Frequently Asked Questions
Omni-Directional 4 air bag 5th wheel vs competitor 2 air bag system
A four air bag hitch is designed to allow the hitch head to move on the air bags in any direction based on articulation from the trailer itself. The result of such continuous motion results in a smooth ride and decrease chucking and surging forces form the trailer on the truck. In addition to the movement from the trailer, the 4 airbag hitch support 100% of the pin weight, increasing the effectiveness of the air springs. This results in a smooth and controlled motion for the trailer on the truck.
Please ensure when installing you push the airline in towards the fitting 2 times, the first time you set in the fitting will grab it; on the second push it will create the seal preventing these from any possible leak.
Release Air Lines
Push the ring on the end of the air fitting next to the air line and then pull the air line out.
Inserting Air Lines
Push the air line into air fittings, the air line will slide in easily to the lock. You must push the air line past the first stop until it seats into the connector. If you can pull it out without depressing the ring, it is not in far enough.
Yoke and Head Installation
The air valve should be facing the cab of the truck.
Please make sure the air valve is facing the truck, another way to ensure the bar where the head sits there are two little steel pads these go towards the cab of the truck.
Setting the Initial PSI Air for 5th Wheel Hitch
When I set up a new unit fill it up to 90 and no more than a 100 PSI without the trailer (the unit will go all the way up). After that you hook up the trailer. Ensure that the head is locked. Once I am hooked up, raise the jacks on your trailer. Then let air out unit until you reach the middle of green zone on the shocks. Please ensure this is done on level ground. If you did not purchase the Shock Kit then the end of the Towers and the bump stops on each corner should be about ¾ to 1-inch distance.
Setting the Initial PSI Air for Receiver Hitch
When I set up a new unit fill it up to 90 and no more than a 100 PSI without the trailer (the unit will go all the way up). After that you hook up the trailer. Release the air until the bars on the side of the hitch are level or slightly pointing up.
Setting the Initial PSI Air for Gooseneck Hitch
When I set up a new unit fill it up to 90 and no more than a 100 PSI without the trailer (the unit will go all the way up). After that you hook up the trailer. Release the air until the Pin on the driver side is in the middle of the slot.
Head 25K tilts forward toward the cab
The head will tilt forward and rest on two little steel pads these go towards the cab of the truck. The anvil head will level out once the pressure from your trailer pin plate makes contact with the hitch.
Setting the Air Flow Control Valves on Each Tower
To get the factory settings close the value all the way and then turn back 1 ½ turns, then lock the nut. After you test drive you feel that the hitch moves to quickly back and forth, hitting the top bumps stops when braking and accelerating, then turn the air another ½ at a time. Test drive again and see what happens.
Removing the Hitch
There are a few options.
Get someone to help lift the hitch fully assembled out of the truck.
Pull the Pins that hold the head and remove the head. The head weights about 45 lbs. Then lift the remaining part of the hitch which weights about 160 lbs.
Pull the Pins that hold the head and remove the head. Then take the 4 bolts out that connect the Towers and Yoke, disconnect the air line in the middle and remove the Yoke and Towers.
If you have a winch or a garage some people use a simple pulley and hook the head of the hitch fully assembled and pull the pins from the rails. Then lift it up a little and drive you truck out from under. Some people bought a hoist on the web for less than $100 that lifts motors etc that has a boom with a hydraulic lift.
Lock Hitch when trailer is Attached
To prevent someone from unhooking your hitch head from your trailer, place a paddle lock in the hole that is located in the middle on the passenger side. This is the part that slide back and forward to lock and unlock there is a hole that will allow you to place a lock after your hitch is locked to your trailer. This will prevent someone from unlocking your trailer and waiting for you to pull away and see your trailer drop on your truck bed.
Lock Set for 25K
One lock for each side tower of the 25K and one for the head. These replace the standard clip type that come with the hitch. These are keyed alike and will prevent someone from removing your hitch from the truck. The forth lock is for the head, after your trailer is connected, this will prevent someone from unlocking your trailer when you are parked at rest stops or parking lots. Some people have reported their lever being unlocked and then if they started to drive the trailer would crash down on the truck bed. This lock is a brass combination paddle lock that you set to the number you want.
These mount on the side of the hitch and stop the oscillation when traveling on road that has a rolling effect vs bumps.
What do I need for an air pump?
Any air source will work to inflate the air bags. We recommend using a 12 Volt pump from any hardware store, preferably with a 125-PSI or higher rating (quicker inflation). You do not need a constant supply of air to the hitch, just inflate to the proper pressure and go down the road. You should check it when you hook up each morning but will not notice hardly any change.
If I lose all my air, will the trailer hit my bed or cause other problems?
No, the hitch will hit the bumper stops and the hitch will function like a “normal lock down hitch”. Please ensure that in this position that the 5th Wheel trailer front is still at least 3-5 inches from the truck sides.THE TRAILER SHOULD NOT BE TOWED WITHOUT AIR PRESSURE IN THE HITCH. THIS WILL ALLOW THE TRAILER TONGUE TO DROP SEVERAL INCHES AND COULD DAMAGE THE TRUCK BED AND THE TRAILER EXTENDING OVER THE TRUCK BED. Should you experience serious damages such as the air line being severed or air spring rubbing and/or rupture, and are in a remote area where air pressure and/or repairs are unavailable, then do the following:
Disconnect the trailer following the normal disconnect procedure and travel to location to get repairs, then Re-inflate the air springs to 100 PSI and follow the coupling Procedure as described.
Disconnect the trailer following the normal disconnect procedure. Remove the four bolts connecting the Yoke bar that holds the head assembly to the sides. Raise the assembly to the highest position and install the four bolts. Then reconnect the trailer and tow to closest location to have the problem resolved. Then reset the Yoke bar to the original height and re-inflate the air springs to 100 PSI and follow the coupling Procedure.
If the distance between the truck sides and the overhang on the trailer is enough distance to prevent contact. You can tow to a close location to correct the problem. Ensure that the distance between is maintained and does not allow contact because this would cause damage to your truck or trailer.
If you travel a lot in remote areas and want to make a emergency spacers you can measure the height between the Tower bar and the tower base based on your hitch set for normal traveling. This would be between the air bags and end of towers. Cut 4 2/4’s the height you measured. If you lose air in the hitch, jack up your trailer while the hitch is connected until you can place the precut 2×4’s between the air bag and center of the tower. Then lower the trailer hacks and height should be set to allow you to travel to the closest repair location to fix the air leak.
How does your hitch give me a smoother ride?
The AirSafe system, separates your truck from your trailer, so that the truck does not transmit the bumps it goes over to the trailer and vice versa, the trailer does not transmit the bumps it goes over back to the truck. With a “Rigid” Hitch 100% is transferred back and forth, with “AirSafe™” only 10% is transferred. 90% Smoother – 75% Safer
Will the hitch help keep my trailer from dragging on driveways etc.?
Yes. By allowing hitch “movement”, the results from dragging will be less severe if it happens at all.
Can I install any of the hitches myself?
Yes you can.
Receiver hitch takes just a minute or two to slide into the receiver.
Gooseneck hitch takes two people (weight), but just loosen the two jack bolts, drop out the old hitch, put in our “AirSafe™ Hitch”, tighten the jack bolts and you are on your way.
5th Wheel hitch
If you don’t have rails,
You will need to install a set of rails in your truck. We recommend Reese or Valley Rails. Reese Rails come with a standard bracket and may require drilling in your truck frame. The Valley rails usually don’t require any drilling in your truck frame. Valley rails are ordered with the brackets for your truck. Installation time is around 2-3 hours, sometimes up to 4 hours.
If you have existing rails that are Reese or valley compatible the hitch will mount on those rails.
After the rails are installed or you have existing rails assemble the hitch following the manufactures instructions and then pin the hitch to the rails. This will take about 30 -45 minutes to install.
Why do I need an “AirSafe™” Hitch and the Extra Expense?
The two main reasons are “Comfort” and “Safety”.
Less wear and tear on equipment (both truck and trailer)
Easier on the contents of the trailer, whether that be animals, car, motorcycle, breakables, etc.
Less driver fatigue means an easier days travel and safer driving.
Safety in quick maneuvers (the ones you don’t expect)
Cheap insurance against premature mechanical failures, frame problems, sidewall flexing etc.
Protects your trailer warranty
The smoother the ride the less you are varying you speed thus increasing your fuel mileage
The list goes on and on
Which Hitch capacity do I need?
We recommend that you do not exceed 75% of the hitch rating for your particular application. The reason for this is because most people under estimate the gross trailer weights and pin or tongue weights. As consumers we never know for sure unless we have the proper equipment to measure these items. This also allows for a larger trailer down the road, if we plan ahead. Our hitches work best when they are not maxed out, but are in the 50-75% capacity range. This will give you the most movement and smoothest ride.
I already have an “air suspension” under my truck or trailer.
You can have “Air Suspension” under your truck and trailer but if you do not have it at the connection you will still experience a harsh ride because you are still transferring the road conditions back and forth to trailer and truck. Our “AirSafe™ Hitch” will still improve your ride considerably.
I have a short bed truck; can I still use your 5th wheel or gooseneck hitch?
Yes ! Most newer trailer are designed for short bed trucks. The trailers have a better designed front and extended kingpins to allow greater turning radius. A slider is not needed in most cases.
If you do need a slider option our “Short Bed” Positioner (Slider) is what you need. The nice thing about this combination is once you set the “Positioner” to the right location for your truck you do not need to move it again. The “AirSafe™ System” allows the hitch to work properly without having to slide. As I am sure you have heard, many of the “Sliders” on the market today are subject to failure if not used exactly as directed. Our “Positioner” has 8” of movement in 1” increments and is built “Semi Truck” tough. You will never have a problem with it.
I currently have a fifth wheel and a gooseneck trailer, do I need two hitches?
No. Go with the fifth wheel hitch, as it will give you the most movement (8 Way). We have an inexpensive “Gooseneck to 5th Wheel” Conversion Pin that will let you easily change your Gooseneck set up over to fifth wheel and the one hitch will do it all. When not in use, just take the hitch off the rails (Four Pins) and your bed is free to use.
I have a four-horse trailer, but I do not always have four horses in it, What Pressure do I need to use?
Our “AirSafe™” hitches are easily adjusted for any load condition. Each hitch has an “alignment mark” which sets the hitch in the center of its travel. This means that empty or fully loaded you just put in the amount of air required to “center” the hitch. This allows easy adjustment for any load condition at any time, just add or remove air to compensate. This works with any type trailer and any type of load.
Do your hitches help control sway?
Yes. Because you are controlling center line with the Air Safe Hitch, causing less bouncing and allows the trailer to rum smooth on all tires. Less bouncing means less sway.
How does your “AirSafe™ System” compare to other “air hitches” on the market?
No other hitch offers the “Omni –directional 8-way” like our 5th Wheel Hitches have. Air Safe Hitches are the only 5th Wheel Hitch that controls the side to side with Air, as well and forward and back, up and down, and corner to corner. All other air hitches only control up and down with air, side to side is mechanical. Most just go up and down (ask them), while this helps, you lose a lot of the benefits of the “True” AirSafe™ System (No road articulation, no unleveled hook-up, more strain on your frame, etc). For the small price difference, our hitches offer many times more benefits than the competition. The Air Safe Hitches do not require that you release the air before disconnecting your trailer and than having to re-inflate the next time you connect the trailer. Why settle for less? You also might run into “height” problems with other hitches, especially on the medium duty “toter trucks”. We offer the most versatile height adjustments on the market.
What is the distance from the center of the pin and the front most edge of the hitch?
5th Wheel 32K = 14”
5th Wheel Omni-Directional = 12 ¾”
We are not required to collect sales tax on all order being ship.
Why would I chose the 32K vs 25K 5th Wheel Hitch?
If you have a heavy duty truck (Freight Liner, Volvo, etc) and you have 22” tires then you truck height may be an issue when pulling a 5th Wheel Trailer. To keep you trailer level when connected to your truck the hitch height may be an issue. The 32K was designed for this issue and is only 10” high and 24” wide. The hitch is mounted on 5/8 steel plate and can be positioned to fit between the truck frame to get the high lower.
Do I need to release the air in the hitch before I disconnect?
All Air Safe Hitches do not require you to remove the air in the bags before disconnecting, therefore the next time you use the hitch just connect your trailer and the hitch will return to the same setting as before. All of the Air Safe Hitches are designed with bump stops. When you disconnect the hitch will push against the bump stops and allow you to disconnect. The next time you connect the hitch will return to the same level as the previously had unless you tongue weight has changed significantly
Does your hitch help with the back and forth motion I feel on my vehicle and trailer?
There is another element that causes energies to collide with rigid connections. Any upward or downward motion actually shortens the overall length of the two vehicles This is where the shock factor becomes dangerous. Let’s explain by thinking about a door hinge lying flat on a table. The metal hinge represents the full distance from the front of the tow vehicle to the back of the trailer. If the tow vehicle drives over a bump it forces the rear of the vehicle upward bringing the vehicles closer together. Since metal does not stretch, the two parts of the hinge are at their longest when flat. Once you lift up on the hinge the two ends start coming towards each other and the distance from end to end id shortened. When we then go back downward the two start to lengthen until they are at their longest point when in the level position.
The same is true with a truck pulling a trailer. When the tongue is parallel with the ground the two are at their greatest length. If the truck hits a bump and drives the rear upward the two actually become shorter. If the tow vehicle weighs less than the trailer than the tow vehicle will actually pull backwards. This forward and back motion is what destroys transmissions and causes severe metal and personal fatigue. Now break that rigid connection by using our AIRSAFE™ receiver ,the results, over 90% reductions in shock transfer and a safer smoother ride.
Ever wonder why you get so fatigued when you are pulling a trailer?
Its simple, the shock from the trailer is being transferred to the vehicle and these forces collide. In the video we compare two rear view mirrors, one using a traditional rigid connection showing and the other using the patented AIRSAFE™ receiver. The rigid connection shows how shock waves are thrown in all directions inside the tow vehicle while the AIRSAFE™ vehicle shows a smooth , safe ride. We then run them it in slow motion so you can clearly see shock forces thrown in all directions with the traditional rigid connection causing loss of steering control, white knuckles and sore lower backs.
With the traditional rigid connection the tow vehicle hits potholes, dips or road heaves it throws the vehicle of its center course, in an instant you are over the bump or dip attempting to get back on course, then the trailer hits the same obstacle and transfers its forces back to you , the end results, shock energy flying In all directions.
With AIRSAFE™ hitches we reduce as much as 90% of this shock through its patented air hitch design insuring you a safe and comfortable ride. You can see and feel the difference.
Why buy a 20K or 25K when I only have 10-15K GTW?
Some people say the hitch is an over-kill for a smaller trailer. The design of the Omni-Directional hitch allow you to get a all of the benefits no matter what your Trailer Pin Weight is by just adjusting the amount of the air in the hitch to meet your trailer Pin Weight. If you trade trailers or trucks just add or release air for the new Pin Weight. No need to buy a new hitch.
I am new to the towing field and have never had a 5th Wheel trailer, what is the best advice you can give me?
Answer: The following are some key points for best advice:
Safety – Choice a hitch that will give you the maximum safety
Control – Choice a hitch that will give you the control needed for today’s road conditions
If you have a short bed truck, ensure the trailer has a kingpin extension or you will need a slider eliminator for your truck.
Make sure the kingpin height matches you truck height.
Remember the truck dealer and the trailer dealer don’t talk, they both say their product will handle the other.
Weight of the trailer; ensure that you add all of the weight in the trailer as you will using it and not just what the manufacturer stated. (See article “Can Your Vehicle Carry the Load?” article in this newsletter.) You should review the trailer weight in the same manner as reviewed with the towing vehicle.
The more slide outs your trailer has the more the trailer may be unbalanced
Choose a hitch that in the future if you decide to trade your trailer for a larger you can use the same hitch without having to get a larger hitch.
Ensure that the hitch has positive locking head to ensure your trailer does not drop onto your truck bed
Choice a hitch that will give you a smooth ride and eliminate the bumpy road conditions as much as possible