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Old 05-12-2021, 05:51 PM   #1
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Sway and tire pressure

Reading through my Equalizer hitch manual it has a disclaimer that says sway is caused by many factors includingÖ. Tire pressure was listed as one of the factors.

Iím not certain of the relationship between tire pressure and sway. Does lower or higher pressure cause more sway?

When I left the dealer with my rig they said to keep the tires at the max of 65. The tire inflation chart says more like 40. I run them at 50. Would inflating to 60 or 65 increase or decrease sway? Puzzled by this one.

Iím pulling a Rockwood 2513 which weighs 6200 lb loaded standalone and 5400 when connected with the WDH engaged. The inflation chart I am using is for Goodyear Endurance, though I run those wonderful cheap Castle Rock ST tires supplied by Forest River. ST205/75R14

Thoughts?
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Old 05-12-2021, 06:05 PM   #2
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With rare exception, trailer tires should be inflated to the pressure listed on the sidewall.
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Old 05-12-2021, 06:10 PM   #3
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Thanks. And, there are lots on threads about proper tire pressures. I am asking about the relationship between pressure and sway.
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Old 05-12-2021, 06:17 PM   #4
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This article should answer your question.

https://rv101withmarkpolk.com/2018/0...-trailer-sway/
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Old 05-12-2021, 06:20 PM   #5
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Sway is when a trailer wildly oscillates back and forth. What is your trailer doing?
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Old 05-12-2021, 07:49 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeadSalmon View Post
I’m pulling a Rockwood 2513 which weighs 6200 lb loaded standalone and 5400 when connected with the WDH engaged. The inflation chart I am using is for Goodyear Endurance, though I run those wonderful cheap Castle Rock ST tires supplied by Forest River. ST205/75R14

Thoughts?
Those cheap China bomb tires have much thinner sidewalls than Goodyear Endurance tires, so I would not use the Goodyear chart for other brands. I switched my trailers over to Goodyear Endurance tires immediately after purchase and have never had a sway issue. Too many people focus on the tow vehicle tires instead of the trailer tires, when it's the trailer that's doing the swaying. That's why Goodyear Endurance tires have much thicker sidewalls. My 192RSB came with a sway bar, but I never use it, as I have zero sway issues without it.
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Old 05-12-2021, 08:22 PM   #7
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Trailer sway can be exacerbated by the tow vehicles tires too. Since we don't know what you are towing with, we can't guess whether you have P rated or LT rated tires on the TV. P rated tires have softer sidewalls & carry less pressure which can feel "squishy" while driving with a load. The wheelbase of the TV can make for a less than stellar ride if the entire setup isn't perfectly set up also. Unless you have a tire chart for the specific brand & size ST tire & know exactly how much weight is on the tires, always run them at the max pressure stamped into the sidewall.
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Old 05-12-2021, 08:23 PM   #8
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I’m not having any trouble pulling the trailer. I have no sway. I just found the statement interesting that tire pressure had a relationship to sway. I had never heard that before and the disclaimer said nothing more about it. I’m just curious as to what that relationship is.
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Old 05-12-2021, 08:47 PM   #9
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Thanks for the tip on not using the Goodyear inflation table for the Castle Rock. I searched for an inflation table for the CRís but came up empty. Iíll use full inflation until I find a better chartóor buy the Endurance tires.
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Old 05-12-2021, 09:10 PM   #10
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Good you have no issue. ST tires have the same ratings regardless of brand so the Goodyear chart is fine to use. If your trailer came with 65 psi tires and rims I see no reason not to put 65 in them. I doubt you will notice any difference though.
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Old 05-12-2021, 09:14 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeadSalmon View Post
Iím not having any trouble pulling the trailer. I have no sway. I just found the statement interesting that tire pressure had a relationship to sway. I had never heard that before and the disclaimer said nothing more about it. Iím just curious as to what that relationship is.
Low tire pressure causes more tire sidewall flex.
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Old 05-12-2021, 09:22 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by rracer5 View Post
Trailer sway can be exacerbated by the tow vehicles tires too. Since we don't know what you are towing with, we can't guess whether you have P rated or LT rated tires on the TV. P rated tires have softer sidewalls & carry less pressure which can feel "squishy" while driving with a load. The wheelbase of the TV can make for a less than stellar ride if the entire setup isn't perfectly set up also. Unless you have a tire chart for the specific brand & size ST tire & know exactly how much weight is on the tires, always run them at the max pressure stamped into the sidewall.
Not always the case. Many SUV's and Pickups come with Extra Load (XL) tires that are still "P-Metric" tires but are designed to carry up to 44 Psi inflation pressure. SL tires usually max at 35-36 Psi. The extra pressure doesn't increase the load carrying ability of the tire but it does stiffen the tire so there is less sway induced in the vehicle, especially when towing.

When I tow my TT the tires are inflated to the 44 lb max. Tows straight as an arrow.
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Old 05-12-2021, 11:48 PM   #13
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Actually, that is a bad tip. The inflation tables are GENERIC. The original is published by one of the three tire standards organizations and are applicable to ALL manufacturers that subscribe. Castlerock and Goodyear numbers are interchangeable. Tire manufacturers build tires to meet the specs of the table.
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Thanks for the tip on not using the Goodyear inflation table for the Castle Rock. I searched for an inflation table for the CRís but came up empty. Iíll use full inflation until I find a better chartóor buy the Endurance tires.
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Old 05-13-2021, 06:11 AM   #14
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My experience - I had Castle Rock's on my 17 Salem 31kqbts. Never really had sway issues with my equalizer brand hitch. Hard corners had some "run out" where I would feel like it was drifting a little bit. Blew 2 of the 3 year old CR tires within 30 miles. I had roadside assistance change all 4 to Goodyear Endurance. It was a night and day difference towing. Stiffer sidewalls, higher pressure. Much more confident now.
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Old 05-13-2021, 02:55 PM   #15
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Lots of things can contribute to sway. Specific to your question, the tires on the tow vehicle (TV) benefit from higher tire pressures to reduce sway. Think of it this way, squishy tires on the TV allow the vehicle to wiggle more based on inputs to the hitch from the trailer.

When I tow with my half-ton, I raise my tire pressure from the factory recommended 35 PSI to the tire sidewall max pressure of 44 PSI. This does several things. With what amounts to a full load on the truck, the firmer tires will run cooler. And side loading induced by trailer wiggles is dampend a bit more by the stiffer tire than with the softer tire pressure.

If you use a weight distribution hitch (WDH), the hitch transfers some of the weight to the front axle. In that case, it helps to increase the pressures on all 4 tires on the TV.

Without a WDH, (e.g. if you're towing a PUP or similar) increasing front tire pressures is not necessary and may be counter productive, because the cantilevered weight on the hitch lightens the load on the front tires, and the higher pressure actually reduces the contact patch on lightly loaded tires...reducing traction for steering and braking.

As for tire pressures on your trailer, factory recommended pressure is correct. More important is axle/wheel alignment. The factory recommended pressure is on a label (data plate) on your rig in several locations. The Goodyear chart may be fine, but the RV manufacturer defines the right pressures for your trailer tires regardless of brand...and in particular the tires that came with it.

This is a good, thorough instruction on trailer sway.
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Old 05-14-2021, 04:07 AM   #16
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Most people recommend max tire pressure for trailer tires. One reason is that most trailers come with tires that are barely rated for the weight of the trailer. I have increased the load rating on all of my trailer tires (and the speed rating). I haven't had a flat since. When my utility trailer tires were filled to max, the eggs in my icechest broke because it bounced so much. Using the inflation table makes sense if your tires are rated higher than the weight of the trailer. One advantage of Goodyear Endurance tires is the higher speed rating. I believe they are rated for 88 mph. Castle Rocks are rated to 75 mph.
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Old 05-15-2021, 06:32 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeadSalmon View Post
Thanks. And, there are lots on threads about proper tire pressures. I am asking about the relationship between pressure and sway.

The lower the pressure the more sway you will have due to sidewall flex.
With lower pressure your tires will roll side to side more thus causing sway.
Do I get a cookie for trying to answer the question instead of trying to school you on everything else about tires? ;^)
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Old 05-15-2021, 08:30 PM   #18
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In my 10 years in the tire business, out of all the bad tires from inflation issues, over 90% were due to UNDER inflation and less than 10% from OVER inflation.
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Old 05-15-2021, 10:32 PM   #19
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Sway and tire pressure

Crappy tires with weak and flimsy sidewalls will definitely not help contain sway on the trailer and tow vehicle.

Tires with a higher ply count/load range/higher PSI will always be a great addition.
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