There are a lot of important parts of your RV, but one that stands out above many others is your rig’s tires. Without a set of good tires in good condition, you’re not going anywhere. That’s why it’s important to know a little bit about tires as an RV owner. Here’s what you need to know.
The Types of RV Tires
You can’t just slap the same set of tire you’d put on your car on an RV. Tires used on RVs are built for heavier loads and the specific demands of a travel trailer and motorhome. While typical passenger cars and trucks use what’s known as passenger vehicle tires, RV’s require you to use either Light Truck Tires or Special Trailer Tires
Light Truck Tires
Light Truck (LT) tires are specifically designed for heavier loads. They have reinforced sidewalls because of this. The design provides good traction on the road and the tires can handle the physical weight associated with a variety of RV types.
Before you go out and buy LT tires, though, make sure to check your RV’s owner’s manual. Inside your booklet. It’ll tell you exactly what tires you should get. You might find your manual suggests the other type of tire suitable for RVs.
Special Trailer Tires
Special Trailer (ST) tires are designed for, you guessed it, trailers. They’re often found on travel trailer and fifth-wheel models. These tires are designed to offer high-levels of durability. If you have a motorhome, you’re not going to want to put these tires on your coach.
It’s important to note that most ST tires are rated only for 65 mph. If you exceed that speed, you’re looking at a possible blow out. Honestly, keeping the speed down with any RV tire will be smart and help you conserve fuel. It can also keep your trip worry and incident-free.
Your RV has a weight rating. So as long as you stick to that you’re good, right? Well, not exactly. It really comes down to the load capacity of your tires. If your tires are overloaded, then you could experience a blowout.
On the side of the RV’s tire, there should be a numeric code that shows the maximum load capacity for each tire. If you can’t find it there or are shopping for new tires and are unsure of what rating to get, look in your owner’s manual.
In addition to load capacity, you should also think about tire size. Once again, your owner’s manual is the place to turn to for the proper tire size. The size should also be printed on the side of the tire that’s on your RV.
What you’re looking for is something like ST225/75D16. The ST in this example stands for Special Trailer. The 225/75 means the tire is 225 millimeters wide and has a height ratio of 75 percent. The D means it has a bias-ply construction, and the 16 is the interior diameter (where the metal wheel goes).
Proper inflation is another thing you need to pay attention to. A tire that’s not properly inflated will not be able to carry its maximum load capacity. It’ll also be less efficient and could experience a blowout.
Check your tire pressure before every trip. Remember that temperature changes can impact your tire pressure, so if it’s suddenly a lot colder, you could need to add air to your tires. You likely have a pre-trip checklist. Add a tire pressure check to that checklist and you should be good to go.
Use a RV Tire Professional
I encourage you to do your tire maintenance yourself, but if you need new tires or want to update your rig’s current set, go to a professional. They will have the right tools and know exactly what you need for your rig. Gander RV & Outdoors service personnel will be happy to help you with any tire needs.
If you need new tires for your RV, reach out to Gander RV & Outdoors today!