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Old 09-12-2018, 12:18 PM   #1
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Air Pressure

It’s been a few months since we’ve towed anywhere. I saw one of my 19’s 4 Carlisle tires was low. I like the old fashioned stick gauges because they come straight to the point but I bought the digital because it’s, well, digital. Must be more accurate. Used my Slime digital gauge to check the tire.

The digital gauge always wants to tell me more than I want to know. It forces me to scroll through other stuff I could care less about before getting to the reading I need. The other problem is when you stick it onto the tire valve it never seats right so air escapes before you get it right. My tire read 18 PSI. Should be 65 PSI. The tire beside it was around 26 PSI.

For Christmas I got a neat air compressor gun. Very expensive. Especially if dear one orders it from a fancy catalogue. It looks like a battery powered drill but has another attachment so you can plug it into a cigarette lighter for 12 volts. I charged its battery and screwed its 8 inch long attachment onto the tire valve. The really neat thing is the hose attachment that screws onto the valve. You don’t have to hold it in place on the valve. This is a big deal if you got bad knees or don’t fancy getting yourself down to tire level. (Aside: read that thread, “Gimpy People”.)

Has a little digital display you can barely see because it’s so tiny. But you can set it to shut off when it reaches the right PSI. On battery power it took 12 minutes to get the tire from 18 PSI to 45 PSI. I stopped then, because the handle was now real hot.

That was enough for me. Hitched up ET-19 and drove to the nearest gas station to finish the job. I have, in the past, noted that too many gas stations have vandalized air pressure pumps or want you to pay with a dozen or more quarters. The one in town was good. It only takes credit cards. Fine, I grumbled, at least the job will go faster. You hope a thief won’t hack it, you pay a buck-fifty on your card for um, 5 minutes of air pressure.

Four repeat performances later I quit after my Slime digital was averaging only 45 PSI on all 4 tires. My problem was being down in cruel gravel, and having to physically hold that hose nozzle tightly onto the tire valve stem. I just couldn’t stop more air escaping than what I was putting in.

There must be a better way. Went to Harbor Freight. Home, began the internet search. Read reviews, book-marked several 12 volt compressors. Pondered. Next day we were at Costco and I saw a little 12 volt compressor for $19bucks, only 3 left. It has a hose that locks onto the tire valve stem. I grabbed it.

It took 3 minutes to get to 62 PSI off my trailer batteries, no voltage lost.
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Old 09-12-2018, 12:22 PM   #2
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I hate the Slime digital pressure gauge Myron. After one use I threw it away and went back to my trusty chrome stick gauge I've had for decades.
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Old 09-12-2018, 12:30 PM   #3
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Ditto that. I didn't like their analog version either.
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Old 09-12-2018, 12:31 PM   #4
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I use this dial type pressure gauge. I also added remote tire pressure monitor (a TireMinder 4 tire system) which has worked well so far. The only thing I don't like about it is it doesn't immediately go to zero when the tow vehicle drives away from the trailer - takes about 15 minutes to realize the trailer is gone. It does immediately show changes in pressure when within range of the trailer. Uses a repeater in the trailer...
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Old 09-12-2018, 12:41 PM   #5
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I ran into a situation on my trip back from Chilliwack. I was getting ready to head into the desert and checked tire pressure to find them low. I went to 2 gas stations before finally able to pay to get them filled. One station took pressure out instead of in! When I reached Texas & my daughters house, I ordered the Slime40026 air compressor. Hooks up directly to the batteries, but then lots of power. I never leave home without it now! I also recently added the TireMinder Solar TPMS. It is really nice to be able to see what the pressure is in the 4 tires on the Escape 19.
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Old 09-12-2018, 01:06 PM   #6
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I use the compressor in my garage with a gage like this one to fill my tires (similar but not identical). Seems to work quite well.

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Old 09-12-2018, 01:07 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MyronL View Post

It took 3 minutes to get to 62 PSI off my trailer batteries, no voltage lost.
Interesting, I run my tires at 50 psi.

[QUOTE=kstock11;262409
I went to 2 gas stations before finally able to pay to get them filled.[/QUOTE]

I noticed a sign in a gas station in CA that said if a person buys gas the station is obligated to provide both air and water. This was a new station. I haven't ever gone to the air pump in other stations. Is the free air and water to customers widespread?


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Old 09-12-2018, 01:17 PM   #8
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i bought a little air compressor a few years ago it was featured by someone on this forum it plugs into the cigarette plugs on my trailer (i put one of those plugs on each side ) it filled my tires quickly. i had never tested the pressure or filled them before so i was surprised by how well it all worked - i had been dreading doing that and feeling that i should do it more often! i looked up the suggested pressure on my trailer info it was different then i thought it would be i think it was 50 but i m not sure.
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Old 09-12-2018, 01:25 PM   #9
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You go by the pressure recommended on the tire, not the trailer. Currently the stock factory tires are 50 psi. If you replace the tires, read the tire manufacturer's recommendation for proper pressure.
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Old 09-12-2018, 01:53 PM   #10
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yes they match info from the trailer matches tires - but its a new trailer
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Old 09-12-2018, 02:31 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
You go by the pressure recommended on the tire, not the trailer. Currently the stock factory tires are 50 psi. If you replace the tires, read the tire manufacturer's recommendation for proper pressure.
The tire manufacturer has no idea what trailer you are towing. If you put a Load Range E tire on your trailer, the sidewall will say (correctly) that 80 PSI is the maximum inflation pressure for that tire, and that it needs 80 PSI to reach maximum capacity. Since you are using a small fraction of that capacity, 80 PSI is way too much on your trailer.

If you accept the common recommendation to use the maximum pressure on all trailer tires, you should also follow the industry common practice of using the smallest and cheapest possible tire for the trailer's axle capacity, which will indeed lead to pumping the tires up to their maximum allowed pressure.

If you replace the tires on your trailer with the same size, type, and load range of tire, the same pressure recommended by Escape will still be suitable to the tire and will still match the number on the sidewall of the tire. Change tires load range, and you are playing amateur tire engineer...
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Old 09-12-2018, 02:33 PM   #12
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Digital gauges are precise, not necessarily accurate. Precision and accuracy are very different concepts, but are very often confused.
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Old 09-12-2018, 05:07 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
The tire manufacturer has no idea what trailer you are towing. If you put a Load Range E tire on your trailer, the sidewall will say (correctly) that 80 PSI is the maximum inflation pressure for that tire, and that it needs 80 PSI to reach maximum capacity. Since you are using a small fraction of that capacity, 80 PSI is way too much on your trailer.



If you accept the common recommendation to use the maximum pressure on all trailer tires, you should also follow the industry common practice of using the smallest and cheapest possible tire for the trailer's axle capacity, which will indeed lead to pumping the tires up to their maximum allowed pressure.



If you replace the tires on your trailer with the same size, type, and load range of tire, the same pressure recommended by Escape will still be suitable to the tire and will still match the number on the sidewall of the tire. Change tires load range, and you are playing amateur tire engineer...

Just a quick bird walk here, tangentially related. I’ve been thinking about replacing my load range C tires with load range E, not for the added weight carrying capacity, but under the belief that load E tires might be more slash and puncture resistant (thicker sidewalks?), for more gnarly roads, perhaps up Alaska way. Question: Is there any merit to my assumption that higher load rating equates to greater puncture resistance?
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Old 09-12-2018, 05:30 PM   #14
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I went to load range D and am having regrets. I think I should have stuck with load range C so that the trailer takes less abuse from the road. I've never had a flat in 10 years, much on forest service roads.
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Old 09-12-2018, 05:48 PM   #15
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I always thought the number of plies, the higher the plies, the more puncture resistant the tire becomes. Also ply material, steel plus would be stronger than polyester or nylon. These are my thoughts.
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Old 09-12-2018, 05:58 PM   #16
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My opinion is digital gauges are anally in-accurate. I currently have load range D Carlisles on my trailer and have no complaints.

Free air at a gas station Ron?? I think that went out with soda fountains in a candy store. Only place I can get free tire air is at the Costco tire center. Wouldn't try towing the trailer in front of them bays, though.
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Old 09-12-2018, 08:00 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by sclifrickson View Post
I’ve been thinking about replacing my load range C tires with load range E, not for the added weight carrying capacity, but under the belief that load E tires might be more slash and puncture resistant (thicker sidewalks?), for more gnarly roads, perhaps up Alaska way. Question: Is there any merit to my assumption that higher load rating equates to greater puncture resistance?
More sidewall cord should provide greater puncture resistance, although more rubber would probably be more useful... but sidewalls improved specifically for this sort of service are not available in ST tires. An LT tire intended for real off-road use would likely be a more effective choice, but you're unlikely to find one in the same size.

The extra cord also means greater cost, greater weight, and more heat buildup (for the same load and inflation pressure), but none of these are likely significant issues.
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Old 09-12-2018, 08:07 PM   #18
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I always thought the number of plies, the higher the plies, the more puncture resistant the tire becomes. Also ply material, steel plus would be stronger than polyester or nylon.
A higher load range does not necessarily mean more plies - the "ply ratings" just correlate the load capacity to the tire construction common before I was born; they do not describe the actual construction of the tire.

If steel is used instead of polyester or nylon it won't necessarily be stronger (in ability to handle inflation pressure or load) or more puncture resistant, because a small diameter steel cord will replace a larger diameter cord of the other materials. In any case, the manufacturer will only use the material required to meet the strength requirement, not the same diameter cord as used in a different material. My motorhome has load range G tires, which have steel sidewall cord... only a single layer, with no other cord materials, so these are literally single-ply tires with over two tons of capacity per tire. The sidewalls of an ST tire are very unlikely to be steel anyway... one tread ply, perhaps, but not likely any the sidewall.

Yes, any tire construction which accommodates higher inflation pressure and higher loads will have more sidewall and tread structure strength, which will have some puncture resistance benefit as discussed above.
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Old 09-12-2018, 09:58 PM   #19
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One purchase I made that I thought I'd never use, is a portable air compressor with built in gauge. It has saved me grief twice now, when I had a nail in the tow vehicle tire and miles from a service centre. https://www.amazon.com/Viair-00073-H...ts=p_4%3AViair
It is a breeze to check air pressure with. I haven't checked the accuracy (or preciseness).
I also use it to blow out the water lines when I store it the trailer.
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Old 09-12-2018, 10:19 PM   #20
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I noticed a sign in a gas station in CA that said if a person buys gas the station is obligated to provide both air and water. This was a new station. I haven't ever gone to the air pump in other stations. Is the free air and water to customers widespread?
Stations in California are required by law to provide air (and water) to customers who purchase fuel:
California Bill AB 531

Connecticut also requires free tire air:
CT.GOV HOME > DEPARTMENT OF CONSUMER PROTECTION > HOW TO SAVE ON GASOLINE

This is not widespread (and news media reports indicate that even many California stations don't comply); I don't know if any other jurisdiction has a similar requirement. Certainly Alberta, and at least some other provinces, do not.

Not only are stations in (at least most) other areas not required to offer free air, I'm not aware of any requirement to have an air pump at all. None of the Costco gas stations that I have been to have anything other than fuel... no air, and not even windshield washing supplies.
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