Vernon, BC - Monday, July 28, 2014
RV and trailer tires really get put to the test in the summer. After many months in storage, they are driven for days on end, sometimes through extreme heat, and they support some pretty heavy loads, often with the wrong tire pressure. With more than one million RVs and trailers on Canada’s roads1, Kal Tire is reminding drivers of important tips to reduce the risk of tire blowouts during family road trips this summer.
“We do see customers who aren’t aware they need ST tires on their trailer and they’re putting themselves at risk of punctures, blowouts and accidents. Passenger and light truck tires just aren’t built for the special demands of trailering.”
“With all the stresses RV and trailer tires endure, drivers need to be checking their tires regularly. Just a few simple maintenance steps before you leave and during your trip, can really reduce your risk of having your holiday interrupted by tire failure,” says Carey Hull, director of retail products, Kal Tire.
Drivers also need to make sure they have the right kind of tires in the first place. Passenger tires are not meant for many trailers. While RVs can be equipped with light truck tires, most trailers require special trailer (ST) tires. These tires are built to have stiffer, heavy duty sidewalls to accommodate heavy loads and track straight to reduce bounce and sway problems.
“Trailer sway is really dangerous, especially at highway speeds,” says Hull. “We do see customers who aren’t aware they need ST tires on their trailer and they’re putting themselves at risk of punctures, blowouts and accidents. Passenger and light truck tires just aren’t built for the special demands of trailering.”
Additionally, trailer tires are not designed to wear the same as a regular vehicle tire. Due to the heavy loads and duty cycles of trailer tires, many manufacturers recommend that trailer tires be replaced within 3-5 years, regardless of tread depth or usage.
Three tips to avoid RV or trailer tire blowouts this summer:
1. Check the sidewall and tread blocks for damage regularly. Inspect the sidewalls, tread, valves and caps for nails and other objects, cuts and bulges, and signs of cracking and weathering. Make sure this is done before the road trip begins, and keep a regular check on tires during the trip. Should you notice any of these signs, be sure to visit a tire expert before heading out on your vacation.
2. Inflate your tires to the recommended air pressure (PSI). For RVs, be sure your tire pressure matches what is listed on the door placard of the RV.
For trailer tires refer to either the placard or your owner’s manual to determine the tire PSI. However, if neither of these list a recommended tire air pressure then refer to the tire sidewall and inflate to the recommended air pressure listed there.
It is very important to check tire pressure before the vehicle starts operating in order to get an accurate reading. Over and under-inflation can compromise handling, traction and braking, and even cause blowouts. When your tires have the correct PSI, your tires will roll easier and save you money on fuel.
3. Maintain an even load and never exceed Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR). Pack up your RV or trailer with everything you’re taking and visit a weigh station so you can get an accurate reading and make sure you’re not exceeding the GVWR (listed in your owner’s manual). Over-loading your trailer can lead to poor handling, braking, fuel economy and tread wear. But it can also lead to extra heat generation in the tires – which can cause tire failure.
Finally, when the road trip days of summer are over, there are a number of tips for proper storage so RV and trailer tires are in good shape for safe driving next year. Try to to park your trailer or RV in a cool dry space and ensure your tires are protected from the sun’s damaging UV rays. Using blocks to support the vehicle and remove weight from your tires is also recommended. And if you can, park on wood because cement and concrete absorb moisture from the tires. Lastly, always ensure your tires are inflated to the recommended pressure, taking into account where and how you are storing your trailer or RV.
About Kal Tire
Kal Tire is Canada’s largest independent tire dealer and North America’s largest commercial tire dealer. Kal Tire Mining Tire Group is a global leader in mining tire service and supply, operating on more than 150 mine sites in 17 countries across five continents. The company has warehouse facilities strategically located across Canada servicing more than 250 Kal Tire retail and commercial stores. As the largest truck tire retreader in Canada, Kal Tire owns and operates 10 truck tire retread facilities plus an additional four earthmover retreading facilities are located in Canada, the United Kingdom and Ghana, West Africa. The company employs more than 5,400 team members. For more information on Kal Tire, please visit http://www.kaltire.com.