Trailer Tire Safety: Check your Tires Before Hitting the Road

The wheels on your RV go round and round, round and round…until…boom!

Ask yourself these questions:

When was the last time I checked the air pressure?

How old are your tires on your trailer?

When was the last time they were replaced?

RV Tires

You can’t judge your tires by how they look. Kicking them is not going to tell you anything either. Trailer tires are only meant to last three to six years on average. Just because they look good and the tread looks brand new does not mean that the tires are not rotting away on the inside.


Tires deteriorate over time whether you drive on them daily or just once a year.

Tire deterioration can happen from the UV rays from the sun, going over the allotted speed the tires can handle, going over the weight amount allotted for the trailer capacity and its tires, exceeding the maximum or falling under the minimum tire pressure of the tires, and finally, using products with petroleum distillates on your tires. All of these actions can cause your tires to deteriorate at a faster rate. Proper use and care of your tires will allow you to get the longest, safest use out of them.

Here are some tips to keeping your RV’s tires in good shape:

  1. Use covers to protect your tires from the sun. The UV rays from the sun can crack and damage your tires. If your trailer is parked longer than a weekend, make sure to cover your tires with tire covers.
  2. Make sure you know the MPH your tires are designed for. Trailers come with special trailer tires and the majority have a maximum speed rating of 65 MPH. By accelerating past that speed could cause serious damage to your tires, especially if your trailer is loaded down with weight.
  3. Make sure not to overload your trailer to over its capacity because your tires are affected too. The more pressure on your tires, the more stress you put on your tires. Especially if you are going over the maximum speed the tires can handle.
  4. Keeping your tires at the correct tire pressure is essential to not only the health of your tires but to your load weight and speed. Improper tire inflation is the number one factor in tire failure. Most RV and camper service personnel  recommend to inflate your tires to the maximum PSI stamped on the sidewall of the tire. Be aware of how the weather elements affect tire pressure. Higher elevations increase tire pressure as does warmer temperatures. Make sure to check your tires before hitting the road every time! Do a visual inspection for tire inflation, wear, bulging, cracking and anything that looks unusual.
  5. Only use soap and water to clean your tires. Using protective chemicals that have petroleum distillates will weaken your tires strength.
  6. Think about using Nitrogen to inflate your tires instead of compressed air.  Nitrogen has been found to pro-long the life of the tire. Nitrogen allows the tire to run cooler while in use.
  7. Replace your tires every three to six years, regardless of the miles you’ve put on them or the tread depth. When we’re talking three to six years, we mean from the time when the tire was manufactured. Each tire has a date stamped on the sidewall stating the manufactured date. There is how to read one.

The date code looks something like this: DOT PDHH MLOR 3403.

The date code always starts with a DOT and ends with a 3 or 4 digit number. Those last numbers are the date code. The first two numbers indicate the week (out of 52) and the last one or two digits indicate the year it was manufactured in. So, from the date code above, 3403 means the 34th week of 2003, or the fourth week of August 2003. So, from that date, your tires would need to be replaced between August 2006 and August of 2009.

Another thought to keep in mind, blow outs and flat tires happen. So always carry a spare tire, jack and the proper tools to fix your flat tire while you are traveling.

**The information from this post was taken from RV Chat With Ron Fleming “How Old Are the Tires on Your RV?”

For more information, please consult your tire’s manufacturer or the RV’s manufacturer.

Tire identification diagram

Image via Wikipedia

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