Originally Posted by GallenH
Sorry but I can't remember the thread where this came up, but it had to do with finding the optimum tire pressures. I have a 1997 PW on a Dodge chassis and had been running 55/80. This last trip I bumped it to 60/80. Results:
I didn't notice much difference but then the last trip I took was in March and it's hard to remember "feel." Ride up to the mountains = good. Ride back = so/so. In fairness once we were in the mountains the winds really kicked up and continued throughout our return.
That year PW has a very light feel to the steering. In my experiences with past cars, when tire pressure was low in the front the steering required more effort. When restored to their proper, higher value the steering became more effortless. Question: It seems that with the PW you wouldn't want a less effortless steering. It's already light. Wouldn't a lower pressure actually be better?
Second, I went back in my emails to when I bought the RV 3 years ago. I had emailed PW tech support asking them for the alignment specs and tire pressures for my specific year. They sent those in they indicated that despite the door sticker, front pressure should be 65!!
Perhaps next trip I'll run 65 on the way out and 55 on the way back?
Most people seem to like 65 psi in the front of the Dodges, but of course it is very personal choice.
Lower tire pressure to increase effort is kind of the wrong way to go, IMO as it reduces steering response making you more likely to overcorrect because of larger corrections being required than with the lighter effort.
If you want more effort you can start with an alignment and have them put as much positive caster on the front wheels as they can get while still holding the other specs. Be sure you are toed in or effort will be very light once off center. Best is to have maybe 1/2 degree more positive on the right to help hold road crowns. You may also be able to get a different steering gear or have one rebuilt with a stiffer torsion arm in the gear, assuming one can be found in an old unit or aftermarket.
Others have had good success with a steering gear reinforcement that gets rid of mounting flex and supports the outboard bearing of the steering gear. This is an easy mod, makes sense, and seems to work well.