Traveling the country in your RV is an amazing experience but during the off-season, it’s crucial to make sure you’re keeping your investment properly stored.
Class A motorhome tires are one of the most important components of your RV which means you’ll want to ensure that they’re kept in storage the right way to keep them protected from damage.
Read on for a list of seven helpful tips you can use to maintain and store your tires so you’ll be ready to hit the road once again.
1. Keep them clean
Proper care of your RV tires revolves around keeping them clean and dry so that the natural lubricants in the rubber compound that protect your tires won’t erode over time. Road oil and dirt will also suck the life out of your tires so it’s important to keep your tires clean. Oil will deteriorate the rubber and dirt will act as a sponge and hold any contaminants next to the tire. Use a soft brush and mild soap to clean your tires.
Once they are clean you can use a tire dressing to protect your tires from aging but be very careful. Many of these treatments do more harm than good. Never use a dressing that contains petroleum products, alcohol, or silicone because they will cause sidewall cracking and accelerate the aging process. If you find a good tire dressing that does not contain these products, yet offers a UV barrier, your tires will benefit from it. I use 303 Protectant.
2. Cover your RV tires
Two other factors that dry out tire sidewalls are sunlight and ozone. Ozone eats rubber, so don’t park your RV in an area where welding is being done or near electrical generators or transformers as ozone is created by high electrical use. Sunlight contains harmful UV rays that dry out rubber so if you are going to be parking in a sunny area for a while it’s a good idea to cover your tires.
Look for a high-quality tire cover that’s UV-resistant since sunlight can quickly cause tires to wear down and potentially rot.
3. Rotate your tires
If you’re in a smaller RV, you may need to rotate your tires occasionally. In larger RVs, on the other hand, rotating your tires is a very difficult process. Due to wheel configurations, Class A motorhomes require wheels to be remounted when taken off and that’s a task that should ideally be performed by a service center to ensure it’s done correctly. Additionally, Newmar coaches install different-sized tires on the front and rear axles, making it dangerous to rotate from front to back or vice versa. Should the tires on your Class A coach require rotating, your preferred service center will be sure to tell you.
When your RV weight is unevenly distributed, it causes the tire tread to wear down which can result in a flat or a dangerous blowout. Try to keep even weight distribution throughout your coach to reduce the wear on your tires.
You’ll want to know How to Survive an RV Tire Blowout.
4. Check the air pressure
Too much or too little air pressure can wreak havoc on your tires even while in storage. Check to make sure that your tires are properly inflated before you store the RV for the off-season. Some manufacturers recommend you inflate them 25 percent more than normal while in storage.
Use an inflation gauge to check the pressure and look for an angled dual-foot pressure gauge if you want to test multiple tires. Always inflate them according to your specific RV’s manufacturer instructions which can be found in your owner’s manual or on the certification tag. While your RV is in storage, check the PSI levels monthly and reflate each tire as needed for the best results.
I have more on checking air pressure:
5. Lighten your load
A Class A motorhome is designed to withstand thousands of pounds of weight while you travel. From camping equipment to cooking appliances, all of that heaviness rests on your tires.
Before you store your RV for the off-season lighten the load as much as you can. Remove anything that doesn’t need to be inside so that it reduces the total weight and relieves some of the pressure that your tires will have to bear. The lighter the load, the lower the chances are that you’ll end up with an unwanted flat.
6. Age is more than a number
You might wonder what the motorhome tire life expectancy is. While each brand and each specific RV tire may have a different lifespan, it’s best to replace any tires that are older than six years of age.
Even if you take immaculate care of your tires, the standard maximum tire age for most RVs is around six years. As they age, there could be hidden damage you can’t see with the naked eye. The last thing you need is to head out on your adventure and end up dealing with a flat on the side of the road.
Read: When to Replace RV Tires
7. Perform regular inspections
When it’s time to put your RV in storage, you should thoroughly inspect your tires first. Take a close look at the tread and make sure that each tire is evenly worn. Replace any tires that show signs of dry rot, extreme wear, or bulges.
Check the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) for your RV and make sure that your tire tread has reasonable depth according to this information. With regular check-ups, you’ll feel good about the health of your tires so you can hit the road in confidence.
Take good care of your tires
With a little bit of effort, your RV tires should be able to handle anything that comes their way. Always check for things like air pressure and tread health before you put everything away in storage.
Cover your tires to protect them from the elements and to prolong their lifespan. Cleaning and rotating your tires will also ensure that they serve you well for many road trips to come.
Speed was high
Weather was hot
Tires were thin
X marks the spot
—Burma Shave sign