Checking and Setting Your RV’s Tire Pressure
Setting the tire pressure and monitoring it regularly should be on the top of every RV owner’s maintenance checklist. Doing so will significantly decrease the risk of getting tire blowouts and other problems while on the road. However, setting the tire pressure for your particular RV is not as simple as inflating the tires until they “feel hard”. It takes a bit of research on your part, but don’t worry; it’s not rocket science, either.
The common 16” tire usually found on RVs will have a tire pressure ranging from 35 to 80 PSI. That’s not very helpful, is it? That just gives you a general idea about what you’re working with. In order to find out the exact specifics for your particular vehicle, you will need to consider the weight of your vehicle and how many wheels it has.
You can take a look at the data plate that the RV manufacturer has installed in your vehicle. It will provide the manufacturer’s recommended maximum tire pressure, but keep in mind that the number you will see will be based on the maximum weight of that RV. So basically, if you inflate your tires to that max tire pressure number but your RV isn’t fully loaded, your tires are actually overinflated.
The incorrect tire pressure on your RV or trailer can cause all sorts of problems, depending on whether your tires are underinflated or overinflated. Generally, the wrong level of tire pressure will affect ride stability, comfort, gas mileage, and can also cause uneven wear and tear of the tires.
Overinflated tires will be too rigid and inflexible. You will experience a stiffer ride, and if you’re driving against the wind, you will feel the handling becoming shakier. The traction and overall performance of your RV’s tires will be hampered, so braking will be less effective. Overinflated tires can also increase your overall gas mileage due to the reduced rolling resistance.
However, underinflated tires will be no better. You should be aware that most tire blowouts are due to tires being underinflated. Just being underinflated by 10 to 15 PSI will cause problems already. This is because the sidewalls and treads of underinflated tires will bend, flex, and sag more than normal as compared to properly inflated tires. This causes the tires to produce extreme amounts of heat, which will lead to tire failure.
You should check if your RV comes with a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS). If it doesn’t, that’s not a big deal; just go and buy one, then install it in your vehicle. This will be an important piece of equipment for your RV. The TPMS will give you a warning when it detects that one or more of your tires are considerably underinflated. Consider buying a direct TPMS, even if it’s costlier. The sensors provide more accurate readings which is very important.
85P Portable Compressor – A portable but powerful tire inflator that has the capability of inflating 31-inch tires. Just plug it into your cigarette lighter’s power port and you’re good to go.
Constant Duty Air System – A pre-packaged compressed air solution with 100% duty cycle compressors and all the components you will need to install a tire inflating system.
507 Tire Pressure Monitoring System – The system includes a flat-screen display and 10 industrial-grade tire sensors connected to lithium-cadmium batteries that will last up to 7 years.