The most important factor in maximizing the life of your tires is maintaining proper inflation pressure. An under-inflated tire will build up excessive heat that may go beyond the prescribed limits of endurance of the rubber and the radial cords. Over-inflation will reduce the tire's footprint on the road, reducing the traction, braking capacity and handling of your vehicle. An over-inflated tire will also cause a harsh ride and uneven tire wear while being more susceptible to impact damage.
Keep in mind that the pressure rating on the sidewall of your tire is the maximum pressure for that tire. This is not necessarily the correct pressure for the tires when installed on your vehicle. Maintaining the correct tire pressure for your vehicle's loaded weight is extremely important and must be a part of regular vehicle maintenance.
It’s recommended that you check your pressure at least once a month, before any major trips, and before and after storage. On long trips, check every morning before driving. For shorter trips of a day or less each way, check the pressure before you leave and before you return home.
To set the correct air pressure for your tires:
1. Get a copy of the Michelin Recreational Vehicle Tire Guide or Goodyear Recreational Tire and Care Guide as appropriate for your tires
2. Weigh each wheel position on your RV:
A. Load your motorhome as you would normally travel, including water and fuel.
B. Go to a truck scale, found at most truck stops, and weigh each wheel position independently, with driver and passenger or passengers in the vehicle as described in the tire guides, to determine the weight on each wheel position.
3. Use the charts in the guide to determine the correct inflation pressure based on your tire size and load weight. Pressures are given for a single axle (1 tire on 1 side of a single axle) and double axle (2 tires on 1 side of a dual axle).
4. Adjust each tire’s pressure accordingly.
NOTE: For control of your motorhome, it’s critical that the tire pressure be the same on both sides of the axle. You will need to inflate both tires on a single axle to the pressure indicated for the heaviest wheel position on that axle.
NOTE: Only adjust pressure when the tires are cool or have not been driven for more than one mile. Never reduce the air pressure in a hot tire!
by Mike Cody, Sr. Service Trainer
Freightliner Custom Chassis Corporation