RV Education 101: Check the tires when buying a used RV

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By Mark Polk
RV EDUCATION 101®

When you are buying a used RV, do not forget to check the tires. It’s not uncommon for RV tires that look okay to be very old. Chances are, the tires on the RV are the tires that came on it when it was new.

Tires that are six years old or older should be inspected by a tire professional prior to driving or towing the RV. If there is visual evidence of weather cracks, caused by exposure to the elements, it’s likely the tires need to be replaced. This can be expensive, especially if it is a motorhome.

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Mark Polk’s tech tips are posted every Saturday in the RV Travel Newsletter and every Wednesday on the RV Daily Tips Newsletter.

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Dennis G
3 months ago

Tire date code, ending digits:
A) 1999 and older tires – 3 digit code first two is the week of manufacture, last digit is year of manufacture for that decade.
Example 127 = 12 week of 1997, 1987 or 1977
B) and newer tires – 4 digit code first two is the week of manufacture, last two are the digit year made for that year.
Example A: 1201 = 12 week of 2001
Example B: 1217 = 12 week of 2017

Ran
3 months ago

You probably should’ve added the correct way to read the manufacture date on the tires. Most times, cracks may not be present, but the age is the problem, even if not visible.

Dawn Polk
3 months ago
Reply to  Ran

from Mark Polk: All tires manufactured in the United States have a DOT number. The DOT number may be on the inside or outside sidewall. At the end of the DOT number the last three or four digits in identify how old the tire is. Older tires used three digits. The first two identify the week of the year the tire was built and the third identifies the year. Newer tires use four digits. For example 3208 is the 32nd week of the year and 08 is the year 2008. If you question the age of your tires, especially on a used RV, and you can’t find the DOT number have them inspected by a qualified tire center.