How to keep your travel vehicle’s tires firmly planted on the pavement and onto your next designation
Even the shortest trips in your RV, campervan or motorhome require tires that are functioning properly. There can be quite a few components on your home-away-from-home that aren’t working and still allow you to enjoy your time away.
If your motorhome tires have a problem, though, you won’t even make it off your driveway. Plus, when you’re on the road, your tires are your first line of defense against accidents, meaning they need to be ready for whatever you might have to throw at them.
All of these factors help explain why proper care of your tires is so crucial. To help you get the most life out of your tires and ensure they’re always ready to get you safely to your destination, here is a basic tire care guide.
Components of proper motorhome tire care
Proper tire care is an ongoing process. At its most basic, proper tire care includes inspecting each of your vehicle’s tires before you hit the road. This ensures that any major problems that have developed since your last trip don’t go unnoticed.
Another important maintenance tip for your tires is rotation. On cars, tire rotation is crucial and must be done every 6,000 to 8,000 miles. On an RV or campervan, however, rotation depends entirely on how much you actually drive your vehicle.
For many travelers, tire rotation isn’t required because their tires wear out from age before they are driven far enough to warrant rotation. That’s why it’s all the more important to regularly check the condition of your tires to ensure they are wearing evenly.
How to check your RV or motorhome tires
When you check the condition of your tires, there are many things you need to be looking for. Your tires can tell you a lot about how well your vehicle is driving when it’s on the road.
Here are a few things you need to be on the lookout for:
Though most RV or motorhome owners don’t drive their vehicles enough to significantly wear down the tread depth, this is still an important characteristic to check. In some cases, if you drive on especially abrasive roads on a regular basis, your tires may wear down more quickly than under normal driving conditions. If the tire’s tread gets down to 6/32″ or less, you’ll want to look for new tires.
Cracking in the sidewalls is one of the most common reasons that tires need to be replaced. Cracking occurs as a result of UV ray exposure and simple age-related wear that takes place on your tires from the moment they’re installed. If the cracks in your sidewalls are more than 2/32″ deep, you put yourself at risk of a camper tire blowout. If you notice significant cracking, it’s time to have your tires replaced.
Another problem you may run into with your RV’s tires is the uneven wear of the tread. This is typically caused by a problem with the balance or the alignment of the tires or some other problem with your vehicle’s suspension.
Often, you’ll have to feel for these problems by running your hand along the outside and inside edges of the tire. In some cases, you can correct this problem simply by addressing the underlying issue and rotating the tires. In other cases, though, you will need to replace the tires to ensure maximum safety.
How long should RV or motorhome tires last?
One common question we get is:
“How long will my tires last?”
After all, you want to be spending money on fun stuff and experiences, not on new tires. The good news is that tires are built to last, allowing you to get up to 6 years of life out of them.
If you’re wondering how to extend the life of your tires, here are 3 things you can do:
Tip #1: Cover your tires when parked.
When your RV, campervan or motorhome is parked for long periods of time, whether home or away, it’s crucial that you cover your tires. A cover protects your tires from the sun’s UV rays. UV rays can dry out the rubber in your tires and cause them to crack prematurely.
Tip #2: Lighten the load.
Another important step to take when your vehicle is in storage is to lighten the load as much as possible. If you must keep the weight on your tires, it’s important to minimize the amount of weight they have to support. Remove food, clothes and other loose items before your vehicle is closed and put away.
Tip #3: Take a load off.
If you are able, elevate your vehicle while it’s in storage to allow the tires to rest. Long periods of no movement while supporting weight will wreak havoc on the shape and flexibility of your tires, which could result in early replacement.
How much does it cost to replace RV or motorhome tires?
A single new tire typically costs a few hundred dollars. However, the cost of replacing tires can vary significantly, depending on a variety of factors. The most important factor that determines the cost is the quality of the tires.
If you choose tires with thicker tread, advanced handling capabilities or superior traction during inclement weather, you will pay more for these options. It’s a good idea to purchase the best tires you can afford to ensure you’re always in good hands when you’re conquering the road.
Seeing the country in an RV is a privilege that not many people get to enjoy. If you have chosen to make the sacrifices necessary to own an RV, campervan or motorhome, then it’s important to take great care of your vehicle and equip it with top-notch accessories. By doing so, you will ensure that you get the most out of your RV experience and help to create memories that last a lifetime.
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