Are Your RV Tires Safe? Here Are Five Ways to Identify Tire Health
Here’s an understatement: the health of your RV’s tires is essential. A single flat tire can utterly derail an RV trip. And that’s BEFORE you get into the dangers and hassles of dealing with a tire blowout on a crowded highway.
While there’s always the slight risk of a freak accident, tire health is an area where a little mindfulness goes a long way. By taking a few basic steps to check your tires before leaving for a trip, you can avoid dealing with any unwanted surprises along the way.
Let’s Start With the Basics: Check Your Tire Pressure
It’s a good idea to check the pressure on ALL of your RV’s tires at least once a month. At the very least, you’ll want to do a quick pressure check the day before you leave on any new trip.
Different RVs can come with varying recommendations for tire pressure, so it’s a good idea to confirm beforehand. This information is usually written inside your motorhome’s owner’s manual or doorjamb. As a note, the heavy-duty pressure gauge you’ll need to check RV tire pressure is different from the ones commonly used for regular cars.
Check Your Tire’s Age
Every RV tire manufactured after the year 2000 will have an identification number you can use to check its age. To determine the age of your tires, keep an eye out for a small illuminated stamp near the outside rim. The last four digits will be the tire’s issue date.
For example, if the number on your ties ends with 3517, you know they were made on the 35th week of 2017.
While there are no standard guidelines for when you should replace tires, knowing their age helps you make informed decisions when you prepare for your next adventure. Old age on its own isn’t a warning sign, but it can make other ones significantly spookier.
Take a Look at the Tread Bars
Tread bars are a series of small ridges inside your vehicle’s tires that can be used to measure their health. Each one is set inside a tire’s deepest grooves, and giving it a quick glance can tell you valuable information about your tires’ remaining lifespan.
If the tread bar on a tire is worn down completely, it’s a good idea to replace that tire as soon as possible. Additionally, uneven wear on these bars can indicate a car’s alignment is off, and the tires are making uneven contact with the road.
Use the Penny Test
If you need a more hands-on approach in checking your tire health, consider giving your tires the penny test. Simply hold a penny upside down and gently press it into the tire treads. If your tires are healthy, the top half of Abraham Lincoln’s head should be covered.
Seeing the entirety of Lincoln’s head is a reliable sign your tires have worn down and should be replaced soon.
When in Doubt, Visit the Pros
Any uncertainty about your tire health can always be directed to the professionals. It can be challenging to tell the difference between a worn-down and worn-out tire, and it’s an area where you really don’t want any unpleasant surprises on the road.
Thanks to RettroBand® Wheel Enhancement, you can drive your motorhome with peace of mind knowing you have protection should a tire blowout occur. Check out this video from our friends at National Indoor RV Centers to see the RettroBand product in action.