Though there aren’t tyres on the market made specifically for caravans, you will need to ensure that when fitting tyres here, they can cope with the requirements and demands of a caravan.
Caravans do in fact use tyres that are either made for cars or small vans. However, you will need to establish early on the most appropriate sizes and types for your own individual caravan.
We cannot stress enough the importance of traveling with a spare wheel and tyre in your caravan. Though this is not a legal requirement as such, your caravan tyre and wheel are unlikely to be the same as the vehicle you’re towing with.
Therefore, having this back up not only adds peace of mind but also ensures you have the correct sizing here as well, should you encounter a puncture or blow out on your caravanning journey.
Common Problems with Caravan Tyres
Caravan tyres have to work harder than standard car tyres. This is because they’re expected to carry the weight of your entire caravan – and all on just the two wheels! Therefore, they will inevitably need to be tougher in construction, with the ability to take on a heavier load.
Yet, because caravan tyres won’t do the mileage that car tyres do, you should generally find they need replacing because of age, rather than through use.
That is, of course, if the right sizes are used, they’re fitted correctly, and you don’t experience any punctures or blowouts along the way. Yet, many caravanners will come across common problems here, and it is usually because of:
- Incorrect loading – Mostly overloading and often highlighted by the caravan tyres wearing on inside
- Wrong inflation pressure – Both over-inflated and indeed under-inflated tyres can cause serious problems. However, if your caravan tyres are severely under-inflated, you are more vulnerable to the possibility of sudden rapid deflation. This leads to a loss of control of your vehicle.
- Poor wheel alignment – Common in those older of caravans. Shock loading and a lot of mileage are major causes here. Regular balancing on both the caravan and the towing vehicle wheels are essential.
Maintaining Good Caravan Tyres
There are several ways that you can ensure your caravan tyres go the distance as well as ensuring your safety each time you tow. These include establishing a routine and:
- Regularly checking your tyres inflation pressure levels
- Regularly examining the treads of your tyres and removing any stones you find, along with any fuel, oil or paint
- Ensuring the treads of your tyres are within the legal limit. A caravan tyres legal requirement is 1.6mm which is measured across the central three-quarters of the tread breadth around the tyres entire circumference
- Looking out for any signs indicating the more serious of problems where significant tread wear is occurring
- Running your hands over your tyres while wearing gloves to detect any raised or uneven areas
- Replacing any tyre that appears to have been ruptured, blistered, or penetrated by an object
Knowing When to Replace Your Caravan Tyres
If your caravan tyres remain in good working order and you don’t experience any of the above problems, you will still have to look at replacing them at some point, especially when it comes to the caravan tyres age limit.
Experts state that you should ideally replace all caravan tyres when they reach the five-year-old mark. They also stress how they should never be used after the seven-year mark either!
Therefore if you’re looking at purchasing a second-hand caravan, you may also want to factor in the cost of buying new tyres at the same time. Though some may seem well kept and the mileage of the caravan is modest, you still must factor in the age of the tyres here.
In addition to age, there are a couple of other factors that lead to deterioration of caravan tyres. These include:
- Exposure to sunlight and the atmosphere. This can occur even when the caravan isn’t being used. All tyres will age and therefore deteriorate.
- Tyre Fatigue. Caravans have a tendency to suffer here with all those small but repetitive impacts they encounter through everyday use.
- Storage strain. If your caravan is stored for long periods throughout the year, and subsequently not used, it can mean placing undue pressure on specific areas of the tyres.
Useful Advice When Storing Your Caravan
It’s suggested by some in the caravanning industry that you should look at removing your wheels and tyres if you don’t intend to use your caravan for a lengthy period.
This may apply more to those with caravan tyres on the drive, where you can remove them all and store them in a cool and dry place protecting them from any direct sunlight or sources of heat.
However, it isn’t usually possible to do this when placing your caravan into storage. This is because some storage facilities will insist on you leaving the wheels of the van on throughout, for both insurance purposes and in case the caravan needs moving quickly.
However, when you put your caravan into such a unit, you can make it a practice to rotate the wheels regularly, therefore ensuring the weight of the van doesn’t rest on one area of the tyres throughout.
Ensuring You Select the Best Caravan Tyre Sizes
Finally, if you know the correct tyres sizes needed for your van and can fit them yourself, caravan tyres fitted at home should be a simple job.
In fact, if you can learn how to do this particular job, you’ll be much better equipped should you encounter caravan flat tyres. This is especially important if you find yourself having to do such a job at the side of a busy road.
You can usually determine the specifications of your required tyres from the caravan handbook if you have one. Sometimes you will find such information on the wheel arch also.
However, if you don’t yet feel confident when choosing the correct tyres and sizes, or even fitting them on your caravan, we always recommend speaking to the experts and getting their advice. This can be done in minutes by doing a quick online search for caravan tyres near me. Better still, you may even find a mobile caravan tyre fitter in your local area.