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Old 04-07-2010, 09:01 AM   #1
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How 'bout Shocks and Tires on the TV

I've read a lot here about various types of hitches to help or reduce handling problems. As well as tires on the trailer. But what I haven't seen is any mention of the tires and suspension on the TV.
There are a lot of 1/2 ton and even some 3/4 ton pickups on the road running the wrong tires for this type of service. And when you get into the so called cross over vehicles the problem may be worse.
If your TV has tires on it with soft side walls (ie for a softer ride "when empty") the chances are this is the wrong tire to be towing with. Since they are soft they will contribute and perhaps amplifiy the sway problem because they "squirm" when under stress. Most vehicles today that are equipped for towing have a label that gives the maximum tow ratings (ie GVW and tongue weight). But are the tires rated for this type of service?
I feel that if the shocks on the TV and/or trailer are worn out this adds to the problem because it allows either or both units to bounce up and down without restriction. This can have a dramatic affect on the tongue weight for short periods of time.
It probably has a greater effect on the multiple axle trailers because it will transfer weight from the axle furthest forward to the one furthest back and vice versa, which greatly affects the handling of the unit.
I also see comments on running the trailer tires at maximum pressure. Doesn't this contribute to beating the trailer to death?
As far as I know all axles have a weight rating for the load they are designed to carry and so do tires. But tires have a broad spectrum pressure rating based on the weight they will carry. I feel the tires should first be rated for the job at hand and should be inflated for the load, not just to the max or even a specific pressure when the load requirements are unknown. What I'm saying is, if you have 10 ply (old terminology) tires on your TV, you can run 80psi in them for heavy loads, but you can also run 40psi for the time the truck is not loaded. The load requirements and tire pressure have an effect on the handling and stress of the unit.
A lot of the newer vehicles have an inflation chart, usually on the drivers side door or jamb that gives the recommended tire pressure for that vehicle. For example: Front wheel drive vehicles typically call for a higher tire pressure for the front tires than the rear. Based on the fact that the front is heavier than the rear. This tells me that my theory is correct.
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Old 04-08-2010, 01:27 AM   #2
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OEM tires will match up with the Tow Vehicle as per the factory - this includes the air pressure as displayed on the vehicle and thus is what has been "packaged" as a product and was tested / used to derive the Tow Vehicles max tow weights.

I'm most comfortable going with what the engineers have provided to me - lucky for me mine are "German"...
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Old 04-08-2010, 06:05 AM   #3
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You can run 6 ply (C load rating) 8 ply (D load rating) 10 ply (E load rating) tires as long as you follow those inflation tables. You can put heavier duty rated tires on tow vehicle and trailer, that doesn't mean you have to inflate to the max pressure on the sidewall of the tire. For example, our Suburban is factory equipped with E rated tires (max 80 psi), but Chevy says to only inflate them to 44 psi and 65 psi.
Now, auto and truck manufacturers will specify a less than maximum pressure to compensate for deficiencies in the vehicles' suspensions, or because there isn't a tire that would have the proper maximum.
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Old 04-08-2010, 02:44 PM   #4
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Now, auto and truck manufacturers will specify a less than maximum pressure to compensate for deficiencies in the vehicles' suspensions, or because there isn't a tire that would have the proper maximum.
I wouldn't call these deficiencies as I have some high performance German autos that all have lower PSI's as designated by the factory than what the very, very expensive tires have stamped on their sidewall...
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Old 04-08-2010, 05:47 PM   #5
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I believe one of the biggest mistake made in the towing community is over inflated tires.
My guess is that they do this in an attempt to compensate for some sort of handling, squirm, or stability issue.

In our case with our TV we use P rated tires that have a maximum inflation of 44lbs.

For solo driving they get 32lbs. When towing they get 35 in the front and 36 in the rears.

The whole towing experience is first rate. Couldn't be better. I also monitor and document tire wear on a regular basis. The wear patterns are nearly perfect so I am satisfied the right pressures are being used for solo and towing.
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Old 04-08-2010, 09:01 PM   #6
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It's pretty simple. On the door jamb auto and truck engineers rate their vehicles at max load with max tire pressures for the OE tires. They also rate tire pressures for the vehicle for rideability which is the lower tire pressures on the door jamb. A gross example of miscalculating the public was the Ford Explorer debacle a few years ago. The tires installed on the vehicles were Firestones spec'd by the Ford engineers to handle the max load. The placarded inflation pressures for rideability were much lower than the max load. Sidewalls were soft for a good ride. Guess what? The general public did not increase tire pressures that were either sporadically or never checked anyway. The vehicles, top heavy to begin with, were run on what was "in effect" underinflated tires. 350 lb. Uncle George and Aunt Martha, the three kids, a golden retriever, camping gear and two cases of soda and beer in an iced chest were loaded.The tires failed and Ford Explorers were flipping on the interstate. The lawyers and the media had a field day. It's ok to run tires at the lower "driveabilty" pressure but when you increase the load, increase your tire pressure. We used to tow with a half ton van it could handle the load but ran what was really of P rated passenger car tires even though they were "rated extra load". The tires were softer than LT tires and the suspension was also softer. We never had a problem with the tires or load carrying ability of the van but when we were passed by a semi you did feel the buffeting in the suspension. Both the A/S and the TV moved as a unit. We never had a sway problem but the buffet was noticable. If you adjust tire pressures keep the same diffrential between front and back. For example if the placard says fronts run 5 lbs. more pressure than the rears keep that same difference between front and back as you increase or decrease tire pressures.
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Old 04-09-2010, 02:19 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Road Ruler View Post
In our case with our TV we use P rated tires that have a maximum inflation of 44lbs.

For solo driving they get 32lbs. When towing they get 35 in the front and 36 in the rears.
Hi, my Lincoln was tow rated by the factory as equipted with "P" rated tires, so these tires will work for towing within the specs.

My tires are also have a max inflation of 44 lbs.

Factory settings are 26 lbs front and 33 lbs rear.

My settings while towing are 35 lbs front and 40 lbs rear.
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Old 04-09-2010, 06:16 AM   #8
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run 70psi with e rated tires and bilstien shocks.diesel excursion is also my daily driver.no complaints or problems.run trailer tires at 65 psi.
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