The tyres are the only part of your vehicle in contact with the terrain and they control the braking, steering as well your ability to corner.
While tyres are crucial for all vehicles, they become extremely important if you have a motorhome. The reasons are obvious – you are ‘living’ on your tyre.
So how about getting to know your motorhome tyres a little better.
Number of Tyres you Need
Depending on your motorhome, you can either need four or six tyres. Motorhome tyres are generally differentiated from car tyres by their excess weight carrying capacity and deep treads. They are quite expensive and larger motorhomes usually require specialized tyres.
‘Reading’ Your Motorhome Tyre
All tyres have markings on their sidewall, which give crucial information about the tyre’s characteristics. You should know how to read your motorhome tyres so that you able to make the right buying decisions.
Some important details that you are likely to find on your motorhome tyre include the following
- A numeric load index
- The maximum allowable pressure
- Load carrying ability at that pressure
- Maximum speed rating
- Date of manufacture
- Commercial (C/LT)or semi commercial(6 ply rating)
- Speed Rating: there is a letter code used to mark the maximum speed the tyre can sustain.
For example if you find the following written across your tyre 215/70R15C- it denotes that the tyre is 215 mm wide, it’s sidewall height is 75% of its width. R denotes radial construction of the tyre (the most common one) and 15 means that the tyre will fit wheel rims 15 inches in diameter.
The C denotes that it is a commercial grade tyre (and not a passenger tyre).
Tyres have a fixed age. Even if they are never used, natural ageing of a tyre will begin right after manufacture due to exposure to heat and UV radiations.
Besides, the life of your motorhome tyre is greatly dependent on your driving.
On an average, a tyre can last upto seven years or until the tread depth has worn down below the legal limits, whichever comes first. It is best to discard tyres that have reached their ‘age limit’ due to the risks associated with using them.
While buying motorhome tyres, always check the tyre manufacturing date, which is indicated on the tyre surface as four digit code.
Motorhomes are heavy! Dividing the weight of a typical motorhome (around 2600-3850 kg) by 4, means that each tyre supports weight of 650-950kg. Car tyres typically support a weight of 400-500 kg. Can you see the difference in mere numbers?
And since tyre pressure is directly related to load supported by tyres, the recommended inflation pressures for your motorhome tyres are higher.
Also depending on how you are loading up your motorhome, you would need to inflate your tyres accordingly. For maximum motorhome safety, the tyres need to be inflated correctly as per the details mentioned in the handbook which contains the inflation and load table
What other aspects of your motorhome tyres do you evaluate regularly? Do let us know.
By Azzam Sheikh
This article has been written by Azzam Sheikh, tyre consultant and motorhome tyre expert at Tyre-Shopper UK.