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Old 03-06-2013, 06:41 PM   #1
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Food for thought

I have been trying to keep up with all that has been said about tires on here, but have not seen this asked or talked about. Isn't the purpose of a travel trailer tire to give you all the safety possible, meaning keeping blow-outs to a minimum, allowing speeds to what Interstate Highways are, tracking straight, the right load capacity and whatever else is needed ALL at the lowest possible PSI to save the integrity of the trailer? I know when I raise the PSI even 8 PSI higher in the suv for towing, I can feel it. I would think all travel trailers NEED the softest ride ( lowest PSI ) possible. Is this not right? These are not utility trailers. JMHO
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Old 03-14-2013, 09:52 AM   #2
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Using the lowest possible tire pressure may subject yout tire to failure. Low tire pressure is one of the most frequent reasons tires fail. Lower pressure generates more heat in a tire and heat will damage a tire. And the lower the pressure the less load capacity the tire has so knowing the exact load of the trailer would be needed. I would be unwilling to weigh the trailer each time so I can get the lowest PSI for my tires. If a tire fails possible trailer body damage would over rule any damage from tires filled to the max.

Face it trailer manufactures will install tires that are rated to do the job. (May be slightly more) They are in biz to sell trailers not tires. Getting a tire that has a lot of reserve capacity wastes money on a more expensive tire with higher capacity than using a less expensive tire that will just do the job and go to market at a lower price point.

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Old 03-14-2013, 10:54 AM   #3
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Here is something else to "chew" on. We talk tires;brand,size, inflation, etc. hitches; PP, HaHa, Anderson etc; anti sway, height, etc; but what about BRAKING? What happens when one has a 7K TT pushing a 3K TV and how does one stop safely? Yes, there are brake controllers, but is one better, at what level should it be set?
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Old 03-14-2013, 11:34 AM   #4
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Mike, Airstreams have electric brakes to allow the trailer to be responsible for the greatest part of its own stopping. The tow vehicle is put under more strain in hard stops. Maintaining control is what we all strive to achieve.

More trucks have tow packages with manufacturer brake controllers built in as OEM equipment. Aftermarket brake controllers like Prodigy are popular for tow vehicles not so equipped. But don't mix the two. Brake controllers generally have instructions on how to calibrate the proper application of trailer braking pressure. In my case with a Prodigy, with no traffic around I get up to about 20-25 mph and throw Prodigy's manual lever full over. The trailer should bring the tow vehicle-trailer combo to a fairly prompt stop without skidding at the proper setting of the brake controller. Each system has unique instructions on how to do this. Either look at your product documentation or try to find those at the manufacturer's website.
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Old 03-14-2013, 11:53 AM   #5
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I agree with CanoeStream. You have to test the stopping ability a few times to get the Brake Controller 'dialed in'. A setting of 5 on one controller may not be the same as a setting of 5 on a different controller.
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Old 03-14-2013, 01:12 PM   #6
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Action, I guess I have not stated the question right I am not saying anyone should use less psi for ride comfort and less safety. What I am trying to say is there are 3 tire ratings, C, D, & E for weight capacity. Ea. has their max. psi. 50psi, 65psi & 80 psi. Wouldn't you want to use the tire with the lowest psi that will carry the load? My trailer axles carry about 6,400 lbs. max. when fully loaded. For this set up what would be a good tire capacity? I'm thinking 2,000 lbs. That would give me a 20% reserve. So, what is a good reserve for trailer tires that will give you the smoothest ride all travel trailers need.
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Old 03-14-2013, 02:40 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RLS View Post
Action, I guess I have not stated the question right I am not saying anyone should use less psi for ride comfort and less safety. What I am trying to say is there are 3 tire ratings, C, D, & E for weight capacity. Ea. has their max. psi. 50psi, 65psi & 80 psi. Wouldn't you want to use the tire with the lowest psi that will carry the load?
No. I would size the tire to the load. My formula (and this is strictly me) is weighing the trailer and knowing the fully loaded trailer with gear, liquids and any possible items that may be taken. Obtaining tires with a load rating of 110% to 115% of that number knowing that hitched to the TV will transfer some more weight.

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My trailer axles carry about 6,400 lbs. max. when fully loaded. For this set up what would be a good tire capacity?
I would size the tires to the load and not the axle capacity. In therory all of the running gear would be individually of greater capacity (as a component*) for the load expected than the tires. For the most part other components have a rating as designed and brand new. As these componets age they degrade some with no anticipated replacement. Tires are an exception as they are designed to be replaced so among other things the load rating of a tire is degrades little over the life of the trailer since the tire is replaced. Having a lot of extra capacity would be spending money on tires for a load that would never be expected. Running a "E" rating tires inflated to a "C" rated pressure would generate more heat because that tire is running with less pressure. This is only my thought process on the heat and not actual experience or even known data from a tire manufacturer.

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I'm thinking 2,000 lbs. That would give me a 20% reserve. So, what is a good reserve for trailer tires that will give you the smoothest ride all travel trailers need.
I would not desire a 20% reserve, as over capacity becomes an issue taken to an extreme just as under capacity is an issue. (seperate from cost) The Goldilocks scenario is what is desired.

* Components -
Axles
Wheel bearings
Brakes
Tires

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Old 03-14-2013, 04:26 PM   #8
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Manipulating tire pressures for your RV trailer is a game not to be played with. DOT regulations REQUIRE the trailer manufacturer to set the minimum - correct - tire pressure for your trailer and put that information on the trailer’s labeling and in its owner’s manual. Tire industry standards stand firmly behind the vehicle manufacturer’s responsibility to set minimum tire pressures.

Almost all RV trailer manufacturers set tire pressures to the maximum amount shown on the tire’s sidewall. Therefore there is zero wiggled room.

I know many will disagree with what I have said. In the NHTSA reference provided below you will find it in large red letters.

http://www.nhtsa.gov/DOT/NHTSA/Vehicle%20Safety/Articles/Associated%20Files/brochure.pdf
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Old 03-14-2013, 04:39 PM   #9
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RLS: If I read your statement correctly, you're not saying "reduce the air pressure to match the load" you're essentially saying "Don't buy E-rated tires if D- or C-rated tires will carry as much or more load than you need for your trailer."

Is that what you meant?
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Old 03-14-2013, 05:47 PM   #10
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RLS: If I read your statement correctly, you're not saying "reduce the air pressure to match the load" you're essentially saying "Don't buy E-rated tires if D- or C-rated tires will carry as much or more load than you need for your trailer."

Is that what you meant?
Exactly My only other thought is what is a good reserve for a tire to have in comparison to trailer weight to be a good safety margin without going way overboard. I used the 6,400 lbs. that are on my axles as an example. That is not what the load capacity of the axles is, just what my trailer weighs on the axles, hooked up to the tv with the weight distribution engaged. Tires with a 2,000 lb. load capacity would equal 8,000 lb total, allowing a 20% reserve would make it 6,400 lbs. I myself, have gone overboard somewhat I feel by getting tires that have a load capacity of 2,470lbs. That gives me a 35% reserve! In my defense, I wanted a bit more just in case there is a blowout, the one tire left would have a better chance of sustaining the load for a short time. Is there any rule of thumb as to what a good reserve should be? 20%, 35%, more? keeping in mind how important a lower psi is to our trailers.
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Old 03-14-2013, 06:46 PM   #11
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Quote:
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....... That gives me a 35% reserve! In my defense, I wanted a bit more just in case there is a blowout, the one tire left would have a better chance of sustaining the load for a short time. Is there any rule of thumb as to what a good reserve should be? 20%, 35%, more? keeping in mind how important a lower psi is to our trailers.
IMO as I stated above (and is only mine and not from a professional source), it is 110% to 115% of fully loaded trailer unhooked from TV. Usuing hitched and weight distribution will increase that percentage some and I don't want to go to much higher than that.

In a blow out situation a 1000' to 2500' of travel travel after the blow out, the remaining 3 tires should be OK because after that event 2 things are going to happen after I have stopped the whole train. I am going to take a drink and then change out the blow out with my fully inflated spare.

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