When you leave home with a travel trailer, it is always good to be prepared for almost everything that can happen. One of the most important places to prepare will be your tires. Make sure they have the right air pressure and the right torque on the lug nuts
The amount of pound-foot torque will depend on the type of lug nuts, wheels, and tires you have on your trailer. Not every tire will be different as the 1/2- inch coned lug nuts on 15 & 16-inch tires with steel wheels the torque will be 90 to 120 lb-ft.
To learn more about this important topic just continue to read our article. It has the information you want to know about so you can drive safely with your trailer to your next destination. Take a few minutes to get the lug nut torque for your tires
We are going to insert a chart of the different torque ratings for different tires. We came across it during our research and it comes from an e-trailer web page. This chart is to get you on the right track and do not be alarmed if your tires are not mentioned.
There are plenty of tire experts who can help you find yours:
If you are towing a trailer with aluminum wheels, you can feel safe using the torque settings, listed in the chart above. As you can see those settings include aluminum wheels and their ratings are basically the same as they are for the steel wheels.
You may see some difference in torque ratings when you are towing a trailer whose wheels have 5 lug nuts. Those ratings go like this:
1/2-inch- 75 - 85 lb-ft
9/16-inch- 135 - 145 lb-ft
The key to torquing your wheels is to avoid using an impact wrench or any other tool that does not give you a gauge to measure the amount to the tightness of the lug nuts. When wanting to torque your wheels correctly, you need to use a torque wrench. That way you know exactly how tight your lug nuts are.
If your tires are not covered in the chart above, make sure to ask a tire expert what amount of torque you will need to keep those tires nice and safe.
It is important to have the right torque on each wheel as there is some risk when you do not. According to one warning label, the wrong torque runs the risk of loose wheels, broken studs, and possibly wheel separation from the axle.
This is not to say these things will happen to you but to warn you that the risk is there. If you are not sure about how to do the torque, many owner’s manuals should have complete information within their pages.
When torquing your wheels, make sure to follow the star pattern. If it is possible you should double-check the torque somewhere around 25, 50, or 100 miles. Keeping the tires safe will help keep you and your loved ones safe.
There are different models of torque wrenches you can use. This is not the time to go cheap and buy a simple model that doe snot have an accurate gauge or no gauge.
This size of lug nut is not mentioned in the chart above. Usually, this lug nut size is used on smaller trailers, for example, cargo, utility, and boat trailers. They may be stamped already with the correct torque rating.
One owner said his lug nuts were pre-stamped and the rating was 85 to 95 lb-ft of torque. There are owners who go with the higher rating and have not had many problems. Check your trailer’s wheels to see if they have pre-stamped lug nuts.
If they do, that extra effort should save you some time and trouble. You won’t have to use the chart above to guide you. Again, we will caution you about the type of wrench you use to tighten your tires on the wheels.
Impact wrenches are quick and very easy to get the job done. However, there is no guarantee that you will stop at the right torque rating when the lug nuts can’t be turned any further.
The following image will give you the best information as it is straight from Jayco. The chart covers 4 to 8 lugs and even tells you how to torque your lug nuts:
If you have any questions, you can go to the Jayco RV discussion forums and talk to the many members there. Some of those members are quite knowledgeable about tires and their requirements.
Another tool you should not totally rely on will be the 4-way lug nut wrench. While it will get your lug nuts nice and tight, it will not give you the correct torque rating. After using this wrench to secure your tire, switch to an actual torque wrench to complete the task.
This is the only way to be sure your tires are on correctly. While we make a point about the right wrench to use, we also have to mention that most people do not have a problem with not using a torque wrench. But you do not want to be the exception to this rule.
Being safe when you are on the road is important. There have been many horror stories about trailers that have lost their tires due to the lack of proper toque. Unfortunately, those stories happen to be true in most cases.
One RV owner saw a trailer on the side of the road missing a tire. A few minutes later, he spotted the tire down the road a ways. Be safe and torque properly.