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Old 06-08-2014, 06:13 PM   #1
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Please Recommend Tire Pressure for Suburban 2500 with 28' Flying Cloud

Hey all,

I've had my current setup for well over a year:

a) 2012 Airstream Flying Cloud 28'
b) 2013 Chevrolet Suburban 2500 4x4
c) ProPride Hitch

We've had many successful tows, and I really don't have any complaints. On the other hand, it's occurred to me that I really have no clue if I'm running all my tires at the ideal pressure for towing.

The trailer is dual-axle and has Goodyear Marathons with a recommend max psi of 65. That's what I've been doing. I'm not expecting anyone to recommend otherwise there.

What I'm most curious about is the Suburban. We are running Bridgestone Duravis LT265/70R17 E-rated tires. The tires allow a max pressure of 80psi. The manufacturer sticker on the driver's door recommends 50psi for the front tires and 60psi for the rear. I've typically been towing with the 50/60 inflation. Everything's felt fine, but I'm wondering if I should be inflating these more when towing for a better tow.

Thoughts?
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Old 06-08-2014, 06:19 PM   #2
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On the surface it looks like you are doing the right thing.

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Old 06-08-2014, 07:23 PM   #3
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Go to the web site for the manufacturer of your tires (of both the TV & TT) and download the manufacturer's tables that show you the ideal pressure for each tire size based on the weight that each tire is carrying. Weigh your TV & TT at a CAT scale (at nearly all truck stops) such that you get the weight on the four TV tires and the four TT tires. I won't explain how to do that here since it should be intuitive and, in any event, there are several other threads that explain the proper way to weigh your rig. Look up the recommended pressure based on the weight that the TV & TT tires are carrying and adjust as needed. Assuming that you aren't overloading your vehicles, you will likely find that you can run your tires with much less pressure than the maximum recommended pressure which is the number that is stamped on the tires themselves and on the "tire pressure tag" on the TV & TT. Proper lower tire pressure results in a softer ride for both the TT and the occupants of the TV. A softer ride will extend the useful life of the TT and its components and the driving experience of the TV's occupants.
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Old 06-09-2014, 12:39 PM   #4
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There are multiple threads on tire pressure. For the Tow Vehicle if they are an OEM tire then the load specs for that vehicle are in the posted tire pressures.

For the trailer if it is a single axle then maybe adjust for load. For a tandem axle I would use the pressures suggested by Airstream. One of the previous threads discusses the difference between how tires react when in a tandem axle. Had to do with sidewall flex or lack there of in a tandem.
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Old 06-10-2014, 06:37 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by AnnArborBob View Post
Go to the web site for the manufacturer of your tires (of both the TV & TT) and download the manufacturer's tables that show you the ideal pressure for each tire size based on the weight that each tire is carrying........
Sorry, but those tables are minimums (or maximums depending on how you look at it.) They are NOT recommendations.

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Originally Posted by AnnArborBob View Post
...... Weigh your TV & TT at a CAT scale (at nearly all truck stops) such that you get the weight on the four TV tires and the four TT tires weights........
Yes, yes!! Do that. You want individual tire loadings, not grouped either bu side or by axle. You are looking for the worst possible condition..

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Originally Posted by AnnArborBob View Post
........ I won't explain how to do that here since it should be intuitive and, in any event, there are several other threads that explain the proper way to weigh your rig. Look up the recommended pressure based on the weight that the TV & TT tires are carrying and adjust as needed. Assuming that you aren't overloading your vehicles, you will likely find that you can run your tires with much less pressure than the maximum recommended pressure which is the number that is stamped on the tires themselves and on the "tire pressure tag" on the TV & TT. Proper lower tire pressure results in a softer ride for both the TT and the occupants of the TV. A softer ride will extend the useful life of the TT and its components and the driving experience of the TV's occupants.
I only sort of agree with this - and I am also of the opinion that GM is probably right on the mark with its inflation pressure specifications. I would be very hesitant to deviate from them.

A rule of thumb is that you want no more than a 10% pressure build up. If you get 15%, you need to do something IMMEDIATELY, Please note: It takes a bit longer than an hour to get the operating temperature of a tire to stabilize. I'd recommend you plan a series of stops on your next trip 30 minutes apart and record the pressure. By the 3rd stop, you should feel confident about where the pressure is headed.

Oh and there is a myth about too much pressure causing center wear in tires. Well, it's only sort of true. Drive tires tend to wear in the center and steer tires tend to wear the edges - and that will fool many people. The pressure build up test is a much better way to determine if you are overloaded.
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Old 06-10-2014, 09:48 AM   #6
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The point I am making about tire pressure is that the vehicle "manufacturer's recommendations" for tire pressure that is posted on the sticker in the driver's door jamb (in most cases for the TV) and on the outside of your TT is based on the maximum gross vehicle weight (MGVW) of the subject vehicle. If your vehicle (either TV or TT) is at or near its MGVW (i.e., fully loaded) then the tire pressure on those stickers applies and you should fill to the recommended maximum. The maximum pressure stamped on the side of the tire is the tire manufacturer's maximum recommended tire pressure which should never be exceeded. The maximum pressure stamped on the side of the tire should be at least as high as the maximum pressure recommended by the vehicle manufacturer and on their sticker.

If you run your vehicle at less than its MGVW then you can use the tire manufacturer tire inflation tables I mentioned earlier to pick a lower tire pressure and enjoy a more comfortable and less punishing ride (ditto for the TT.)

Running at less than the vehicle manufacturer's maximum recommended pressure is a bit more involved than just topping up the tires to the maximum pressure because this may involve adjusting the tire pressure each time you head out on a trip depending on how much variation in weight between trips your TV & TT may be subject to.

You will never "go wrong" in filling the TV & TT tires to the maximum pressure on the sticker, so if one is not up to the extra work of weighing their vehicles periodically, that is a fine way to go.
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Old 06-10-2014, 10:40 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by AnnArborBob View Post
You will never "go wrong" in filling the TV & TT tires to the maximum pressure on the sticker, so if one is not up to the extra work of weighing their vehicles periodically, that is a fine way to go.
I agree with most of what this poster said but have to mention this exception.

Airstream calls for 50 lbs. cold on my tri axle. The tire manufacture has an 80lb. max pressure on the tire and their chart calls for 35 lbs based on my scale weight. I carry 45 lbs. in those tires. The extra pressure over the recommendation is a safety factor that would allow me to go in on 5 tires and still be within the limits set by the chart. The pressures stamped on the sidewalls of tires are written by lawyers. The pressures listed in the manufactures charts were written by engineers. Your choice. If I ran 80lbs in my tires I would have popped half the rivets in the trailer by now.

The one thing I would suggest you do is read the several treads on the Goodyears. How they have eluded a NTSB recall is beyond me.
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Old 06-10-2014, 05:32 PM   #8
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Building on what HowieE above said, I would never run "trailer tires" on my Airstream. Might as well aim a loaded gun at your head with the trigger cocked while riding down a washboard dirt road. I run Michelin LT (light truck) tires. The Michelin LT's came with my Eddie Bauer so I did not have to do anything, but if you have 15 or 16 inch wheels you too should run, not walk, to your tire dealer and get some quality LT tires on your TT and dump the trailer tires!!!

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Old 08-16-2014, 06:27 PM   #9
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I towed a 2011 Classic 34 with a 2011 Suburban 2500. I also used a ProPride (wonderful). I logged about 30,000 miles with the setup. I found that due to the ProPride you really can get away with the recommended tire PSI. It'll give you a slightly better ride and still not sway. I tried every combination from the door jamb recommendation all the way up to 80 PSI cold. Matter of preference; for long hauls I pretty much went with about 68-74 psi cold (rear) and 60-65 cold (front).
When I slapped on a new set of Michelins at 85,000 miles the ride got even better towing or not.
Ernie


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