“It’s not the destination, it’s the journey!”, all RV owners can agree on that. Although we all enjoy our favorite destinations, beautiful camping places, and national parks, most of us actually live for the moment we start the engine. That being said, road safety should be an absolute priority when it comes to RVing, and that includes the safety of your RV tires. All those miles and different weather conditions can damage the tires prematurely if you’re not careful, so ensuring proper tire care is should be of utmost importance.
Cleaning Your RV Tires
Needless to say, adequate RV tire care includes proper cleaning. Besides the obvious – RV tire protection part – cleaning your tires will also give your RV a shiny fresh look.
You can use any commercial tire cleaner, but we suggest you read a few consumer reviews before you purchase any cleaning product. Regardless of your tire cleaner, you can follow a simple routine to get the maximum effect:
- Rinse the tires thoroughly
- Use a brush and a cleaner to scrub them
- Finish using a shine spray for that polished look.
If you don’t have much time, you can also use large-vehicles wash drive-thru systems to clean your whole vehicle including the tires. However, we find the manual cleaning way better simply because it’s more precise, and if done right, it can make the tires squeaky clean and shiny.
Proper Tire Pressure
Tire pressure is a matter of safety, but also an important thing when it comes to optimal RV tire protection. Proper tire pressure depends on the size of your vehicle and the amount of the load in your rig. You should set tire pressure according to the maximum tire pressure recommended by your vehicle’s manufacturer if your RV is loaded to the maximum capacity. It’s important to mention that you shouldn’t exceed the maximum recommended pressure when driving. Another tip: set the pressure lower if the RV is not fully loaded. If you’re wondering where the recommended pressure for your vehicle can be found, it’s usually on a sticker in the door frame in the RV owner’s manual, or on the side of the tire.
Proper RV Tire Storage
Since RVs are usually driven significantly less than other vehicles like cars or vans, they typically remain parked in storage for a longer time. Still, many RV owners don’t think twice when it comes to RV storage, which is understandable: sometimes you simply don’t have much choice when it comes to storing something that big. However, there are some factors that you should take into serious consideration when it comes to proper RV tire storage, such as avoiding the things that can severely damage your tires.
Ozone, a pale blue gas with a pungent smell, can be a real nightmare for your RV tires if it inserts itself into a chain of rubber – the material all RV tires are made of. If this happens, your tires will crack prematurely. You can somewhat prevent this by using antiozonant wax for RV tire protection, and not storing your RV near an ozone source, such as motors, electrical equipment or pool chemicals. You can also avoid strong your vehicle in sunlight which causes the formation of the ground-level ozone. And that leads us to the second factor…
Except for the aforementioned ozone problem, sunlight and UV rays can also make your rubber brittle, which again, leads to cracks and premature tire deterioration. Avoiding sunlight is also important for preventing tire dry rot.
You should avoid leaving your RV in standing water, or places where water can penetrate and reach your vehicle. If water enters the inner liner, it may lead to the rupture.
To prevent the bulge or the cracks in the bottom part of the tires, you should remove as much weight from your RV as possible when storing it. Also, you should move your vehicle at least once every three months.
Insufficient tire pressure:
When storing your RV tires, increase the pressure by 25% above the recommended driving pressure. Of course, before you use your RV again, you should set the tire pressure back to normal.
RV Tire Care During Winter
Most RVs remain in storage during winter. While we talked about the general conditions you should pay attention to when it comes to storing your RV, some points specifically apply for RV tire protection during the winter months.
As mentioned, sunlight and UV radiation can be very harmful to the tires, so that means you should protect your RV from the sunlight during the entire year. Winter can be very tricky when it comes to this because not only do you have to protect your tires from direct sunlight but also keep them away from the snow. Snow is a reflecting surface, so on bright winter days, it reflects sun rays, harming your tires indirectly but significantly.
RV tire protection during the winter also includes getting your tires off the ground if you store your vehicle on asphalt or dirt. Use cardboard or wood to lift tires, and make sure the material is wide enough for the whole tire.
When To Replace RV Tires
While you may do everything right concerning the tire care and protection, there will still come a time to replace your old tires for new ones. Usually, that time comes after three to six years of driving, but for the RV owners who take care of their tires properly and consistently, this moment may come even later. Knowing when to replace the tires is important because you don’t want them to fail while you’re on the road. That being said, you should always examine your tires thoroughly before you hit the road, precisely because you don’t want to end up in a situation like that. If you notice that your tires have little tread left or that they are wearing unevenly – you should probably replace them immediately. Think of tire replacement as a matter of safety; better sooner than later.
You can extend your RV tires’ lifespan significantly if you take appropriate protection measures. This will not only help keep you safe and sound on the road, but also help you avoid unnecessary expenses.