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Old 03-20-2013, 01:27 AM   #1
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Checking the air in RV tires

Question, Do you need a special tire pressure guage to check your tire pressure? I have seen warnings in the paperwork to have a professional check the tire pressure and fill. Do you guy's do this regularly? I do have a Big rig tire pressure gauge and a small pancake aircompressure would I be able to check and fill my tires before a trip? Or do you take it to a truck stop or RV dealer to do the check and fill?

Alan
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Old 03-20-2013, 01:53 AM   #2
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I do my own. I trust Milton air gauges and I fill with my onboard compressor on my diesel pusher. But you can fill from any compressor that will supply the pressure.
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Old 03-20-2013, 06:29 AM   #3
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You most definitely need to aquatint yourself with the proper care and maintenance of your tires. Understanding the correct pressure based on manufacturers recommendations for proper pressure based on weight.

There is a lot of information here on how to determine the best pressure for your brand and size tire. Get your motor home weighed at a truck stop so you know the weight on your front and rear axles. Weighing the 4 corners is best but if you can't get that done, just set the pressure in the front and rear to that weight/tire recommendation.

Learning how to use an IR gun to measure heat will also go a long way in keeping you safe as you travel. Get into the habit of taking your pressure gauge and IR gun with you at each fill up. You have plenty of time to circle the MH and get a temperature reading off of each tire by aiming directly at a center groove of each tire. Once you confirm they are all within a normal range, get a pressure reading off each one. They'll be hot so the temperature will be higher than the recommended cold pressure.

Knowing the condition of your tires is very important and by doing this you are also becoming aware of the wear patterns and side wall conditions of your tires. You can drive comfortably knowing that you have done what you can to ensure a safe trip.
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Old 03-20-2013, 06:42 AM   #4
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I have a tire pressure monitoring system and every morning before I set out I check to see any tire is low. If it is I have an on board compressor to remedy the situation. I have found in the past depending upon a service center for air is also dependent on how close you can get to their air pump, often times not close enough. Having your own compressor on board sure is convenient.
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Old 03-20-2013, 06:49 AM   #5
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Hey Alan, yes I always check and air my own tires. The duals on the rear can be a little hard to check and fill. But if you have a dual foot air chuck on your compressor, like the truckers use, you should be able to do it.
Also, make sure the compressor is capable of delivering the correct pressure that the tires require.
My tires are 22.5, you may have 19.6, don't know, I normally run 100 psi in my tires. Everyone has their opinion as to how to determine the correct amount, I refer to the side wall of the tire, and ALWAYS check the tires when they are COLD, i.e., have been sitting for at least 5 to 6 hours.
I owned and drove an 18 wheeler for years, and never once determined the amount of air to put in my tires based on the weight I was hauling, it was always 100 PSI as stated on the side wall of the tires. One load I would be maxed out hauling 40,000 lbs of paper, the next load was empty alum cans only 5000 lbs.
So you can make it as difficult as you want its always up to you, this is my way and others will differ I am sure
Again this is my opinion only and the advice is mine only based on years of experience, mine.
Anyhoo, have fun and enjoy your coach.
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Old 03-20-2013, 07:00 AM   #6
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I'll always yield to professional drivers. I just choose to know if the rubber on my motor home has a chance of destroying the very expensive fiberglass surrounding it. I can't expense that! How many of those blown rubber aligators you see on the highway do you think come from motor homes?
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Old 03-20-2013, 08:59 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlanTerry View Post
Question, Do you need a special tire pressure guage to check your tire pressure? I have seen warnings in the paperwork to have a professional check the tire pressure and fill. Do you guy's do this regularly? I do have a Big rig tire pressure gauge and a small pancake aircompressure would I be able to check and fill my tires before a trip? Or do you take it to a truck stop or RV dealer to do the check and fill?

Alan
I have a 135 psi pancake compressor and hose I carry in my basement. I also have a truck air pressure guage that has a dual end on it. It has graduations up to 150 psi. I check the air in tires before every morning departure. Air compressor plugs in right in the basement bay. Whole deal was less than 200.00. Cheap insurance.. Home depot sells them for roofers to use when shingling. Good luck..
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Old 03-20-2013, 09:43 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlanTerry View Post
Question, Do you need a special tire pressure guage to check your tire pressure? I have seen warnings in the paperwork to have a professional check the tire pressure and fill. Do you guy's do this regularly? I do have a Big rig tire pressure gauge and a small pancake aircompressure would I be able to check and fill my tires before a trip? Or do you take it to a truck stop or RV dealer to do the check and fill?

Alan
I also suggest checking your gauge accuracy as they get dirt/moisture in them and and dropping them from as little as 3 feet can cause a variance of several PSI. Most tire dealers will have a master gauge or you can purchase one, I also suggest purchasing a gauge that is adjustable so you can set your gauge to the master gauge. Two PSI +/- is an acceptable variance
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Old 03-20-2013, 09:21 PM   #9
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Truckers use 100psi because no matter what they put in, it will only be correct half the time - because they have widely varying loads it is just not practical to go around weighing the rig and then adjusting the pressure on twenty wheels.

Motorhomes are different. Once you get settled in, your travelling weight is going to be pretty constant so you can do the job properly and with the correct pressure,your rig will handle better, stop better and go over the bumps better as well.

Really should weigh each corner separately because motorhomes are often so poorly designed that there can easily be a 20% variation in wheel loadings side to side. Use the axle end with the heaviest load and look up the loading tables for your tyres and pump up all tyres on that axle to the same pressure.

if you can't weigh each side separately then just weigh the total axle load and add 10% to allow for side to side variation and then look up the correct pressure and again, make both sides of the axle the same.
100psi is never going to be correct.

I don't recommend this practice as ideal, but I am way too lazy to bother checking 8 tyre pressures every morning simply because tyres don't lose more than a pound a month and if something is wrong they will lose much more than that so the effect can usually be seen. I do check that none of the tyres seem unduly flat on the bottom and then head off. About 20 minutes later I pull over and go around feeling both the hubs and the tyres. The hubs check is for dragging brakes or bearings that could cause higher temperatures and the tyres are because one with low pressure will normally show up as hotter. Need to make allowance for the sunny side being hotter, but certainly no call for walking around with an IR gun driving yourself crazy over insignificant temperature differences (that are invariably the result of inconsistent measurement technique anyway). Repeat the process when you stop for breaks.

You will see truckies walking around bashing their tyres with all sorts of weird striking implements in the belief that they can pick a slightly flat tyre by the sound. Tests apparently reveal that they are kidding themselves.
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Old 03-20-2013, 09:27 PM   #10
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How many of those blown rubber alligators you see on the highway do you think come from motor homes?
Very, very few, in comparison to trucks.
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Old 03-20-2013, 09:36 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DGShaffer View Post
You most definitely need to aquatint yourself with the proper care and maintenance of your tires. Understanding the correct pressure based on manufacturers recommendations for proper pressure based on weight.

There is a lot of information here on how to determine the best pressure for your brand and size tire. Get your motor home weighed at a truck stop so you know the weight on your front and rear axles. Weighing the 4 corners is best but if you can't get that done, just set the pressure in the front and rear to that weight/tire recommendation.

Learning how to use an IR gun to measure heat will also go a long way in keeping you safe as you travel. Get into the habit of taking your pressure gauge and IR gun with you at each fill up. You have plenty of time to circle the MH and get a temperature reading off of each tire by aiming directly at a center groove of each tire. Once you confirm they are all within a normal range, get a pressure reading off each one. They'll be hot so the temperature will be higher than the recommended cold pressure.

Knowing the condition of your tires is very important and by doing this you are also becoming aware of the wear patterns and side wall conditions of your tires. You can drive comfortably knowing that you have done what you can to ensure a safe trip.
For the IR gun what is considered normal range? Is there an adjust factor for air or road temperature?

I have been surprised when running with one side constantly face south ( sun side) how much hotter the tires are on that side. What is considered normal difference for those of us living in the south?

What is considered a normal difference between inner and outer duals inflated to the same cold pressure?
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Old 03-20-2013, 10:11 PM   #12
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You will see truckies walking around bashing their tyres with all sorts of weird striking implements in the belief that they can pick a slightly flat tyre by the sound. Tests apparently reveal that they are kidding themselves.[/QUOTE]

Don't know who's test, but I spotted many a low pressure tire in my days driving a 18 wheeler by whacking it with a Billy club with a lead weight on the end. Made sure I always thumped my tires as I circled my rig, especially in areas were being mugged or unwanted romantic approches made was possible. With a tire gauge like that in your hand
you usually didn't have much trouble.
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Old 03-20-2013, 10:49 PM   #13
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I too, beg to differ about thumping tires. After you have done it 5-600 times you can tell all you need about whether a tire is safe or not.

The fellow/person asking about the alligators on the side of the road, are more than likely, retreads that have been run low on air. Very few virgin tires will shed the tread like that.
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Old 03-21-2013, 02:01 AM   #14
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I too, beg to differ about thumping tires. After you have done it 5-600 times you can tell all you need about whether a tire is safe or not.

The fellow/person asking about the alligators on the side of the road, are more than likely, retreads that have been run low on air. Very few virgin tires will shed the tread like that.
+1 As a professional "truckie" myself I agree I can tell if a tire is low with my bud-bar .. Maybe not just a couple pounds but anything that matters. It has a distinctive sound in comparison. Think ripe pumpkin
As stated its also a good time to check for other problems cuts, seal leaks ,rim damage etc. would I not use a tpms? No but I still have the habit of bumping tires every few hours. It's a good habit! Also
Most trucks use retreads ( on rears and trailers , illegal on steers ) gators are mostly retreads separating
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