How to Keep Your RV Tires in Good Condition
Everybody wants to make sure they’re safe while traveling from one campground to the next. On top of that, most RV owners will go out of their way to protect their investment and keep their RV in good shape for years to come.
One of the best ways to do both of these things is to take good care of your RV tires. After all, a blowout can be devastating in terms of damage to your RV, and can even cause some seriously unsafe situations for you, your passengers, and anyone who happens to be on the road with you.
Fortunately, RV tire maintenance is straightforward enough. Stay on top of these basic tasks, and you can rest easy knowing your tires are unlikely to give you issues.
RV Tire Maintenance
There are 6 things to keep in mind when it comes to caring for your tires. Each of these aspects is as important as the last, and when you address each one regularly, your tires will be in tip-top shape.
#1: When to Change RV Tires
The first thing to know is when to change your motorhome or travel trailer tires. For the most part, this simply involves watching the tires for wear, bulging, and cracking. Additionally, you’ll want to check tread depth, making sure you always have at least 4/32” of tread depth. As soon as your tread depth is too shallow or you see signs of the issue mentioned above, you’ll want to get your tires replaced.
Another thing to be aware of is tire expiration dates. As a general rule, it’s best not to use tires that were manufactured more than 6 years ago.
You can find the manufacture date of your tires by finding the last four digits of the DOT code on the sidewall of each tire. The first 2 of these digits represent the week of manufacture, and the last two represent the year. For instance, 0119 would indicate that the tire was made in the first week of 2019. If you discover that your tires are more than 6 years old, you will want to replace them before heading out on any trips.
When you do replace your tires, ensure you use the proper tire size and that all tires match one another in order to prevent issues down the road.
#2: Cleaning Your Tires
Generally speaking, tires do not require any special cleaning products. In fact, some tires can actually be damaged by certain products. For this reason, it’s best to stick to cleaning your travel trailer or motorhome tires with soap and water.
#3: Proper Storage
In many cases, RVs go into storage for several months each year. Because they sit unused for so long, it is important to ensure you’re storing your RV properly in order to protect the tires.
What you need to know:
- Store in a cool, dry place.
- Unload the RV.
- Clean the tires beforehand.
- Move RV every 3 months.
- Store on blocks if possible.
#4: Weight Distribution
Every tire has a maximum weight capacity. In order to ensure you do not exceed this capacity, you will want to make sure you do not load your RV past its factory-declared maximum cargo capacity. Additionally, you’ll need to make sure to distribute the weight in your RV evenly throughout, so a single tire isn’t bearing the majority of the weight.
It is possible to check the load on each tire by finding a vehicle scale and weighing each tire separately.
#5: Proper Tire Pressure
Regularly checking for proper tire pressure is also extremely important. If possible, check your tire pressure before and after each trip. Checking when the tires are cold is also recommended in order to get an accurate reading.
When adding air to your tires, make sure to follow the guidelines provided by the tire manufacturer.
#6: Tire Rotation and Other Checks
Last but not least, you will occasionally want to have your tires rotated and checked up on by a professional. Read on for more information on this process.
All About RV Tire Rotation
Tire rotation is important for extending the life of your RV tires and keeping your rig safe on the road. This should be done according to the instructions in your vehicle owner’s manual.
Many RVers recommend a 5-tire rotation, which puts your full-sized spare tire into the rotation. This is beneficial because it ensures even wear on all 5 tires, and can extend the life of each.
No matter how you choose to have your tires rotated, Finding someone to do the job shouldn’t be an issue. Simply search online for “RV tire rotation near me” to find a professional up to the job and get a quote on tire rotation price.
While your RV is in the tire shop, be sure to have someone check out your balance and alignment just to be sure everything is in tip-top shape when you head out.
The Best RV Tires
Wondering which RV tires are best? There truly isn’t one answer to this common question. Generally speaking, any radial tires that properly fit your rig and offer the highest ply rating possible will do the job just fine. That said, many RV owners do prefer Goodyear and Michelin over other brands.
If you’re unsure about which tires will best suit your needs, consult a tire professional. They are certain to have some suggestions.
Changing RV Trailer Tires and Motorhome Tires
Even when you do everything right, things can still go wrong. Maybe you’ll run over a nail in the road, or perhaps you’ll just wake up to a flat tire one day. In any case, being prepared for tire emergencies is important.
In order to be properly prepared, you will want to have the appropriate trailer or motorhome jack on hand. Do not attempt to change your tires using the jacks built into your RV, as that is a very dangerous practice.
You’ll also need a good spare tire, and you may even want to keep an air compressor on hand.
Not sure about your ability to take care of your own tire problems on the road? In these cases, we highly recommend investing in a good RV-specific roadside assistance program such as Coach-Net or Good Sam. These companies understand the needs of RVers and will be happy to help in your search for “RV tire service near me”.