What first: Airbags or hitch? - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum

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post #1 of 7 Old 02-25-2012, 09:19 AM Thread Starter
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What first: Airbags or hitch?

Hi everyone,
While I'm not ready for a toyhauler yet I am about ready to start prepping the truck with airbags and 5th wheel hitch. The loaded toyhauler will weigh in right about the limit for my trucks gcvwr... so about 15,000 lbs i think.
With all the difference in airbag kits I'm not even sure where to start. I want a simple airbag kit. I do not want a compressor, but I will end up running lines so I can use an airhose to fill the bags (or as long as the valve is accessible at the bag). I was thinking an 18k 5th wheel hitch would work unless anyone thinks differently. The hitch I am thinking of trying to get on Craigslist.
Any recommendations on a combo? Maybe a website for the airbags at least.

Like I said I am clueless as to the pros and cons of each manufacturers hitch and likewise with the airbags. I can deal with the rails staying in the bed as long as the hitch is removable. The truck is a long bed so an auto sliding hitch isn't necessary.

I appreciate the help everyone

2006 F-250 CCLB Lariat FX4
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post #2 of 7 Old 02-25-2012, 09:48 AM
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Most standard airbags will get in the way of your fifth wheel hitch. There is one model airbag (that I know of) that won't. It will install right where the rubber bumper is between your axle and the frame, but to the inside of the frame, instead of the outside. Mine work great. Mine is an 02 CC LB 2WD. its been about 7 years but I think the bags were Firestone.

Go to a truck accessory shop. Tell them you want bags that will work with a fifth wheel.

They're very easy to install. DIY. I didn't have to drill a single hole. I initially installed them with a valve stem on each corner of the bumper. Later I hooked them up with my compressed air system and a single valve/gauge setup in the cab. It's very VERY convenient to be able to adjust the pressure from the driver seat. I pump mine up just enough to keep the truck from bouncing on my overloads. Makes the drive so much nicer. I use them no matter what the trailer weight. Just to smooth the ride.

And, with my limited rear clearance, once I get to my desert destination, I let the pressure out to give me another couple inches of ground clearance at the rear of the trailer. Helps me avoid bending up the rear bumper, or grading parts of the road on my way in. Also very hand for hooking and unhooking the fifth wheel.
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post #3 of 7 Old 02-25-2012, 09:52 AM
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Oh, and as for your fifth wheel hitch, make sure you get one that pivots side to side as well as front to back. The Reeser 16k or 18k is a favorite for toy hauler haulers around here. Not so much for the ride there, but makes coupling and un-coupling much easier!
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post #4 of 7 Old 03-05-2012, 04:46 AM
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I second the onboard compressor. Sometimes it can be difficult to get close enough to an air hose with a combined length of 60+ feet

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post #5 of 7 Old 03-29-2012, 07:31 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies. I called firestone and was told model 2400 would work for me. The bags mount directly under the frame above the axle. I don't mind the lack of onboard compressor yet. Maybe ill consider it when it becomes an inconvenience, but for now I plan on keeping a portable compressor in the toyhauler. I have to airdown when we go riding in the dunes anyways so a compressor is always needed.

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2006 F-250 CCLB Lariat FX4
4" Rancho Lift with Wireless Ride adjustment (came with truck)
35" Toyo A/T Tires on 20" Eagle Alloys
4.10 gears
Barder Stage 2 turbo
Ported intake manifold (Thanks odawg714)
ARP Head Studs
Bulletproof EGR Cooler
Tunes by Gearhead (SRLXX daily)
Dieselsite Coolant Filter Kit
ISSPRO gauges: Trans, EGT, Fuel Pressure
Airdog II 165
6.4l Banjo Bolts
PHP Original FICM tune
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post #6 of 7 Old 03-30-2012, 05:38 AM
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I have a B&W gooseneck hitch and absolutely love it. I've heard a lot of good things about their Companion 5th wheel hitch but I've never personally used it.

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post #7 of 7 Old 03-30-2012, 07:15 AM
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You could always go for something like this:
Kelderman air hitch

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