Checking your RV tire pressure regularly is not only important, it’s vital for safety! One of the most important contributing factors to RV tire failure is not having the proper tire pressure. Either over-inflation or under-inflation can cause safety hazards on the road. So how can you make sure that you always use the best tire pressure for your RV when traveling?
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Monitoring your air pressure
One of the RV inspections you should make frequently is an overall check of the condition of your tires. Especially before any RV trip. While making this inspection you should use an appropriate RV tire pressure chart to determine the safe tire pressure for your particular rig.
Armed with that information, you can then check your actual tire pressure. Of course, if you have installed a tire pressure monitoring system, or TPMS, it’s a breeze. This is because you get constant feedback from the TPMS system about the pressure in your tires. But what if you don’t have this kind of system? They are not cheap, so what if you can’t afford it? In that case, how can you make sure that you are using the recommended tire pressure?
Using an RV tire air pressure gauge
The manual method of checking tire pressure is often the best way anyhow. This is true because it allows you to make a visual inspection of your RV tires at the same time. Too many RVers rely on the information provided by their tire pressure monitoring system as their sole tire inspection process. But nothing replaces a visual inspection of each tire on the RV.
While visually inspecting your tires you can also use a tire pressure gauge that is especially made for RVs. If you choose the right air pressure gauge, checking each tire should be a easy and simple process.
What kind of RV air pressure gauge should you use?
The best tire pressure gauge for an RV should have a long shank that allows access to tight areas. It should also have a large dial or readout that is easily readable by almost anyone. And if you have dual wheels on your RV or tow vehicle, it should have a dual foot chuck. Why are these features important?
A long rigid shank is needed for a tire gauge to be able to reach into difficult and tight areas. Some tire gauges have soft and bendable shanks, but these are best used on autos, not RVs. Those RV owners who have dual wheels often have tire pressure valves that are recessed and difficult to access. Having a long and rigid air pressure gauge shank can help in these areas.
A large dial or readout, whether it is digital or analog, is a must. This is because you want to be able to read the gauge accurately, without uncertainty. And the large readout helps give you accurate tire pressure information quickly.
If you have dual wheels on your rig, either on the RV itself or the tow vehicle, you will need a dual foot chuck. This allows you to press the gauge against the valve stem even when it is pointed away from you. Having a dual foot tire gauge often eliminates the need for tire valve stem extensions. And since many RVers experience failures with tire valve extensions, this can help reduce your overall tire problems as well.
Here is the tire gauge that I use (just click on the photo for more information):
Eliminate valve stem covers
Another way to make checking RV tire pressure easier is to get rid of the tire valve stem covers. RV valve stems can be in very odd and tight places. And it can be a chore to remove the valve stem covers. This is one reason why some RVers don’t check their air pressure more often. It just takes so long if you have to remove and replace all those valve stem covers. And they are usually in hard to reach areas in most RVs.
But these days there are covers that screw onto the valve stem that eliminate this problem. They are called valve stem gators. They are designed to allow you to check tire air pressure right through the valve cover. In the meantime, they also keep dirt and grime away from the valve stem. This makes checking your RV tire pressure simple and easy!
These valve stem gators make checking tire pressure a breeze. Just click on the photo for more information.
Cheap RV tire pressure monitoring
By using a good RV tire gauge with flow-through valve stem covers, checking tire pressure is simple. And it is also very inexpensive. Neither of these items cost very much. Especially when you compare them with the cost of a tire pressure monitoring system. Those kind of systems can cost hundreds of dollars instead.
It is true that manually monitoring your own air pressure does take more time. But not a lot of time. When you use the right tools mentioned above in this article, quite a bit of time and effort is saved. So if a TPMS is not in your budget, use the tools recommended in this article instead. They can help make your RV life safe and simple!