The only point at which your RV is connected to the road is through the tires – so it only makes sense to ensure those tires are in as good of condition as possible each time you head out for a trip. Having an issue with one of your tires – such as a blowout – can easily bring your trip to a halt, so don’t risk using old tires underneath a heavy RV. By following some simple guidance related to RV tire care and replacement, you should be able to travel safely and successfully for years to come.
One point that should be mentioned right away is the fact that you don’t want to look at the wear of your tires on an RV as much as you should pay attention to the condition of the rubber itself. Since you likely don’t drive your RV nearly as often as you drive your ‘regular’ vehicle, there is a good chance that you will still have plenty of tread left on your RV tires even when they are old and need to be replaced. If you were to go by tread alone, you would still be riding around on your tires long after they should have been changed out.
Basic Care Tips
To keep you RV tires in good condition for as long as possible, consider using the following tips.
- Go on a diet. By keeping the load inside your RV to a minimum as you travel, you will limit the amount of wear and tear that is put on your tires as you drive. It is common for RV travelers to load down their rigs with just about everything they can fit inside, but that habit is going to mean bad news for your tires over the years (and it will harm your gas mileage numbers as well).
- Just as is the case with your normal car, you want to make sure your RV is in alignment as you drive down the road. With poor alignment, you will likely see irregular wear on your tires which can lead to them needing to be replaced prematurely. A good RV shop will be able to perform an alignment check and make any necessary corrections.
- Tire pressure. This is always a big point as far as RV tires are concerned. Be sure your tires are inflated to a proper level, and be particularly sure that they aren’t underinflated, as this can lead to a number of problems.
How Long Do Tires Last?
This is a point that comes with some debate, as there is no one right answer for how long you can use an RV tire. Rubber will deteriorate at a unique rate depending on the conditions that your tires are subjected to on a daily basis. If you care for your tires by taking small steps along the way like keeping them out of direct sunlight whenever possible, you may be able to get as much as 10 years from a good set. However, if you miss some of the maintenance points along the way, or if you are consistently using your tires in harsh conditions, a lifespan of five or six years may be more realistic.
Even if you keep excellent care of your tires throughout their life, you are still going to need to replace them at some point down the line. When that time does come, it is important that you pick out the right set of tires. You might be tempted to cut corners and purchase a discount set when your tires need to be replaced, but saving money in the short term could come back to cost you later on. Yes, a new set of tires for your RV could run several thousand dollars, but it is a purchase you should only have to make once every few years if you do things right. Considering the value of your RV overall and the importance of your tires, it only makes sense to invest wisely and get tires that are ready to handle the workload.