Post by Bob Hatch Post by Neon John Post by Bob Hatch Post by Neon John
I know how to use a tire gauge just fine
So do I. How do you do it at 65 MPH?
Don't know how you do it where you're from but here in the Sunny South
we have enough sense to pull over and stop before gauging our tires.
So in your part of the Sunny South what sort of device do you use to assure
that your tires never, ever, under any conditions pick up a nail or some
other piece of material that would cause the tire to lose air and over heat?
I use my brain, of course. The first use of my brain is to realize
that worrying about never, ever, under any condition type of problems
is foolish since one can never figure out ALL those abnormal
conditions. Once I realize that, I prepare for the most likely events
(spare tire, gauge, pyrometer, spare lug bolts and studs, etc) and
simply ignore the fanciful possibilities.
The second use of my brain is to realize that I stop at least every
hour to hour and a half to stretch my legs, pee, get gas and/or get a
snack. While I'm stretching my legs I walk around the rig to look and
sniff. As anyone who's ever actually had a roadside tire defect
knows, the warmer tire emits an odor long before anything drastic
If I see or smell anything suspicious then I reach behind the seat
for ye olde tire gauge and ye olde infrared pyrometer. A quick check
of the temps and pressures tells me what I need to know. I can count
on one hand with fingers left over the number of times I've actually
had to do that. I'd say it's been at least 2 years since I've had to
add air to any of our RV tires.
My walk-around look-and-sniff test enables me to detect other
incipient problems such as overheating fanbelts, leaking antifreeze,
oil leaking hitting the exhaust, transmission overheating and a bunch
of other things that no idiot gauge could possibly detect.
I would have thought this to be patently obvious to anyone who drives
over the road but I guess not.
Post by Bob Hatch
When one of the duals goes flat the other tire on the same side is
That, of course, depends on the rig weight, the tire class and the
wheel size. In my particular case, the un-flat tire handles the rig
just fine as long as I don't over-do it speed-wise.
Post by Bob Hatch
When one of the duals gets under inflated by as little as 20%
the tire starts to experience damage. When the tire that is carrying the
bulk of the load is in fact overloaded, will overheat and will cause damage
to the tire. It may not show within minutes, but the damage is done
Really? So you mean to say that when I aim my pyrometer at the tire
and see normal temperatures, some little demon is inside the tire
doing "damage" anyway? Wow, I would have never guessed. Guess I need
to squirt some demoncide into the tires, huh?
I guess that as an experimentalist, my approach is a bit different
than most. When I have a flat on the dual axle, rather than
panicking, running around waving my arms in the air or screaming for
road service, ruining the rest of the day and raising my blood
pressure in the process, I stop and evaluate the new system
I look at my log to see what weight is on the axle and do a little
mental figuring. I see that the tire isn't badly overloaded so I
decide to experiment a little. I drive for a mile or two and check
the tire temperatures (both flat and inflated.) Only a little above
normal so drive another few miles and check again. Speed up a little
and check. Speed up a little more and check again. I have three
points so I can sketch a graph and project what the tire will do at
various speeds. I pick a speed that will keep the tire tolerably cool
The result of this little experiment was that I finished my trip
without interruption, hassle or expense and without worrying. I could
then have my tire repaired at my friendly local dealer that gives me
good tire prices and who doesn't turn the tire monkeys loose with the
air wrench to gall or twist off my wheel studs. My experiment added
maybe 30 minutes to the trip.
I guess I'm just different. I suppose the normal thing to do would
have been to panic, call road service, pay side-of-the-road ripoff
prices for the tire, get my blood pressure up and spoil the rest of
the day. I think I'll remain not normal...
PS: I highly recommend having an optical pyrometer in the vehicle.
Mine are those rat shack models made by Raytek that cost about $30 and
are quite accurate. I put one in each of my vehicles. I've gotten in
the habit of shooting my tires when I stop for gas as part of the
walk-around. One tire significantly hotter than the rest is probably
low on air.
It's also handy for scanning the radiator (for clogged tubes), coolant
hoses (blockages and internal swelling cause cool spots), the heater
box (AC air leakage causes cold spots), the battery (weak cells will
be hotter than the rest) and any number of other things on the rig.
John De Armond
http://neonjohn.blogspot.com <-- NEW!
Cleveland, Occupied TN