More and more families are choosing to invest in recreational vehicles. Whether your family enjoys driving down the road in a motorhome or camping in a travel trailer, the tires on these vehicles will play a critical role in determining how safely they travel.
It’s common for RVs to sit idle for long periods of time. Many people store their RVs for most of the year or take long breaks between camping trips. These idle periods have the potential to wreak havoc on the tires that are fitted on your RV.
Learn more about the potential damage RV tires can sustain while sitting idle so that you will be prepared to recognize damaged tires and replace them before your next major road trip.
1. Tire Deterioration
No tires are designed to last forever. You should expect some natural deterioration as a tire ages. Unfortunately, sitting idle can cause tires to deteriorate prematurely. This significantly reduces the lifespan of your RV tires and can result in the need for more frequent tire replacement.
Deterioration can be caused by exposure to direct sunlight. Sunlight can dry out the rubber tires are made of, leaving your RV tires with a type of damage known as dry rot. Driving on tires with dry rot increases the risk of experiencing a blow-out.
The cracks that form in the rubber as dry rot sets in can expand until they reach the cords of the tire. Cord heat that is generated during normal driving will cause the rubber to expand, and the cracks could give out under the pressure of this expansion.
You should always cover your RV tires when the vehicle is sitting idle. Covering will protect them against UV exposure and help eliminate the possibility of dry rot.
If you do see evidence of dry rot when inspecting your RV tires, have the tires replaced before you embark on your next family vacation.
2. Tire Bubbles
Another common problem that can plague RV tires when they sit idle for long periods of time is tire bubbles. As the name suggests, tire bubbles are bulbous extrusions from a tire’s sidewall. These bubbles form when pockets of air become trapped within one of a tire’s many layers.
Tire bubbles can pose a serious safety hazard when driving your RV. Heat is generated within the tire during normal driving. This heat causes expansion, which increases the amount of pressure placed on a tire’s sidewalls. When a tire bubble is present, growing pressure can cause the sidewall to burst.
Many tire bubbles are visible to the naked eye. Other symptoms that might signal you have tire bubbles include wobbling or shaking of your RV.
A tire that has developed bubbles will always need to be replaced in order to maximize the safety and maneuverability of your RV.
3. Flat Spotting
Any vehicle that sits in one place for too long is susceptible to flat spotting. This phenomenon occurs when the area of the tire touching the ground becomes rigid. Many RV owners are surprised to learn that flat-spotting can occur within a relatively short period of time.
Remaining stationary for as little as one month could cause flat spots to develop on your tires.
RV tires are especially susceptible to flat spotting because these vehicles tend to be quite heavy. The full weight of the RV is resting on the tires, which causes the rubber to spread slightly while an RV is parked.
Remaining in a stationary position for too long can cause flat spots to become permanent. Replace tires with significant flat spots to avoid safety issues when driving your RV in the future.
Contact Evans Tire & Service Centers for help replacing and maintaining your RV tires this summer.