Avoiding Unexpected Blowouts
Blowouts can mean big trouble. And tires normally fail for one of three reasons: improper inflation, worn tread or an overloaded/overweight vehicle.
Over time, ozone and UV exposure contribute to cracks in tires, especially on the sidewall. To avoid cracking, regularly wash tires with mild soap, water and a soft brush, removing ozone build up. Dirt is also a tire killer, acting as an abrasive that inhibits the tires’ natural wax protection.
Keep tires covered (including the spare) when your RV is not in use to prevent ozone and UV damage. Additional tire care hints include:
- Watch your pressure: Underinflation and overinflation can both lead to blowouts. To help prevent this, check the inflation pressure of your tires at least once a month and always before starting a trip. Do this when tires are cold, as heat generated during driving temporarily increases air pressure. Never remove air from a hot tire, which may result in underinflation when the tire cools.
- Block and level your RV each time you plan to keep it in one place for a couple of days or longer. This will help avoid unnecessary stresses that lead to excessive tire wear.
- Make it an inside job: If you pick up a nail, do not have it fixed by installing a plug from the outside. Have the tire dismounted and a repair made from the inside. This is the only way to properly inspect for damage to the inside sidewall.
- Avoid tire products that contain petroleum-based substances. Products containing alcohol or petrochemicals may create and accelerate deterioration and cracking, in addition to stripping the tire of its ozone protection. Some silicone oils found in such products may cause similar damage.
- Get the Seven Year Itch: Any tire on an RV that is over seven years old should be replaced, even if it has no apparent tread wear.