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Tire Safety for Your Motorhome Featured

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Tire failure is one of the leading causes of motorhome accidents, so maintaining your tires properly is essential for anyone that owns a motorhome. This isn't as easy as it might be on your tires. You have a heavier load and it isn't always distributed the same way.

Tire Age Does Matter

Your tire is made up of several types of rubber and different binding elements that hold the layers of the tire together. Over time the rubber compounds break down and the structural integrity of your tires is weakened. Even if your tires have been driven a very low number miles, they should still be replaced if they are 10 years old or older.

The Sun/Storage/Environment Kills Tires

UV rays can destroy your tires and create “dry rot”. You should be looking for this kind of wear when you inspect your tires. Using tire covers while your vehicle is parked for long periods of time can help to prevent dry rot and the breakdown of the outside layer of rubber on your tires. Warm temperatures also accelerate the deterioration process.

Tread Depth

You should check your tread depth to ensure that that is at least 6/32 of an inch of tread depth. Minimum tread depth requirements can vary from state to state. when you are checking tread depth, be sure to measure at the shallowest point,

Inflation Pressure

Proper tire inflation is a bit more complex for an RV than it is for a car. First you must weigh your vehicle on a scale that can provide axle-end weights. It should be weighed at full load including tow vehicles, all of your food, personal items, people etc. Next, use the highest load measurement on each axle as the proper tire pressure for all tires on that axle. Always check with the manufacturers and follow their recommendations. There can be both benefits and detriments to underinflating and overinflating. Underinflated tires can increase your grip on the road due to increased surface area, however this will also decrease your gas mileage because the rolling resistance of your tires will be increased. Overinflating your tires can increase gas mileage, however this can also add to the risk of having a tire blowout among other things.

What to Inspect For

Tire blowouts are a major cause of RV accidents. You should be looking for any abnormalities in your tires. This includes bulges, blisters, dry rot, wave-like tread patterns that result from tread separation. Check out these photos of what to look for when inspecting your tires.

Maintain Your Spare Tire

This is something that some motorhome owners tend to overlook. You should always make sure that your spare tire is in good shape and inflated because you never know when you will need this.

Measure COLD Tire Pressure

As you drive your vehicle, heat is generated and this causes the air pressure to increase inside of your tire. Your manufacturer’s load recommendations for inflation are based upon cold tire temps.  

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