Did you know that if you install an air bag suspension system on a fifth wheel tow vehicle you can enjoy a smoother ride and less wear on your truck tires? Installing air bags is a simple job you can do with very few tools and the results are worth the minimal effort it takes.
There’s no drilling (and few tools) required to install an air bag suspension system.
We didn’t know much about air bag springs when we started full-time RVing, but we quickly learned how beneficial they could be after upgrading to a slightly larger fifth wheel. That’s when we noticed the truck bed often looked like it was sagging under the additional load.
We later learned that the new fifth wheel was adding additional weight on the hitch, which caused the rear of the truck to sag and the front to rise, creating an odd wear pattern on the outer edge of the front tires. An alignment specialist told us an air bag suspension system was the key to fixing this problem.
Which air bags kit is best for my truck and fifth wheel hitch?
The first question we had when researching which air suspension springs are best for our truck was, “Will air bags fit my Dodge Ram 2500 with a Superglide fifth wheel hitch installed?”
The short answer is yes. The trick was discovering which air bag system would work best and that’s when we learned that Air Lift is the most popular brand of air springs.
Air Lift makes many different models so it’s best to talk to your hitch manufacturer to find out which ones work with your particular hitch. In our case we discovered that the LoadLifter AIR LIFT 5000 (Model 57295) was specifically designed to work with the Superglide fifth wheel hitch we already own.
How to install air bag suspension on a fifth wheel tow vehicle
We found that the AIR LIFT 57295 LoadLifter 5000 Series Rear Air Spring Kit is exactly what it proclaims to be—a “no drill” kit that can easily be installed within a couple hours. Installing the Air Lift 5000 suspension kit can be done by one person in just a couple hours with only a few tools. You can see how easy it is to install air bags on a fifth wheel tow vehicle on our blog, but in short, here are the simple steps for this DIY job:
- Remove jounce bumpers
- Assemble air bags
- Mount frame brackets
- Attach bags to frame & axle
- Attach heat shield to muffler
- Install air lines & test for leaks
The only tools you will need for this installation include:
- Socket wrenches
- Allen wrench set
- Screwdriver (Or nutdriver)
- Drill (Optional, depending on location of air fill valve)
- Air compressor
NOTE: You may want to jack up your truck if it isn’t a high clearance 4×4 model. If you do jack it up, be sure to set the jack stands as wide as possible on the axle or use lift points to avoid impeding upon the mounting bracket locations.
Can you follow instructions? You can do this job!
We could instantly tell the difference the first time we drove with the LoadLifter 5000 air bags installed on our Dodge tow vehicle. Our truck no longer sags and it handles much better than before. If you tow a fifth wheel RV or travel trailer and want a smoother ride, install air bags to notice the difference and you’ll protect your truck tires from unnecessary wear too.