Keeping the pressure on caravan and motorhome safety
After one of the longest and coldest winters in recent memory, the UK’s 650,000 touring caravan and motorhome owners are being reminded about the importance of checking their vehicle’s tyres before hitting the roads this spring.
With two Bank Holiday weekend’s fast approaching and temperatures finally starting to rise, the advice being issued by TyreSafe is particularly timely as many owners will be starting to prepare for their first weekend break of the year.
“Spring time is an especially popular time for caravan and motorhome owners to take to the roads but it’s important that before setting off, they make some critical checks,” comments Stuart Jackson, chairman, TyreSafe. “Failing to do so could result in a number of tyre related problems which at best could see them stranded by the roadside, potentially spoiling a well-earned weekend away, or at worst cause more serious injury and damage.”
One of the most important areas for owners to check is that their tyre pressures are correct. Over the winter months when vehicle are not used, tyre pressures are likely to drop naturally. If left under-inflated before use, not only is vehicle handling likely to be affected but excessive heat is also likely to build up inside the tyre, dramatically increasing the likelihood of a rapid deflation which can endanger the lives of the driver, passengers and other road users.
Pressure should be checked when the tyres are cold in line with settings which can be found on the TyreSafe website (www.tyresafe.org). Caravan owners should also remember to check the pressures of their tow car’s tyres which may need adjusting to the “fully laden” settings which can be found in the vehicle manufacturer’s handbook.
Owners should also give the tyre a thorough visual inspection paying particular attention to the sidewall area of the tyre which may have suffered from UV damage over the winter months and will be evident from signs of the rubber cracking. Any objects embedded in the tread area should also be removed and tread depths should be checked to ensure they comply with the legal minimum regulations of 1.6mm or tread across the central three quarters of the tyre around its entire circumference.
“Spending just a few minutes checking your tyres before travelling can save caravan and motorhome owners from a host of problems. Of course, if you’re not confident of what to look for or in any doubt then we’d advise you visit your local tyre dealer and seek some professional assistance,” concludes Jackson.