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Old 07-26-2022, 01:08 PM   #1
OremPhelyn
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Air bags or bump stops?

Driving a 2001 Yukon Denali 1500 XL towing capacity 8,000 lbs; towing 2017 Springdale SG 202QBWE dry weight 4,282 GVWR 6,500 lbs; seems like I might need some suspension support.

One shop recommended bump stops -- rubber spring; inside coil spring mount; 6,000 lb weight capacity, AEON hollow rubber ($300)

Another shop could only find the Airlift 60769, for up to 1,000 lbs. of load-leveling capacity. Unsure who to believe. Anyone have any expert input?
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Old 07-26-2022, 01:55 PM   #2
wiredgeorge
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OremPhelyn View Post
Driving a 2001 Yukon Denali 1500 XL towing capacity 8,000 lbs; towing 2017 Springdale SG 202QBWE dry weight 4,282 GVWR 6,500 lbs; seems like I might need some suspension support.

One shop recommended bump stops -- rubber spring; inside coil spring mount; 6,000 lb weight capacity, AEON hollow rubber ($300)

Another shop could only find the Airlift 60769, for up to 1,000 lbs. of load-leveling capacity. Unsure who to believe. Anyone have any expert input?
Brian, Welcome to the forum. There is so much not know regarding your request for information that I doubt anyone could give you a definitive answer. How many folks do you have in the SUV for total weight? Say 350 lbs conservatively. I am guessing there may be some kids? In any case, add the stuff in your SUV plus the weight of your hitch so you are about 500 lbs. Add to the 845 lbs tongue weight of your camper based on the gross weight. The "towing capaicty" makes no difference but your payload does. I am pretty sure a 2001 will not have a payload placard in the driver door frame but am guess you will be 1300 lbs total and you may not have enough payload to safely pull that camper.

Won't make any difference what suspenion mods you undertake if your payload is insufficient. You should probably take your SUV & camper to a weigh station and get some weights and see real numbers. Basic suspension components may not be as robust as when they were new over 20 years ago. Suspect you are using a SUV as you may have kids? Just be safe. Guestimates are just that but typically a bumper pull camper has about 13 percent of its gross weight on the tongue. Making some real measurements may give you some peace of mind. Good luck.
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Old 07-26-2022, 02:00 PM   #3
sourdough
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You have a 2001 truck. At 21 years old I would look at the shocks and springs. Fatigue at that age would be normal for the springs and depending on how hard the life has been they could be damaged. Shocks should be new or almost new pulling that trailer. You didn't say what the payload on the truck is; do you know? That would give an idea if you had hd springs or the lighter ones.

With a 1/2 ton pulling a 65xxlb. trailer you need stiffer rear tires than OE. What are on there now? You want LT tires to minimize the squishy/wiggly feel of OE P rated tires.

I've not used the inside spring bump stops and wouldn't if they are just rubber pads. When the truck hits them they don't compress much and will jar the truck all the time. Air bags work well; I've used the AirLift 1000 bags and they worked on my 1/2 ton. Much more flexible than hard rubber bump stops. There are other options as well. There are Timbren rubber shock/springs that are progressive in nature as I recall. There's also Sumo Springs that are a progressive rubber compound that work well. There are a couple of different models of them. Maybe 10 years ago the AirLift 1000 was about $99 and easy to install inside my rear springs (Ram). I've decided if I do some sort of spring support again I'm going to give the Sumo springs a whirl...BUT, before you do any of those things make absolutely sure the shocks, springs and tires are in excellent shape.
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Old 07-26-2022, 02:03 PM   #4
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Make sure you are not exceeding payload/GVWR

Make sure you're using a weight distribution hitch and it is configured properly first.

I'm using Timbren SES Bump-stop replacements on my current setup. I had Air bags on a previous truck but did not like dealing with airing up and down. Nothing to do with the Timbrens.

Just to be clear. No suspension enhancement increases capacity or rating. Those numbers are what they are from the manufacturer. Suspension enhancements are for improving handling and/or ride characteristics and in fact decrease payload because they add to the curb weight of the vehicle.

If you have already made changes from stock suspension (lift/lower etc.) all bets are off.

Other passive options with little to no adjustment
Super Springs
Sumo Springs
Roadmaster Active Suspension (RAS)
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Old 07-26-2022, 02:10 PM   #5
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Help me out... what are "bump stops". Are they the poly or rubber things between the frame and chassis? I changed mine on my Ford as the originals were shot. These things wouldn't help support heavier weight though....
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Old 07-26-2022, 02:12 PM   #6
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Added info

Thanks for everyone's comments! No payload rating on the sticker. Ran the VIN, got these numbers:

7200# GVWR (3550 front/4000 rear),
springs (3600 front/4000 rear),
axles (3925 front/4000 rear
Curb Weight - Front 3049 lbs 3049.0 min 3049.0 max
Curb Weight - Rear 2660 lbs 2660.0 min 2660.0 max
Total curb weight of vehicle 5,839 lbs

Suspension is stock to the best of my knowledge.

Owner's manual: weight distribution hitch tongue weight 10% to 15% of trailer weight 1,000 lbs max; Denali XL max trailer wt 8400 lbs
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Old 07-26-2022, 02:27 PM   #7
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If it were me:
Thoroughly inspect your 20 plus year old truck make sure the frame and all suspension mounts are in good shape.

Make sure the regular suspension is in order updated shocks etc.

Get the WDH dialed in with truck and trailer as level as possible.

Then consider suspension enhancements if required to restore/improve handling/ride.
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Old 07-26-2022, 02:38 PM   #8
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I have 5000# air bags on my 2500HD truck and they are awesome. I can correct the ride height and eliminate sag all with the touch of a button PLUS I can let a little air out to drop the truck when I unhook the trailer. I personally would not even try bump stops, they will just make it ride on the frame stop sooner.
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Old 07-26-2022, 02:54 PM   #9
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I've had Firestone Airbags on a 2004 Nissan Titan and Loadlifter 5000 Ultimates on a 2014 F150 Ecoboost...they are a must-IMO
The Airlift Loadlifter 5000's Ultimates have a built in bump stop>my choice.
I'd find an OffRoad 4x4 Shop to purchase and have them installed.
Heck even a UHaul Super Center can order and install them.
Basically I'm a big fan of airbags
Their are many different Helper Spring Systems that will work based on the money you want or can spend.
Ohh, and a Hellwig Rear Swaybar helps immensely.
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Old 07-26-2022, 02:59 PM   #10
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My truck suspension deflected 2" with my ~3000 lb king pin hitched to my truck prior to installing TorkLift Stable Load Suspension Upgrade for Upper Overload Springs. Good value for money!!
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Old 07-26-2022, 03:06 PM   #11
sourdough
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OremPhelyn View Post
Thanks for everyone's comments! No payload rating on the sticker. Ran the VIN, got these numbers:

7200# GVWR (3550 front/4000 rear),
springs (3600 front/4000 rear),
axles (3925 front/4000 rear
Curb Weight - Front 3049 lbs 3049.0 min 3049.0 max
Curb Weight - Rear 2660 lbs 2660.0 min 2660.0 max
Total curb weight of vehicle 5,839 lbs

Suspension is stock to the best of my knowledge.

Owner's manual: weight distribution hitch tongue weight 10% to 15% of trailer weight 1,000 lbs max; Denali XL max trailer wt 8400 lbs

Look at it this way; 7200gvwr - 5839 curb weight = 1361 payload....WHEN NEW. Trailer tongue weight; 6500gvw x 13% = 845lbs. Hitch with sway = 100lbs. = 945lbs. for tongue and hitch off the payload. 1361 - 945 = 416 lbs. remaining for people, gear in SUV, etc. AND the components on the vehicle will be degraded in 21 years, there is no doubt on that.

Some thoughts; Your tongue weight and hitch will come close to equaling the max allowed for the receiver on your vehicle. If the springs and shocks (surely not) are still OE I would replace them. Look at your tires, if they don't say they are light truck (LT) tires replace them with LTs. Put some Bilstein shocks all the way around on the vehicle. I suspect the "support" you need is from worn out equipment - air bags and bump stops won't fix that.

Like I said originally; make sure the vehicle components are like new because you are pushing the vehicle to the limits it had when it was new. Once done try it again (with a good wdh with 4 point sway control) and take it to a scale fully loaded (truck and trailer) and see what it tells you. I suspect it will still feel "wiggly". At that point we can discuss additional help which might even include an HD sway bar or suspension enhancements. Don't try to add extra things like air bags etc. to cover up the underlying problems because once a weak part is overloaded it can let go anywhere, anytime at any speed.
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Old 07-26-2022, 03:16 PM   #12
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When I installed air bags on the truck that I pull my Alpine., I also added an air tank and a Viair air compressor and related valves to control the air bags but this system also gives me air to air up my truck and trailer tires, the air bag on the Goosebox hitch and inflate the grandkids innertubes and things.
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Old 07-26-2022, 03:26 PM   #13
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Danny's comments were spot on except I think Bilstein shocks are overpriced and not worth the money after I polled all the folks I knew on a favorite truck forum. Ended up with Monroe shocks and they made a huge difference in the ride. I had two OEM (2006) shocks which were rusty and shot and two Rancho shocks which were pretty close to the same condition.
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Old 07-28-2022, 07:05 PM   #14
OremPhelyn
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Hi sourdough, thanks for the comments! Trailer weight is 4460 lbs.Tongue weight is 800 lbs. Denali tow vehicle cargo weight is ~400. Did not install either bump stops or airbags. Have sway bars in use. Denali is riding rock steady at 66-70 mph; steering is solid even when passed by semi's.

Great idea- I will look into upgrading the suspension to lessen the slight rear sag. While the Denali is adequate for this trailer on this trip, we're not packed for camping, but visiting family. Once fully equipped with grill, food, generator, etc., I suspect the Denali will be more sluggish. With 305K miles, I don't see the point of putting a lot of money into this car.
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Old 08-04-2022, 12:11 PM   #15
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I'm a big fan of TIMBREN SES SUSPENSION ENHANCEMENT SYSTEM.
Installed them on my last truck and my current one.
Really smooth out the ride and control porpusing. (Did I spell that right?)

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Old 08-04-2022, 01:36 PM   #16
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I used Timbren’s on my F150 and really liked them. Under normal load they did not touch and the truck rode like a creampuff. When the trailer was connected they would engage and provide stability to the rear suspension. Nothing to set, nothing to adjust, real simple.

That being said, there is a danger in thinking that any of these aftermarket add-ons will increase your vehicle cargo carrying capacity. In fact, it is just the opposite. Just be aware of your limitations!
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Old 08-04-2022, 05:32 PM   #17
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Well for me neither, the 2016 has plenty of capacity for our current 5th wheel. The 2001 Dodge Ram 2500 CTD we previously had pulled/carried the same 5er with just Camper Special rear suspension, only change was a set of Bilstein shocks.
Many install bags or bump stops to cure bounce, that is the job of shocks. If you have excess squat likely overloaded! Oh, the 2001 was 1,700# over GVWR, and under rear axle by about 200#.
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Old 08-07-2022, 11:46 AM   #18
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I vote to get the air bags. I have air bags on my rig and they make a huge difference. You can't adjust a bump stop but you can an air bag. The do help stiffen things up. I run 40 psi and can really feel the difference when the big rigs pass. I do not get that sucked in feeling.
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Old 08-07-2022, 04:10 PM   #19
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Air Bags?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Third Degree View Post
I vote to get the air bags. I have air bags on my rig and they make a huge difference. You can't adjust a bump stop but you can an air bag. The do help stiffen things up. I run 40 psi and can really feel the difference when the big rigs pass. I do not get that sucked in feeling.
The air bag suspension helpers I installed on my Chevy 3500 HD SRW are 5,000# capacity and are rated for 125# air pressure. Sure makes the ride more stable. IMHO, air bags are the way to go but not the simplest, not the easiest and not the cheapest.
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Old 08-08-2022, 07:20 AM   #20
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I have had both over the years. When I was pulling a TT with a 1500 I put in the Timbren bump stops. They worked great under load but made the ride rougher when not under load as the axle would impact the stops more frequently then when the factory stops were there.

Now I have airbags and they are fantastic.

Would recommended air bags.
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