I got this question and thought that others might be wondering about the same topic.
Jim K asked
Message: I will be traveling in the desert for the first time and I am
wondering if I should reduce the tire pressure before I go. The hot road will
increase the pressure and I am afraid of damaging my tires.
No you don't have to worry about hot roads.
IF you run the correct cold pressure
Now you didn't say if you have a standard RV trailer or a Motorhome so I will give you a summary for each application.
Trailers: You should set the Cold Inflation to the pressure on the tire
sidewall. If you look at the sticker on the side of your trailer you
should find the tire size, type, Load Range and pressure recommendation
from the manufacturer. In almost all cases the recommended inflation
is the inflation on the sidewall of the tires.
Have you confirmed you are not overloading any of your tires? Simply
guessing or looking at the tires is not good enough you need to get the
trailer on a scale and at a minimum get the total load on the tires.
Now you can't assume the load is equally distributed side to side or
axle to axle Measurements of thousands of trailers suggests you need
to assume at least 53/47 to 55/45 split axle to axle and split side to
side so you need to calculate the heaviest load based on an estimate of
27% to 30% of the total being on one of the 4 tires. A better method
is to get individual tire loading. You can learn more HERE.
Motorhomes are a bit different than towables. Here you need to get the
"corner" loading as the side to side difference is affected by the
placement of things like generator, water tanks, refrigerators etc. The
Front Rear loading is obviously different and for most motorhomes the
number of tires on each axle is also different. You can use the
information on your placard but a better method is to get the actual
tire loading and then using Load/Inflation charts establish the MINIMUM
cold inflation then add 10% to get your Cold Set inflation. THIS post has some info and a link in it.
When tires are designed, we know that some vehicles will be driven on
hot roads. Tires will normally run +20°F to +50° above ambient. You
should run a TPMS to get warning of air leak due to puncture. If you
are driving in the USA you should have no problems.
Most TPMS also have a high temperature warning that is set for 155°F to 160°F. If you get a warning at this temp but the pressure is above your set pressure by about 10%, simply slowing down should lower the temperature. If that doesn't work you can still stop for 10 minutes while you do a walk around to be sure nothing unusuall is going on.
If you are traveling to Saudi Arabia, the Sahara or Australian outback
then we need to take some additional steps and precautions.
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