5 Ways To Keep Your Camper Tires From Getting Damaged
Camper tires can be expensive and no fun to change. Here are 5 ways to keep your camper tires from getting damaged and keep you on the road.
1. Proper tire specifications
This one is the most important and often the most overlooked. Every tire is designed to run within certain specifications and knowing these specifications is key.
The first step is making sure you have the proper size and load range tires for your camper. Your camper will likely have the tire specifications listed alongside the weight and load specifications.
If not, the manufacturer or a tire shop will be able to provide you with this information. When buying camper tires it can be tempting to try to save money but investing in quality tires from reputable manufacturers will save you money in the long run.
2. Check tire pressure
Just because tires are new doesn’t mean they are less susceptible to damage. Proper air pressure is essential to the life of camper tires. On travel days, checking air pressure before heading out is a must.
Traveling with improper tire pressure can lead to many issues including tire heat build-up, poor handling, uneven wear, and poor ride. Tire pressure monitoring systems are a popular way to continuously check tire pressure from within your rig while traveling. If you don’t have a monitoring system, then stopping a few times a day for a quick check is cheap insurance and can save you a blowout.
3. Safe storage
We often overlook our camper tires when the season ends and we store them for the offseason. RV storage can be very hard on camper tires as they can sit for long periods of time often in cold climates. Some people choose to remove their tires for storage to prevent having weight on them while not in use.
A tire storage rack is a great way to keep stored tires out of the way. If you have the option of indoor and ideally heated storage, this is of course the best option. Ensuring proper air pressure before storing and doing periodic checks to make sure your tires are not going flat is a good idea.
4. Avoid direct sun
The sun is very hard on tires. Just like our skin, tires need protection from direct exposure to the sun. The rubber compounds in tires can dry out and crack after being exposed to the sun. The black color of the tires doesn’t help with attracting the sun.
There are a few options to help limit sun exposure. Tire covers are the most popular way to block the sun from your tires. There are many DIY options, however, tire covers are inexpensive to buy.
There are also products available to help prevent tires from drying out that come in spray-on applications. Many have UV blockers in them; think of it as sunscreen for your tires. Another free option is to choose your parking and camping spots so that your camper is positioned in the shade or so that it gets limited sun throughout the day.
5. Practice defensive driving
Many times, camper tire damage is the fault of the driver. Whether you have a small camper van or a 40-foot fifth-wheel, there are challenges that come with driving a camper.
In the case of large RVs, curbs are the result of many damaged tires due to the space required to make turns. Often times you are traveling to remote areas with rough terrain. Even at campgrounds there are many obstacles to navigate like rocks and stumps.
Doing a walk around of the area you are entering is an easy way to avoid possible damage. Another way is to have a spotter guide you. When underway during travel, be alert and drive with care. Give yourself enough time and space to avoid potholes, road debris, and navigate turns. Consider a rearview camera to help avoid damages.
Camper tires are the connection between your camper and the road and so it is vital that you keep them in good condition. Proper care will ensure you get the maximum life out of your tires and will lessen your chances of having a blowout or flat. Make sure you keep track of all your RV tire maintenance with an online tool such as RV LIFE Maintenance.