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Thursday, May 06, 2010


WOW, who is this guy? certainly not the Howard who started this adventure, that guy (by his own admission) didnt know anything about mechanics...look at how far you have come! impressive.

Howard I am somewhat confused as you keep saying you can not wait to test your rv to see how it rides. Are you getting in the fiver and go down the road? Are you talking about while towing the fiver did something that made you take these measures? I hope you will explain more. I apologize ahead of time if you take the following sentence wrong because it is just my feelings. I notice you have taken the fiver out in the desert, down ruff roads, unpaved roads, etc. I do not think our size (mine is 17,000 pounds) were ever designed to be taken and used that way. Again please I am not trying to make anyone mad so I hope you did not take it that way. I enjoy reading your website but I guess I am just a little more cautious.

Hey Jimbo,
Let's see if I can help with your confusion.

The upgrades we had done really weren't about the suspension as much as they were an attempt to make our fifth wheel (at 18,000 pounds) safer and last longer.

Our GVWR is about 17,000 pounds and we've been running at 18,000 pounds since we started. There just wasn't enough cargo carrying capacity built into our unit and we were too naive to know it at the time.

We have been concerned about the safety and the long-term effects of having running gear that was borderline for our weight. Therefore, we decided to do upgrades over time as cash flow allowed.

In this case, the main goal was to upgrade to disc brakes for better stopping ability. The timing is mostly because our electric brakes started failing last year. While upgrading the brakes, we decided to upgrade our axles. However, upgrading the brakes makes it convenient to add the IS suspension. And doing the suspension upgrade was only going to cost about $500 more than upgrading the axles.

So, for $500 we decided to get arguably the best trailer suspension on the market. Since we made that decision, I'm anxious to see the effects of the new suspension, not because we need it to go "off-road", but because it may lighten the burden on the trailer frame on every day rough roads with potholes and railroad tracks, etc.

Linda drives behind our fifth wheel and she saw the bouncing and rocking and stress on the rig on roads we all drive every day. We want to see if that stress is reduced as advertised with the new suspension.

Hopefully, that clears things up for you. If not, I don't know what else to tell ya. :)

H&L, Congrats on the new installation. I am sure the added comfort and peace of mind will make the investment worthwhile. I wouldn't be without disc brakes or the IS. The axles are substantial and added 450 lb. to my rig, Yours will be more since you had disc brakes added too. I consider that good weight. We want substantial to support our 17K lb of prized possessions.

An additional word about use of Integrated Brake Controllers. Carlise has available their HBA-CAM module that adapts the HBA16 for use on at least some Ford and Chevy trucks with IBC. The HBA-CAM was not available at the time we were setting up. Check with Carlisle for compatability. As you pointed out some trucks work without the added module.

I ended up with a P3 which is fine but I had to modify my '08 Chevy brake wiring accommodate that too. GM Bulletin "Procedure for Installing an Aftermarket Trailer Brake Controller in Lieu of Factory Installed Integrated Trailer Brake Controller #07-08-45-001A (09/07/2007)".

Thanks for the prompt reply Howard. Yes that does clear it up. I have hydraulic brakes on my fiver (standard) and this is my first fiver so I do not know the difference between electic or if hydraulic is better. Also standard was the trail air pin box. My fiver is 17,000 pounds and I can watch the shock on the pin box go up and down but I do not feel it in the truck. I really appreciate your prompt reply, you and Linda are the best.

Happy towing and many safe miles ahead for the both of you.

Jimbo :)

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