The most important factor in maintaining the life of your RV tires is making sure they are always properly inflated. There’s a reason why the tires you bought came with specific recommendations for proper inflation, so it’s important to get to know your tires and your owner’s manual.
Seven Basic Tire Inflation Tips
- Check your tire pressure at least once a month
- Check tire inflation before a trip, while your tires are cold
- Check tires before and after storage
- On short trips of a day or less driving each way, check before you leave and before you return home
- Use a truck tire gauge with a dual-angled head to check inner and outer wheels together
- Under inflation causes poor handling, excessive wear, poor gas mileage, and structural damage
- Over inflation reduces traction and makes your rig harder to handle
The amount of pressure required in each tire depends on the weight of the fully loaded vehicle. So you cannot determine the tire’s correct pressure unless you know your vehicle’s actual weight. The maximum load capacity allowed for the tire’s size and load rating and the minimum cold inflation pressure needed to carry that maximum load are located on the tire’s sidewall. (For example: “635 kg [1400 lbs] at 300 kPa [44 psi]). The lower the pressure, the lighter the load that tire can carry. Be sure to check your owner’s manual for the manufacturer’s recommended inflation and proper air pressure of your vehicle’s tires.
Weigh Your Coach
Know your RV’s load rating, otherwise known as GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating = the amount your unit is designed to carry), which also affects the pressure you put in your tires. You can find this information either on your door edge or near the driver’s seat. You can easily get your RV weighed for a fee at a truck stop; they’ll even give you a weight slip that shows the front axle and total weight. Ultimately, you should take your RV to a professional weighing agency to make sure it isn’t overweight on the corners or axles. Overloading your RV can be disastrous, and it has major affects on tires, wheels, springs and axles.
- Weigh your RV fully loaded (with passengers, food, water, propane, and any vehicles being towed by your RV)
- Get axle-end specific weights when you weigh your RV
- You won’t get equal loads at both ends of the same axle — just get the best possible balance
- Find the heaviest end of each axle and use that load to select inflation for all tires on that axle
- Use a weight distribution system for trailers over 5000 lbs