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What PSI do you fill your trailer tires to: tire recommendation or other?

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My boat trailer tires say 50 psi. I believe I should fill the trailer tires to 50 psi, however, I've found out, what the tire says isn't correct. I didn't know this but a mechanic at the Ford truck dealership I was at said, "Fill the truck tires to what the inside of the truck door says you should, not what the tires say." That makes sense because tires are made for a wide range of truck and each truck is different weights and what not. Is it the same for boat trailers? Is there some tire pressure on the trailers that I should be filling my tires to rather than what the tires say?

 

 

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I actually went to a tire shop with the same question, and they said fill trailer tires to what the tires say. 

 

Here's an important video on the subject that includes many tips that many anglers neglect...and then wonder why their tires blew.

 

 

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Vehicle tires and trailer tires are different. The tire shows max pressure, not needed or in most cases desired for your car or truck. I pull a lot of trailers, cargo, dump and my boat. Tires on all of them get maxed out...

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I used to inflate to five pounds over the max.  It worked fine,...........................for a few years, until I had to replace two tires with broken belts due to over inflation.

 

Most trailer tires for boats are rated at 60 mph, max, and that would be at max recommended psi.

 

Under inflation will build up heat, an enemy of the tire.  Over inflation risks cord/belt failure.  

 

I over inflated my tires for seven years, and towed at up to 70 mph.  Two years ago I was off on one of my expeditions.  I noticed a vibration from the trailer at speeds over 55 mph.  I chalked it up to a wheel out of balance.

 

During one of my rest stops, I decided to inspect the tires and found one tire that had an odd bulge in the tread.  Changed the tire, and the vibration stopped.  All was well until I got home.  Returning from a local jaunt, I noticed the same vibration as before had developed.  It's a tandem axle trailer, and the other tire on that side had a similar bulge to the one I had replaced.  

 

Stopped at the tire shop and the owner told me that it too had a broken belt(s) due to hitting a pothole or something similar with an over inflated tire.

 

Over inflation cost me the price of two new tires.  I'll cheat on the sixty mph up to 65 mph, but will not fool around with putting an extra five psi.  Going 65 mph when the speed limit is 70 mph is tolerable.  Sixty mph not so much.  

 

But who knows, breaking another couple of tires could change my attitude.

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Not so fast....Max Tire pressure on the sidewall of the tire is not always right.  I have found no recommendation to underinflate any ST rated tire and won't get into the practice of some boat manufacturers to put vehicle tires on their trailers (BassCat for one).  I did find a TSB for Goodyear tires that advises higher than sidewall pressure for higher towing speeds.  

Marathon_Special_Trailer_Applications.pdf

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I inflate my trailer tires to the max pressure on the sidewall for over 20 years and never had any issue.

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So the correct pressure sold be determined by a chalk test.  This is the same way it's done for cars or trucks with other than stock tires.  Don't guess and risk saftey...

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20 minutes ago, Angry John said:

So the correct pressure sold be determined by a chalk test.  This is the same way it's done for cars or trucks with other than stock tires.  Don't guess and risk saftey...

 

What is a chalk test? I have towed trailers must of my life, almost 70, but never heard of a chalk test. Please explain. Thanks

12 hours ago, tcbass said:

My boat trailer tires say 50 psi. I believe I should fill the trailer tires to 50 psi, however, I've found out, what the tire says isn't correct. I didn't know this but a mechanic at the Ford truck dealership I was at said, "Fill the truck tires to what the inside of the truck door says you should, not what the tires say." That makes sense because tires are made for a wide range of truck and each truck is different weights and what not. Is it the same for boat trailers? Is there some tire pressure on the trailers that I should be filling my tires to rather than what the tires say?

 

 

 

My trailer has a sticker near the tongue that states 50 psi and my tires state 50 psi. I don't believe trucks/cars have the same rules regarding tire inflation. My bass boat trailer is always near the max load, my truck is not.

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25 minutes ago, Al Wolbach said:

What is a chalk test? I have towed trailers must of my life, almost 70, but never heard of a chalk test. Please explain. Thanks

 

http://itstillruns.com/chalk-tires-6948382.html

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Learn something everyday.

Don't over inflate your tires past the max psi rating. Tire mfr's do a lot of testing to come up with thier psi ratings. Tires heat up from road friction, speed, weight and road temperatures and cool from the same reduced conditions. The psi rating is based on averages, the average weight boat trailers with that size tire carries, the average air temperature when air is added at ambient 70 degrees, the average speed 55 mph etc.

My trailer tires have 50 max psi and I keep them at 45 psi at cool tire temperatures and haven't had any tire failures for decades.....knock on wood!

Tom

 

 

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Unless of course the tire manufacturers advise you to exceed sidewall pressure (see my attachment).  I think it is more important to replace your tires per the manufacturers recommendations and a lot of people do not.  

 

According to rubber industry research, trailer tires need to be replaced after 3-5 years of use, even though they usually appear to have plenty of tread left. Unlike your car’s tires, it isn’t miles of driving but oxidation of the rubber that wears out the tire. Mostly, a trailer tire sits in one spot for days or weeks at a time, and may travel only 10,000 miles (or sometimes a lot less) per year. UV radiation from sunlight and ozone from exhaust cause exterior damage to the sidewalls, and oxygen from pressurized air creates unseen damage deep inside.

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3 minutes ago, TOXIC said:

Unless of course the tire manufacturers advise you to exceed sidewall pressure (see my attachment).  I think it is more important to replace your tires per the manufacturers recommendations and a lot of people do not.  

 

According to rubber industry research, trailer tires need to be replaced after 3-5 years of use, even though they usually appear to have plenty of tread left. Unlike your car’s tires, it isn’t miles of driving but oxidation of the rubber that wears out the tire. Mostly, a trailer tire sits in one spot for days or weeks at a time, and may travel only 10,000 miles (or sometimes a lot less) per year. UV radiation from sunlight and ozone from exhaust cause exterior damage to the sidewalls, and oxygen from pressurized air creates unseen damage deep inside.

 

You pulled that right out of my video, didn't you?  ;)

 

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Great minds think alike!!  :lol:

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I don't tow a boat, but I do have a 24 ft camping trailer with tandem axles.  The OEM tires say 50 psi cold and 65 mph max, so that's what I do.  When the time comes to replace the OEM tires, I'll upgrade to a better load range so I can at least hit 70 when towing, but for now I stay with 65.  It's risky enough with the cheap Chinese tires that they put on new camping trailers.

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Most tires have a date of manufacture, so that helps with life expectancy 

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20 hours ago, NHBull said:

Most tires have a date of manufacture, so that helps with life expectancy 

Yep - lot of people don't know how to read the DOT code on the side of tires.  Glenn mentioned it in his video, but here's a still image of the DOT code.  (Note: I've seen tires that only have the code stamped on one sidewall of the tire - so check both sides if you don't see it on the outside sidewall.)

 

Here - the 4 digit DOT code indicates that tire was built in the 43rd week of 2009, or around October 19th, 2009. If you were looking at this tire, you'd know it was coming up on 9 years old. 

tire-dot-calc.png

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13 minutes ago, adrenalnjunky said:

Yep - lot of people don't know how to read the DOT code on the side of tires.  Glenn mentioned it in his video, but here's a still image of the DOT code.  (Note: I've seen tires that only have the code stamped on one sidewall of the tire - so check both sides if you don't see it on the outside sidewall.)

 

Here - the 4 digit DOT code indicates that tire was built in the 43rd week of 2009, or around October 19th, 2009. If you were looking at this tire, you'd know it was coming up on 9 years old. 

tire-dot-calc.png

 

Or maybe 8 years?  ;)

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I'm pondering something.  It has been stated that they follow the recommendations of the vehicle manufacturer.  So I've got to ask.

 

Would you seek knowlege about your vehicle from tire manufacturers?

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3 hours ago, adrenalnjunky said:

 

Lol - not enough coffee in me yet.  And it's noon here. 

 

Add a few shots of Irish whiskey.

Tom

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Trailer: 60lb <> Tow Car: 30lb

 

Roger

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On 6/15/2017 at 0:37 AM, tcbass said:

My boat trailer tires say 50 psi. I believe I should fill the trailer tires to 50 psi, however, I've found out, what the tire says isn't correct. I didn't know this but a mechanic at the Ford truck dealership I was at said, "Fill the truck tires to what the inside of the truck door says you should, not what the tires say." That makes sense because tires are made for a wide range of truck and each truck is different weights and what not. Is it the same for boat trailers? Is there some tire pressure on the trailers that I should be filling my tires to rather than what the tires say?

 

 

I personally would not take the advice of a vehicle manufacturer over the tire manufacturer.  Remember all those Firestone tires that were blowing up on Ford explorers?  That was a direct result of Ford recommending a tire pressure of around 26-29psi in order to give the SUV a softer ride.  Firestone got a bad rap until it came out in the wash that Ford was asking that the tires be under inflated to fix a ride quality issue.

 

I was a Ford mechanic around this time so I remember it well.

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8 minutes ago, TheRodFather said:

I personally would not take the advice of a vehicle manufacturer over the tire manufacturer.  Remember all those Firestone tires that were blowing up on Ford explorers?  That was a direct result of Ford recommending a tire pressure of around 26-29psi in order to give the SUV a softer ride.  Firestone got a bad rap until it came out in the wash that Ford was asking that the tires be under inflated to fix a ride quality issue.

 

I was a Ford mechanic around this time so I remember it well.

 

Bingo. Fill tires to what the tire says. It's that easy.

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