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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just returned from my first trip with my camper. Noticed that the "Level" of the truck to camper was not level. Back of truck and front of camper were low. I was told this problem could be corrected by having "Air Shocks" installed. Another mechanic said get the "Air Bags".
Shocks = $350.00
Bags = $1,000.00

Two questions:
What's the difference between them?
Which would you go for?

Disregard the price issue I want to do what is the right way to do it.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Any mechanic want to earn a few bucks?
 

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The shocks replace your orig shocks and they are it. the airbags are installed in addition to your shocks and have a pump attached so that you can always adjust them. Back a few years ago used the airshocks in my 73 340 Duster-they added pressure to the rear for traction and also raised the rear-pretty loking if you like the look. Also added airbags to a chevy blazer a few years ago when my wife was trailering horses, added weight on the rear-same as the camper.
The airbags are the way to go for a couple of reasons, they are adjustable doesn't ruin the ride, and if they go you still have the shocks.
 

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What is the make and model of the vehicle?

1st, Can you lessen the weight on the hitch by reconfiguring the trailer. You need tongue weight, but too much is not good either.

2nd, I would consider a load distributing hitch.

3rd, I would go with airbags over air shocks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Recoil said:
What is the make and model of the vehicle?

1st, Can you lessen the weight on the hitch by reconfiguring the trailer. You need tongue weight, but too much is not good either.

2nd, I would consider a load distributing hitch.

3rd, I would go with airbags over air shocks.
2007 ford Ranger 4x4
 

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The payload capacity seems to be 1260 for your truck, if you are not loading the bed up, I would suspect your tongue weight could be high.

I certainly would try the distributing hitch 1st. Maybe even borrow one if possible.

The price you were quoted for airbags seems to be off. Firestone is the way to go. They run about $250. Two hours labor could put you about $500 but not much more.

http://www.suspensionconnection.com/cgi-bin/suscon/2172F.html
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I was told I couldn't alter the hitch because of the brake system on this camper. "Surge brakes". All new to me. I just listen and scratch my head. Firestone was the company that quoted the price for the Air Shocks. It was the camper dealer that suggested the Air Bags. I'm lost!

I do however, really appreciate your input. Thanks.
 

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Yes, surge brakes are a problem for a weight distributing hitch. A friend once told me that they do make a version that works with surge brakes, but I am not sure how that would work. If I have more time later I will try to call him to see if he knows more.

It is still best to check and correct any tongue weight issues 1st.
 

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You are getting good advice.

Air bags over air shocks.

Weight distribution bars for sure.

Does your trailer axle slide?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Johnc said:
You are getting good advice.

Air bags over air shocks.

Weight distribution bars for sure.

Does your trailer axle slide?
Axel does not slide. Almost sold on the Air Bags. Only thing holding me back is my neighbor who was a mechanic (Retired now) says the shocks will be fine since this is something that will NOT be needed on a daily basis. In his opinion they will do just fine, but again I want to do what is best.
 

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The air bags are a much better choice. Air shocks carry the weight of the vehicle and trailer on the mounts that normally are just for the shocks. Putting all the stress on the mount will break one of them off for sure. The air bags either go inside the coil or mount from the axle housing directly to the frame.
 

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The area that the shock mounts to on many (not all) cars and light trucks is sheet metal and was not designed to support a heavy load. The airbag puts the load on the frame.

Edit: Pate beat me to it.
 

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Rich,

Air bags or air shocks would both do the job of leveling it off. I have seen info good and bad on both, I have no experience with either.

Some weight distribution setups will work with surge breaks confirm with your campers manufactures that your trailers frame can handle the loads, a lot of pop up trailers aren't able to. The cost for this option is about 400-700 depending on the system.

By the way - were on the Cross Bronx yesterday around 3 - 4ish? If you were I passed you at the GWB tolls and saw you again by the Throgs Neck Bridge tolls. I was in a red Grand Cherokee towing an older Viking pop up.

EDIT: BTW if your looking for a pop up camper forum PM me - I know of a few.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
daves said:
Rich,

Air bags or air shocks would both do the job of leveling it off. I have seen info good and bad on both, I have no experience with either.

Some weight distribution setups will work with surge breaks confirm with your campers manufactures that your trailers frame can handle the loads, a lot of pop up trailers aren't able to. The cost for this option is about 400-700 depending on the system.

By the way - were on the Cross Bronx yesterday around 3 - 4ish? If you were I passed you at the GWB tolls and saw you again by the Throgs Neck Bridge tolls. I was in a red Grand Cherokee towing an older Viking pop up.
That was me!!!!
 

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Shocks are short for shock absorbers. They are designed to do just that, absorb shock, ride control , to assist the wheel/tire in maintaining firm contact with the road. Therefore, the mounts for these are not made to lift the weight of the vehicle alone. You are considering lifting the rear vehicle weight in addition to the additional downforce of the trailer (tongue) weight. This is ill advised.

Air shocks destroy the ride/handling of a vehicle. Air bags are used on vehicles that are known for exceptional ride characteristics (Lincoln Town Cars, Navigators, Range Rovers.....).
 
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