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It is important to know the basic facts about camper tires. Being familiar with the facts about your camper tires will keep you safe, will improve the life expectancy of your tires, and will help you save money as you will only buy new camper tires when it is necessary.
When you do not know the facts about camper tires, it becomes more likely that you will experience a tire burst. And this is not a fun experience. It is inconveniencing and can be quite dangerous.
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In this post, I will share with you facts about travel trailer tires. I will share with you exactly how long they last and the good practices that will help you increase their life expectancy.
How Long Do Trailer Tires Last?
Well, the answer you will get from most people and experts when you ask this question is five years. While this is generally true, there is something I would like to point out. And that is the fact that travel trailers are never alike. Travel trailer owners are also never alike.
What I am trying to say is that travel trailers are different in terms of their weight, their load capacities, and even the number of tires. These differences affect how long camper tires last. The differences in how travel trailer owners drive and care for their travel trailer tires also affects how long camper tires last.
As mentioned before, many experts and even camper owners believe that camper tires should be replaced every five years. While this is not bad advice it is marketing language. It is language meant to drive the sale of camper tires.
Generally, camper tires are made to last for more than 6,000 miles. So it is the mileage that should determine when you replace your camper tires; not how long you have had them. When any or all your camper tires clock five years, you should inspect them carefully.
If there are signs that they are old then replace them. If they do not have cracks in the walls and their tread lines look fine, then you could probably use them for a little longer. However, with this said, if you have an untrained eye, it will be a bit difficult for you to tell for sure if your camper tires needs replacing.
To be on the safe side, you should replace your tires when they clock 8,000 miles. This is regardless of whether they still look new or if it is still way earlier than five years. Because once a camper tire clocks 8,000 miles, it is on its deathbed and it becomes a risk to use.
It could blow out and cause an accident or blow out, catch fire and set your RV on fire. Scenarios that I know you do not even want to imagine. So once your tires clock 8,000 miles, get new ones at the earliest opportunity.
What Reduces the Life Expectancy of Camper Tires?
Now you know for a fact that camper tires can serve you for a long time. However, we all know that sometimes camper tires blow out or fail much earlier than when we expect them to. This is usually because they are exposed to conditions or factors that accelerate aging or deterioration.
In this section, I will share with you the factors that accelerate tire aging. Having this information at the back of your mind will help you to slow down camper tire deterioration and to know how soon you should expect to replace your tires.
Factors that reduce the life expectancy of camper tires include overloading, poor maintenance, extreme temperatures, too much idling, and high mileage.
You should find out the weight capacity of your travel trailer tires and make sure you never go over it. This is because when your tires have to bear more weight, blowouts become more likely. So overloading is a no-no if you want your camper tires to last long.
When you do not take proper care of your tires, they become much more likely to blow out or fail during use. For instance, if you do not inflate your tires to the right level before traveling for a long-distance, they will wear out much faster. So take proper care of your camper tires if you want them to serve you for thousands of miles.
Exposure to extreme temperatures
Extreme temperatures will affect your travel trailer tires badly. They will make them deteriorate. Extreme fast-changing temperatures will also damage your camper.
So try to avoid areas with extreme heat or cold or parking your trailer in icy water or in an angle that exposes them to the strong sun for a while.
Too much idling
If you buy a travel trailer or any other type of RV and you do not end up using it frequently, they will become vulnerable to dry rot. This will make them less flexible and more likely to blow out or fail.
So if your trailer has been idling for too long, do not even risk going with it for a trip. Change the tires before doing anything else.
While too much idling is bad for your RV tires, too much traveling is also bad. Of course, this is to be expected since traveling frequently or racking up tens, hundreds or thousands of miles will naturally wear your tires.
Lack of wheel alignment and tire rotation
If you do not take your RV for while alignment and tire rotation, you may end up putting too much pressure on one or two of your camper tires resulting in a tire burst.
How to Take Care of Your Trailer Tires to Make Them Last Longer
Before I even share with you tips to help you maintain your camper tires, there is one thing I need to share with you. And that is the fact that, regardless of what you do, you cannot really prolong the life of a bad quality tire or an old tire.
By this I mean, if you end up buying a tire that is not good quality, no matter what you do, you are not really going to keep it going. It will fail sooner rather than later. Similarly, if you buy a tire that is old, even if unused, it will also fail sooner rather than later. So to avoid having to buy another tire or set of tires soon, and to avoid the risk of a tire burst, get yourself good quality tires from a reputable dealer.
Follow these tips to ensure your quality camper tires serve you for thousands of miles:
Maintain pressure properly
All tires have their optimum pressure level. Make sure you maintain the pressure of each of your camper tires at the optimum level. Inflating any tire too much will increase the risk of a tire burst especially if you subsequently want to travel on a hot and dry highway. While leaving any tire with not enough pressure will make it less capable of handling the load/ pressure it is supposed to handle and increase chances of failure. So always maintain pressure at the right level.
Get your tires inspected annually
Get your RV tires checked by a professional at least once every year. Professional mechanics have the skills and tools to detect and prevent certain tire issues before they even occur. In case, they find something wrong, they can also repair it early before you travel far and experience a tire failure or burst in the middle of nowhere.
Avoid rough roads where possible
RV tires are not really made for rough roads. They can handle rough roads but driving them regularly on such roads will make them wear faster and increase the chances of a tire burst or failure. If you must travel on a rough road make sure you do it slowly and not at a high speed to protect your tires.
Keep your trailer tires covered
When you go roaming the world with your RV, always carry covers for your trailer tires. And then when you stop for the night or the next couple of days, cover up your tires. Covering your tires will protect them from the elements.
For example, covering your tires could protect them from direct sunlight and UV rays during the day. And from extremely cold temperatures during the night.
So cultivate the habit to keep your tires covered to protect them and increase their longevity.
Replace your tires in pairs
When you find that one of your trailer tires is worn out, replace it plus the one on the opposite end. This will ensure both tires grip the road the same way and your trailer moves without compromising any of its other tires.
Break-in your new tires
Most travel trailer tires require to be broken in to operate optimally. If you don’t and you drive at high speeds or take kind of sharp turns, they could fail resulting in an accident or a tire burst.
Unfortunately, there is no other way to break in tires than to just fix them and drive your camper at not-so-high speeds. Once your new tires are broken in (after they clock around 500 miles), they will be functioning optimally and you will then be able to travel at the speeds you like.
Camper tires need to be replaced not after five years but after about 8000 miles. However, there are several factors that can prevent them from serving you and your camper for this long including overloading and weather elements. Nevertheless, by taking proper care of your camper tires, they should last for as long as 8,000 miles as long as they are quality tires.