Why you should choose Standard OBA with your Dunlop kit

Standard OBA

If you buy a Dunlop kit for your motorhome, you’ll have loads of management options to choose from to help you get the most from your air.

We have three different types of OBA (on-board air) on offer – Budget, Economy, Standard, Premium and Ultimate.

Which is a lot of options, we’re sure you’ll agree. But there is such a thing as too much choice! (Although we do recommend reading up on all the options just to be sure – click the ‘Options’ tab on any motorhome product page for info and videos on all our OBA choices.)

That’s why we always recommend Standard OBA if you’re not sure which to get. It’s the option that offers best value for money, and should be affordable for most customers who can already afford the standard kit.

Standard OBA is a great choice for a few reasons:

  • It includes a good compressor, much better than the Budget and Economy OBA compressors, with a maximum PSI of 130 (most air bags only hold 100 PSI).
  • It also includes a small air tank, unlike the two cheaper options.
  • The controller features twin buttons and a gauge, and is really easy to use.
  • It is the cheapest management option that allows you to adjust the pressure in your left and right air bags independently.
  • It is ideal for irregular or regular adjustment.

If you want to further discuss your management options with a member of the AirRide tean, call us or e-mail us.

Posted by Aimi

Six reasons you should get the Air Lift 3P computer

The Air Lift 3P computer system is the most high-tech management system we sell for cars (and many motorhomes too). As such, it does set you back a fair bit (£1,495 to be precise) but here are six reasons you shouldn’t be put off by the price…

  1. You can programme up to five pre-set heights – for instance, dropped, ride and high – which means you can change your ride height at the touch of a button.
  2. You can also set your height with the turn of a key – as soon as you start the car it’ll set itself to your programmed ride height.
  3. The computer itself can also automatically adjust your height according to road conditions, meaning you never damage the underside of your vehicle.
  4. Control your air with your phone or tablet too, using the Air Lift Performance app - available on Apple and Android devices. This not only makes running your system much easier, but means you can adjust your ride height inside or outside the vehicle.
  5. Of course, you can be old school and control the computer with a controller if you want to! The controller has four sections, with each controlling a separate air bag. This allows you to level the vehicle, tip it to the side or lower the back with with tons of ease.
  6. And finally, you don’t just get the computer for that price! You also get an aluminium air tank and the VIAIR 444C compressor, which is absolutely top of the range!

Check out the product page for our digital computer kit here, and the page for just the Air Lift 3P computer (without the compressor and tank) here.

And don't forget, we do have plenty of management options for cars and motorhomes if the digital computer kit isn't for you! Give us a call or e-mail for impartial advice on management options.


The digital computer controller kit from AirRide
Posted by Aimi

TA Technix, AirRide Gold & Air Lift Performance: Choosing your car kit

We offer three different brands of bolt-on air suspension for cars at AirRide, and each one offers different benefits. Read on to find out which would work best for you and your car.

Remember that all three are bolt-on – and therefore very easy to install – and will offer you plenty of drop for that street-skimming stance!

TA Technix

TA Technix kits are the cheapest kits we offer, with many of them starting at £1,299 for all the bags and brackets.

They are a fantastic entry-level kit, and offer a good amount of drop on the front and back, while still offering a comparable ride quality to any other performance upgrade.

However, they only offer 2-3 inches of lift, meaning they may not offer the adjustability of the Gold and Air Lift Performance kits, but are great if you want a low stance all the time.

AirRide Gold

There are more than 600 AirRide Gold kits listed on our website – to find them, search the manufacturer of your car, then click on the relevant Gold page (e.g. VW – AirRide Gold) and use the dropdown menu to find your model.

Gold kits are the most adjustable kits we offer. The shock absorbers offer 36 levels of adjustment, meaning you can slam your car and raise it just the right amount to clear obstacles and still look stylish.

No bolt-on car kit can drop your car lower than a Gold kit.

Air Lift Performance

These kits are made by Air Lift, the famous Michigan-based company, who first started developing air suspension in 1949.

Most Performance kits offer up to five inches of drop and can lower your car as low as a TA Technix kit.

air lift performance
Posted by Aimi

Introducing AirRide Ultimate Kits

We're sure you're all aware of our Ultimate kit for T5s and T6s by now (and if not, where have you been? Fill your boots here.) But what you won't know, until right now at least, is that we've now got an Ultimate kit for the Mercedes Vito as well!

So what is an Ultimate kit?

Well, at AirRide we don't believe that air suspension should just be used for dropping your ride really low (but don't worry, we have loooooads of kits that do just that). We also believe that air is perfect for providing lots of extra comfort, and can even make your van or motorhome more comfy than it was when it first left the factory.

That's where AirRide Ultimate comes in - a new range of kits designed to give you as much comfort as humanely possible.

We've achieved this by using huge, reversible-sleeve bags to give you a massive 7 - 8 inches of adjustment and loads of cushioning. Ultimate bags have almost twice the volume of any other air bag that AirRide supply - which makes them ideal for heavy-duty motorhomes, campervans and wheelchair access vehicles where that extra comfort is really felt.

Please call us on 0800 7720315 or e-mail us at enquiries@airride.uk to find out more about our Ultimate kits, or to order one for your van or motorhome (in particualr your Transporter or Vito). If we don't yet do an Ultimate kit for your vehicle then please get in touch anyway as one may be in the pipeline!

And don't forget to follow us on Instagram to stay up to date with all things AirRide.

Posted by Phil

Uprate your motorhome with AirRide

We often get enquiries asking if air suspension can help to uprate a motorhome. The answer is yes, but this does come with a couple of stipulations.

Air suspension is a great way to get your motorhome uprated, as the air bags help to support the load a lot better, meaning you can carry more. However, to get your vehicle officially uprated, you need to get it certified at a consultancy.

The bad news is that AirRide does not double up as a consultancy (sorry!). It has been explained to us that re-rating is a matter of fitting air suspension (in most cases) checking tyres, brakes and chassis are up to the job. The matter is a paperwork exercise.

If you’re looking to get your vehicle uprated with air suspension then we’ll get you the right kit for the job.

There are a few other things you should be aware of when getting your vehicle re-rated (source svtech.co.uk):

  • When uprating to more than 3500kg, your taxation class will change from PLG to PHGV (saving you money!)
  • Uprating above 3500kg could possibly increase your premium, if you have roadside recovery. This is because the maximum towing limitation of over-run braked vehicles is 3500kg.
  • It’s also worth checking with your insurance company that uprating won’t affect your premium with them.
  • To drive a vehicle between 3,500 and 7,500kg, you need to have passed your driving test before 1997 or taken your C1 test separately.
  • Make sure you check individual axle loadings when uprating to ensure you do not exceed the stated axle weights.


Posted by Aimi

New Air Lift Performance T5/T6 Kit Unboxing Video

Here it is - the brand new T5 kit by Air Lift Performance! Check out the video to see Sophie from the AirRide team unbox it all for the first time!

We're absolutely loving the new kit already but, as Sophie says, don't forget to check out all the other kits AirRide offer. You can do that by scrolling down to our next blog post, where all our T5 and T6 kits are covered.

We have something for all you Transporter owners out there - whether you're looking for a super comfy ride, a really low, show-style stance, or something in between. And they come in a range of prices too, so there'll always be something to suit your budget.

So what are you waiting for? Press play then scroll down to see what else we have to offer.

Posted by Aimi

The Super Seven – All of AirRide’s Kits for T5s and T6s

AirRide have seven different kits for Transporters, which we understand makes choosing the right kit difficult. Don't worry though, we're here to help.

Make sure to check out airride.co.uk/transporters for more information and product listings for each kit, especially if you're close to buying. However, if you just want a brief overview of what each kit does then read on!

Great for ride quality

AirRide Ultimate - the best Transporter kit on the market, so we reckon. It uses huuuge, reversible sleeve bags made by Dunlop for front struts and on the rear. The bags are not only incredibly reliable but offer the best ride quality your T5 or T6 can achieve. Built on genuine VW cores, the kit is designed for comfort and durability, rather than extreme drop. Perfect for Motorhomes and WAVs.

AirRide Custom - Custom kits are great if you want air ride and a good ride quality, but don't want to fork out for something too expensive. The kit uses 7-inch bags at the front and 6.5-inch bags at the rear. The rear suspension will drop the tyres inside your Transporter’s arches but the front struts are OEM struts and therefore the same height as the originals – this limits the drop at the front.

T5_and_T6_product_pics - vw_t6_full_custom.jpg
T5_and_T6_product_pics - vw_t6_customplus.jpg

Great for a low stance

AirRide Custom Plus - This kit is actually a great compromise between a low stance and a good ride. It has shorter struts and lower-volume bags to offer more drop at the front and rear, which makes it much easier to give your Transporter a street-skimming stance, while the bags are still big enough to mean you don't need to sacrifice too much on ride quality.

AirRide Gold - Gold kits are ideal if you want to get your T5n or T6 as low as possible. They have heaps of adjustment, meaning you can drive at the height you want, including right to the ground - at the price of ride quality, which is similar to coil-overs at a good height. However, the Gold kit is much more refined than coil-overs and won’t leave you with any crashing or banging.

Other kits

Air Lift Performance - This new kit only hit the shelves last Friday and is the latest in Air Lift Performance's impressive range of kits. It's more pricey than all our other kits (apart from Ultimate) but offers a good compromise between ride quality and drop.

TA Technix - This kit is the cheapest we offer, but that doesn't mean it isn't high-quality and durable. The German-made kit rides and drops well, although not quite as far as our premium kits. It's still a nice entry-level kit for practical, everyday use though.

DriveTech - These kits use smaller bags are but they have a good drop and, of course, use well-known, after-market Bilstein dampers.

Make sure to give us a call on 0800 7720315 or e-mail at enquiries@airride.uk if you need help choosing the right kit for you!



Posted by Aimi

VIDEO: Air Suspension in Racing

Click play on the video to the right to discover the history of air suspension in motor sport!

It's a fascinating journey, from moonshine runners in prohibition America to the Time Attack Challenge in Sydney, via NASCAR in the '50s and '60s.

If you're the more traditional type, and would rather read all about it instead, click here. 

To find a kit for your car, either use the search bar in the top right or the vehicle finders above. If you have any questions, you can call us on 0800 7720315 or e-mail us at enquiries@airride.uk.

For more great content, make sure you follow us on Instagram.


Posted by Aimi

5 Reasons To Get A Load-Support Kit

Dunlop load-support kit

Load-support kits are our most popular kits for motorhome, campervan and van owners. We sell kits from household name Dunlop, as well as Australian manufucaturers Boss.

We can do a load-support kit for almost any vehicle, so what are you waiting for? Give us a call or e-mail if you can't find your kit in the Motorhome & Van Kit Finder or search bar or, if you're still not convinced, read on...

  1. Dunlop kits are the creme de la creme of air suspension. You may know the name from their shoes, bike tyre or tennis balls - Dunlop even sponosred Steffi Graf and John McEnroe back in the day - but most importantly, they just make really, really good air bags. Dunlop bags are super reliable too - that's why AirRide offer a five-year warranty on all their kits. I know, you cannot be serious, right?Boss, meanwhile, manufacture all their load-support kids for the ruggedness of the Australian outback. Their bags are as tough as they come - not only can they survive the 50-degree heat of Australia's red centre, but the sub-freezing temepatures of Scandinavia too - perfect if you're taking your motorhome around the world!
  2. Load-support kits offer a much more comfortable ride. Load-support kits are fitted in addition to your vehicle's original spring, meaning they literally 'support' the original suspension. This re-inforcement can only mean one thing - your ride gets better. Bumps in the road will be ironed out once more, providing a much smoother experience.
  3. Air suspension is adjustable. This means you can raise and lower the pressure of your air bags to make sure your vehicle always stays level, no matter the load. It also means you can adjust the vehicle's height to load it before raising it again.
  4. Improved stability. Load support makes your vehicle perfectty level, meaning crosswinds buffer each part of it evenly. This makes it more stable, helping at junctions, roundabouts and motorways, therefore making your motorhome nicer to drive.
  5. More ground clearance. Air suspension on the back of your vehicle obviously increases the distance between the bottom of it and the ground, which reduces damage to the underside of the vehicle and makes towing easier.

Remember, give us a call on 0800 772 0315 or e-mail at enquiries@airride.uk to discuss load-support kits for your vehicle. We're happy to get calls and we can even install the kit for you too!

Don't forget, you can find your kit by using the Motorhome & Van Kit Finder.

Posted by Aimi

AirRide Guides: Air Management

All air suspension kits work best with air management, which is what allows you to control your air and adjust your ride height.

We offer tonnes of management options, and the type of management we offer varies depending on what vehicle you have. But for cars and Transporters, these are your main options:

Digital computer controller

The best air management option we offer is the AirLift 3P digital computer. This has five pre-programmable settings, meaning you can change your ride height at the touch of a button, while it can also adjust your height automatically, according to road conditions. You can control the computer with a phone app, available on iOS and Android, from inside or outside the car.


Controllers can simply be basic non-solenoid manual paddle controllers (MPCs) which are very simple and relatively cheap (but quite slow). The switches with an MPC basically resemble electric-window switches.

These are often the controllers of choice for motorhomes and vans but they can also work very well on cars. They are used on more subtle systems and usually take between 10 and 20 seconds to lift a vehicle from fully-down to fully-up. This allows you to adjust each of the four corners and set your own ride heights.

Solenoid controllers

Electric solenoid controllers are also similar to electric-window switches, although you can also control solenoids in more complex ways, including switch boxes, multi-function remotes and ECUs (electric computer units).

With both MPCs and solenoid kits, the controllers are used by simply pressing up to inflate and down to deflate. The gauge needles will give a very good approximation of the height of each corner. It is simple to learn what pressure is needed to drive without catching, what is most comfortable, and how much to increase the rear by if you have extra passengers. Solenoid kits are faster and more compact than manual paddle kits.

Schrader valves

Of course, you don't need a management kit, especially if you have a motorhome (we would always recommend it for cars). Simple Schrader valve kits have historically been the first choice for motorhome owners, although many are now seeing the benefit of more control. With a Schrader valve kit, you simply inflate your system with a tyre inflator or at a petrol station or garage every time it needs a top-up. These systems do not involve a compressor or solenoids and so cannot be controlled.

Even if you already have an air suspension system, you can add air management at any time. It's never too late to get kitted out with a computer or manual paddles, even if you start out with just Scharder valves!


Manual air suspension buttons
The AirLift 3P digital computer system can be used with a phone app
Posted by Aimi

Transporter T5 and T6 kits at AirRide

VW T6 Ultimate kit

We've created a brand new guide to all our Transporter T5 and T6 kits! Check it out at AirRide.co.uk/transporters.

We currently have seven kits for Transporters, with each offering something a little different; whether you're looking for an extra comfortable ride, a low drop or something in between, we've got you covered. Our kits suit any budget too, with prices starting at £1,399 for our TA Technix kit.

Meanwhile, if you're after the best T5 kit money can buy, then look no further than the AirRide Ultimate kit. This kit uses massive reversible-sleeve bags by Dunlop to give you extreme comfort and durability.

We also have the AirRide Custom kit for comfort, the Custom Plus and Gold kits for lots of drop and kits by ABP and Drivetech, built on Bilstein dampers.

Click the link above to find out more about all our kits, plus management and fitting options.

We also do kits for the T3 and the T4 so if you're still rocking a more classic look then don't fret! See here for our T3 kits and here for our T4 kits.

And if you've got any questions, don't be afraid to give us a call on 0800 772 0315 or ping us an e-mail at enquiries@airride.uk.


Posted by Aimi

AirRide Guides: How does air suspension work?

At AirRide, we're air suspension experts, with more than 20 years' experience in the industry. If you're not quite as clued up as us, then we're certainly happy to help. For instance, if you don't have much idea what air suspension is yet, you might find this helpful... (If you do know what air suspension is but want to learn more then scroll down - we've got loads of great blogs and videos below.)

So, what is air suspension all about?

It basically involves replacing the standard string that all vehicles have with an air spring (or air bag) or, in the case of some heavy vehicles, installing an air bag in addition to the original spring to offer support to the existing suspension.

Fitting your vehicle with air suspension means you can manually alter the pressure in your air bags to raise or lower your vehicle as much as your want. Or, if you fit air to a van or motorhome, you can alter the pressure to ensure that your height remains the same, no matter the load.

What is an air bag?

Air bags come in many shapes and sizes but we mostly use double-convoluted bags (see below). These have a good range – from fully-up to fully-down of about five inches – although the vehicle is normally driven at a height towards the upper two thirds of that range. The bags must be fitted by brackets, as they bolt onto a flat surface and the original springs do not. In the front of a front-wheel-drive car, a different approach is needed as the airbag must surround the damper for the suspension to function.

The AirLift 3P digital computer system can be used with a phone app

Solenoids open up a number of control possibilities. The most basic is again a simple electric-window switch – up is up/down is down – and you can stop the car anywhere you want in between the two.

They can also come in a ten-switch box, which gives the ability to lift and lower the entire car in one hit, and is often fitted on a long lead, so it can be operated from outside the car.

We also sell a digital computer controller, which allows the entire vehicle to be adjusted in one hit to fivepre-set positions. These are normally set to fully-down, drive, fully-up and two others but can be set to anything you want.

Another major benefit to the computer system is that it can be controlled with a phone app, either on Apple or Android. The app is free, has lots of different functions, and means you don’t have to bother with a controller.

If you want any further information on air suspension or the kits we sell for cars, vans and motorhomes, then give us a call on 0800 7720315 or e-mail at enquiries@airride.uk.

The Viair 485C compressor – the most high-spec compressor we sell

Where does the air come from?

We supply compressors (effectively pumps) that fill an air tank with air at a pressure between 130 and 200 PSI. The compressor is powered from the car battery.

With motorhomes, caravans, and basic van kits, you can to go to a workshop or petrol station and use a tyre inflator to fill the system with air – this is great for a van or motorhome needing a fill once a month or so but we would always recommend a compressor to ensure you never run out of air.

The less-basic van systems can use a very small compressor with no air tank, and the compressor pumps up the bags directly. Again though, ideally it is best to have both a compressor and an air tank.

If you have air bags on all four corners of your vehicle you should always fit it with a compressor.

How is air controlled?

The most basic air control system is a simple mechanical paddle, like an electric window switch, which basically opens and closes a tap to let air in and out. This is unsophisticated and very slow, but it is reliable and is the system of choice on vans for load-levelling and load support. These systems typically take between 20 seconds and five minutes to lift the vehicle.

Alternatively, you can use solenoid valves. These are again basically taps that open and close but solenoids are electrical.

A double-convoluted air bag
Posted by Aimi

AirRide’s 9 Top Fitting Tips: Video

Check out the video to find out AirRide's top fitting tips.

Or if words are more your thing, then click here to see our 9 fitting tips in text form!

We've also teamed up with Performance MINI magazine ready for next month's issue, when they'll be running an eight-page feature detailing exactly how to fit an AirRide Gold kit, so make sure you pick it up if you're interested in fitting air ride yourself (the fitting steps are the same with or without a MINI).

Of course, we also offer a fitting service at AirRide, plus support for you and your garage if you decide to fit your kit at home. However you want to do it, we've got you covered.

Make sure you also follow us on Instagram for more great video content. We're at @airride.co.uk.




Posted by Aimi

Moonshine, Modded Cars & Mexico: Air Suspension in Motor Sport

The iconic Daytona beach race course, the first course to host a NASCAR race

Moonshine runners would take a normal-looking car, then remove the floorboards and all the seats (other than the driver’s seat) to fill it with as many cases of liquor as possible. They’d then mod the engine to give it greater speed, wait for it to get dark and race it to its destination before they got caught.

When air-spring technology was developed in the 1940s, many runners were quick to bag their cars to support the added weight of the whiskey, which was still smuggled after Prohibition to avoid tax

It became so widespread that runners, especially those in North Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee and Georgia, would often race their modified cars on the weekends, which eventually paved the way for NASCAR.

The first-ever organised stock race was held in 1936, at Daytona beach in Florida (see above), with almost all its racers either current or former moonshine runners. When NASCAR was finally born at the same course in February 1948, its first ever race winner (and eventual two-time champion), Red Byron (right), was a former runner.

Some vehicles in the Baja 100 race in Mexico still use air suspension

Air suspension has loads of different uses – it can slam your car to street-skimming heights, raise your motorhome off the ground and give your vehicle a silky-smooth ride – but one of its first ever uses was actually in stock car racing!

In fact, the early years of NASCAR (that’s the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, if you didn’t know) were dominated by cars with air suspension. In the 1950s and ‘60s, almost every stock car racing team in NASCAR used Air Lift springs, including the very best racers.

This air ride revolution didn’t take place overnight, though. In fact, its domination came about because of the national prohibition of alcohol in the US, between 1920 and 1933 (bear with us here).

This is because the Prohibition led to the rise of ‘moonshine runners’. These guys were some of the first ever custom car owners, but they weren’t modifying their rides just for the occasional show. They had a much more important job – to smuggle whisky and other alcohol throughout the country under cover of night.

Red Byron, the first ever winner of a NASCAR race and former moonshine runner

Of course, air suspension was used in NASCAR for two decades, due to its versatility and improved handling and traction, before eventually being replaced by coil springs in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s.

However, air ride does live on in racing! It’s still used in time attack events (effectively time trials where racers compete for the fastest lap time), in particular at the World Time Attack Challenge, an annual event in Sydney that is widely regarded as the highest-quality time attack competition in the world.

Air suspension is also used in Baja racing, including the Baja 1000 in Mexico, one of the most prestigious off-road races in the world. It has attracted competitors from more than 27 countries and has been an annual event since 1967 (it looks like fun too – see left!)

To get your stock racing car on air, give us a call on 0800 7720315 or e-mail at enquiries@airride.uk. And, even if you’re not using your car to smuggle whiskey, give us a bell anyway.

Posted by Aimi

AirRide’s Nine Top Fitting Tips

If you pick up the next copy of Performance MINI you'll notice a massive, extremely exciting eight-page feature towards the back (page 76 to be precise).

That feature is brought to you directly from the workshop at AirRide, where we talked the Performance MINI guys through the fitting process for an AirRide Gold kit.

Most AirRide Gold kits are fitted in the same way, so, if you're thinking of fitting air to your car, the mag may be worth a look even if you don't have a MINI.

In the meantime, here are AirRide's top fitting tips for AirRide Gold*:

  1. We'll start with a boring but important one - always read the instructions before doing anything! Fitting air is simple enough if you know what you're doing but it's easy to make a mistake if you're not careful.
  2. Always take some measurements before you begin. Place your vehicle on a flat surface and measure the height of each corner from the 12-o’clock position on the top of the arch to the floor. Then plan how much lower you would ideally like your vehicle, considering what seems practical from the measurements.
  3. Start off by installing the management. Installation can be a two-day job so if you start with the management, you can come back and do the rest later (as soon as you take the suspension off, your car will be immobile.)
  4. When installing all your management, make sure to use thread sealant to seal the unions. Unions will seal better if not pressurised for 24 hours so fit them in advance if possible!
  5. When finding somewhere to put your compressor, people often find that boxing it away to keep it safe is a good idea, as it reduces sound and improves safety. However, it will need air flow as it will get hot and could exceed the temperature rating. Use a 12v computer fan for some added air flow, if needed.
  6. When connecting your airlines, use bulkhead fittings if you can. These can go through panels, meaning you don't have airlines noticeably running all over the place, and they prevent the outside of the line from being scratched.
  7. To release an air line after it is already secured, depressurise it, push it in, then push the retaining collar in and, while still pressing the collar, firmly pull the line out. They can be fitted several times but for a good seal cut half an inch off to seal on a fresh piece of line.
  8. Gold kits are four-way adjustable, so remember to set them how you want before fitting. It's normal to have been too adventurous with your drop – just remove the struts and re-adjust. This may take several attempts to get just right! You can adjust the height without fully removing the struts but be careful to count the turns to ensure left and right are even, or just take them off to be sure.
  9. Once the kit is fitted, set the car to about half way between your dropped height and max lift. Take it for a test drive. Does it need to be lifted or dropped? This is very subjective, so the decision is up to you! You can then set the computer’s pre-sets for different ride heights.

Use the car finder above to find a Gold kit for your car, or call us on 0800 7720315 or e-mail us at enquiries@airride.uk for more information!

*Please bear in mind this is not a step-by-step guide, but tips to accompany a full set of instructions. AirRide does not hold any responsibility for injuries sustained fitting air suspension or any consequences arising from doing so.

An AirRide technician using thread sealant
AirRide Gold fitting tips
An AirRide air tank waiting to be fitted
Posted by Aimi