One of the most important components of any travel trailer or motorhome are the tires. After all, a home-on-wheels isn’t much use if the tires on those wheels are no good. Additionally, having RV tires blowout while driving at highway speeds can cause some really big issues, including damage to the unit or even an accident involving other vehicles.
Unfortunately, many RV owners are unaware of what proper RV tire maintenance looks like. Not only that, but many people with RVs have no clue when the tires should be changed out, or what they are looking for in terms of damage or aging.
In this article, we will address these things so you can be sure your RV trailer tires or motorhome tires are in the best shape possible for each and every trip.
Caring for Your Motorhome Tires or Travel Trailer Tires
First, let’s talk about the maintenance of motorhome and camper trailer tires. Fortunately, tires don’t require a whole lot in terms of maintenance, but what they do require is important.
Below is a quick rundown of what you should be doing to keep your RV tires in excellent shape:
- Check Tire Pressure — Check your tire pressure before every move. Keeping your tire pressure at the correct level can prevent a lot of damage.
- Watch for Damage — Additionally, you will want to do a walk around and check for damage to your tires before every trip. Look on the insides, outsides, and along the tread. Watch for cracks, bubbling, or uneven wear. If you find these issues, change to a spare and get a replacement right away.
- Cover Tires When Parked — The sun can cause your tires to age more quickly. Covering your tires with tire covers while parked—especially when parked for a while—can help protect them.
- Raise an Unused RV — If you will be leaving your RV in storage for months, find a way to raise the tires off the ground a bit. Failing to do so can cause unnecessary wear, requiring you to replace the tires when travel season rolls around again.
- Avoid Wet Ground — Parking in consistently wet spots (such as grass) during rainy season can cause your tires to soak up water, leading to damage.
- Rotate Camper Tires — Just as you would rotate tires on a car, you will want to rotate the tires on your camper from time to time.
- Keep Your Tires Clean — A clean tire is a happy tire. Be sure to wash your tires every couple of months, removing any dirt and grime that could cause premature aging.
How Long Do RV Tires Last?
Wondering when to replace RV tires? This is dependent on how often the tires are used and where and how they are driven, as well as the brand and type of tire.
For instance, the tires put on RVs in the factory are very low quality and won’t last nearly as long as high quality Michelin RV tires. This is just as true for high-end class A rigs as it is for simple pop-up camper tires, so keep an eye on these poorly made factory tires.
Generally speaking, RV owners who travel often can expect to get at least 30,000 miles out of their RV tires—possibly much more. That said, because most RVs aren’t driven all that much in the grand scheme of things, the vast majority of RV owners will need to replace their tires due to age rather than wear.
The rule as far as age goes is that all tires should be replaced at or before 5 years of age.
You can find the manufacture date on the sidewall of the tire. Look for a 4-number sequence. This sequence represents the week and year the tire was made. For instance, the numbers “3216” would mean the tire was made in the 32nd week of 2016.
Of course, you’ll also need to keep an eye out for damage to your RV tires. This can occur at any time, regardless of age or miles driven. Therefore, the person asking, “How long do RV tires last?” will need to be satisfied with the vague, but true answer: It depends.
Finding the Best RV Tires
When the time does come to replace your RV tires, you’ll probably be wondering, “Where can I find RV tires near me?” and, “Which are the best travel trailer tires or motorhome tires?”
The answer to your first question is simple enough. Most RV dealerships will be able to help you out with finding new tires for your RV. Additionally, there are some regular tire shops that can help, especially if you have a trailer rather than a motorhome. Your best bet is to call around or search the internet using a phrase like, “RV tire service near me.”
When it comes to finding the best tires, things get a little more complicated. You see, there is no one answer to this question. As mentioned above, Michelin-brand tires are quite good. However, any major tire brand will be able to offer you a quality product. The key is to request the highest-ply tire possible for your rig and to avoid generic brands that could be cheaply made.
Considering the price of these things, it’s also a good idea to purchase a warranty on your tires.