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Old 08-12-2013, 08:53 AM   #1
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Tire pressure for off road sand

Hi all, we've been out on the beach in Barnstable MA the last two weekends and the guidelines are to air your tires down to 18 psi for over sand travel. My Winnebago's weight is 17650 lbs and it seems like they are practically running on the rims. Just put a new set of 6 Hankook AH11's on in April & don't want to destroy them. Was wondering if there are any other of road sand drivers out there and what you might be airing down to. Thanks.

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Old 08-12-2013, 08:57 AM   #2
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I have buried my MH in sand but never decreased the air pressure in them for sand. One thing I would be careful of and that is once you get the air pressure down very low it is easier to spin the tire on the rim. Not as critical now with all tubeless tires except it can throw off your alignment if the tire rotates on the rim. JMHO.
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Old 08-12-2013, 10:47 AM   #3
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That recommendation is probably for a 35 psi tire, so think relativity, I suppose.

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Old 08-13-2013, 02:21 PM   #4
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Having camped all over the So Cal deserts for 30+ years. I say as a good starting point is to air one tire down until the sidewall just starts to bulge out. Now take the pressure and that's where to start at. It's best to do what it takes to not get your RV stuck by pre- walking where you are going, you can pretty much determine how soft the sand is etc. always roll to stop and use no brakes and throw some buckets of water around the rear tires prior to leaving. Don't start turning until you feel you are moving along and not spinning the rear tires. If you need a tow/help make sure where you choose to attach a strap that it will not damage anything as the RV is very heavy. Hope this helps !
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Old 08-13-2013, 05:50 PM   #5
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Been on sand but never lowered the tire pressure. Don't see the benefit. And I don't want sand getting between the tire bead and rim while the pressure is low.
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Old 08-14-2013, 05:06 PM   #6
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Been on sand but never lowered the tire pressure. Don't see the benefit. And I don't want sand getting between the tire bead and rim while the pressure is low.
Lowering the air pressure does help but only up to a certain point and it depends directly on the type of tire. RV's for the most part have tires that are narrow and that being said it doesn't help as much. I myself haven't been stuck in mine but have come very close a few times. The one thing to remember when you think you might be getting stuck is this, the moment you stop moving forward and the back wheels are spinning STOP !!! For the most part no matter what you do it's not going to go any further. Lots of people keep trying and trying until the bottom of the RV is now in the sand and that makes it 100 times harder to get out. It's best to STOP and review the situation , get help, review again and come up with a plan. I've helped quite a few people over the years .
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Old 08-14-2013, 06:11 PM   #7
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I learned a lot from my experience. Walk the area first. This happened to me in 89. No cell phone, 50 miles from town and no people around. I only had a jack, outside carpet and found a board to dig with. Buried to the axle. 10 hours later I was back on the road a much smarter person.
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Old 08-16-2013, 07:00 PM   #8
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Hi' I've been told ,by very experienced "beacher's " never let a steel belted tire get below 27 psi,,, the damage will show up
in my near future,,, you'll break down the wire , and it will eventually fail at the sidewall,,,,,,makes sense to me!
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Old 08-17-2013, 08:34 AM   #9
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Hi' I've been told ,by very experienced "beacher's " never let a steel belted tire get below 27 psi,,, the damage will show up
in my near future,,, you'll break down the wire , and it will eventually fail at the sidewall,,,,,,makes sense to me!
When you have to "air down" a RV it's only to get unstuck and air back up as you shouldn't drive down the road with under inflated tires. When you get a flat you drive sometimes ways with no air and it doesn't hurt it. I still think the best information is take all steps to not get stuck !!
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Old 08-17-2013, 12:43 PM   #10
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I am an avid off road driver. I air down almost every time I go off road. I have run in sand, mud, rocks & packed dirt. However I have never taken the motor home off road. Airing down has big benefits for traction. I can't see where it would be any different for the motor home. As previously stated the pressures people talk about in the teens is for much lighter vehicles with much less standard running tire pressure. I would take the tire pressure on the motor home tires to about 50% of your normal running pressure. When I returned to hard surfaced roads I would air back up asap. If you must drive on the road I recommend you keep your speed low to prevent heat build up.

As for steel belted radials, I routinely air down from 32 psi to anywhere from 10-20 psi depending on terrain. I have never had a problem with a sidewall & I currently have 40 K miles on my tires. But I do not run them lowered on pavement.
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Old 09-28-2013, 10:12 PM   #11
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I routinely air my Jeep tires down to 12 psi for off-roading - benefits are traction and better ride quality. Carry a CO2 tank to air back up when returning to the pavement and road speeds. Airing down can more than double a tire's foot-print - more-so in the front to back dimension than width. It makes a huge difference in traction and flotation. I have been off-roading with folks who did not air down, got stuck in sand, and then we aired them down and they drove right out...

I have not had the occasion to air down the motorhome tires, but would do so if needed.
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Old 09-28-2013, 10:22 PM   #12
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Went with some Staun HD Tire Deflators pre-set to 35 psi. After 3 trips out on the beach with the MH, 18 psi was too much to air down to. Will have to wait until next summer to try them out. Will probably go down to 30 psi & see how we do. Thanks for all the responses.
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Old 09-28-2013, 11:05 PM   #13
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Airing down on a heavily loaded tire will likely result in damzging the sidewalls. I would not take a chance on ruining an expensive tire.

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Old 09-28-2013, 11:28 PM   #14
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The RV tire manufacturers consider any tire run 20% below the weight/pressure requirement to be "run flat" and require an internal inspection to see if any of the belts are broken. Airing a tire down certainly brings the pressure down below the safe pressure.
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