When you buy a caravan, you may be shocked at the amount of tyre pressure needed. Most cars are around 26psi, and if you go to the garage to add air to your tyres, 26 seems to be the default. However, caravan tyres require a much higher pressure, some as high as 65 psi. Why do they require such high pressure? What does it mean for the tyres and for the way they ride?
Why Do Caravan Tyre Pressures Seem So high?
Caravan tyre pressures seem high to us but that is because the tyres have to carry the weight of the caravan which can be substantially higher than a car, depending of course on what you drive. There are other important considerations to be taken into account. If a caravan tyre is inflated at a slightly lower psi, then you will get a smoother ride. However, if a tyre is fully inflated at it’s maximum psi, then it will keep cooler and last longer.
So, it is up to you how you drive your caravan. Don’t feel daunted by this as there is some extra help.
Many caravanners online say that the plates on the side of your Bailey van which give the psi for the tyres is in fact incorrect. The plates say one thing but if you check the handbook, you get a different psi. This only goes to make things more confusing; I know but bear with me.
There are two ways you can check the right tyre pressure for your tyres with your caravan, providing you know the weights involved.
First of all, you can do a calculation which goes like this:
MTPLM kg x (Max tyre pressure in psi / (Max tyre load Kg x Number of wheels))
MTPLM kg (Maximum Technically Permissible Laden Mass (MTPLM)– this is the maximum weight that is able to pull your caravan. Your car must be this weight for everything to work right. You need this number for the calculation.
Your maximum tyre pressure in psi, which you can find on the rim of your tyres. It’s usually written underneath the max load (number). Then it will give you the maximum tyre pressure in psi.
You will need the maximum load number as well.
Then you multiply the tyre load in kilogrammes by the number of tyres.
You divide the number by the max psi number, the one you found on the tyre rim.
Then you multiply that by the maximum technically permissible laden mass – your car weight.
The answer is the correct psi for your types on your van.
If that has boggled your mind, do not fret, I have a secret weapon.
This way you can just put in your model and make, and you will get the correct tyre pressure.
If you have a Bailey caravan, it might be worth checking with the Tyre Safe website, just to be sure. But don’t worry if the pressure seems high, because the deal is very different with caravans and tyres compared to how it is with cars. If you think about it, the weight of the caravan is usually carried on just two wheels, rather than four, which means they do a lot of work.
Getting the tyre pressure right is something that is important but there is some variation so try to get it as close as you can to the correct pressure. That way you and your caravan will enjoy a reasonably soft ride, but your tyres will not be too firm and therefore unsafe.
Meaning you are free to enjoy a happy adventure in your tourer.