Towing a travel trailer-inflate to max sidewall psi?

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937
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MO
I’m renting a 5,000 lb travel trailer to take my wife and kids camping for the weekend and planning on pulling it with my 2019 Raptor. The BFG K02s say max load of 2,535 at 45 psi. Door placard says 38 psi. I’m thinking I’ll just inflate to 45 to take some of the squish out and take the tires out of the load capacity factor. If the suspension sags too much I’ll use my wife’s Yukon XL but would prefer to use the Raptor to do some off-road exploring this weekend.
 
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13,088
Location
North Carolina
Suspension should not sag if the weight distributing hitch is set up. Correctly.
I would not tow a 5k tt just with the ball.
I have p-metrics on the avalanche I run 38 rear, 36 front ( general hts).
More pressure than that does not feel right in the rain.
 
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1,496
Location
Ruidoso, NM USA
Would you max out the tires for 700 pounds of firewood in the bed? I think the 38 psi is good for your trucks max GVW and a couple of extra pounds will not hurt, but I wouldn’t go to the 45 pound max of the tire.
 

ls1mike

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I tow often. I have a 7800lbs loaded travel trailer. My truck has load range E tires. I keep them inflated to max for towing. It is the reason one 1 truck don't have TPMS, so you can adjust the pressure when not towing. Have always done it that way when towing. It makes a difference on rough spots in the road and helps keep the rear of the truck planted solid. Is that the listed dry tongue weight? 5000lbs dry for the trailer?
 

RhondaHonda

Thread starter
Messages
937
Location
MO
Suspension should not sag if the weight distributing hitch is set up. Correctly.
I would not tow a 5k tt just with the ball.
I have p-metrics on the avalanche I run 38 rear, 36 front ( general hts).
More pressure than that does not feel right in the rain.

It has a weight distribution hitch on it and if it toes level I’ll drive the Raptor. I was just concerned with the softer suspension and limited payload of this truck.
 

RhondaHonda

Thread starter
Messages
937
Location
MO
Would you max out the tires for 700 pounds of firewood in the bed? I think the 38 psi is good for your trucks max GVW and a couple of extra pounds will not hurt, but I wouldn’t go to the 45 pound max of the tire.

Most likely not but I’ll have a 6000ish lb trailer behind me as well. Just want the safest setup I’d say something happened with the trailer brakes not functioning as well as knowing the RV manufacturers are sometimes a bit light on the actual weights involved.
 

RhondaHonda

Thread starter
Messages
937
Location
MO
I tow often. I have a 7800lbs loaded travel trailer. My truck has load range E tires. I keep them inflated to max for towing. It is the reason one 1 truck don't have TPMS, so you can adjust the pressure when not towing. Have always done it that way when towing. It makes a difference on rough spots in the road and helps keep the rear of the truck planted solid. Is that the listed dry tongue weight? 5000lbs dry for the trailer?


It’s 5473 lbs dry per the manufacturer. I won’t be hauling any water with me or firewood. I know the weight can add up quickly when you start putting your stuff in it. We are only traveling about an hour away to test the waters on the whole camping thing so it’s not like I’m pulling it through the Rockies.
 
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2,178
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Cincinnati, USA
If you feel that your current tire pressure is right for driving without a load or trailer, then it only makes sense to add a few PSI to offset that. You could split the difference and go with 42PSI.
 

ls1mike

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Then try it each way. Air them up on the way there, and then run normal pressure on the way back and see how it feels.
I like mine air up to max. It just feels better to me.
 
Last edited:
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2,361
Location
South Carolina
The MAX load rating on the tire is spec'd for the MAX pressure indicated on the sidewall. For load carring capacity and steering stability, set the REAR tires to the MAX capacity.
 
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1,116
Location
Arizona
+1 fill tires to MAX, They will sway less and support the load the best without HEAT buildup in the tires. Resist the urge to crank on the WDH to keep truck level. WDH is not for leveling and overdoing it has associated risks. Make sure triler brakes work and adjust bias so they do a lot of the stopping.
 

RhondaHonda

Thread starter
Messages
937
Location
MO
I went to 42 cold. Picked up the trailer and brought it home to load up and leave tomorrow. Seems fine at 42 psi. I’ll adjust the hitch up a link when I can get the thing on flat ground.
42B2BFC2-C968-4A6C-8844-8AC7220AD9EC.jpeg
 
Messages
390
Location
Greenville SC
Remember that the load distributing hitch increases the load on the front tires and trailer axles, reducing it (from untensioned hitch bars) from the rear axle. I agree that stiffer is better, but am not in the "max on the sidewall" camp. BUT I DON'T TOW, either, so worthless thoughts anyway.
 

ls1mike

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MAX is almost always best for towing. You don't want a squishy sidewall. RhondaHonda, my trailer happens to be a Passport. I have had it since new, 2012. It has been pretty good to me.
116745718_10220541465039936_379805243135381150_o.jpg
 

wwillson

Staff member
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3,842
Location
Naperville, IL
MAX is almost always best for towing.
Agreed.

I've watched the tire temps on my TPMS over the last 30,000 miles of towing and testing pressures from 60-80 on the rear truck tires and from 70-80 on the trailer tires. The data clearly shows that the tires run cooler at max sidewall pressure, in this case 80 for both the truck and trailer tires. I've also read that running trailer tires at max sidewall pressure reduces micro cracks in the tread layers caused by scrubbing on tandem axle trailers. Some people will argue that the trailer will ride better at lower tire pressures. I've seen no evidence in any difference in ride, since I don't ride in the trailer :)
 
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