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Old 04-08-2014, 12:08 PM   #1
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Tires, TPMS and what is bad?

I have a 38' 5th wheel tow hauler that weighs ~ 18k LBS when fully loaded. It is a triple axle 16' wheels. I tow it with a F450 dually.

I have had several tire issues so I thought a TPMS would be helpful and maybe give me an early warning of a problem. The problem is, I don't know what is not obviously a bad reading.

I keep the trailer tires at max cold psi (110) and the truck a little lower than max (100, 110 is max). On my first trip with the TPMS I was obsessed with watching the readings. The trailer tires gained about 5-10 PSI and 10-20 degrees above air temp. The truck tires gained about 5 PSI and 10-20 degrees above air temp. One trailer tire gains both PSI and temp a little more than the others.

My question is, when should I worry, how much over air temp is bad? how much over cold PSI is bad?

BTW I have very good tires on the trailer and the truck. GY G614s on the trailer and Michelin XZEs on the truck. I have had 2 tire failures with the Goodyears, they are a little more than 2 years old.

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Old 04-08-2014, 07:58 PM   #2
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I know where you are coming from. I used to have a 1999 holiday rambler 5th wheel with goodyear tires I bought new. After about 2 years on a trip I had 1 blowout and then about 200 miles later another went. Goodyear told me these were some of their better tires. I went across scales afterward just to know, and they were not overloaded but right at there max weight. I am very religious about checking pressure so I know they were correct.

I personally think the twisting and turning and sliding that trailer tires are put through causes the problems. Couple that with carrying right at their max weight all the time. Then you let them set sometimes months at a time then all of sudden you pull them hundreds or more miles a day. To me that just causes them to give up.

As far as tpms readings, I have one on my motorhome now and mine does same. Temp goes up and pressure does same. Even in cool weather or short trips they will rise. I do not believe yours is anymore than mine and would not be cause for concern.

If it makes you feel any better, pretty much all the tire problems I've had were with Goodyear tires. Maybe wanna try a different brand. Just my $.02.


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Old 04-09-2014, 07:57 AM   #3
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Sometimes too much information is worse than not enough information.

Now what is happening too your tires is simply physics when air is heated up it will expand since there is nowhere for the air to escape the air pressure will increase since it is confined to a limited space.

Now why one tire will expand and heat up more than the others is that this one tire is working harder. Either from supporting more weight or the tire is not running true for whatever reason.

Now what you should do is weight the trailer and trailer tires to see what the actual load they are supporting. One side may be supporting more than the other; so the mass in the trailer will need to be shifted around to even out the load that the tires are supporting. Also Goodyear I believe provides a tire air pressure chart for various load ratings of their tires adjust your air volume and pressure according to these charts.

And also check your air pressure daily for the truck and trailer in the morning with an accurate air gage when cold before starting out.

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Old 04-09-2014, 10:21 AM   #4
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Yes you should worry! Why not? Maybe your gauge is wrong. Can you relocate the sending unit. I hate machines, they cause more headaches than they solve. Unhook the thing and drag it.
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Old 04-09-2014, 07:20 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by jimcumminsw View Post
Now why one tire will expand and heat up more than the others is that this one tire is working harder. Either from supporting more weight or the tire is not running true for whatever reason.
OR you have a brake that's dragging.
I also think a tire that's badly out of balance can cause this via simple bouncing effect.
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Old 04-10-2014, 09:31 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by raroberts View Post

My question is, when should I worry, how much over air temp is bad? how much over cold PSI is bad?
Ignore any increase in PSI over the cold inflation pressure. It's going to increase, and how much it increases doesn't matter.

Worry about decrease in PSI that causes the tire temp to soar. Under-inflation - such as caused by a slow leak - is what kills tires.

If your TPMS systems allows you to see the PSI and temp in all the tires, then check it out when the tires are cold to be sure they are still properly inflated. Then don't worry about the PSI unless it goes down to less than the cold inflation pressure.

BTW I have very good tires on the trailer and the truck. GY G614s on the trailer...
Tires with not enough weight capacity for the load is the primary cause of trailer tire failure. However, your G-614 trailer tires have max weight capacity of 3,750 per tire when inflated to 110 PSI, or up to 22,500 combined GAWR if the weight is distributed evenly in the trailer. That's a 25% excess weight capacity, which in my experience should be plenty to prevent trailer tire failure. So I'd probably watch the PSI in the trailer tires and be sure it never goes below 110 PSI in any of the 6 trailer tires.

And it goes without saying that speeds over 65 MPH should be avoided. Yeah, I know, the big boys go the speed limit of 80 MPH in far west Texas, but the highway is full of "alligators" from those trucks, too.

Grumpy ole man with over 50 years towing experience. Now my heaviest trailer is a 7,000-pound enclosed cargo trailer, RV is a 5,600 pound Skyline Nomad Joey 196S, and my tow vehicle is a 2012 F-150 EcoBoost SuperCrew.
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