Tire Care Corpus Christi
Even if you don’t use your RV every weekend, the tires on your rig will age and wear. Time, sun damage, and sitting all shorten the life of your tires. Keeping your tires in good shape will protect you and your family when it’s time to travel.
You’ll want to check your tire pressure first thing before you get on the road. Make your tire check early in the day so the tires aren’t warmed by the sun or the asphalt. Warm air expands, so tires that have been driven won’t give you an accurate reading of their internal pressure. Carefully review the recommended PSI on the tire wall and inflate as needed to that pressure and no more.
Over-inflation of tires causes them to stretch, weakening the sidewall of the tire and putting you at increased risk of a blowout. Under-inflation of your tires causes flabbiness or bulging in the sidewall, weakening the structure of the tire and shortening the life. Both forms of improper inflation reduce your ability to control the vehicle.
Whether it’s a motorhome or towable, your RV has a max weight. Because RVs come loaded with gear, you’ll want to get it weighed before you move into it to make sure you’re not overloading the vehicle and putting too much pressure on the structure or the tires. Make sure, when planning to load your vehicle, that you factor in water. Every gallon weighs more than 8 pounds.
When checking out your tires, carefully review the sidewalls for signs of cracks and wear. The rubber in tire is sensitive to sunlight, and time will wear on tires as well. To properly protect your tires, check the manufacturers instructions on your motorcoach or trailer to determine the best storage position and whether or not to use your hydraulic jacks for long-term storage. If you store your RV outdoors, make sure you invest in sun covers for your tires to avoid the risk of rot and cracking.
Checking your tire tread is a good habit to get into before any trip with your RV. Experts recommend that you replace your tires when the tread gets below 2/32″ of depth. You can do the penny test to quickly determine if your tire tread is under 2/32 of an inch.
Hold a penny upside down and lower it into the remaining tread. If you can see all of President Lincoln’s head, your tread is worn and you need new tires. Tread depth on tires is crucial to clearing out liquids and avoiding hydroplaning.
Tires wear out with time. The rubber in them breaks down as it’s exposed to sunlight and oxygen. Many carmakers recommend changing out tires after 6 years, while tire manufacturers suggest a tire can last for ten years with careful yearly inspections.
More than Just a Flat Tire
Flats are never fun, but worn RV tires are much riskier than just lost time and tire expense. Blowouts make it impossible to control the direction of a large, heavy vehicle. If you’re towing another vehicle, a blowout could leave you trying to control the weight of two vehicles on a very small surface. A worn, improperly inflated tire can catch fire before it blows out, putting you in danger of a rig fire.
Before you get on the road with your RV, carefully check:
- tire pressure early in the day and before you do any driving
- tread wear using the penny test
- tire age
- To look at the age of a tire, especially if you’re buying a used RV, study the sidewalls for the tire manufacture date. These four digits in the code indicate the week and year the tires were made.
Use the Right Tools
Most places who can sell you tires can change them. If you notice tire wear, make an appointment to get your rig into the shop for this process. Should you have a blowout or a problem on the road, make sure your RV garage is loaded with the necessaries to do the work safely.
Your RV should be about fun and relaxation. Investing in properly installed, good quality tires will lower your stress level and keep you relaxed. Implement a regular tire checking protocol on travel days and make this non-negotiable to avoid the risk of a tire fire or blowout.