Towing heavy loads, whether an RV trailer or a camper, places unique demands on a vehicle’s tires. One critical consideration in the towing discourse is whether to increase the tow vehicle’s tire pressure to accommodate the additional weight.

When you’re hauling that hefty load behind you, your tow vehicle’s tires need all the support they can get. Increasing tire pressure can help with weight distribution, stability, and preventing damage or blowouts. Also, it can enhance the performance and lifespan of your tires.

Here, we will discuss the significance of upping your tire pressure and how to increase your vehicle’s tire pressure when towing. So, if you’re towing, take some minutes and see what could help keep your tires in great condition.

Why should you increase tire pressure when towing: Reasons

Should I Increase Tire Pressure When Towing: 4 Reasons [For Safety]

Towing heavy loads like trailers or campers requires proper tire pressure to ensure safety, stability, and performance. The following are some main reasons to increase tire pressure when towing:

  1. Weight distribution and even load
  2. Enhanced stability and sidewall support
  3. Prevention of tire damage and blowouts
  4. Improved fuel economy

No 01. Weight Distribution and Even Load

When you tow a heavy load, the weight of the trailer or caravan is transferred to the hitch point and then distributed to the tow vehicle’s tires. This additional weight can cause the tires to compress, leading to uneven weight distribution and uneven wear on the tires.

Increasing the tire pressure can counteract this compression and distribute the load evenly across all tires. This helps to reduce the strain on individual tires, improving their longevity and performance.

No 02. Enhanced Stability and Sidewall Support

Tires need to be inflated more during maneuvers and turns, especially when towing heavy loads such as trailers or campers. This added stability prevents excessive sidewall flexing, which can compromise control and lead to swaying or the dreaded ‘death wobble’ phenomenon.

By increasing the tire pressure, you reduce the chances of sidewall flexing and improve the overall stability of your vehicle. The stable sidewalls contribute to better control, allowing you to confidently maneuver and minimize the risk of accidents or loss of control.

No 03. Prevention of Tire Damage and Blowouts

Towing places additional stress on tires due to the increased weight and load. The recommended tire pressure levels are designed to handle this added strain.

When properly inflated, the tires distribute the weight evenly, minimizing excessive wear and tear. Adequate tire pressure also helps to maintain stability and control while towing.

Underinflated tires are more prone to overheating, resulting in blowouts and requiring tire change services. Overheating occurs because the tires flex more than they should, generating excessive heat that weakens the tire structure.

Increasing tire pressure when towing ensures that the tires can handle the increased load and reduce the risk of tire damage and blowouts.

No 04. Improved Fuel Economy

When you tow heavy loads, your vehicle has to work harder to maintain speed and overcome the added resistance. Inflating your tires to the recommended pressure can reduce rolling resistance and improve fuel efficiency.

Underinflated tires create more friction with the road, causing the engine to use more energy to propel the vehicle forward. This increased energy consumption translates into higher fuel consumption and decreased fuel economy.

In contrast, properly inflated tires have less contact with the road, reducing friction and allowing the vehicle to move more efficiently. Increasing tire pressure when towing can optimize fuel efficiency, save on fuel costs, and get the most out of your vehicle’s power.

How Should You Increase Tire Pressure When Towing?

To increase tire pressure when towing, there are several steps you should follow.

Step 1. Refer to Manufacturer’s Recommendations

You should start by referring to the manufacturer’s recommendations when increasing tire pressure while towing. These recommendations can be found in the owner’s manual or on the driver’s side door jamb sticker.

Be sure to take note of the recommended tire pressure values for both the front and rear tires, as they may differ. If you follow these guidelines, you can avoid overinflating or underinflating the tires, which leads to decreased handling, poor traction, and increased risk of accidents.

Step 2. Consider Load and Weight Distribution

Uneven weight distribution can lead to excessive wear on certain tires, decreased stability, and reduced control. Consider the load and weight distribution carefully when towing belongings with your truck to ensure optimal tire performance.

Factors such as trailer weight, cargo, and tongue weight can significantly impact tire pressure requirements. When determining the appropriate tire pressure for towing, consider the total weight being towed and how it’s distributed across the trailer.

Step 3. Use a Quality Tire Pressure Gauge

A quality tire pressure gauge is crucial in ensuring precise readings. It allows you to check the current pressure levels and adjust accordingly. When increasing tire pressure, it’s important to inflate the tires gradually.

Check the pressure continuously to prevent overinflation and ensure precise control over tire pressure. Remember, accurate tire pressure measurement is essential, so invest in a quality gauge to ensure accurate readings. Certainly, here are some examples of tire pressure ratings you might find specified by manufacturers:

Standard Passenger Vehicle: Front tires 32 PSI, rear tires 34 PSI (Cold)

Light Truck or SUV: Front tires 44 PSI, rear tires 48 PSI (Cold)

Light Truck (LT) Tires: Maximum pressure for all tires is 80 PSI (Cold)

Standard Passenger Tires: Recommended pressure for all tires is 35 PSI (Cold)

High-Performance Tires: Front 36 PSI, Rear 38 PSI (Cold)

Trailer Tires (ST): All tires 50 PSI (Cold)

Note: Regularly assessing the conditions and adjusting tire pressure is important when towing. Pay attention to load, temperature, and weather conditions, as they can affect tire performance. Adjust the pressure to ensure optimal performance and safety if the tires are underinflated or overinflated.

Maximize Your Towing Safety with Proper Tire Pressure

Maximize Your Towing Safety with Proper Tire Pressure

It’s highly recommended to consider adjusting your tire pressure when towing. This simple yet crucial step can enhance stability and handling, ensuring a safer towing experience.

By carefully increasing the tire pressure according to the manufacturer’s specifications, you can optimize the load-bearing capacity and prevent tire wear and damage. If you cannot increase the tire pressure on your vehicle while towing, it is advisable to consider hiring a towing company.

Santa Clara Towing offers reliable and efficient towing services to help you make your move safe and hassle-free. Call us at 669-228-5951 or visit our office at 1361 Calabazas Court, Santa Clara, CA 95051 for more information.

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