TIRES ARE AMONG THE MOST EXPENSIVE MAINTENANCE ITEMS FOR YOUR COACH!
This is our experience on protecting your investment and your safety!
You can easily pay $4000 to $5000 to replace all six tires on your motorhome. Especially the tires on a heavy Class A Motor Coach. Add even more if your coach has a tag axle trailing the main rear axle. With that kind of expense, it just makes sense to properly maintain your tires for the longest and safest service.
Care & Maintenance
What tire pressure should I be using in my motorhome’s tires?
We are often asked this question and the simple answer is “It depends!” Full-timers often fill every nook and cranny of their coach, making them much heavier than a lightly loaded occasional use coach. The heavier the rig the more tire pressure you will need.
The not so simple solution to ideal tire pressure is determined by weighing your coach and using the tire manufacturer’s chart to find the ideal pressure for your rig. Weighing each wheel separately is best and will give you the required pressure for each individual wheel set. This type of weigh station is available at most rallies and some quality truck stops. Once you know the number it’s an easier thing to keep the best pressure in your RV Tires.
Three things that will make the job easier!
- A good truck tire pressure gauge
- Valve extender tubes
- Simple and easy method for adding air
A gauge that is easy to use, accurate, and durable is essential. Tire gauges come in every shape, size, and price point with a variety of features. The good news is that most gauges sold for RV or semi trucks today are accurate enough to ensure your tires are properly inflated. We found that one with a lock on stem, flexible hose, and remote gauge worked the best for us. Fluid filled dial gauges are the tried and true but newer digital gauges can be easier to read and are very accurate. Here is one we like on Amazon.
Valve Extender Tubes
These make it a lot easier to check the inside tire of the rear dual wheels. These are a must to allow you to keep calm and relaxed as you check your tire pressure on the side of a busy freeway. You will need them when you need them! These are easy, just buy the extender tubes and install them yourself, or have a truck tire dealer install them for you.
This one involves some choices. I recommend all three !
- Stop at a truck stop and use their air source to add air
- Use the air tap that most air ride coaches have on board
- Carry your own pump on board
Truck stops are a great option when one is available however, Murphy’s law says, there will not be a truck stop any where close to you when you need to air up a tire.
Using your coach’s air works great if it is already aired up and ready to roll. It takes a little longer if you haven’t started the coach for awhile. Just follow the instructions in the owners manual. This can be a great solution on some coaches but some require you to stop and go through quite a lengthy process to be able to tap into this air supply.
Carrying your own pump on board can be the simplest option and most convenient, but it does requires a little research to find a pump that will actually give you the high pressure your RV Tires will need.
The pump should be a high efficiency pump that is reliable. Pumps are often rated much higher on paper than they actually produce. You have to look at the pump’s duty cycle/efficiency rating. If a compressor/pump is rated for 150 psi but only has 50% duty cycle efficiency, it probably won’t be practical for your large high psi tires. There are a few portable compressors out there with enough capacity to do the job quickly and efficiently. They are not cheap! But it’s an investment that will be well worth it.
We bought a VIAIR 450P automatic function air compressor. A good explanation of it’s 100% duty cycle can be found in the product description. Our circumstances call for 118 psi so it easily does the job. This compressor is small in size so it fits in our Jeep easily. It also works well in the lower ranges so you can properly inflate your toad’s tires as well. This unit come with a hi-pressure hose and a decent pressure gauge so we don’t have to swap back and forth to a truck tire gauge. I tested it against a trusted truck tire dealer’s air source and it matched perfectly.
Once you get the pressure thing figured out, the rest of tire maintenance is easy.
Keep your tires clean and cover them in extreme sun conditions. Tire covers do help to reduce the damaging UV rays, especially if you are wintering in the desert as many do. Periodically check for irregular wear, bulges, separating tread, cracks, or anything that looks abnormal. Not long after we purchased our coach, we had a blow out, and although we are not sure the cause, it was a less than pleasant experience. We were able to safely get the coach onto the shoulder and avoided any other damage or injury, but it was a slightly scary and eye opening experience. We are now extra conscience of our tire pressure and care. If you see anything at all that looks out of the ordinary with your tires have them inspected immediately!
Attention to proper pressure in your RV Tires and a little maintenance will save you big bucks and keep you rolling safe!
Remember these often taken for granted black donuts are holding YOU up, as well as your HOME, and your FAMILY! Take care of them and they will serve you well for many a mile.
As always – Roll Safe and Enjoy the wonderful world of RVing!