Shock air bags - now or can it wait?

Discussion in 'Tow Vehicles, Hitch & Towing' started by leahdan, Jul 28, 2015.

  1. leahdan

    leahdan New Member

    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2015
    We need to add air bags to our shocks on our 2010 Mitsubishi Outlander - problem is that we leave in 5 days for an East Coast road trip. When hitched to the PUP (2006 Rockwood Freedom 2270 that is well within our tow capacity) we are getting some good sag on the Outlander. We have a 2" rise hitch with an extended ball but it's still bringing the backend down - not nearly as bad but definitely noticeable. We are definitely going to get the air bags, but it's proving to be an expensive nightmare to get it done before our trip.

    The service department said our 30hr round trip, won't hurt the Outlander, but we should address it for the long term. In your opinion - would this be true or are we taking a gamble not having the air bags installed before our trip? We are looking at least a $300 savings if we have it installed when we are back. Attached is a picture of it before we added an extra 1" rise on the ball so it's a bit more level now.

    ...and yes we've had the pup for 12 months and dh only now agreed to investigate the sag issue <sigh> Maybe I will look at having one installed on the Coast while we are visiting the in laws if you all think it's worth it.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. JeffC

    JeffC New Member

    Messages:
    1,087
    Likes Received:
    6
    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2014
    What's the tongue weight?
     
  3. gruss

    gruss Active Member

    Messages:
    1,251
    Likes Received:
    22
    Joined:
    May 6, 2014
    Looks a little saggy for sure, I think I'd check the rise on the front end too.

    Bottoming out isn't fun, but not being able to steer is dangerous.

    I would do as Jeff suggested and weigh the tongue, camper may be within your tow capacity but the tongue weight might be to high.
     
  4. leahdan

    leahdan New Member

    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2015
    Specs says dry hitch weight is 263lbs - the tv doesn't have much packed in the trunk (and our kids are little). We don't pack heavy in the camper so my guess is that we are within the 350lb max tongue weight of the Outlander.
     
  5. arthuruscg

    arthuruscg Active Member

    Messages:
    1,363
    Likes Received:
    8
    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2012
    It is not about how heavy you packed the camper but as to where the stuff is in the camper. If all of your stuff is up in the front of the camper then it is mostly weight added to the tongue. But if you move the stuff to the back of the camper, then it is added to the axle and the tongue weight is reduced.
     
  6. gruss

    gruss Active Member

    Messages:
    1,251
    Likes Received:
    22
    Joined:
    May 6, 2014
    add about 38 for a full propane tank, and 40 for the battery and you get very very close to that weight with just those 2 things.
     
  7. arthuruscg

    arthuruscg Active Member

    Messages:
    1,363
    Likes Received:
    8
    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2012
    Do you have a fridge to use LP while traveling?
    Are you going to be camping with full hookups?
    You could swap the battery out for something way smaller and lighter, 12v sealed emergency light battery is enough to operate the brakeaway brakes or steal the lawn mower battery . You could also buy a small 120v electric heater and leave the LP tank at home.
    (I use a small green coleman camping stove and 1lb bottles)
    Then your tongue weight would be about 75-100lbs less.

    After I removed the battery and LP tank I have to put heavy stuff in the front of the trailer to have enough tongue weight.
     
  8. leahdan

    leahdan New Member

    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2015
    Most of our packing happens in the middle of the pup. Unfortunately the galley and dinette are in the back which doesn't leave much for storage - just the camp chairs, and fold up table and rug. Our dinette benches don't have a lot in them, but neither do the storage areas up front. The front end storage areas are towels and a few extra quilts and empty water jug. Most of our available open storage space is mid section, but yes it is in front of the axel and that has our clothes, food and the chuck box (heaviest thing we pack). With the configuration of the pup, there is no where else to store the chuck box.

    We do a mix of serviced sites and boondocking but we don't use our battery much when we are boondocking (really lights and water are used minimally so we could get away without battery power on those trips) so a smaller battery may be a good option.

    We may be close to tongue weight but the Outlander is known for having soft rear shocks anyways (from what I've read) so I think the air bags are a good bet. It's just a question of whether we should drive to Halifax as is and get it done there ore bite the bullet and spend the extra and have it done this week before we leave.
     
  9. gruss

    gruss Active Member

    Messages:
    1,251
    Likes Received:
    22
    Joined:
    May 6, 2014
    there really isn't any way to answer what you should do. Will bags help the sag? Of course they will, is the sag causing any problems, I really don't know.

    We can't see the front of the TV and we don't know what your loaded tongue weight is, sag isn't the end of the world...but headlights that are shining to high, loose steering and decreased braking from pulling to much weight off the front tires can be....but if that is the situation bags aren't going to correct it anyway.
     
  10. JeffC

    JeffC New Member

    Messages:
    1,087
    Likes Received:
    6
    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2014
    Without weighing the tongue (loaded) you will have no way to know if you'll need a WDH or air bags. Your excessive tongue weight will push rear axle weight up and front axle weight down.
     
  11. RotnMom

    RotnMom Am I there yet?

    Messages:
    4,125
    Likes Received:
    20
    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2011
    I was going to mention a WDH, but didn't know if that vehicle would handle it. Our truck had the opposite problem..it was too high! Our dealer turned our lift hitch upside down, installed a WDH and it worked great! Now we're nice and level!

    Don't panic...there's (usually) always a solution!! Just gotta find the right one for your rig and tv!!

    [:D]
     
  12. leahdan

    leahdan New Member

    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2015
    Thanks for all the suggestions!!

    Just bought a high capacity scale so will weigh the tongue when dh gets home.

    Quick question - the specs sheet for the camper says dry hitch weight is 263lbs, but the door is listed as tongue load rating and is 269lbs. I am assuming TLR is the max load the coupler can handle but 3 lbs difference doesn't make much sense...

    The front end of the Outlander is not up when the camper is attached - it's just lowers a lot in the back and dh is adamant that he has encountered no issues steering or braking. Sorry I don't have another picture - they all got deleted in my last phone clean up.
     
  13. leahdan

    leahdan New Member

    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2015
    Well......turns out dh and his calculations were not as accurate as he thought and low and behold our tongue weight was too high! Now that he's been proven wrong he's all over finding ways to reduce the weight - It's amazing how shifting a few things instantly reduced it by 50+lbs. Tomorrow we will pack it, hitch it up and see what difference it makes to the sag in the Outlander and take some actual measurements. This will determine how critical the air bags are for this trip - although we may still get them done in Halifax because logistically it's easier with in-laws to babysit.

    We totally should have spent the $39 on a scale last year.....
     
  14. gruss

    gruss Active Member

    Messages:
    1,251
    Likes Received:
    22
    Joined:
    May 6, 2014
    Excellent, have a good safe trip!
     
  15. Yak

    Yak Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,205
    Likes Received:
    89
    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2009
    This.

    Adding air bags will raise the front more
     
  16. arthuruscg

    arthuruscg Active Member

    Messages:
    1,363
    Likes Received:
    8
    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2012
    Yep, shifting 5lbs from in front of the axle to after will reduce the tongue weight by 10lbs. It doesn't take much to really mess up the tongue weight. Also, don't go to low on tongue weight, otherwise you will have sway issues.

    It is a good thing to learn now and not on the road.
     
  17. leahdan

    leahdan New Member

    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2015
    After more research and a call to Rockwood - the camper is at our local hitch store getting a wdh installed. This was always the ideal solution but we didn't think you could use it with Rockwoods....but they confirmed our model can and it's actually recommended for the Outlander. After telling me "no its fine" for the past 12 months - I'm curious to see what dh thinks of towing a level camper :)
     
  18. RotnMom

    RotnMom Am I there yet?

    Messages:
    4,125
    Likes Received:
    20
    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2011
    Just give him that little [;)] and a [8D] when you pass in the house. [LOL] [LOL] [LOL] [LOL]

    [:D]
     

Share This Page