Tire Temperature - Infared Thermometers - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-04-2003, 07:48 AM   #1
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Tire Temperature - Infared Thermometers

I recently purchased one of those Infared thermometers at Radio Shack ($30.00 on sale). Its been great fun measuring temps around the house and shop (just point and click). But, the "real" reason for the purchase was to monitor my Scamp's tire temperatures at various inflations. I want to run a bit under inflated to cushion the trailer to make up for my worn out torsion suspension, at least until I can afford a new axle. I am willing to accept a bit of tire wear in exchange for a smoother ride. With my current limited free time my tires will likely expire from decay before I wear the tread off. I expect to try about 30 PSI. So, my question is -- Does anyone know how high a temp is OK for a tire or how high is too much? Accelerated wear is one thing, I don't want blow outs.

thanks, john
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Old 06-04-2003, 09:01 AM   #2
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Infrared is a bit dicey with respect to tire temperatures. The critical temperature is deep within the tire at the belts. Temperature devices with pins that penetrate into the rubber are better for this sort of thing. In most areas of the country, the temperature inside the tire is usually much higher than the surface temperature. Then again, particularly in the southwest, the surface temperature can be much higher than internally. Infrared temperature gauges are fun but largely useless for tires.

In the category of more information than you really want:

Tires are cured (vulcanized) in the 310 to 360 deg. F range. However, the critical temperatures after curing is the temperature at which the rubber begins to revert. That is, when the adhesive properties begin to fall off. As the tire spins down the road, the belts want to fly off. Only the adhesion of the belts to the body plies, and the tread to the belts keeps the whole thing together. As the tire heats up, it's heading directionally towards the reversion temperature. Normally, the tire sheds heat fast enough that you never get into the danger zone. Go fast enough, or run under inflated enough and the tire overheats, the adhesion degrades and centripital force throws the whole thing apart.

A variety of properties of the rubber stocks go into determining how well the belt/tread package stays attached. To stretch an analogy, rubber stock can have tear resistance properties that vary as much as rip stop nylon varies from a cheap pair of nylon stockings.

Because only the tire manufacturer knows the details of the rubber stock inside your tires, you'd have to select a very conservative number. However, in a parking lot in Arizona in the summertime, you'd get a temperature much higher than the desired internal temperature.
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Old 06-04-2003, 03:42 PM   #3
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tire temperature

Or.......

You could stop along side the road, put your hand on the car tire (which you haven't had any trouble with) then feel the trailer tire.

Anyway, good luck with your choice, I'll stay at 45-50lbs. :)
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Old 06-04-2003, 04:47 PM   #4
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Don's comment reminds me of when I was just starting in the tire business. There was an old timer who would lay his hand on the back of the tire press (what the tire is vulcanized in) and would announce what the temperature of the press was to whoever was standing nearby. Usually me. I was mightily impressed with his experience.

It took me months to realize that he could see the press temp gauge from back there.:reyes I can be so gullible sometimes.
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Old 06-04-2003, 10:35 PM   #5
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bearings

On the subject of temperature, I have this habit of walking around the trailer and Tahoe every time I stop and feel the tires for heat. I don't know what would be too hot but I bet I'd know it if I felt it. The other thing I do is to touch the wheel bearing housing on the Trailer as well. It gets the finger a little smudged but that's why GOD made those Wipes in a can. I'm probably more concerned with bearing heat than tire heat most of the time.
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Old 06-04-2003, 10:42 PM   #6
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Hi Keith
Good show.I do same thing.No fancy gadets for me .;)
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Old 06-14-2003, 01:10 PM   #7
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I have been using the RS infrared thermometer for some time now and find it very handy. I can walk around the entire vehicle and shoot the tires (I shoot directly on the side of the tread as that seems to be the hottest and is also the area I would expect to fail first) and the hubs.

Because I am not getting my hands dirty, I find I am doing the heat check more often.

Occasionally I will also shoot the differential (dont have to crawl under to do that) and open the hood to shoot the alternator and pulleys, radiator, water pump, fuel pump, etc.

"Normal" temps depend on a lot of factors, like ambient air temps, road surface temps, speeds and climbing, etc., so what I am doing is sort of building up a personal internal data base so I can tell when something is starting to go "Abnormal".

Pete in the RatHause
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Old 06-21-2003, 08:34 AM   #8
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Quote:
Orginally posted by Pete Dumbleton

"Normal" temps depend on a lot of factors, like ambient air temps, road surface temps, speeds and climbing, etc., so what I am doing is sort of building up a personal internal data base so I can tell when something is starting to go "Abnormal".

Pete in the RatHause
Now that does make sense. How do you know what's off if you don't know what's normal. very good. :thumb I do that with noises, never thought about doing it with temps. (like - what is that whomp whomp sound? Just the wheel falling off, Oh that, been there done that.)
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