Majority of truck owners out there know that the simple addition of an air suspension kit (or helper air springs, as they are more commonly known) can make a huge difference in the overall towing experience.
However, we receive a ton of calls from customers inquiring about controls for their air springs,. The standard manual fill valve, while cost effective; isn’t the most convenient as it requires you to source a gas station for an air pump if you don’t already have an on-board air system on your truck.
We are often asked to recommend the best system for a user’s needs and the first question we always ask them is “do they want simultaneous or independent activation”. To which we usually hear “what’s the difference?”
It can be hard to decide between the options available on the market and to know which system to go with. So we are going to break down the available options, while looking at their pros and cons.
Typically, there are two types of air spring inflation / activation systems – Single Path or Simultaneous Activation and Dual Path or Independent Activation. The system you end up choosing really depends on the type of loads your vehicle needs to carry.
Single Path or Simultaneous Air Spring Activation system is where inflation is achieved with one switch that inflates and deflates both air springs at the same time. As a result both air springs are inflated to exactly the same air spring pressure.
This system is particularly good for weights that are evenly distributed from side to side or front to back. It is not recommended for work trucks or slide-in campers but works extremely well for trailers.
The Dual Path or Independent Air Spring Activation system on the other hand, is where inflation is achieved with two separate switches, allowing for individual inflation and deflation of air springs.
This system is certainly best suited for vehicles with top-heavy or unevenly distributed weights. Therefore, it is the best solution for work trucks and slide-in campers. Likewise, it may also work well for trailers with unevenly distributed loads.
In conclusion, Pacbrake recommends installing air lines in a dual path configuration. We believe the benefits outweigh the small amount of extra installation/inflation effort. However, single path is certainly a viable option if you don’t need to level your truck from side to side.
Pacbrake offers a variety of Air Spring Controls – choose between paddle valve or electrical operated kits available with digital or analog gauges.