RV Tire Blowouts: 7 Tips to Prevent an Awful Accident
The majority of RV owners are terrified by the same thing – RV tire blowouts. This makes perfect sense! Your “home on wheels” relies on its tires to get from Point A to Point B.
Additionally, with the rise of social media, videos & photos constantly remind us of the terror of blowouts.
Today we’re here to share a few tips about tire safety and how to better prevent RV tire blowouts from happening.
Let dive in!
1. Know Your Tire’s Load Range
It’s important to know (and understand) your RV tire’s load range. This is how much weight a tire can safely carry when fully inflated.
For example, our Airstream has two axles and 4 tires. Fully loaded, the trailer weighs around 4,300 lbs. This means each tire must be able to handle over 1,000 lbs load range.
When buying our tires, we wanted more than enough carrying capacity. Therefore, we bought tires with a 2,150 lbs rating.
Look up your specific tire’s load range and determine if you’re safely within it’s capabilities when your trailer or RV is fully loaded.
If your tires are under-powered, this is an easy way to have a blowout.
2. Know Your Tire’s Maximum Speed (Speed Rating)
Trust me on this one – just because you can hit 75mph while towing, this doesn’t mean your tires can handle it.
Believe it or not, your RV tires have a speed rating. If your RV is a towable, it’s very likely this rating is at or under the interstate speed limit.
On our first RV, a 16 foot travel trailer, the tires had a speed rating of 55mph.
If you exceed your RV tires speed rating, this can cause them to overheat and eventually blowout.
3. Invest in a Tire Pressure Monitor System
Keeping a constant eye on your RV tires is the best way to prevent blowouts. A tire pressure monitor system allows you to monitor the tire pressure of all your tires while they’re in operation.
We use a TST cap system. It’s easy to set up and gives us additional peace-of-mind while in tow.
4. Protect The RV Tires While Parked
RV tire maintenance is never ending. Protecting your tires while parked will lengthen their life, preventing dry rot and sun wear. Tire covers are a great starting point.
Additionally, avoid parking is spots where water gathers.
5. Get Handsy With Your Tires
Travel days are the best days for studying your RV tires. Get in the habit of “putting your hands” on the RV tires during every travel day break.
- If you don’t have a tire pressure monitor system, manually check the psi.
- Feel the tires for excessive heat. Do all the tires have the same “touch temp”?
- Put your eyes on the tread. Are the tires wearing evenly?
- Look for signs of damage.
I know this may seem excessive. However, if you get in the habit, it will only take a few minutes…and potentially save you from a blowout.
6. China Bomb Tires
There’s a lot of talk about “China Bombs” on Facebook. This is referring to Chinese made tires, notorious on RV forums for causing blowouts.
Here’s our experience: we’ve only used Chinese tires (not proud of it) and have never had a blowout (knock on wood).
With that said, we believe American-made products have a history of being well made. Our next tire upgrade will include “Made in the USA” tires.
For us, it’s all about constant monitoring and peace-of-mind – if American made tires give you more peace-of-mine, that’s a good thing to invest in.
Let us know in the comments if you’ve had experiences with “China Bombs.”
7. Replace Your RV Tires (They Can “Time-Out” Before Reaching Max Milage)
The fact is, we don’t drive our RVs as much as our passenger vehicles. When to change car or truck tires is pretty obvious because they show signs of aging.
RVs aren’t the same.
In ten years, your RV tires may not drive enough miles to show signs of wear. It’s essential to check the manufacture date and change tires accordingly.
Rubber breaks down overtime, even without use. If the manufacture date on your tire is beyond it’s limit – get a new set of shoes!
The Best FREE Camping in the USA
We love camping across this amazing country. And, we really love it when its free. Here’s our list of the 20 Best Free Campsites in the USA.
If you haven’t tried free camping before, also known as boondocking, take a look at our beginners guide to boondocking filled with everything you need to know to get started.
Become a FREE CAMPING INSIDER and join the 100,000 campers that love to score the best site! Simply enter your email below.
I had a blowout on a China brand tire last year But to be fair I do a lot of driving on roads in AZ with sharp rocks and that could have caused some sidewall damage. Being on the road 6 months each winter I chose to get tires at walmart so I could get the free tire balance and rotation, road hazard, etc since they are nearly everywhere. The best tires they had in stock for my Roadtrek were Goodyear’s. But guess what? They say made in China too! In today’s world you can’t go by American brand names anymore.
I had a China bomb tire explode on a utility trailer I was towing. I always check tire pressure, so that wasn’t the problem. Lesson learned. I have two travel trailers. The first thing I did with both of them was get made in the USA Goodyear Endurance tires. No problems ever with either trailer. And they’re speed rated for up to 87 mph. One thing not mentioned is getting the right tire. ST tires are specifically made for trailers. Using LT or P tires means you’re using the wrong tire, as neither is designed for trailer use. Trailer tires have a much stiffer sidewall, and the Goodyear Endurance tires are much stiffer than the China bombs. Stiffer sidewalls help keep swaying under control. I don’t use a sway bar on either trailer and my trailers track straight and true, even in high winds or when being passed by a semi.
I would add check your valve stems. I bought a used class A and the previous owner had new tires installed at one of the national chains. When the tire store installed the tires, they put in rubber valve stems rated at 60 PSI. The recommended inflation for the tires is 95 PSI. I ended up replacing the rubber valve stems with metal ones.
Not many people believe this but nitrogen in your tires will lengthen the life because you don”t have the heat on them. Been using it for a long time with great results. Problem is that Costco is about the only one that does it
Regular air is 80% Nitrogen. Ido not believe using 100% Nitrogen really helps. I think this is just a marketing ploy