Thursday, November 30, 2023


Around the Campfire: RVers discuss the best RV tires

Newbies asked for advice from folks around the campfire. “Our camper isn’t even a year old,” the Newbies moaned, “so why did we have blowouts?” On their very first trip, the Minnesota Newbies lost not one, but two of their travel trailer’s tires! They were fortunate to keep their rig on the road and, thankfully, damage to their RV was remarkably minimal. However, the experience really frightened them.

Experienced RVers respond

There were many differing opinions about which RV tires are best, but on one point nearly everyone agreed: The tires that many RV manufacturers routinely put on their newly built RVs are “junk.” Wally explained, “Like many RV components, the majority of manufacturers use the least expensive tires they can find. It’s worth it for consumers to immediately replace those tires with some that are safer and will last.”

Tire basics

The Newbies freely admitted that they knew very little about tires. So, George offered a quick lesson. He showed the Minnesota folks his own tire markings along with the meaning of each notation. You can see a breakdown of information labeled in this picture.

Photo credit: Harvest Hosts/Firestone

(Hint: If you have difficulty reading the information on your tires, try rubbing over the letters/numbers with a piece of white chalk to make the markings more visible.)

Use the tire information to help you determine how fast to drive, how much weight the tires can safely support, and more.

How long will RV tires last?

According to my local, privately owned RV dealership, you can expect your RV’s tires to last anywhere from 3 to 6 years. It all depends on the type of tires, how much you drive, and how you care for the tires.

How to best care for RV tires

  • Inflation and speed. “Keep your tires properly inflated,” recommended Wally. “And watch your speed. My tires last a lot longer if I keep my speed well under 65 mph.” A tire pressure monitoring system, or TPMS, is also important. It will show the pressure and temperature of your tires as you drive down the road, alerting you when dangerous levels are detected.
  • Tire covers. “If my rig is parked for any length of time, I cover them,” George commented. “Dry rot can become a real problem if you don’t use tire covers.”
  • Tire load rating. Folks also noted the effect your RV’s weight can have on the tires. Too much weight in your rig can cause the tires to fail or wear poorly. And your RV’s weight has the potential to vary quite a bit from trip to trip. For example, if you plan to boondock and carry a full tank of potable water, your RV will weigh far more than when all tanks are empty. Folks around the fire recommended keeping your RV’s weight well under the tires’ maximum load rating.
  • Tire treatments. Several folks mentioned treating their RV tires with 303 Tire Coating and Protectant spray to prevent tire dry rot and cracking.
  • Rotating tires. Many RVers around the campfire said they never rotated their RV tires. I asked our local mechanic, who happens to also own an RV. He said, “RV tires are impacted by normal wear and tear just like any other tire.” He recommends rotating the RV’s tires every 6,000 to 8,000 miles.

Helpful tire tips

The Newbie RVers had their RV dealership replace their two blown tires. “Our rig was in the shop for 12 weeks!” they regretfully explained. “We missed out on a lot of camping while we waited our turn for service!”

Here’s a little secret: Almost any tire place will put new tires on your RV, even if you don’t purchase your tires from their store (e.g., Discount Tire shops or privately owned shops). Call ahead first.

Another buying tip: Price shop at Costco. My husband and I bought a membership to Costco specifically because we needed new tires for our truck. The discounted price for tires more than paid for our membership fee.

Think about your tires as you pack your RV for travel. Try to evenly distribute the weight from back to front and side to side. For example, our refrigerator, oven, and pantry are all positioned on one side of our RV. That’s a lot of weight on the tires for that side of the fifth-wheel. When we travel, we try to offset the “heavy side” as much as possible by packing any heavy items (tools, boxes of canned food, drinks, etc.,) on the opposite side of the rig.

Best RV tires?

Here’s where the campfire discussion got a little heated. (People are pretty opinionated about their tires, it seems.) These are the tires most recommended by the RVers in attendance: Goodyear Unisteel G670; Maxxis M8008 ST Radials; Michelin XPS; and Bridgestone Duravis M700.

When shopping for RV tires, it pays to check out any available rebates, BOGOs, or other specials. Also consider the type of your RV (travel trailer, fifth-wheel, motorhome), the speed at which you like to travel, the type of terrain you’ll experience most, the weight of your loaded rig, tire warranties, and your budget. Then make the decision that’s right for you.

What kind of tires do you have on your RV? What steps do you take to prolong the life of your RV tires? Share your tips in the comments, please.

Find more tire-related articles from our RV tire expert Roger Marble here


Gail Marsh
Gail Marsh
Gail Marsh is an avid RVer and occasional work camper. Retired from 30+ years in the field of education as an author and educator, she now enjoys sharing tips and tricks that make RVing easier and more enjoyable.



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Bob (@guest_254054)
2 months ago

Did not see anything about having your trailer tires balanced. Cheap added insurance for safer travels. Just put Goodyear Endurance on my trailer. Will provide a verdict on their “endurance” in another 12,000 miles.

Timothy Stitzel (@guest_254031)
2 months ago

I have a 2018, 26′ travel trailer. After the 4th year, and when we bought it, while traveling it was bouncing side to side. I stopped by my tire supplier and said that I had the cheapest tires made. After looking at what he offered up steel belted sidewall tires; minimum air pressure 80psi. Best investment I have made
No notice anymore that the camper is being pulled.

Harry (@guest_254003)
2 months ago

I am surprised that nothing was said about the date on the tires. You want to buy fresh tires, not 2 year old tires.

Neal Davis (@guest_253986)
2 months ago

Thank you, Gail! We have a DP, a 2022 Newmar New Aire 3545. Our OEM tires are 305/70R/22.5 Michelin XRVs. The steer tires and the drive tires are all the same size. We typically have bought tires at Best One tire and they give us the FMCA price, but avoid the hassle (?) of actually going through FMCA. We lash a spare tire (sans rim) to the roof of our Grand Cherokee that we tow when we travel to Alaska. Otherwise we go without a spare tire.

Kris K (@guest_253984)
2 months ago

I always buy Goodyear or Firestone never had an issue with those brands – get the Chinese tires off ASAP – and only use the newer 8 ply. No exceptions. And for the travel trailors, get your axle bearings greased and repacked on purchase and every year thereafter by the axle guys (not the dealers.)

Mikal H (@guest_253970)
2 months ago

Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA), which is open to members with all types of RVs, has a great tire program. Last spring I replaced my steer tires 315/80R22.5) with Continental Conti-Coach. Best price per tire I could get without discounts was near $900 each (still lower cost than Goodyears or Michelin). Through the FMCA program it was $536 each. Got date codes just 4 months old. When we were completing the paperwork so the installer could recover his cost on the tires he mentioned that the FMCA cost was less than he pays…and they are a regional tire supplier that even has their own retread facilities.

Goodyears & Michelins had good price discounts, but not like Continental. My SIL, who ran the maintenance shop for an OTR trucking company that went through hundreds of tires per year, highly recommended Continentals (German engineering…made in U.S.A.)

Gary A G (@guest_253968)
2 months ago

We use the Les Schwab tires on our rv’s for the last 25 plus years. Never had a problem, I would suggest if one lives in the Northwest to at least check out this tire dealer. Also, should one have a problem most likely not too far from dealer.

Gayle V. (@guest_253967)
2 months ago

I replaced the dry rotting Michelin truck tires on my DRV 5th wheel with Ironhead truck tires. According to the tire dealer, Ironhead tires are less prone to dry rot. We’ll see. Both the Michelin & Ironhead tires I used are regroovable. I also use TPMS for truck & trailer.

Tom (@guest_253953)
2 months ago

Any recommendations for a proper rotation scheme for typical Class C or B tires?

Diane McGovern
2 months ago
Reply to  Tom

Hi, Tom. You can find some info about tire rotation on Roger Marble’s blog: Also, I’ll send your question to him and maybe he’ll do an updated post on it. Have a great day! 😀 –Diane at

Richard Pendleton (@guest_251306)
2 months ago

My fifth wheel came with Sailun tires. I couldn’t possibly be any happier with them. My fifth wheel will ALWAYS have Sailun tires on it!

Leonard (@guest_253962)
2 months ago

Agreed! My Sailun’s are three years old with 40,000 km on them and they still look great! I don’t use tire covers as with my RV’ing, I will need to replace them before five years with the amount of km’s I travel. I do use a TPMS and never overload the trailer.

Ron (@guest_233903)
6 months ago

Having to replace my Goodyears which are 4 years old. Two are split on inside sidewall. I rotate tires every year and keep tire covers, never drive over 65 and have a TMPS. So much for American made tires being better. A new set is $2400. Not doing that. Can put Sailuns on for half the cost and buy two sets versus one.

Robbi Bailor (@guest_194205)
1 year ago

I’ve used Goodyear G670s, Michelins and Yokohamas which have done the best and are 8 years old with no weather checking. Replaced front tires recently for safety. Maintain correct air pressure and alignment. Best by far.

Steve (@guest_194052)
1 year ago

What are folk’s views on balancing travel trailer tires? I have a 20 foot 4,200 lb. trailer. Pulls like a dream.

RV Staff
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve

Hi, Steve. Here’s a post from Russ and Tiña De Maris on the topic of balancing travel trailer tires: Should you balance your travel trailer tires? There are several comments from readers that will give you more information, as well. Take care. 😀 –Diane

David McEntire (@guest_193596)
1 year ago

My 2021 FR Wildwood came with castle rocks. Changed them out with Goodyear endurance after coming home from the dealer (400 miles). After they were removed I felt something rough and found a piece of the wire belt protruding out the side. Pretty sad for a new trailer with new tires.

Cathi (@guest_193588)
1 year ago

On our 2016 class A diesel pusher, 4 of the six tires are from July 2015. These tires have over 62,000 miles on them. One pair of tires had to be replaced two years ago because one of them got sliced. We plan to replace all 6 tires in September when we get to Oregon as part of our travel plans for the season. We have Mechelins R22 255/70 X2E. I have received quotes for Bridgestone or Firestone from one location and Hancook or Falcon at the other location. No one expected to have Michelins available. We use TPMS with proper inflation, keep our speed down and covers on the tires if staying in one place more than three days.

Vance (@guest_193587)
1 year ago

Trailer came with Westlake, made two trips from Nova Scotia to Arizona, 4000 miles each way. Had a spring hanger weld let go which caused ware on the tires during the return trip the second year. Put 16,000 miles with no problems from the tires. Keep recommended pressure of 110psi, and rarely go over 62mph(100kmh). Replaced with Carlisle CSL16, rated at 4400 pounds and speed rating of 81mph. Still only travel at 62mph, for me it’s not how fast I can go, but how comfortable I am with stopping with 17,000 pounds behind me. The Carlisle tires have around 15,000 miles with little signs of ware.

Rod C (@guest_193583)
1 year ago

My class C had Michelins when I bought it. They rode and handled good so I bought another set when it was time. Running the correct pressure and keeping the speed down are key to tire safety and life.

Kevin Bohn (@guest_193526)
1 year ago

Goodyear And that’s all there is.

Bruce (@guest_193509)
1 year ago

Just had a blowout on Interstate with Goodyear tire on 40′ motorhome. June 2022. It was the front steer tire, so we are totaled, but thankful we’re alive!

RV Staff
1 year ago
Reply to  Bruce

OMG, Bruce! How scary! So glad you survived but sorry your RV was totaled. Good luck finding a replacement. We hope you have many safe and happy years of RVing to come. Take care. 😀 –Diane

Paul Fisher (@guest_193455)
1 year ago

When pulling my 5th wheel I never use google maps or Apple Maps. They can take a person and trailer into some very dangerous difficult spots. I use a Garmin 770 which we up date once a year. Hasn’t failed us yet.

DougK (@guest_193601)
1 year ago
Reply to  Paul Fisher

I like my Garmin for truckers as it tells me if I have an overpass that is not have the clearance to go under. Also it warned me of sharp curves ahead on the road.

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