By Roger Marble
The vehicle certification sticker has some critical safety information you should know. I don’t expect you to memorize all the information. However, I strongly suggest you snap a picture of the sticker, keep it on your phone, and know where to find it. It has information that is critical when it comes time to knowing the proper tire inflation and when you are shopping for replacement tires.
First the basics
The vehicle certification label may be an embossed metal plate or a printed sheet or a sticker. Years ago (before about 2010), the label could be almost anywhere in or on your vehicle. I have heard stories of people finding them in the glove box, in the car trunk lid or on the side of the passenger door. The best I ever heard about was on the inside of an RV closet door that could only be seen if you were standing inside the closet with both the sliding doors closed. It seemed that some felt it was a game of Hide and Seek. Luckily this has changed. DOT now has specific requirements for the information on the label and the location of the label.
Motor Vehicles: Cars, trucks and motorhomes with driver doors. The sticker must be on the door jamb of the driver door. If there is no driver door, as with many Class A motorhomes, the label must be near the driver left elbow and visible from the driver’s seat.
Trailers: The label must be on the driver side, outside, toward the front of the trailer.
What information is on certification stickers
Information on the certification label includes: Tire Size, Load Range, Gross Axle Weight Rating (GAWR), and cold inflation of the tires. Many also have the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), along with other information.
Currently, DOT requires the inflation be the minimum inflation needed to support the GAWR. As of 2017, RVIA added a requirement that tires be inflated to a level that included a margin of 10%. So if your RV manufacturer certifies your RV to be in compliance the RVIA standards, that would be the inflation shown on the label. If tire size or inflation is different for different axles, the information must be shown for each axle.
Here are some examples from the internet of the certification stickers/labels:
Some RVs have more than one label:
Here is a sample Winnebago Certification Label. It could be attached to the front lower portion of the driver’s door, or to the lower portion of the wall next to the driver’s seat, or to the pillar in front of the driver’s door:
Remember to snap a photo of your vehicle’s certification label and keep it handy.
Have a tire question? Ask Roger on his new RV Tires Forum here. It’s hosted by RVtravel.com and moderated by Roger. He’ll be happy to help you.
Read more from Roger Marble on his blog at RVtiresafety.net or on RVtravel.com.
My 2013 class A tag says 120 psi for all 8 tires, so I don’t have that second sticker as required starting in 2017. 120 psi is the max pressure, provided by Freightliner on an incomplete chassis, not the motorhome manufacturer. Michelin provides a chart with much lower pressures based on actual weight carried by each tire. We see advice all the time to get the RV weighed by somebody like RVSEF and adjust pressures to weight. So while the tag says 120 psi, Michelin tells me 110 psi up front and 90 psi on drive and tag axles.
The RV MFG is required to provide tires and inflation numbers based on GAWR. Actual weight should be lower than GAWR so lower inflation is sometimes possible. Don’t forget that if you get actual weights and select the number for the heavier end of each axle and then consult the tables the inflation number on the table is the MINIMUM inflation you should run. I always recommend people add at least 10% to that inflation number.
That was very confusing for me. The inflation number on my door is 65psi for the front and 75psi for the rear duallys. Are you saying I should increase those numbers by 10%? For summer and winter?