Full vs Semi Air Suspension

One of the most popular questions we get asked is: what is the difference between full air suspension and semi air suspension?

Full air suspension actually has two meanings which is why we always ask customers for more information. Full can mean both front and rear or it can mean a rear air suspension solution where the entire metal spring is replaced by an air spring as opposed to an auxiliary air suspension which is fitted in addition to the existing suspension. This question is most relevant to Motorhomes, Vans and sometimes pickups.

Cars usually have full air in the sense that it is both front and rear and it becomes the entire suspension system. It is usually managed with a computer controller.

Semi air suspension which is also called load support, auxiliary air or sometimes supplementary or secondary suspension is installed in addition to your existing suspension and is aimed at heavy vehicles, such as commercial vans and motorhomes that are often at their weight limit.  Load support improves ride quality and lifts the vehicle up but will not lower it.

If you need to lift and lower the vehicle then a full rear kit is required. It is used by commercial vehicles, limousines, museum vehicles, aviation transport vehicles, etc. It replaces your existing spring.

Air management for semi air suspension ranges from basic Schrader valves to manual on-board air (OBA) options.

Posted by Kristine Ceirane

AirRide at Goblin Works ModShop

Over the years our Boss Phil has done a fair few jobs for film and TV companies including supplying parts for Fast and Furious 2, Fast 9 (still waiting for the Covid delayed release) and for vehicles used on TV programs such as EastEnders and in the old days The Bill. A decade ago, he even worked on 3 episodes of Pimp my Ride UK. Most of our work is very much off camera as mentioned or even behind the camera such as airbags for tracking vehicles (often seen in the background crew shots on Top Gear/Grand Tour,,,) and AirRide delicate load solutions for outside broadcast units for various companies in trailer and van configuration.

Late in 2020 we were pleased to be asked by Workerbee TV to help Goblin Works Garage with their new show “Mod Shop”. Having seen the finished Discovery Plus show for the first time the MINI looks amazing and we are so pleased to see that the owner of the car was so happy he was moved to tears by the finished car.

The show can be seen by streaming Discovery Plus and we are told will also be on Quest/D-Max later in the year. Big thank you to Derek for the loan of tools and bolts we forgot to take and to Jimmy, Helen and Ant for making us so welcome. It was a fun experience to see how some of our favourite shows are actually made – particularly how many times you have to do the same bolt up and from how many angles!!! 😊

AirRide installers with Jimmy De Ville and Helen Stanley at Goblin Works
Film crew and lights at Goblin Works ModShop
Jimmy De Ville with Phil from AirRide being filmed for Goblin Works Mod Shop
Posted by Kristine Ceirane

Bad Weather

Due to Bad Weather in Norfolk on 8th-10th February there will be limited telephone service and no parcel dispatches. Emails will be dealt with but please expect some delays. We hope to return to normal shortly but this week is expected to be bad weather and we are located in a rural area without gritting and ploughing which has experienced 9 inches of snow and severe drifting due to high winds. Some areas are 3ft deep. Sorry for any inconvenience caused.

Posted by Phil

New Kits

Boss Air Suspension Universal Strut

January has been a busy month for us with a host of revised and new kits underway. Check back for all the latest info.

Posted by Phil

Happy Holidays

May this holiday season bring all the jingly, jolly joy to your family and friends!

We are now closed for the festive period and will re-open on Tuesday 5th January 10.00am.

All automated in stock orders placed via our website during this time will be dispatched over the festive period. All made to order kits will be dispatched once manufactured when we re-open in the New Year.

We know that many customers install products over the festive period so if you require technical assistance then please email us at ENQUIRIES@AIRRIDE.UK using the subject ‘Technical’ and we will endeavour to reply to your query within 24 hours.

From all of us at AirRide, Happy Safe Holidays!

Posted by Phil

Air Suspension in winter


As the evening draw in we often get asked whether air suspension works in winter, so we thought we might look at this question for you.

Air suspension is popular in the Baltic States and in Russia, where winters can be brutal, and the temperature can be anywhere between -10° C and -30° C. Some of the Motorhomes and 4x4's we supply air suspension for are used to get to ski resorts - so how do they do it? People imagine that the rubber will get too solid to work and the air will freeze? Surely this must cause serious problems with air suspension? It should be remembered that Range Rovers and Bentleys often come with air suspension from the factory as do most buses and lorries - do they have some sort of special parts?

Most of the common branded bags on the market are rated for use in temperatures between -30° C and around 70° C.  Bags do behave noticeably differently as the temperatures increase or decrease and life expectancy might well be reduced (we simply don't have enough data to determine). Any problems are likely to come from water in the system which is a natural by product of compressing and pressurising air.

Therefore looking after your air suspension in winter is very straightforward: simply drain your air tank once a month to reduce the amount of water in the system. You might want to consider adding an extra water trap to further reduce the chances of problems or a cooling coil or dryer. Air contains a lot of evaporated water which condenses out of the air when it is compressed. It is this moisture that freezes. Additionally, you can run airbrake anti-freeze through the air pipes to further winter-proof your air suspension.

So in short, yes, air suspension can be used all year round subject to installing a good system using quality branded parts.

Posted by Kristine Ceirane

Classic Mini kit v3

Its now over 18 months since we sketched out the new Classic Mini v3 kit. The old kit has been very popular but it needed some cutting of the car and tank to fit properly. With the price of Mini's going higher and higher people are less willing to cut their cars and we created some new parts for a film which we figures would make the Mini conversion simpler to fit. We didn't realise it would take so much work but we are just finishing the final development and will launch the kit shortly. There is already a waiting list for the new kits so the first batch is likely already sold. More details will be added soon, and if you want to be added to a list to be contacted when its launched please email, or keep an eye out on the site.

The new kit is entirely bolt on. There are a couple of extra holes to drill but it is fully reversible. Various management options as usual. More information when we have it.


Classic Mini at AirRide
Posted by Phil

NEW Uprated Kits for AL-KO Chassis

AL-KO Suspension kit

We have worked hard over the winter to launch a new range of super heavy duty load support kits for AL-KO chassis based vans and motorhomes. These kits are the heaviest on the market and considerably beyond anything currently available in terms of ease of fit and strength. Because we manufacture these kits ourselves we have also managed to restructure the pricing so they are also cheaper! More information will be on the site soon.

AirRide has managed to create kits which are stronger, easier to fit and higher spec. All our new AL-KO kits use 100% duty cycle solid durable suspension compressors, not light duty or emergency tyre compressors like some suppliers use. Controllers are more durable and tanks much higher capacity and higher specification. Motorhomes and box vans are heavily laden and for that you need the toughest kit on the market - you need the new AirRide load support kit for the AL-KO chassis. Motorhomes in particular are almost at the weight limit for their entire lives and therefore the support offered by these kits are welcome.

We have been supplying kits for AL-KO based motorhomes for around ten years. During that time the main concerns expressed by customers are damage to the rear of the vehicle due to grounding when going on and off ferries, and an uncomfortable ride. Our kit is designed to overcome both. For more information please do call or email.

Posted by Phil in Kits, Motor Homes, Motorhome, Van, Vans

We are Still open for Mail Order

Although stocks of some products is running low we are still open, able to take orders and able to ship items. We are also manufacturing. Some telephone work is done off site so please allow longer for call responses and ideally send an email. Customers may notice that deliveries are a little slower than usual but all our couriers are still collecting and delivering.

Current Government advice is that we are permitted (and encouraged) to work although it looks likely that this will change in the very near future. We are taking all necessary steps to protect our staff and members of the public. Therefore Installations are currently suspended, and all our premises are closed to customers visiting. We will advise when this changes.

Three lowered cars
Posted by Phil

Free Fitting February

Over the past few months we have been working very hard here at AirRide to get our new Norwich workshop ready. Located in the city centre for the first time we have our sales office, development workshop, manufacturing and customer installation centre in the same place. This should enable us to offer a more efficient service, install more kits, and develop more kits.

So we thought how could we share our achievement with customers and we thought - free fitting. Air Suspension is not generally difficult to install but it is something that worries some customers. The offer is limited to bolt on car kits mostly. We will still be offering our usual bespoke service - it just wont be free.

There are some minor terms so please check out the dedicated page at:- FFF

Posted by Phil

Happy New Year

With warmest appreciation, from everyone at Airride we extend our best wishes for a prosperous New Year.

We look forward to re-opening on Tuesday 7th January 2020!

Happy New Year from Airride
Posted by Phil

Festive Period Opening Hours

Red Title saying Happy Holidays from Airride

May this holiday season bring all the jingly, jolly joy to your family and friends!

We are now closed for the festive period and will re-open on Monday 6th January 9am.

All automated in stock orders placed via our website during this time will be dispatched over the festive period. All made to order kits will be dispatched once manufactured when we re-open in the New Year.

We know that many customers install products over the festive period so if you require technical assistance then please email us at enquiries@airride.uk using the subject ‘Technical’ and we will endeavour to reply to your query within 24 hours.

From all of us at AirRide, Happy Holidays!

Posted by Phil

£50 off Economy Duty on-board air kits

We're always saying it here at AirRide - air suspension is always better with on-board air!

We wouldn't say it if it wasn't true - on-board air allows you to control your air suspension from the driving seat, meaning you can adjust your ride height on the go. It also means you don't need to be on the lookout for a petrol station to inflate your air bags.

Now we're making it even easier for you to get on-board air - our Economy Duty OBA is £50 off with any purchase of a Dunlop kit.

The Economy Duty OBA kit includes a Dunlop compressor that can work at pressures of up to 130 PSI, a twin gauge to show the pressure in both air bags - featuring a single button to raise the pressure in both bags simultaneously - and Schrader valves to let the air out again. It is ideal if you intend to change the pressure in your air bags occasionally, but not frequently enough for a higher-spec kit.

This is only while stocks last so hurry up if you want to make use of this great deal!

Posted by Aimi

Six reasons you should get the Air Lift 3P computer

At AirRide, we believe that no full air set-up is complete without some form of air management.

That's why we've got heaps of air management options for you to choose from, including manual paddle controls and digital solenoid controls.

By far our most popular management option, however, is the Air Lift 3P computer kit, which is why we've made a video all about it - check it out to the right.

All our management kits come with the VIAIR 444C compressor, a premium 100% duty cycle compressor, and an air tank.

You can find out more about all our management options by clicking here.

Posted by Aimi

Get your air fitted at AirRide too

AirRide do installations too

The question we get asked more than any other at AirRide is, 'Do you do installation too'? And the answer is a resounding yes!

We'll shortly be opening up a new workshop with enough space for cars, motorhomes and vans so, no matter what vehicle you have, we can supply and fit your air suspension for you.

Of course, most of our kits are bolt-on, which means any local garage should be able to fit them relatively easily - or you might even be able to fit the kit yourself - but there are a few reasons why you should consider fitting your kit with us:

  1. Peace of mind - be assured your kit is being installed absolutely correctly by our knowledgeable, experienced technicians
  2. Save money - we've already fitted hundreds of air suspension kits over two decades - this means we'll fit your kit as quickly as possible, potentially saving you money on garage fees
  3. Plug and play or hidden installs - we can either fit your compressor and tank into the boot for you to zoom off as quickly as possible, or we can hide them under panels or under your car for a cleaner look
  4. We fit kits that no-one else fits! If there isn't yet a kit for your vehicle or if the installation is complicated, we're still happy to make the kit and fit it.  We can even build a new kit around your vehicle, if you're happy to leave it with us.
  5. Expert technical advice. Our technicians are happy to talk you through the install and answer any questions about air suspension you might have.

To enquire about installations or to book yourself into the workshop, call us on 0800 7720315 or email us at enquiries@airride.uk.

If you'd rather fit your kit locally then don't fret - as we said most local garages will be able to fit your kit, and we'll be on hand for fitting advice.


Posted by Aimi