Sunday, June 13, 2021
Sunday, June 13, 2021

RV Tire Safety: What is the “best” tire to buy for a travel trailer?

By Roger Marble
This question “What is the ‘best’ tire?” is usually framed as, “What tires should I buy for my RV trailer?”

I usually stay away from brand recommendations when someone asks about buying trailer tires. As a certified Forensic Tire Engineer, I will say that whatever you get, you should ABSOLUTELY be sure the new tires have a load capacity that is at least equal to the original equipment (OE) tire capacity. Better yet: Get tires that can support 120% of the load capacity of the OE tires.

If the RV was made before December 2017, each tire may have only been rated to support 50% of the Gross Axle Weight Rating (GAWR) (see your certification label). If manufactured after December 2017, each tire might have been rated to support 55% of the GAWR.

More things to consider when buying trailer tires

I strongly recommend that when you buy trailer tires, you be sure your tires are of sufficient size and Load Range to be able to support 120% of the measured load (scale weight, not printed limits or someone’s estimate) of the heaviest loaded tire on the axle. All tires on an axle should be inflated to the same “cold” inflation.

Regarding a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS): I recommend the Low Pressure warning be no lower than 95% of the goal Cold pressure. Your High pressure can be set to 125% of your Cold inflation. Your high temperature is probably set by the TMPS manufacturer to 157°F (70°C), which is a reasonable level for aftermarket external TPMS.

Finally, I will go so far as saying you will probably be better off if you ensure that whatever tire you select shows that it has nylon aka polyamide listed as one of the materials under the tread in addition to the steel ply. This will improve heat resistance and high speed durability.

Have a tire question? Sign up for Roger Marble’s new Facebook Group: RV tire news, information and discussion, hosted by RVtravel.com and moderated by Roger. He’ll be happy to help you.

Read more from Roger Marble on his blog at RVtiresafety.net or on RVtravel.com.

 ##RVT999

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Dr4Film
1 month ago

The only trailer tire I finally used on my 30 foot 12,000 lb cargo trailer was the Goodyear Unisteel G614 RST Radial Tire – 235/85R16 126R. After having so many sidewall failures with normal ST tires I finally bit the bullet and purchased these. No more problems!

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