Do Air Bags Help with Towing

Whether you're a weekend warrior looking to hit the road for a few days, or a full-time professional hauling heavy loads; air bags for towing are well known as a popular aspect of any towing setup. Not only do air bags provide extra stability and improved handling, but they also reduce wear and tear on the suspension system and can help protect your cargo from damage. Let's take a closer look at the benefits of using air bags in your towing setup.

What are Towing AirBags?

Towing airbags, also known as lift bags or suspension airbags, are a very common feature in many towing vehicles. Towing airbags are inflatable cushions made of rubber or vinyl, placed behind the rear axle of the towing vehicle.

These airbags absorb the impact from bumps on the road, providing increased safety and stability while towing. Generally speaking, towing airbags are only necessary for large and heavy loads.

The use of compressed air to aid vehicle suspension has been a common practice for over a century, but has advanced significantly in recent years. Most airbag systems today connect to an external air compressor that shuts off automatically. If used correctly, towing airbags can be adjusted to shift the stiffness and height of your suspension; providing maximum control for your towing vehicle.

What are the Benefits of Airbags for Towing?

Improved Control and Handling

Air bags can help reduce swaying while you're on the road by providing additional stability. By adding extra suspension to the rear axle of your vehicle, they help counteract any shifting that may occur when you are towing something like a trailer or camper. This is especially beneficial in windy or wet conditions, when your vehicle can become unstable more easily.

Improved Safety

Air bags also improve safety by reducing the risk of jack-knifing when cornering or braking abruptly. This increased stability helps minimize skidding and reduces the chance of fishtailing due to overcorrecting. In addition, they absorb some of the shock from bumps in the road so that it doesn't transfer into your trailer or camper as much as it would without them. For rough terrain, airbags are essential for softening shocks and vibrations on the open road.

Increased Efficiency

Air bag suspension systems put less strain on your rear axle, which helps reduce wear and tear over time. The extra cushioning also provies better traction by reducing impacts on the road. Depending on where you’re driving, this can add up over time to improved mileage and a level of control that provides security at higher speeds.

Towing Airbags vs Weight Distribution Hitches

Towing airbags are designed to stiffen or soften the suspension of a towing vehicle out on the open road, but they are not perfect. Airbags are primarily a suspension system; they can improve your handling but they do not effect your towing capacity.

Weight distribution hitches, on the other hand, are capable of doing both. Even if you have airbags installed, its important to get a weight distribution hitch to compliment them all the same. While airbags are located on the rear axle of the tow vehicle, a weight distribution hitch uses spring arms to spread the weight of the cargo across a wider area.

Both airbags and hitches reduce trailer sag caused by the trailer tongue weight, but only a weight distribution hitch can reliably transfer the trailer tongue weight forward towards the front axle, which provides a safer ride overall. For more information, check out our blog Weight Distribution Hitches vs Airbags.

When you’re looking for a weight distribution hitch you can rely on, check out the 4-point sway control system on the Equal-i-zer Hitch today.

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