When was the last time you checked the tire pressure on your rig? Before your trip? During? Or when it was too late? Let’s face it, some of us aren’t as diligent as we could be when it comes to maintaining your RV’s tires. But proper tire inflation during a long trip could save you the cost of a dinner out if your tires are under-inflated and even more if you have blow out. And with proper inflation and care you can usually get a longer useable life out of your tires.
You can count on one hand the 5 easy steps to tire happiness!
Inflation: Maintaining proper air pressure in RV tires is the way to enhance tread life and tire performance. Under inflated tires can reduce traction, fuel economy, load-carrying capability, tread life and can cause permanent structural damage to your tires. Remember, not all RVs are built the same and either are their tires. Make sure to check for the recommended inflation pressures for your tires in your owner’s manual.
Cleaning: Similar to the rest of your RV, routinely cleaning your tires will greatly benefit your RV in the long run. Road oil, a product used to seal and protect roadways, is known to cause rubber deterioration. Tires that are layered with dirt and dust buildup will hold the contaminant next to the tire causing further degradation. A soft brush and normal mild soap that you would use to clean your RV may be used.
Note: tire dressings that contain petroleum products, alcohol or silicones will cause deterioration or cracking and accelerate the aging process. In many cases, it is not the dressing itself that can be a problem, but rather the chemical reaction that the product can have with the antioxidant in the tire.
Load Balance: Storage and carrying capacity are often large factors when comparing RV models and floorplans. Knowing your gross combination weight rating (GCWR) and not over packing your RV or overloading one side of your RV will benefit your tire’s lifespan. A balanced load in an RV can enhance fuel economy and handling, improve tread wear and reduce excessive wear of RV components.
Inspection: It is important to inspect your tires regularly and they should have a thorough inspection at least once a year and after any time you drive through a rough or rocky terrain. The inspection should include both sidewalls, the tread area, valves, valve caps and any valve extensions. Inspect for for nails, cuts, bulges, aging or fatigue cracks and weather or ozone checking. Also, check between the duals for objects lodged between them.
Storage: Unless you’re a full time RVer, your vehicle most likely spends some time in long-term storage. If you’re seeking a long term storage solution for your RV in the off season, look for a cool, dry sealed storage facility. Stay away from places that experience frequent and extreme temperature changes, do not keep tires next to radiators or other sources of heat. Keep in mind while you’re storing your RV or RV tires, some storage surfaces can cause tires to age faster. So, keep your tires protected from sunlight and ultraviolet rays, try placing a barrier (cardboard, plastic or plywood) between your tire and the storage surface and make sure your tires are properly inflated to your RV’s recommended pressures.
What tips do you have for caring for your RV tires? Comment below!