Towing 8K lb trailer, Air Bags w/Cradles or WDH?

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Which setup would you/do you use?

Weight Distribution Hitch (WDH) Only
3
30%
Cradles and Airlift Airbags w/Internal Jounce Bumper
0
No votes
All of the above
7
70%
 
Total votes: 10

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Towing 8K lb trailer, Air Bags w/Cradles or WDH?

Post by EasyDoesIt » Mon Dec 23, 2019 12:20 pm

I'll be picking up a 8K lb (max loaded)Outdoors RV or Nash Trailer this spring and want to get my towing setup dialed in. My biggest concern with running Daystar Cradles and Airlift Airbags w/Internal Jounce Bumper is the reduced rear travel when offroading.

I'm running OEM PW Rear Springs and +1.5" Thuren Front Springs so I'm perfectly level when unloaded. Tongue weight will be about 700lb-800lb and I'm concerned that without the airbags my rear will sag 3+ inches even with the weight distribution.

Is the added towing benefit and internal bumper of airbags worth the lose in travel?

Assuming towing is 15% and off-roading is 15% with the rest being daily driving.

I'm probably over thinking this and should just use the WDH without airbags but I figure its worth a poll.

Thanks,
Steve
Last edited by EasyDoesIt on Mon Dec 23, 2019 8:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Towing 9K lb trailer, Air Bags w/Cradles or WDH?

Post by Bill2014 » Mon Dec 23, 2019 6:19 pm

With your front end lifted, and stock rear springs, I can’t imagine you are going to get back to level with just a WDH on a 9k pound empty trailer.
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Re: Towing 9K lb trailer, Air Bags w/Cradles or WDH?

Post by TankerZak » Mon Dec 23, 2019 6:26 pm

You'll need airbags. Make sure your WD bars are the 1400lb variety. What you loose in travel is insignificant.

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Re: Towing 9K lb trailer, Air Bags w/Cradles or WDH?

Post by RustyPW » Mon Dec 23, 2019 7:27 pm

When I was towing my camper. I had Carli air bags and the WD bars.
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Re: Towing 9K lb trailer, Air Bags w/Cradles or WDH?

Post by EasyDoesIt » Mon Dec 23, 2019 8:13 pm

Bill2014 wrote:
Mon Dec 23, 2019 6:19 pm
With your front end lifted, and stock rear springs, I can’t imagine you are going to get back to level with just a WDH on a 9k pound empty trailer.
The 8k lb is loaded, dry is just under 6k. I fixed the original post.

But yeah that's what I'm thinking, unfortunately.
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Re: Towing 8K lb trailer, Air Bags w/Cradles or WDH?

Post by TankerZak » Mon Dec 23, 2019 9:25 pm

My dry is 7k and my loaded is 8500. I need airbags but BARELY! You might be okay if you have a good high end WD hitch with the highest bar type. Maybe. I mainly need the airbags when either not using the WD bars or hauling gravel or barkdust or anything but the trailer. You can always do Timbrens if you want to remove them all the time for Boogie bumpstops. It's a pain in the ass but can be done.

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Re: Towing 8K lb trailer, Air Bags w/Cradles or WDH?

Post by ghaugo » Mon Dec 23, 2019 9:50 pm

I run a trailer that is 7600lbs loaded, and I got the Airlifts with the internal bumpers. I don't need them to lift much when I use my Andersen wd hitch, but they level the truck and give me a pretty nice ride. I had too much air pressure at first, but now 17-18 psi does the trick when my camper is hitched up. I took the PW up Poison Spyder in October and it did well with the airbags. I honestly did not notice any difference when offroading unless you forget to let the air out. I would go with the airbags especially if you have the leveled look when unloaded.
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Re: Towing 8K lb trailer, Air Bags w/Cradles or WDH?

Post by TankerZak » Mon Dec 23, 2019 11:00 pm

ghaugo wrote:I run a trailer that is 7600lbs loaded, and I got the Airlifts with the internal bumpers. I don't need them to lift much when I use my Andersen wd hitch, but they level the truck and give me a pretty nice ride. I had too much air pressure at first, but now 17-18 psi does the trick when my camper is hitched up. I took the PW up Poison Spyder in October and it did well with the airbags. I honestly did not notice any difference when offroading unless you forget to let the air out. I would go with the airbags especially if you have the leveled look when unloaded.
Yeah, I run about 25 PSI in my bags. I started at 50 PSI and got some bad porpoising and thought I needed more pressure to stabilize. That was exactly opposite of what I needed. Porpoising was because I had too much air in the bags and the truck suspension wasn't being used.

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Re: Towing 8K lb trailer, Air Bags w/Cradles or WDH?

Post by Oilbrnr » Tue Dec 24, 2019 9:43 am

To the OP, if you don't have it now, I'd highly suggest Thurens rear tracbar and bracket relo. (along with bags and WD).
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Re: Towing 8K lb trailer, Air Bags w/Cradles or WDH?

Post by EasyDoesIt » Tue Dec 24, 2019 10:29 am

TankerZak wrote:
Mon Dec 23, 2019 11:00 pm
ghaugo wrote:I run a trailer that is 7600lbs loaded, and I got the Airlifts with the internal bumpers. I don't need them to lift much when I use my Andersen wd hitch, but they level the truck and give me a pretty nice ride. I had too much air pressure at first, but now 17-18 psi does the trick when my camper is hitched up. I took the PW up Poison Spyder in October and it did well with the airbags. I honestly did not notice any difference when offroading unless you forget to let the air out. I would go with the airbags especially if you have the leveled look when unloaded.
Yeah, I run about 25 PSI in my bags. I started at 50 PSI and got some bad porpoising and thought I needed more pressure to stabilize. That was exactly opposite of what I needed. Porpoising was because I had too much air in the bags and the truck suspension wasn't being used.

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Re: Towing 8K lb trailer, Air Bags w/Cradles or WDH?

Post by EasyDoesIt » Tue Dec 24, 2019 10:34 am

Oilbrnr wrote:
Tue Dec 24, 2019 9:43 am
To the OP, if you don't have it now, I'd highly suggest Thurens rear tracbar and bracket relo. (along with bags and WD).
Absolutely, one of the first suspension mods I did. I'm running the Thuren rear sway bar, Synergy drag link, Dodge Offroad steering box brace, and Thuren fox 2.0 shocks.

Deep down I knew bags and cradles were in my future but I was hoping y'all would come back and say I didn't NEED them. :cry:
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Re: Towing 8K lb trailer, Air Bags w/Cradles or WDH?

Post by Oilbrnr » Tue Dec 24, 2019 5:57 pm

The bigger question is bags with internal stops or not. I didn't get them, sometimes I regret it, other times not. I never really got a good understanding on how much they would limit articulation. Being in NV is as tough a choice as I had here in AZ. Sometimes I'm able to run pretty fast on dirt, other times I'm rock crawling. I'd think you'd be the same.
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Re: Towing 8K lb trailer, Air Bags w/Cradles or WDH?

Post by TankerZak » Tue Dec 24, 2019 6:07 pm

Oilbrnr wrote:The bigger question is bags with internal stops or not. I didn't get them, sometimes I regret it, other times not. I never really got a good understanding on how much they would limit articulation. Being in NV is as tough a choice as I had here in AZ. Sometimes I'm able to run pretty fast on dirt, other times I'm rock crawling. I'd think you'd be the same.
The internal jounce comes out to nearly the exact same length as the OEM bumpstop (with the 1 inch spacer) but lets you run 0 PSI. That should improve articulation not decrease it over having 5 PSI in the airbags. But you must remove the factory 1 inch spacer that sits behind the oem bumpstop during the airbag install.

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Re: Towing 8K lb trailer, Air Bags w/Cradles or WDH?

Post by OffroadTreks » Wed Dec 25, 2019 2:37 pm

I seem to be the only person capable of leveling their travel trailer without Airbags.
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Re: Towing 8K lb trailer, Air Bags w/Cradles or WDH?

Post by TankerZak » Wed Dec 25, 2019 4:49 pm

OffroadTreks wrote:I seem to be the only person capable of leveling their travel trailer without Airbags.
Depends on the hitch weight and the WD hitch. I can almost do it. I think with a 7k wet trailer you can. After that it starts getting harder and might not be possible. I think a 7500 or 8k even maybe depending on hitch weight and weight distribution. I was litterally like 1/2 inch low with no options left at 8500lbs so had to airbag.

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Re: Towing 8K lb trailer, Air Bags w/Cradles or WDH?

Post by EasyDoesIt » Thu Dec 26, 2019 7:46 pm

OffroadTreks wrote:
Wed Dec 25, 2019 2:37 pm
I seem to be the only person capable of leveling their travel trailer without Airbags.
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Re: Towing 8K lb trailer, Air Bags w/Cradles or WDH?

Post by OffroadTreks » Thu Dec 26, 2019 8:10 pm

EasyDoesIt wrote:
Thu Dec 26, 2019 7:46 pm
OffroadTreks wrote:
Wed Dec 25, 2019 2:37 pm
I seem to be the only person capable of leveling their travel trailer without Airbags.
Image
Image

I mean, I tow an Airstream, so don't take my word for it. ;)
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Re: Towing 8K lb trailer, Air Bags w/Cradles or WDH?

Post by Oilbrnr » Thu Dec 26, 2019 10:07 pm

OP, try it first without the airbags and see how she tows. It is an easy half day job to install them if you're not happy. I will say however, having owned and towed both a 28' Airstream and a 28' Desert Fox (Nash) towing the two were quite different with the same truck (Dmax, 8' crewcab) and same WD hitch. Airstreams have a lower CG and far superior suspension. But don't take my word for it either.
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Re: Towing 8K lb trailer, Air Bags w/Cradles or WDH?

Post by Jmarklowitz » Wed Jan 15, 2020 4:36 pm

I think there is only one way to know. Hook it up! I have a No Boundaries 19.1 toy hauler. It's UVW is much lower than yours but the unloaded hitch weight seems about the same your talking. It's 720 hitch weight empty. By the time you add the 30gal fresh water, propane, all the crap in the front storage like spare tire, chairs, etc. etc. my tongue weight is probably 1,000 lbs. I have stock suspension 2016 Laramie on Yokohama 35" MT and with the Fastway e2 WD hitch it's level. I had to get the longer drop hitch for the WD hitch. Longest highway pull so far was Omaha to Denver empty at 75mph+ the whole way. Not a wiggle. I also have the Diamondback heavy duty cover and always have tools and recovery gear in the bed. SO... Hook it up. I think you might be happily surprised with just the WD hitch.

What ever you decide works best with or without bags, I would highly recommend a good WD hitch for the sway control on the highway. Best of luck with your decision.
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Re: Towing 8K lb trailer, Air Bags w/Cradles or WDH?

Post by socalluke » Wed Jun 17, 2020 12:05 pm

This is on a 2012 front leveled truck towing a 7-9k 1ft toy hauler. One thing not mentioned....when setting up the WDH. The say to get the front end down to (less than half of where it went up to with no wdh setup or back to where it was unloaded.) What I found when I tried to get the truck to sit level with just the WDH, (and a ton of it, I might add) and, it lowered the front to below the where it sat unloaded! And thought this might put too much stress on the front end.

This is setting up my 2nd WDH with this truck. (the first got stolen.)

=> With a leveled truck and headlights aimed correctly. Think the only way to tow level, and keep your headlights where you want them is with air bags. (Even if you keep the rake, then tow level......your headlights will be either too high or too low depending....)

=> For me WDH for safer towing
=> Air bags for proper headlight aim (and the look you want.)

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