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Weight and Safety Tip, Tire Contact Patch

Weight and Safety Tip, Tire Contact Patch

By Jim Koca #86367, Escapees RVers’ Boot Camp Instructor

The tire contact patch, often referred to as the tire’s “footprint,” is the small portion of the vehicle’s tire that comes in contact with the roadway. It is the only connection between the road and your RV.

b2ap3_thumbnail_TirePatch.pngThe contact patch is fairly small for a large RV, with each patch being about the size of half of a sheet of paper. As you can image, this small section of the tire has to hold a lot of weight and pressure.

As an analogy, the tire’s contact patch is similar to the shoes you wear. Just as your shoes flex and protect you from the surfaces you walk on, tires flex with every bump or rut that is hit. The contact patch also provides the traction needed while traveling down the road or turning around a corner.

Improper inflation pressure can actually reduce the size of this contact patch. The correct air pressure for each RV tire is determined by the weight of the load it is carrying. In order to get the optimum connection between the road and your tires, they must be inflated to the proper pressure.

Escapees SmartWeigh service can provide you with the individual wheel weights for your RV tires. Then you can set the correct air pressure for the weight the tires are carrying. 

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