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
Maximum Load Limit and Air Pressure
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
I’m traveling north from Yuma on 89 through Utah and on up into Glacier N.P. Is there any information on the inflation of tires at different altitudes and temperatures. I was in Flagstaff at the Freightliner repair shop and my tire pressure was down about 10 pounds from when I got there a week before. I aired up to normal pressure, 100 in the front and 90 in the duals on the rear. I left and after going over the mountain north, I had to stop and let most of the air out that I had put in as my tire pressure sensors were giving alarms on most all of the tires. I’m heading north to Montana where I’ll be getting new tires as these are 5 yrs old now and beginning to crack (dry rot).
What information can you give me and how should I set the parameters of the pressure sensors to allow for the increase in pressure after driving 10 or so miles and they get heated up.
Since air is a gas, it expands when heated and contracts when cooled. The rule of thumb is for every 10° Fahrenheit change in air temperature, tire pressures will change about 2% (up with higher temperatures and down with lower). This means that light-duty, standard-pressure tires (typically inflated to 30-50 psi) used in applications on cars, vans, and light trucks will change by about 1 psi; where heavy-duty, high-pressure tires (typically inflated to 80-100 psi) used in applications on recreational vehicles, buses and trucks will change by about 2 psi for each 10° temperature change. Hope this helps!
This info is good, but getting a trailer weighted isn’t always that easy, there aren’t weigh stations anywhere. I just usually inflate the tire to 65psi as specified by the manufacturer. Just as I do with the tow vehicle. I have towed well over 50k and only had one tire incident, and that was a manufacturing defect.
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