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Old 10-10-2008, 10:51 AM   #1
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Advice on tire care

After learning some of this the hard way, I thought it would be a good idea to repost this in hopes of a sticky.

1) Weight balancing on dual/tandem axle trailers - balance the weight on both axles by raising your hitch height or by using a weight distribution hitch with it. The frame of the camper should be level with the vehicle that's towing it, not leaning forward or back once it's hitched up and loaded. A huge difference is made when I have firewood in the bed of the pickup vs having an empty bed. In either case, don't let all the weight of your camper lean on one particular axle...I learned this the hard way, 2 tires later, a 2" rise ball mount, and several hours of wasted time in the middle of nowhere Iowa. If you're unsure of the weight on each axle, most truck stops are willing to work with you in weighing in each axle so you know where you're at. Better to have somewhat of an idea of the weight distribution vs going into it blind like i did.

2) Air pressure - The air pressure marked on the sidewall of the tire is the max pressure at cold inflation, meaning...the tires should not have been moved a single mile before checking them. Or, if they are in the direct sunlight, wait until evening or early morning to check all the tires and air them up equally to that max air pressure. The tire is built to expand at that pressure and should be kept as max pressure to minimize rolling resistance which will keep the tire cooler then if you left them all 5 lbs short of max. Also, the weight carrying capacity is based on the max pressure in the tire, so 5 lbs short of max will drop the load carrying capacity of the tire. This is particularly important to remember during different seasons and drastic changes in air temperature. "Seasonal changes or altitude changes create a rise or drop in air pressure (for every 10 degrees change in temperature, tire air pressure changes 1 psi)." (Ref. Discount Tire Co. Air Pressure website).

Also, don't use some cheap .99 cent air pressure gauge...these are very rarely accurate...a few more bucks for a much better gauge will save you the headache later. "For trucks and RVs, use a dual-head inflation gauge that is calibrated up to 120 psi at 2 psi increments." (same reference as above). I read another comment that the air pressure gauges at gas stations are also very inaccurate, so beware of those. If your tires require more then 60lbs of pressure (most common on D and E load rated tires) be sure to use steel air valves or steel sleeved rubber air valves that will allow that much pressure. Speaking of air valves, I guess now's a good time to mention that there's a recall on rubber valve stems - http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/recalls...rue&refurl=rss and http://www.popularmechanics.com/auto...o/4282960.html . For one of the best valve stems for safety, this might be an option for you - http://www.hcwsinc.com/faqs.htm I don't know this company or work for them, so dont ban me over this info...its just a reference.

3) Storage - During periods of seasonal storage, it's always a good idea to beware of the environmental hazards that can result in premature tire failures. It is recommended that stored tires are not sitting on black pavement, near reflective services, or on any other kind of heat absorbing materials, near ozone producing equipment - such as electrical engines, and be sure not to store them in areas that can build up any kind of petroleum based materials such as oils, fuels, and asphalts. If the tires are removed from your RV, they should be washed prior to storage and you want to store them in a dry, cool place and it is recommended to deflate the tire to 50% of the max inflation rating on the side of the tire. If you leave them on the RV, it is recommended that tire covers of some sort are used to prevent direct sunlight on them so they don't dry out on you. Additionally, if they are left on the RV, they recommend either blocking the vehicle frame to take all the weight off of the tires or inflate your tires another 25% over max inflation rates and the RV moved every 3 months to prevent flat spotting and dry cracking at the flexing points of where the tires meet the ground. Just don't forget to adjust the tire pressures prior taking your RV out of storage. (Ref at http://www.yokohamatire.com/pdf/tsb-112102.pdf or http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tirete....jsp?techid=37 ) It is also recommended that cardboard, plastic, or wood be placed between the tire and the ground of which the storage is going to take place.

Here's some good advise from Michelin - http://www.rvadvice.com/rvarticles/4tires.html

Same advise from Goodyear - http://www.goodyear.com/rv/faq/care.html

More advise - http://www.rvamerica.com/rvlife/buz2.htm

Basic reference - http://rvbasics.com/techtips/rv-tire-care.html

A bit of a reference on TPMS - I think that this would be a good idea for those of us towing and not driving, but in the general sense of safety, it may not be a bad idea for all RV'ers to utilize the benefits from a monitoring system. (note, this article specifies one certain brand of TPMS system...but there are several out there and I am not promoting or demoting any of them...this is for reference only.) http://www.rvtravel.com/blog/rvnow/2...res-while.html

Last but not least, those of you that know Mark Polk of the Outdoor Channel's RVTV segments, here's an article from him - http://www.explorerrv.com/articles/RVTireFailure101.pdf

My goal here is to hopefully have enough information to help along those that are first timers (like myself) as well as maybe even add some good content to the veterans of the forum. Feel free to add anything that i may have missed.

Thank you.

Joe
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Old 10-15-2008, 03:27 PM   #2
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Joe,

Thanks for all of that excellent advice.

As far as the TPMS, I ran the Doran Pressure Pros on my Trailmanor, and they worked great. You could check the pressure anytime by pressing a button, and I did regularly while driving. If there is a 12% loss, or a 25% gain in pressure over the baseline, it will alert you almost immediately. I sometimes wonder that we think are blown tires come from gradual lose of pressure until the tire shreads.....you just can't feel the pressure lose on a trailer. Even if a tire blows, the pressure monitor will alert you immediately so maybe you can get off of the road before that puppy shreads completely.

I haven't used the pressure monitors on my new Surveyor yet. Just today I had 2 of the rubber valve stems replaced with metal ones. I have read that the extra weight of the sensor will bend the rubber valve stem through centrifugal force under speed, and that in itself might cause a leak. Even though the sensors weigh about 3/4 of an ounce, I took the sensors in with me, so the tire shop could balance the tires with the sensor in place. 1 of the 2 tires that I had done today took 4.5 ounces of weight.....I bet that puppy has been bouncing down the road.

I am anxious to see if the system works on my new Surveyor without a repeater, since the wheels sit further back than my Trailmanor.

Chap
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Old 10-15-2008, 05:27 PM   #3
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good advice
i to remove quite a bit of weight off my wheels
wash em good, apply protectant front and back and cover em up
plus the rubber is off the ground and rest on the lego blocks which provide great air flow and no standing water areas
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Old 10-16-2008, 08:00 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rthrbelsewhere View Post
I thought it would be a good idea to repost this in hopes of a sticky.
STUCK!


good stuff

greg
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Old 10-16-2008, 11:43 PM   #5
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Excellent! Thank you Greg.

Hi Chap - You're welcome.
Very good info on the TPM System your running. I like the idea of the sensors being installed on the valve stem, that makes it easy to get to and replace without having to break the tire loose off the rim. Even better that they also offer the security kit to keep anyone from getting sticky fingers when you're parked. My first question is how long could i expect the sensor battery to last before i need to replace it? I see that it's not replaceable or rechargeable, which is the only drawback i see so far. I read through the user manual and it seems like a very user friendly setup. I'll be looking a little further into this before next spring for sure. I don't want to get caught up like i did this year. If it wasn't for the back windows being cracked open and the radio off, i would have never heard the tire pop on my trailer and things could have been a lot worse then it was. I pull with a dodge ram diesel quad cab, so as far as im concerned, all 4 tires could have popped and i would have never known without either hearing it or having one of these to keep an eye on things.

The TPMS is just one more way for me to take one more step closer to being able to start my vacation as i pull out of my driveway, instead of when I arrive at the campsite.

(Someone commented on that the first time i wrote it and it's starting to stick now...I guess i better modify my signature.)




Powerboatr - sounds like you have your storage procedure down and from the sounds of it, you're tires are probably some of the best out on the road. I hope we can all get to that point, safety is of the most importance to me and seeing less trailer accidents out there would sure make me feel better about getting on the open road and towing mine.

Joe
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Old 10-17-2008, 11:38 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by rthrbelsewhere View Post
My first question is how long could i expect the sensor battery to last before i need to replace it? I see that it's not replaceable or rechargeable, which is the only drawback i see so far. I read through the user manual and it seems like a very user friendly setup.

Joe
Joe, by my understanding, the sensor batteries are supposed to last 3 to 4 years. You send them back to the factory for replacement, and they send you another sensor (albeit probably used) with fresh batteries. I think the cost is $30 for that.....which is kinda expensive, but the peace of mind is worth it for me.

You are correct that the setup is pretty straight forward. I set up my sensors a couple of days ago on my new Surveyor, and after reading the manual, it all went well. I pulled my trailer some, and the dash unit is picking up all signals just fine.

Chap
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Old 10-17-2008, 12:03 PM   #7
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Cool, so you didnt have to go with an extender after all. That will save some cash. I didn't see that i could send them in to the factory for replacement, but i did see where you can buy new ones for $50 a piece. Knowing that i could save $20....well...essentially $80 a set by doing that, i think that's worth the price. Figure a piece of mind for the low low price of about $10 a year. Makes sense to me and worth it for that one time when it could save not only your trailer, but also someone elses life and your own..

So what influenced your decision on this specific set/brand?

Joe
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Old 10-17-2008, 02:26 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by rthrbelsewhere View Post
Cool, so you didnt have to go with an extender after all. That will save some cash. I didn't see that i could send them in to the factory for replacement, but i did see where you can buy new ones for $50 a piece. Knowing that i could save $20....well...essentially $80 a set by doing that, i think that's worth the price. Figure a piece of mind for the low low price of about $10 a year. Makes sense to me and worth it for that one time when it could save not only your trailer, but also someone elses life and your own..

So what influenced your decision on this specific set/brand?

Joe
Joe, I have read that the position of the reciever is important......I have mine sitting on the dash. As an experiment with the sensors on my Trailmanor, I put the reciever on the console and it still worked there. I haven't tried that with my Surveyor, but would think I could get similar results, as the Trailmanor is aluminum skinned vs. the Surveyor's fiberglass. These systems can accomodate tractor trailers, but that is where you would probably need the repeater.

The reason that I decided on the Doran Pressure Pro is because several members of the Trailmanor forum had used it with good results. I PMd a bunch of questions to members, and decided that it was probably 1 of the better systems out there. Some of the other systems have the sending unit on the inside of the wheel at the base of a special valve stem. I liked the idea of just screwing on the sensor......although I would recommend a metal valve stem because of the centrifugal force thing I mentioned earlier.

I got the 16 tire unit, just in case I decide to upgrade someday to a MH with a TOAD. I only initally bought 2 sensors for my Trailmanor, but just bought additional 2 for the Surveyor. The cost was $290 for the dash unit, and $50 per sensor. There is now another Doran model out there (360" or something), and am not up on the extra functions or price with that.

Disclaimer: I had a sensor malfunction after a windy, rainy storm. The next morning, I heard the alert going off in my truck....it was down to 40 lbs or so. I checked which tire it was, and it looked OK. I looked at the dash unit again, and it was down to 30 lbs or so. I figured with that big of lose in such a short time, then I ought to be able to hear something.......but didn't. It showed 23 lbs. when I finally took the sensor off, got the water out by tapping in the palm of hand, put the sensor back on, and it immediately showed 50 lbs. Another member of the Trailmanor forum had had that happen to him also. I alslo lost signal from that same sensor on a recent trip to Tenn. during dry weather. I stopped, rapped it in my palm again, and everything was OK. I have driven through all sorts of rain, and gotten mud all over it since then, and it hasn't acted up. I called Duanne at L&S Safety Solutions (where I bought my setup), but we couldn't come up with a firm idea on the problem. He offered to send me another unit if it acted up again, but it hasn't.

Overall, I am very happy with the overall performance of the system.

Chap
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Old 04-07-2014, 09:25 PM   #9
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good abvice on weight balancing as you see so many people pulling trailers down the highway with either the tonuge or backend way up or down and the trailer swaying out of control
ps next time your in No where Iowa stop in and say hello
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Old 04-09-2014, 12:22 AM   #10
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Very interesting info in this forum thread.

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