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Bilbo's Nexa VWt30 tyre pressures


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Is there anyone out there that could be help me. My husband always looked after the mechanical side of our VW Bilbo's Nexa. It is a t30 4 motion with automatic gearbox and has M&S all weather tyres labelled 235/55 R17 103H. Unfortunately he died in August and I'm on a steep learning curve working out how to work things!

I have been given conflicting advice as to what pressure the tyres should run with. The red mark on the pump is set at 44psi from the last time my husband checked them in June, and I was told by the person that was showing me how to check the van before a long run to put 44psi in all 4 tyres as that must be what my husband had done.

Subsequently I found the table in the driver's door that says it should be 43 front and 36 back for light load and 47 all around for heavy load. 

I phoned the VW van centre and they said to put in the pressure indicated in the table. 

My question is would the furniture and water tank in the van from the Bilbo's conversion make it classed as being a heavy load all the time, or would 44 in all wheels be ok?




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The data plate looks like one for a standard VW, your conversion will be closer to 'heavy' load than light, so you should never use the 36psi. As for 44 vs 47, technically the only way to know is weigh it fully loaded as you would go away, then refer to a online checker or ask tyre manufacterer, in the meantime I suspect either will do, but if you want peace of mind use 47.

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Welcome to the Out&AboutLive forums, Geanie.

A tyre with a 235/55 R17 103H specification is a 'sturdy' car tyre.

The 103 is the tyre's Load Index and the H is its Speed Rating. A tyre's Load Index is a number that can be used to look up the maximum amount of weight that a tyre can bear at its Speed Rating when inflated to its maximum pressure. 103=875kg, equating to a maximum axle-load of 1750kg (2 x 875kg), the H=130mph, and (somewhere) on the tyre's sidewall  there will be advice regarding a tyre's maximum inflation pressure.

The 47psi (front and rear axles) entry on the data-plate shows 5 passengers plus luggage, but there's no easy way of confirming whether that simplistic indicator would match the weight of your Bilbo's Nexa when you are driving it with its water tank full (36 litres?) and you have loaded it up with all your 'motorhoming' gear.

As Colin has said, using 47psi for all the tyres would be the simplest/safest thing to do, and I doubt that reducing that pressure to 44psi would be worthwhile to potentially improve ride quality, road holding, cornering or braking  

Be aware that gauges on electric tyre pumps are notoriously inaccurate, so (whatever pressure you choose to use) after you have inflated the tyres with the pump, it would be wise to check with a good quality pressure-gauge that the pressure is correct. I have three electric tyre pumps and none of their readouts are accurate. I use the readouts as a rough guide, over-inflating the tyres by a few psi and then reducing the pressure to the desired value afterwards using a trustworthy gauge.

(There are on-line discussions about VW T30 campervan tyre pressures, with some owners just going for the maximum-loaded pressures shown on the vehicle's data-plate, while other owners pick a pressure (for front and rear tyres) about midway between the 'light' and 'heavy' values. The choice may well depend on the model of VW Transporter on which the campervan was based and when it was built.)

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Thanks for the reply Colin and Derek Uzzell.

It sounds as though the setting my husband had on the pump should be ok then. It isn't an electric pump though, it's a single barrel Halfords manual one, I don't recall him buying it in the 39years we were married so is probably 70s vintage! I guess I should think about getting a new one. 

I checked them cold this morning and set them all to the mark on the guage.

Thanks for your help.


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This is a fairly recent discussion/argument about tyre gauges.


Besides the electric tyre pumps I have 4 tyre gauges - 3 dial-type analogue gauges and 1 digital gauge. One of the analogue gauges under-reads by about 15% at 30psi, but it's probably 60 years old so perhaps can be forgiven. (I saw exactly the same gauge advertised on a USA vintage car website for €100 but no claims were made about accuracy!) The other three gauges' readings closely match in the 30-40psi range - so good enough for my cars' tyres and I normally employ the digital gauge as it's the easiest/clearest to use.

When you get the opportunity it would be worth you confirming that, when the needle on the gauge is pointing at the 44psi mark, the pressure in the tyre will genuinely be 44psi. 

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Thanks for the information. I think I'm going to drive over and spend the day with my sister so her other half can check the van for me before I drive to the Alps next month.  I didn't appreciate what a complicated subject this is and want to make sure it is right. The pump I've got works very well to put air in but I think I'll buy a digital guage to check it is correct.

Thanks again for your help.

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