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RV Tire Protection

Warren Hull

 Very few RV tires actually wear out.  Most of them rot out due at least partially to the sun.  The sun's UV rays are persistently working away at the tire rubber.  This deterioration leads to cracks in the sidewalls and tread areas.  When these cracks get bad enough, your tire gives up.  The result is at best a flat tire, at worst, a blowout.  All of us have seen rigs along side the road with shredded tires.

Too often, the damage is not just the tire, but also damage to the rig.  Sometimes, the end result is loss of control and a crash.  It is important to actually inspect your tires for proper inflation and condition each trip out.  If you have any doubts, go to your trusted tire supplier for an inspection.  The life you save might be mine.

You can’t stop tire deterioration, but you can sure slow it down.  Just like you protect your skin from the sun, you can protect your tires from the sun.  One of the best methods is to keep your tires out of the sun.  How?  Cover your tires.  There are vinyl tire covers that wrap around the tire.  There are flat tire covers that attach to the side of your rig and drape over the tires.  The wrap around are less expensive, but more difficult to install.  The flat allow air to circulate, match the rig better, easier to install especially without getting your sleeves dirty, but cost more.  Plywood can be leaned up against them, but it does look tacky.  Some chemical compounds can be applied like sun tan lotion.  Not all work equally.  In fact, some tire companies speak out against them.  There are some that probably do more damage than good.

Actual use of your rig promotes tire longevity.  The flexing of the tire through use actually releases some of the internal rubber compounds.  These components help protect the tire.  There is nothing like another reason to use your RV.  If your RV is going to be parked for an extended period of time, then use a vapor barrier between the concrete or asphalt and your tire.

A major cause of tire failure is under inflation.  Follow the instructions and inflate your tires to the proper pressure for your RV weight.  Check the pressure when the tires are cold.  Buy a decent tire pressure gauge from your local auto parts store.  They are cheap when compared to the price of a tire.  If you are not sure of the right pressure, your local tire store can help you.  A tire failure leaves you stranded by the side of the road.  A blow out usually damages your RV.  Avoid the problem as much as possible.

Your tires are an important part of your rig.  Once you have done what you can, then get out there and enjoy your travels.  There are lots to see and many places to visit.  Do it!

Warren Hull is a co-founder of - carries tire covers and windshield covers for your trailer, motor home, or other recreational vehicle.

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