RV Owners: Check your Tires before Departing!

Similar to home upkeep, maintaining an RV’s regular maintenance schedule might not be very appealing but should be viewed as a necessity. While other maintenance issues might be scheduled at various time frames, generally, ensuring the tires are in proper working order before each trip is quite important. Before each outing, verifying that the tires are holding the proper PSI can save a lot of headaches down the road. 

Why Check?

There are many reasons that will answer this question. Probably the most important reason is safety. That’s the short answer; road safety. Other reasons include how proper tire pressure can help with gas mileage, increase the life of the tire, and could help prevent blowouts. Damage can occur if tires are inflated too much, as well as underinflated. Checking the air pressure is an easy chore; But, if you aren’t sure what number the pressure should be, the proper psi is stamped on the sidewall of all tires. 

When to Check

RV tires come with a recommendation of inspections every 90 days. Checking the tires to see if they need to be replaced and inspecting the wear of the tread should be done every three months to ensure safety. However, many do not wait that long. In a way to practice the adage, ‘better safe than sorry’, many will check the tire’s pressure and tread before heading out on the open road. Here are three tips for keeping up with proper tire maintenance. 

  1. When you check the tire pressure of the tires on the vehicle, don’t forget to check the spare. 
  2. With an RV that has a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of more than 10,000 pounds, the front tires should be replaced when the groove is worn down to a 4/32” depth. 
  3. Many tire companies recommend tire rotation every 5,000 miles. 

Stay on top of tire maintenance, and save yourself from headaches down the road on your next RV trip!

How to Check

Every RVer should have a select collection of tire-related tools on hand for each outing. Some examples include:

  • Tire pressure gauge
  • Portable air compressor
  • Emergency roadside kit- a well-rounded kit should include 12 ft jumper cables, a first aid kit, window break tool, and orange triangle reflector and a tow strap. A heavy duty tow strap, such as one from RhinoUSA, has a break strength of 31,518 pounds. This tow strap should be strong enough for most Class B & C rigs, along with many Class A motorhomes. 

Keep a tire kit with the necessary tools stored safetly in your RV or other vehicle with your RV.

What to Check

A general checklist of the tire includes the following:

  • Check tire pressure: the psi can be found on the tire’s sidewall or on the certification label of the RV. Also, the information should be within the owner’s manual as well. 
  • Check the tire thread every 90 days, sooner if driving frequently. 
  • Look for dry rot on the sidewalls, especially if RV has been stored for a lengthy time. 
  • Be sure to keep up with the age of the tires; on average, tires should be changed every three to six years. This time frame can be less if RV is driven often.
  • Rotating tires every 5,000 miles. If parked for long periods of time, be sure to back up a bit to allow the tires to rest on a different spot. This will prevent flat spotting.
  • Check tire walls for cracking or tread separation. 

The wheels on the RV go round and round, as long as proper upkeep and timely maintenance takes place. To help remember when the 90 days are up, keep a reminder on your phone’s calendar or written down on an old school calendar, stored in the glovebox. While tread-checking can be done every three months, don’t leave the driveway for a trip without checking tire pressure. 

About Debra Pamplin

Since 2007, Debra Pamplin has worn her freelancing hat proudly. Though she has written about music and RV topics over the years, travel writing has always been her priority. Since the beginning of her career, she has had many articles published on a variety of topics. Websites such as USA Today Travel, Coldwell Banker and NerdWallet.com have published her stories. Her byline has appeared in numerous print publications and popular websites over the years. https://www.clippings.me/debrapamplin

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