Whether your new to RVing or if you have doing it for some time, keeping your rig in peak mechanical condition is a major part of a successful RV camping trip. While we all do our normal maintenance when it is needed, one question seems to be weighing on a lot of our minds. “Do you need to rotate your travel trailer tires?”.
Let’s jump in…
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Do I Need To Rotate The Tires On My RV?
Keeping the tires rotated on passenger vehicles is very important for a few key reasons. The main reason is safety. We rotate them to ensure even wear on each tire over time. Having tires that wear evenly greatly reduces the chances of a blowout or other dangerous situation. In addition, keeping your tires rotated can save you tons of money in the end by extending the life of the tires.
Motorhomes, like passenger vehicles, should have their tires rotated at intervals recommended by the tire manufacturer. These tires are driving, turning, and managing the different aspects of the road. Keeping your motorhome tires balanced and rotated will not only extend the life of the tires, but it will also improve safety, increase fuel efficiency, and provide a smoother ride.
When it comes to the tires on your travel trailer, there is no real need to have them rotated. Many RV owners have found that their tires do not wear out because of mileage put on them. They wear out due to sitting in one place too long, dry rot, and damage from the sun. The result is needing to replace the tires before reaching the recommended mileage to have them rotated.
In the case of flat spots on your travel trailer tires, the flat areas should smooth out after just a couple of miles of pulling your camper. Rotating the tires on your camper will not do anything to remedy this. Towing your camper regularly will keep the tires soft and more supple.
If you notice unusual wear on your camper tires, you may have an underlying issue that needs to be addressed.
What Causes Premature Wear On My Camper Tires?
If you notice signs of unusual or premature wear patterns on your travel trailer tires, having your tires rotated will not do any good. If your tires are wearing down the center of the tire, the tire may be overinflated. On the other hand, if the tire is wearing on the outside edges, it may be underinflated.
Always make sure your RV tires are properly inflated to the manufacturers recommendation before every trip and periodically during your trip.
If you notice other abnormal wear patterns in your travel trailer tires, you may have bigger issues. You could have an issue with the frame, or the axles not being aligned properly. If you believe this to be the case, take your rig to a qualified RV tech or mechanic to investigate further.
Other Factors That Affect Tire Wear
Although there is no need to rotate your travel trailer tires, some RV owners will have them balanced on a regular basis. A balanced tire will provide a smoother ride and reduce vibrations at higher speeds. A few more factors that affect how your camper tires wear are weight, weather, alignment, and of course, improper tire pressure. To get the most out of your tires always pay special attention to the following:
- Tire Pressure
The main cause for tire blowouts is over and under inflated tires. Maintaining proper air pressure in your travel trailer tires is one of the most important parts of RV safety. In addition, having the incorrect tire pressure can significantly affect the wear on your tires.
As a rule of thumb for every RVer, NEVER tow your camper when is overweight. Carrying too much weight is not only dangerous, but it can also cause your travel trailer tires to wear much faster. In addition to tire wear, being overloaded can cause serious damage to your rig.
The final reason your travel trailer tires wear out is weather. The suns UV rays can play havoc on tires, from dry rot to sidewall cracks. If your rig is going to be parked in one place for an extended period, consider investing in a set of good, durable tire covers for your travel trailer.
If your travel trailer is pulling to one side, it may need to have the axles aligned. Not only will this cause uneven wear to your travel trailer tires, but it may also pose a serious safety threat to you or the people driving behind you.
If you believe your axles need to be aligned, contact a qualified RV technician or if you are a mechanically inclined DIYer, you may be able to manage the task yourself.
What Other RV Owners Say
I read several entries in an online forum relating to the issue of rotating travel trailer tires and wanted to share some entries with you.
Newt writes, “Very few RVers will wear the tires out before they age out.”
TT writes, “On my previous trailer, I rotated the tires because there was some uneven wear caused by a change to a larger, wider tire according to the alignment shop.”
SKP writes, “We rotated because with our triple axle fiver we saw more scrubbing wear on the front axle’s tires than on the other two. By rotating we got more even wear and since we had the wheels off to check the brakes and bearings anyway, it was no more effort to rotate.”
When it comes down to it, the decision on whether to have your travel trailer tires rotated depends on your own personal preferences. If you are a full-timer, you may put enough miles on your tires to justify the cost and effort of rotating them. For weekenders, the chances of you putting the miles on your tires is slim. We have never had to rotate our travel trailer tires. They need to be replaced before that happens.
What are your thoughts on rotating travel trailer tires? Do you rotate yearly? Every 3,000 miles? Drop us a comment below and let us know.