Originally Posted by FlyFishinRVr
Personally I'm going to run the pressure that is stated in my owner's manual (61psi) because as you state, it appears that is calculated by Airstream as the correct pressure given the max vehicle load, but if someone wants to run the max cold pressure as stated on the tires, other than loss of performance, what's the downside? Just curious as I'm new to RV ownership and it seems there's something new to learn about them every day.....
Not anything specific to RV ownership, more related to motor vehicle ownership in general… The ideal inflation pressure for the load provides a flat contact surface with the pavement across the entire width of the tread for best traction. Under-inflation causes the edges of the tread to wear faster. Over-inflation causes the middle of the tread to wear faster.
Whatever pressure you use, every couple thousand miles or so check the tread depth at each
groove in the tread. If the depth is less near the edges, you're under-inflated. If the depth is less in the middle, you're over-inflated.
As for the MB-cited 61psi, that would be the ideal inflation pressure if the van was exactly at GVWR
. Since presumably you're running less than GVWR by some amount, the ideal inflation pressure for you should
be slightly less. I routinely run 58psi all around with no problems.
Over-inflation and under-inflation both also have a direct effect on vehicle handling, because your ABS, BAS, ESP, ASR, EBD and the rest of the alphabet soup of braking and traction assist features all rely upon the tires being at the correct inflation. Over-inflation and under-inflation each degrade the effectiveness of these systems and put you at greater risk of loss of handling.