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Everyone loves a good adventure and traveling to the perfect destination spot takes a lot of preparation. The last thing you want is for your tires to not keep up with all the places you want to go. You also know that sometimes it’s the products you don’t really notice that are the best because of their ability for you to focus on the most important things–like your traveling.
RV tires last about 3-6 years with regular use. However, certain conditions can speed up of the degeneration of your tires. One of the best all-around tires is the Goodyear Unisteel RST Radial Tire for longevity and quality.
Just like how you need a great pair of shoes to get you through hours of hiking, walking, sports or other activities, your RV needs to have great tires. Even if you get a top of the line RV, it won’t matter very much if you can’t go more than 5,000 miles on a single set of tires.
There are a lot of factors to consider when choosing the right tires and things that you may not otherwise know until you fall victim to a blow-out or get stuck paying a large amount of money unexpectedly for a replacement. Luckily, we are able to provide you with some helpful tips, so you can have confidence when you hit the road.
In this post we will be highlighting the life span of tires, what kinds last the longest and give suggestions. We will also look at some helpful tips and tricks you can do to increase the life of your tires and how to know when it really is time for a replacement.
As a result, we will hopefully save you a few extra dollars and struggles in giving you some help in knowing more about your vehicle and how it operates. Not only for your wallet’s sake, but also for your safety it is really important.
Luckily, if no one has told you these things before, today is your lucky day to be educated and find out some great suggestions to keep you safe, happy and on the roads.
A Tire’s Lifetime
As stated above it is pretty typical to find that the life of the tire lasts around 3-6 years, however, it does depend on a few conditions that affect how long it will last. Weather, road conditions, how many miles you go, and how heavy your load is are just some of the things that can affect your tires.
There have been some reports of tires lasting beyond the 3-6 years with some tires even lasting anywhere between 5-9. However, since there are a few factors that affect the life of your tires, you may affect the life of your tires, despite some of the averages.
Gary Motley is definitely an RV force to be connected with. As one who fixes plenty of broken or damaged RVs he knows some really helpful tips that come from his line of work.
His experience helps us take a look at how we treat our trailers. Maintaining our RV’s tires are just as important and should take just as much time and consideration as planning your vacation did.
Sometimes slow and steady is really hard to do especially when you are really excited to get out there and start going to your next destination, but if you want to get the most out of your tires, you’ll keep the fast and furious tendencies out of it!
With the driving and storage conditions section, it is pretty straight forward to know that driving on a lot of gravel-filled, uneven, or icy roads could cause some problems.
If you are just looking for how many miles you can put on your tires you can get about 80,000-120,000 thousand miles per tire. This may last two years if it is a commercial truck where you are constantly driving heavy loads. RVs driving only 5,000 miles a year may take up to 20 years to obtain the same wear and tear.
However, as we will look at further, the RV world is a little different than the traditional automotive side. We use our regular vehicles more than RVs and so that will affect the designs and maintenance of the RV or travel trailer.
What Lasts the Longest?
There is so much information on the internet you can find anything you are looking for. I found some of the best options online. Here is a quick list of the best five tires you can get for your RV and why.
- Goodyear G614 Unisteel RST Radial Tire
- Michelin XPS RIB Truck Radial Tire
- Bridgestone Duravis M700 Radial Tire
- Maxxis M8008 ST Radial Trailer Tire
Here is also a quick comparison chart between each of the tires that I selected. Each tire is highlighted with a link to check out each product on Amazon.com. You can see more details and other specifications if you need more information than what was provided or are looking to buy.
Again, a good rule of thumb is to consult with a professional to see what tires you specifically can use on your RV and other details. You have a lot of pounds to carry over a long distance.
Listed on here is something called the Load Rating Index. If you aren’t sure what that is, scroll down to the posted chart and details so you can get an idea of what your tires can handle.
|Tires||Prices per (1) tire||Highlighted Feature||Load Rating Index||Public ratings|
|1. Goodyear||$120- $130||Most reliable||126||4.2/5|
|2. Michelin||$230-$240||built for various wheel sizes||120||5/5|
|3. Bridgestone Duravis M700||$230-$250||Long-Lasting||120||5/5|
|4. Maxxis M8008||$90-$110||Decreased rolling resistance||117||4.1/5|
Each tire has unique features, but these select four are just a few brands that last quite a while. There isn’t just one brand that produces the all-around tire for your RV, yet there are some really great competitors.
Let’s just review a little bit about each brand and tire so you can get an idea of how long they last.
Goodyear has some pretty impressive reviews for how reliable, purposeful and durable it is. At a pretty affordable price as well as a high load index, you’ll definitely get your money’s worth with it. It is one of the more expensive ones out of the mix but performs so great its worth every penny.
You can expect about 12,000-15,000 miles on which is about 3-4 years. Considering this tire is one that is pretty decked out with features, that’s a great length of time.
Michelin’s XPS RIB truck radial tire is expected to be replaced every ten years whether or not you have reached the number of miles you have put on it. That is pretty typical for tire companies and for them to suggest regular inspections.
You will find that this wheel is a great option if you have unique or hard to find tire requirements. It’s really durable and affordable. Due to its steel casing on the tire, you’ll be able to get a lot of life out of this tire.
Bridge stone’s RV tire that we selected is pretty unique. It works for both commercial tires as well as truck tires. Very versatile and isn’t just for your RV, so if you loved your trucks tires or want to give them an upgrade, you can knock out two birds with one stone, so to speak.
This tire also does pretty well in light snow. It has a really unique tire tread to help provide traction and helps it resist getting punctured by objects. This tire lasts about as long as the Good year tires as well.
Lastly, the Maxxis trailer tire is nice and study and take large loads over a long distance. A nice thing about this tire is that it also helps give back with its design through a great energy return and not having so much resistance on the road.
Even if something were to happen sooner than expected with the guarantee, most Maxxis tire companies provide up to a 5-year warranty on the tire. So you can travel where ever you want in safety.
After you choose the right tires it is recommended that you have a professional install the tires. A really good resource to consider is calling your local tire shop and ask what they suggest for your particular model.
All the suggestions on this blog are from high reviews from customers that have used these particular models. This is also a general site of a rule of thumb. Not all trailers are the same and have certain specifications and requirements for what kind of tires and how much of a load they can take.
What’s the Difference? How Durable Are They, Really?
Sometimes we get lured into a false sense of security that our tires will last forever and it will be easy to know when to replace the tires we have. In some cases that may be true, but for our RVs and travel trailers the composition of these tires are much different than what you may expect
For a minute we will be going over some differences between regular passenger tires (like the ones that can be found on your Ford Explorer or Smart Car) and RV tires.
The tires that are found on trailers and RV are actually a lot thicker than normal passenger tires, however, they do function a little differently. Sometimes thicker means less mobile.
They aren’t designed to be as “comfortable.” This means that you can feel bumps a little more if you were to ride in the back of your trailer and are sometimes harder to turn because of it. These types of tires are usually found in vehicles that you tow with your car.
Depending on if you are towing your trailer or if your trailer is towing your passenger vehicle it will affect the kind of tires you have on your car. ST which stands for Special Trailer and LT which stands for Light Trailer are two kinds of indicators on tires that tell you their purpose.
It won’t affect too much as long as you put the right tires on the right vehicle. The potential problem you have is if you put a follower trailer tire on the vehicle that is actually towing or is your RV it will be a lot harder to maneuver your vehicle making it not as effective or safe.
In terms of how durable tires really are, well they can put up with a lot of bumps, weather conditions and other things. They can last thousands of miles, but just remember: how you treat the tire affects its life.
Knowing When You Need a Replacement
If you are like my uncle, everything can be maxed out a little more than what is suggested like getting every last bit out of his toothpaste. He’s pretty frugal, which is good. But be careful to not take it to the extreme of frugality becoming too extreme to the point where you aren’t being safe.
There is a little bit of wiggle room with product suggestions sometimes and there is also a time to where you just need to replace them and you shouldn’t feel guilty about dropping a few dollars with it.
Overall, there are some simple things to look for that will help increase your safety and give you some peace of mind.
- Be aware of the “Load Rating” for the tires that you purchase. The higher the number the more the tires can carry in a safe way. This number is located on the side of the tire.
Here’s a quick chart that if you aren’t sure what your load capacity is. If it has a load capacity of 85 that doesn’t mean it can only carry 85 pounds but can actually carry around a maximum of 515 kilograms.
- Uneven wearing. This could look like just one side is completely smooth or there’s just a weird pattern that you notice. If this is the case, this means that your axle alignment for your tires is off and can lead to a lot of problems.
- The classic method to check your tires is using a quarter to see where the tread is. If it is below the face on the quarter it might just be time for you to replace your tires. Now some RV tires are bigger than passenger tires, so use a thrifty eye in knowing if your tread is pretty worn.
- Another thing to consider is the age of your tire. This is important, even if the tread isn’t worn down a lot. This is where it gets a little tricky. With passenger vehicles, we are used to just driving it all the time and simply changing our tires every couple of years.
RV tires aren’t that way. They sit out a lot of the time or are just taken out a few times a year if that if the weather is nice. So if you have had your tires for more than 5 years and haven’t used them a lot, or even if you have. It’s highly recommended that you get them checked.
Things to Do to Increase the Life of Your Tires
As the above quote states that prevention is a much better approach than trying to figure out solutions to something that could have been solved with a little bit of care and observation.
Preventing long-lasting issues by some small and simple things we will be talking about is a lot easier and effective to maintain your RV or travel trailer.
Below, as you read, is a short video of things to watch for and helpful tips that you can apply to your tires. It is from a long-time RV owner who has some really good tips.
If you are unable to watch the video, down below we have a few notes and tips for you to be aware of to help preserve and protect your tires.
First off, if you notice uneven wearing of the tire tread like too much on one side or just some odd shapes, this could mean that your axle alignment/chassis is off. If that is the case, this can lead to premature tire replacements and unexpected expenses.
A good solution for this consulting or taking your RV into a professional to fix your alignment and replace your tires. It may not seem like a big deal, but it definitely could cause more issues than just a flat tire while you’re out on the road.
Ideally, you would have gone to a tire professional to put your spiffy new tires on there for you in the first place, but if you were dealing with a quick fix or just didn’t have the resources to take it in, we understand.
Another great note would be to wash your tires. As stated in the video above, it doesn’t take very long, but road oil and debris can affect the life of your tire. Road oil is a bit corrosive and can wear down the outsides of your tires.
I’m also pretty sure all of us have seen nails or other sharp object penetrate tires either on your own vehicle or a bike etc. They aren’t very pleasant. By doing a thorough check of your tires and washing them, you’ll be able to make sure you catch issues early on.
As suggested in the video Aerospace 303 is a water-soluble solution you can spray on after washing your tires to help. There are lots of different brands that you can get a protective spray for after you wash your tires.
It is also suggested in the above video that you get little pads that you can place under the tires to protect them from the debris and other elements outside. These pads are useful for portability and stability when you are parked for a while.
Most people forget that the sun has a big effect on not only their health but also on their vehicles and tires. The UV rays from the sun can be damaging. By using tire covers you’ll be able to protect the tire from the rays of the sun when you aren’t out and about.
Since most tires are almost always outside having a lot of sunshine and heat on your tires makes your tires wear down a lot faster than others.
You can also use multi seal products: these are (usually) spray-able tire sealants to keep air from slow leaks or punctures from getting out of the tires less easily.
If you also want to know a cool trick, here are two words: “nitrogen air.” Filling your tires with a nitrogen mix helps give you more consistent tire pressure and it doesn’t leak out as easily as air might.
Nitrogen increases gas mileage and extends the life of your tires because of no leaks and even distribution throughout the tire. A word of caution though, don’t fill your tires too high or let them go to low. Blowouts (whether it’s under or over inflation) can occur if the tire pressure isn’t right.
Ironically, the more you use your tires, the better they will hold up. You may think? wait? Wouldn’t a lot of use wear them down? While that is true, scientists developed a really neat element with tires. They replenish themselves as they are driven, to an extent.
Inside tires is a fancy chemical solution that is activated by the sun. As you drive the solution is able to move around the tire which helps provide an inside sealant and preserve a little more of the life of your tire.
Not that you have to take your RV out every day for a morning stroll to keep the tires up, it is recommended that you do go more often than not. Some suggest at least once a month. The biggest rule of thumb is not letting them sit out months at a time.
Another really great thing that some may roll their eyes at. . . I know that I do that sometimes– is just check your specific owners manual about how to increase your tires’ life. Despite how boring it may be to some, the information in the manual is a really great guide to help you protect your tires.
All these tips are really good general rules that can help, however just like a nice shirt, there are specific instructions in the care of them. This can help preserve and extend the life of your tire. The manual will also help you know when your specific tire should be inspected.
Who knew there would be so much useful information in a manual! I seriously at first, didn’t consider it and didn’t think there would be anything in there I didn’t already know!
Overall, with careful supervision and care, you can get a lot of time and miles out of your tires! Happy travels.