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jbeletti
04-07-2010, 04:25 PM
I received an email today from a forum member and Heartland owner asking me for some tips on RV tire maintenance. While I am not qualified or authorized to give any official response, I did offer some informal common-sense advice that should be accurate for the most part.

I want to share that short list of items here in the hopes that as a collective, we could organize this list, add to it, refine it and later, post it on the Wik (//heartlandowners.org/mediawiki/index.php?title=Tire_Maintenance)i as a page anyone could view or print. On the Wiki, we'd strip most of the commentary and all names and such and just distill it down to the facts as we believe them to be and the practices we feel as best. There are other great tire resources out there, Goodyear's website being one of them, as I understand, and I don't want to try to duplicate any of those efforts. Just trying to come up with a practical common-sense list of what to do, what not to do, what to check and when etc.

So here's my list as a starter:


Run your air pressure at the max cold PSI as indicated on the sidewalls of your tire. Check air pressure only when tires are cold (i.e. not heated up from travel)
Check your tire pressures before each trip. If off by more than a couple pounds, adjust as needed
Tow with your trailer level. By towing nose high rather than level for example, you are shifting more of the RV weight to the rear axle. It is possible to overload the axle, wheels and tires. This may lead to tire blow-outs, spring and axle failure.
Have your RV, truck and RV+truck weighed. If possible, have each wheel of the RV weight while connected to the truck. By knowing your weights, you will know if where you are at vs. the RV's GVWR, if you are towing level and therefore carrying a near equal load on each axle and if you are loaded too heavy on one side.
Do a visual inspection of each tire to the best of your ability. Look at the tread for nails and screws. Using your hand, feel the inner side wall. Use your eye for the outer sidewall. Any bulging or cracking is a sign of trouble to come and the tire should be changed right away.
As you mention, running a TPMS (tire pressure monitoring system) is a great idea if your budget can afford it. Many RVers do so. Use only "full" metal valve stems that are nutted into the wheel when using a TPMS that has senders that mount on the valve stem.
If you are setup at a CG for an extended period of time, consider covering your tires to slow the effect of UV degradation.
Careful to not "curb" a tire by running the sidewall into a curb. This can have an adverse affect on the belts/structure.
Careful to not lock-up your RV brakes. If done for a period of a few seconds where the tire is locked and skidding, you may cause a flat spot
Consider have your wheels balance. They are NOT balanced when we get them and we do not do it at the plant. Many RVers feel it's money well spent.
Keep your speed down. I try to tow a couple miles an hour under the speed limit. This has served me well as I am rarely coming up on the back of another vehicle. Most are passing me. Regardless of some high speed limits in some rural areas, I try to never exceed 65 MPH when towing.


Jim


On edit: The Wiki page has been started: //heartlandowners.org/mediawiki/index.php?title=Tire_Maintenance

2010augusta
04-07-2010, 04:55 PM
Run your air pressure at the max cold PSI as indicated on the sidewalls of your tire. Check air pressure only when tires are cold (i.e. not heated up from travel)




Not always the case. The best way to know what pressure to run in the tires is to reference a Load/Inflation guide. If you trailer is empty or lightly loaded, running the max pressure will cause the tires to be over inflated. You need to know the weight on each wheel/tire and then fill to the needed pressure. here is the line off the Goodyear Unisteel G614 RST 235/85R16 Load/Inflation table.
http://lh3.ggpht.com/_xO24GEaGH_k/S7z-8yYv_gI/AAAAAAAABEM/HUMhQU6ZzxY/s1024/tires2.jpg
Here is the PDF of the entire Goodyear RV tire table (http://www.goodyear.com/rv/pdf/rv_inflation.pdf).

jmgratz
04-07-2010, 05:16 PM
Alan, your chart is correct however in a seminar on tires and tire care I attended the instructor, who was a retired tire engineer from Goodyear said to always use the max inflation which is on the sidewall of the tire. His reasoning for this was you never know when you are at or close to the max weight as you don't constantly run around with scales. He also said you could start out at the beginning of the day light and by the end of the day end up heavier due to stopping at the grocery, adding water to the fresh water tank etc. So he said the only thing running with the max inflation will do if you are light is maybe give it a slightly firmer ride but you will not be overinflated. Go by the chart if you want however I will run mine at max inflation. Oh yeah, BTW if you are running a lower inflation and have to make a severe invasive maneuver you could actually break the bead causing instant deflation and loss of control. I have see it happen on police vehicles when I was a EVO driving instructor.

jbeletti
04-07-2010, 05:27 PM
Hi guys,

Bear in mind my list was to an RVer who emailed me asking for advice - so I gave him answers that should always work - like running your air pressure at max cold PSI. That always works. Now, yes, "they" say that if you know your wheel by wheel weight, which most RVers do not, you may use the load inflation tables.

Jim

lwmcguir
04-07-2010, 07:44 PM
Hard to find any issues with Jim's post.

2010augusta
04-07-2010, 09:05 PM
BTW if you are running a lower inflation and have to make a severe invasive maneuver you could actually break the bead causing instant deflation and loss of control. I have see it happen on police vehicles when I was a EVO driving instructor.

If you make a maneuver severe enough to break a bead, you will have the trailer in its side before the bead breaks. a diesel truck and a 38' Fifth wheel cannot handle like a police interceptor.

jbeletti
04-07-2010, 09:30 PM
Alan,

Awesome job on the Wiki page!

All,

Take a look: //heartlandowners.org/mediawiki/index.php?title=Tire_Maintenance

Help us make it even better by weighing in on this thread. We all have pretty tough skin around here. Call it like you see it - just be nice about it :)

Jim

sailorand
04-07-2010, 10:26 PM
Jim, one thing esle to look at on tires. Look at the tread, if it is not flat across and the tread looks bowed or rounded, the tire could be delaminating. Just had that with one of my Mission tires after 15000+ miles. All new Marathons now

TireHobby
04-20-2010, 03:42 PM
Not always the case. The best way to know what pressure to run in the tires is to reference a Load/Inflation guide. If you trailer is empty or lightly loaded, running the max pressure will cause the tires to be over inflated. You need to know the weight on each wheel/tire and then fill to the needed pressure. here is the line off the Goodyear Unisteel G614 RST 235/85R16 Load/Inflation table.
http://lh3.ggpht.com/_xO24GEaGH_k/S7z-8yYv_gI/AAAAAAAABEM/HUMhQU6ZzxY/s1024/tires2.jpg
Here is the PDF of the entire Goodyear RV tire table (http://www.goodyear.com/rv/pdf/rv_inflation.pdf).

If you will go back and take a closer look at that chart you will find it's more than five years old and has a recommendation to check with Goodyear before using it. Remember, It's designed for use with LT tires. When the LT tire us used in the RV trailer position it should be aired to maximum sidewall pressure.

TireHobby