You may have heard of the benefits of air suspension on SUVs because of its smooth ride, agility at low heights, and clearance off-roading. These features on SUVs have truck owners wondering if any pickups on the market offer air suspension? We have gone the extra mile to get the answer for you on what pickup trucks have air suspension.
With so many compliments the air suspension gets, you will be surprised that there are only three pickup trucks on the market that comes equipped with air suspension. Drum roll, please! Here are the three trucks that offer air suspension:
- Ram 1500
- Ram 2500
- Ram 3500
The air suspension definitely has some great qualities, but why such a small list? There are several pickup trucks on the market, but none of their packages come equipped with the springless suspension. Why is that? Read on as we break down the benefits and disadvantages of an air suspension. Additionally, we will dive deeper into the 2021 Ram pickup trucks and their features.
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What Is An Air Suspension System?
Before we get into the Ram pickups' specific air suspension, let's explain what an air suspension system is and how it works. An air suspension is a type of suspension powered by a compressor or an electric-powered air pump. The air suspension is equipped with airbags that are filled by the compressor to give a spring-like suspension. This is a big difference compared to a spring suspension that is at a fixed height.
By filling the airbags, the vehicle will raise, creating more clearance to help avoid obstacles. For more agility at high speeds, suppress the air in the airbags, and the vehicle will lower closer to the ground. When the vehicle is at a complete stop, air suspensions can also be lowered an extra inch for easy entry and exit.
An air suspension system is commonly seen as a feature that only comes with luxury pickup trucks. However, it's not surprising Ram decided to add it to its truck line.
History Of The Ram Pickup Trucks
Since its debut in 1981, the Dodge Ram trucks have been a popular truck choice on the market. In 2010, Dodge separated their vehicles and put their SUVs, cars, and minivans under the Dodge name while their trucks became strictly under Ram's name.
Why the separation of brand names?
Dodge made this decision so they could put more focus on each of their vehicle sectors. Placing the trucks in separate divisions allowed them to analyze the truck market and improve their Ram truck line. This strategy helped Dodge pour more time and energy into making the most competitive trucks on the market.
Pickup Trucks That Come With Air Suspension
Trucks are seen as rugged and meant for tough jobs, so they can't be daily drivers that provide quiet and luxury rides, right? Ram begs to differ.
The Ram introduced their Active-Level Four-Corner Air Suspension system in 2019. The air suspension system consists of five different positions. Whether it's raising for off-roading, lowering for simple loading or exiting, or leveling the entire pickup for a smooth ride, the air suspension adjusts to the driver's needs. Here are the five different ride height positions the Active-Level Four-Corner air suspension adjusts to:
- Normal Ride Height: This is the standard height of the truck.
- Aero Mode: Lowers the truck by a half-inch for increased fuel mileage.
- Off-Road 1: Raises the truck by one inch to help avoid obstacles.
- Off-Road 2: Raises the truck by two inches for extra clearance for extreme off-roading.
- Entry/Exit Mode: This will lower the truck by two inches. This is particularly handy for elderly passengers and heavy loading gear.
Additionally to the five positions, Ram's air suspension system is particularly handy when it comes to towing. The system detects when a trailer is attached to the pickup and will level the truck's rear. This helps avoid wear and tear on the truck while maintaining a seamlessly smooth ride while towing a trailer.
Like any make and model on the market, the Ram 1500 has had its ups and downs and its good years and not so great years. Nonetheless, in recent years, Ram 1500 has been leading the way to a smooth ride.
The Ram 1500 comes with three different engines, including a 3.6 L V6, the notorious Hemi V8, or the new and approved 3.0 L Eco Diesel. For towing, the Hemi V8 is the Ram 1500 engine of choice because of its impressive towing capacity of 12,750 LBS.
If you do a lot of road trips with your truck, then we recommend 3.0L Eco Diesel. Efficient fuel mileage might not be what you think of when you hear of a diesel engine but check this out! The Ram 1500 Eco Diesel gets an estimated 33 miles per gallon on the highway! Now that is an unmatched stat when it comes to half-ton trucks in its class. Consumers will also be happy to know that the Eco Diesel also has impressive towing capabilities with a max towing capacity of 12,560 LBS!
When it comes to a truck that can really do it all, the 2021 Ram 2500 is a solid choice. Still equipped with the air suspension makes it a good choice for a day drive down the highway or hooking up the fifth camper for a weekend trip with the family. Consumers can now choose between six different trims, including:
- Big Horn
- Power Wagon
- Limited Longhorn
As of 2021, Ram is offering their new Heavy Duty Limited Night Edition. This new trim makes the Ram a creature in the night. It has a new blacked-out grille with the lettering "RAM," black exterior accents, and a black interior. The Black Edition is powered by the consumer's choice of two powerful engines.
Last but not least, we give you the 2021 Ram 3500. This is the true workhouse amongst the Ram truck lineup. When equipped with the legendary 6.7L Cummins Turbo Diesel Engine, this truck is a towing machine. The Ram 3500 has a best-in-class torque of 1,075 LBS, 6,570 LBS payload, 420 horsepower, and a modest towing capacity of 37,100 LBS.
The supplemental air suspension system keeps the rear of the truck from sagging when towing extremely heavy loads. When it comes time to hook up the trailer, the Ram 3500 auto air suspension system comes with a bed lowering mode that brings the truck to its lowest leveling making for easy hookup. The Ram 3500 also has a trailer reverse guidance system, and the 360 camera view makes towing large equipment a breeze. For a visual on the Ram 3500 air suspension, check out this video:
Is Air Suspension Good For Daily Driving?
Daily driving is where the air suspension shines. An air suspension system reduces vibration, road noise, and overall harshness, making it excellent for daily driving. An air ride suspension, as it is commonly called, is said to glide over bumps. On some vehicles like the Grand Cherokee, the vehicle's front end will lower for more aerodynamics to enhance fuel economy performance. An air suspension will adjust to the driver's needs with a click of a button, making it an excellent choice for daily driving.
Is Air Suspension Better For Towing?
A good truck suspension is vital to your trucks towing capabilities. Having an SUV or pickup truck equipped with an air suspension can take away a lot of wear and tear on your vehicle, not to mention stress while driving. It happens all the time when towing; you have a heavy load on the back, causing the rear of the vehicle to sag, and when you hit a bump, the trailer hitch bottoms out, sending sparks flying. An air ride suspension takes away this stress by self-leveling the vehicle's rear. Not only does this take the stress off of you, but it also takes stress off your vehicle.
Another benefit of towing with an air suspension system is attaching and detaching a trailer. If the SUV or truck is too high to attach the trailer, then it can be lowered. If it's too low, then it can be raised by a quick click of a button. Boat owners will be happy to know the next time they hit a boat ramp that doesn't have enough pitch to deploy their boat into the water. They can simply raise the rear of the truck helping the boat slide right off the trailer! For the consumer who frequently tows the air suspension will take out a lot of hassle.
Does Cold Weather Affect Air Suspension?
An air suspension has a lot of advantages when it comes to towing, ride performance, and versatility, but how does it hold up when the weather turns for the worst? Consumers have reported having issues with their air suspension systems when it comes to cold weather.
The cold weather can cause condensation and freezing, affecting the air suspensions compressor, valves, and lines. If one of these parts fails, consumers may be looking at a complete air suspension replace which can be a pricey repair. If you live in an area where below-freezing temperatures are typical, reach out to your local dealership for more information about an air suspension.
American pickup truck Dodge Ram 2500 of the motocross racing team drives at the interurban road.
How Long Do Air Suspensions Last?
Air suspension systems are no different than spring suspension when it comes to inevitable repairs. Vehicles are depreciating machines, and just like any machine, wear and tear happen, parts need to be replaced.
While this depends on the vehicle brand in question, on average, an air suspension system needs to be replaced every 50,000 to 70,000 miles or every ten years. Keep in mind; this depends on how often the system is used and how it is treated. Just like anything, if it's abused and not taken care of, it probably isn't going to last that long.
Purchasing a truck equipped with an air suspension with offers a smooth ride on the highway, versatility when towing, and convenient entry/exit for your passengers. However, if you aren't a fan of the Ram truck but want an air suspension system, you will have to look into an aftermarket system which could be a pricey add-on.
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