Caring for Your RV Tires
With spring upon us and summer fast approaching, the time has come to pull your RV out of storage to start gearing it up for another season filled with fun and adventure. The success of your travels this season will depend largely on the work you put into prepping your RV right now. Unfortunately, too many RV owners don’t put in enough time and effort into making sure that one of the most important factors to their RV’s performance – the tires – are ready to hit the open road. Nothing hinders the excitement of a RV trip faster than a flat tire. However, after spending the winter in storage, your RV tires are in the ideal condition to let you down.
The Dangers of Poor Tire Maintenance
While a flat tire can certainly complicate an RV excursion, there are a number of problems that can arise from a failure to care for your RV tires. An uneven load distribution puts increased strain on the RV in different locations. You can compensate for this by ensuring that your tires are inflated to carry different load weights in different areas. Yet if you fail to account for this fact, you increase the chances of sustaining axle and wheel damage at the least. This raises the risk of you experiencing a blowout while on the road, which can endanger yourself and your family’s safety.
These potential risks emphasize the need for routine RV tire maintenance and care. Fortunately, you’re not without resources to refer to when performing this task. Specifically, your vehicle owner’s manual will give you all of the information you need to ensure your tires’ ability to deliver a smooth ride. In it, you’ll find information regarding:
- Specific vehicle load weights and recommendations
- Minimum and maximum tire inflation limits
- A recommended tire servicing schedule
Store your manual in the same place year-after-year andrefer to it when needed. Also remember to take it with you while on the road to help solve issues and give repair technicians specific details regarding your vehicle.
Understanding Load Distribution
You’ve heard “vehicle load” referenced quite a bit through this article. That’s because it’s one of the most important factors in guaranteeing the safety of your RV. An even load distribution helps to avoid excess wear on your tire treads, and also enhances your RV’s handling and braking ability. Thus, before embarking on vacation, you should check to make sure you haven’t exceeded your vehicle’s load capacity, and that items are distributed as evenly throughout the RV as possible. Weigh each tires pressure to confirm the load is even throughout. If necessary, adjust each tires inflation pressure to accommodate for the load it is carrying. Just make sure that tires on the same axle are inflated to the same PSI.
Other Elements to Inspect
Along with measuring the load that your tires are carrying, you should also do a quick visual inspection looking for any objects that have penetrated the tires, or any cracking along the sidewalls. Use a coin to measure the tread depth to ensure that each tire has enough to maintain traction on the road. Finally, take a tire pressure reading to verify that none are under- or over-inflated.
Don’t let tire problems limit the potential of your family’s RV trip. A simple course of RV tire maintenance and care in the spring as well as immediately prior to and after trips can ensure that your wheels will be ready to carry you where you need to go.
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