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Old 11-04-2015, 09:20 AM   #1
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Tire Pressure Tow Vehicle

I have a 25 ft airstream that I tow with a 2011 Tundra V8. I recently purchased new Michelin LTX tires. The tire pressure, according to my vehicle door panel, is 30 PSI for the front and 33 PSI for the rear tires. I've always inflated my tires according to the PSI indicated on the actual tire (44 PSI). What is the safest tire pressure for me to tow my dry travel trailer?


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Old 11-04-2015, 10:18 AM   #2
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Old 11-04-2015, 01:07 PM   #3
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Our F250 SuperDuty diesel is similar. Door jamb sticker says one thing, the tires say something else. Inflated according to the lower pressure stated on the jamb, the truck is sqirrely, especially with a load of any kind. Inflated to the sidewall pressure (80 psi) the truck is happier. Curious, I looked at the receipt from the last tire purchase and in big red letters "Inflate to 80 psi" was wriiten at the bottom.
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Old 11-04-2015, 01:09 PM   #4
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The 44 psi on sidewall of tires of towing vehicle is the maximum allowed ( by the tire maker) cold pressure of tire.
This is not the pressure needed for the maximum load on tire up to maximum speed of tire , or if lower 99m/160km/h.
This is called the maxloadpressure/ AT-pressure/reference-pressure, and is for American system tires Standard load 35psi/240 kPa .
For XL/extraload/reinforced its 42 psi/280 kPa.
Your TV tires are most likely Standard load .

So if you are not overloading and your speed when towing is not above 75m/h, you still have some reserve when using 35 psi.
Front axle wont get more heavy when towing , probably even a bit lower load on front axle.
So front tires can stay at the same advice as for normal use.

But if you give me tire data and vehicle and traveltrailer data , I am able to calculate an advice pressure .
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Old 11-04-2015, 01:19 PM   #5
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Our tires are lower profile 20" P rated. I like the ride. But when towing I inflate rears to maximum 44 psi and the front a little less, about 42. This brings them to their highest load carrying capacity and also stiffens the sidewall so there is less side-to-side wobble (sway) tendency. They are Michelins and still ride very nicely with the trailer attached and good flexibility in the weight distribution bars.
Doug and Cheryl
2012 FC RB, Michelin 16, ProPride 1400
2016 Ram 1500 Laramie Crew Cab 4X4 Ecodiesel 3.92 axles

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Old 11-04-2015, 02:14 PM   #6
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I was going 55 out back and 50 out front when towing. Recently though, I am now 45psi front and 50 out back. Feels softer, yet still within spec for the weight. I have STAUN tire deflators, that I use to knock the pressure back down to 33 psi after we unhitch. And two ViaAir compressors for inflating back to tow specs. It's an extra hassle, but it's worth it full timing.
Family of 5 exploring the USA with a Ram Power Wagon & Airstream in tow.
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Old 11-04-2015, 03:12 PM   #7
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We have almost your exact set up 2011 Tundra Double Cab, 23 foot Safari....

my first two sets of Bridgestones didn't last very long, first set 28,000, second set about the same..... and that was running at the door frame pressure.

When i bought my new Michelins, i asked about tire pressure and was told that if I ran them at 37 it would increase my tire wear without any issues.

The only thing is, every time i have them rotated, the guys at my mechanic back the pressure back off to the door frame recommendation.

I have been told that the vehicle manufacturers set this number low so that the truck will ride like a sedan..... not sure if there is any truth to that, or just something that has been passed on but i find the ride and handling more to my liking at 37. If i wanted the ride of a Camry, i would skip towing and drive my wife's car.

Just my two cents worth..... not an expert opinion by any means.

Dana and Olga
2006 Safari 23
2011 Tundra Double Cab
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Old 11-05-2015, 02:24 PM   #8
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I have a Dakota which calls for similar tire pressures. A dealer in Texas set the tires to the recommended door pressures and I didn't discover it for a couple of days. Loaded truck was running very warm rear tires. I always request full pressure 44 psi rear and 35 psi front. That works for me with 700 lbs in the box , or pulling the 25' Excella. Higher front pressures seem to result in wandering, and center wear. Lower front pressure will result in squirming under heavy braking. You need to play with the pressure for your set up, but I would start with full manufacture's tire pressure in the rear, and try a range up front that gives you steering comfort
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Old 11-05-2015, 06:03 PM   #9
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Hi Lisa,

Are your new tires P rated or E rated LTX tires? I just replaced our the tires on our 2008 Tundra with E rated Michelin tires. The tire store where I bought them told me that I should run them at around 45 psi unloaded, which doesn't match the pressures on the door jamb.. When towing our trailer I put them up around 60-65.

They made a pretty significant improvement over the P rated tires in stability while towing our 25' FC.

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Old 11-06-2015, 07:19 AM   #10
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After purchasing a set of E rated Michelin LTX tires, I noticed that my tire dealer had inflated them significantly higher than the value on the manufacturer's decal inside the front door of my truck. Received many conflicting opinions, then called Michelin technical support. They were very helpful on the phone. Using my tire numbers, model of truck and typical loading ... they looked up recommended cold pressure inflation values for that tire/vehicle combination. (This confirmed the inflation by the tire dealer.)
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Old 11-06-2015, 10:47 AM   #11
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I had to get rid of brand new ltx ms2 on my Excursion.... They were horrible even with 80 psi inflation. I was literally all over the road!
Went back to Firestone transforce AT, and I'm rock solid again. I added up the ply count....7 not 10 despite being E rated. The sidewall thickness is half of the Firestones.
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Old 11-06-2015, 11:08 AM   #12
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I can't speak to your question about what's "safest" pressure to run when towing a 25CCD. But I can offer my observations, which are not really worth much!

I can say that on our '13 F150 I had probably the exact same tires (factory tires), and max pressure (what is needed to carry max load the way I read the tire stamps) was 44 psi, and that's what I ran all the time towing or not. Tires were too mushy otherwise. Your LTXs almost have to be "P" rated to have a max psi of 44.

We recently traded for a '15 F150 longer wheelbase, 4x4, with much stronger tires on it, Goodyears that have a 51 psi max pressure. I am running them at 46-48 psi all the time, and the towing performance is just better than the tires on the '13. I realize that there are a lot of differences in the '15 truck of course over the '13 as to frame stiffness, wheelbase, etc. that also effect towing performance.

About 4 trucks ago I discovered an old school alignment shop still using bubble levels, a painted stripe on your front tires and manual tools to align. They moved me towards max inflation on all my trucks and away from the door sticker #s. That has resulted in better towing performance, a straight driver with any load (thanks to their skill in aligning), and significantly longer tire life. But I'm rambling. Run 44. Done.
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Old 11-10-2015, 12:57 PM   #13
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Tire pressure should be in proportion to the weight carried. Too low, the tire will have too much drag, wobbly handling, will wear excessively and may blow out. Too high, you will have low traction and a hard ride and the center of the tread will wear faster than the outsides.

Vehicle's recommended pressure is for normal use and may be increased 2 -4 PSI for carrying heavy loads or towing. The pressure printed on the side of the tire is recommended max cold pressure although they will stand considerably more. The pressure builds up when they get hot and you should not let off air.
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Old 11-20-2015, 07:52 AM   #14
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Interesting comments so far, and thanks to those who have contributed to the discussion.

I'm about to replace a set of Firestone Destination AT's on an Olds Bravada. Just a silly old SUV with a very good towing capacity. The OEM P rated tires are not up to the capacity of the truck, and I replaced the tires with a plus size to get an XL rated tire. My wife noticed it drove more like a truck with these tires, but we both agree that the increased safety when towing was worth giving up the car-like ride.

We do not tow an AirStream (we have a Classic motorhome instead) but we do tow a horse trailer occasionally. Unloaded it's around #3000, loaded it's nearer to #5000. It has a fair amount of tongue weight (I estimate it to be between #400 and #500), and we are not using a WD hitch. No problems so far...

Back on topic - Tire pressures: With no trailer attached I tend to let them down into the 35-40 psi range. With the horse trailer I air them up to 44-46 psi, both front and rear. I air up the fronts for weight transfer under braking. The horse trailer has had brake issues in the past. We try to keep the trailer brakes working as best we can, but failures on the return trip have happened. Life with an old trailer I guess.

We are about to replace the tires. They have 65,000 miles on them. Wear is fairly even, except for the pair that were on the front after a little mistake by the alignment guy. He left one bolt loose on the castor plate on the right side (he was having a bad day, my wife will never go back to that shop) and it slid back over time leading to less castor and tow out. This happened during a 5000 mile vacation trip. I caught the problem about 1400 miles from home and tightened the offending bolt - which had backed out about 3/4 turn by then. This resulted in the front tires having increased wear on the inner edge. The tires still lasted 65,000 miles, which is about the same as the OEM Michelin's that were never used to tow.

Every time we pay someone to change the oil in this truck it comes home with the tires at door jam pressures or lower. I generally catch the low pressure situation fairly quickly, and everyone who uses this truck knows to air up the tires before attaching a trailer. So far that has worked out well for us.

All the best.

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