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By: Fit2Go TPMS / 10th June 2019 /

10 things you need to know about caravan tyres

Good tyre condition on caravans is paramount – if you suffer a sudden loss of pressure mid-journey, it’s unlikely the driver will realise until the vehicle’s handling has already been compromised – with potentially catastrophic consequences.

Just as with cars, it’s essential that your caravan’s tyres are regularly inspected and properly maintained to ensure they deliver on their primary role of gripping the road and carrying the load of your caravan.

In this blog, we’ve compiled a list of 10 top things you need to know to ensure you stay safe when towing and avoid tyre issues from ruining your trip:

  1. Caravan tyres are not made specifically for caravan use – normally they’ll be either car or light commercial vehicle tyres. When it comes to fitting replacements, seek expert advice from a tyre dealer you can trust. Follow this link to find your nearest Michelin Certified Centre.
  2. The minimum legal tread depth for a caravan tyre is 1.6mm across the central three quarters of the tread and around the entire circumference of the tyre.
  3. After five years or more in use, your tyres should be thoroughly inspected at least once per year by a professional. If the tyres haven’t been replaced 10 years after their date of manufacture, as a precaution, Michelin recommends replacing them with new tyres – even if they appear to be in a usable condition and have not been worn down to the tread wear indicator. This applies to spare tyres as well.
  4. You can tell the age of your tyre from the ‘dot code’ on the sidewall – simply focus on the last four digits. The first two of these digits give the week of manufacture, and the last two are the year. For example, if the last four digits of the DOT code are 1218, that means that the tyre was manufactured during the 12th week of the year 2018.
  5. Information on the load and speed rating is marked on the side of the tyre. Equal size tyres should be used across an axle, as well as the spare.
  6. Make sure that your tyres aren’t overloaded. It is dangerous, plus the Police may take action against drivers when their caravan is excessively loaded or has a badly distributed load. A poorly distributed load can cause overloading of one or more wheels even when the maximum permissible total load is not exceeded. Spread the load evenly around the caravan and as low as possible, to ensure maximum tow car and caravan stability. Failure to do this could result in tyre problems, and possible tyre failure.
  7. When you take delivery of a new caravan, the correct inflation pressure will be given in the owner’s manual or handbook. But if your caravan is second hand and the handbook is missing, look for a sticker or ‘pressure plate’ on the wheel arch. If in any doubt, contact the manufacturer.
  8. Under-inflation can reduce grip and increase stopping distances. Over-inflation is also bad, reducing the tyre’s contact patch – resulting in uneven wear and reduced handling, particularly when braking and cornering. Consider using our MICHELIN Pressure Checker to ensure you can keep a close check on your tyre pressures, particularly before a long journey.
  9. We recommend you replace your tyre if the tread is worn close to the 1.6mm minimum legal tread depth, the sidewall is damaged, you find any hole in the tread is greater than 6mm in diameter or if the bead (the edge of the tyre that sits on the wall) is damaged or deformed.
  10. When the season’s over and it’s time to park your caravan up for a prolonged period, we advise removing your primary wheels and tyres to prevent deterioration – and fitting axle stands or a set of ‘winter wheels’. However, first check this doesn’t invalidate your insurance policy. If your provider insists the original wheels and tyres must be left on, rotate them every few weeks so that the weight of the caravan doesn’t rest on the same area of the tyre all the time.
CALL: +44 (0) 1543 396023
Fit2Go TPMS Ltd
Ground Floor
1 Newlands Court
Attwood Road, Burntwood
Staffordshire, WS7 3GF
United Kingdom
Company Registration No. 10255345