Tire blowouts are more common on RVs than on other types of vehicles. This is in part because RVs typically carry more additional weight than your everyday car, but also because RVs are often used with less frequency than other vehicles.
Although RVs are more prone to blowouts than other types of vehicles, if you take the steps listed below before and during your trip, you can greatly reduce the possibility of having such a blowout while on the road.
Keep your tires properly inflated throughout your trip
Underinflation is the most commonly cited contributing factor to tire blowouts. Underinflation causes tire blowouts because it transfers pressure from the tread of the tire (the part of the tire that is in contact with the road) to the sidewall of the tire (the part of the tire that is perpendicular to the road).
The sidewall of a tire has less elasticity than the tread of the tire, meaning that it cannot take this additional pressure.
To ensure that your tires are properly inflated, you need to check your tire pressure:
- Every month, regardless of whether you have used your vehicle or not
- Every 1,000 miles travelled.
In both these timeframes, tires can lose around 2-3 Psi of pressure. This typically equates to 5-8% of a tire’s overall pressure and is enough to significantly increase the risk of tire blowout and reduce your fuel economy.
Tire pressure can be measured using a tire pressure gauge, and you can fill up your tires for free at many gas stations.
Tire pressure gauges can be bought for around $10 and are small enough to keep in your glove compartment. We would recommend taking one with you if you are planning on going on a trip further than 1,000 miles.
Keep your RV stored in a way that reduces tire deterioration
Tires will naturally deteriorate over time. This deterioration process, also known as “dry rotting”, is accelerated by exposure to direct sunlight, heat, and excessive moisture or dryness.
Storing your RV in a way that prevents tires from being exposed to these elements will both reduce your chances of suffering a tire blowout during your trip, and will increase the lifespan of your tires more generally.
Indoor or covered vehicle storage are the best options for keeping your RV in a way that protects its tires. These types of storage offer protection from harmful sunlight. Keeping your tires protected with tire covers while it is in storage can also help accomplish this.
Research what terrain you are driving on and choose the right tires for the job
Different types of terrain require different tires, and riding on the wrong type of tires for the terrain that you are driving on can see you suffer a blowout.
As a general rule of thumb, here are the best tire options for different terrains:
- If you are planning on driving for long distances predominantly on high quality paved highways, then we would recommend investing in low rolling resistance tires. These generate less heat at high speeds than standard tires, and since excessive heat can cause tires to blow out (more on this later) they can allow you to drive longer distances without the risk of suffering a blow out.
- If you are travelling on lower quality roads, or are not sure about road quality, then we would recommend driving on all terrain tires. These are slightly more durable than standard tires in poor road conditions, but can still be driven for fairly long distances on highways without risk of overheating.
- If you plan to go offroad then we would recommend tires that have a 10-12 ply rating. This refers to the amount of layers in the tire’s tread, and therefore the amount of impact and trauma they can take before being damaged.
Beware of overheating
The friction caused by driving at high speeds can cause heat to build up within your tires. This can increase the level of pressure within your tire to the point where it puts pressure on your tire’s sidewall.
As we have already mentioned, the sidewalls of a tire are not designed to take much pressure, and therefore this overheating can lead to blowouts.
Again, low rolling resistance tires can offer a solution to this problem as they are designed to reduce the amount of friction and heat generated by travelling at high speeds. However, if you do not want to invest in these types of tires (they are around 30-50% more expensive than regular tires), then you should take a break for around half an hour for every two hours of highway travel.
This is particularly important if the weather is hot, as this will only contribute to your chances of overheating your tires.
Parking on pavement during hot days can also contribute to your tires overheating. If the weather is particularly hot then try to park on grass during the daytime if you can.
Make sure that you do not exceed your RV's weight limit
All vehicles have maximum weight limits that they can take before their tires are at a significant risk of blowouts. Since RVs tend to carry more cargo than regular vehicles, exceeding its weight limit is common.
You can find out a vehicle’s weight limit in your owner’s manual. The figure that you want to look out for is Gross Vehicle Weight Rating. This refers to the safe maximum weight of a vehicle, including everything that is in it.
If you are unsure whether your RV exceeds its Gross Vehicle Weight Rating or not, then there are weighing stations designed for truckers which you can use for around $20-$30.
These tend to be dotted along highways, and a quick search on Google Maps should be able to show you your nearest one. It's worth weighing your RV, with everyone and everything that you want to take with you on your journey, inside it, the day before you set off to ensure that you are under the maximum weight limit.
If you are travelling with a trailer, then you must be wary of a second metric, namely your vehicle’s Gross Trailer Weight Rating. This is the maximum weight that your vehicle can be, including its tow and trailer, without increasing your risk of blowout to your tires on either your vehicle or trailer.
Come home to Carefree Covered RV Storage
If you are looking to store your RV in a way that ensures its longevity and security and you don’t have a garage, we have indoor storage facilities for RVs in Apache Junction and Chandler Arizona.
Check out our facility video and tour, then stop by and we’ll get your rig set up. When you store your recreational vehicles with us, you’ll enjoy secure, quality covered RV storage with our 42-camera video surveillance, along with 365-day automated access with our phone gate app, charging outlets, free wifi, and free self RV wash and sewer dump. We’ve even got complimentary bags of ice! Also need a storage unit for additional small recreational toys, equipment, and supplies? We’ve got them!
At Carefree Covered RV Storage, you’re guaranteed peace of mind, protection, and personalized, old-fashioned service. We make it easy for you to rent and make payments online, maintain your vehicle, and get on the road — so that you can keep living the carefree life!