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Born 120 years too late.
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
MY CAMPER is just about at the top of the comfort zone and I have seen the ads for airbags with compressors on board, that sort of thing

so
has anyone done it
and
how hard are they to install
and
what is the life expectancy
and
how tough are they to withstand off road debris
and
with or without on board compressor
and
well, that is enough for now
thanks
 

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Premium Member
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Just an FYI, not sure this will pertain to your truck and camper setup.
You can add anything you want to your truck to be able to haul more weight, but if your axles aren’t rated for that weight then your causing damage, and potentially harm to you. Also the brakes on the truck are rated for what your axles can handle. Start going through mountains with inferior brakes and you Will be in an accident.
 

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Live Secret, Live Happy
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As I recall, you big truck is a one ton dually. If so I believe the rear axel is rated for the weight.
How about your tires and brakes?

Back to your question,
I carried an 8ft Lance on my one ton for +20 yrs, and all I had to do was add a sway bar in the back, and upgrade my tires to commercial grade BF Goodrich.

But I see new/longer campers now weigh a whole bunch more. Yes, air bags are a viable solution if you dont carry the camper all the time. I would simply increase the rear leaf springs if you never remove the camper.
 

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Not a truck but I have Airlift 1000 airbags on my 2DR Wrangler to level it out when I'm loaded heavy for an extended off road trip. They stand up to off road debris just fine - my Jeep is a rock crawler and has been on many of the toughest trails in the southern California desert. I got 9 years before one got caught in the coil and had to be replaced, but remember my Jeep is doing a lot of flexing when rock crawling. Not terribly difficult to install if you know how to remove the springs on your truck. They do make the ride a little stiffer.
 

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Born 120 years too late.
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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
I AM talking about my 2006 1500 Silverado
5.3L
4WD
6'5 bed
 

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Premium Member
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I AM talking about my 1500 Silverado
5.3L
4WD
6'5 bed

View attachment 373876
Then my previous post stands. I owed a Silverado years ago, I would never buy one again if I’m hauling anything. They just aren’t built for that (IMO).
When I bought my 2011 Ford F-150 with 6.2L, I wanted to pull a fifth wheel. I tried every way possible to run the numbers to get the weight “right”. That damn axle weight always was to tipping point. I could upgrade everything from tires, suspension, brakes etc. but that axle weight wouldn’t allow it. The brakes were my biggest concern, once they got too hot, your screwed. I had all the power I needed, but it was still a 1/2 ton!
 

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Live Secret, Live Happy
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I AM talking about my 1500 Silverado
5.3L
4WD
6'5 bed
I have had very good results carrying a 3,000 lb camper in a long bed one ton, and I would not expect any issues with a long bed 3/4 ton, but I think you have chosen poorly trying to carry one in a half ton short bed.
Perhaps a light wt camper designed for 4wd trucks, but not a full feature camper.
 

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Airbags do not increase the load capacity; they only level the truck. If the axle is rated for X, then that's all it can carry. Adding airbags doesn't increase the load rating of the axle.
 

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"TURGID FLUX"
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There is a picture here on the net where someone tried to carry a drop in camper in a new short bed pick up and the frame bent upwards in the center. Buy all the truck you need, no less.

Sent from my SM-T350 using Tapatalk
 
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Accuracy is Final
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I also have the Airlift 1000 on my truck. Levels it out when I have a trailer. Cost was $89. No onboard compressor, just routed the airline to have the air valve under my rear bumper. Can access it by feel without having to crawl underneath.
 

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Airbags do not increase the load capacity; they only level the truck. If the axle is rated for X, then that's all it can carry. Adding airbags doesn't increase the load rating of the axle.
I installed air lifts on a Ford Mustang just for the leveling. It was hauling 300 pounds of tools and parts for my work.

It was a real bitch forcing the bags through the openings in the coil springs. Had to get a neighbor to help me.

They worked great for leveling. But made the ride noticeably worse all the time, even if deflated to their minimum allowed pressure when those 300 pounds of tools and parts weren't loaded.

They were similar to these:

Amazon - Air Lift air spring kit
 

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So.........has air shocks fell out of favor? Always had good luck with those. Easy to install
 

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"TURGID FLUX"
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So.........has air shocks fell out of favor? Always had good luck with those. Easy to install
I think they are more for ride adjustment like in an Expedition or Navigator where normally the ride would be too stiff for everyday use or too soft for fully loaded.
 

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So.........has air shocks fell out of favor? Always had good luck with those. Easy to install
Air shocks are not good for traction in the winter, even if you throw weight in the back. It just bounces and slides the rear end all over.
 

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Born 120 years too late.
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
THE CAMPER is a Palomino Backpacker 550 and is well in the weight capability of the Silverado if you believe the specification literature.
I am just looking at the best way to handle the weight and squat that comes with it.
I have added springs to trucks in the past but afterwards if not loaded they ride like crap
but
I have zero experience with the new fangled airbag systems
 

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Air shocks are not good for traction in the winter, even if you throw weight in the back. It just bounces and slides the rear end all over.
Odd...Thats what us poor boys used back in the day when we were hot rodding. Stiffened the suspension up a bit, giving you a little more traction. A little air in them went a long way.
 

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Swirl Herder
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THE CAMPER is a Palomino Backpacker 550 and is well in the weight capability of the Silverado if you believe the specification literature.
............
The literature has the dry/empty weight of the camper.

Get all the gear you will take camping together and then pass it over some scales - most people take several hundred pounds of gear inside their camper.

Then work out how much water, propane and toilet cassette weight you will be carrying in your camper (that is not included in the specifications either).

The payload carried inside towed and bed campers is often an extra 30-40% of the dry weight.
 

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Born 120 years too late.
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
The literature has the dry/empty weight of the camper.

Get all the gear you will take camping together and then pass it over some scales - most people take several hundred pounds of gear inside their camper.

Then work out how much water, propane and toilet cassette weight you will be carrying in your camper (that is not included in the specifications either).

The payload carried inside towed and bed campers is often an extra 30-40% of the dry weight.
YEAH I know. I have had some big campers before, but this thing is so tiny there isn't room to pile in and there is no black water or grey water tank, just the primary water tank. Also, no cassette toilet. I tend to get along with what some folks would call a rather cruder method of dealing with such issues. MY gear to go with the camper wouldn't total up to more than 75lbs and carry maybe 50 pounds of water in some form.With everything including an extra propane tank it wouldn't run another 200lbs. over the UVW
 

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Odd...Thats what us poor boys used back in the day when we were hot rodding. Stiffened the suspension up a bit, giving you a little more traction. A little air in them went a long way.
I recall the Novas with the Gabriel Hijacker air shocks in them, to clear those big MT N50 tires. I saw more than one come in where I worked with the shock mounts torn out. We had a fix for them but it wasn't cheap.
 
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We have a 2011 Silverado 2500 at work with bags. The bags were installed to level the suspension out when hauling tanks of water with the truck. Yes they work. Yes the air suspension is smooth on the road. It also wears the leaf springs out about 4x faster than normal from all the compression/decompression cycles they are put through (multiple per day).

If you can put up with that, then go for it.
 
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