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Old 05-09-2013, 12:03 AM   #1
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I recently purchased an unsold 2011 F350 Crew cab, Long wheelbase 2WD tow vehicle but when I hitched up my 31SL I noticed the front of the fifth wheel still dipped some in the front. I raised my hitch to it's maximum height and it still dipped so I decided to install Firestone Ride Rite Air bags to level everything up. I was told by a friend that when he did that to his truck, Ford refused to honor his warranty because of the modification. When I talked to Ford's Extended Service Plan employee she informed me that adding air bags would not void the original warranty but they could not sell me an Extended Service Plan if I added the bags. Has anyone else with air bags had this come up during warranty work?
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Old 05-09-2013, 01:25 AM   #2
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I Have a 36RL towed by a 2011 F350 4X4 SRW and my rig doesn't dip at all when hooked up. Do you have 20 inch tires if not that may be the answer.
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Old 05-09-2013, 03:24 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick and Mindy
I recently purchased an unsold 2011 F350 Crew cab, Long wheelbase 2WD tow vehicle but when I hitched up my 31SL I noticed the front of the fifth wheel still dipped some in the front. I raised my hitch to it's maximum height and it still dipped so I decided to install Firestone Ride Rite Air bags to level everything up. I was told by a friend that when he did that to his truck, Ford refused to honor his warranty because of the modification. When I talked to Ford's Extended Service Plan employee she informed me that adding air bags would not void the original warranty but they could not sell me an Extended Service Plan if I added the bags. Has anyone else with air bags had this come up during warranty work?
By law they can only deny the warranty if they can prove that the accessory that you added caused the failure of the item you're seeking warranty work on. So if you had suspension or frame problems, I guess they could say that the extra airbags in some way effected their product. But the entire truck's warranty is not void and I'm not aware of any frame problems that Ford has had so I think you're safe. Add the bags and you'll be glad you did. Many of us have pulled the trailers with and without them and I don't know of anybody that wished they hadn't had them once they were installed. Also, if you didn't get the tri-glide hitch pin, that should be your next modification. They're easy to put on and well worth the money and effort.

Happy Trails
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Old 05-09-2013, 11:12 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by fathog99
I Have a 36RL towed by a 2011 F350 4X4 SRW and my rig doesn't dip at all when hooked up. Do you have 20 inch tires if not that may be the answer.
My brother tows with a 2012 F350 SRW 4x4 and we noticed right off that his truck sits 5 inches higher than mine does, I'm sure it is because of the 4 wheel drive. I have 17 inch tires on my truck. He has 18 inch tires on his truck and he doesn't have any need for air bags for his but his 5th wheel hitch pin weight is not as heavy as the Redwood.
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Old 05-09-2013, 11:18 AM   #5
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What is the GVWR of your truck. We also only have a SRW, but when ordering from the factory we requested the max GVWR of 11,500 lbs. We tow a 36FL and do not have dip when hooked up.
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Old 05-09-2013, 11:19 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Dave&Ginny
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick and Mindy
I recently purchased an unsold 2011 F350 Crew cab, Long wheelbase 2WD tow vehicle but when I hitched up my 31SL I noticed the front of the fifth wheel still dipped some in the front. I raised my hitch to it's maximum height and it still dipped so I decided to install Firestone Ride Rite Air bags to level everything up. I was told by a friend that when he did that to his truck, Ford refused to honor his warranty because of the modification. When I talked to Ford's Extended Service Plan employee she informed me that adding air bags would not void the original warranty but they could not sell me an Extended Service Plan if I added the bags. Has anyone else with air bags had this come up during warranty work?
By law they can only deny the warranty if they can prove that the accessory that you added caused the failure of the item you're seeking warranty work on.¬* So if you had suspension or frame problems, I guess they could say that the extra airbags in some way effected their product.¬* But the entire truck's warranty is not void and I'm not aware of any frame problems that Ford has had so I think you're safe. Add the bags and you'll be glad you did.¬* Many of us have pulled the trailers with and without them and I don't know of anybody that wished they hadn't had them once they were installed.¬* Also, if you didn't get the tri-glide hitch pin, that should be your next modification.¬* They're easy to put on and well worth the money and effort.

Happy Trails
Thanks for the info. I told my friend that he should have filed a complaint through the BBB so his case could go to arbitration. Repairs ended up costing him close to $15,000. Originally Ford agreed to the repairs until they discovered other damage and then sent a rep to investigate and he decided it was the air bags that caused the damage so Ford refused to pay. I don't know if the fact that he uses his truck commercially and it was a flatbed had anything to do with their decision. He was told that the air bags caused the truck to run unlevel creating undue pressure on the driveshaft.
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Old 05-09-2013, 11:30 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Oriana

What is the GVWR of your truck. We also only have a SRW, but when ordering from the factory we requested the max GVWR of 11,500 lbs. We tow a 36FL and do not have dip when hooked up.
My GVWR on my 2011 is 11,100. It is hard to tell, but your picture looks like your truck may be a short bed. Mine is a long bed, I'm not sure if that has anything to do with it. My problem may be more with the hitch and 5th wheel than the truck. The truck does drop 3 inches when the 5ver is hitched but it doesn't look bad. I raised the hitch to the max and it still looked like the 5ver dipped. My only other option was to lower the 5ver hitch pin but that would only allow 4 bolts per side instead of the current 5, not sure if that was acceptable so I decided if this was going to be my tow vehicle for a long time I might as well install air bags. I had them on my prior tow vehicle and loved them.
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Old 05-09-2013, 12:46 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick and Mindy
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave&Ginny
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick and Mindy
I recently purchased an unsold 2011 F350 Crew cab, Long wheelbase 2WD tow vehicle but when I hitched up my 31SL I noticed the front of the fifth wheel still dipped some in the front. I raised my hitch to it's maximum height and it still dipped so I decided to install Firestone Ride Rite Air bags to level everything up. I was told by a friend that when he did that to his truck, Ford refused to honor his warranty because of the modification. When I talked to Ford's Extended Service Plan employee she informed me that adding air bags would not void the original warranty but they could not sell me an Extended Service Plan if I added the bags. Has anyone else with air bags had this come up during warranty work?
By law they can only deny the warranty if they can prove that the accessory that you added caused the failure of the item you're seeking warranty work on. So if you had suspension or frame problems, I guess they could say that the extra airbags in some way effected their product. But the entire truck's warranty is not void and I'm not aware of any frame problems that Ford has had so I think you're safe. Add the bags and you'll be glad you did. Many of us have pulled the trailers with and without them and I don't know of anybody that wished they hadn't had them once they were installed. Also, if you didn't get the tri-glide hitch pin, that should be your next modification. They're easy to put on and well worth the money and effort.

Happy Trails
Thanks for the info. I told my friend that he should have filed a complaint through the BBB so his case could go to arbitration. Repairs ended up costing him close to $15,000. Originally Ford agreed to the repairs until they discovered other damage and then sent a rep to investigate and he decided it was the air bags that caused the damage so Ford refused to pay. I don't know if the fact that he uses his truck commercially and it was a flatbed had anything to do with their decision. He was told that the air bags caused the truck to run unlevel creating undue pressure on the driveshaft.

Obviously, there is more to this storythen just air bags. Apparently, damage (15000.00 worth)was done to the truck.

Like many companies, Ford was able to see something on the vehicle that was out of the ordinary. They were able to point a finger at the air bags whether it was the air bags or not.They are the final word unless it goes to arbitration.

I've had my issueswith Ford'sbeloved 6.0 diesel.

Dave from Maine

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Old 05-09-2013, 02:19 PM   #9
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even with my dually i put air bags on it. It wasn't so much that the truck sat too low in the back as it was that when running down the road the suspension would bottom out while going over big bumps. This also helped cause "Chucking" which isn't fun at all. Between the Tri-glide hitch pin and the airbags, the chucking is all but removed.
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Old 05-09-2013, 02:26 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave&Ginny
even with my dually i put air bags on it.¬* It wasn't so much that the truck sat too low in the back as it was that when running down the road the suspension would bottom out while going over big bumps.¬* This also helped cause "Chucking" which isn't fun at all.¬* Between the Tri-glide hitch pin and the airbags, the chucking is all but removed.
The suspension must be different between the F350 and F450, I have no problems and no extras.
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Old 05-09-2013, 07:06 PM   #11
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A good solution to the problem would be to buy a Chevy Duramax Allison. (couldn't pass up the opportunity.)
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Old 05-09-2013, 07:10 PM   #12
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A good solution to the problem would be to buy a Chevy Duramax Allison. (couldn't pass up the opportunity.)
How funny!! I actually was looking for a chevy but this opportunity just took me by surprise!!
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Old 05-09-2013, 08:02 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Buddy
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave&Ginny
even with my dually i put air bags on it. It wasn't so much that the truck sat too low in the back as it was that when running down the road the suspension would bottom out while going over big bumps. This also helped cause "Chucking" which isn't fun at all. Between the Tri-glide hitch pin and the airbags, the chucking is all but removed.
The suspension must be different between the F350 and F450, I have no problems and no extras.

Yes, you're correct. The comparisons between an F-350 and F-450/F-550 end with the cab and motor.That's pretty muchthe only thing that's the same. Everything underneath that cab isjust plain bigger and heavier dutythan an F-350.Fromtierod endsand front axle to the reardifferential and brakes. Basically, the F-450/F-550'srolling chassis is a large truck with a pick-up truck cab.
We had purchased our F-550 for that reason. We have a 19,500lb GVWR. We've had one tons and had to move up for the GVWR. I have larger trucks for other reasons, also.
You purchase what your needs are and what you feel comfortable with. An F-350 is just right for a Redwood coach that has a tongue weight of 3000lbs plus or minus. If you feel more comfortable with a larger truck then you buy bigger.

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Old 05-09-2013, 08:20 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave&Ginny
even with my dually i put air bags on it. It wasn't so much that the truck sat too low in the back as it was that when running down the road the suspension would bottom out while going over big bumps. This also helped cause "Chucking" which isn't fun at all. Between the Tri-glide hitch pin and the airbags, the chucking is all but removed.


Dave, correct me if I'm wrong. You have not added air bags to your existing leaf spring suspension.
I believe you have omitted your leaf springs and now you are totally air bag suspension.

Larger trucks, such as; tandem,tri-axle dump trucks and semi-tractors &trailers have air bag suspensions right from the factory.

I just want to clarify this for everyone. I've added air bags to an F-250 that I have so to improve, ride,GVWR, and stability when loaded.

Dave has no leaf springs and is all air bag suspension. The air bag suspension is just plain great all around.

Dave from Maine

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Old 05-09-2013, 09:13 PM   #15
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Dave,
On your F-250 that you added air bags, do you get a lot of bounce when unloaded? i used the air lift automatic leveler and it lets air out when unloaded, but I think it keeps a little to avoid damaging the air bags if bottomed out. I've noticed it bounces a lot more on the cracks of the highway, to the point I'm thinking of pulling the fuse and letting the air complete out until Im ready to use them again.
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Old 05-09-2013, 09:51 PM   #16
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Atom Ant,
I keep 20lbs in the air bags unloaded so that I don't ruin them. I don't realize any more bounce with 20lbs in themthen when Ididn't have them at all.Yet, if I have 50lbs in them and not loaded, look out!
She's bouncin' like a basket ball.

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Old 05-09-2013, 09:58 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave&Ginny
even with my dually i put air bags on it. It wasn't so much that the truck sat too low in the back as it was that when running down the road the suspension would bottom out while going over big bumps. This also helped cause "Chucking" which isn't fun at all. Between the Tri-glide hitch pin and the airbags, the chucking is all but removed.


Dave, correct me if I'm wrong. You have not added air bags to your existing leaf spring suspension.
I believe you have omitted your leaf springs and now you are totally air bag suspension.

Larger trucks, such as; tandem,tri-axle dump trucks and semi-tractors &trailers have air bag suspensions right from the factory.

I just want to clarify this for everyone. I've added air bags to an F-250 that I have so to improve, ride,GVWR, and stability when loaded.

Dave has no leaf springs and is all air bag suspension. The air bag suspension is just plain great all around.

Dave from Maine
Not entirely true.....I have the Firestone bags (just like everyone else) that helps hold my truck level even over large bumps and then Kilderman installed air bags between the rear springs and the frame (eliminating the rear spring hangers). This is called a 2 stage system. On the front we completely removed the coil springs and put air bags in their place. So really I have 6 air bags on my truck, 2 in the front, 2 lifting the bed and then 2 that just feel good rolling down the road.
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Old 05-09-2013, 11:32 PM   #18
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Atom Ant,
¬*I keep 20lbs in the air bags unloaded so that I don't ruin them. I don't realize any more bounce with 20lbs in them¬*then when I¬*didn't have them at all.¬*Yet, if I have 50lbs in them and not loaded, look out!
She's bouncin' like a basket ball.
¬*
Dave from Maine
Thanks Dave. I may adjust it manually and look for the best ride then ask Air Lift if there are some options on the regulator. The truck always rode a bit rough, but the bounce is unreasonable now.
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Old 05-10-2013, 12:59 AM   #19
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Brad,

I'm going to go to Vegas on Sunday night and then up through Denver on our way home on Tuesday. So if you see a big Red/Black Redwood hauling down the highway.....honk and wave.
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Old 05-10-2013, 01:32 AM   #20
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I sure will! I might even have the ice maker running by then (got to get that pink stuff out of there) if you decide to camp!
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