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Recommended Tire Pressure for RVs

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Last Updated on August 26, 2022 by Jessica Lauren Vine

Properly inflated tires are important for all vehicles, but they are especially important on RVs.  Proper tire pressure allows your tires safely to carry the load of your RV while maximizing tire life and ride comfort. Let’s take a look at how to make sure your RV tires are properly inflated.

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09/24/2022 12:06 am GMT

How to Check Tire Pressure

The first step in properly inflating your tires is knowing how to correctly check your tire pressure.  All you’ll need is a simple tire pressure gauge which you can pick from any automotive store for a couple of bucks.  This is a tool every RVer should have handy.  You’ll want to check your tire pressures when the tires are cold (resting several hours) following the instructions which came with your tire pressure gauge.  Tires heated from driving can easily have pressures 10 lbs or more over what they would be cold so don’t use hot numbers to adjust pressures.

Understanding Tire Pressure, Load Index, and Load Range

The most important thing to know about tire pressure is that the air pressure in the tire is what carries the load. The tire is just there to provide a round, flexible structure to hold the air in.  Each tire is designed to be inflated to a certain maximum pressure, which in turn allows it to carry a certain amount of weight.

The amount of weight it can carry is referred to as the tire’s load index. Depending on the type of tire, the load index can be part of the tire size like 265/75 R16 116 with the 116 being the load index.  A load index of 116 means the tire can carry 2756 lbs when fully inflated. On light truck and trailer tires, it’s usually on the sidewall of the tire near the load range designation.

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Are RV Tire Blowouts Common? - What to Look Out For

Load range is letter based designation which tells you how many plys (layers) are used in the construction of the tire. Each letter in sequence adds two ply layers to the tire which increases the maximum pressure and maximum load carrying capacity. A load range C tire is a 6 ply usually with a maximum pressure of 50 psi.  A load range D tire is a 8 ply usually with a maximum pressure of 65 psi.

While a higher load rated tire can carry more weight than a lower rated tire, they can only do it if you increase the tire pressure accordingly.  Two tires with different load indexes inflated to the same pressure are limited to carrying the same weight.

What Pressure Should Your Tires Be?

This can be a simple or complex question to answer.  Let’s start with the simple first.  Your RV manufacturer tag will have a recommended tire pressure listed on it.  That number is the minimum pressure you should run using the stock tires that your RV rolled off the factory floor with.  If you still have those tires on your RV then inflate them to that pressure.

If your RV does not have the original factory tires then write the recommended pressure down and go to each tire and look on the side wall for the maximum inflation pressure. You’ll find one of three things here:

1.) The sidewall maximum pressure is less than the recommend pressure on the manufacturer’s tag.  If this is the case, then your tires were likely replaced with tires with an incorrect load rating. If you find yourself in this situation, replace the tires with the proper load rated tires.  The higher load rating will come with the ability to take the higher pressures your RV manufacturer recommends.

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Best RV Windshield Covers for 2022 - Complete Guide

2.) The sidewall maximum pressure is the same as the recommend pressure on the manufacturer’s tag.  In this case, inflate them to that pressure.

3.) The sidewall maximum pressure is higher than the recommended pressure on the manufacturer’s tag.  In this case, treat the manufacturer’s number as a minimum.

If you upgrade your tire to a higher load index or higher load range then you can find the proper pressure using a tire inflation table.  You’ll need your RV weight, tire size, and number of tires.

To find your proper tire pressure, divide your RV weight by the number of tires supporting it.  That will give you the weight per tire. Then look up your tire size in the table and find the pressure that supports that weight.  If your pressure/weight exceeds your load index then you should upgrade your tires to the correct load index.

What Happens If My Tire Is Not Properly Inflated?

Improperly inflated tires can cause several problems.  Underinflated tires will experience excessive wear at the edges, lower fuel mileage, generate more heat and run a higher risk of a blowout.

Overinflation causes uneven wear in the center of the tire and can lead to an unusually harsh ride.  For optimal safety, fuel efficiency, and tire life it is always best to make sure your tire pressures are correct.  Check them before departing on every trip and adjust as. necessary. If you have the budget, a good tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) system can be an excellent investment that will allow you to travel safer while extending the life of your tires.

Good Value for the Price
GUTA RV Tire Pressure Monitoring System
$319.99

Stop worrying about your tires and feel confident that your tires are doing just fine.

  • High and low-pressure alarms
  • 14-day battery time
See also
Does Bass Pro Allow Overnight RV Parking?
Pros:
  • Decent battery time
  • Easy to install
  • Easy to setup
Cons:
  • Sensor issues from time to time
Buy Now from Amazon
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
09/24/2022 12:06 am GMT

Now, don’t run off just yet. I promise we have more helpful info for you. Check out these other RV related articles.

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