When it comes to getting your tyre pressure right in the outdoors, the eye test just won’t cut it. There are plenty of gadgets out there to help you and a few other things you should keep in mind while you’re deflating or inflating the tyres on your tow vehicle.   

Deflate your tyres

We know, deflating your tyres is a pain but sometimes it’s necessary to prevent your tow vehicle from getting bogged. If you think you are getting bogged, stop. Get out. Let the tyres down to around 18psi for sand, reverse and then drive forward. This should do the trick on soft sand.

Find shade

On a blazing hot day, deflating your tyres is about the last thing you want to do. If you can, find shade and have plenty of water on hand before you start deflating.

Know what pressures are best

Understand what works for your vehicle and tyres in different terrain. Generally, 28psi is good for gravel, rocks and corrugations. Sand is usually 18psi. Lower tyre pressures mean you’ll have to slow things down a bit and take it easy when turning. If you turn too sharply, you may roll the tyres off the rims. And of course, don’t forget to re-inflate them before hitting the bitumen.

Rapid tyre deflators

These are by far the quickest way to let air out of your tyres. It works by attaching to the valve stem, then unscrewing the tyre’s valve. This will release a huge amount of air quickly. Make sure to buy a rapid tyre deflator from a reputable brand, otherwise you might be better off using a stick.  

Set pressure deflators

These can be set at specific pressures attached to the valve stems, then left to automatically deflate the tyres. All four tyres can be deflated at once to the set pressure.


This is a new piece of kit, which can deflate two tyres at once. Both tyres will be at the same pressure and you won’t have to kneel while it’s happening. The best bit is that it can also inflate two tyres at once. Amazing!

There are plenty of pieces out there that will help take the hassle of getting your tyre pressures right. You may have to build up your kit over time to find what works for you.

This article was originally published in unsealed 4×4 magazine


Drive north from Perth along Western Australia's Coral Coast and take in the dazzling Indian Ocean, hike the bewilderingly beautiful gorges of Kalbarri National Park, swim with whale sharks, meet dolphins and return to Perth relaxed and refreshed.