Checking your tyre pressures when travelling

CHECKING YOUR TYRE PRESSURE

It is essential to the safety and stability of the vehicle that all tyres are correctly inflated. This is a ‘golden rule’ of motoring and of motorhome operation in particular. Incorrect tyre pressures can not only adversely affect the handling, but can also cause dangerous tyre failure.

THE VOLUME OF PRESSURISED AIR INSIDE THE TYRE DETERMINES THE LOAD THE TYRE CAN WITHSTAND. REDUCING TYRE PRESSURE REDUCES THE TYRE’S LOAD CARRYING CAPACITY.

 

The correct inflation pressure of your motorhome tyres will be shown in the vehicle/chassis handbook. Furthermore, tyres that are not inflated to the correct pressure wear out more quickly and affect the vehicle’s fuel consumption. So in the long run, keeping them at the right pressure could also save you money.

Look in the owners’ manual or on the inside of the driver’s side door for the standard cold tyre inflation pressure.

This number is the lowest PSI one would inflate the tires to and is suggested by the car’s manufacturer. For most sedans, minivans, and even mini pickups, manufacturers generally recommend a PSI (pounds per square inch) in the range of 27 to 32, but some motorhomes, campervans, fifth wheelers and trucks can reach all the way up to 60psi or higher.

Also note that the front and back tires may need different pressures, according to the manufacturer. Pressures should be checked and, if necessary, adjusted prior to any journey when the tyres are cold – not during or after a run when they will be higher.

Never reduce pressures when the tyres are warm, as they could be too low when they cool down.

After pressure checking ensure the valve is not leaking and that a valve cap is fitted.After you have assessed what the current pressure is on each tyre using a guage – either a handheld one or using the guage on the air gun – you will have an idea of how much air you need to put in or take out.

Not all service stations with air supply are created equal.  Most are equipped with a gauge that goes high enough to read pressure on tyres for most passenger vehicles and will stop at a certain psi.  If you are filling motorhome, truck or some caravan tyres you may need to located an inflater that goes up to the higher psi readings.