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Old 08-04-2004, 08:09 AM
soacj's Avatar
soacj soacj is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Boat: Current: '03 X2 w/ MCX. Former: '91 Prostar
Location: Virginia
Posts: 715
Air bagged trailer

Has anyone looked into installing air bags on their trailer as a possible solution for major prop guard drag?

My setup: '91 ProStar w/ single axle trailer towed by a Dodge 2500 4wd pickup (fairly tall) w/ approx. 8" of hitch drop.

I've got a fairly steep transition into my driveway. Prop guard rollers are not going to cut it--the trailer wheels would be off the ground for 3'-4'. Doesn't seem like a good idea stress-wise.

In addition, the gravel road leading to the ramp we'll use frequently has a really high crown. The prop guard does a fine job of grading the length of this road. The noise ! Rollers would not help there.

Anyhow, I've read where some here have given their trailers a little suspension lift. I'm assuming this involves blocks between the axles and springs in conjunction w/ longer u-bolts.

I have multiple concerns w/ that solution. I like the way the trailer handles now and don't want to introduce a problem there, plus it's nice to be able to grab stuff out of the boat without climbing up on a fender or gunwale to get to it. I grew up w/ a Ski Nautique and we used to hate the tall trailer (but it didn't drag ) Also, I'm not sure I can safely get enough lift with this method to clear my driveway and that ramp road. That's not even addressing the issue of dealing w/ shallow ramps.

Anyhow, I'm considering installing air bags just inboard of the leaf springs. Looks like if I could find bags w/ the appropriate weight capacity and lift range this would work for instances where I need more trailer height while keeping the nice low stance when I don't.

Anyone out there have any experience w/ this? So far I have not found anyone using bags in this application.

Some links: http://www.airliftcompany.com/, http://www.ridetech.com/

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Old 08-04-2004, 08:40 AM
Ben Ben is online now
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Boat: '94 PS205 LT1
Location: Michigan
Posts: 1,466
Air bags on trailer

I was thinking the same thing a few weeks ago. I just put bags on the rear of my truck. Was sagging a bit loaded w/boat & all other stuff + rides like a semi when empty ('97 F350 4x4). Bags raised it up as expected & smoothed out rear axle ride too.

My trailer has metal jounce-stop plates welded in ('94 205 trailer - same as 190??) that I was thinking I'd have to cut out, then could place the bag between the trailer frame & top of spring clamp group. The airspring internal bumper & mounting arrangement would have to be sized accordingly to function as the jounce stop when necessary in this case.

I agree it would be nice to raise only when necessary for handling reasons. Another disadvantage to the 1 or 2" lift is you would have to go further in the water at the ramp to load/unload the boat... Due to timing, I'm just dealing with the problem right now, I have the tongue pretty low (also 8" drop) and took off my spare so it won't drag. May be a good fall project... Let me know what you come up with, but I do like the idea.
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Old 08-04-2004, 09:00 AM
soacj's Avatar
soacj soacj is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Boat: Current: '03 X2 w/ MCX. Former: '91 Prostar
Location: Virginia
Posts: 715
Yep, I've got the same bump stop--simply a plate welded to the frame over the spring plate.

That's one of the reasons I'm looking at installing the bags inboard of the springs. I don't feel like I need to screw around w/ that plate necessitating bags that function as bump stops. I want the bags to have minimal (if no effect) on the ride of the trailer in normal (uninflated or minimal inflation) usage. They would simply be along for the ride until I need "high clearance mode"
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Old 08-04-2004, 11:53 AM
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east tx skier east tx skier is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Boat: 1998 Ski Nautique
Location: End of my rope.
Posts: 26,185
I'm one of the people that has done the lift (2") on his trailer. The guy that did it for me said that airbags were a possibility, but would be more expensive. I think he also had concerns about their going in the water so much. At any rate, if the water isn't a concern, I think they sound like a great idea.

Just for the record, the 2" lift does not affect the ride of the trailer to any noticeable extent. It's a little taller, but I had to climb on the fenders to get in before the lift. Also, we have had no problem launching the boat on a number of different ramps. Just back it in a little further. Of course, this will depend on your ramp. But it's not a problem for us as we had the extra room.

If you put those bags on, be sure to detail the process. Good luck.
Previous: 1993 Prostar 205

Red 1998 Ski Nautique, PCM GT40, 310 hp, , Acme 4 blade, Perfect Pass SG/Zbox.


Be kind. Have fun.
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Old 10-11-2004, 10:45 PM
mbaumy mbaumy is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Boat: 02 PS190
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 5
I'm currently having may driveway replaced (asphalt) and was wondering if anyone has found a rubber or poly wheel to replace to factory steel wheels on my 02 trailer? I don't want my new driveway all torn up by the steel wheels and thought that a softer wheel would help.
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Old 10-11-2004, 11:38 PM
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Mag_Red Mag_Red is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Boat: 2004 Prostar 209
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
Posts: 5,603
How about some hydralics on the trailer????
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Old 10-12-2004, 09:55 AM
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captkidd captkidd is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Boat: 1994 MasterCraft ProStar 205
Location: Randleman, NC
Posts: 637
Seems that any machine shop could make you some wheels out of delrin or other hard plastic by using your existing wheels as models. If they used some round bar stock they might even be able to match the diameter pretty closely without having to machine it.
"Measure your wealth not by the things you have, but by the things for which you would not take money."

1994 MasterCraft ProStar 205, 275hp EFI -- Original Owner
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