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Why Do RV Tires Fail? These Reasons Might Surprise You. | RV Safety Tips and Tricks
Why Do RV Tires Fail? These Reasons Might Surprise You.

Why Do RV Tires Fail? These Reasons Might Surprise You.


This happens more than you think


Have you ever wondered why RV tires fail?  Have you ever experienced a tire failure or seen something like this happen on the highway? Maybe you know of someone who has.

This person probably thought everything was good. They may have checked the tire pressure a couple of trips prior to this one and maybe even checked for tire damage.  Now they’re wondering “Why do RV tires fail?”

Well?  Some of the reasons might surprise you.

Affiliate Disclosure

Before we get into this post I should let you know that there are some Affiliate links to products associated with this post.  If you click on any of these links and make a purchase, I will earn a small commission and there WON’T BE ANY EXTRA COST TO YOU.


Sidewall Flexing

We all know that air can escape from a tire if something punctures it causing a slow leak.  That is probably the most common reason for losing air.  Sometimes that puncture will cause an immediate blowout. Nobody likes those.

And of course, there is the attack “POTHOLE”.  Who hasn’t encountered at least one of those?  They can cause some serious damage not only to tires but rims as well as other more serious outcomes.

Side Note for Pot Holes:  If you have actually hit a pothole but have not experienced an immediate blowout, take a couple of minutes to check your tire/s for any bulges.  If you’re not sure if there is damage go to a tire center right away and have them check them out.

Another reason could be a loose valve stem or an improperly installed rim which causes a slow leak.  This kind of leak could happen over a period of weeks or even a couple of months.

When this slow loss of air occurs or the tires are underinflated, it causes the sidewalls of the tire to flex more than they were designed to under normal conditions. 

This flexing causes extra heat to build up in the rubber and if enough heat is created in the sidewall by that flexing it can cause the core to melt.

In the case of Class A RV steel-belted tires, that flexing can cause the belts to break, kind of like the way a piece of wire breaks when you bend it back and forth. 

This back and forth motion creates fatigue in the wire and it eventually breaks.  The steel belts start to separate from the tire and “BOOM” you have a tire failure.



Tires are like Clocks?

Here’s the thing, and I don’t know many of you might already know this, (I didn’t until I started researching the issue), but tires are made from organic material.  That’s right, it comes from a tree and is always changing its structure, its chemistry if you will.

Think of a clock, one of those wind-up type that you can adjust to go faster or slower. Tires are a bit like that clock.  The higher the temperature gets in that tire the faster the tires clock ticks.

This means that 2 years in Las Vegas, where temperatures can reach into 100+ degree range for many days in the late spring and through the summer, would be the same as 5-10 years in a place like New York City where temperatures are much cooler for most of the year.

This can happen even if they are just sitting in the sun.  It’s very hard to tell what condition and how much life is in a tire just by looking at it.

That’s why, if your not sure about how much life your tires still have, you should get them checked by an expert. Preferably a store that sells that particular tire and, even better, one that is owned by the tire manufacturer. Let them do a full inspection of the tire/s.

The dealer may say they are OK which means they might be good for another year. If that’s the case, get them checked BEFORE the end of that year and every year thereafter if your tires are 5 years old

Another Side Note: No matter what your tire looks like or how much tread they have on them, they should be totally replaced after 10 years, (maybe only 5 if you’re living in Los Vegas or another hot spot).  You really don’t want to push it any further than that according to the tire experts.

Sorry, another Side Note:  My owner’s manual says that tires deteriorate over time even if they are not used or driven on.  This deterioration can cause tires to fail even when there is no visible sign of damage.  Lack of use, overloading, and under-inflation can cause tires to deteriorate faster.  While there is no hard and fast rule or expiration date on tires, most experts recommend replacing tires every 4 to 6 years depending on use and climate. (I added hi-lights)


The Surprising Part?

What this all comes down to is that there are many RV’rs out there driving around putting hundreds or thousands of miles on their RV tires and many of them aren’t properly maintaining them.

  • Lack of protection from the sun – causes the rubber to decompose faster
  • Too much pressure – uneven tire pressure and added stress on the sidewalls
  • Low tire pressure – or too much creates uneven tire wear and sidewalls to flex
  • Driving faster than the recommended limits of your RV tires – heats up the tires faster
  • Too much weight load on the tires – increases tire pressure and sidewall flex.

All of these contribute to early tire failure. In my research, I found that most experts agree that tire failures happen because of user errors/mistakes like tire pressure and too much stuff in their trailer.  This may come as a surprise to you but more than 50% of trailer owners do this.

I don’t know the name of the company but they have been travelling around to various RV shows and conventions since 1994 or so, putting together data from 1000s of RVs.  Owners have brought their RVs to these events and put them on the companies scales (each individual axle) under each tire, getting the real weight/load and checking the tire inflation and, as I said, 50% of all those they tested had one or more tires or axles that were overweight.

When that happens, the aftermath can be horrendous and it could all be avoided with a few simple steps.

How many RVs did they check? Well, I couldn’t find that number but, over a fifteen-year period that would have to be at least in the ten’s of thousands.  That means that at any given time there have to be thousands of RVs on the road that have too much weight in them and they are a tire blowout just waiting to happen.

Today is July 29th. I just learned this today. According to a survey done by the RV Safety Education Foundation, 40% of all RV’rs go 6 months or more before checking the air pressure on their tires.  They also say that 1 in 4 RV’rs run on overloaded tires, they carry too much weight.

That means that 1 out of every four trailers or RV’s you see on the road are overloaded and 4 out of every 10 haven’t checked their tires in 6 months or more.

That’s really bothersome to me. Does that bother you as well? It should.

Folks, I know I’m being rather blunt here but, we have to check our tires and NOT carry so much weight.  These are just accidents waiting to happen and people are going to get hurt, or worse, KILLED.  Do you want that responsibility? I don’t.

I know his sounds harsh but these are our family members and friends that we might have in our vehicles.  WE are responsible for them and their well-being if we are driving.

As RV’rs we need to be more diligent about checking the condition of our tires, making sure they are properly inflated, not over the load limit and the lug nuts are tightened to the correct torque rating.


Towing and Speed

First a question.  Have you ever been driving down the highway in your RV and another RV fly past you doing – 15 MPH over the speed limit?  Well, you might be surprised to know that it happens all the time and it’s dangerous.

Do you know why it’s so dangerous?  It’s dangerous because tires have limits to how fast they can be driven.

Most of us who own trailers know how to tell one tire from another but, for those who don’t here is a shortlist of the tires used on different RV’s.

  • ST tires – Special Trailer Most trailers are equipped with these
  • LT tires – Light Truck For pickup trucks.
  • P – stands for Passenger. For passenger vehicles (not including trucks)

I’ll talk a little about the others but I want to focus on the Special Trailer tires in this segment.  Load limits for these tires are based on a maximum speed of 65 MPH. (Keep this in mind)  These maximum speed ratings were established when the maximum speed LIMITS on the highways were only 55 MPH.  This gave some margin for safety purposes under normal inflation and load conditions.

These ST tires are typically classified as either a J or K speed rating and are installed on pretty much all travel trailers and some smaller 5Th wheels.

There are other ST tires that have higher speed ratings, such as an L rating of 75-mph or an M rating of 81-mph.

LT and passenger car (P) tires are rated at higher speed ratings so I’m presuming that many people think they can go faster for that reason.  However, this is far from true. If your ST tires are rated for 65 MPH it would be better if your max speed was only 60 MPH.

Think of it this way.  If you’re travelling with your travel trailer to a destination you have probably already reserved.  So, make sure you’re giving yourself enough time to get there.  That way, your trip will be less stressful and you will be in a better frame of mind for getting settled in. The whole idea of going on vacation is to relax.  Part of that should be a relaxed road trip to get there, right?



60 MPH will get you 300 miles in about 6.5 hours (traffic and potty stops included).  Add an extra 5 MPH to that might decrease that by, what, maybe 20 min and, 70 might save you another few minutes.  But, is it worth the risk of a blow-out to go that much faster and risk losing your rig and endanger the lives of your family?  I don’t think so either.

And, by the way, you’ll save on gas as well.

The next time you see someone in an RV sitting at the side of the road fixing a flat ask yourself, “Were they going too fast?”  The chances are that might be the case.


What about Class A Motorhomes?

Tires for Class A Motorhome tires have a maximum speed rating of 75 MPH.

I want to reiterate what I said earlier about the study that was done by the RV Safety Education Foundation.

The Recreation Vehicle Safety Education Foundation has stated that on average, 25%, of all the RV’s weighed, have loads that exceed the recommended capacity of their tires.  What surprised me when I read it was that this extra weight is, on average, as much as 900 pounds.

Apparently, Bridgestone conducted their own separate study and also found that at least one in four tires, out of every five RVs, had under-inflated tires.

If you’re a Class A RV owner, when did you last check your inner duels? Have you ever had your RV weighed?

As I said previously, it seems that we, for the most part, take our tires for granted. Packing too much weight in our RVs with under-inflated tires will make it more expensive to run your rig.


What the numbers mean

Tips For Better Tire Safety

I’ve covered a lot of stuff here and offered up some reasons behind tire failure.  Some of them may have surprised you.  There is a lot more information available so I’ve included some links below to a couple of websites that you can check out.

There is probably way more information than you need but I think they are worth checking out just so you know that I’m not just offering my own opinion.  This is important stuff and I want you to be safe.

I may have already lost a few of you but for those who have stuck around, I applaud you.  I want to bring it all together and give you a list of things you can do to assure less risk of tire failure and major damage to your RV and to those you love most.  I hope it all makes sense to you. So, Here we go.

  1. Always check your COLD tire pressure before leaving on a trip and TOP THEM UP IF THEY ARE LOW. Check BOTH the trailer tires and your tow vehicle tires.  This goes for all classes of Motorhomes as well.  If you’ve been driving for a while and want to check them, let them cool for a couple of hours first.  Hot tires are going to have a higher temperature.  This is normal so don’t let the air out of a hot tire. You will end up being underinflated.
  2. Check them for any visible cracks or other tire damage like nicks and cuts in the tire walls.
  3. Use tire covers when not using your RV.  They really do work to prevent deterioration of tire rubber. The time clock on a tire exposed to the sun is running 4X faster than the one that is covered.
  4. If you can afford one, I highly recommend purchasing a Tire Monitoring System.  They will save you a lot of time AND stress.  Most come with a low-pressure warning.
  5. If you’re not sure about the condition of your tires, have them looked at by a reputable tire dealer, preferably one that is owned by the particular tire manufacturer



Note Concerning Tire Covers: The owner of RV did an experiment on his own RV tires.  He left one tire exposed to direct sun lite and another tire had a tire cover on it.

The temperature was about 90 degrees in the sun. The covered tire was only one degree hotter than the cover, maybe 95 F.  The exposed tire was 136 F. That’s a huge difference.

China Bombs?

Do you know?  I had never heard of this term until I watched a video done by “The RV Wingman”.  If you haven’t heard of him, I suggest you check out his YouTube videos.

The video was a segment about these so-called “China Bomb” tires and inspired me to learn more about tire failures and write this article. Check out the video below.

Well, it sounds like many people have heard this term “China Bomb” and many also have a hard time believing that anything good could come out of China.  The truth is, Tires are made all over the world.

According to Roger Marble at,  Three of the major tire companies in North America, Bridgestone, Michelin and Goodyear, are producing tires in more than 50 countries and each of these companies are producing tires in China.

So maybe the question should be,  “Is it reasonable to believe that one  country or another is responsible for all the bad tires on the market?”

Check out this link for more info on this subject.  Even though this article was written back in 2012, I believe the information would still be accurate for today.  Standards may have changed a little since then but that’s part of the science behind tires and can only make their safety better.

Let’s Wrap I Up

I’ve written a lot of stuff here about why tires fail and stuff we can do to help avoid this kind of thing from ever happening.  Not that it won’t but If we can do just these few things that I listed earlier:

  • Check the tire pressure before each trip. All tires… Truck, trailer, motorhome, the tow behind
  • Check for wear and tear
  • use tire covers
  • purchase a tire monitoring system
  • have them checked by a tire professional if you’re not sure

These steps only take a few minutes and can save you hours of downtime and give you added peace of mind in the process not to mention a much more relaxed vacation and happy memories with your family and friends.

I hope you have enjoyed reading this post and have learned a few things about tires you didn’t know before. I know I have.

If you have any questions or comments about this post or anything else on this website, just leave them in the comment section below and I will be glad to answer back, usually within a day or two.

We really need to be diligent about our tires so, please check them often and have a safe and amazing camping trip and always DRIVE SAFE.

Thanks for hangin in there folks. Maybe I’ll see you in a campsite somewhere,


Owner and writer for

Information for this article was researched at these sites:


30 thoughts on “Why Do RV Tires Fail? These Reasons Might Surprise You.

  1. Wow, this post is really helpful. You have really illustrated how to take care of everything tires and what not to do to damage them. I am not a user of a RV but my friend does and he once had a flat tire on a trip. I really think he needs to read your post and understand everything about his car. Great valuable post.

    1. Thanks you for your comments, Henderson and your kind remarks.  

      There are several reasons why a tire blows and they are not all human caused so, by all means, share this with your friends and family and use them yourself.  Proper care of ALL tires is essential to our safety whether it’s an RV or a vehicle.

      I hope your friend’s RV didn’t suffer much damage and everyone was kept safe,


  2. Hi Wayne,

    Thanks for this informative article about RV tires.  It’s very important and everyone needs to read this if they own an RV, truck or a car. 

    I read about the tips buying the Tire Monitoring System from Amazon, do you use one of them and could recommend me to purchase the same one? I think it’s better that I purchase something from an expert of tires like you.

    Another thought is about China bombs! It’s hard to believe that every tire that small Chinese factories made could pass all the performance requirements in the USA, but ACCIDENTS still happens these days. 

    Anyway, I will also share this with my family members who drive to work every day and hope they will follow the tips that you included in this article.

    Keep safe,


    1. Hello, Matt and, thanks for taking the time to leave a comment on my post.

      I, too, am hoping many will read this post.  I learned so much while I was doing the research, alot of which I didn’t know before.  I have definitely changed my habits around the proper maintenance of the tires on trailer AND my vehicles.

      I only have my wife and our dog but they are dear to me and I want to protect them in any way I can.

      The business about “China Bombs”?  Saddly that term comes from people that don’t think anything good comes from China so, when a tire blows they get blamed.  Yes, there was a time, many years ago when that may have been true but, I think they have upped their game significantly today.  

      I also want to say that the problem of faulty tires is not just with one country.  As my post suggests, the big North American tire companies import ST tires and others form all over the world.  A so-called “China Bomb” could have come from any one of those countries or even the U.S.

      There are very strict government standards surrounding the tire industry but, as in anything that is manufactured, every now and then someone slips up.  The wrong part or the wrong mixture and you end up with a recall.  We are only human after all and we, for sure, aren’t infallible.  Right?

      By all means, share this with as many as you can.  The more people share, the more the word will get out.


      As for recommending a tire pressure monitering system, I will be writing a product review on that subject soon. So, stay tuned.

  3. Thank you for this heads up. It seems like a good idea to take care of tires before they blow out instead of waiting until they blow out. You have given some good advice on when to get them checked and what to look for. It is very important to take care of your tires and follow the advice in this article so that you don’t have a tire blowout. 

    A tire blowout could cause an accident. That’s also interesting about making sure you don’t go too fast. It looks like the chances of having a blowout increase exponentially when you go too faster than the recomended tire speed rating..

    I hope that people searching for information about Tire blowouts on RVs find your article and it helps them to know what to do. Great website and have a nice day.

    1. Hello, Jen and thanks for taking the time to read my loooong post and leave a comment.

      You’re right, taking care of tires only takes a few minutes and can save hours if not years of regret over the lose of property or worse, a family member.  Really, there are just so many things (that take so little time) we can do that would fill our lives with more peace and less, well, I’m repeating myself. 

      Dilligence is the name of the game and driving safe and within the speed limits is part of that.  The faster one goes over the speed limit, the hotter the tires get and the hotter the tires get the more pressure that builds up and the softer the rubber.  I suppose it would have to get to some exstreams.

      It doesn’t have to be accesive speed either.  I just watched a YT video this morning from the RV Wingman.  He runs a campground in Texas and has a few patrons that hae been renting a site for several years.  One of them just had a tire explode on them and the cause was being on the sunny side of the trailer and not moving for five+ years.  So that tire and the one next to it were exposed to the sun all that time adn BOOM.

      The Wingman (has his own youtube radio as well) consulted a tire expert he has known for many years and this expert was able to tell him which tire and the area that blew.  they showed a picture of the tire and, yeah, it litterally exploded.

      I, too, hope many find this article. Too many don’t kow enough about there tires and I was one of them.

      Thanks again for your comment,


  4. I never realized how sensitive trailer tires could be.  Damage can occur even when they standing still.  I don’t think many people remember that tires are made from rubber which comes from a plant.

    There is so much to consider about them and you might not even get good tires when you buy a trailer new.  You really have to be on your toes when making a trailer purchase.  Getting them fixed can be complicated too if you don’t get a good brand of tires.

    1. Hi, M and thanks, so much, for your comment.

      Yes, and just this morning I viewed a video that spoke about that issue.  Apparently an owner of a travel trailer had been in the same sopt at a campground for over 5 years. Never moved his trailer the whole time AND, I’m guessing, had no covers on them, and the tire litterally blew up.  They showed pictures and it was a pretty good blow.  The sun is pretty remarkable.

      Bad tires do happen but are usually limmited to tires made from the same batch of compounds which means maybe a few hundred. But, when that happens a company will recall the ones made on either side of the bad ones just to make sure they get them all.  That could amount to thousands of tires and megga bucks in lost revenue.

      Unfortunately, most (even the major tire companies) tire companies are manufacturing tires all over the world which makes it hard to have 100% quality control.  Different countries = different standards.

      Thanks again and be safe out there,


  5. Wow, thanks for the insight on this. I have a first hand experience on this issue. And up untill I read this post I had no idea what the cause was.

    I love driving on the highway so much because of the speed factor. Around this time I expose my car to sun so much. And one day my car tire burst open. I have learned about the cause now and never want to make the same mistake again.

    Reading this post was worth my time and more. Thanks.

    1. Hello, Dane and thanks for taking the time to leave a comment.

      Sorry to read about your flat. I hope you didn’t experience any other consequences because of it. Traveling at high speed and having a tire go can have very serious outcomes.

      If you don’t mind my asking, what was the mistake you made? Going too fast or pothole or?

      Sunshine will cause deteriation but, I’m wondering if speed might have been a factor.  You see, tires have a speed rating and shouldn’t be pushed beyond that. Higher speeds will cause the rubber to heat up beyond its limits.

      Hope this is helpful and remember to always drive safe,


  6. Wow! This is a detailed post on RV tires and how to maintain them. I wish I had read your information before I went camping the last time. 

    I must confess that at least one-quarter of the safety measures you have stated in your post were not followed. 

    For instance, we went with only one fire extinguisher instead of two and we were missing some essential road safety kit tools as well. 

    After reading your post, i think I have become a better advised on what not  to miss so that myfamily and I can enjoy camping out with  peace of mind.

    Thank you, again, for sharing this detailed post.

    1. Hello, Joseph and thank you for taking the time to leave a comment.  

      Don’t feel too bad about your lack of knowledge.  It is more common than you may think.  That’s why I write these articles… to help others become better informed so as to become safer and happier campers.

      Now a days, most RV’s come with at least one small fire extinguisher and having an extra one on board is an excellent idea and preferably one that’s bigger if you have the room.

      You must have read one or two of my other posts and I’m glad you did.  Some things are just handy to have on board and, yes, others are essential.

      Glad to have been some help to you. Feel free to come back an learn more and, of course, leave a comment our question if you need help with something.


  7. Hi,

    Excellent article about RV tires.Thanks a lot of giving us such valuable information about RV tires and some tips on how to take care of them.

    My Brother in law has an RV.  SO, When I saw this article I new I had to send it to him straight straight away.  

    I am sure he will get plenty of tips from here which will definitely help him.  Last year we visited him and we heard about some his RV tires problem, so I think he will be happy when he reads this.

    1. Hello, Nazmun and thanks, so much for your comment.  And another thankyou for pasing this along to your brother in law.  I’m sure it will help solve some of his issues.

      Most important is to make sure that the tires have the proper pressure and not to go faster than the recommended tire speed rating. Keeping them covered when not in use and not overloading his RV will also help the tires last longer.

      Thanks again and I hope you get an opportunity to RV with him some time soon. It’s such a great way to make memories with family and friends and make new friends.


  8. Hello Wayne,

    I just finished your article and yes, I learned a lot of things about tires I didn’t know before, particularly RVs. Thanks for spreading awareness amongst your readers. 

    A number of RV owners might not be informed about things such as overweight vehicles with under inflated tires. They might not even know how to determine if their vehicle is already too much for the tires. 

    I can also understand the importance of tires we are unsure of being checked by an expert.  This should always be followed.

    I also think this must be put into practice with all types of vehicle to ensure safety. Visual scanning can help too if there are crack, tear, scuffs and flat spots. 

    Your tips on how to maintain a good set of tires is really informative.  Purchasing on equipment like a Tire Monitoring System and tire covers is definitely a good investment to ensure safe travels. 

    1. Hello, Maureen and thanks for taking the time to read this looong post and leave a comment.

      There were a lot of things I didn’t know about before I wrote this either.  Helping others to understand these things is the main reason form this website. 

      It the statistics are correct, and I believe they are, we RV’ers need to get the word out so others can be safe.  I think a lot of accidents involving RV’s could be avoided if we would just follow these simple steps.

      There are no guarrenties but one can lessen the chances of tire failure if they just take a few minutes to check the tires and, yes, even our cars and other tow vehicles should be checked on a regular basis.

      Tire monitoring systems are a great invention.  I’ll be getting one as soon as the budget allows. You will always know that your tires are doing what they should… proper tire pressure and temperature are easy to see.

      Speaking of temperature?  Never let air out of a HOT tire. Always check the pressure when they are COLD adding air then if they are low.

      Share with your friends and family


  9. Potholes are my greatest nightmare! I cannot even count the number of slow punctures I have had that I believe were caused by potholes. And I partly blame myself for not checking on my tires immediately I suspect a wear from a pothole.

    That tire structure you have given us is quite new to me. It is the first time I am getting to know that tires come from trees. I also had no idea that lack of tire use can cause deterioration.

    Those are quite interesting statistics on RV’s. Thank you for taking your time to compile such an insightful article.

    1. Hello, Carol and thanks for your comments.

      Yes, it’s probably pretty safe to say that we have all, at one time or another, had a run in with a pothole or two. It’s not as big an issue where I live but big ones can develop when we have weather extremes in the winter.

      Certainly NOT a nice thing to encounter.  The damage from one of those can be quite extensive and dangerous to those around us when it happens.

      Yes, tires are made from the raw material that comes from Rubber tree and it really isn’t the lack of use that causes the problems of tire failure. It basically comes down to being exposed to excessive heat, UV rays, too much load and how well we maintain them.  

      That means proper inflation, using tire covers and being in tune with how much stuff we are packing into our RV.   MAybe even a coat of Armorall formulated for tires to keep the rubber from drying out.

      I’m not saying we need to use covers on our cars and trucks but proper inflation prevents uneven tire ware on them as well.

      I’m glad you learned something from this and IF you know anyone with an RV maybe you could pass it along to them as well.

      Have a great Summer and be safe out there,


  10. Holy cow did I ever learn a LOT from this article?  I don’t own an RV but my sister does and she and her husband winter in Arizona.  Now, I don’t think that they speed but I can only imagine what the heat down there is doing to their tires.  Your points about speed and covering the tires when not in use is very timely.

    I also wonder when people with RVs get their tires checked.  Is the RV empty or is it fully packed before they go on a trip?  I’ll bet they are empty as who wants to be switching tires out right before they take off?  This is SO DANGEROUS.  You mention correctly of the lives that are at risk but it’s not just the lives of the people in the RVs but also whoever they may hit when a tire blows.

    In addition to this is the trailer tires.  I am also wondering how many people get these checked with their RV fully loaded AND the trailer fully loaded.  The load on the trailer will affect the load on the RV’s rear tires as well making them even more subject to blow out.

    I truly hope that people with RVs will read this and take this to heart.  I am bookmarking this to send to my sister.

    1. Thank you so much for your comments, Darlene. 

      I’m a bit jealous of your sister and her husband wintering in Arizona.  Oh well, maybe someday.

      On the topic of RV’s however,  the term RV covers a range of travel trailers, fifth wheels and coaches (class A, B, C), of different sizes.  All of them, of course, have tires and those tires all have what is called limits on the amount of load they can carry as well as speed ratings and maximum tire pressure.  These numbers can all be found on the sidewall of the particular tire.

      If one wants to know if they are overloaded, they can get their RV Weighed at most Truck weigh stations.  They may have to make an appointment though.  They might even be able to get them weighed at a local AAA office.  In my home province of British Columbia, we have BCAA and they do weight testing at a facility in Burnaby.

      The checking of tires can be done by the individual RV owner.  We can all check our own tire pressures and look for cracks, tread wear and other damage that might occur.  If one is not sure about certain things to do with their tires they can go to a well-known trusted tire store and have a professional look at them.

      I might have been a little harsh in that section but, really, we have to be real about our responsibilities and take the necessary steps to protect those we love to the best of our abilities.  I think we both agree on that.

      Even the use of tire covers will help improve the safety and wellbeing of those we are with. For me, it’s all part of being a responsible RV’er.

      Lastly, I want to say thanks for passing this along to your sister.  I hope they are able to learn something.


  11. Hi Wayne.

    Thank you for your valuable article. I think this post will be very helpful for them who are using RV tires. 

    The information you have provided is very important for all RV users. Very honestly, I don’t have an RV, but many of my relatives do. I have learned so many unknown information about RV tires that I never knew before. 

    The one major thing I didn’t know before was that tires could deteriorate just by being left out in the weather regardless of age. I think all the people who use RV’s don’t know as much as you have provided in your article. 

    So, will share this post to my all friends and family who are RV user, so that they could be more aware of the problems you have mentioned in your content. Thanks for this informative post.

    1. Thank you for your comments, Monalisha and for sharing this post with your friends and family.  That is the whole purpose of my website, to help others have a better and safer camping experience.  Knowing about how to take care of the tires on our RVs is just a small part of what we need to know.

      Yes, tires are made from rubber and that rubber comes from trees which are organic and, as we know, organic materials, like food, tend to decompose.  The same happens to tires.  However, it’s not so much the cold but the heat that causes the decomposition, the ultraviolet and infrared rays of the sun.  

      The constant flexing of the tires rolling down the highway also cause heat.  All these things cause fatigue and the rubber to dry out over time so, it’s a great idea to keep them out of direct sunlight and cover them when not in use

      It not just about how old your tires are but it’s also about how well those tires have been maintained that will add to their longevity. 

      I hope this was helpful and, if you have never been camping, maybe you could invite yourself on a trip with your family and experience the “Camping” life.  I think you would like it.


  12. My niece and her husband own an RV and in fact, are going to a campground this weekend for a couple of weeks.  I will certainly share this article with him before he goes.  I think he probably does tire checks, but don’t really know.  

    Sometimes I do worry about them overloading it, but I really don’t know what that means.  How would he find out if it is overweight?  Would he have to take it someplace to check it out?  

    I know he does not use covers, but he does cover the whole RV in the winter to protect it from the cold, sometimes harsh winters we have in New England.  Does that protect the tires as the tire covers would? Very informative article.

    1. Hi, Sandy and thank you, so much, for taking the time to leave a comment and sharing with your family.

      Tire checks or not, it’s still a good idea to, shall I say, increase one’s knowledge about the subject matter surrounding or tires both on a trailer, motorhome and a tow vehicle. After all, our tires will have a better chance of keeping us out of trouble if they are properly maintained.

      When it comes to weight, an easy way, well not so easy I suppose, is to take the trailer to a truck weigh station and have them weigh each axle (truck and trailer), and compare this to the numbers on the label attached to the trailer (usually on the drivers side of the RV).  There should be a weight that tells them how much the trailer weighs empty and another that tells them how much carrying capacity the trailer has.

      The most important number is the GCWR (Gross Combined Weight Rating) which is the maximum weight of their vehicle with a fully loaded trailer attached, as determined by the vehicle manufacturer.  This also includes all passengers, (Humans and pets).

      Here’s a link to an article that explains the differences between GVWR, GAWR, ATM, GTW, and so on.  All very technical terms I know but this will help straighten things out.

      In terms of tire covers, you say that they cover the whole trailer in the winter.  That’s understandable but I wonder if the cover goes all the way to the ground.  If not, tire covers would be a good idea as they protect the tires from the damaging ultra-violet rays of the sun even in the winter.  

      I don’t know when they would uncover their RV but having tire covers installed during the rest of the year would also prolong the life of the tires.  The heat will cause tires to deteriorate faster especially if they are in direct sunlight.

      I hope this helps and your niece and her husband have a great trip,


  13. You have certainly covered the issue of RV tires very thoroughly.  I like the idea of tire covers, something I haven’t seen before.  Also, didn’t realize you need to check tire pressure when the vehicle is cold, though that makes sense.

    I’ve had my own bad trailer tire experience.  We were headed back to Alaska from Colorado, towing a trailer with our Chevy pickup.  The trailer we’d bought used, and though I’m sure my husband checked the tires before we left, that is one long trip.  At the time there were still 1,000 miles of dirt on the Alcan.  Looking back, I’m wondering how we made it.  When we got into Alaska, we began having trouble with the trailer tires.  Of course, the tires on our trailer were a strange size, so when one of them blew, we had a horrible time finding a replacement.

    If I remembered correctly, we had to fix a tire three times, but somehow we made it!  I think our problem was too much weight and old tires.  Sometimes you just have to go with what you have and hope it works.

    1. Thank you, so much, for your comments, Fran and sharing your experience.

      WE haven’t done any long trips yet, (hoping to do that soon now that we are retired), but we always check our tire’s before we leave.  It just needs to be part of the routine if for no other reason than peace of mind.

      On a long trip like the one you mentioned, it would be a good idea to check the tires even every 500K or when you take time to stop for a meal or potty break.  It only takes a couple of minutes.

      Better yet would be to have a Tire Pressure Monitor.  That way one could check the tires without having to get out of the vehicle.

      Please don’t take this the wrong way but, “going with what you have and hoping it works” really isn’t the best way to go.  If you have a double axle, that tire blowout can still cause some major damage but, You still have 3 tires on the ground and that may save any further consequences.

      However, if you only had a single axle well… I don’t even want to think about the consequences of a blowout in that scenario.,

      All I’m saying here is that it’s better to have good rubber under your trailer and not take chances with “what you have and hope it works”.  Life is precious.

      I hope you understand where I’m coming from,


  14. Wow! Never in my wildest imagination could I have thought that tires are made from organic material and definitely being an organic material, it will decompose over a period of time. That’s a huge plus to my knowledge. 

    Apart from this, I really learnt a lot about RV tires in general today and I guess much attention needs to be paid to the tires than usual now that I have known. 

    Though my RV tires have never troubled me, maybe because I make use of the RV once in a while only when we are going camping. but definitely, I have learnt well through this post and learn to be more careful. Thanks

    1. Yeah, kind of blew my mind as well when I was doing my research.  You know, we buy them, put them on our vehicles/RVs and then tend to forget about them.  I’m glad I have been able to expand your knowledge about tires.

      The other thing I just want to mention to you is, even though you have not had any issues with your RV tires, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t check them especially before every trip.  They are still exposed to the elements of nature and will still gather wear and tear.

      Check the COLD tire pressure before every trip and only add air if the pressure is low and only to the max air pressure.

      The only other thing I would say is, make sure you’re not travelling faster than the recommended tire speed rating.  In fact, I would suggest that you lower that by 5MPH.  That will keep your tires from overheating and it will save you some gasoline expense as well.  Benefits all around, wouldn’t you say.

      Happy Camping, Ro and always remember to drive safe,


  15. Hi Wayne. I’m glad I came across your blog. I’m going to be retiring in about six months and, like so many people my age, I will be looking at purchasing an RV and travelling around the country with my wife.

    I had no idea that tires could be affected by so many variables., heat cold, age as well as the usual punctures and potholes. Your article highlights so many important points about tire care and maintenance.

    The one major thing I never knew anything about was that tires could deteriorate just by being left out in the weather regardless of age. I also never realized that we need to change our tires every five years if we live in hot climates. 

    My work vehicle has never had this issue as I use it far too much for a tire to even last three years, however, it will be a different situation when we start travelling with our new RV. I have learned something new and I’m very grateful. Thanks, Jim 

    1. Hello, Jim and, thank you so much for your comments.

      Congratulations on your upcoming retirement and great to hear that you’re planning to get an RV.  There is just so much to explore out there and it’s great to be able to do it in an RV not to mention the savings on hotel rooms.

      Hotel rooms have their place but I just prefer the peace and quiet (mostly in the offseason) of the campsite. Of course, there is also the option of boondocking as well but that’s for another post.

      I hope you watched part or all of that video.  I learned so much from it and was shocked myself about how much I didn’t know and how many others are doing the very things that cause these tire failures.

      It’s not just about the maintenance, we need to drive better, not be in a big hurry to get where we are going.  There will be plenty of time to relax when we get there, eh?

      I might have been a bit tough on those people but, in all seriousness, we need to be more responsible when it comes to our tires.  We could avoid so many issues if we would just take 5-10 min and do the visual check.  Just doing that could save us so much unneeded grief, you know?

      I’m really glad that I was able to pass on this info and I hope a lot more will find it as well.  And check out some of the other links I provide.  There is lots of other great information about RV living that we need to know about.

      All the best as you start your retirement and your RV life.  BE Safe and,

      Happy Camping,


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