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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Always had 3/4 tons. This is my first 1/2 ton so I figured I'd put in some air bags for my travel trailer.
This was a fairly simple install. The more inventive you are at getting the bladder inside the coil, the faster the job goes.

Ram was even so good to give me a pre drilled hole for the valve stem under the tail gate.
 

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I have the same air bags on my 10 model. For me it was the 1st time having a 1/2 ton as my only vehicle, so I didn't like the rear end squat. Don't know if the coils make it worse, or if the leafs would be the same, but for $88 you can't beat the air bags. The coils definitely make it extremely easy and cheap to install a set of air bags, that is for sure.

I put my air valves right beside the license plate and I leave them pumped up to 30 or 35 psi all the time. I don't mind the ride, but I'm coming from a 3/4 ton. The most I tow is 6-7k including trailer and i'm very happy with these.

I am very happy with the truck in general. I had a 99 cummins, so it was tough going from diesel to gas, especially towing, but for my needs the hemi does a good job...and cheaper to drive. My only complaint while towing is that it downshifts more often than I'm used to, but I'm convinced if you could get a manual tranny it wouldn't be necessary nearly as much as with the auto.
 

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I have those bags too, I just need to get off of my ass and install them...
 

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I installed the same bags on my '12 Express 1500. I used airbags on my '89 full size Jimmy for many years when towing my travel trailer, and they worked great. These Airlift models seem to work about as good. I've seen a report or two on the forum of people complaining about them being harsh even with them aired down to the recommended low of 5psi. At low pressure, I can't even tell they're back there. The truck is still compliant and comfortable.

I pulled the springs out, as it was easy and quick with the vehicle frame raised and the rearend dropped. IMO it was a lot easier than trying to stuff the compressed bags between the coils. With the springs off I was able to just lower the bags into the spring, connect the hose and barb, and just push the springs back into place by hand. I spent more time carefully routing the air lines and wrapping them with larger pieces of fuel line in areas where the lines might chafe and rub. I went with two separate air lines, because this prevents any imbalance by load shifting and such. Most air bag kits I've seen tend to recommend this for the most in safety, but it's probably not the end of the world to do the "T" fitting where they share a single pressure line. Like wvudodge, I also installed my schrader valves to the right of the license plate for easy access to an air chuck or even a bicycle pump.

These things work quite well unless you're near to overloading your receiver weight. My 5000 pound trailer and its tongue weight is easily handled with these bags and a simple friction antisway bar.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Where did you guy get your bags, and do you have a part number. Thanks.
Amazon. The Air Lift part number is 60818. $87 with free shipping.
 

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air bags?

I just got done talking to a buddy of mine which has a garage, I was telling him that I was thinking about installing a set of the in the spring air bags. He said that he has had two different trucks with them, He said the only problem is if you keep the air low and do not keep checking them and the air leaks down which it will. the bag gets soft and rubs and put a hole in them. It may be a pain to keep checking the air pressure unless you install a gauge. also which may not be to practical. I did not ask him but what is all you thoughts on a set of air shocks. I do not know how much towing or hauling I will do but I would like the option to do so and still have the truck handling and setting level.
 

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Yes, you need to check the airbag pressure occasionally, but you need to check you tires too. There is an add-on system with a pump and guage if you feel this is really going to be a problem. This is the second truck I've had an airbag setup on, and I've never had a problem with either, and the bag pressure at its lower levels stays very steady over a lengthy time. You only have to maintain 5 psi, and in fact you can go to 10 psi with little to no feeling in the suspension from the higher pressure in the bags. On that warning of damaging the bags from running no pressure, I think you'd have to really mash the coils down with a really big hit or a heavy load. These bags are darned tough and not that fragile. You probably have a greater risk of damaging the air hose connection if the bag were to cock in the spring. With the bag at 0 psi, it still has a great deal of rigidity if the air fittings are closed, and you'd still be trying to compress the air that's in the bag. I just don't see a great deal of maintenance with these systems. If you're one who drives their vehicle without checking tire pressure until they blow out or don't check your oil until the engine knocks, then maybe this system isn't for you.:D
 

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I've had these bags in my 09 ram for two yrs now and only put air in them 1 time other than the original fill when I installed the bags. I keep them at 5 psi.
 

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I'm glad I ran across this thread. I just recently purchased my 2011 RAM and I put 1200lbs in the bed the other day. It was sad just how badly the rear end sagged, the truck looked like a motorboat going down the road. The coil springs were a terrible mistake in these trucks IMHO. This is the first truck Ive ever owned with rear coils and I've never experienced anything like this massiive FAIL. The ride isnt that much better than any other truck Ive owned so I still dont know why they went with coils.... I'm going to have to install some bags. I tow a 6500lb boat trailer so I hate to see what that will do to the rear suspension of this ...uhm..."truck".
 

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I'm glad I ran across this thread. I just recently purchased my 2011 RAM and I put 1200lbs in the bed the other day. It was sad just how badly the rear end sagged, the truck looked like a motorboat going down the road. The coil springs were a terrible mistake in these trucks IMHO. This is the first truck Ive ever owned with rear coils and I've never experienced anything like this massiive FAIL. The ride isnt that much better than any other truck Ive owned so I still dont know why they went with coils.... I'm going to have to install some bags. I tow a 6500lb boat trailer so I hate to see what that will do to the rear suspension of this ...uhm..."truck".
What truck with leaf springs that you had before rode better than the 1500 Ram? I'm just curious because I had 3 different 1/2 ton GM leaf spring trucks in the past, and none of them rode as smoothly as the coils on my Dodge. And leaf springs or not, I had to put airbags on all of them to tow a travel trailer. Most 1/2 ton trucks are going to need assistance with any towed item that has any decent tongue weight. Are you saying you towed your 6500 pound boat and trailer with a 1/2 ton pickup without any spring assistance? That would be impressive, especially if it rode as smoothly as you described.
 

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Same here, went from my dads 08 ram 1500 to a 10 and now 12 1500 and the ride is night and day between either of my coil spring rides and his leaf. His will buck you off the road if you aren't careful, not mine. Love the coils but know its not a 3/4 ton truck.
 

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What truck with leaf springs that you had before rode better than the 1500 Ram? I'm just curious because I had 3 different 1/2 ton GM leaf spring trucks in the past, and none of them rode as smoothly as the coils on my Dodge. And leaf springs or not, I had to put airbags on all of them to tow a travel trailer. Most 1/2 ton trucks are going to need assistance with any towed item that has any decent tongue weight. Are you saying you towed your 6500 pound boat and trailer with a 1/2 ton pickup without any spring assistance? That would be impressive, especially if it rode as smoothly as you described.
Since you asked, my last three 1/2 ton trucks (over the past 15 years) have been Fords ....99, 02 and 06 models...All 4x4. NONE, in stock form, needed rear spring help when towing or hauling near their payload capacity. Sure, they sagged but the trucks, in stock form, are higher in the back than in the front..common. Well none of my leaf spring equiped trucks MOTORBOATED under that kind of load...they sagged, but only to level at the most.
My RAM's a$$ was all but dragging the ground with 1200lbs!

YES, I towed my 6500lb dual axle boat trailer without spring assistance. That is untill I put front leveling spacers on my 2006 FX4. At that point I did add some bags because it would motorboat a little under ANY load, due to being leveled. I put an air ride auto leveling kit on the rear end and it was sublime..to say the least.

So no..the coil spring cant hold the leaf spring's jock when it comes to hauling. And the "smoother" ride is still a mystery to me, I cant tell a differnce what..so..ever.:doh:
Please read...I NEVER said leafs ride BETTER than coils. I just said, I cant tell any difference.

Bottom line...personally, I cant have this happening when I want to haul or tow, so yes, I'm getting bags.

FWIW, Even with the leveling spacers on the front and the leaf springs didnt sag THAT much. Here's a picture of my 06 F150 FX4 (with front spacers) looked under load before the bags inflated:


Heres what it looked like after they inflated back to the set level I liked.


MAN, I miss THAT truck!
 

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I'll agree with http://www.ramforumz.com/member.php?u=38992Ramajama on this. In the last month, my 08 F150 XLT was involved in a hit & run. So I've spent a couple of weeks in each of the Ram 1500 Hemi and a Silverado 1500 (rentals while mine was in shop). I didn't see much difference between my Ford and the Ram (maybe a slight edge to the Ram). Both my girlfriend and I thought the Silverado was by far the roughest riding of all 3.

Having said all that, I've had my F150 appraised and have now placed an order for a 2012 4X4 C/C Outdoorsman knowing I'd have to supplement the rear suspension to tow my 7500 lbs travel trailer. I might have gone with the Ford again but really worried about long-term Ecoboost for towing and they're also more expensive by a few thousand $$. Plus, I really like the look and power of the Ram. Easy decision.
 

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Nice job, however I believe the hole you used for the valve stem is your access to your spare tire crank. Check your owners manual it shows the access is located under the tailgate.
 

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Nice job, however I believe the hole you used for the valve stem is your access to your spare tire crank. Check your owners manual it shows the access is located under the tailgate.
If you look to the right of his valve stem, you can see the access hole is still clear and unobstructed.
 

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I did this to my 09 ram along with chnage of the yellow bump stops to a taller aftermarket one. They held a 5th wheel 1500 hitch weight. I took them out and have them if anyone wants to buy them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
If you look to the right of his valve stem, you can see the access hole is still clear and unobstructed.
Correct. The access hole is unobstructed. However, it was a pain to get the air nozzle in there so I went ahead and reinstalled the valve stem to the right of the liscence plate on the bumper. So that pic is no longer accurate.
 
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