While most people would agree that properly inflated and maintained tires are important, it is even more important with the increased size and load carrying of today’s RV’s. Properly inflated tires not only reduce fuel consumption, but also reduce the risk of premature and uneven tread wear, blowouts, and tread separation.
To be sure your RV and tow vehicle tires are properly inflated, check the safety certification label (dataplate) or owner’s manual for the correct pressure. The dataplate for most cars, SUVs and trucks is found either on the vehicle door edge, door post, glove-box door, or inside of the trunk lid.
Dataplate location varies by the type of RV. With most travel trailer, fifth wheel, pop-up, and expandable RVs, the dataplate is located on the outside of the vehicle near the front of the trailer on the driver side. On most Class A motor home you’ll find it on the inside of the sidewall behind the driver seat. With Class C and Class B motor homes it’s usually on the driver door or door post, but some may be found inside the glove-box.
If you cannot find the dataplate for your vehicle, refer to the owner manual for recommended tire inflation or contact the vehicle manufacturer.
Remember, the correct amount of air pressure depends on the weight of your fully loaded vehicle. The only way to know for sure whether or not your vehicle is overweight is to have it weighed. Take your vehicle to a certified truck scale and weigh it one axle at a time. Most tire manufacturers recommend that you keep the same pressure for all tires on the same axle.
Don’t overload your vehicle. Most RVers will admit that they take stuff along that they don’t need and hardly ever use. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendation for properly loading and distributing weight in your RV.
Tire Maintenance Check List:
_____ Check your tire pressure at least once a month, or before each trip.
_____ Always check your tire pressure when the tires are cold.
_____ Check tire tread depth. When wear bars are exposed, it’s time to replace your tires.
_____ Have your tires aligned each year or every 20,000 miles, whichever comes sooner.
_____ Rotate tires at least every 8,000 miles.
_____ Balance your tires every 15,000 to 18,000 miles, or if you begin to sense vibration.
_____ Check for uneven tire wear patterns. This could be a sign of mechanical problems.
For additional information about proper tire use and maintenance check out this on-line brochure from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/cars/rules/TireSafety/ridesonit/brochure.html
©2011 Media Camping Center, PA RV Dealers