Consumer Reports Tire Tips for RV Travel

by Gabrielle DeSantis

With summer finally upon us, RV travel is ramping up across the country. Consumer Reports tire tips can help keep your family safe on the road while adventuring around. Make sure you have the owner’s manual on hand to be able to consult it.

Consumer Reports tire tips: replace old RV tires

Consumer Reports tire tips show a Winnebago in Ridgway Colorado | Joe Sohm/Visions of America/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Getting ready for a road trip in your new RV? Consumer Reports gathered some tips to help RV drivers stay safe while traveling this summer. One of the most important tips is to inspect and replace old tires. Even if you haven’t gotten much out of the current tires, Consumer Reports says to replace all of the tires at 10 years of age. If your vehicle’s owner manual says something different, abide by those suggestions, too. Depending on where your RV is stored, 10 years might be far too long.

To check the age of your tires, check the code on your sidewall. The Department of Transportation has a standardized code on the tire sidewall. The last four digits of the code will indicate what year manufacturers produced the tires. For example, if the code says 2008 at the end, the tires are from 2008. Tires produced before 2000 will only offer one digit for the year, but that means you should replace the tires.

Before going on a long trip, it is a good idea to check new tires too. Many factors can damage tires, especially when the vehicle tends to sit for extended periods. Check the tires for cuts, cracks, or any imperfections. Replace the tires if you notice any imperfections.

Choose the right RV tires for your trip

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The Goodyear G159s tire has been linked to hundreds of crashes that killed almost 100 people over the years, Consumer Reports says. This tire was not meant to be driven for long periods of time at higher speeds. The tire becomes too hot and falls apart. Due to this, the tires can separate and cause a crash.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) launched an investigation into the tire in 2017, but that was already more than 10 years after the tire stopped being produced.

Choosing the correct tires for your RV size and the trip is important. Since there are not that many RV tires on the market, it is even more important to choose the correct ones. “This is an item to spend money on to get the best tires for your application; literally everything is riding on them,” CR notes. Be sure to read the manual for your RV to get the correct size and load capacity.

CR suggests it is better to buy tires that can handle a heavier load since you will likely be loading the RV with various items that increase the weight. Be sure to balance the weight in your RV properly, too. This helps ensure each tire is taking the same load, so the wear across all of the tires is more even.

Care for and maintain your tires

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Tire care for your RV does not stop at buying tires. To stay safe on the road, it is a good idea to keep an eye on your tires regularly. Make sure the tires are properly inflated throughout the trip and before you leave. The correct inflation pressure should be listed on the doorjamb of the RV or in the manual.

CR suggests cleaning the tires occasionally and keeping the RV out of direct sunlight. By cleaning the tires, you can make sure there are no defects. Keeping the tires out of the sun will help extend the life of the tires. It is also suggested that you not use tire shine products. These can make tires look better but can deteriorate the tires at a more rapid pace.

Driving around in an RV is a blast, but be sure to take precautions and choose the right tires for your adventure before taking off.

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