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Old 10-11-2014, 11:04 AM   #1
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Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Akron, Ohio
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Tire Inflation on "Hot Road"

I got this question and thought that others might be wondering about the same topic.

Jim K asked
Subject: tire pressure
Message: I will be traveling in the desert for the first time and I am
wondering if I should reduce the tire pressure before I go. The hot road will
increase the pressure and I am afraid of damaging my tires.

Hi Jim,

No you don't have to worry about hot roads.
IF you run the correct cold pressure

Now you didn't say if you have a standard RV trailer or a Motorhome so I will give you the short answer for each application.

Trailers: You should set the Cold Inflation to the pressure on the tire sidewall. If you look at the sticker on the side of your trailer you should find the tire size, type, Load Range and pressure recommendation from the manufacturer. In almost all cases the recommended inflation is the inflation on the sidewall of the tires.
Have you confirmed you are not overloading any of your tires? Simply guessing or looking at the tires is not good enough you need to get the trailer on a scale and at a minimum get the total load on the tires. Now you can't assume the load is equally distributed side to side or axle to axle Measurements of thousands of trailers suggests you need to assume at least 53/47 to 55/45 split axle to axle and split side to side so you need to calculate the heaviest load based on an estimate of 27% to 30% of the total being on one of the 4 tires. A better method is to get individual tire loading. You can learn more HERE.

Motorhomes are a bit different than towables. Here you need to get the "corner" loading as the side to side difference is affected by the placement of things like generator, water tanks, refrigerators etc. The Front Rear laoding is obviously different and for most motorhomes the number of tires on each axle is also different. You can use the information on your placard but a better method is to get the actual tire loading and then using Load/Inflation charts establish the MINIMUM cold inflation then add 10% to get your Cold Set inflation. THIS post has some info and a link in it.

Bottom Line

When tires are designed, we know that some vehicles will be driven on hot roads. Tires will normally run +20F to +50 above ambient. You should run a TPMS to get warning of air leak due to puncture. If you are driving in the USA you should have no problems.
If you are traveling to Saudi Arabia, the Sahara or Australian outback then we need to take some additional steps and precautions.

I think that if you look at some of the dozens of posts on Load, Inflation and Temperature on my blog you will find answers to your questions.

Retired Design & Quality Tire Eng. Read my tire blog RVTireSafety.com to learn more about RV tires, valves & wheels. Read THIS post on why Tires Fail
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Old 10-13-2014, 05:59 AM   #2
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Location: Columbus, MS
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Thanks for the info!

Joe & Annette

2002 Monaco Windsor 40PBT, 2013 Honda CRV AWD
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Old 10-13-2014, 10:30 AM   #3
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Since we installed a TPMS on our rig I was surprised to see that the tire pressure increases proportional to the temperature outside.....And I did wonder if it was necessary, on days where temps would reach 100 degrees plus, to lower the tire pressure....Thanks for the info..
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