How to Check Your RV Tires to Make Sure They're Safe

How to Check Your RV Tires to Make Sure They're Safe

You might be getting ready to wind-down your RV season. Or, maybe you’re ready to hit the highway for a fall road trip. Whatever the case, there is no wrong time to check the condition of your rig’s tires.

Unfortunately, far too many people overlook tire “health” when they’re doing a quick RV inspection, and it’s a crucial thing to check. Tire failure, especially when you’re on the road, can be extremely dangerous. Plus, it’s not always easy to find a spare when you’re heading to a campsite and need to visit a specialized mechanic.

Thankfully, monitoring and checking your tires is easier than you might think. It starts with knowing how certain conditions can affect them and then understanding what to look for to make sure they’re in good shape.

Let’s cover both so you can be an RV tire expert before your next road trip.

What Causes Tires to Wear Out?

As with any vehicle, tires will wear out over time no matter how much you take care of them. If you’ve recently purchased a used RV and aren’t sure how old the tires are, a good rule of thumb is simply to change them. Even if the tread looks okay, without prior knowledge of how many miles those particular tires have seen, changing them out is the safest thing to do.

In addition to miles traveled, it’s important to note that tires age faster when they aren’t being used. So, if your rig has been sitting in storage for months, the tires could actually be more worn out than they would’ve been if you would have driven it that whole time.

Finally, understand that UV rays can cause damage to your tires, especially where the sidewalls are exposed. You obviously can’t control the ozone layer, but there are ways to reduce the damage it causes, as well as different techniques to keep your tires stronger for longer.

Taking Care of Your Tires

So, how can you monitor the condition of your tires while taking care of them to increase their lifespan?

First, just drive. While mileage will eventually wear them out, it will keep them stronger for a longer period of time. Think of how you feel when you work out consistently each day. Now, what would happen if you didn’t work out for three months then tried to lift a heavy weight. Chances are, it would be extremely hard on you and you wouldn’t perform well. The same can happen with your tires. Keep them in use as often as possible. Most tires have specialized compounds inside that make them stronger. But, those compounds need to get to the surface of the tires, which requires driving.

To protect your tires from the harmful UV rays of the sun, invest in covers. These can make a world of difference if you’re storing your rig outside.

Inspect your tires regularly and know how to look for specific things. For example, there is usually a DOT number on the sidewall. It might not be able to tell you how many miles the tires have seen, but it will have the date they were made.

If your tires are at least five years old, have them checked by a professional. They’ll be able to give you more advice on whether you can keep rolling with your current ones or if it’s time to replace.

The bottom line? Don’t ignore your tires’ condition whenever you’re doing a rig inspection. Keeping them in good shape will keep you and your passengers safe, and help you avoid a lot of stress. 

Sep 22nd 2021 Stacey Koziel

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