Advice and Information
Whatever the vehicle, safe driving is extremely important and one major factor frequently overlooked is the tyres.
Look after the tyres properly and you will improve the safety and behaviour of your motorhome.
This booklet has been produced by the UK tyre industry to help you to do this.
Fit the right tyres
As with all road vehicles, it is essential that tyres of the correct specification be fitted. It is always advisable to have the same construction of tyres on all wheels. Only tyres of equal size and service description (Load Index/Speed Symbol) and identical wheels should be fitted across an axle and carried as a spare. Tyre pressures across an axle should be equal. Tyres originally fitted to motorhomes are usually of a Light Commercial (“C” or “CP”) type. CP-type tyres are now widely used as they have been designed to cater for the higher loads imposed by motorhomes, especially when fitted in a single formation on the rear axle. The original tyre specification should not be changed without consulting either the vehicle or tyre manufacturer. Deviating from the original specification of tyre is likely to have an effect on the handling and general characteristics of the vehicle. Never replace the tyres with ones of a lower speed rating or load capacity. Most tyres in current use will be of a ‘tubeless’ construction, although some older vehicles may have ‘tube type’ tyres fitted. If the tyre is marked ‘tube type’ it is important the correct size of tube is used. If converting from ‘tube type’ tyres to ‘tubeless’ radials, the wheel must be of the ‘safety’ type. Consult a tyre expert before carrying out such a conversion. If travelling abroad during the winter season, some countries stipulate appropriate winter tyres are fitted to the vehicle. Even if the country being visited does not employ such a legal requirement it is always a good practice to fit tyres that are appropriate for the road/weather conditions. Consult the tyre manufacturer.
Watch your speed
Never exceed the speed limit. This may seem an obvious recommendation, but with motorhomes the vehicle load and load distribution is often different from that of more conventional road vehicles, resulting in unique handling characteristics. Drive at a speed that is comfortable for both you and the vehicle.
Do not overload
It is dangerous to overload tyres at any time. The police may take action against drivers when their vehicle is carrying an excessive or badly distributed load. A poorly distributed load can cause overloading of one or more wheels even when the maximum permissible total load is not exceeded. It is important to spread the load evenly around the vehicle and as low as possible, thus the stability of the vehicle will not be impaired. Failure to adhere to this rule will invite tyre problems and possibly tyre failure. It is advisable to ensure the total vehicle operating weight is below the specified maximum limit, and a margin of 10% will partly compensate for some unequal load distribution. To ensure a safely loaded vehicle make use of public weighbridges. Contact your local council if you are unsure where to find your nearest weighbridge.
The use of a pre-puncture sealant is not recommended; however it is recognised that a post-puncture sealant may well serve a useful function if used to move a stranded vehicle to a safe location where a proper INTERNAL examination and repair of the tyre may be carried out. In view of the fact that the non-punctured tyre on the other side of the axle may have been overloaded following a deflation it is important to have BOTH tyres examined. If the distance travelled on a totally deflated tyre is more than a few metres it is likely that the extent of non-visible damage renders the tyre irreparable and, hence, in need of replacement.