Are Your “Cold” RV Tire Pressure Readings Really COLD?!? Don’t Be So Sure!

TheRVgeeks RV Tires 19 Comments

Accurate tire pressure readings can only be taken before you drive on them, when they’re still cold. But are you SURE the readings are accurate, even if you haven’t driven on them yet today? Maybe you shouldn’t be so sure.

Most RVers, especially us DIY types, are meticulous about maintaining correct tire pressure. But even if you’re diligent about checking your tires before every trip, this short video could help you avoid accidentally running them under-pressure.

We figured this out by chance many years ago, but we never see anything written about it. We were sometimes surprised at the dramatic difference in pressures between tires, even after confirming that were the same just a few hours earlier, without having moved the RV. We thought we should share this important detail that might never have occurred to other RVers either.


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Comments 19

  1. Just caught this post the other day on another site. It leaves way more questions than it answers, all tires regardless of size give a cold inflation pressure, and your comments about making sure they are the same temperature are valid. That got me thinking about three variables, at what ambient temperature is cold, could change by season, maybe 50 today, 75 tomorrow, 35 the next, depending on your location, at what altitude is that the right number and how much will 6000 ft change this number. Don’t know if the thought ever occurred to me before either, but would like to hear your thoughts.
    Thanks

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      Author

      Hi Steve. You are correct that “cold” pressures are affected by altitude and ambient temperature. So a considerable change in either or both of those factors will change cold pressure readings. Our Live Patreon Q&A this past month went into great detail on this topic. It’s not really too complicated but does require monitoring and adjusting when conditions change too much or for too long. The archive of the broadcast is still available if you’re interested. Warning though, it’s part of our premium content and costs a whole $2 to access every broadcast we’ve done to date.

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          Author
          1. Just watched the Q&A on the tire pressure issues, I found it the most complete, educational, and detailed information I’ve ever seen on tire inflation. Excellent presentation

          2. Post
            Author
  2. Great video, we learn so much from your experiences. We recently watched the video for the Pressure Pro TPMS. If a TPMS is installed it would experience the same affect of pressure rising due to the tire being in the sun. We were wondering how the TPMS would react to this? The TPMS has a High Pressure alarm, but what is the High Pressure alarm set point? Is it sufficiently high enough to not alarm due to a tire pressure rise due to warming from the sun? Seems that the high pressure alarm would be high enough since tire pressure would rise from any increase in tire temperature (sun or driving). Just starting to research TPMS this morning so trying to educate ourselves.
    Thank You!!

    1. Post
      Author

      Thanks, Bill. Can’t speak for all TPMSes, but the PressurePro does have high pressure alarms (which you can adjust) that are set high enough (right out of the box) that pressure changes caused by increases in temperature (either from sun or driving) don’t trigger them.

  3. Hi Guys – I’d like to know about the Accutire tire pressure guage. Would I be able to access the outer tire valve stem, which faces inward, with this guage? I know I wasn’t able to reach that valve stem with the type of guage that has a round readout. Might I need a dual head type guage? Thanks!

    1. Post
      Author

      Hi Don,

      If you have a valve stem that is pointing inward, you probably won’t be able to use the Accutire gauge any easier than any other gauge. You could use a gauge that has a dual foot (like this one on Amazon: http://amzn.to/2cuVudk ), or you could put on a valve extension that either curved back outward (like these: http://amzn.to/2cuVl9C ) or that extended it to another, more convenient location (like these: http://amzn.to/2cuUW7j — just note that these are not recommended for use on Aluminum wheels).

      We haven’t used any of the above ourselves, but hopefully one of those options will work for you.

  4. Hi Guys! Just wondering how a tire cover would affect the tire temp/pressure? Saving up for a Viair 400P – dang you guys are costing me $$$! :-)

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      Author

      Covering the tires keeps them WAY cooler and is so important. Sometime we’ll have to do a direct temperature comparison of covered & uncovered, both in sunshine. Sorry ’bout that compressor by the way. :-P

  5. I really like all your videos! I did notice at the end of the “Cold Tire Inflation” video, you were topping off the tires after they were exposed to direct sun light.

    1. Post
      Author

      Good catch Bob! One downside to making a video is the need for good lighting, even if you normally would be doing the task before the sun comes out. One of the reasons we made this follow-up tire video was to stress the importance of NOT checking pressures in the sun, since we had demonstrated doing it in the sun for the previous video, strictly for good lighting. ;-)

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