Tires are among the most vital parts of any motorized vehicles. If you are a recreational vehicle owner then it is greatly possible that your goal is to maximize the life of its tires as much as possible. Note that without the tires, you can’t expect your vehicle to go anywhere regardless of how much horsepower its engine possesses.
The present quality and functionality of the tires installed in your RV can also contribute to a successful and exciting RV trip and adventure. If the tires do not work as you intend them to be then there is a great possibility that you will spend thousands of dollars on unnecessary repairs.
In worst cases, this can also lead to the early deterioration and death of the tires. The problem is that you will never be so sure about the kind of driving conditions you will encounter. If the tire malfunctions, just like in the case of a blowout, and it happens when you are on a trip, then it can result in severe damages.
It is mainly because blown tires can be very damaging to the electrical lines and propane in your RV. They also have the tendency of blowing through your RV floors and cause collisions. With the negative effects of malfunctioning tires, it is crucial to have an idea about how long do RV tires last usually.
That way, you can prepare yourself for the possibility of the tires malfunctioning at a certain time. It is also important to know about the perfect time to replace the tires.
So How Long Do RV Tires Last, Really?
Generally, RV tires are designed to last for around 3-5 years. That said, you need to observe your RV tires closely after 3 years have passed. You need to check the tires for any signs of damage and wear, including bulging, uneven wear found at the treads, cracks, or any other indications of abnormality.
It is also advisable to begin planning to fund the replacement of the tires after around five years. If the tires in your RV are already 6 to 7 years then maybe it is time to think about replacing them. Even if they do not seem to look bad or do not malfunction yet, it is still crucial to replace them during that period as anytime soon, they might ruin your trip.
In case you are unsure about the exact age of your RV tires then you can check that with the help of the code stamped in them. Note that each tire has a stamped code indicating that it was manufactured in the last decade, giving you an idea about its exact age. With that detail, you can decide on the exact time for the replacement.
When Should You Replace the Tires?
To determine the perfect time for you to do the RV tire replacement, it is advisable to observe the condition of the tires based on the following factors and possible signs of wear and deterioration:
Tread Depth – The tread of the tire actually refers to its raised external portion, which comes in contact with the road. You can actually see it as that specific surface, which grips the pavement, making it possible for you to steer and drive safely without the risk of sliding off the road.
The depth of the tread is one of the keys to figuring out whether you already need to replace the tires. If the tire’s tread is already lower than 6/32 inches in depth then it might be necessary for you to replace it. It might be the perfect time to bring your RV to a repair shop so you can have the suspected tire checked.
Cracks – It is also crucial to check the tires for cracks. Observe the sizes of the cracks, too as this is helpful in determining whether replacement is already necessary. It should be noted that sidewall cracks on the tires are actually normal and expected.
You can expect these cracks to occur on all tires regardless of the brand. What you have to look for when determining whether tire replacement is necessary is if the cracks are more than 2/32 inches in depth.
Timeframe – Another vital factor to take into consideration is the specific timeframe since the last time you have changed or replaced the tire. The general guideline is actually to change the tire when it is already running for around 3-6 years. However, if you are often on the road then you can’t expect it to last for up to 6 years.
If you use it only occasionally then you might be able to make it last for a max of 6 years. It is not recommended, however, to still use the same tires after the 6-year mark. You will need to replace them after that period to guarantee your safety.
Signs of Wear – You can also determine the perfect time to replace the RV tires by observing them for any signs of wear. Note that even if you just have recently replaced the tires, it is still necessary to scrutinize and examine them properly prior to going out on a trip.
Find out if the tires have signs of uneven wear. Also, find out if the tread left is already too little. If that is the case then you might have to change the tires prior to your next road trip.
Length of your next RV adventure – You will also know if it is the right time to replace your RV tires by determining the specific length of your next RV trip. If you intend to go on an extended vacation then note that the tires might start wearing down while you are on the road.
However, if you just plan to take a quick trip then you may still be able to keep yourself safe if you decide to change the tires once you get back after the trip.
Blisters and bulges – Replacement might also be necessary if you already notice blisters or bulges in your RV tires. The bulges or blisters will most likely extend out from the surface of the tires, especially if their exteriors start to become weak.
The problem is that these are considered as weak spots that might cause the sudden blowout of your tires. With that in mind, it is necessary to monitor your tire for the presence of these blisters and bulges. If you see or notice them, especially those that extend off the surfaces then it is time to look for a replacement.
Too much vibration – While it is inevitable to experience a specific level of vibration when you are driving, especially if you are on a bumpy road, too much of it is a sign that there is something wrong with the tires.
You will know right away if the tires are already out of balance if they cause a shake or vibration that gets worse progressively at increasing speed. In most cases, the shake or vibration begins at 40-50 miles per hour. It tends to increase in intensity as you move faster.
Too much vibration can signal an unbalanced or misaligned tire. This might also indicate a problem with the tires. In case the root cause of the issue is not the tire itself then the intense vibration will eventually damage the tire if not dealt with right away.
Prolonging the Life of your RV Tires
You can actually do something to ensure that your RV tires do not suffer from early death and deterioration. It is possible for you to make them last for as long as what it promises by ensuring that you take good care of them. For instance, you have to learn a thing or two about the actual reasons for the deterioration of the tires.
Note that time and elements are two of the contributing factors for the deterioration of the tires. While you can’t avoid the fact that you may need to replace them after a 5 or 6-year period, you can ensure that they will indeed last up to that period, not shorter, by ensuring that you know what might cause its early deterioration.
Aside from time, among the elements that are bad for the RV tires are extremely warm and sunny climates. It is because too much sunlight and heat might cause their quicker deterioration.
One way to maximize the lifespan of your RV tires is to avoid storing your recreational vehicle for longer than 6 months. Make it a point to drive and use it frequently. Furthermore, ensure that the tires are inflated based on the maximum level of cold pressure recommended. Proper inflation is crucial even if you are just storing your RV.
Invest in RV tire covers that will protect them from the harsh elements, too. Cover the tires, especially when they are not in use. Also, make it a point to keep the RV tires away from wet surfaces and ground as they have the tendency of absorbing water.
Another way to maximize the life of the tires is to keep them clean. You can use water and mild soap in cleaning them. However, you should avoid washing the tires excessively. Furthermore, it is advisable to avoid petroleum-based or alcohol-based cleaners.
You should also avoid overloading your recreational vehicle. While an RV is designed to help you bring plenty of stuff with you on your trip, you still have to make sure that it is not overloaded. Note that putting too much load on the vehicle might put a lot of stress and strain on its tires.
One way to determine whether the load in your RV did not go over the limit yet is to weigh it using a CAT scale. This is also useful in ensuring the even distribution of the weight. Make sure to spend time checking the load carried by each tire individually.
According to Harmon’s advice, giving your RV tires a lot of attention is crucial in ensuring that these won’t malfunction in the middle of the road. You also need to know how to maintain and care for them properly so you can really enjoy them for a solid 6 years before they will need replacement.
Note that ignoring to do some basic tire maintenance can cause undesirable results. Taking care of them can contribute a lot to maximizing their life. They can help you move for a whole 6 years.
However, there is still a great possibility that you will need to replace them earlier than that if you put plenty of miles on your vehicle or the tires themselves start showing early or premature signs of aging.
Knowing exactly how long do RV tires last can help you take the right action at the perfect time. This means that you will know exactly when you should replace the RV tires. By replacing them in a timely manner, you have a higher chance of enjoying all your RV trips without putting yourself in danger.