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Old 05-29-2012, 01:44 PM   #1
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Nitrogen in tires

While we were shopping for a new trailer a few months back, the salesmen wanted to make a big deal out of the fact that the tires were inflated with Nitrogen. When we picked up the trailer from the service dept new, the service person said, when I asked, that I did not have to check the tires unless they looked low because they were inflated with Nitrogen, they would not loose pressure the way tires with air do.
I did not check the wheels or tires prior to our first outing...but I did before our second. The tires are rated at not more than 65 psi......the tires on the right side of the trailer were under-inflated by 15 +/- psi....the drivers side over-inflated by nearly the same amount. (I read that Superslif had similar inflation problems) When I complained to the service dept they said that they always check the tire pressure and that it was perfect when they delivered the trailer. When I asked about getting Nitrogen to inflate the tires they did not have any and directed me to Costco. I went to a large national tire store to pick their brain and they told me that I should fill the tires with air and forget about Nitrogen.
Anyone care to offer comment on the value of Nitrogen?
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Old 05-29-2012, 01:54 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fat Fiat View Post
While we were shopping for a new trailer a few months back, the salesmen wanted to make a big deal out of the fact that the tires were inflated with Nitrogen. When we picked up the trailer from the service dept new, the service person said, when I asked, that I did not have to check the tires unless they looked low because they were inflated with Nitrogen, they would not loose pressure the way tires with air do.
I did not check the wheels or tires prior to our first outing...but I did before our second. The tires are rated at not more than 65 psi......the tires on the right side of the trailer were under-inflated by 15 +/- psi....the drivers side over-inflated by nearly the same amount. (I read that Superslif had similar inflation problems) When I complained to the service dept they said that they always check the tire pressure and that it was perfect when they delivered the trailer. When I asked about getting Nitrogen to inflate the tires they did not have any and directed me to Costco. I went to a large national tire store to pick their brain and they told me that I should fill the tires with air and forget about Nitrogen.
Anyone care to offer comment on the value of Nitrogen?
Snake oil, and lies by the salesman.

Nitrogen is good because it does not fluctuate pressure as much as air does with heating and cooling. Really good for dragsters and nascar, not so valuable for cars and RVs.

Nitrogen has been pushed by tire retailers to make it really difficult for you (and profitable for them) to manage your inflation, thereby causing you to have to take it back to the shop to add a few lbs when necessary.

Tire manufacturers and vehicle OEMs have taken the normal PSI fluctuations into account when designing their tires and vehicles. Until THEY recommend nitrogen fill, I'll stick with plain old air.
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Old 05-29-2012, 01:58 PM   #3
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Dry air contains roughly (by volume) 78.09% nitrogen, 20.95% oxygen, 0.93% argon, 0.039% carbon dioxide, and small amounts of other gases. Air also contains a variable amount of water vapor, on average around 1%.
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Old 05-29-2012, 03:15 PM   #4
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The salesman who told you that is full of it. Nitrogen can leak out of a tire just like any other gas. There are a number of factors that are in play, mostly relating to tire, rim and valve condition. You can get a flat with Nitrogen when you run over a nail, just as easily as you can air.

The truth about Nitrogen is that it can be of benefit in a tire. As a pure gas, it's reaction to temperature fluctuations is more stable and predictable. Thus you have a better chance of keeping the tire pressure in a desirable range. It is also a pure gas with no humidity associated with it. This can reduce the amount of corrosion of the inside of the rim and also degradation of the inside of the tire. Of course it would be more effective if when initially done they purged and filled, just like they would do with a propane tank but you know they don't so there is always going to be some air in that tire.

If I had a N2, compressor, I would use it, have used it but it is best used in new tires and rims where you have the best chance of maintaining the integrity of those items longer. Putting it in a 6 year old tire on a 20 year old rim may be of some help, but it is far more likely that the tire and rim will have acquired some problems relating to age and use that make it less effective at that point.
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Old 05-29-2012, 03:33 PM   #5
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Nitrogen is a gas, it reacts just the same as air to temperature changes. The difference is that Nitrogen is "dry" and compressed air might not be, although you can add an air dryer and achieve the same results. Nitrogen molecules are also larger so they don't migrate through the rubber as easily.
However, air is already 78% Nitrogen so I use it.
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Old 05-29-2012, 03:52 PM   #6
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Just put hydrogen in them. Your rig will weigh less and if you put enough in, it will float away....just don't smoke around them! Remember the Hindenburg!

BTW, I have always kept 78% nitrogen in all my tires, works great
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Old 05-29-2012, 04:13 PM   #7
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If you just want to waste money put nitrogen in the tires.
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Old 05-29-2012, 04:41 PM   #8
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78% Nitogen

Thanks to everyone.........I think I'll stick with with the 78% Nitrogen.....skip the Hydrogen..... Propane, Methane and Butane as well.
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Old 05-29-2012, 08:02 PM   #9
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The salesman is full of something and it is not nitrogen. The nitrogen or air which is 70% nitrogen, follows Boyle's gas Laws.

If you are racing or have a aircraft, nitrogen makes a not more sense.

Ken
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Old 05-29-2012, 09:48 PM   #10
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Use the search feature to locate many past threads about Nitrogen in auto/RV tires.Water vapor in air is what causes pressure fluctuations beyond what Boyle's law dictates. That is remedied with an air dryer/moisture trap on your compressor.

You were told your tires have 100% Nitrogen in them. How pray tell did they remove the air before filling with Nitrogen?
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Old 05-29-2012, 10:02 PM   #11
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well, with a race car you either have two valve stems to purge the air out of the tire or you break the bead, flood with N2 at low pressure, and then seat the bead with N2 and fill.

But, as stated, it's about the lack of water vapor that makes the difference. Out here in the desert, I don't even use N2 in the race tires at less than 20% RH even air off a compressor doesn't have enough water to make a difference.
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Old 05-30-2012, 05:25 AM   #12
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Another solution to a non-existent problem.
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Old 05-30-2012, 05:45 AM   #13
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For what it is worth, our coach came with Nitrogen in the tires. We now have approx. 10K miles on and I have only had to add a couple of pounds of plain air since new. And I do check them faithfully! Would I put Nitrogen back in if we changed tires, probably not.
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Old 05-30-2012, 07:12 AM   #14
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Quote:
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Use the search feature to locate many past threads about Nitrogen in auto/RV tires.Water vapor in air is what causes pressure fluctuations beyond what Boyle's law dictates. That is remedied with an air dryer/moisture trap on your compressor.

You were told your tires have 100% Nitrogen in them. How pray tell did they remove the air before filling with Nitrogen?

Using air from a compressor with a drier on it will pretty much eliminate the water problem......

Ken
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