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Is your tire pressure gauge accurate? How can you tell?

If I asked you what the most important thing to check prior to an RV trip was, what would you say?

There are lots of important things to check prior to an RV trip, but your answer should be the tires. We depend on our tires to get us to our destination safely every time we leave home. But unfortunately, the Rubber Manufacturers Association found that 29 million drivers believe tires require no regular maintenance. You might neglect tire maintenance on your automobile and get away with it, but RVs are different.

If you tow a trailer, the tow vehicle and trailer both need the correct tire inflation for the load placed on the tires. The same is true for a motorhome and any vehicle or trailer you are towing behind the motorhome.

That brings me to the subject of this post. Checking tire pressure is great, but is the tire gauge you are using accurate?

Here are a few things to keep in mind with tire pressure gauges:

1) Spend a few more dollars and get a quality tire pressure gauge.
Editor’s Note: We recommend this one
2) If the gauge is for checking dual wheels on a motorhome, the chuck end of the gauge should have a dual foot design to make the job much easier.
3) Always select a gauge rated higher than the inflation pressure of the tires you are checking. Applying more pressure than the gauge is rated for can damage the gauge and affect the accuracy. If you over-pressure a gauge, have it tested for accuracy.
4) Try not to drop or jar the gauge. Store the gauge in some type of protective covering or case and in an area where it will not get bumped or damaged.
5) Periodically have the gauge tested for accuracy. At a minimum, compare it to another quality gauge to see if both read the same or close to the same pressure. They do lose accuracy over time, so make sure you check them. 
6) After you purchase a quality tire pressure gauge, use it regularly to check your tires.

When you use an accurate tire gauge, the tires are safer, it extends the life of the tires, improves fuel efficiency, and lessens the chance of unexpected and premature tire failure.

Watch the video for more tips about selecting and using the best tire gauge possible.

For more information on using and maintaining your RV visit RV Online Training.

##RVDT1615

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A Hobbes
4 months ago

The article title asked two great questions and didn’t answer either one. What was the answer. You can do better than that.

Richard
4 months ago

I am also a fanatic about tire pressure so I read your article with deep interest, I currently use a Jayco ElitePro Digital Series – 200PSI and I also use a Accutire Electronic Digital gauge. I find the pressure varies from 3-5 lbs between the two. Our Tire-tracker TPS appears to like the reading on the Accutire versus the more expensive Jayco. My question concerns having the gauges tested for accuracy. I have been to 6 different tire shops and three FLying J and Love truck stops asking out to have my items checked. No one seems to know where to have them checked. Do you have a source where I can get my units checked for accuracy. Thank you and Blessings.

Jim Swickard
4 months ago

I’m not enlightened by the suggestion: “Periodically have the gauge tested for accuracy.” That guidance needs edification. The questions are where can I have them tested, and what should it cost me?

Bob M
4 months ago

I had trouble with the accuracy of tire pressure gauges. I ended up buying a pencil type tire pressure gauge from NAPA. It’s can also used to check the accuracy of other tire pressure gauges. It’s a lot longer than most pencil tire pressure gauges.

Bruce LaHargoue
4 months ago

“Man with one tire pressure gauge always knows his tire pressure. Man with two tire pressure gauges is never sure.”

Tommy Molnar
4 months ago

“Confucius say” . . . Very good comment.

Bill
4 months ago

I asked the Big O tire center service center what guage they used. Out of 6 techs only 2 had the same brand gauge in their shirt pocket, and those were 5 pounds off each other on a 70# inflation test.
I think Jeff has the right idea…

Jeff Arthur
4 months ago

I use Olympic score system. 3 gauges throw out the hi & low readings. I run Milton gauges USA made or they were. All read so close it is so little of a difference it doesn’t make a difference.

Rusty
4 months ago

As a member of the 6ply tire society, checking tire pressures went hand in hand with checking oil levels. Checking the inner tire of a dually set even with an air extension and the hub off can be trying.