Independent Airbag Suspension VS Timbren Axel less Suspension (Trailers)
I’m sure there are questions about the difference between independent airbag suspension and Timbren axel-less suspension for trailers right? It’s a serious question when you are looking into an off road trailer, because you want your off road camper to go everywhere and tackle everything.
Of course that can only happen with the best suspension. That’s why this blog will be all about these two types of suspension. First, we will tackle independent suspension as a whole, because these suspensions do share a lot of commonalities. Afterward we will talk about what sets the two apart.
Independent Solid Axel
To really consider a trailer an off-road trailer it needs to have independent suspension. Some people think it’s all about the size of the tires, but that simply isn’t true. Even if you have gigantic tires you still can’t tackle the rougher trails if you have a solid axel. If one side of the camper hits a large obstacle while the other side is on smooth ground, or even worse one side is high and one is low, then you are in serious danger of rolling.
Not only is it dangerous to travel the difficult trails without independent suspension, but it is a miserable towing experience. Have you ever been in a car that has bad suspension? You know, where every bump rattles your bones and threatens to break your teeth? Well, just imagine bad suspension when off-roading. You don’t just run into an occasional bump, the whole trail is just a large collection of bumps! No, you don’t want to do that to yourself.
Independent suspension is the way to go. It’s one of the most important factors of the off road camper. It was created specifically to do a couple of things.
First, to absorb the shock of those rocky uneven paths. That means you will have a good towing experience instead of biting your tongue and shaking your bones to dust.
Second, independent suspension was built with safety in mind. It allows your tires to move individually of each, which means even if only one side of the trail is uneven or rocky it won’t be bouncing the whole trailer around. If you go over a big rock it won’t lift the trailer up to a precarious angle, but will instead pivot and move to help keep the trailer as level as possible, especially in the case of airbag suspension.
Third, to extend the life of your trailer and it’s components. Think of what happens to your house when there is an earthquake. There is damage, more and more as the shaking gets stronger. When you are off roading in what is basically a house on wheels, it is very similar. You are putting your mobile home through an earthquake and one that lasts for a good amount of time longer too. Independent suspension was built with that in mind, absorbing much of that beating instead of your trailer. With solid axels you just bounce around too much and though they will absorb some of the shock, it is far, far less than independent suspension will do.
Okay, now that we have covered independent suspension, let’s talk about what makes Timbren Axel-less suspension and Independent airbag suspension different.
Independent airbag suspension Timbren Axel-less suspension
The first thing to consider is the amount of shock absorption. The Timbren suspension does leaps and bounds better than a solid axel, but the airbag suspension is even better at taking the rocky roads. There is a reason for that though. Typically airbag suspension costs a bit more than Timbren suspension does. So, it’s a cost and quality thing.
The second thing and definitely the larger difference is the travel height. This is actually quite a big deal too. Though Timbren suspension is still good, it doesn’t have the ability to raise or lower the ride height of your off road camper. That may not sound like a big deal but think about it for a minute… there are actually a lot of possibilities. Let me point out a few.
On thing is leveling when you set up camp. With airbag suspension you can lift and lower each side of the trailer. Instead of going through and agonizing search for the perfectly level spot or trying to drive up onto a trailer riser, you can park just about anywhere. There’s an off road camper called the ROAMER 1 that has over 6 inches of travel! The Cruisemaster ATX Suspension, (airbag suspension), is really something else! Look at this video from minute 4:25 to 6:00
Another fantastic benefit of having over half a foot of adjustable travel height with airbag suspension is the ability to get around obstacles. Whether it be rocks, ravines, ruts, or even tunnels. Check out this video from minute 2:45 until 12:00
A third difference between airbag suspension and the Timbren suspension is maintenance. Airbag suspension can need a bit more maintenance because there is a chance of it getting punctured and losing air, unlike the the solid rubber Timbren.
If you want my personal opinion I would say go for the Independent airbag suspension. Timbren axel-less suspension is good, don’t get me wrong, but I think it is a little over-hyped. It has many, many advantages over a solid axel, but Airbag suspension has even more. So, I would recommend the Airbag suspension for off-roading. Either way though, if you are going off-roading, make sure you aren’t taking a solid axel. As long as it is independent suspension, then you are at least on the right road.
It’s a beautiful world out there, so get out and see it!
Something A Little Extra
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