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Airing Down Tires

DavidNJ

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This forum is filled with capable trucks with huge all-terrain tires. Many of them are for show, but I imagine many end up off road, whether a gravel trail to cabin or sandy beaches.

It is apparently best practice to drop pressures into the 20s and even the teens, the air up for the trip home.

Do you air down your tires? If so, what size and brand tire, what type of road/trail/surface, and what pressures do you use? If possible, what compressor do you use to reinflate?

 
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Rob5589

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Airing down is very beneficial but, not always necessary. It is really terrain dependent. If just running fire roads with some minor washouts and the like, I probably wouldn't. If you plan on crawling over rocks larger than about a football, soft (sand) type ground, etc, it is a good idea.
How far depends on the wheel/tire size. A 20/22 with the usual lo pro tires won't get down too far for fear of wheel damage or unseating the bead. The 18 with a 65/70/75 series tire I would say high teens would be doable.
I use a Viair 300p compressor. Viair makes great stuff, super popular in off roading circles.
 

CaptainCJ35

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DavidNJ

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How far depends on the wheel/tire size. A 20/22 with the usual lo pro tires won't get down too far for fear of wheel damage or unseating the bead. The 18 with a 65/70/75 series tire I would say high teens would be doable.

To get to 65/70/75 with a 20" tire the OD needs to be 35" or the width OEM (275/65-20 is 34.1). However, the 18" wheels seem to have a very tight clearance with the brake caliper which is unknown for aftermarket wheels. The OE wheels may have a flair to clear it.

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15psi maximum. 11psi recommended. Do they have a problem with tires coming off the bead?

Nauset Beach had a restriction on "snow tires". That is probably a bit out of date, harking back to the 1960s and before, but how does it apply to all-terrain, the new hybrids like Ridge Grappler, and mud tires in general? Wouldn't they all be considered "snow tires" in the way the rule was intended?

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Rob5589

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The factory 18 is what I was referring to but, surely there are other 18's that will work.

Sand is where airing down is a necessity. You need as much floatation as possible. You need to "float" across the sand, not dig in.
 

CaptainCJ35

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I think those regs are written to cover run of the mill SUVs... typical one size fits all regulations... and 15 psi isn't a risk to the bead for them. I DO have concerns with 15 psi on Duratrac's and a 5,700 lb truck. I air down to 25 psi.

I have no idea what's up with the snow tires at Nauset beach. I think you're right that some of these regs are ancient, and likely back in the day people would show up in skinny snow tires on 14 inch rims thinking that's all the needed to do. Snow tire =/= AT and MT tires, as there are plenty of trucks, jeeps, etc., that show up with lifts and MT's and roll right on to the beach.
 

Helmetface

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Are many of ya'll from MA? I'm on the South Shore myself, but all my offroad time is spent in NH, Me and VT.

I hate east coast beaches...twas spoiled growing up in Southern CA.
 

CaptainCJ35

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I'm on the South Shore myself. Slim pickings down here for "legal" offroading in a full size truck. I've done some exploring on powerline trails and fire lanes in Plymouth and Carver, but that's not exactly sanctioned.

Lots of places you can squeeze a jeep down, and more technical too. That goes for NH, VT, and ME I've found, but I'm new to the off road game in my own truck.


Race Point is an amazing place to go over sand. But the whole season long beach closure to protect Piping Plovers is over the top. Nauset does it right... keeping the beach open by making people get out in front of the truck to scare the chicks off... but it's slow and super crowded as a result. Then you add in 12 foot Great White's 20 yards off the beach and it gets really hard to justify the cost of a season long pass.

Any favorite spots up in NH or ME you want to share? :sneaky:
 

SilverSurfer15

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The tire is not going to come of the bead in loose sand at the beach. Plus, it’s not like your going to be hot dogging it in a public setting like that.

I wouldn’t be worried about it unseating, unless your under 10 and really getting it on a hard surface.

That being said, if you don’t have a way of airing back up I’d stay as high as possible. Especially if you have to drive somewhere to get air. If you are like most people and have 40-50 psi in the tire, it will be a crazy difference at 15-20.

Edit: I should add I was talking about a decent off road setup, like 18s and 33+ all Terrians. If you have the factory 20s and all seasons I would stay at 15 and up. So I guess it kind of depends on your setup. It’s hard to give a blanket answer. But I don’t see anyone’s tire coming off at 15 on any setup.
 
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dsn112

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For the beach I drop my 18" rebel Duratracs down to 20psi. I use those screw on deflators. I keep Viair inflator in my bed for when I hop off the beach.
 

DavidNJ

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How low do you folks go on regular roads? Presumably, your likely large than OE Load Range E tires would handle an unloaded Ram 1500 at 30-35psi or less. Even Rebel OE tires (275/70-18) are rated a max rear GAWR at 35psi. In typical conditions, rear load may be 1000#-1500# less.
 
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Rob5589

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How low do you folks go on regular roads? Presumably, your likely large than OE Load Range E tires would handle an unloaded Ram 1500 at 30-35psi or less. Even Rebel OE tires (275/70-18) are rated a max rear GAWR at 35psi. In typical conditions, rear load may be 1000#-1500# less.
Define "regular road."
 

DavidNJ

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Define "regular road."

Asphalt, bitumen, concrete. Two-lane roads and superhighways. Normal LT tires have specs to 35psi, with many meeting Ram max capacity in the 35-40psi range. Floatation tires are rated to 25psi. They typically drop 170-200lb in capacity per 5psi. Curb weight for a Ram is typically 5400-6000lb, with a heavy front bias. GVWR is 6900-7100#. A 35x11.5-18 LT would exceed the needed capacity at 25psi.

In day-to-day driving, commuting to work or going to the market, what tire pressures do you run?
 
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Rob5589

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Asphalt, bitumen, concrete. Two-lane roads and superhighways. Normal LT tires have specs to 35psi, with many meeting Ram max capacity in the 35-40psi range. Floatation tires are rated to 25psi. They typically drop 170-200lb in capacity per 5psi. Curb weight for a Ram is typically 5400-6000lb, with a heavy front bias. GVWR is 6900-7100#. A 35x11.5-18 LT would exceed the needed capacity at 25psi.

In day-to-day driving, commuting to work or going to the market, what tire pressures do you run?
Gotcha. I run pressures where the tires have even wear, stability, comfort. Currently I have the stock Falkens on the 18" wheel, 38 front, 34 rear. 38 is what is called for on the door jamb. When I load it down here in a few weeks, I will probably go up to 40 or so.

Something that can be checked is the increase in pressure from cold to hot. Mine, unloaded, increase by 3-4 psi.
 

DavidNJ

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Gotcha. I run pressures where the tires have even wear, stability, comfort. Currently I have the stock Falkens on the 18" wheel, 38 front, 34 rear. 38 is what is called for on the door jamb. When I load it down here in a few weeks, I will probably go up to 40 or so.

Something that can be checked is the increase in pressure from cold to hot. Mine, unloaded, increase by 3-4 psi.

The OEM LT275/65-18 Load Range C tires are only [email protected] 38psi should equal about 2090#, which is equal to 2300# for an SL/XL/Reinforced tire. Bigger tires add maybe 10%-20% max to that.; 295/65-20LT would probably be around 31psi at that load capacity.

However, that is for 3900/4100 front/rear GAWR to yield a 7100 GVWR. Depending on options, you may be under 6000# and even a loaded Limited with just a driver and light cargo (e.g. groceries) is probably under 6400# with most of that on the front wheels. The curb weight of the option-less truck is 5380, divided 3128/2252 front/rear. Optioned the weight can go to 6000#, but still...lots of spare capacity, especially in the rear.

Do you have the air suspension or have you considered adding a rear airbag? The advantage of either is increasing the rear spring rate to handle the load.

But isn't this what we want?

 

DavidNJ

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Another airing down video...this one with some recommendations for a vehicle about the same weight as the Ram 1500. From western Australia.

 

Fatherdeath

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I went down to about 25PSI for some off-roading yesterday and it helps alot stock 20"wheels as a base line then doing the trail again next week with the new tires
 

Bt10

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I took a 4 day weekend and played in the ORV sand and kept street pressure. I knew from a previous truck/trip that I couldn't make it out of a bowl, but everywhere else it was fine. I also don't mind prodigious wheel spin. A different ORV sand area would require an air down, hence I am still looking for a good compressor.
 

Fatherdeath

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I took a 4 day weekend and played in the ORV sand and kept street pressure. I knew from a previous truck/trip that I couldn't make it out of a bowl, but everywhere else it was fine. I also don't mind prodigious wheel spin. A different ORV sand area would require an air down, hence I am still looking for a good compressor.
I just recently Snagged an Up down Air EGOI Compressor from offroadWearhouse for 130 and it does some great work getting back up to 38 from 20 on a 35x12r20 its a direct battery connect type. I plan on wiring up a QD power connector and run that to the bed for easy plug in with out having to open the hood.

 

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