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DAA 06-13-2013 05:27 PM

Air bags with no load?
So, I've got a '13 1500 on order, but not here yet.

Going to put air bags on the rear to help with times the bed is loaded or a lot of tongue weight.

Trying to figure out which air bags are going to work best for regular daily driving with no load in the bed. I mean, the reason I'm getting a coil sprung 1500 is for the cushy ride when empty. So I don't want to mess up that sweet smooth factory ride.

Looking at TLC and Air Lift 1000. Also looked at Firestone Coil-Rite, but I think I like the Air Lift better for inside the coil.

Right now, I think the Air Lift 1000 is looking like the best setup for not having any effect on the factory ride when the truck is empty and the air bags only have 5 psi in them. Have read a bunch of reviews and posts on them and haven't seen anyone complaining about the Air Lift bags affecting the factory ride with 5 psi in them.

Looking at the posts and reviews on the TLC bags, most guys seem to really like them, but there are also a decent number of reviews complaining about the way they affect the factory ride. Just going by what I've read so far, it sounds like they ride pretty good with only 2 or 3 psi in them, but that they are annoying with the way the tops slam and slap the empty bump stop cup on the frame. With 5 psi, they don't make annoying noises anymore but give the truck a 2" lift in the rear (when empty) and make for a bumpy ride.

Anyway... I'd really like to get as many opinions from guys that have them as I can.

So what say you? What system are you running and can you even tell it's there when the truck is empty? Good/Bad/Ugly? Happy? Regrets?



brandonjansen 06-13-2013 05:51 PM

I've read the exact same things you just explained in your post. If you don't want any effect to the factory ride quality when unloaded the Airlift 1000's are the way to go. Otherwise TLC does seem to be lifting the back of the truck from stock height which is a major downside IMO.

I've been running the Airlift 1000's for about 4 months now. When not loaded I run the recommended 5 psi in them and you can't even tell they're there. Ride is just as comfortable as stock. Then when loaded I bump up the psi as needed. They definitely help a ton with leveling out the truck and stabilizing the load. Without them my truck was bouncing up and down like crazy when towing. Now with them it keeps it very smooth and rides very nice.

Otterdriver 06-13-2013 11:17 PM

Although I can't comment on the TLC set up, I am new with the airlift 1000 and they really are an excellent "bang for the buck" set up. Very easy to install, I used an exacto-knife for cutting the airlines to length and a simple pair of pliers to tighten the nuts for the shrader valves onto the rubber grommet for wherever you mount the fill points. Lots of good reviews for this setup, that's why it was a confident choice to buy these.

highlandchef 06-14-2013 12:35 AM

I've had the Airlift for about 18 months with no problem. When unloaded I run the recommended 3 - 5 psi (so they don't get pinched by the coil) and I don't think that affects the ride at all. Highly recommend the Airlifts; good bang-for-the-buck.

h2oman 06-14-2013 01:14 AM

There have been plenty of times I've gone to the mountains and unhooked my trailer and forgotten to let the air out of my Airlifts. Never noticed that I had not deflated. The things are awesome. For $90 how can you go wrong.

DAA 06-14-2013 08:19 AM

Thanks for the feedback guys.

Really sounds like the Air Lift setup is the way I should go.

Now if my truck would just get here before summer is gone...


birdboy 07-25-2013 09:38 PM

i run 5 lbs when empty,all good

MrPiper 07-29-2013 09:16 PM

I have Airlift 1000 and have been very pleased for over a year and over 8,000 miles towing a trailer that weighs around 7,000 lbs. I ran the air nipple through the hole that is already there beside the hitch and air it up with a cheap $20.00 cigarette lighter emergency pump that I keep in the truck anyway just in case of a flat.

I run 5 lbs. when not towing and the ride is, in fact, the same as before the install.

I am NOT a mechanic by any stretch and this install took less than 2 hours in my driveway.

Finally, the payload for my 2012 Bighorn 1500 crew is 1630 lbs. To buy a air bag system that can accommodate 3 to 5,000 lbs. seems like significant overkill to me and the $90.00 price tag is unbeatable.

snrusnak 07-29-2013 10:08 PM

I also just bought the airlift setup and like it so far. I just put 2,250lb in the bed of my truck today and it handled it well. Still a lot of squat but was very firm and under control. I'm sure with a normal load it wouldn't have squatted so much.

DAA 08-11-2013 03:51 PM

Still don't have my truck (it finally got here yesterday, but has damage that needs repair). But have the Airlift bags and WirelessOne controller/compressor kit just waiting to be installed. Sold my uninstalled TLC kit. Getting my truck a week from Thurs, so the big install day will be that Saturday - two weeks from yesterday. Have sitting here Bilsteins four all four corners, air bag system, separate high volume 100% duty cycle onboard air system, cabin air filter, also a Blue Ox WDH to setup and of course will have new tires put on before even bringing the truck home. If everything goes smooth and I have time, will probably debadge the beast to finish off the session - those huge Longhorn badges on the doors have got to go...

Ought to feel good when I finally get the truck and get all the stuff installed and crack a cold one that Saturday afternoon - after the test drive, of course :smileup:. Then I plan on putting a few hundred miles on it the next day to break it in, change the oil, then towing the travel trailer up into the mountains the following weekend.

Going to get there eventually!


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