info in the attached link in regards to weights and targets and so on.

    https://www.cunninghamcampers.com/fckimages/pdf/jayco-owner-manuals/1992CT.pdf
     
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  11. Rusty2192

    Rusty2192 Well-Known Member

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    I think the factory tow package for your van came with load leveling shocks. Try hitching up and taking it for a short drive. From what I understand, the shocks need to bounce around a bit to build up the pressure needed to level out the load. I’d see how that goes and then assess the need for airbags.

    I added the Airlift 1000’s to our Sienna and love them. They level out the ride and make it handle so much better under load.
     
  12. Family Travels

    Family Travels New Member

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    My van didn't come with a tow package. I'll be adding the wiring and hitch in the spring. I used my jeep to move it this fall when I bought the pup but my jeep has 260k miles and I don't trust it for long trips.
     
  13. Caravaner

    Caravaner Member

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    While the Jayco's 2300# weight (empty or loaded?) itself isn't an issue, the other number you need to know is the tongue weight. They say 10-15% of total weight is the range you should be. Too little and the trailer will sway/oscillate, too much and could could exceed the TV's (and/or hitch) weight limits.

    For reference, I'm towing a ~3000lb (loaded) 228d Flagstaff with our 2011 Town and Country. Tongue weight (after welding in a rear bike hitch and loading with 2 bikes) of ~325#.
    With the van loaded with ~400# of gear and #450lbs of passengers (me, wife, 5 yr old boy, 2 shih tzus) the rear sags ~3/4" from unloaded, no trailer.
    Van does not have factory tow package, I installed a Curt hitch, 7-pin plug and brake controller.
    Towed the camper home ~300miles after purchase (before bike hitch install, so tongue weight over 400#) and she tracked very solid. On her maiden camping voyage 2 weeks ago (close to home, only 30 minutes away) with lower tongue weight and more load in van she still tracked fine, but for peace of mind just installed a Curt anti-sway system: https://www.popupportal.com/threads/sway-bar-type-and-brand-recommendations.126786/#post-1313311
    Bike rack thread: https://www.popupportal.com/threads/custom-receiver-hitch-for-bike-rack-on-flagstaff-228d.127257/

    I've thought about WDH (really like the design of the Andersen one, with built-in anti-sway) and/or airbags but so far haven't felt the need. Van handles well, haven't bottomed out, and the only reason I'd like a little less sag is that backing up into my driveway the van's receiver will scrape the concrete unless I stop midway and put 2x10s under the rear tires to give it just enough clearance. Not a huge deal, just one more step in getting her back home.

    Generally set the cruise control at 65mph with trans in 5th gear, not much faster. Can be sometimes tense on TX highways with no shoulders and semis blasting past at 75, but overall a nice relaxing cruising speed.

    75369217_10215148951172814_5005150394775502848_o.jpg

    Here's how I measured tongue weight. Bathroom scale with a 2x4 and blocks on top, tongue jack located exactly 1/2 way between supports. Double the measured weight, then add ~8% to account for distance between jack and ball hitch.
    Custom receiver hitch for bike rack on Flagstaff 228d
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2019
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  14. Caravaner

    Caravaner Member

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    speaking of rear sag, THIS looks to need some airbags :p

    Screenshot 2019-11-22 at 6.19.37 AM.png
     
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  15. Family Travels

    Family Travels New Member

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    Nothing like an electric truck hauling a gas powered atv.
     
  16. xxxapache

    xxxapache Well-Known Member

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    The ATV is electric
     
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  17. Snow

    Snow Well-Known Member

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    That has to be the ugliest, definitely in the top 4 of ugly vehicles ever built..

    That is the optional Tesla electric atv .. It's a lil bit ugly..
     
  18. Caravaner

    Caravaner Member

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    I'm not in love with it either, but hey there are a lot of ugly vehicles running around. Have you see the new Chevy pickup?
    Tesla at least is doing something truly innovative rather than slapping on a new grille and more doo-dads.
    Now the upcoming VW EV microbus... oh yeah!
     
  19. Rusty2192

    Rusty2192 Well-Known Member

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    I know you’re joking, but in case others don’t, this is a “loading mode” where the 4 corner air suspension has dropped the back and raised the front to make it easier to load. Yet another awesome feature of the Cybertruck. [8D]
     
  20. Jwwiff

    Jwwiff New Member

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    I have a 2012 T&C that has the towing package standard. I added air bags to bring the rear end back up when towing a Fleetwood Bayside. Ari bags don’t help with weight distribution but do give a level ride.
     
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