The Full Time RV"er Learns About RV Tires

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There it was in all its pristine glory.
Our new home on wheels, a 12 year old fifth wheel trailer.
It appeared to be very clean inside and out and the owner beamed with pride as he described all the features of the trailer.
We were sold as soon as we saw the spotless interior and well groomed exterior.
"Anything need fixed?" I asked, hoping to get a positive response.
"No, I think everything is in pretty good shape.
" was the reply.
Once we got the trailer home, I gave it a good looking over for things that would need repair.
The tires had plenty of tread wear left and seemed to be in fair shape.
However closer inspection proved me wrong.
Tires on a used RV can be very deceiving in appearance.
It is very unusual to find tires that have the tread worn down.
Tire problems will crop up in a different area however.
Sunlight is the great enemy of RV tires.
The ultraviolet rays of the sun will dry and crack the rubber compounds of the tire sidewall.
This leads to a weakened area that is likely to blow out when flexing and heat build up occur under load.
Tire covers will prevent this from happening when the RV is parked or in storage.
Tire covers are sold by the diameter of the tire.
Measure the tire across the diameter to be sure that you purchase the correct size.
Use a bright light to check for cracks in the sidewall of your RV tires.
Look especially close at the area just above the rim for small cracks that go around the sidewall of the tire.
If these are very deep, the tire structure may be visible and the tire should be replaced for safety on the road.
Don't just "look" at the tires on your RV, but get down on your knees with a light and inspect the area of the tire next to the rim where the failure can start.
This simple task could save your rig, your wallet, and possibly even your life.
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