There’s nothing more inconvenient than setting out for an extended weekend of camping, just to have your camper trailer tires go flat. While caring for your trailer tires may not be high on your list of fun things to do, there are a few simple things you can do to keep your trailer tires in good working order. Here we present our top tips for getting the most out of your trailer tires and wheels.
Trailer Tire Tips
- Trailer tires are meant for trailers only. They are not designed for drive or steering axles, so be sure to use the right tire for the job.
- Be sure to inflate your trailer tires to the maximum inflation as indicated on the sidewall of the tire.
- The best time to check inflation levels are when the tires are cool and have not been exposed to sunlight.
- The #1 cause of trailer tire failure is under-inflation.
- Be sure to use tires that are rated for the work you need them to perform. The combined capacity of the tires needs to equal (or exceed) the gross vehicle weight of the axle. Also, be sure to use tires that are all identical in size otherwise the tires may not be able to handle the weight.
- Use “ST” rated tires for best results. ST tires are engineered for the higher loads required for trailering. They also contain more chemicals and materials to resist wear and cracking. Over the long run, ST tires are the best value.
- Heed recommended speed markings. Most “ST” tires have a maximum speed of 65mph. At faster speeds the tires begin to break down due to built up heat. As speed increases, the load capacity of your trailer tires will begin to decrease. You’ll get longer life out of your tires (and have less risk of failure) by traveling at 65mph or slower when using your trailer tires.
- Exposure to elements and the passage of time weaken trailer tires. For best results, keep your tires stored indoors when not in use. When storing your tires, keep them fully inflated. If you’re going to keep them on the trailer, then you should put the trailer on blocks and release the air from the tires.
- If you end up needing new trailer tires, be sure to compare warranties on the various brands you’re considering. Some warranties cover a particular number of miles or a number of years. Also, some warranties specify a tread depth at which time the warranty expires.
- Keep all your original receipts in case you need to make a warranty claim.
A few last tips for avoiding trouble with your trailer tires.
- Maintain your tires. Before taking off on a long-distance trip, be sure to inspect your boat trailer tires. Don’t just assume everything is fine. By regularly inspecting and maintaining your tires you’ll significantly lengthen their life span.
- Use the right tires. If you need replacement travel trailer tires check with the manufacturer on the type that should be used – don’t just buy whatever trailer tires are on sale. By using the right type of tires for the job you’ll end up with much better wear.
- Plan on replacing your trailer tires every 5 years even if they don’t look worn out. Trailer tires are not meant to be replaced based on wear, but instead on mileage.
Trailer tires are one of those vehicle accessories we tend to not think too much about – that is, until something goes wrong. By following our tips you can avoid unnecessary break downs and instead spend more time enjoying your favorite activities.