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Old 12-23-2009, 06:37 PM   #1
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Tire Pressure

Ok, another question. I obviously should have read the manual, eh? But we are so busy packing up the house to do this full-time, so I appreciate everybody's help.

How can we tell what our tire pressure should be, and how often should we check it? (both truck & trailer?)

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Old 12-23-2009, 07:07 PM   #2
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On the sidewall of the tire, it will tell you what the max pressure is for the tire.

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Old 12-23-2009, 07:36 PM   #3
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For the trailer:

Goodyear's website has inflation charts for just about any kind of tire you can imagine.

Also, try the Search function and use the words tire inflation and check the box that says "search for all terms". This has been discussed and dissected here quite a few times already and there may be more information in some of these threads.

In a couple of my posts in those threads, there is a broken link to a tire chart for TT's. That is the one I posted above.

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Old 12-23-2009, 08:07 PM   #4
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It would help to know what tire sizes are on the truck and trailer, just in case they aren't OEM. I'm guessing the trailer has LRC or load range C. I would always run them at max. pressure which is 50 psi. That pressure is going to go up somewhat as you head south into warmer temps and you should let some air out in the morning if necessary. Always check tire pressure cold in the morning and before the sun has had a chance to beat down on them--tires warm up very quickly from the sun or even a short drive and so will actually end up with more than 50 psi, but that's ok--they are always rated for cold inflation and could be 55 psi after an hour or so on the road. If you have LRD tires the max. pressure is 65 psi and I would also use that on a trailer.

Do you have a 3/4 ton truck with LRE tires? They will take up to 80 psi cold, but that is way too much and the manufacturer has simply matched tire load and axle load to come up with that pressure. The door sticker likely says 50 psi front and 80 psi rear. Those pressures will allow the truck to carry its max. rated load, but most recreational users are well below that. You really should weigh the whole travel ready rig with full fuel tanks and all gear in the bed and both of you on board. Typical semi truck scales have 3 segments or platforms positioned so that even our rigs will fit on and give weights for front, rear and trailer axles in one pass. Go to this link

and click on the load inflation table to download a copy you can print and keep in the truck. It doesn't matter if your tires aren't Goodyear--they are all standard specs across the industry. On the front you should end up using more psi than the load requires because soft tires cause squirm and generally poor and mushy handling. Firm tires cause a stiff ride. So you need to find what works for you and here one companies' tire will differ from another. I have found that 60-65 psi front gives me the handling I like and 70 psi rear more than carries my load, but also gives a nice controlled firm ride. I'd be very surprised if you find the truck manufacturer's 50/80 good enough. 50 front is just too low for stability in trailer towing and 80 rear is most likely too high. BUT... you should never play with load inflation tables if you don't know the weight you're carrying and always build in at least 5 psi reserve.

You'll notice the load inflation table also has trailer tires on it. My trailer tires are about 1000 lb. under max. load, but I still don't play with pressure here because max. is better at minimizing sway. Again, weigh your rig--overloaded trailer tires are the biggest cause of on road problems.

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Old 12-23-2009, 08:22 PM   #5
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Re: Tire Pressure

Originally Posted by Ron & Alice
How can we tell what our tire pressure should be, and how often should we check it? (both truck & trailer?)

TKX as usual,
Hi Alice, you asked for both TT and TV.

The TT tires should be at max cold side wall pressure. This helps make the TT stiffer to reduce sway effects and allows the tire to run cooler.

The truck, this is different. This "depends" on a few things. First is what is your truck and what tires does it have? All we can see is it is a 2002 Chevy.

I'm assuming you do not have a 1 ton truck. But if you do, then let us know as that changes things just a little.

If you have a 3/4 ton or 1/2 ton, look at your drivers side door panel. Most GM 3/4 trucks use LT tires and it most likely will list 80 psi for the rear which is max cold side wall pressure. They need that to get the rear axle weight ratings. And for towing stability the rear helps if you are at max side wall on this series truck.

If you have a 1/2 ton, it will list some pressure that lines up with the rear axle load capacity. Odds are they are not LT tires unless you requested it. If they are P rated tires, for sure air up the rear tires to max cold side wall, again for towing stability. I cannot tell you what pressure as I do not know what tires you have or truck.

The TV front. Pending truck, 1/2 ton or 3/4 ton this may be a bit different. On a 3/4 ton, you are into LT tires and some brand LT tires on the front run just great at door stick pressure. However some brands do not. Even LT tires do not always get stiff until they are at the higher pressures. A place to start is door sticker. If the you are getting a wiggle in the truck when a semi or wind gust goes by, more air can help some times. Go up in 5 psi increments as a test. If you get to a point the front end is so hard it starts bouncing left to right, that is the limit and then drop down 5 psi. Do not go above max cold side wall pressure. If you have a 1/2 ton, well start out 5 to 10 psi above door sticker as they need the stiffness from the get go unless that takes you over the max. Continue the experiment in 5 psi increments as stated above until you find the sweet spot. Do not exceed max.

If you are not towing for a while, you can air them down to the door sticker on the truck to help the emoty truck ride if you want.

When to check, for sure at the start of every trip. Then look at them every time you stop for gas, potty break etc. You can see a soft tire and thatís a problem. Then check pressure at least weekly to bi weekly Once you on the trip. If you are driving thru temperature changes, check daily. Starting out in the north and heading south is a temperature change enough to change the pressure.

Hope this helps and good luck

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Old 12-24-2009, 10:41 AM   #6
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OMG, thanks everybody!!

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