Sunday, January 16, 2022

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Do you need to “Balance” RV trailer tires?

This is a question I see occasionally. The answers range from “Never” to “Always”. IMO I think the reason many do not balance or they say they don’t need to be balanced is because balancing costs the RV Mfg money and we all know just how price-sensitive the RV Mfg and dealers are. The issue is that with many ST-type tires being designed and sold at the lowest possible cost, it is possible that the Quality might be less than optimum.

One thing that can be learned when balancing a tire is how uniformly the tire components were assembled. In my 40 years as a tire engineer, I have seen tires where a component was left out of the tire. I have also seen where half of one of the steel belts was left off the tire. Regular Passenger and LT tires are almost always run through a uniformity check at the tire plant as this is a quick check on one aspect of the tire build process. But Uniformety check costs time and money. I can see some people thinking why bother? No one will be riding in the trailer so they will not be bothered by a poor ride. But the process of “balancing” can discover quality issues in the tire and even discover the occasional mis-mount of a good tire on a wheel or even discover some issues in the wheels.

If you balance a trailer tire and find that it needs more than 3 Oz of weight I would suggest that there may be a problem and that it needs to be discovered and “fixed”.

A final comment on balancing. Sometimes the problem with vibration is not the balance, but the tire & wheel being out of round. As I demonstrated in THIS post when I “balanced” a cement block.

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