Keeping up with your Tires Maintenance and Performance

 

 TIRE MAINTENANCE and PERFORMANCE

It is important to understand that the optimum performance of your RV’s tires are not only a maintenance issue.   Failure can result in a catastrophic accident where lives can be lost. Tires are one of the most important part of the vehicle as they are the defense you have between you and the road.

The condition of the tires need to be checked often. The tire pressure, tread, sidewall, and age needs to be evaluated regularly to ensure the chances of tire failure are minimal.

IMPORTANCE OF PROPER TIRE PRESSURE

Keeping your tires at the properly inflated to the PSI (pounds square inch) recommended by the vehicle manufacturer cannot be over emphasized. Proper inflation helps with safety, keeps tread wear even, allows for better fuel mileage, and a better ride. Over inflation can make the tire wear more in middle of the tread area. While, under-inflation will create uneven wear on the outer area of the tread area. Both these conditions will cause the tire to break down early and can create a possible failure scenario.

Why tires lose pressure over time:

  • Colder weather
  • Higher Altitudes
  • A small dent in the rim
  • Debris such as a nail embedded, acting as plug.

A monitoring system will continually monitor the pressure. It will notify you when a sudden change in pressure happens and could help minimize damage to your RV or other vehicle in the event of a blowout on a back tire.

The EEZTIRE T515/SP TIRE PRESSURE AND TEMPERATURE MONITORING SYSTEM was designed specifically for the RV Industry. The easy to install system comes with the 3 1/2 inch monitor with a rechargeable lithium battery and 6 sensors. This system monitors both the tire pressure and the temperature at the same time. This system is expandable to 22 sensors at one time and has an anti theft design.

It is also a good rule of thumb to also check the pressure manually at least once a month with a hand held tire gauge.

 

TIRE TREAD INSPECTION

The tread of the tire helps to maintain traction on the road and help in wet road conditions. If the tread on your tires is too worn it will take longer to stop.   You can check the tread on your tires by inserting a quarter into the tread of the tire. The head of Washington should be pointed down. If you can see above the top of Washington’s head, the tires have too much wear and will need to be replaced soon. The tread should be checked at different locations on the tire including the inside, outside and center of the tire tread.

LOOKING FOR DRY ROT

dry rot exampleThe petroleum chemicals in tires will eventually break down and the oils will evaporate causing a tire to deteriorate. This is called dry rot.   Dry rot occurs as tires age and can also worsened as tires are exposed to the sun’s UV rays. Dry Rot creates cracks and/or discoloration in the tire. This can affect any area of the tire. You should inspect the sidewalls and tread of the tire to determine if the tire has begun to deteriorate. Just because your tires have not been used much does not mean you will not have issues with dry rot.

 

TIRE AGE

The age of a tire is very important. They may look like they are good shape but after 6 or 7 years the materials they are made of start to deteriorate quickly.  This will happen whether they are used a lot or not. To ensure your are safe for the road, it is recommended tires be updated every 6 or 7 years. If the tires show abnormal wear and tear they should be replaced before then.  See below to determine when your tires were made.

The Department of Transportation (DOT) requires every tire to have a DOT identification code stamped on the outer wall of the tire. The code identifies the Plant where it was manufactured and the date of manufacture among other things

Determine the date of Tire Manufacture

To determine the date of manufacture look at the last 4 digits of the code look at the last 4 digits of the DOT code. The last 2 digits represent the year and the first 2 represent the week of the manufacture date. So in the example below, was manufactured 0516 Year 2016 week 05. Example of a DOT Code.

Example Tire Dot Code

Determine the location of Manufacture

To know where the tires on your vehicle were made, follow the instructions below.

Using the first two letters/numbers of the DOT code to find where the Plant it was manufactured at go to http://vpic.nhtsa.dot.gov/mid/

Put a check mark in Equipment Plant (Tires, Break Hoses, Retread and Glazing)

From the drop down box select tires and search in the lower left hand corner of the page.DotCode Example1

In the example above the tire was manufactured at the Michelin North America, Inc Plant in the United States.

dotcode example2

 

As you can see there are a lot of things to do to ensure you have the best chance of not having a catastrophic failure.  If after all of this you have a blowout remember to speed up immediately to regain control of the vehicle, then stop as soon as you can.

If you are in need of new tires check out Tires-Direct (Link Below).   I compared the same set of tires we purchased while on vacation last October and I would  have saved over 25%.  After ordering the tires, they can be shipped to either your home address or you can have shipped directly to one of the vendors listed in your area for installation. These vendors, along with their fees are listed on the website.  You may want to call the local vendor and let them know the tires are being shipped.

 

Buy tires here tires-direct.com

 

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