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Old 08-11-2018, 02:35 PM   #1
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Tire Pressure When Towing

Should the tires pressure be different in my TV when I am towing vs. not towing?
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Old 08-11-2018, 02:40 PM   #2
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I adjust my TV tire pressure depending on the load. I run about 60psi when not towing and up to 80 psi when adding 1200lbs of tongue weight. Tires are 265/75/16 E rated.
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Old 08-11-2018, 03:03 PM   #3
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I've stepped up to a 10ply on my TV. The factory installed Wrangler A/T's on my 2010 F150, recomended 40 or less for everyday driving(sorry, I've slept since I got rid of them) They had way to much squirm in them, unless the tires were aired up to their cold max pressure.
Especially when running a WDH, the proper inflation of the TV tires, is critical. The heavier the trailer, the more critical it becomes. With the WDH joining the TV and TT at the hip so to speak, if the trailer wiggles the TV will also. If the tires have to much flex, it's only worse.

The max on my new tires, is 80 or 85 psi, although I doubt I'll need that much. I can run them at 65 now if I think they need it. The Wranglers had a 55psi cold max limit.

The door sticker recommendations for tire pressure, is all about ride quality. When you put your TV to work, its all about load carrying.
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Old 08-11-2018, 04:27 PM   #4
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You'll want them inflate to the max pressure as indicated on the side wall of the tire. The pressures in the door jamb are typically just for normal passenger use.

What's the TV and what kind of wheels/tires do you have?
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Old 08-11-2018, 04:57 PM   #5
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Nm.. I found the truck and camper in your profile. What's that weigh?

Stock wheels and tires?
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Old 08-11-2018, 05:05 PM   #6
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typically more weight requires LESS pressure, not more, and certainly not the Max - your tire brand/type/size and your TV weight with trailer tongue weight will determine the correct pressure... it may be less than you think.
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Old 08-11-2018, 05:12 PM   #7
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typically more weight requires LESS pressure, not more, and certainly not the Max - your tire brand/type/size and your TV weight with trailer tongue weight will determine the correct pressure... it may be less than you think.
Um.. never heard that before. Please explain how a softer side wall will help it be more stable.
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Old 08-11-2018, 05:25 PM   #8
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while i was referring to diesel pushers - here’s a link for trucks and trailers

Tire Pressure Secrets for Camping Trailers & Tow Vehicles | PopUpBackpacker
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Old 08-12-2018, 08:41 AM   #9
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I donít think the article is written very well. The whole detour that led to the place somebody would get the idea reducing the pressure, somehow enhances the load carrying properties of the tire, was a road to nowhere.
This is so simple to sort out.
If less is better, then flat should be best.
Next time your front tires get low, notice how the steering becomes sluggish, and handling becomes more like pushing a chain or herding, then steering the vehicle.
Even in the article, the writer makes note of how they aired the tires up to max when hauling the TT. When he took it in for service, the Tech reduced the pressure to the door sticker. Kudos to the Tech for checking the tires. Anytime Iíve had my truck serviced, I made a point of telling them what pressure the tires should be., based on what I have planned, or what my real time experience has shown to work best.
I normally ran my tires higher then the sticker, but lower then max, simply in the interest of better fuel mileage. I let the ride dictate the air pressure. To low, poor handling. To high, abusive ride.

Now, start loading the vehicle.

The weight of the vehicle determines what tires get put on it, at the factory. That, and what manufacturer gives them the best bulk purchase price. Thatís for another diatribe.
The dealers sell a vehicle as is(not necessarily what it might be)and the tire pressure at a place determined best for ride, handling, and weight of the vehicle, as it rolls off the showroom floor.
As soon as the weight on the tires exceeds the factory recommended pressure, based on how much the vehicle weighed, and the manufacturers concerns of creature comfort, then the owner of the vehicle becomes responsible for correcting the tire pressure according to the load. In this case, sidewall pressure ratings for load carrying properties based on what weight the tires will be expected to carry.
The first thing noticed, will be the sidewall bulging out when you add weight. We already know, when the tire is woefully under inflated, the handling is crappy, and that flatter tires will generate more heat. If you donít know that by now, stick to a recliner and an XBox for your travels.
We check the sidewall, and it says ďsure you can add air, but donít exceed the max cold pressure shown on the sidewall, because thatís where our liability ends. Exceed that, either in pressure or load, and youíre on you own cupcakeĒ.

Everything, be it tires TVís or TTís, have a limit. Thatís where the manufacture is absolved from what happens after the buyer exceeds those limits.
The closer you get to the upper limits, the more a particular weakness becomes apparent. This is why there is always a big debate about whether or not the TV is adequate. 1/2 ton, or should I go 3/4 or 1 ton? Some TVís, can carry loads pretty well at their max. Others not so much.
Tires are no different.

If youíre carrying heavier weight, then air the tires up to the max cold pressure on the sidewall. Is the ride to harsh? Then let a little air out if you want, but keep in mind ďunder inflationĒ for the load being carried will cause more heat in the tire. Find a happy medium but remember, under inflation for the particular load being carried, is not good for the tires.

ďTires are no differentĒ.
Not all tires are created equal. Some perform well at 32psi, carrying a minimum load, but simply donít do well when expected to carry a heavy load. The sidewalls may have to much flex. The tread pattern may be great for a light load on dry roads, but be awful for a heavy load on wet roads. The tire may have never been intended for a heavier load period. This is why the operator of the vehicle needs to be aware of what the tire limitations on his or her vehicle are. If needed, upgrade to something better suited to the task at hand.
As with TVís, more then needed is better then being right at the limits.
Increasing the load? Then increase the tire pressure. Are you close to or at the max cold pressure rating, and the tire is still not up to the task? Then upgrade to a tire rated to carry more weight. Just because it says the tire can be inflated to 80psi cold, doesnít mean you have to run it there. Start at whatever the max cold pressure of the old tire was, add 10%, and see how the new tire behaves.

Anecdotal information alert.

I drive a Miata. The tires I have on it, have a max sidewall cold pressure of around 45psi. The door sticker says 26psi. The car weighs about 2500#ís with me behind the wheel, a full tank of gas, and two Quarter Pounders with cheese behind my belt. I run the tires at 26psi. If I put those tires on something that weighs closer to 2tons, Iím not going to let air out of the tires because Iíve increased the load by 40%, Iíll air them up.

The same holds true for TVís and carrying weight. I may run the tires at 45psi, around town with no load. When I hitch up the trailer to my WDH, and everything is loaded, I already know the tires need to be inflated to a higher pressure, because Iím approaching the max loading for what the TV and TT, are capable of carrying.
With my old tires I noticed right off, the truck was wallowing with the air pressure around 40 in the back, and 45 in the front. I promptly aired the tires to the max on the sidewall, after they had assumed room temperature again. The handling was much improved, but I know Iím at the upper limits of the tire. Having some room in weight carrying capabilities of both TV and Tires, is a good thing.

Another anecdote.
I picked up a trailer loaded with a tractor and implements, weighing close to 7000#ís for the GCW. I noticed as soon as I got on the highway, that something was seriously wrong. It was early in the morning, so I endured for an hour or so and then pulled off to get gas. I checked the tires on the trailer. Although they were by no means looking flat, I aired them to the max sidewall pressure. Shazaam!! It cured my inability to go over 45, without the trailer getting a serious attitude. I was able to run 55 after that, but not much faster. The Tractor was sitting to far back on the trailer, making it heavy in the rear.

So. Once again. If youíre increasing the load, increase the air in the tires. More is better, just donít over do it. If you have to air the tires to the max to make the TV and TT handle properly, do it. If it requires the max to make it work, think about going to a higher rated tire, so you have some cushion.
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Old 08-12-2018, 09:10 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by 007matman View Post
You'll want them inflate to the max pressure as indicated on the side wall of the tire. The pressures in the door jamb are typically just for normal passenger use.

What's the TV and what kind of wheels/tires do you have?
Ditto-X2-Like he said...
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Old 08-12-2018, 09:52 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by 007matman View Post
You'll want them inflate to the max pressure as indicated on the side wall of the tire. The pressures in the door jamb are typically just for normal passenger use.

What's the TV and what kind of wheels/tires do you have?
Typically the tire pressures on the door jam are to meet the maximum load carrying capacity of the vehicle using the factory supplied tires. For example, on my F250, Ford recommends 60 PSI for the front and 65 PSI for the rear. The factory Goodyear Wranglers are rated at 80 PSI. There would be no need to inflate any higher even if I were to load the truck to maximum capacity. The result would be a rougher ride and potential premature wear in the middle of the tire from overinflation.
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Old 08-12-2018, 12:18 PM   #12
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I think it depends on the vehicle.

My old TV (2010 Escalade) was wearing the edges of the tires at standard inflating pressure (35lbs I think) when towing.

I went to the max pressure on the side wall and it stopped. It was also more solid when driving down the road.

My 2007 F-350 states 65psi and I've never changed from that when towing and it's been fine but it's a dually. The PO had obviously over-inflated the tires at some point as the middle of two tires on the drivers side are almost bald (the edges are fine and have good depth).

I think this is a very subjective topic and really depends on the stats and how things are wearing.
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Old 08-12-2018, 11:17 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by 007matman View Post
You'll want them inflate to the max pressure as indicated on the side wall of the tire. The pressures in the door jamb are typically just for normal passenger use.

What's the TV and what kind of wheels/tires do you have?
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Ditto-X2-Like he said...


A specific tire can have numerous different applications. The max pressure on the sidewall is simply what the manufacturer certifies it being able to handle. In no way should that be considered the ideal pressure in every instance. A better way to determine the best pressure is to find the appropriate chart that gives you the ideal pressure for a given axle weight.
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Old 08-13-2018, 12:18 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Papahoosh View Post
Should the tires pressure be different in my TV when I am towing vs. not towing?
OP is clearly a novice. A simple answer would be best: inflate your rear tires to the max cold pressure shown on the sidewall. Inflate your front tires to the pressure shown on the door jamb sticker.
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Old 08-13-2018, 06:57 AM   #15
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Is there a simple answer? ďYesĒ, would be the simplest answer.

If the OP is towing with a WDH, then weight gets shifted to the front axle, so tire pressure on the front, should be increased also.
Some responders already have tires on their TVís, that are better suited for towing. They have door stickers showing 65psi. Depending on the weight theyíre towing, they may not have to add anything. With a 350, you could put a small dozer on a flat bed, and need 80 or 85.
My 2010 F150 SC , had a door sticker closer to 32, but required max cold in the rear(55), and 50 in the front. Since Iím in the upper limits of my TVís capabilities, I opted for a higher rated tire. Now, I have some cushion.

One responder mentioned watching tire wear. Itís a good point. If you air them up for load hauling, youíd want to deflate them to normal, so the tire wear is even across the surface.
If you air them up, and notice the tires are only wearing in the middle of the tread patch, then deflating them a bit at a time and monitoring tread wear, until the max surface contact is achieved. To low, and the tires will wear badly on the sides, and not in the middle.
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Old 08-13-2018, 08:13 AM   #16
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Some places (wallyworld) will only sell you tires that are Stated on the door post ranges. I have an F-250 CrewCab that had/has Cooper tires, 80pd COLD rated. One of the tires, I could feel and see that the belts were coming apart. Pulled into wallyworld to get a short term replacement. I told them I wanted closest replacement possible to what is on the truck (I would get the correct tire when I got back home, as I had another rim to match up with the truck rims). The 'tech' looked on his computer and said that the 'truck' was 'only' allowed to have a 65pound cold tires on it.... I said that the door post says 80cold and that is what I wanted.... he called me a liar and said to buy the 65pound cold tire or leave.... I told him to get his manager out there and go look on the freeken door post. They both walked out to the truck and looked at the door post.... 80 pound cold rated tires..... Ambulance Package frame set-up. I got my tire and gave them both and ear full....

Morel to the story.... if you start getting Higher Cold Rated tires than those posted on your door post, you may have some rejections from some places that will not sell you a tire that is not 'rated' for your truck.


My tires are rated at 80pound cold. I run the front and back the same psi at all times. When pulling.... 80pound cold. (Front and back) When not pulling 70pound cold (front and back). At 80 pound cold, the truck is very firm and feels like a lumber wagon going down the road. At 70 pound cold (not pulling) the ride is much smoother.
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Old 08-13-2018, 04:56 PM   #17
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My 2017 F-250 Michelins state max load at 80 PSI Cold. My sticker in the door jam says 60 PSi front 65 PSI back. This is the PSI I drive everyday.

I will be picking up my first and new trailer in a few weeks. It will be an 830mi trek.

Since I don't think I will be at max load on either axle/tire, and based on what I am reading on this thread, I think I will add 10 PSI to each tire which should help with the added load.

If that seems a little squirmy, I'll add another 5 PSI to each tire and continue to monitor it.

Your thoughts?
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Old 08-13-2018, 05:09 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by formerFR View Post
typically more weight requires LESS pressure, not more, and certainly not the Max - your tire brand/type/size and your TV weight with trailer tongue weight will determine the correct pressure... it may be less than you think.
WHAT???????
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Old 08-14-2018, 07:44 AM   #19
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My 2017 F-250 Michelins state max load at 80 PSI Cold. My sticker in the door jam says 60 PSi front 65 PSI back. This is the PSI I drive everyday.

I will be picking up my first and new trailer in a few weeks. It will be an 830mi trek.

Since I don't think I will be at max load on either axle/tire, and based on what I am reading on this thread, I think I will add 10 PSI to each tire which should help with the added load.

If that seems a little squirmy, I'll add another 5 PSI to each tire and continue to monitor it.

Your thoughts?
Do you have a Tire Pressure Monitoring system for your truck and trailer?

One unknown leaking tire that the system alerts you to will pay for the system the very first time.

I have the TST 507 on all of my tires TV and RV.

https://tsttruck.com/
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Old 08-14-2018, 11:48 AM   #20
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Typically the tire pressures on the door jam are to meet the maximum load carrying capacity of the vehicle using the factory supplied tires. For example, on my F250, Ford recommends 60 PSI for the front and 65 PSI for the rear. The factory Goodyear Wranglers are rated at 80 PSI.
I never thought about it but this makes sense. With the bed empty and one or two people in the cab, there has to be more weight on the front axle. Why would you need more pressure in the rear tires unless youíre loaded?

Iíve been running 60 and 65 like the door sticker says when not towing and bumping the rear tires up to 80 when towing. I may have to rethink that.
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