At best, it’s a gentle pull to one side or the other; at worst, it’s a full blowout. Either way, experiencing a flat tire while driving is inconvenient and occasionally devastating—especially when driving a big rig.
To avoid the trials of dealing with a low, flat, or blown tire on the road, it is important to take precautions and have an easy remedy, just in case. In other words, properly maintain your tires and carry a method for quick inflation. Consider the following:
Maintaining the Pressure of Your RV Tires
Maintaining the correct level of pressure in the tires of your motorhome or travel trailer is an essential step for safety. When your tire is improperly inflated—either by too much or too little—it decreases the control the driver has over the rig. Too little inflation can cause the vehicle to “pull” to that side, while over-inflation can cause a blowout.
Furthermore, improperly inflated tires can adversely affect you financially. Incorrectly filled tires decrease fuel efficiency, costing you more at the pump. Plus, they become more prone to experiencing additional wear and tear, requiring replacement more frequently. Remember, large-load tires are not cheap.
Checking the Pressure of Your RV Tires
It is exceptionally important to regularly check the pressure of your tires to ensure proper inflation. Always check them when bringing the coach out of storage, as they will lose air as quickly when sitting as when being driven. Of course, it is also imperative to check them before embarking on any trips.
Make sure to check the pressure when the tires are cool rather than right after driving. Due to friction from the road, tires heat up when driving. As the tires warm, they expand. When the pressure is assessed without allowing the tires to cool down first, the gauge will get a false read, making it seem that they are more inflated than they in fact are.
Inflating RV Tires With a Traditional Air Compressor
Many large motorhomes are fueled with diesel. Having air suspension and brakes, they often have onboard air compressors, which allows the driver to fill his or her tires right on the spot.
Although–on the surface–this sounds good, it is not necessarily ideal. First, the normal operation of a compressor causes the pressure to rise and fall, making accuracy a bit difficult. Second, it requires the engine to be running. This potentially disturbs neighbors in the park with the loud noise of a diesel engine, as well as the excessive exhaust. So, although this is a good solution in an emergency, it is preferable to have a primary inflation method that is convenient and less offensive to others.
Inflating RV Tires With a Nitrogen System
Portable air inflation systems are often the right options. There are many choices of inexpensive systems that are perfect for filling many tires, but are not always capable of handling the high pressure, large volume tires typically found on larger motorhomes. For some, the quiet, clean, and easy nitrogen system offers the perfect solution, as shown in the following video.
This system is available in a range of capabilities. For example, the 88P compressor is a smaller option capable of handling tires sized up to 33-inches and up to 120-PSI. The 300P version is able to inflate tires from 90 to 150-PSI. For a larger rig, the 400P-RV is the suggested model.
There are many reasons to keep your RV tires properly inflated. It helps maintain the integrity of the tread and improves fuel efficiency, as well as—most importantly—provides a smoother and safer ride.
Checking the pressure of your tires regularly is the first step and having a safe and easy way to inflate them is the second.
Please share with your friends and family. Even if they don’t travel in a motorhome, they may still benefit from considering their tire inflation options. After all, vehicular safety is something everyone can get behind.