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Old 05-02-2016, 09:42 AM   #1
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Tire Pressure

When I picked up my fifth wheel two years ago the tech that gave me my walk through told me to run my tires between 65 and 70 PSI, he said this will allow for expansion for when the tires heat up. I checked the sidewall of the tires and 80 PSI is stamped on it but being new to towing I took his advise.
Ive been traveling up and down the East coast for the past two years with no tire problems and then I read an article about camper tires and in the article it states to NEVER run your tires below what is on the sidewall. I called a local tire shop and he said the same thing as the article. So before we left Florida to travel back to New England I inflated my tires to 80PSI. After about 4 hour of travel I got a blow out. When I changed the tire in Georgia, again I asked what should the tire pressure be and the shop said what is stamped on the tire. The next day we are back on the road, all tires at 80 PSI and after about 3 hours another blow out.
So after my second blow out I lowered the tires to 70 PSI and drove the rest of the way without an issue.
The camper came with ST 235/80 R16 Load E. Ive been told by many to get rid of them because most new campers come with tires from China.
Camper fully loaded is just over 15,000 pounds.
Any recommendations on what brand I should go with?
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Old 05-02-2016, 10:10 AM   #2
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Some things from 10 years with my Excel at 14,500:
- Tire size selected to ensure capability / capacity to carry the weight
- Tires always inflated to 80# (max shown pressure on sidewall)
- Full weight every 2 years with careful attention to side-to-side

I suspect your blowouts occurred due to the following:
- Tires' weight rating exceeded (max weight possible at max cold inflation pressure)
- Tires under inflated

I used Michelin LT tires with the full steel sidewall for our Excel. Cost a bit more - had lots of carrying capacity - less sidewall flex due to shifting weights - never a problem in ~ 30,000 miles. Also recommend a look at your axle ratings and springs (we added a leaf and bigger shocks to reduce excessive movement and bottoming out). Let us know what works out - we all learn. Safe travels ...
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Old 05-02-2016, 10:11 AM   #3
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I went with Maxxis on my 5ver and I run them at 65 psi. But my trailer is only 13500 fully loaded.
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Old 05-02-2016, 10:27 AM   #4
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From one of your other posts, it looks like your 5th wheel has two axles. Those tires you are running have a load rating of 3,520#, I believe, for a total of 14,080#. If your gross weight is over 15,000#, you are overloading your tires, and are probably lucky you didn't have blowouts sooner.
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Old 05-02-2016, 02:38 PM   #5
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The trailer should have a label on the side designating the specified tire size and pressure by the manufacturer. Make sure the tires meet the label specification and use the manufacturer recommended pressure would be my recommendation.
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Old 05-02-2016, 02:56 PM   #6
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What I suspect of this story is that the 70 psi was to low for the configuration.
that gave to much heatproduction and damaged the tires slowly or sooner.
Once the damage is done the higher pressure of 80 psi did not help , even quickened the blow out.
what you should do is put the new tires on 80 psi from the beginning or even 10 psi higher , but I am able to calculate it for you.
ST tires are calculated in maximum load for more deflection allowed, but its better to give them the same deflection needed for if it was an LT tire with speed of 99m/h for wich maxload is calculated.
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Old 05-02-2016, 03:05 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mich F View Post
From one of your other posts, it looks like your 5th wheel has two axles. Those tires you are running have a load rating of 3,520#, I believe, for a total of 14,080#. If your gross weight is over 15,000#, you are overloading your tires, and are probably lucky you didn't have blowouts sooner.
Except that nearly 3000 pounds will be supported by the pin, leaving his tires with a good margin.
I wonder if it was the same tire that blew each time, this could indicate an overload condition that can be corrected by redistributing the cargo.
For a unit like this, it would be worthwhile to spend the $50.00 and get a wheel by wheel weight.
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Old 05-02-2016, 06:02 PM   #8
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Except that nearly 3000 pounds will be supported by the pin, leaving his tires with a good margin.
I obviously neglected that little item in my numbers.
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Old 05-02-2016, 06:47 PM   #9
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I really appreciate the discussion about pin weights. For my own curiosity, and to help the OP, I think its a given that the pin will take about 20% of the total rig weight - and hopefully no more. That certainly impacts the decisions on tire sizes, pressures, etc. while the rig is in motion. Question: given the long standing times without pin support are the tires/axles than carrying the entire weight (probably over their load rating) with some detrimental effect on sidewalls and suspension?

Thanks for the discussion and learning ...
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Old 05-02-2016, 07:29 PM   #10
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Question: given the long standing times without pin support are the tires/axles than carrying the entire weight (probably over their load rating) with some detrimental effect on sidewalls and suspension?

Thanks for the discussion and learning ...
I believe that weight would be carried by the jack legs or whatever they call those legs that support the front of the 5th wheel when it's not attached to the tow vehicle.
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Old 05-03-2016, 06:26 AM   #11
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I believe that weight would be carried by the jack legs or whatever they call those legs that support the front of the 5th wheel when it's not attached to the tow vehicle.
Redeemed!
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Old 05-03-2016, 06:59 AM   #12
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Redeemed!
I was hoping I wouldn't have to use another
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Old 05-03-2016, 10:29 AM   #13
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If you would weigh per wheel(pair) you often find a load-distribution of 47/53%,and sometimes even 45/55%.
Also this loaddistribution can be crossed between the axles, and one axle can have more load then the other.
this can bring the difference between lowest load and highest load on tires , to about 18% .
Then looking back in a list half of the assumed axle load , so if 4 tires , 2 axles , devide total load on wheels by 4, gives about 9% to low pressure on tire with most load on it.

Together with the already to the edges deflection the maximum load is calculated for for 65m/h, there is no reserve left anymore, so this 9% to high load gives mayby slow but sertain damage to tire by overheating, that hardens the rubber on critical spots, and crackes in next bendings, or when rubber is streched by higher filled pressure , after the damage is done, as in your case.
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Old 05-04-2016, 11:55 AM   #14
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Also, the higher the nose, more weight is transferred off the front pair of tires and onto the back pair of tires. Bumping curbs, which you sometimes forget about later, can also contribute to blowouts. I have a notion that a big contribute is the Made In China label

Check your gauges too. Right now I have three tire gauges and all three read different on the same tire at the same time. I'm really not sure which one to believe. I'm thinking about a home made tire gauge using a nice air gauge built for mfg.
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