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I Am Saving Money on Fuel By Using Nitrogen in My RV Tires

by Robt. Allred
(Oceanside, Calif.)

I have used nitrogen in my RV, truck and car tires for several months now due to an ad at a tire shop saying that I would save 10% plus in milage. This I have found to be absolutely true. I went from 6 to 7 miles per gallon towing a 24 foot trailer to 13 miles per gallon. Towed with a Toyota V-8 Tundra 2004.

You might want to pass this on to your many subscribers as Discount tires says this has not been proven and they do not have the option. I would appreciate your comments on this great savings what with gas as pricey as it is.

RK Allred
Oceanside California

ANSWER: Hi RK thanks for submitting this on our Ask An RV Question Page.


There are two steps that you can take to insure that you get the best fuel mileage in your RV. If you own a motorized RV you need to make sure that the engine is properly maintained. The second step is to make sure that you always maintain the proper pressure in your RV's tires.

Properly inflated tires reduces rolling resistance of the tire, decreases heat build up in the tire and reduces tread wear and all of this leads to more efficient use of fuel and increases the life span of the tire.

It is a good rule of thumb to check tire pressure at least once a month on your vehicles which would include your RV. By a show of hands how many of you RVers out there check your RV's tire pressure religiously each month? A National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) study showed that 85% of American drivers do not properly check tire inflation pressure.

So what's wrong with using compressed air from a service station to keep your tires properly inflated?

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Compressed air that you get at a service station contains around 78% Nitrogen, 21% Oxygen and 1% other substances such as argon, carbon dioxide, neon, methane, helium, etc. Compressed air can also contain quite a bit of moisture depending on how well maintained the air compressor is that you are using.

Oxygen and moisture have a greater reaction to heat and cold, so when you are going down the road your tire pressure will tend to fluctuate more. Oxygen molecules are relatively small and tend to permeate through the rubber of the tire, so even if your tires are properly maintained you are still losing air from them.

The oxygen, moisture and other substances in compressed air can oxidize the rubber on the inside of the tire plus promote rust forming on the inside of the wheels which can create leaks as well as prematurely aging the tire compound.

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What are the advantages of using Nitrogen to fill your tires?

1. Since Nitrogen molecules are larger than Oxygen molecules you will have less permeation of pressure through the tire compound. In other words the tires will maintain proper pressure for a longer period of time.

2. Since there is no oxygen or moisture in nitrogen the tires will not experience oxidation from the inside and the wheels will not be prone to rusting on the inside.

3. Nitrogen is not as reactive to heat and cold as oxygen and moisture is, so the pressure fluctuations within the tires will be less while going down the road, so they will run cooler, be less prone to uneven tread wear which adds up to increased tire life.

The above reasons are why some large trucking companies and NASCAR use Nitrogen in their vehicles tires.

Disadvantages of using Nitrogen in your tires:

There is a cost of around $10.00 per tire to fill them up with Nitrogen. Nitrogen is not readily available everywhere, although if you have a low tire you can use compressed air to top it off, but you will have contaminated the Nitrogen and will have to get the tire deflated and refilled with Nitrogen.

The bottom line:

Using Nitrogen in your tires can help you increase fuel mileage and reduce wear and tear on your RVs tires. Although I cannot guarantee that everyone will get the same increase in mileage as you have experienced in your Tundra. Even if you use Nitrogen in your tires you still need to take the proper steps of maintaining proper tire pressure.

I hope that this information has been helpful.

Happy RVing

RVing Al

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Comments for I Am Saving Money on Fuel By Using Nitrogen in My RV Tires

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Horse Manure
by: Dave

Oh, Okay Al. So I guess that 21% oxygen on the outside of the tire won't cause oxidation? If a person is actually using their RV, by the time a tire oxidizes, it is worn out. If they let their RV sit for long periods, the tires are going to age before they are worn. The nonsense that molecule size matters, or that the slight moisture in the tire matters is just plain horse manure. Sounds like these comments are made by someone who has a financial interest in the ten bucks a tire. You would have to be totally brain dead to pay ten buck to fill a tire with nitrogen. Either provide substantiated scientific evidence of this myth, or save the rap. Ten bucks a tire. BaaHaahaahaahaahaahaahaa.

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Reply to non believers
by: Robert Allred

I check my tires cold before moving the car,truck or trailer. I just got back from another trip towing my trailer. Got 11 miles per gallon going up to 3000 foot elevation from the coast of oceanside. It sure beats the 6-7 miles I used to get on air. plus I had Oceanside tire check the air and after 3 months I still Had the same 50 psi air pressure. They even used a brand new gage. Bob Allred

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Total Nonsence
by: Anonymous

I'm a professional pilot. Nitrogen is use in aircraft tires because it contains no water vapor. It cannot freeze. The reason the poster is getting better mileage is because this little experiment prompted him to frequently check his tire pressure. I have noted that I have never seen anyone check their tire pressure at a campground, particularly when leaving. I have never seen a RV'er check tire pressure at a fuel facility or rest stop. I'm conscious of this because I carry a compressor in my truck and check tire pressure on thr F-350 and thr 5th Wheel daily when towing. But, the nitrogen option is simply nonsence. Try regular air with the same level of discipline to checking the pressure, and Presto, you'll het tje same mileage.

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This is BS
by: Fred Wishnie

This is absolute BS ! The gas, no matter what it is, is inside the tire and cannot have any effect on mileage. It's scientifically impossible.

The gas inside the tire doesn't react in any way with anything having to do with propulsion of the vehicle and therefor cannot effect engine / transmission efficiency.

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nitrogen in tires
by: Robert Allred

Additional comment on
my experience with nitrogen in my tires. I find I do not lose air near as often with nitrogen. Besides, At Oceanside tire they will fill and check for free. Plus they only charge 5.00 dollars per tire and seniors 4.00 dollars. If you get normal air accidently put in they will repurge the tires for free. What a great service! Robert Allred

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