Tires deteriorate as soon as they roll out of the factory. But as a responsible RV owner, you can extend the life of your tires, combat the deterioration process that’s been set in motion from the birth of a tire, and ensure your RV is safely ready to roll whenever you are.
It is impossible to predict when tires should be replaced based on their calendar age alone. However, the older a tire, the greater the chance that it will need to be replaced due to the service-related evolution or other conditions found upon inspection or detected during use.
The common causes behind tire failure are as varied as the experiences and scenery you encounter on an RV road trip.
Most RV owners can expect about five years from a new set of tires. Proper tire care, regular inspection, and periodic maintenance may eke another year or two of tire life. When a tire fails, it can not only cause extensive damage to the body of an RV, or shocks, etc., but it can also pose a life-threatening situation to you and your passengers if a blowout causes the driver to lose control of the vehicle.
Additionally, bits of tire from a blowout create a hazard to other drivers who are sharing the road with you.
Take precautions against tire failure to avoid disastrous trip scenarios.
There are four main offenders behind untimely tire failure.
Overheating Due To Under-inflated Tires
It’s a given that tires lose air over time. Temperature fluctuations and road use impact tire pressure, so it’s extremely important to check tire pressure regularly. Under-inflated tires generate a lot of heat while they’re rolling down the road. More rubber comes into contact with the road surface, causing excess friction and, therefore, overheating.
Overloading Your RV & Improper Weight Distribution
An overloaded motorhome or other recreational vehicle leads to under-inflated tires. Too much stress on one or more tires can mean premature tire failure on the open road.
Dry Rot From Sun (UV) Damage
The sun is notorious for setting physical or chemical changes in motion. Your RV tires are no exception. Destructive UV rays affect a tire in such a way that damage to the integrity of the tire’s rubber may be nearly invisible. If you detect any cracking or splitting, especially on the tire’s sidewalls, the tire is unsafe.
Old Tires That Appear OK
A ten-year-old tire may have excellent tread, look good, and appear road-worthy. But tires are meant for rolling down the open road, not for standing still. Over time, the material that makes up a tire begins to deteriorate.
Following are a few tips that can prevent the potential tire problems listed above:
- Check tire pressure with a trusted tire gauge every day you’re on the road, and every month when you’re not
- Have your RV weighed to ensure proper weight distribution
- Cover tires to protect against damaging UV rays
- Examine tires for defects, cracks, uneven wear
- Check the DOT’s sidewall information to determine tire age
Roadside Assistance Plan
Your personal safety and the safety of your passengers is priority number one. Ensure that you have a quality roadside assistance program in place before venturing out on the open road this summer.
In the event of a blowout, a quality roadside assistance program enables you to get back on the road by arranging to have a flat changed, providing you with a comparable new tire, or towing you to a repair facility.
Roadside assistance programs are available from a host of sources including Good Sam and AAA. For the past 17 years we have relied on Coach-Net’s RV Technical and Roadside Assistance Plan. Whether you own a Class A diesel pusher, a 5th wheel, toy hauler, pop up camper—or all of the above—Coach-Net has a membership plan suited to your needs.
Speed was high
Weather was hot
Tires were thin
X marks the spot