Caravan and motorhome tyres aren’t like car tyres; they carry more weight, can be left sat for 6 months of the year and can be subject to some long journeys. It is important to care for your tyres properly for safe and reliable travels in your recreational vehicle.
How to look after caravan and motorhome tyres:
Incorrect tyre pressures can affect the handling and load capacity of your caravan or motorhome. By ensuring you have the correct tyre pressures all round, you ensure the tyres are performing at their optimal pressure, delivering the safest and most efficient driving experience for your journey. Remember that your tyres become warm during driving, and air expands with heat, so always check your tyre pressures before driving, while the tyres are still cold.
The Right Tyres
In addition to equal tyre pressures, the wheels on the same axle should also be fitted with the same tyre make and model wherever possible. It is critical to ensure your caravan or motorhome is fitted with tyres of the right size, load capacity and speed rating, and that all tyres fitted to a motorhome are dedicated motorhome tyres, and all tyres fitted to a caravan are dedicated caravan tyres. Motorhomes are heavier, longer and behave differently to other vehicles, and are actually classed as a Light Commercial vehicle. Caravans are in tow constantly and the weight is distributed according to how it has been loaded. The tyres therefore need to be designed for the vehicle, capable of the right load capacity and speed rating, and feature a tread pattern designed to offer a suitable amount of grip and stability in both wet and dry conditions.
Don’t Push Tyre Limits
This applies to both speed and load limits. In a caravan or motorhome, the weight carried by each tyre is significantly higher than that carried by car tyres, meaning that travelling even slightly over the tyre or local speed limit could have disastrous effects. Similarly, the load capacity of the tyre must not be exceeded under any circumstances. When the vehicle is loaded, the weight must be distributed evenly so as not to overload one tyre as this can cause abnormal deterioration and handling issues.
Good to Know
You should know that all tyres have a minimum legal limit of 1.6mm of tread across the whole tyre. In a caravan or motorhome and prior to a long journey it is advised that the tread is significantly deeper than this to prevent the tyre from reaching illegal standards throughout the duration of the journey.
The Caravan and Motorhome Club recommends replacing a caravan tyre at 5 years old irrespective of their visual appearance (www.caravanclub.co.uk), but many require replacement before this due to the damage incurred by the tyre either in storage or throughout the journey.
Tyres should be checked regularly for cracks, punctures and bulges. Bulges are particularly common on caravan and motorhome tyres due to the increased chance of knocking the tyre against a kerb and of overloading the tyre too. Another cause of premature tyre wear is UV exposure; whilst certain tyres include a proportion of Carbon Black which reduces the effects of UV, it is advised to cover your tyres when storing your caravan or motorhome.
There are a range of tyres to choose from when shopping for new motorhome tyres. It is important to choose a tyre which is approved for your vehicle. The new motorhome tyre from Maxxis, the MAC2, has been designed with a double steel belt to prevent the warping of tyres during storage, and a reinforced sidewall carcass to prevent bulges and offer lengthened tyre life.