Monday, 09 October 2017 GMT
Author: Staveley Head
When was the last time you checked your caravan’s tyre pressure, tread depth or condition? Making sure that your caravans tyres are well looked after can increase the lifespan of your tyres. It’ll also help your tow cars fuel consumption and avoid poor handling and braking and even dangerous blowouts whilst driving.
With your caravan tyres being the main contact points with the road they have to deal with heavy loads, acceleration, braking and cornering. All this can seriously reduce the longevity of your tyres if they’re not looked after properly.
To help you get the most from your caravan’s tyres, there are a few things you should do:
Over or under inflated tyres can have an effect on your handling and can lead to the condition of your tyres to deteriorate and wear quickly. You should ideally check your tyre pressure before every journey that you make. To make sure your tyres are inflated to the correct pressure check your manufacturer’s handbook or you can use this helpful online calculator from TyreSafe.
After you’ve checked your tyre pressure you should also make sure that the valves don’t have any leaks and that the valve stem is undamaged and in-line with the valve aperture.
Ensuring you carry out regular checks on your caravans tyres is crucial to keeping them in a good condition and enhancing their lifespan.
Regularly check for wear and tear. You should keep in mind that the legal minimum tread depth should be 1.6mm across the central three-quarters of the tread breadth around the entire circumference of the tyre. You should replace any tyre that has blistered, ruptured or been cut or penetrated by an object. You can identify these problems by running a gloved hand over the surface of the tyre, searching for any raised areas. Make sure that your tyre doesn’t have any stones stuck in the treads as this will increase wear.
Whilst you’re going through these checks, you should also take note of the age of the tyres. This can be done by examining the DOT (date of manufacture) code found on the tyre sidewall. Caravan tyres need regular replacement, even if they look like they’re in good condition – The Caravan Club recommend changing them every five years and should never be used when more than seven years old.
TyreSafe have also created this useful tyre safety video with tips to help your caravan tyres last longer too.
If you’re not going to use your caravan for a long period of time it’s recommended that you regularly check the tyres are inflated to the correct pressure and visually examine them for any signs of damage or degradation. Also, make sure that you turn the wheels occasionally to avoid the risk of flat spots occurring.
Alternatively, you could replace the caravan’s wheels with stands called winter wheels. It’s important to check with your insurer before doing this as some policies can become void if the caravan's wheels are removed during winter storage.
And before you go, don’t forget your caravan insurance.