Tips for maintaining caravan and motorhome tyres

28th February 2013

With the wintry weather starting to clear away from the UK and temperatures across the country slowly creeping up, many Brits will be beginning to make plans for the spring and summer months.

For many motorists, thoughts could well be turning to how they can treat their families to a great staycation somewhere in Britain in the months ahead.

Whether it is with an Easter break to an idyllic part of the UK with a caravan in tow or a summer's break in a popular part of the country in a motorhome, drivers need to ensure the vehicle's tyres are up to the task.

One burst tyre on a caravan or motorhome could put a major dampner onto a staycation, but there are many checks that can be done before a journey begins to prevent headaches down the road.

Tyre pressure

It is particularly paramount that drivers keep a constant eye on their caravan or motorhome's tyre pressures, as this ensures the vehicle will remain stable throughout a drive from A to B.

Furthermore, motorists need to take note that under-inflated tyres have the knock-on effect of placing excess loads onto the outer edges of the products. The main consequence of this problem is that the tyre's shoulders will wear to a dangerous level much more rapidly.

On the flip side, fitting a caravan or motorhome with over-inflated tyres causes the products to experience considerably higher wear rates in the centre of their tread.

When it comes to checking the tyre pressure of products fitted to caravans and motorhomes, drivers also need to take note that the recommendations will be different from that of car tyres.

The ply rating, for example, can be as high as six or eight ply – as opposed to two ply on cars – while caravan and motorhome tyres can often tolerate inflation of up to 65psi. In contrast, motorists are advised to never exceed 40psi on cars.

Tread depth

Drivers do not need to worry about looking for differences when it comes to checking the tread depth of tyres fitted to caravans and motorhomes though.

To conform to regulations in place across Europe, every tyre currently in use in the UK – including any spares – must have a minimum tread depth of 1.6mm across its full tread width.

Some of the major consequences of driving on insufficient tread depths include the fact that the vehicle's stopping distances will increase, there will be a higher risk that the motor will aquaplane and general road safety will be substantially reduced.

On top of all of this, driving on tyres with too low a tread depth is against the law and could result in motorists being faced with a hefty fine and penalty points being placed on their driver's licence.

Wheel nuts

It is not just the condition of the tyres that need to be checked on caravans and motorhomes though, with the fitting of the product's wheel nuts also in need to be regularly maintained.

For one, tyres which have loose wheel nuts attached could come apart from the rest of the vehicle and put drivers and passengers in serious danger.

If the wheel nuts are far too tight, however, the items run the risk of causing major damage to the wheel and bolt threads over time.

To err on the side of caution, motorists are encouraged to check this part of a tyre before undertaking any road trip and then monitor their condition after around every 50 miles.

ATS Euromaster is on hand to answer any question that you may have about your vehicle's tyres and their condition.

Posted by Danielle Barge