Tire pressure?

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Re: Tire pressure?

Postby 2bits » Fri Jun 29, 2018 8:14 am

Hi, yes I was definitely being serious :) if the trailer is bouncing then the axle is basically acting like a solid axle (if it is the axle which I would agree that it sounds like). I know there is a % of weight you are supposed to rate the axle at as compared to the weight of the trailer but I don't recall but it's up there, not 60%, you probably already know this but all that mumbo jumbo is moot your axle is already bought and paid for. I like your idea about weights since they are easier to move.

Before adding weights, you might also check your tongue weight and add more weight to the tongue if it is too light. 10-15% of the total weight should be there.

People always say you don't need to balance trailer tires "because people don't ride back there", but their answer actually supports the reason to balance because your stuff does and since it is getting bounced all over the place, balancing the tires may help. People think I am nuts but I tell them to do it anyway and get out of my face!

Don't get me started on passenger tires, people will string me up a tree.
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Re: Tire pressure?

Postby working on it » Fri Jun 29, 2018 10:09 am

2bits wrote:...
People always say you don't need to balance trailer tires "because people don't ride back there", but their answer actually supports the reason to balance because your stuff does and since it is getting bounced all over the place, balancing the tires may help. People think I am nuts but I tell them to do it anyway and get out of my face!

Don't get me started on passenger tires, people will string me up a tree.
  • +1 on balancing tires...I always get my tires balanced , including trailer tires, and the spare tires, too. People would be surprised to see how much many tire/wheel combos are way out of balance, and how much it affects the ride quality. On my dragstrip hotrod Chevelle, I made sure to get the rear slicks balanced every season, and checked that the stuck-on weights (glued to the inside/outside surface of the wheel) were still present before a day of racing.
  • I lost one set of weights at a race, once, and it made the car very unstable at the big end of the track (finish line). I had noticed a wobble on the burn-out, and a shudder as the tire grew in height upon acceleration, but it started to sway and try to get sideways at 125+ mph as I approached the finish line (1/4 mile). Luckily , or due to my skillful driving!, I never crossed the center stripe, and even won the race. Back at the pits, I looked at the wheels, and saw the weights on the right tire were missing, which I replaced with a set I had in my supplies (I carried spares/supplies for many contingencies, even spare front-runner tires, of a different height - to tune-in my reaction times).
  • Trailer tires, when unbalanced, are probably even more susceptible to ride problems, than on cars and trucks, due to the wide variance in loaded weight being hauled, using stiff-walled ST tires at higher pressures (both radial and bias-ply), and because the camber angles of many trailers cause tire wear problems concurrently. IMHO, it's just "safe practice" to get ALL tires balanced, for any high speed endeavor.
  • I'm with 2bits on the passenger tires discussion. Some people can use them on their trailers, others may not be served well by their performance on trailers. Tandem-axle trailers should never use passenger car tires. Single axle trailers can, but ST trailer tires might be a better choice for heavier loadings (with greater stability, from stiffer sidewalls). The problem with ST tires is finding a good one, not an inferior-grade of Chinese manufacture (though some are reliable...just research the brand on Google). Recently, I made the switch to LT truck tires for my trailer, because I trust LT tires more than Chinese ST's, and the added benefits of a slightly less-stiff sidewall, and all-terrain treads is better suited for what I want to use the trailer for. I run them all the full max pressure (cold) as shown on the sidewall. No bounce, no sway, no problems.
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Re: Tire pressure?

Postby dancam » Fri Jun 29, 2018 11:22 pm

The tire is very important for absorbing bumps, almost more then the springs, but a tire that absorbs bumps well will sway more, one that reduces sway transmits more bumps to the springs...
I had properly rated springs and my trailer pulled super nice. The roads in the yukon are insanely bad and i broke a spring. Went from a 2 leaf to a 4 leaf (best they had). Trailer bounces way more and isnt as nice to tow at all.
Wish i could have gotten the same springs again. They shouldnt have broken, they were rated for more than i was pulling...

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Re: Tire pressure?

Postby hwitten » Sun Jul 15, 2018 11:18 pm

Weighed the trailer today. Was hoping to weigh each wheel separately to check for side to side balance but the scale was too smart and only showed zero. Perhaps not enough weight.
I was able to confirm total weight and also weight on hitch.
I’m about 15% of total on the hitch.
Before I mess around with adding weight to the trailer I‘m wondering about reducing hitch weight to 10% of total. Any comments as to wether that’s a viable alternative?

My test run today was also first run with new tpms. Pressure increased by 4-5 pounds driving in city. Tire temp was running at 80/90F. Outside air was about 75F. Have to dig into my research to find what’s acceptable as temp rise.

Perhaps I’m simply expecting too much (smoothness). All I have for comparison is the ProLite and the GMC classic I drove for many years/miles. The ProLite didn’t have much for cupboard space and the GMC is comparing apples to oranges.




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Re: Tire pressure?

Postby 2bits » Mon Jul 16, 2018 9:07 am

What were the different weights?
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Re: Tire pressure?

Postby hwitten » Mon Jul 16, 2018 11:20 am

2bits wrote:What were the different weights?


trailer: 1720 lbs
hitch: 257 lbs

2500 lb Dexter Torsion Axle
Tires: ST 185/80R13
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Re: Tire pressure?

Postby gudmund » Mon Jul 16, 2018 10:10 pm

ST 205/75 "R" 14 tires 35 psi - had just had them 'balanced' before this trip -- 1500 lb trailer - 190lb tongue just returned from Garibaldi, Ore. gathering and "it road SO "!!smooth!!" :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
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Re: Tire pressure?

Postby dancam » Mon Jul 16, 2018 11:43 pm

hwitten wrote:Weighed the trailer today. Was hoping to weigh each wheel separately to check for side to side balance but the scale was too smart and only showed zero. Perhaps not enough weight.
I was able to confirm total weight and also weight on hitch.
I’m about 15% of total on the hitch.
Before I mess around with adding weight to the trailer I‘m wondering about reducing hitch weight to 10% of total. Any comments as to wether that’s a viable alternative?

My test run today was also first run with new tpms. Pressure increased by 4-5 pounds driving in city. Tire temp was running at 80/90F. Outside air was about 75F. Have to dig into my research to find what’s acceptable as temp rise.

Perhaps I’m simply expecting too much (smoothness). All I have for comparison is the ProLite and the GMC classic I drove for many years/miles. The ProLite didn’t have much for cupboard space and the GMC is comparing apples to oranges.




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hwitten wrote:
2bits wrote:What were the different weights?


trailer: 1720 lbs
hitch: 257 lbs

2500 lb Dexter Torsion Axle
Tires: ST 185/80R13


I have 175/80 R13 tires on a 1950 pound trailer. I also have tpms on my tires. Your pressure increase is normal. Tire temps depend a lot on the temperature of the pavement. I noticed if its a hot and sunny day my tires on the sunny side will read hotter as well.
For tongue weight it varies widely per trailer setup. My number is 11.5%.
Find a deserted road, start at low speed and work your way up cranking your wheel back and forth to cause sway and then try to drive straight. See how long the trailer takes to self correct. Lessen tongue weight and continue until the trailer no longer immediatly self corrects at the fastest speed you plan to drive. Thats too light, go to the last heaviest one you tried. Be ready with the trailer brake switch for when you find out whats too light.
I carry a bathroom scale with me for measuring tongue weight

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Re: Tire pressure?

Postby hwitten » Tue Jul 17, 2018 12:12 am

This may be a stupid question but I'm assuming that tire load on a 2-wheel axle is half of total trailer weight?
Am I correct in my assumption?

I'm referring to the chart "working on it" posted.
following this chart for ST tires, and the trailer didn't bounce, anymore. Your tire size is listed here, as well, so it may be of use to you, too.


download/file.php?id=22212
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Re: Tire pressure?

Postby bbrider » Tue Jul 17, 2018 9:26 am

My Wee-Go is #1600 with #190 on the tongue. I have a #3500 axle that I shortened the bottom leaf to work as a spacer without giving any extra support. I run P rated 215-15" General AT tires on it at 30psi. We just got back from a 14000 mile run to Alaska, 8 weeks of fun. I did the touch test for heat on the tires and axle all through the trip. The trailer pulled great with very little bounce other than a few serious frost heaves.

We often run oversize tires on our Jeeps, I do anyway, and the standard settings is start at what the door post says on the vehicle regardless. Then use chalk to mark across the tires and drive a few feet and check for chalk. when you get the pressure to a point where the chalk is almost gone across the whole width of the tire it is at it's correct psi. I am not sure how well that would work on a trailer and I didn't do that for mine. I just started at 34 and kept going down till it didn't bounce which ended up at 30psi.

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Re: Tire pressure?

Postby dancam » Tue Jul 17, 2018 9:54 am

hwitten wrote:This may be a stupid question but I'm assuming that tire load on a 2-wheel axle is half of total trailer weight?
Am I correct in my assumption?

I'm referring to the chart "working on it" posted.
following this chart for ST tires, and the trailer didn't bounce, anymore. Your tire size is listed here, as well, so it may be of use to you, too.


download/file.php?id=22212
Yes the loads in that chart are per tire. So total trailer weight minus tongue weight divided by 2 if you distributed your load evenly.
You can look at that chart as minimum pressure for the weight or maximum weight for the pressure.

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Re: Tire pressure?

Postby hwitten » Tue Jul 17, 2018 12:31 pm

dancam wrote:Yes the loads in that chart are per tire. So total trailer weight minus tongue weight divided by 2 if you distributed your load evenly.
You can look at that chart as minimum pressure for the weight or maximum weight for the pressure.


Thank you. Haden't thought about deducting hitch weight. Glad I asked :)

Wheels are off getting balanced. My step 1 in the quest for smoother trailer behaviour.

Getting the wheels off was a good exercise to confirm I carry the right tools.
I did cheat a bit though as I used a floor jack instead of the bottle jack I carry on the road.

Going to put the chalk trick into the mix too.

I put a clip up as to what I'm using as baseline, hoping to improve on the shaking currently going on back there.

http://tinyurl.com/ybugw2ny
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Re: Tire pressure?

Postby dancam » Tue Jul 17, 2018 1:30 pm

I dont have enough data on my plan to watch the video but i like balancing trailer tires with beads because they stay balanced as the tires wear. Often trailer tires wear unevenly

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Re: Tire pressure?

Postby hwitten » Tue Jul 17, 2018 2:00 pm

dancam wrote: i like balancing trailer tires with beads because they stay balanced as the tires wear. Often trailer tires wear unevenly


I tried the beads in my GMC years ago. Didn't like them. On the GMC I had best results by truing and conventional balancing.
I'll be happy as heck if I wear my tires out as it'll mean I was on the road lots.

Got my wheels back and they are sporting some new bling, bling.
Balancing was definitely needed.
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Re: Tire pressure?

Postby hwitten » Tue Jul 17, 2018 3:57 pm

dancam wrote:I dont have enough data on my plan to watch the video


Doesn't have the same effect as the video but you can see the little wave pool that's created.

Clear container half filled with coloured water, taped to the floor.

2018-07-17_14-21-12.png
2018-07-17_14-21-12.png (87.57 KiB) Viewed 176 times
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