Do You Need to Rotate RV Tires Regularly?
For anyone that travels in an RV full time or even a significant portion of time, tire rotation really should be part of your maintenance routine.
But what does that look like? How often should you rotate RV tires? How do you rotate RV tires?
Let’s take a look at the facts to find out!
Do RV Tires Need to Be Rotated?
Yes, you should rotate your RV’s tires. Just like any vehicle, RV tires suffer wear and tear from normal use. That includes uneven wear because of normal driving and issues such as mechanical problems that accelerate tread wear.
Most experts recommend you rotate your tires every 6,000 to 8,000 miles. If your owner’s manual gives you more specific information about tire rotation, follow that.
If you don’t use your RV often, you may not need to rotate the tires before it’s time to replace them. However, if you don’t rotate your tires, they could dry out and crack.
Driving on them helps to keep them supple. So if you don’t drive your RV regularly, especially if your tires sit in UV rays, they can become unsafe even before it’s time to rotate them.
Why Are Tire Rotations Important?
Tire rotations are important for a few reasons. First of all, safety. If tires wear unevenly, it can affect drivability and increase the chances of blowouts or other dangers. Having your tires wear more evenly is also good for the overall condition of your rig. If the tires are wearing evenly, there will be less vibration while driving.
Rotating your RV tires can also save you money. The main point of tire rotation is to get even wear across all of your tires, which makes them last longer. The bigger the RV, the bigger the savings when it comes to avoiding tire replacement. In addition to maximizing tire life, rotating tires lets you give them a spot check.
Pro Tip: By rotating your tires, you allow them to wear evenly making a tire blowout less likely. We came up with more tips to prevent tire blowouts here: 7 Tips to Prevent an Awful Accident.
Which RV Tires Should You Worry About Rotating?
You should pay attention to all your tires when it comes to rotation. Under normal conditions, the front tires will often wear out first. That’s because they do the brunt of the work when turning. Rotate your front tires more often, especially if the rear tires are “duallys,” meaning they come in sets of two on each side. However, you should also check your duallys.
Pro Tip: The U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association has laid out specific instructions on properly rotating tires on a vehicle with duallys.
Be on the Lookout for These Tire Troubles
There are several telltale signs that you need to rotate or replace your RV tires. The best way to know is by routinely checking your tires. While you do, look out for these warning signs.
Objects such as rocks and other debris can get lodged in the tire tread. This can throw off the balance of your tires or cause added vibration while driving. This leads to additional wear and damage on your tires.
Sidewall Cracks and Bulges
Manufacturing imperfections or your tires sitting exposed to the elements can cause cracks or bulges. If you notice cracks or bulges, you’ll probably need to replace the affected tires.
At a minimum, rotate the tires so that the damaged tires no longer take the brunt of the load. Get the damage inspected by a professional so you know for sure if you can still use the tires.
Tread issues typically take the form of uneven wear. It happens as a matter of normal usage, particularly on the front tires, which handle initiating turns. Uneven wear can also be a symptom of other issues.
Underinflation or overinflation, out-of-balance tires, or poor alignment can cause uneven tread wear. Deeper mechanical issues, such as worn-out or broken suspension parts, can also cause uneven tread wear.
Weathering is more of an issue on an RV that sits idle. Tires that sit for long periods may dry out and develop cracks. This increases the risk of tire blowouts and can cause the tread to separate from the tire itself. If you’re going to park for a few weeks or months, put weather covers over your tires to protect them from the sun.
Keep in Mind: RV tires are different than car tires, so make sure you have the right type for your vehicle. Want to know if special tires are necessary for you? Read more about: Do All Types of RVs Need Special Tires?
Where Can You Get Your RV Tires Rotated?
If you’re a handy do-it-yourselfer, you can rotate your RV tires yourself. But RVs are much heavier than passenger vehicles and require jacks and stands that can handle that weight. If you don’t know if you have the appropriate equipment, don’t risk it.
Not a do-it-yourselfer or don’t have the appropriate equipment? That’s not a problem. Depending on the size of your rig, you can pull up to most tire shops, and they’ll rotate your tires. Call a tire or repair shop that specializes in RVs or large trucks. These will have the appropriate equipment to handle the increased weight and size of an RV.
You could also try mobile RV repair services. Make sure they understand the size and weight of your rig before coming out. Ensure they have the right equipment to handle heavy vehicles.
Another option is an RV dealership. Unless your rig is under a warranty that includes RV tire rotation, a dealership will probably be the most expensive option, though.
Do Trailer Tires Need to Be Rotated Too?
Like the tires on your vehicle, trailer tires wear down over time and require rotation. But also like your vehicles, keep an eye on your trailer tires for uneven wear.
Things like wear down the middle of the tire tread can mean that your tires are overinflated. More wear on the outside edges could indicate underinflation. Too much wear on one side of the tires versus the other might mean your trailer is overloaded to one side.
Should You Worry About Rotating Your RV Tires?
If you’re full-time in your RV or do a lot of traveling, make examining your tires for tread wear a regular routine. Stay on top of periodically rotating your tires.
However, if you don’t travel regularly, you should focus on protecting your tires during storage. Keep your RV out of the elements in a storage garage or use tire covers.
Tire maintenance comes with owning an RV. If you travel a lot or are a full-timer, you need to rotate your RV tires regularly. Make it part of your routine, and you’ll take the hassle out of tire maintenance. How do you take care of your RV’s tires?
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