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Old 03-29-2012, 08:05 PM
Camper Type: Travel Trailer
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Florida
Posts: 2
Default Pulling Camper

Just can't seem to get the camper to ride just right.

I have a 30'-9" bumper pull TT and pulling it with a 2002 F-250 7.3 I have load range E tires and keep hearing way too many different opinions on the air pressure for the front and rear tires. 80 psi is the max. Camper is 7200#. Just looking for the right air pressure.
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Old 03-30-2012, 07:22 PM
Addicted Camper
Camper Type: Toy Hauler
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Oregon
Posts: 162

My first thought is what does the rear axle on your Ford weigh with the trailer ready to use? While I'm not an expert on tires I would consider how close the actual weight on the tires compares to what their max rating is. What I'm getting at is I would guess those tires are rated around 3,000 lbs each and I would further guess with about 1,000 lbs tongue weight you're probably about 3500-4000 on the axle suggesting if you run say 60 lbs both ends you shouldn't be that close to capacity. But I am not a believer in guessing and am a strong believer in knowing what my rig weighs loaded, ready to role AND how it's balanced in order to be safe. So the first thing you should do IMO is weigh your truck and trailer, and if it's not close to the max tire weight I would think 60 lbs good also taking into account the age of the tires. Tires 5 years old won't have the capacity they did when new just as springs don't so more pressure would be in order I think. By that thinking the more load I would want more pressure because it's air pressure not the tire carcas that does the work. Sorry to be so wordy but there are more issues than I believe you brought up to be considered. Hope that helps and others may chime in with better opinions. Gerry
2004.5 Ram diesel 4X4, QCLB, 21 ft K2 by Komfort toy hauler, Polaris RZR to play with
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Old 04-09-2012, 01:58 PM
Camping Guru
Camper Type: 5th Wheel
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Murrieta, CA
Posts: 971

You think Gerry is wordy, watch this. This is critical to understand!

Look on the driver's side door pillar. This should have the maximum pressure you should use for your tires (assuming you have not changed the size on them). This psi will satisfy the weight rating for your truck's wheels. As long as the trailer is under the maximum tow rating or your vehicle, then you should be fine. Then over time monitor the rear tires to ensure they are not wearing in the middle faster than the outside. This would mean that you are towing with too high of a pressure for your trailer.

Sorry there's no magic number per se. But this is a way to start.

That solves your question, but before we can go any further, what else can you provide when you say "ride just right"... What else do you feel that's wrong if anything, if anything?

Now I'll tell you what I do. I have an '06 F-250 4x4 crew cab that has the F-350 tow and cargo ratings (larger tires and wheels and beefed up leaf springs). The max psi for my vehicle is 65 in front and 75 in the rear. When I am not towing or loaded this is too high and the truck is uncomfortable because it bounces around a lot especially when travelling at fast speeds on our horrible roads. I drop the psi to about 60 all around when I'm not towing. The ride is much better. However, if I am going to tow my fifth wheel trailer I inflate back up to max psi to improve the ride with a load and increase the ratings of the tire.

FYI - a lesser psi will drop the strength of a tire, so when my truck is empty the 60 psi satisfies the current weight of the truck and this should only be done if you know this psi will not hurt anything. Another thing, not all E load ranges are the same for all tires. Two tires with the same size or brand may not provide the same weight rating. You must look at the sidewall for the actual weight rating in order to know if you are good. When I bought my current Michelin MS/2 LR-E tires for my truck, the tire guy thought he would do me a favor in selling me a cheaper Michelin of the same size until I showed him the sidewall that showed this tire would NOT satisfy my weight rating requirement.

Be aware of what's possible about size, Load Rating, max psi and what weight rating is provided by the psi. If you know the weight your towing, carrying, etc. (and only a scale will tell you for sure), then you will be wisest about what works and what may not work and under what conditions.

I hope all this helps.

Murrieta, CA

2006 Ford F-250/350
2006 Montana 3500RL
Tent & Backpack with all the gear
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Old 04-09-2012, 07:31 PM
Camper Type: Travel Trailer
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Florida
Posts: 2

I don't think either one of you are wordy and the knowledge and more experience I get from experienced campers is more than helpful.
I have weighed my camper and truck once, but only to find my tounge weight. I have not done the single axles.
My tires are Destination Fireston 285/75/16 Load E Max PSI: 80. I did go up on the tire size. I have found that 65 in the front and 70 in the rear pulls my TT fine. I know the weight of the camper plays a bigs role with the tounge weight and it took me awhile to figure out, through trial and error (Feeling Comfortable) exactly how many links I wanted to use and just how tight to tighten the sway bar.
My main reason I posted my question, was primarily due to the camper moving so much and felt more like my TT was driving me. After speaking with several friends and other campers, I bought a rear anti-sway bar for underneath the rear of my truck. Made a huge difference. I guess I thought all of my problem was in the tires.

I have read threads from both of you guys in the past and thanks for taking the time to help.
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Old 04-10-2012, 08:08 PM
FamilyCamper's Avatar
Camper Type: Toy Hauler
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Madison, Wisconsin Area
Posts: 15

In addition to what the others have said:

I put a set of Bilstein HD shocks on my 2001 E-350 psd. The F4-BE5-H341-H0 for the front and F4-BE5-H685-H0 for the rear - these are what are used on ambulances. Shocks made all the difference. I have a 2011 Coachmen 291QBSS and when it’s fully loaded the wife says “you don’t even know its back there” and that’s says something as she’s normally the driver…

When I got my TT out of storage (dry weight) a few weeks back I didn’t put the WD bars on and towed it home 20 miles and it really handled well.

I have also ordered Ford factory stock parts to add a stabilizer to the front end (just because I like the idea). This has a hard mounting bracket to the frame. The brackets are about $150.00, I bought a Bilstein stabilizer $91.00 – you could get cheaper one for around $20. Wife should be even happier!

The stabilizer brackets I ordered are for an ambulance (not stock on a normal E350) but all the holes are there so all I have to do bolt it up.

The same might apply to your F250 – something from an ambulance or fire wagon??? The aftermarket stabilizer kits do not perform as well.

Happy camping!

Last edited by FamilyCamper; 04-10-2012 at 08:16 PM..
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