Air-lift air bags.. thought this might help some here

Discussion in 'Boat Yard Basics' started by TomFL, Apr 24, 2011.

  1. TomFL

    TomFL Well-Known Member

    Probably won't help anyone towing a gheenoe, but I know there are lots of posters here with larger boats. Since I got the seavee going squat was a real issue with the tow rig. At one ramp I frequent I could not clear the angle in the ramp on one side with a straight hitch!!

    I added an adjustable 6" rise hitch and that seemed to help about 1/2 the sag, but not enough. Notice how high the front of the truck is and how much squat is still in the truck:


    Yesterday I installed a set of air-lift airbags, which is a pretty easy deal and took about 2 hours including some breaks. For my application they were under $150 shipped. I've used them in the past on an old tow rig as a teenager and was happy.

    Here's the after pic, which is a huge improvement:


    I installed the air lines and schrader valves in the shield for the tow harness, they're out of the way but easily accessible. As an avid cyclist, I always have a bicycle pump in the truck and ~10 quick pumps per side and the truck sits level with the boat on it:


    The nice thing about the air bags is that you don't have to modify your suspension so that it's stiff all the time. When not towing, just hit the schrader valves and let the air out and the truck drives normal.

    If your tow rig has more squat than you'd like, look into a pair of these, I think you'll be pretty happy.

  2. topnative2

    topnative2 Well-Known Member

    What the heck is an air bag?? use to use air shocks.
    Please edumacate me!

  3. Brett

    Brett > PRO STAFF <

    Next generation air shocks... ;)

  4. mark_gardner

    mark_gardner I Love!

    i've been using a set of the airlift bags on my trucks for the past 10 years (removed them from the first truck then installed on the new truck) in addition i also run the on board air compressor for convenience as i tow other trailers besides my boats and need to adjust on the fly :cool: but a great product those bags are, 10 years and 0 problems. your really gonna enjoy them :)
  5. TomFL

    TomFL Well-Known Member

    Edited after re-reading Brett's post...

    My wife was sure hoping I wasn't talking about installing an air suspension on the truck that would turn it into a hooptie, and she was glad I didn't  ;)

    SBC, I thought about going with the onboard compressor, but I was worried about longevity of the compressor and possible related issues.

    Have you been running the OBC for 10 years, and if so have you had any issues with it???


  6. beyondhelp

    beyondhelp Well-Known Member

    I like the idea of the lift bags. I currently run old school style air shocks.

    One thing I can recommend is going with separate valves for each side. My kit was cheap and "T" connected the lines to one valve. That means the vehicle handling was affected significantly. As the body rolls the air equalizes to the high side making the roll more pronounced and annoying. My next tow rig will be done with individual valves.
  7. mark_gardner

    mark_gardner I Love!

    yeah tom i've been using the obc since day one i havent had a single issue with the exception of the time my big foot must have hit one of the lines causing it to have a small air leak which caused the compressor to cycle occasionally( the gauges and valving are stuffed under the dash near my foot :-[) but mechanically no i havent had issues at all ;) i do agree with "beyond helps" post about keeping the bags seperated as the way i have mine plumbed doesnt really help with sway control, keeping them seperated would and i believe you need the upgraded compressor to accomplish this, i have the standard one they offer :cool:
  8. TomFL

    TomFL Well-Known Member

    Great info guys, thanks. Beyondhelp, that's some valid input there that I never thought about, and will definitely keep the lines separate after reading your post.

    SBC, sounds like I might have to eat bread and water for a few more weeks and save up to get the compressor. Just figured it wouldn't hold up over time, but glad to hear they are.