Air ride: Yes or no? Settle this internal battle for me once and for all

I’m going to be ordering an Adams 2+2 later this year and need to make up my mind on air ride. Is it actually worth it? As in, has anyone ridden in the back of a trailer with air ride to confirm that it is far superior to the standard (lack of) suspension found on most trailers?

I have heard that they require more maintenance and if something fails, the trailer is inoperable. Is this true? I am mechanically inclined, and have a friend/coworker who is a genius with vehicles/trailers/and such. But if the trailer goes down at my place, or worse on the road with horses on it, and I can’t get it 30 miles to town to said friend’s shop, then I’m SOL.

I’m a careful driver but that does not mitigate terrible road conditions; I70 through eastern colorado, or indiana/ohio, anyone? I have an old crippled mare who, I admittedly had on the trailer for far too long recently for vet/farrier appointments, and she fell down a short ways from home from fatigue; there were two horses in front of her and one behind… Use your imagination on how I had to unload everyone else around her…

She won’t be going on any cross country, or even long local, trips ever again. But it got me to thinking about how to make the ride easier and more comfortable. Are there any other suspension options out there besides air ride? Or have suspension systems gotten better since the late 90s? Can anyone verify that air ride is worth the money and risk of breaking down?

When I was trailer shopping, I was told if the air ride fails you can’t use the trailer at all. That’s why I opted not to get it.
I’ve heard people suggest extra springs (??) on the truck suspension to smooth the ride. I have no idea if this is good or bad but an alternative
Maybe you can tell that I am NOT mechanical in the slightest.

So after I posted this, I actually ran across a video from “Mr. Truck”, who is semi-local to me, about the air ride system they are putting on Cimarrons and it is a combination of air bags AND shocks. They explicitly stated that if something were to fail, you can still get the trailer to a shop. So I’m not sure if it is just that particular air ride system, or if that is standard these days.

More research to follow…

I don’t have Air Ride, so unfortunately can’t help you there.
But perhaps a slightly cheaper solution that might benefit your horse:


This is one of my ‘bucket list’ items for if I get a sudden fiscal windfall… Anyone here have one that can chime in? I’m intrigued but with my set up, it really would need to live on my truck. Hmmm.

I put Timbren SES on my tow vehicle, and it did improve the ride, which translated into a smoother ride for the trailer, too.

The same company makes air bag systems for trailers. They specifically mention horse trailers:

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That’s an interesting concept, but the hitch is to be kept “ideally dry”? That seems an odd requirement in a trailer hitch. What if you are towing in the rain? Do you have to hand dry the hitch every time it gets wet?