How to Save Your RV Tires from Dry Rot
Tires are a big deal, no matter what trailer you have. Whether you have an off road camper like a Xplore, a Conqueror, a ROAMER 1, or one more suited for the paved roads like an Airstream, tires are always important. Unfortunately, many RV owners overlook the importance of protecting their RV tires because they don’t see major cracks or wear marks. That, or sometimes they just don’t know what to look for. Either way it’s a big problem, because the tires are always being worn down and we don’t want something serious to happen. Like a blowout.
In fact, There are many reasons tires are damaged. Environment, under inflation, over inflation and the age of the tires. All of these factors can cause damage, which can become quite dangerous if not caught early on. On top of the danger of damaged tires when left too long, the cost to repair goes up and no one likes shelling out their hard earned money when it could have been avoided.
What To Look For
Since the tires are composed of rubber it is normal for tires to degrade over time, but because of added exposure to things like excessive heat, harmful ozone and UV rays this process is accelerated. You can be sure Dry Rot is happening when the tire begins to turn grey and lose its flexibility. The tire will look like it’s dry and cracks will appear on the sidewalls where the tires are the thinnest. So, definitely pay special attention to the sidewalls because that is where the majority of the dry rotting occurs.
Protect Those Tires
Knowing what to look for is great, but that doesn’t solve the problem, does it? So, what do you do to protect them? How do you get the most out of each of your tires? If you have any of these questions you’re in luck, because I have 4 tips for you.
Regularly check the tire pressure. First find the recommended tire pressure in your owners/service manual, then use a tire gauge to measure the tire pressure. That will let you know whether you need to then inflate the tires or deflate over inflated tires.
For such occasions it’s always a good idea to have a portable air compressor. As a side note, a very highly recommended heavy duty RV air compressor is the VIAIR 400 RV automatic portable compressor kit.
Apply a UV protectant or ozone blocker treatment. You can purchase protectant sprays that you can easily apply to your tires, blocking the harmful rays of the sun. Many automobile and RV owners think that ArmorAll will do the trick, but research shows that it has been proven to hurt the tires more than help. So, make sure to do just a bit of research beforehand buying.
Use tire covers. This is an inexpensive way to protect your tires from the damaging effects of the sun and weather. They come in a variety of materials from vinyl to canvas and can be easily found online. Just make sure you measure your tires and look at the tire numbers before you order a wheel cover. It’s never fun to order something that isn’t the right size.
Use your RV. Tires are designed to be used and will age much faster and dry out if not used regularly. If storing your RV for an extended period of time make sure to at least move the trailer once every month. This helps the sidewalls from cracking due to sitting in one place for too long.
How Old are Your Tires?
If you want to know the year your tires were manufactured check the sidewalls for the DOT number. It tells you the week of the year and the last two digits identify the year. The tire industry has declared that 10 years is the longest a tire should be used, but many tire companies suggest changing them every six-years.
Before each trip make sure to check on your tires. See if there are any cracks or if the tires look dry. Make sure that your tires aren’t expired either. If you aren’t sure, then take them in to a professional tire dealer where they have authorized technicians. If you do the things we have tackled in this blog it will both keep you safe and prologue the life of your tires. After all, the last thing we would want is for you to get stranded because of a bad tire. Getting stranded in the middle of an adventure is just the worst. So, keep an eye on those tires and everything will be peachy king.
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