By Steven Fletcher
To get optimum tire performance from your RV tires, the weight of the tire and wheel assembly must be balanced. Out-of-balance tires tend to cup and wear excessively at the heavy spot. Wheel balancing should be performed when:
• Tires are mounted on wheels;
• A tire and wheel are moved to another position; or
• A flat has been repaired or replaced.
Tire rotation patterns
Every motorhome and trailer is unique, so consult your owner’s manual for rotation recommendations for your vehicle. If the tires on your vehicle show uneven wear, ask your tire professional for advice.
Proper wheel alignment is essential to maintaining even tread wear on your RV tires. Normal wear of moving parts in a suspension system can result in misalignment, which can cause scuffing and rapid, uneven wear. Motorhomes should have regular alignment checks and adjustments.
Routine tire inspections
Thoroughly inspect your tires at least once a year. It is also a good idea to inspect them after you drive on rugged, rocky terrain, or when you take your RV in for service. Check both sidewalls, the tread area, valves, caps, and valve extensions. Look for nails, cuts, bulges, aging cracks, and objects lodged between dual wheels.
Cleaning RV tires
Clean RV tires yearly. Dirt, road tar, and debris can all build up on your RV tires and lead to deterioration of the rubber. Use a medium bristle brush and a cleaner for tires to clean the road grime from your tires and wheels.
Beware of tire “dressing” products. Many of these products contain petroleum or
petroleum derivatives that can speed up the deterioration of your tires, causing them to age too soon. The same goes for products with silicone in them as silicone is also detrimental to rubber. RV tires usually don’t get as much mileage on them compared to passenger car tires, so it’s more likely you’ll have to replace them due to age and cracking rather than tread wear.
If you want to use tire dressing or conditioners, look for water-based products. They are not as shiny but are less likely to damage the tire and you will still have a beautiful black tire. Use an application pad made for tires to get even coverage.
CLEANING TIRES AND WHEELS
Clean and dry one tire and wheel at a time.
1. Create your cleaning solution. In one gallon of hot water, add one teaspoon
of concentrated dish soap like liquid Dawn.
2. Save time scrubbing later. Hose off any large pieces of grit or dirt on the wheels and rims.
3. Cleaning. Use a rag or sponge to clean the outside edge of the rim. Scrub until clean. Next, clean the interior of the rim. Try using an old toothbrush to reach those tough-to-reach spots.
5. Rinse. To ensure that all soap is removed, rinse the wheel wells starting from the top to the bottom. Any excess residue may lead to etching on certain materials.
6. Dry. Immediately dry with a soft, clean towel.