As RVers take to the open road this spring and summer, checking the condition of tires before leaving home is critical.
Because of the cost of RV tires and the risk associated with blowouts on a large motorized vehicle or towable, routinely maintaining RV tires is essential.
To promote the importance of tire safety, Vogeltalksrving.com encourages RV owners to follow tire safety best practices during National Tire Safety Week, June 2-8.
Proper tire maintenance is an important safety function often neglected. The importance of properly maintaining your tires cannot be overemphasized. Remember, tires are the only part of the RV in contact with the road surface. Safety in acceleration, braking, steering, and cornering all rely on the tires’ relatively small contact area with the road surface. In addition, tires also play a fundamental role in the suspension systems of RVs.
With such an important role, it is essential that tires are properly maintained and regular checks are carried out. With the correct care and attention your tires will help to ensure you arrive safely at your destination, without disruption and with minimal cost.
Regularly inspect the tires. Check for cracks, worn treads, and correct tire pressure.
Are you flushing money down the drain by not properly inflating your tires?
The most important aspect of tire maintenance is proper tire inflation. Correct tire pressure is vital to your safety on the road. Under-inflated tires are more prone to damage and failure. They also affect handling and grip, potentially causing irregular or unpredictable vehicle behavior. Under-inflated tires are also much more likely to suffer from a dangerous blowout, especially at high speeds on an Interstate.
By keeping your tires at their optimum pressure, your travel costs are also reduced. Since under-inflated tires require a bigger force to make them turn, your vehicle uses more fuel.
Additionally, tires which are not set to their correct pressure wear out faster.
To benefit from lower fuel bills, longer tire life, and increased safety, make sure you check your tire pressures on a regular basis.
Under inflation is the leading cause of tire failure. Your tires can be as much as 50 percent under inflated before it is visibly noticeable.
Tires can lose one psi (pounds per square inch) per month under normal conditions.
If you find you’re regularly losing pressure from a tire, it’s time to call in professional help to locate and rectify the problem. Your tire’s pressure should match the recommended tire pressure for your vehicle.
Regular tire rotations also help prevent irregular and premature wear.
Rotating the tires on your vehicle is important to keep wear patterns even. If your operator’s manual doesn’t give a specific guidance, it’s a good idea to do this once every six to ten thousand miles. This may not be practical while on an extended RV vacation, and may in fact be unnecessary so long as your inspections aren’t revealing conspicuous wear on one corner.
Routinely look for signs of tread wear or damage. The days of measuring tread with a coin are long gone. All modern “P,” “LT” and medium commercial tires have integral wear indicators built into the tread. These indicators are molded into several locations around the tread grooves. When the tread ribs become worn to the point where they’re adjacent to an indicator, it’s time for a new tire.
A tire’s ply rating describes the maximum load the manufacturer recommends the tire be used to carry (at a specified pressure). It is imperative that you calculate the correct minimum ply rating suitable for the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of your RV, and this should be done by a professional.
Never overload your RV. Exceeding the GVWR is one of the leading causes of RV tire failure.
To ensure good driver control, and to encourage vehicle stability, tires with different tread patterns, different sizes, and mismatched internal constructions should never be mixed.
Speed was high
Weather was hot
Tires were thin
X marks the spot