Like many RV owners, you’ve probably racked up countless kilometres this year exploring new destinations and revisiting some old favourites. Traveling with you every second of the journey were your tires. And now that it’s time to park your beloved RV for the winter, it’s important to think about what you can do to help ensure your tires remain roadworthy.
Winter can take its toll on RV’s, and your tires are no exception. By following a few simple steps, you can protect them so that they’re ready to go when you do it all over again next year.
1. Check your pressure
One of the first things you should do when you park your RV for winter is, inspect your tires for signs of wear or damage and then check the air pressure levels. If the pressure is too low, it can result in:
- Unnecessary pressure on the sidewall
- Flat spots
- Weather checking
If the pressure is too high, it can place excessive stress on your tires.
To combat pressure leakage, recheck the pressure a couple of times throughout winter. Don’t forget to check your spare tire!
2. Clean your tires
Throughout the RV season, your tires accumulate an unsavoury combination of dirt, brake dust, and road grime. If these compounds sit for too long on your tires, they can start to damage the rubber. The easiest way to prevent this is to give them a good wash using automotive soap and water.
3. Get your tires off the ground
If you intend to store your RV on asphalt or dirt in winter, roll your tires onto cardboard, wood or another suitable barrier. In the right conditions, rubber can freeze to dirt, and asphalt contains petroleum-based oils that cause rubber to deteriorate.
When storing your tires on wood, make sure it’s wide enough to accommodate the width of the tire so there is no overhang. If you are mechanically inclined, place your RV on jack stands and reduce the air pressure in the tires eliminating potential stress from inflation.
4. Go for a quick winter drive
Along with your RV’s electrical and mechanical components, your tires will thank you for taking them out for a quick spin in the middle of winter. Obviously, you want to make sure the road and weather conditions are favourable before you go. Moving your RV will relieve pressure from the part of the tire that was touching the ground. It also helps prevent cracking and flat-spotting.
5. Sun protection for your tires
Even though temperatures drop in winter, the sun’s UV rays are still harmful. They’re certainly strong enough to shorten the life expectancy of your tires if they endure prolonged exposure. If you plan on storing your RV outside where it will be in direct contact with sunlight, protect your tires by placing covers on them.
Ideally, your RV would be stored in a cool, dry location that’s protected from direct sunlight. To further reduce the load on your tires during storage, empty your RV of all unnecessary items, from the horseshoes to the tabletop camping grill.