Airbagman suspension for caravans vs Timbren SES for caravans: A comparison
You’re trying to decide which way to go: Airbag Man’s airbags or Timbren SES upgrades, right? If you’re shopping price, there’s an obvious choice. But as the old saying goes, “You get what you pay for...” But not always!
This short article is designed to help you make the smart choice by showing you an honest comparison between towing with an air ride suspension and a Timbren SES upgrade.
What is an Airbag Man airbag suspension kit?
Airbag Man is an Australian company whose corporate office is located in Brisbane, Australia. They design and manufacture air suspension kits that include airbags from top suppliers - like Firestone and Dunlop - from around the world.
The rear kits they design replace the factory bump stops, which means they sit over the axle between the frame and the leaf spring. They recommend that only a qualified dealer should install one of their airbag suspension kits. It’s definitely not a job for amateurs!
Airbag Man airbag systems are similar to North American air ride suspensions. Let’s face it, there are no shortcuts when it comes to designing something for a half-ton pickup truck. Airbag Man’s Australian airbag systems are designed to assist a tow vehicle pulling a caravan.
The basic components of all airbag suspension upgrades are part of an Airbagman design:
- 2 airbags
- metal brackets
- necessary hardware
- nylon tubing
- installation instructions
The average Airbag Man kit for a half ton pickup costs about $1000.00 US. Any extras like air compressors, air tanks, and height-control valves (for onboard air supply) are extra.
What is a Timbren SES suspension upgrade for Australia?
Timbren Industries’ corporate office and manufacturing facility is located in Toronto, Canada. Timbren specializes in suspension upgrades for trucks, vans, SUVs, and trailers. Instead of using airbags, Timbren’s line of SES (suspension enhancement system) products are based on Aeon® hollow rubber spring technology.
Timbren Industries first introduced the North American market to Aeon® hollow rubber springs back in 1968. All Timbren SES suspension upgrades fit virtually every truck, van, and SUV that rolls off the assembly line. To date, there are over 400 SES kits available to the North American consumer.
Much like an airbag system, Timbren SES products replace the existing bump stops. But unlike an airbag system, Timbren SES suspension upgrades don’t depend on compressed air to enhance the ride. In fact, they’re an alternative to air ride. Aeon® hollow rubber springs are made of natural rubber engineered to lift the vehicle without the use of compressed air.
If you have a few common tools and know how to remove a bump stop, Timbren SES upgrades are easy to install. The basic components of an average SES suspension kit explain why:
- 2 Aeon® springs
- 2 metal brackets
- All necessary hardware and fasteners
The average SES suspension upgrade runs about $300.00 US. Aside from Timbren lift kits for lifted vehicles, there are no extra components to purchase.
How does towing a caravan with an airbag system compare with Timbren SES?
In case you’re not familiar with the term ‘caravan’, let’s just for a moment define what it is: “A caravan is a road vehicle without an engine that is pulled by a car or truck, designed with enough space for people to live and sleep in, especially when they are on vacation.”
If you have ever towed a caravan that is equipped with all the comforts of home (a bathroom with flush toilet, sink, and shower as well as a kitchen with fridge, stove, and sink), you know that the rear suspension on your tow vehicle is going to sag quite a bit.
In order to fix the sag, squat and resulting instability (roll and sway), you’re going to need to install a suspension upgrade that will keep your tow vehicle level while towing your caravan. This will impact the ride quality by improving steering, braking, and overall control.
As we’ve already suggested, we’re going to compare Australian ‘Airbagman’ airbags with Australian Timbren SES upgrades when it comes to towing a heavy caravan.
Even though they provide, basically, the same benefits, Australian airbags and Timbren SES upgrades are two very different technologies: Airbags use compressed air to lift and lower the truck (tow vehicle). Timbren SES products use Aeon® hollow rubber springs. The rubber - not air - does the job of keeping the truck level and stable. Consequently, airbags allow you to manually adjust the ride height, whereas Aeon® hollow rubber springs are self-adjusting. In other words, airbags require ongoing maintenance; Aeon® hollow rubber springs require zero maintenance. Timbren SES upgrades are a set-it-and-forget-it system.
Now, just because Timbren SES upgrades are more affordable doesn’t mean they’re inferior. Keep reading to find out which is the better solution for towing a caravan.
Which suspension upgrade is best for towing a caravan?
Above, we compared Airbag Man airbag upgrades to Timbren SES suspension upgrades. So, which one of these Australian suspension systems is best for you?
- What does Airbagman airbags offer you that you can’t get with Timbren SES? Answer: Manual adjustability. You can manually adjust the amount of air in the airbags.
- What does a Timbren SES upgrade give you that you can’t get with an airbag?
Answer: Reliability. You get an affordable system that self-adjusts and is absolutely bulletproof.
Think about it: For the past 50+ years, Timbren SES products have remained the smartest choice because they guarantee you maximum control and safety while on vacation.
“Whether we’re towing with our Nissan Titan or our Toyota Tundra, our Timbren SES kit has been a game changer. Reduced all sag in the rear plus helps the tow rigs gain maximum control. Over a year with SES and we would never go back.” @ClicOutdoor