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Tire Tip and Nitrogen Question

Originally Published in Trailer Life Magazine

Q: We pull a 35-foot travel trailer. When I got the trailer I had several problems with trailer tire blowouts. I noticed that my son’s larger and heavier fifth-wheel trailer had light-truck tires instead of trailer tires. I bought five 16-inch six-lug wheels and E rated light-truck tires and this solved my problem. I also found out that there are no ST trailer tires manufactured in the United States. Also, can or should I run nitrogen in my trailer tires to keep the air pressure from fluctuating since nitrogen is inert? Thanks for your help.
Don Hudnall, Texas City, Texas

A: I’m glad you solved your tire blowout problem. Failures due to poor quality are rife in the industry. Nitrogen inflation may give you a slight improvement in tire performance, although don’t expect too much. Keep in mind that the air we breathe already contains about 79 percent nitrogen. The inert characteristic is a chemistry term, which essentially means that nitrogen normally won’t react with other elements (such as your metal wheels) to form other compounds. It does not mean that nitrogen won’t expand when it is heated.
– Ken Freund

Ken Freund and Jeff Johnston To send your questions to RV Clinic, write to 2575 Vista Del Mar, Ventura, Calif., 93001; or email [email protected]. Also, check out TrailerLife.TV for our expert RV how-to videos.

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