Whether you have an RV trailer or a 5th wheel trailer, your RV trailer tire is the most important item you should consider when it comes to your safety, and that of your home on wheels. When should you replace tires on your RV trailer is something some folks think about a lot, and others just don’t know enough to consider it as anything worth investing the time and money in to replace when necessary.
When an RV trailer tire fails during travel, as in a blowout, the results can be extremely damaging to your RV trailer. Blown tires can tear through propane and electrical lines near the wheel wells, rip through the floors above the tire wells, tear apart the sidewall fiberglass around the wheel wells, and strand you on the side of the highway for hours! Some RV trailer tire blowouts have even caused catastrophic fires due to pressurized gas lines that ruptured and ignited in the process of the tire failing.
Pam and I recently spent three an a half hours on the side of a major highway, in a construction zone, during a very hot day! The truck sensor was reading a ninety-seven degrees air temperature on the highway. The pressure sensors on my fifth wheel trailer tires indicated a reading of no more than fifteen psi above cold pressure on any of the RV trailer tires. But, it was a very hot day and we were loaded to the max!
We were driving along at sixty-five mph, and a gunshot was heard from the rear of our rig. The pressure monitor system started to alarm. I looked out the mirrors and saw what looked like tire shreds flying into oncoming traffic. I immediately realized that one of my tires had a catastrophic failure!
Now my tires have received excellent care since I replaced them almost five years ago! An RV trailer tire is good for three to five years, maybe a little more if they are really taken care of. High heat days really stress out a tire to its maximum capacity when carrying its designed load. I have eight tires on my fifth wheel that are capable of handling thirty-two thousand pounds of load. Even with that, I had a tire failure. The tires are just a little over five years from their manufacture date. The dot code is 3009 and the one tire failed at 3414.
So, according to recommendations, I am at the maximum tire life for these tires. They sit outside 24/7, 365, even though I keep them covered, clean, apply high tech protection agents, and reduce load when parked. They are still ready for a change! So, before my next trip, I will have them replaced. I was using LT tires as recommended by a heavy truck tire dealer.
Now, I am not a tire expert, and from what I can figure out, everyone has there own opinions on this. I have had dealers tell me that well cared for tires can last ten years. One guy who claimed he worked for Firestone tires, told me as long as they look good, keep using them. So, I have been researching this subject recently and given my recent experience, and that of others, the five-year rule seems to make sense.
After all, the damage that can be done by a blown tire can be considerable! Whether it is in a motorized RV, or a trailer, when should you replace tires seems to indicate that the 5-year mark is a good time to really evaluate whether you want to gamble when you tow your RV trailer.
So what do the RV trailer tire manufacturers suggest?
Use an ST Tire?
- An ST RV trailer tire is designed using construction and materials for trailers that have higher demands on the tires they use. An RV trailer tire is typically pushing the limits of their weight requirements and subjected to high heat conditions. After all, RVers travel most in the summer!
- The polyester tire cords are bigger than they are in a car or light truck tires.
- The steel cords are also larger in order to meet the demand of heavier loads.
- The compounds used in ST tires are more resistant to the UV and Ozone damage which leads to tire cracking.
ST RV trailer tires are designed for a maximum speed of 65 mph. The load carrying capacity is decreased with the higher temperatures that are created by higher speeds. And, traveling at speeds above 65 mph add to a greater chance of accidents.
Elements and time definitely are against the longevity of RV trailer tires. The claim is that after three years one-third of the tires life is already gone. Three to five years is the expected life of a normal trailer tire. The suggestion from manufacturers is that after five years the RV trailer tires should be replaced regardless of the tire appearance or tread depth.
Believe it or not, ST trailer tires are designed to not wear out. Its life expectancy is determined by time and the number of duty cycles. The expected mileage rating of an ST trailer tire is 5,000 to 12,000 miles!
So how can you get the most out of your RV trailer tires?
Maintain your tires by keeping them clean by using mild soap and water. Do not apply dressings to your tires that contain petroleum or alcohol distillates. Inspect your tires for cuts or deformities before travel. Be sure to inflate them to their maximum cold pressure before travel. Under-inflation is the number one cause of RV trailer tire failure!
When storing your RV trailer, try to keep the tires covered, off of the wet ground, keep weight to a minimum if possible, and rotate them occasionally while being stored by moving the trailer forward or backward a little.
So, when should you replace tires on your RV trailer is something that I know everyone has an opinion on. I know when I go to replace mine I will get another RVer saying something like “why would you want to replace those? They look like new!”
And they are right. They do! But all evidence to the contrary since one of them blew out just a few weeks ago. So, I am looking for a good RV ST trailer tire to replace my five-year-old LT tires. As an RV inspector, I can tell you that five years is the amount of time I recommend for a replacement. When there is so much riding on your tires it is not worth taking a chance. I am not a gambling man like some are.
Please leave a comment before you go! Comment if you have input into this most important RV issue. What experience can you pass along to others?
Blessings in your RV adventures!
Howard and Pam
I just your article and I totally agree with you and thank you writing it. I have been rving since 2000 when I started with a 22′ travel trailer and now have a 40′ 5th wheel.
I have always replaced the tires at 5 years as my first salesman told me and glad that I heeded his advice. I now use ST tires as they came on my 5th wheel and are specially designed for rv’s and trailers. My 5th wheel came with China Westlake tires which are considered a premium tire and I have researched this topic. I was going to use Goodyear Endurance tires but found out that Sailun S637 are a much stronger and better made tire even though they are also made in China.
Many of my fellow 5th wheelers have switched to Sailun and swear by them. They are also 14 ply and load range G. Thanks again for your great article.
This article really useful. I will keep reading your website 🙂
Glad I found this article. So much differing of opinions on the subject that it gets confusing. I purchased a new TT in late 2019 and have used it a lot, over 5000 miles for sure. The tires look great except for minimal inside edge wear on the rear axle. I know they manufacture to realize the lowest price and highest profit….which means you get the minimal of many certain items…and tires included in that aspect. I am going for 4 new tires before my next trip of around 3 thousand miles total, the biggest to date. Its a no brainer, the cost is cheap compared to the headache and cost of dealing with blow outs and failed tire while on the road…. My question to you Sir is I have a spread axle set up, and the tire sidewalls get more flexing in winding roads than the conventional closer spaced axles….is this a concern and should I move up from a D to a E and from a 205 to a 225 to compensate for that added stress? I know the debate over spread axles vs. regular rages in some of these areas…. Thank you.
I would be sure your tires are always at proper recommended cold pressure for the day of travel and have the axle alignment checked to be sure they are square with the RV frame. The manufacturer’s recommended load range of D is fine. Changing the load range will probably not solve the problem.
Your article is very helpful for RV beginner like me, thanks for writing it. I just bought an RV recently and I’m going to have the tires checked again.
Thanks for stopping by, Glen! Happy RV travels.
Where is the best place to buy quality trailer tires? Thanks!
Check out FMCA. They have a tire program that offers quality tires at great prices. Please use the referral code f454511. Thank you!!
I want to make sure that I take good care of my RV tires. It makes sense that proper maintenance would be important! That seems like a great way to avoid my tires blowing out when I need them most. I’ll be sure to get a professional to help me out with it.
We have been RVing now for 10 years. We generally spend 6 months sitting in a (dirt) campsite in FL and then do a 2,000 to 4,000 mile trip in the summer. I run Carlisle ST 235 85R16’s on my (heavy) fifth wheel and I have had more tire problems than you would believe. The answer to the trailer damage from a blow out is your insurance company (like car insurance, not the extended service plan). Your comprehensive should cover the damage to the trailer (but not the tire itself). I carry zero deductible on my comprehensive. I now have the following protocols in effect:
1. I will not buy a tire for the trailer that was manufactured more than 6 months earlier as shelf time affects tire life.
2. I will not run a tire on the trailer more than 3 years. Period. (Keep the ones you take off and sell them on Facebook Marketplace or the like. Non RV people are happy to buy the tires because they look new and have full tread life left.)
3. I will not run over 65 mph unless I am in danger of being rear ended. I keep the GPS speed at 62-63 ALL THE TIME.
4. I have 100% steel valve stems. On tires that big, a rubber valve stem flexes at high speed and can be a source of failure.
5. I have an excellent TST TPMS system that cycles through all the tires on the trailer and reports temp and pressure. I have the ones that you can fill the tire THROUGH the sensor, so tire pressures are not affected by screwing the sensor back on.
6. I use tire pressure of 10 lb. below the max cold tire pressure (95 psi on my Carlisles). At speed on a warm day, the pressure runs up to about 8 lbs over the max cold tire pressure. If I get a difference of more than 3 lbs across all four tires, I find a place to stop and see what is going on. That tire pressure is slightly above the TP recommended on the fifth wheel’s data plate.
7. I try to avoid pulling onto the shoulder unless it is a major emergency. There is tire killing trash on the shoulder. Wait for an exit ramp if you can.
8. I carry a six gallon air compressor (150 psi) since service stations don’t pump air (at least for free) anymore.
Also, don’t forget to check the tp on your spare(s).
My 5th wheel tires are 5 years old but I’ve only traveled 400 miles on the tires. Parked at camp site. All summer the slides are out which keeps the sun off of them. We’re now retired and plan on a 2500 mile round trip, 90% highway. Need replaced?
Thanks for stopping by and commenting!
At this point, with the tires being five years old, regardless of possible shade to protect from the sun, the tires have still been subjected to the elements. There are still environmental factors that have contributed to the deterioration of the tires.
Do you want to take them to a tire dealer and have them evaluated, or roll the dice and drive on them? As tires age, driving them on warmer travel days magnify tire issues. When it is cooler out there are fewer issues.
My rule, better safe than sorry! Tire damage to the RV due to a blown tire can be more costly than traveling on new rubber.
Also, were the tires of high quality, to begin with? You did not specify who manufactured the tires. If they are made in China I would definitely replace them!
Should travel trailer tires be replaced 5 years from manufacture date or install date?
The best source we have for recommendations on tire replacement is the NTSB. They suggest that tires that are 6 years or older, from the date of manufacture, be checked by a reputable tire dealership to determine if replacement is recommended. My personal feeling is that five years, especially for trailer tires is long enough. The amount of damage that can be done, the time on the side of the highway, and the possible safety issues with both would suggest the cost to replace is so worth it in order to avoid these issues.
Having been on the side of the road let me offer these three things
Don’t speed over 65
Don’t travel long distance on hot summer days
Go up a tire size, I went from 205 to 215 and pack light.
Safe travels and campfires
Very good article, thanks for sharing. I’m coming up on year 5 on our Evergreen Ascend and we currently have 18,000 miles on our tires. We’re only 26′ long, typically tow between 60-65 and although there is virtually no noticeable wear on our tires, I don’t want to take any chances either. I was very surprised at your comment about the mileage limitation for an ST rated tire being only 5-12,000 miles? This summer we’re taking a break and will be hanging around home and changing our tires is first on my list of things to do. Lot of research to do before purchasing, but I’ve been very happy with the OEM tires that were provided. I also had my tires balanced not long after purchasing our trailer which I think has made a difference in wear as well.
Thanks for stopping by and sharing Mike! It’s good to hear you have gotten many miles from your ST tires driving at the recommended speed rating. The proper care of your tires has given you many safe miles of travel!
I’m having trouble finding a place that will put the tires on… I have the tires but all my local places say no to changing them out for me….help!
I have discovered that some tire stores are not receptive to installing your own tires. They want you to buy them from them. Maybe it’s a liability thing?
We just purchased our first 5th wheel after having travel vans, class A, B and C units. It is a 2016 Cedar Creek Silverback 31IK that appears to be lightly used. The tires are being replaced and the alignment checked as the front passenger tire had excessive outside wear. However, I am curious if I could estimate the mileage the previous owner put on the unit by measuring the residual tread depth?
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Nice thought you have on the tire tread wear, however, wear is determined by so many features that can’t be measured. For example, driving on a smooth road surface versus driving on a rough road will contribute to different tire wear.
I would not worry about it. Evaluate its current condition and resolve any other issues you have found.
for mine I have had two failures in the last 6 months, the tires are just three years old next month, one was a blow out the other had a knot on the side wall. just received the new tires, but went to a Load Range F with an 81 mph speed rating over the OEM tires that were a Load Range E at 65 mph. and like you i keep mine parked under a RV carport, and the tires off the concrete and covered to keep the sunlight off of them, but it seems that in Florida about three years is all they are good for, as it seems that the last three sets start having issues after the three year mark. but I do probably travel more than average, as in three years I will normally see around 40 to 45K.
Thanks for stopping by and sharing!
Hello! We are new to camping and recently purchased a USED travel trailer from Camping World of Concord NC. We purchased a 2015 Forest River Vibe on April 21, 2018. They gave the trailer their certified inspection, prior to us taking delivery of the trailer. They told us everything was perfect and they even talked us into purchasing the extended warranty – because as they told us – you never know what could happen down the road. Well …. we took our travel trailer on vacation to Florida. We made it almost to the Florida state line and blew the 1st tire. The tire totally shredded into pieces on I-95 at 5:00am. It tore off the fender skirt, ruined the rim, twisted the steps and broke the door. We put on the spare and headed to the nearest location to purchase another spare to complete our trip. We got to our vacation location, parked the trailer on its lot and vacationed for the rest of the week. We left the following Saturday and before we could make it from Fort Lauderdale to Daytona Beach we had shredded/replaced 2 more tires. We found the closest location to purchase spare tires to put on as needed. Once we made it into Daytona Beach we found a tire store and purchased brand new tires for the trailer. When we finally arrived home we contacted Camping World of Concord NC, and they will not help with any of the repairs. Tires are our problem – according to them. I find it poor customer service to sell somebody a trailer, tell them it is in perfect condition, sell them an extended warranty and send them out the door on vacation – only to find out that something was definitely wrong with the tires and the extended warranty will not pay for any repairs. POOR CUSTOMER SERVICE!!! DO NOT PURCHASE FROM CAMPING WORLD – THEY DO NOT STAND BEHIND THEIR PRODUCTS!! Wish I would have found this site prior to purchasing – I would have insisted on new tires being installed.
Sorry to hear of your troubles! Camping World continues to tarnish their reputation with stories like these. Had you used an NRVIA inspector prior to purchase, they might have discovered that the DOT codes would have suggested possible replacement based on age and wear. A valuable lesson was learned!
Best wishes in your future RV travels!!
This is really helpful ! I was going to ask about sitting tires for approx 6 years and now I know what to look for. I’m looking at buying a fifth wheel that’s been sitting on a lake for 6 years not sure of the age of the tires the trailer is a 98 jayco eagle but not sure if they will be a safety issue who do you call to change your tires ?? Or is it possible to do yourself .thanks Rebecca
Tires that have been sitting in the same spot for six years are probably ready for replacement before travel. My opinion of course! I would get the RV inspected by an NRVIA certified RV inspector before you buy it. They will assist you with the tire issue as well as verify all the systems in the RV, including safety issues.
Where did you get the mileage limit figures of 5000 to 12000 miles? We full time and we’ll more than likely hit a mileage limit before an age limit. Currently we have 10500 miles on our Goodyear Endurance ST23580R16s since Feb. 2018 (installed new) with no obvious signs of unusual wear like we had on the fifth wheels original tires. We are properly inflated and under the max weight rating of tires/axles. Is the 12000 miles max for trailers that are parked for long periods? We move around quite a bit. If 12000 miles is a good rule of thumb for tire life, I’m considering 19.5” wheels/tires as replacement.
The major tire manufacturers state the mileage facts I mentioned in this post. Carlisle recommends three years and definitely at five years regardless of mileage. If you are running yours a lot and heating them up, that does help to get more life out of them as that allows the protective properties of the tire to remain active.
We ran LT tires on our fifth wheel and felt better about that. Some larger heavier 5th wheels are now using G-rated 17.5 tires to avoid this issue. Just keep a close check on your tires and if possible, use a tire pressure monitor system that gives you internal tire temperature as you travel. That may help you to run them longer with the assurance of knowing if a problem starts to show up, you’ll know before they blow.
thanks for sharing this wonderful information. keep it up!
I also like reading about track prep and performance racing services.
Thanks for stopping by Edward!
I was checking my Carlyle ST 235/80/R16 Load E tires for a date code. All I found was this…DOT AQNS. No four digit date code anywhere. Any guess on how old these tires are?
Also… I am considering upgrading to load range G tires but not sure my 16×6 aluminium wheels will handle the higher 110psi. Are wheels psi rated? Is that rating stamped on the rim somewhere? Is that in code also? Thanks
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For the date code on your tires, check the other side. The four-digit numerical date code that shows the date of manufacture is not listed on both sides of the tire. There is a DOT code but not the one you are looking for.
As far as your rims, check with the manufacturer, if known, to see if they will handle G-rated higher pressure tires. There should be a maximum load and maximum pressure stamped on the rim. You could check on the inside spokes while looking for the date code to see if you can spot it. Be sure to upgrade the valve stem as well if the rims can handle the 110 psi.
Follow up double blown tires….
Sorry forgot to add …..tires did over $3,000 worth of damage to coach. Neither the tire company or Forest River stepped up to help out.
Sorry to hear that Gerald! We know that won’t happen to you again because now you are aware of these things.
Follow up….double tire failure
Tire manufacturer reimbursement for blown tires . Forest River no apologies for putting old tires on unit. Fell back on “we met the minimum federal requirements.”
Well as much as we tried we missed this in our research in buying a trailer. After finding and reading this site I am concerned. We just bought 2013 28′ laredo and we have it on our lawn waiting for first trip. I just went and looked at tires dates 3512… 6 years old. We bought this from a dealer, reputable, and thought it was the safest way for newbies not to get rolled too bad. The drive home was over an hour and the tires handled it well, though no one mentioned checking tire pressure on truck before leaving the dealer. Truck tires are passenger and though in good shape we are told we should update to LT D rating on it, now it seems we need trailer tires too? I am going to call the dealer to ask for tires to be replaced, even if we split dealer cost its better than full cost.
Thanks for stopping by! Sorry to hear that your tires are older than you would like. At that age, it is best to replace them. I hope the dealership was cooperative and did not argue the point. Sometimes they feel that if the tread is good and there is no visible cracking, they are okay. But they don’t know what is going on inside the tire and how well that tire will do when the trailer is loaded and it’s a hot day.
Best wishes for safe travels!
I want to make sure that I don’t have any problems with my RV. It makes sense that having the tires replaced at the right time would be a good idea! I’ll be sure to take it to a professional to have them handle it for me.
Thank you for your article I’m reading as I’m sitting on the side of the highway with a blown out front tire on my camper. The tires look great but they are seven years old. Not sure how many miles are on them. My right front blew out on Saturday when I was 70 miles from home and my left front blew out today Tuesday and I’m 300 miles from home. I’m getting them all replaced. Thanks
Sorry to hear of your travel troubles. Hopefully, no damage was done! We are glad our website was able to help you out.
Bought a 42 ft Sierra 5th wheel , Sept ’17 brand new ….. June 5th ’18 had a tread separation on passenger rear June 6th ’18 tire separation on driver’s side rear. Found out both tires made in 2015 ,front tires made in 2016 all rated “e” combined max allowable weight 14,080 ….coach gross weight is 15,500. Who would I go to for help with reimbursement or damages cause by underrated tires. Is this a safety issue for DOT???
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Sorry to hear of your tire trouble! Is the 15,500 the GVWR including the pin weight? If so, the tires may be properly rated but that they were already 2-3 years old is not very comforting.
I would contact the manufacturer, show the evidence, and see what they say. I would also verify your weight in the trailer to be sure you are not exceeding the load cap on any one tire. You can visit the RV Safety and Education Foundation website for weighers who can weigh each tire separately.
I have a 2000 Santa Fe Colman tent trailer. I couldn’t tell how far it has travelled but we only go out 2 maybe 3 times a summer. The drive is from storage 20 minutes and then maybe an hour tops to our destination. The tires have never been changed. What would you recommend I replace them with? Need some knowledge before I go shopping.
Regardless of the miles on the tires, I would replace them if they are 18 years old! It’s not the miles, it is the age of the tires that matters. Over that much time with little use the rubber has broken down and could fail in travel. Safety first!!
I have a 38′ 2008 Jayco Eagle 5th wheel with four slides.
In the 10 yrs I have replaced the set of tires once. But in that time and with more then 30 – 40 trips and many miles I have had three blow outs on the same wheel position. The drivers side rear tire is the one that blows. Could there be some issue with the trailer axle alignment? Used the best tire available. But the same wheel/tire has blown.
With this same issue over and over I can’t help but believe it is in the trailer. Just seeking your opinion Howard. 🙂
Just took a trip to Texas from Colo. and had a blow out same position and tire. 🙂
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I am going to assume you have LT225/75R16 tires on the 5th wheel. If that is the case, then each tire can carry a maximum load of 2,680 lbs. That times four equals 10,270 lbs. The dry weight of the vehicle is just shy of 11,000 lbs. Add the maximum carrying capacity of 3,500 lbs and you are at a GVWR of 14,500 lbs. Does the pin weight of the loaded 5th wheel plus the weight at each tire exceed the GVWR?
Have you had the vehicle weighed at each tire when you are loaded for travel and hooked up to your truck? If the weight exceeds 2,680 lbs at any tire, then overheating is possible and tire blowouts can occur.
I have made an assumption here just based on you telling me that this is a 2008 Jayco Eagle. There are many models and sizes of this 5th wheel, but I used a larger model as an example. Could the axles be out of alignment? Possible, but you would see an unusual wear pattern on both the rear axle tires if that was true. Is something else heating up the tire causing it to continually fail?
In the future, and after you figure this out, I would run with tire pressure monitors that can check pressure and internal tire temperature as you travel. You can check my post at https://yourfulltimervliving.com/product-reviews/rv-tire-pressure-monitoring-system-your-rv-cant-afford-to-be-without-it for more information.
Tire question, I just purchased a mint 2009 Cougar 276rls. It was bought new in 2010 and was used 5 times with a total of 2000 miles. Health derailed more travel plans for the owner and it sat in a drive shed for 4 years. It was taken out once a year for a wash and wax and then stored until the next year for its annual wash and wax. Should the tires be changed out? No cracking, no sun exposure and no heat.
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Even though the tires have not been driven much (which is actually a bad thing) and the RV sounds as though it has been well cared for, the NTSB recommends that tires older than six years be evaluated for possible replacement. Even though they may not have had sun exposure, without being used much the emollients in the tires never have a chance to come to the surface of the tire as they do when heated up during travel.
So, if it were me, and this is just my opinion, I would take them to a tire dealer and have them evaluate them. Better safe than sorry. Also, if you want a good deal on new tires, and depending on the size of the tires you have, visit FMCA. Membership gives you a 40-60 percent discount on new tires.
If I replaced our Michelin Commercial LT tires every 5-10K miles I’d here to replace them before every trip. Sometimes during a trip. That’s crazy.
Thanks for stopping by our website.
In this article, I am referring to ST tires, not commercial LT tires.
I have a 2007 Forest river Toy hauler That I bought new to live in and i love it It’s a 40′ three axle Six tire 18000 pound unit it only has 500 miles on the tires, I have decided to start traveling full time and see the good ole USA
I went out to inspect my tires and found out that all Six tires have a bubble the size of my fist on the inside tread, so before I go any where I have to replace all. Looks like around $1200.00 to $1500.00 just to get started. Oh well If I could not afford it I guess I would forget about it. haha fat chance.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that it’s very costly to keep up a large RV.
I wish every body R Ving a great and safe adventure; Don’t let the Bugs bite. lol
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Sorry to hear about your tires! If they are the originals they certainly are ready to be replaced at 11 years old. You might want to check out FMCA membership now that they allow RV’s of all kinds because as a member you get big discounts on name brand tires.
Check it out at fmca.com! Mention us, member number f454511, if you do.
It’s interesting that you talked about how trailer tires often last around 5 years. I have been looking for new tires to put on my trailer and I wasn’t sure when to expect to change them. I can see how it would be good to have them changed a little bit early so I don’t risk having a tire give out while I’m driving.
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Yes, in my RV inspection business we relay what the NTSB says about tires of any kind: it is recommended they be evaluated/replaced after six years. Certainly for peace of mind, and since trailer tires are not that expensive, it is worth replacing them at the five-year mark. Again, just my opinion!
We purchased new tires five years ago and towed our trailer to the deer lease where it has sat for these five years with tires on the ground. Can we safely travel on them to a tire store for replacement again since it isn’t so hot outside or should we try to get them replaced prior to moving it?
If the tires are not cracked and dry rotted, you are not overloaded, and the tires are at the correct pressure, you may be okay to travel a short distance to the tire dealer. Cooler weather will certainly help. Ask the tire dealer there honest opinion about the tires. Even though they have not been used I would still replace them.
Just to add to your post. We purchased a 2013 TT a year ago. It has done us well so far. However, on our longest trip thus far for Thanksgiving we blew a tire on the interstate. I was moving pretty good at 70 trying to make it to Moms for turkey. We lost the whole tread off of our rear driver side. It was a quick and easy change, but I failed to notice the tread had gotten wrapped around the axle. After reading your article I realized the date code was literally 6 months over the 5 year manufacturer date.
She’s winterized and parked for the winter. Any suggestions on brand or type?
Sorry to hear about your travel troubles!
If you have ST tires on the trailer, the maximum speed may be 65 mph. Proper tire inflation is critical on these trailer tires as well as to not be overloaded. Not knowing your tire size and trailer GVWR it is hard to say what would best suit your needs. Buy the best quality tire you can for the money, no china bombs! Do your research and buy accordingly. That will save your heartache while on the road!
I have a friend that has a trailer I think about 25 feet. She bought it used and then ended up parking it for over 7 years. She has the tires covered but it has never been moved. She wants to move it closer to her (about a 2 hour drive) to get it fixed up and I warned her about the tires but she insists that she has had them covered so they are Ok. I have heard things like tires that sit too long get flat on the bottom and are out of round, not to mention other issues. So what would you suggest/say about them?
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There are many issues that can occur when tires sit unused. It is hard to know if they are able to handle the stresses of travel after sitting for seven years.
I would suggest having them evaluated by a certified tire specialist for possible replacement. If the owner is unwilling to do that, be sure not to exceed their load ratings and keep the speed down. After six years of age, used or not, it’s a gamble as to whether they will remain intact during travel.
Thanks! Turns out they have also been sitting on dirt. She is taking your feedback! Thanks again!
Your welcome Ann, glad to hear!
Hi, I have a 4 years old tires on my trailer. The tires are always in the shade but sit on pea gravel. I have not moved or rotated the tires in about a year. The tires look like they are still in great condition, no sidewall cracks or tread cracks. Do you suggest replacing the tires because they are 4 years old and have not moved in a year?
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There are many opinions when it comes to tires like yours. I tend to stick to the facts: the NTSB recommends that tires six years or older be replaced regardless of wear. If yours are four years old and have been maintained, you should be okay. If in doubt, stop by a certified tire dealer and have them take a look at them for a second opinion.
We have a 2002 Jayco Kiwi, it had tires that were almost 2 years old and we had about 3k miles on them. We had 2 blow out on our last trip, a few hours apart. We noticed on the the 2 remaining tires that the overall size of the tire was different on each one. Not the width of the tire but the diameter. When we put them side by side there was about 2 inches difference in the overall height. I had read that some of these tires have had issues where the cords inside break and the tire size changes, causing increased friction and heat, followed by a blow out. I am afraid, very afraid of another blow out or two or three on a long trip. I am taking several spares along and am trying to find a good quality tire but as of yet have not. Due to the size of our tires it seems only a few manufacturers in china make them. ST175/80D13. If you or anyone has any suggestions I would sure appreciate it.
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I would recommend you do a Google search for “quality tire ST175/80D13” and refer to those results for a possible tire you could buy.
Never trust the appearance of RV tires or the tires of the vehicle hauling it! We had a Ram diesel 2500 blow a left rear tire on the freeway and it made a real mess of the wheel well! Change out at 5 years! Ours were 6+ years, so don’t forget the hauler’s tires. God bless everyone with safety, we were! Jim
Thanks for checking in! Yes, all tires of the RV setup are important. We have noticed people seem to neglect the trailer tires the most. It is even more important to replace them when the towable RV comes with cheap tires that are not meant to last as compared with the tires the truck manufacturers supply.
That being said, The NTSB recommends that tires be replaced at six years of age. Or, at least evaluated by a certified tire specialist for an opinion on the integrity of the tire.
Glad to hear it was not too damaging an event.
What tire do you recommend for a 35ft 5th wheel. We currently have 235/80/r16
Towmaster. We need 5
We wanted Michelin but they don’t have in that size. We r not full timers.
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When it comes to trailer tires don’t go with the cheapest ones. I prefer Goodyear or Michelin. We just had to get tires for the motorhome, and being FMCA members we were able to get a thirty-five percent discount on our six tires. We were able to obtain Michelin tires there. I checked and I don’t see that tire size available either.
The Goodyear Marathon does have a ST235/80R16 tire size. Do be sure to get ST rated tires as they are better suited for trailer applications – maximum 65pmh speed rating.
Happy tire shopping!
Thanks you for sharing your insights on RV tire replacement. Our 2005 Alpenlite 31RL 5th wheel tires look new, but we will be replacing them before we travel again. We have made only 4 trips a year since buying it, but if age is a cause for replacement, we’re glad to know. Better late than never!
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It is good that you are replacing your tires! The NTSB recommends tires be replaced after six years.
We, in fact, just replaced our four-year-old tires yesterday. They had 31,000 miles on them. Given they run at 100% load at all times, it is better safe than sorry. We did not realize how much tread was gone until we got our new tires installed.
For those of you that don’t know, FMCA membership of $50 per year saved $80 per tire. We installed six new tires. You can choose from Michelin and Goodyear brand tires.
Happy travels Susan!!
Thanks for posting this article, useful information. I have a 2016 travel trailer that we purchased in Sept. 2015 and have driven it only 3000 miles in the past year. The tires are half worn. It came with cheap, China bias tires, so we’re replacing the bias tires with ST radials. I’ve read that radials dissipate heat better than bias tires do. Also, radials wear better.
Yes, ST tires will work better for your travel trailer! Just remember, 65mph is the max speed rating for them!
Love your article. Learn quite a bit more about RV trailer tires. What is the difference between E and G rated tires. I assume G rated tires ican handle heavier load. I have a 28 foot Keystone Sydney Outback. I travel with light load most of the time about 8K pounds total weight. I am due to change my tires. Which tire rate should I use on my rig.
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Yes, you are correct. A G rated tire can handle greater loads at higher tire pressure settings.
My recommendation would be to stick with the tire size and type recommended by the RV manufacturer. These days they put a label on the streetside front corner of the RV with your correct tire sizes. Stick with an ST tire by an approved tire manufacturer and match the tire ratings suggested. At 8,000 pounds there is no need to upgrade to a higher load range tire.
Buy good quality tires, keep them at the correct cold tire pressure ratings, travel at speeds no greater than 65 mph, store them properly, and you will have many miles of enjoyable travel.
Like everyone else I have been wondering about the “tire issue”. I have a 2002 Jayco Designer Legacy that I bought used in 2013. The very first thing I had done before moving the rig was to have a mobile tire shop come and replace the original(!!) tires. They recommended an ST tire by Hercules/Cooper which, so far, has been fine.
Being new to RV’ing and noting that the 14,500lb rig was very near the capacity of the 4 tires, I have done some research on my own. Most notable was a stop at a dealer who handled nothing but heavy duty construction trailers that haul small bulldozers, front end loaders and the like. His recommendation was the same as you have stated above regarding the ST’s. An additional comment he made was that the ST sidewalls are designed to handle the sideways stress placed on the tires when making tight turns and the like, unlike LT tires which are constructed more for ride considerations.
So far we have towed from Florida to New England and back 3 times with numerous smaller trips around Florida. The tires have about 7500 miles on them. I am planning on replacing at 10,000 miles regardless of their outward appearance.
What brand? Chinese or not? I really can’t answer that but I do know that I’ve heard complaints against all the manufacturers including Michelin, so it’s anyone’s guess. I probably will consider replacing with what I have if they make it to the 10,000 mile mark as they have served me well so far.
Keep ’em covered, check the pressures religiously, and keep it under 65!
Thanks for “weighing” in George! It sounds like you are top of the situation. I would not buy Chinese tires, aka Maypops – they may pop at any time! LOL ST tires are great for 5th wheels. One should never be traveling faster than 65 mph when towing a 5th wheel! Just my opinion. I mean, what’s the rush? If you tires have been working for you, stick with them. Yes, proper care is the key to safe travels with any type of tire. My 5th wheel had dual tandems with 8 “E” rated tires. I upgraded them to “G” rated tires and felt more comfortable traveling with my 20,000 GVWR unit. Enjoy your travels George!!
My 4yr old Fifth wheel (Silverback 29RE) just developed a large bubble on one the tires on the inside. I only have approx 6000 miles on the rig. Noticed the bubble (size of half a softball) as I was parking the rig.
It is a good thing you check your tires periodically! That bad tire, if left unchecked, could create a lot of underside damage if the tire blows during travel! Thanks for sharing!!