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Old 09-22-2017, 07:37 AM   #1
M2D
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Tire Inflation at Truck Stops

We have a fifth wheel pulled by a diesel truck so we often fuel up at truck stops. Our trailer tires have an inflation rate of 110. DH explained that ordinary service station air hoses will not inflate tires to that level.
Have any of you used air hoses at truck stops? Do truck stops have air hoses available to ordinary trailer towing civilians like us?

Thanks,

Michele and Mark
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Old 09-22-2017, 08:28 AM   #2
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I have used them but you generally have to pull over to the shop, not the fuel island. And what real good would they do you except in an emergency? Your tires will be warm by the time you get there and the pressures will be inaccurate.

We carry a small pancake compressor with hose and the needed tools. We check and fill as needed before we hit the road.
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Old 09-22-2017, 08:30 AM   #3
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Yes, many truck stops have air hoses available to customers and most will inflate tires to well over 120 psi. Unless you're seriously low on tire pressure filling up tires in the middle of traveling won't give you exact PSI readings as the air in your tires is hot and has expanded. The best time to fill tires is early in the morning and they haven't had time to heat up. It's very possible when traveling to heat up those 110 PSI tires of yours to well over 120 PSI. Just as important as not filling up the tires with air when they're hot is to not let air out when they're hot. If you do so, the tires will be under inflated when they cool off.
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Old 09-22-2017, 08:33 AM   #4
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Interesting question, most air compressors have a shut off pressure of 125psi, unless you go with the industrial or a few oilless offer higher operating pressure too. I suspect since these aircompressors are there as a courtesy for their customers that they are set to no more than maybe 80 or 100psi. Regardless, the tire pressure should be checked and adjusted before starting to move the vehicle.
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Old 09-22-2017, 08:42 AM   #5
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Almost all Truck Stops have hoses at each of their pumps that will pump 150 psi or more quickly. When you use those. Systems start out with 5-10 second shots since the volume of your tires is much lower than those of the big trucks. Also buy your self a real tire gauge, not one you can stick in your pocket. The good gauges come in a variety of ranges, pick one that has your 110 lbs in the middle of its range. It will be the most accurate.

BTW, your DH is right every coin operated gas station compressor only goes to about 60 psi
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Old 09-22-2017, 08:54 AM   #6
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We started out on the east coast in August. We have been in Yellowstone where it has been below freezing at night and snowing during the day off and on. Now we are going to Moab where it is currently in the seventies.

We have a tire pressure monitoring system so I have noticed that one tire is a little lower than the others and the colder temps have made a difference. We are getting ready to leave the CG and there is a Love's truck stop one mile from here where we need to fuel up our diesel truck anyway.

Our tires should not be too hot in just a mile should they?

Thank you so much as always you are all great and so helpful.

Michele and Mark
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Old 09-22-2017, 09:23 AM   #7
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Our tires should not be too hot in just a mile should they?
That's my question also. I understand that it depends on the outside air temp and is the sun shining on them and such but how far does it take for a tire to be "hot"? Say on a cloudy day at 70 degrees?
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Old 09-22-2017, 09:26 AM   #8
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1 mile won't make or break you. If you monitor your TP while traveling you'll get a feel for what your hot pressure is at a given ambient temperature and can inflate accordingly. Keep in mind your pumping cold air in a hot tire and that will throw things off a bit but, you can adjust that when the tire cools
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Old 09-22-2017, 11:15 AM   #9
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M2D,
One of the things that will ruin a trip quickly and expensively is tire problems. Do yourself a favor and get yourself a pancake 110volt compressor, assuming you have generator power available to run it. It should be capable of going to 150psi as the nearer you get to 110 with a 125 compressor will start it to slow down in air delivery. As mentioned above, get a real quality air gauge that truckers use, not the short pocket ones. If all is ok with your tires, checking the pressure at start of trip and using pressure monitors during the trip will ease you mind on how the tires are doing.
Tires are DESIGNED to be inflated to max psi listed on the sidewall, and then handle any psi buildup from temperature buildup. Never inflate/deflate with hot tires as you will soon end up with pressures all over the place and none right.
If you don't have a gen, Viair makes quality 12volt air compressors that will handle 110 to 150 and above.
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Old 09-22-2017, 11:43 AM   #10
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I have been in this situation numerous times, especially when going from Florida to NY in the spring. You will find a hose outside of the service bay at most truck stops. Sure the tires are no longer cold, but with my TPMS, I know what the pressure was and at what ambient. I just use the attached spreadsheet to estimate what the "hot" pressure should be with the right cold inflation pressure and add a few pounds when required.

However, the problem with low cold pressure is the sidewall flex when cold, so stay on top of it. You don't need to hit the exact number anyway...
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Old 09-22-2017, 05:26 PM   #11
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Our tires should not be too hot in just a mile should they?
Doesn't matter if they are hot or cold, if one tyre is down in pressure compared to the others on that axle (which is your concern), then just pump it up to the same as the others. Won't be exact but close enough until you can do a cold check.
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Old 09-23-2017, 07:01 AM   #12
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Doesn't matter if they are hot or cold, if one tyre is down in pressure compared to the others on that axle (which is your concern), then just pump it up to the same as the others. Won't be exact but close enough until you can do a cold check.
Exactly! Don't make it rocket science
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Old 09-23-2017, 07:54 AM   #13
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That's about the worst information you can give. For instance, 3 tires after driving for 4 hours read 130 psi (air expansion) and one tire reads 110 psi. You say to pump the low tire up to 130 psi to meet the pressure in the other 3 tires. OK so now you have cold air and 130 psi in the formally low tire and if you continue to drive the cold air will expand to a higher psi than the other 3 tires.

Additionally if you're relying on a TPMS to give you exact tire pressure then think again. Very few if any will give you an exact tire pressure.
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Old 09-23-2017, 08:08 AM   #14
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Generally, air from a compressor is not cold. It may even be hotter than your tires depending on ambient and pressure/temperature gain.
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