Nothing brings an RVing adventure straight to a halt like a flat tire. While there are a variety of reasons for why you might experience a blowout on the road, the number one cause of tire failure is improper inflation. Knowing this, it is vital that you keep your air in check and stay aware of any PSI problems with your motorhome’s tires. For your safety, your passengers' safety, and the safety of other drivers on the road, let's take a closer look at how to properly manage your tire’s air pressure before setting out toward the next open horizon!
The Basics of Tire Pressure
To measure tire pressure, you will need a quality tire gauge. Always check your tire pressure when the tires are cool, meaning before you have driven your motorhome. Checking the pressure when your tires are fresh off the pavement will result in a higher pressure reading. Along with a blowout, improper inflation can also poorly affect handling, gas mileage, and the lifespan of your tires. While all tires come with the max psi printed right on the tire’s sidewall, this number is not necessarily the all-reigning sovereign of psi suggestions, especially when dealing with big rigs. To more accurately determine the correct PSI for your RV, you’ll need to know the weight of your rig and a couple of other important numbers too!
Figuring Out Your RV’s Weight
Before hitting the scales to weigh your motorhome, you’ll want to know the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating and the Gross Axle Weight Rating for both axles. You can find these numbers printed on a label, usually located around the driver’s side door, although locations may vary. Your next step will be loading up your RV. When you weigh it, you want it to be realistically full, meaning your fuel and holding tanks should be filled, your gear should be loaded, and your passengers should be factored in. Once your RV is ready, go to a weigh station, preferably one that can weigh all of your wheels separately. After you’ve verified your weight, check and make sure that you are not over your maximum weight for the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating overall, and the axles individually. If you’re over any of your maximums, consider the weight distribution within your RV to help balance out the load.
Figuring Out Your Correct PSI
Now that you know the weight on your axles, you can more accurately predict the most optimum PSI for your tires. To do so, go online and find the load and inflation tables for your specific tires. A simple Google search of your brand name tire and ‘load/inflation table’ should pull up promising results. Once you’ve found the inflation information for your type of tire, determine your tire pressure off of the table online. If you were not able to weigh your tires separately at the weigh station, dividing the axle weight in half should be relatively accurate. While your rear tires and front tires might call for different PSIs, tires on the same axle should always have the same amount of air pressure!
You should be sure to check the air pressure in your tires often as part of your basic RV maintenance check. Tires can lose up to two pounds of pressure per month, so it’s important to service them periodically if you want to preserve their best performance. Now that you know how to keep your air in check, you can feel confident that your tires can reliably transport you to amazing campgrounds and popular sunny destinations. Safe and Happy Travels!
Do you have any PSI tips or experiences that you'd like to pass along? Share them in the comments below!