tyre pressure on camper trailer

Submitted: Wednesday, Jul 20, 2005 at 20:58
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Evening all , well we have now got our camper trailer and was woundering what is a good pressure to run the tyres at , we have put Trail Mark 31 * 10.50 *15 on the same as the Paj , Good Year have put them to the same as the car but i feel that is a bit much as the trailer doesn't carry near the same weight ,, so far have only towed it on the black stuff , (unloaded) tows well too !!

Thanks for any help ,, Neil .!MPG:10!

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Reply By: Member - Steve (ACT) - Wednesday, Jul 20, 2005 at 21:04

Wednesday, Jul 20, 2005 at 21:04
Hi Neil & Margie,

It's Sandy and Steve from Canberra, congratulations on the purchase of a camper. We always ran the same pressure as our vehicle, whether on or off road.

Steve

PS Sold our camper back to a tent!
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Follow Up By: Member-Neil & Margie-Cairns - Wednesday, Jul 20, 2005 at 21:15

Wednesday, Jul 20, 2005 at 21:15
G'day Steve , thanks for that , we kept looking and went into Top End Camper Trailers to see if they would be doing any upgrades soon , he is just starting to get the sales side of the show up and running , so we basicly have No 1 of this model , new so hopefully it is a good one , have to get all the rest of the gear as we go !!

Funny that ,, we get sick of the tent and get a camper , you go the other way !!

All the best mate , hope to see you somewhere one day !!

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Reply By: Member - Duncs - Wednesday, Jul 20, 2005 at 21:33

Wednesday, Jul 20, 2005 at 21:33
I've been towing a trailer for some time now and have always run the tyres at about 26 or 28 psi.

I recently swapped the old tyres off the car onto the trailer but did not pressure down. It was not intentional I simply forgot to do it. Anyway just got back from a run to Pt Stephens (from Broken Hill) with the trailer tyres at 36psi and it went just great. I think I'll keep them there.

However on the dirt I will still pressure down as I do on the car. The other thing to remember, wherever you set the trailer tyres, if you pressure down the car to less than what the trailer runs it's a good idea to take the trailer to the same pressure.

The other thing to remember is this my car is a little over 2.5 Tonne the trailer is about 1100kg (fully loaded) the car has 4 tyres the trailer only 2. Half the mass on half the number of tyres sounds like the same pressure to me. Especially when you are in the soft stuff.

Have fun with the camper.

Duncs
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Follow Up By: Member-Neil & Margie-Cairns - Wednesday, Jul 20, 2005 at 21:45

Wednesday, Jul 20, 2005 at 21:45
G'day Duncs , thanks for that , good way of looking at it , might take it over to work tomorrow and put it on the weigh bridge , if i remember right he said its about 580 , 600 kg , empty , not sure now , Paj is 2.18 Tonne on the bridge full of fuel and wife and 2 kids in it ,, as you say , by the time we load it up it'll about half the weight of the Paj ,,

Thanks Duncs , Neil ..

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Follow Up By: Shaker - Wednesday, Jul 20, 2005 at 22:56

Wednesday, Jul 20, 2005 at 22:56
Wouldn't the compliance plate show the tare weight?
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Follow Up By: Member - AVA 191 (QLD) - Thursday, Jul 21, 2005 at 17:38

Thursday, Jul 21, 2005 at 17:38
Hi Duncs.
I noticed your comment about airing down on dirt.
I understand the need to stop trailers from jumping around too much. However, dont you increase the risk of staking your sidewalls.
On a trip to Birdsville (from Brisbane) a couple of years ago, we ran 50psi in the LT's tyres while our m8's ran 30~34. They staked 3 tyres though not LT's, we had no flats.

This is a genuine enquiry, I'm not looking for a fight LOL.
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Follow Up By: Member - Roachie (SA) - Thursday, Jul 21, 2005 at 21:50

Thursday, Jul 21, 2005 at 21:50
G'day Ava191,
I too am a great believer in airing down as soon as I get onto rough dirt roads. I run 42psi in the Patrol (weighs over 3 tonne) and 32psi in the Ultimate Camper (weighs about 1100kgs).
When I am on, say the Birdsville Track (like we were just the last week or 2), then I drop all round by 10psi.
We then did a crossing of the Simpson Desert and I dropped them to 16psi on all 6 tyres.
I was with 6 other vehicles and we all ran similar sorts of pressures and nobody had any tyre problems at all.
I am seriously against high tyre pressures on gravel roads......I firmly believe the theory that it is these high pressures which cause corrogations; not to mention the extra work your suspension needs to do to cope with the additional shock loads. If the tyres are deflated a bit, they tend to help soak up some of the rough conditions.
Please accept this as constructive critisism.....like you, I am not after a slanging match, just answering your question.
As for the 2 mates who both experienced tyre problems, there are soooo many questions I'd need to ask before forming an opinion...eg: what brand tyre? Were they "highway" style tyres? How much wear had they had before the trip? Was the damage done to the side walls or in the tread area? etc etc
AFAIK, airing down the tyres does not automatically increase the liklihood of "staking" (which usually infers a stick etc through the sidewall). Reduced pressures of say 32 psi (as I do on my Patrol), hardly has any effect at all on the tyre "bagging" out to the side and making the sidewall more vulnerable. Indeed, even when the pressures are dropped to 16psi for sand, the risk of staking is still only marginally increased.....it is the 'length' of the footprint which increases as the pressures are reduced, providing more rubber on the road.
Airing down allows the tyre to sort of "mould" itself over rocks rather than trying to ask the tread to take the brunt of a relatively hard object on a relatively small surface area.
Sorry if this seems tooooo long-winded.
Cheers
Roachie
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Follow Up By: Shaker - Friday, Jul 22, 2005 at 09:24

Friday, Jul 22, 2005 at 09:24
According to the tyre distributors, we 'air down' on gravel & rough terrain to prevent sidewall fractures.
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Follow Up By: Member - AVA 191 (QLD) - Friday, Jul 22, 2005 at 10:57

Friday, Jul 22, 2005 at 10:57
Thanks Roachie and shaker.
We certainly do want a civil discussion.
The theory behind running high in the LT's, as described by the tyre outlet, was to prevent the sharp triangular rocks piercing the sidewalls. With high pressure, the rocks 'glance' off rather than penetrate. Lets be careful and clarify that this was for the particular tyre in question - name escapes me but it is the square profile light truck type with reinforced sidewalls. We are also talking about use on roads we knew had plenty of triangular shaped, sharp rocks - as opposed to the sandy type.

I do follow your logic Roachie regards the 'absorbtion' aspect and this makes sense. Perhaps that is the method to use for the bulk of the highway friendly so called LT tyres commonplace today. Old m8 did say he took those tyres off for the Birdsvile adventure, in favour of the square shouldered type.

Airing down in sand and mud for the flotation works extremely well for the modern 4by tyre. We also used to do it last century for the Road track Majors, almost always with better results than the wider sand tyres available in those days.

Thanks again for your feedback.
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Follow Up By: Member - Duncs - Friday, Jul 22, 2005 at 14:54

Friday, Jul 22, 2005 at 14:54
Like Roachie I air down on the dirt for a number of reasons.

In another thread I mentioned dropping tyre pressures to about 24psi on the Oodna Track. On that occasion I did it primarily for comfort, and adjusted my speed to suit the pressure in the tyre. On that occasion the track was like driving over piles of loose bricks and at 30psi the whole car was jumping around like you wouldn't believe. I figured that could not be doing anything a lot of good so aired down to ease the strain on car and passengers alike. No tyre probs at all.

The way it was explained to me was like a balloon. You blow it up as hard as you can and it will burst as soon as it touches anything. Leave it a bit soft and you can wack it around all day, even hit it with something sharp with a reduced risk.

Also softer tyres are able to mould around the gravel rd thus providing a larger contact patch. This has to be better than skitting about on top.

I know a guy who uses skinnies at 65psi and reckons he has never had a puncture, but I have seen pics of him well and truly bogged.

I am happy with what I do, it works for me.

Duncs
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Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Wednesday, Jul 20, 2005 at 21:34

Wednesday, Jul 20, 2005 at 21:34
Neil,

For a trailer of your size and weight, I would recommend you start at a tyre pressure of 28 psi, then apply the "4 psi rule".

That is, after a longish drive, check the tyre pressure again and if you register a pressure gain of more than 4 psi, the tyre(s) are under inflated and generating excessive heat. Increase pressure by 2-4 psi and try again. Conversely, if the measurement is less than a 4 psi gain when hot, the tyre is over inflated and not generating sufficient heat. Therefore lower the pressure a bit.
A 4 psi gain between cold tyres and hot tyres = just right.

This "rule" should be used for your vehicle as well, regardless of what the tyre placard may say. Different wheels/tyres and weight loading will always affect the optimum temperature the tyre should be run at, to give optimum performance and prolongued wear.
Bill


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Follow Up By: Member-Neil & Margie-Cairns - Wednesday, Jul 20, 2005 at 21:53

Wednesday, Jul 20, 2005 at 21:53
Thanks Sand Man , have heard of this rule a long time ago , forgot all about it good thing about this forum , you either learn something new , or you get promted to remember ,, thanks for that ..

Was that you i saw up this way about 2 weeks ago , a blue Jackaroo with a EO spare wheel cover ,, all the best and thanks ,, Neil ..

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Follow Up By: Sand Man (SA) - Wednesday, Jul 20, 2005 at 22:04

Wednesday, Jul 20, 2005 at 22:04
No not me Neil. I have a EO spare wheel cover but that is on the camper.

Actually I will be up your way in a couple of weeks. Heading to Port Douglas by plane for a bit of non 4WD R&R.

Having said that, we are hiring an X-TRAIL so I can drive the coast road to Cooktown, etc. Looking at the Cooktown Web Site, it reads like something we just have to do.
Bill


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Follow Up By: Member-Neil & Margie-Cairns - Wednesday, Jul 20, 2005 at 22:23

Wednesday, Jul 20, 2005 at 22:23
Doing that this weekend , we have a public holiday in Cairns friday , (show day), so i'll be parking the truck up tomorrow arvo and outa here about 6am fri morning , will try to get a few pics up for you as soon as i can , hope the weather lets up by the time you get here , rather wet at the momoent , but you'll be right , bit of luck we'll meet up somehow ,, have a good one see ya !!

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Follow Up By: gramps - Thursday, Jul 21, 2005 at 14:01

Thursday, Jul 21, 2005 at 14:01
Sand Man,

Excuse my ignorance but would the 4psi rule apply equally to tubed and tubeless tyres?
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Follow Up By: Sand Man (SA) - Thursday, Jul 21, 2005 at 15:27

Thursday, Jul 21, 2005 at 15:27
Hi Gramps,

Yes. Tube or Tubeless.
The heat is generated primarily by movement of the sidewalls.
Too low pressure....too much movement....increase of pressure due to excessive heat = greater than 4 psi. And visa versa of course.
Bill


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Follow Up By: gramps - Thursday, Jul 21, 2005 at 17:19

Thursday, Jul 21, 2005 at 17:19
Sand Man,

Thanks for that.
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Reply By: flappa - Thursday, Jul 21, 2005 at 09:23

Thursday, Jul 21, 2005 at 09:23
As above , I run mine just under vehicle pressures (34/36 Vehicle , 28 CT). My CT thought weighs approx 600kg's loaded.

The heavier the CT , the closer to vehicle pressures you would go.

The 4psi rule would give a good indication of whats going on.
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Reply By: Member - MrBitchi (QLD) - Thursday, Jul 21, 2005 at 09:43

Thursday, Jul 21, 2005 at 09:43
I have a similar trailer and find that around 30 PSI works best. If the tyres are too hard the trailer bounces around too much with a lightish load.

Cheers...
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Follow Up By: Member-Neil & Margie-Cairns - Thursday, Jul 21, 2005 at 20:46

Thursday, Jul 21, 2005 at 20:46
Thank you all, seems myself and a few others learnt a bit here ,, just need to pack it up and head bush with it , see how it really goes !!

Thanks ,, Neil ..

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