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Riding on the Right RV Tires or Trailer Tires

The campsite’s booked, the weather looks promising and you’re even going to get an early start to beat the weekend bedlam on the highways. Before you begin packing up your weekend-home-on-wheels, give some thought to your RV tires or trailer tires.

Ensuring you have the right RV tires or trailer tires for your fifth wheel, travel trailer or any other type of recreational vehicle means smooth sailing into your favourite campsite.

For optimum performance and safety, here are some helpful hints to make sure you’ve got the right RV or trailer tires, pressure and load:

Start with Your Owner’s Manual

There’s a good chance you’ll find all of the information you need for selecting RV tires in the owner’s manual. Most RV’s will also have a door placard listing tire information. Both should contain recommendations for tires according to:

  • Size
  • Weight rating
  • Load rating
  • Recommended pressure

By choosing tires that meet these guidelines, you’re apt to enjoy a longer tire lifespan as well as improved safety and handling.

Loading up Your Tires

Tires are designed to handle a certain amount of weight. Knowing your RV’s gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR)—the maximum weight the vehicle can carry fully loaded—and its gross axle weight rating—the maximum weight each axle can bear—will help you choose appropriate tires.

What’s So Special About ST Tires?

One of the first things you should do is seek out a pair of special trailer (ST) tires. These are designed with RV’s in mind, and they are also ideal for other type of towable trailers such as boat trailers, utility trailers and other campers.

Some RV owners decide to install light truck (LT) tires on their RV’s, however, like other passenger vehicle tires, LT tires typically have more flexible sidewalls that can lead to trailer sway and handling issues while driving. ST tires, on the other hand, tend to be stiffer and narrower, which allows for:

  • Better sway reduction
  • Increased towing stability
  • Cooler tires while driving (increases life span)

The Importance of Proper Tire Pressure

It’s essential that you properly inflate your trailer tires to the pressure recommended in your owner’s manual or door placard.

For consistent and accurate tire pressure readings, it’s best to check them when they’re cool (ie. in the morning before you start driving). Some RV owners intentionally reduce their tire pressure for a ‘smoother’ ride, but don’t fall into that trap as it reduces a tire’s load-bearing capacity, which can lead to poor handling, traction and braking. It also increases the likelihood of tire failure.

When it comes to choosing the right RV tires for your motorhome, fifth wheel or other towable vehicle, Kal Tire’s experienced team is here to help. With more than 250 stores across the country, we’re never far away.