How to Find the Age of Your RV Camper Tires
Exploring your world by RV is an exciting and popular way to visit oft-dreamed-of locations, catch up with friends and family, and escape the day-to-day rat race.
But before you hit the road, take every precaution to make sure your journey will be safe and uninterrupted by repair or maintenance issues.
One of the first places to start is by becoming aware of your RV tire age.
If updates are needed, it’s an easy fix while your motorhome is still stationary. But, it can become a nightmare if the tires fail while traveling. So learn what to look for and make any necessary changes before the rubber meets the road.
Don’t Just Go By Looks – You Must Check The Age of Your Tires
Good tread is sometimes thought to tell the age of a tire. But, tread depth really only showcases how much or how little the tire has been used.
Tread depth is not an accurate marker for the safety of an RV tire. Many RV tires have very deep tread that will never wear down before the tire is spent.
Hidden dangers can lurk in RV tires. These invisible dangers include dry rot and UV damage. These two things can cause a serious catastrophe, but you’d never detect them just by looking at the tires.
This is why determining your RV tire age is so important. Replacing your tires once they pass a certain age is crucial for safety for avoiding blowouts related to hidden dangers.
How to Determine How Old Your RV Tires Are
To accurately determine RV tire age, a simple scan of the numbers on the side of each tire will do the trick.
Look for numbers prefixed by the letters “DOT”. These denote the Department of Transportation. This government office requires all tire manufacturers to stamp the date of manufacture on their products.
There should be three sets of numbers after “DOT”. The last four digits in that sequence reveal the manufactured date. The first two numbers in that last group of four stand for the week of the year. The last two numbers stand for the year (09 = the year 2009).
Check all of your tires for these dates, in case they were not purchased at the same time or from the same vendor.
In the example below, the week is 48 for the 48th week of the year(in November). The year is 17 for 2017.
If you do not see your DOT code on the outside of your tire, you will need to access the other side.
RV Tire Replacement Age
Once you know the week and year that your tires were produced, you can make an educated decision as to their safety factor.
Most manufacturers suggest that RV tires should be changed if they are 5 years or older, regardless of their tread depth.
And when you purchase new tires, replace all at once… Including any spares!
RV Tire Age and Tire Safety
Tires with little tread left are obvious candidates for replacement.
But what about those tires that may have hit the age limit, but whose treads look brand new? Your RV’s “shoes” may appear in great shape. If they are 5 years old, that usually means they have been parked in one place for a long time.
UV damage and dry rot can become a huge problem.
If, however, the RV has been stored inside or covered from the sun, you may be able to squeeze a year out of them before replacement is needed. You will have to make the call on that (and carry a spare or two around with you, just in case!).
The best bet is strictly following the tire manufacturer guidelines for replacement.
Hit The Road Safely Knowing Your RV Camper Tires Are Safe
Along with knowing the optimum tire pressures and tire depths, keeping up to date on the age of your RV tires is the best way to guarantee a seamless and safe camping excursion.
When you consider that tires are the very foundation of your recreational vehicle, it makes perfect sense to put their care and maintenance at the top of your safety list before any journey.
It doesn’t end with RV tires. Here’s what an RV mechanic says will break first in your RV.
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