Tips for Tire Maintenance and How to Handle Blowouts
Basic Tire Maintenance Tips
The following basic tire maintenance tips will help your RV go the extra mile(s)!
- Check Your Tire Pressure –As an RV owner, the biggest thing in your control is your tire pressure. Incorrect tire pressure puts extra wear on the tires, can cause heat build-up, create handling issues, and greatly increases the risk of sudden failure. In fact, the two most common causes of tire blowouts are overload or underinflation. The right tire pressure is relative and is based on the weight of your RV. Remember to check tire pressure regularly and be mindful of how significant drops in temperature affect pressure levels.
- Limit Environmental Exposure – Long-term UV and ozone exposure can damage rubber. One solution is to purchase wheel covers, which are designed to keep UV at a minimum. In the winter, you can also roll RV tires onto Lynx blocks to minimize damage from the frozen ground. Storing tires on marine-treated plywood will work too.
- Use Your RV – Tires that are exercised regularly last longer than stored ones. Rubber compounds contain oils that like to be flexed and distributed, which is what happens when you drive. So what are you waiting for? It’s time to hit the road!
- Keep Tires Clean – Oil and dirt are never good for your tires. Clean them regularly with soapy water—it’s that easy! Avoid petroleum-based cleaners or dressings that contain silicones or alcohol, which can damage the rubber in your tires.
- Replace Your Tires – While the point at which you need to replace your tires is subjective, Michelin recommends a yearly tire check with a max life of 10 years from the date of manufacture (usually printed on the side of the tire). Just remember, the risk of a blowout increases with the age of the tire.
How to Handle Tire Blowouts
Whether you own an RV or not, all drivers fear tire blowouts because these sudden failures can damage a lot more than just your tire—they can endanger your life. Check out the following videos, which may prove helpful in preventing tire blowouts and safely handling them if they occur (Side note: the video, “How to Handle a Blowout in Your RV,” provides some retro gold):