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Old 12-27-2018, 08:57 AM   #1
gbjax95
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Air lift system questions

We recently bought a 2019 Outback 238RL and the dealer adjusted the hitch (equalizer 4 point sway control) and it was fairly quiet pulling home. I have since had airbags installed on my 2015 Chevy silverado 2500. Now when I add air to the system and towing it makes alot of noice. Should I have the hitch readjusted with the air bags inflated or is it normal for this type of hitch to be very noisy?



Thank you for any assistance/advice
Gene
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Old 12-27-2018, 09:12 AM   #2
sourdough
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The hitch can be noisy but doesn't necessarily have to be. Are you lubing all the friction points and the ball? I also installed the plastic covers for the L brackets which helped a lot. Mine hardly makes any noise now whereas before you could really hear me turn coming into a park.
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Old 12-27-2018, 01:54 PM   #3
Tbos
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Since you have changed the setup on the truck you should double check the setup of your hitch. You can put dish soap on the L brackets where the Bars rub. Thatís the only place I ever had noise. Of course the dish soap will wash off when it rains but itís easy to replace.
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Old 12-28-2018, 10:07 AM   #4
goducks
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You shouldn't need airbags unless you haul a real heavy load in the truck.
Using airbags will reduce the friction on your WDH.
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Old 12-28-2018, 10:17 AM   #5
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Think about it this way: When hitching the trailer, we use the trailer tongue jack to lift the hitch, reducing the weight on the bars so we can lift them into position. In other words, we "lift the tongue to reduce weight on the bars"...

When you hitch the trailer, set the bars for proper weight distribution and then "inflate the air bags".... You essentially "lift the hitch and unload all/part of the WD forces" you had previously applied to the front of the tow vehicle and to the trailer axles.

Any time you change the hitch height you need to then reassess the WD forces being applied by the WD bars.

So, if you hitch the truck, set up the hitch, then inflate air bags, you (at a minimum) need to reassess the WD system to be sure you haven't changed the hitch WD function.
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Old 12-28-2018, 02:01 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goducks View Post
You shouldn't need airbags unless you haul a real heavy load in the truck.
Using airbags will reduce the friction on your WDH.
The bags are for leveling the truck ONLY! They DO NOT increase the payload whatsoever regardless of heavy loads or not. Actually the bags & all the mounting hardware will subtract from the available payload. Anything added to or loaded into the truck is considered payload.
I agree if inflating the bags to level up the truck, readjust the hitch.
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Old 12-28-2018, 03:27 PM   #7
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Air lift system questions

Yes they reduce the payload capacity a tad but the safety benefits of having the nose of the truck level , weight evenly distributed , and a set of head lights shining on the road instead of into someone elseís eyes far outweighs any minimal capacity loss
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Old 12-28-2018, 04:47 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChuckS View Post
Yes they reduce the payload capacity a tad but the safety benefits of having the nose of the truck level , weight evenly distributed , and a set of head lights shining on the road instead of into someone elseís eyes far outweighs any minimal capacity loss
If (I know, an extremely large two letter word) the distribution hitch is properly adjusted, the headlights should be shining on the road and the front end should be properly "weighted" to approximate the truck's unloaded attitude and weight. A "properly adjusted weight distribution hitch" on an "adequately sized tow vehicle" won't need air lift/air bags to maintain a proper attitude without "rear end sag"....
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Old 12-28-2018, 05:19 PM   #9
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We can agree to disagree. Airbags when applied properly along with a weight distribution hitch work.

To each his own. Iíve run airbags of one type of another for over 50 years.

I have them now with a fifth wheel and would not tow without.
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Old 12-28-2018, 05:47 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChuckS View Post
We can agree to disagree. Airbags when applied properly along with a weight distribution hitch work.

To each his own. I’ve run airbags of one type of another for over 50 years.

I have them now with a fifth wheel and would not tow without.
Towing a fifth wheel trailer with "all" the pin weight over the rear axle is significantly different from towing a travel trailer with a weight distribution hitch that "forces the rear of the tow vehicle up and transfers weight "forward" to the front axle and "aft" to the trailer axles. If (again a very large two letter word) the weight distribution system is "PROPERLY" adjusted (not just "cranked up until it looks level" then the headlights will be aimed properly and the front/rear attitude of the tow vehicle will approximate the vehicle when not hitched to the trailer. If you "can't get the back up to normal level" with the hitch, it's really time to look for a bigger tow vehicle.

And, as always, YMMV (so it's OK to disagree)....

Added: Here's the opinion of the "experts" at e-trailer: https://www.etrailer.com/question-78970.html
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Old 12-28-2018, 05:53 PM   #11
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Iíve towed trailers and Toy haulers ... not fifth wheels ... I prefer to have the airlift system AND of course WD hitch.

Folks all have their own thoughts.

Each will work fine ... both together work fine. Has on 4 different trucks for me.

And ponder this.... Escalade and some Buickís have an auto level system factory built in...

Why... to adjust for varying loads to maintain proper attitude of the vehicle

Cheers.
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Old 12-28-2018, 06:40 PM   #12
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Old 01-03-2019, 09:19 AM   #13
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I assume you all realize that by greasing, oiling, soaping or putting in the plastic sliders that you are reducing or eliminating the "sway" portion of the WDH. It relies on the friction of the bars to stop sway.

Just throwing it out there so the correct decision is made.

That being said, I run the plastics most of the time to avoid the squeal. Have never had a problem with sway with my TV and TT weight setup.

This thread kind of got off kilter with the airbags LOL All good.......
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Old 01-03-2019, 09:19 AM   #14
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When do you add air to your air bags

Okay, I am confused so I need to propose a question on this thread. First, a little background and description of my set-up.

I installed Air-Lift bags on my Toyota Tundra Platinum with toy package and put air into the bags at normally 50 psi. I do this before I hitch up. When hitched, the truck's front end is exactly at factory specs/dimensions as without towing and the bags at 10 psi. All of this is per Air-Lift's instructions. Before the bags, the truck's front end was 1-1/2 inches higher than normal, and the rear was lower about the same. By the way, I had a Trunion WDH installed with the air bags inflated. Now, the truck and TT, is dead level front to back when rolling down the road.

So, my question is: Do you put the air in before or after hitching up to the trailer?

Thanks,
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Old 01-03-2019, 09:38 AM   #15
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If you hitch and adjust your WD bars before adding air, then, when you add air, you raise the rear of the truck (reducing tension on the WD bars) and unload weight from the front axle and trailer axles. Essentially, what you're doing is the same as most of us do when hitching. The only difference is that we use the trailer tongue jack to raise the hitch to decrease tension on the bars (so we can install them in the brackets easier) and you're using the air lift system to raise the truck, which also reduces tension on the bars.

From all the instructions and theories I've read, the procedure is to
1. Hitch the trailer
2. Set the air lift pressure
3. Adjust/set the WD bar tension to bring the TV front axle back to the "unhitched" measurement.

It's my understanding that if, after adjusting the WD bars, you change the pressure in the bags, then you "should" readjust the front measurement by readjusting the WD bar tension.

ADDED: Here's what Air Lift says: https://www.airliftcompany.com/works...s-air-springs/

The last sentence: "Adding air may require readjustment of the bars."
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Old 01-03-2019, 09:39 AM   #16
sourdough
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geeman View Post
I assume you all realize that by greasing, oiling, soaping or putting in the plastic sliders that you are reducing or eliminating the "sway" portion of the WDH. It relies on the friction of the bars to stop sway.

Just throwing it out there so the correct decision is made.

That being said, I run the plastics most of the time to avoid the squeal. Have never had a problem with sway with my TV and TT weight setup.

This thread kind of got off kilter with the airbags LOL All good.......

Progressive (Equalizer) recommends lubing the friction points of the hitch;

https://www.equalizerhitch.com/manua...ar-maintenance

They also recommend the plastic sleeves to reduce noise with the stipulation that they "can" reduce sway control somewhat. Like you, I use them and have had no ill effects with them.

https://www.equalizerhitch.com/manua...racket-jackets
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Old 01-03-2019, 10:45 AM   #17
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Thanks, from what I read on the Air Lift webpage I am pretty much have done it correctly. I never install the bars unless the bags are aired up. Fortunately I had the new Trunion hitch installed on a road trip from Arkansas to Ontario last year. Got rid of the chain type hitch (too much sway). Funny thing was the new hitch was installed across from the Corvette museum in Bowling Green, KY while we were enjoying the exhibits. So, that said, the truck and TT was fully loaded at that time for a month long trip. No sway, better ride and better handling/braking.

Thanks for the input
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Old 01-03-2019, 11:56 AM   #18
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Air Bags not recommended by Equalizer

Equalizer does not recommend the use of air lift/bags with there hitch. Excellent demo attached showing why.

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Old 01-03-2019, 12:12 PM   #19
Jerry S
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Air bags do much more than just level a vehicle, which you are right should not be used for that. But they also reduce any "bounce" you get from a road that is not perfectly smooth. I have used airbags on both of my last tow vehicles and would not look back after running with and without them.


Quote:
Originally Posted by JRTJH View Post
Towing a fifth wheel trailer with "all" the pin weight over the rear axle is significantly different from towing a travel trailer with a weight distribution hitch that "forces the rear of the tow vehicle up and transfers weight "forward" to the front axle and "aft" to the trailer axles. If (again a very large two letter word) the weight distribution system is "PROPERLY" adjusted (not just "cranked up until it looks level" then the headlights will be aimed properly and the front/rear attitude of the tow vehicle will approximate the vehicle when not hitched to the trailer. If you "can't get the back up to normal level" with the hitch, it's really time to look for a bigger tow vehicle.

And, as always, YMMV (so it's OK to disagree)....

Added: Here's the opinion of the "experts" at e-trailer: https://www.etrailer.com/question-78970.html
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Old 01-03-2019, 12:19 PM   #20
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Grease soap etc. all work for the WDH, do not confuse that with the Friction Sway Control that depends on friction to reduce sway, they should never have anything put on them. They will squeak and squeal especially if they have gotten a little rust on them. The weight distribution hitch is mainly for helping to distribute the weight not for anti sway.

Quote:
Originally Posted by geeman View Post
I assume you all realize that by greasing, oiling, soaping or putting in the plastic sliders that you are reducing or eliminating the "sway" portion of the WDH. It relies on the friction of the bars to stop sway.

Just throwing it out there so the correct decision is made.

That being said, I run the plastics most of the time to avoid the squeal. Have never had a problem with sway with my TV and TT weight setup.

This thread kind of got off kilter with the airbags LOL All good.......
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