Motorhome Tyre Inspection and Checks
Motorhomes are typically driven at close to maximum weight on every journey, placing high demands on the vehicle’s tyres. They should be regularly checked to ensure they are in roadworthy condition.
Inspection and Checks
Spare Tyre/Wheel It is strongly recommended that a compatible spare wheel/tyre assembly be carried for the motorhome. This should be checked for its condition and inflation pressure regularly. The pressure should be set at the maximum required for the vehicle. You never know when it will be needed and for which wheel position. Tyre pressure It is essential to the safety and stability of the vehicle that all tyres are correctly inflated. This is a ‘golden rule’ of motoring and of motorhome operation in particular. Incorrect tyre pressures can not only adversely affect the handling, but can also cause dangerous tyre failure. Furthermore, tyres that are not inflated to the correct pressure wear out more quickly and affect the vehicle’s fuel consumption. So in the long run, keeping them at the right pressure could also save you money. THE VOLUME OF PRESSURISED AIR INSIDE THE TYRE DETERMINES THE LOAD THE TYRE CAN WITHSTAND. REDUCING TYRE PRESSURE REDUCES THE TYRE’S LOAD CARRYING CAPACITY. Pressures should be checked and, if necessary, adjusted prior to any journey when the tyres are cold – not during or after a run when they will be higher. Never reduce pressures when the tyres are warm, as they could be too low when they cool down. After pressure checking ensure the valve is not leaking and that a valve cap is fitted.
The correct settings are stipulated by the motorhome’s manufacturer and are found in the owners manual and typically on a plate attached to the vehicle. In the absence of these, pressures can be calculated using these table or TyreSafe’s unique motorhome tyre pressure calculator. Minimum Tread Depth To ensure compliance with regulations throughout Europe a minimum tread depth of 1.6 mm across the full tread width is strongly recommended. If you are traveling abroad, some European countries require winter tyres to be fitted at certain times of the year with a minimum tread depth of 3 or 4 mm, so be sure to check this with the countries you are visiting if this applies to you. Tyre Care Check your tyres regularly but particularly when the motorhome has not been used for some time. Vehicles that are not used normally used during winter should be thoroughly inspected prior to re-use. Look particularly for any sign of age deterioration in the tyres such as sidewall cracking and carcass deformation. Tyres on a stationary vehicle, particularly if parked in coastal areas, always age more quickly than those in regular and frequent use. For further advice, view TyreSafe’s animatic video for tyre checks when taking a vehicle out of storage. If your motorhome is going to stand for any length of time, it is wise to cover the tyres and to shield them from direct sunlight and if possible to jack the weight off them. If in doubt about the condition of your tyres, have them checked immediately by a tyre specialist. There is no known technical data that supports a specific tyre age for removal from service. However, in the interests of safety a number of vehicle and tyre manufacturers recommend that tyres (including spare tyres) that were manufactured more than a certain number of years previously be replaced with new tyres, even when they appear to be usable from their external appearance and the tread may not have reached the minimum wear out depth. It is recommended that any such instruction be followed. Consumers should note that most tyres would have to be removed for tread wear-out or other causes before any prescribed age is reached. A stated removal period in no way reduces the consumer’s responsibility to replace tyres as needed. Further tyre checks can be found in TyreSafe’s caravan section