Flat Tires and Blown Tires
An RV Life and Travel reader asked....
(Can Heat Be Causing Our Tire Problems?)
Out of the last three camping trips, we have had two flat tires each on different tires. Our camper is only two years old. We have a 35 ft. 5th wheeler. The last tire was a complete blow-out with only the rim left and damage to the camper. We are wondering if the tire sensors help. We were completely unaware that the tire was gone, until a car next to us informed us. Also, another question, could the heat be causing the sudden problem with the tires? We are getting a little concerned about towing now. We love to camp and it is the only time we enjoy getting away.
Bob, the RVing editor's husband replies:
Yes, heat has a very detrimental effect on tires. Heat is the enemy. Under inflation causes tires to heat. Higher speeds cause tires to heat. Overloading causes tires to heat. Hot pavement on a summer day causes tires to heat. Do what you can to keep your tires cool.
Slow down a little.
Watch your tire pressure. I have a good, commercial grade tire gauge, and use it every morning before starting out. I haven’t had any experience with remote sensors, but if they work as well as they claim, they should be a good way to monitor your tire pressure.
Another thing you should look at, are your tires rated for the load you are carrying? RV’s are sometimes equipped with tires that are barely suitable to handle the weight of the unit by itself. When you put in your supplies, food, clothes, fill your water tank, and fill your propane tanks, it can put your weight over the load rating of your tires, and sometimes over the gross vehicle rating of the RV. To be sure, you need to weigh your RV. There is an outfit at many RV rallies and conventions that weigh RV’s and give individual weight per tire. If you can’t do this, many truck stops have scales that will give your weight by the axle.
In my experience, we were running one brand of trailer tires that were rated for well above the load we were carrying, but even with careful attention to proper inflation, and three-quarters tread left, these tires would blow out at about 10,000 miles. After replacing four tires, we had one of the blown out tires inspected by a factory rep. Even he couldn’t tell us what was wrong. We switched to Cooper tires of the same rating and had no problems for over 30,000 miles, and they're still in good shape.
Tire problems can be dangerous and take the fun out of RVing. I hope you get your tire problems taken care of and have safe travels.
P.S. An axle out of alignment will cause irregular wear and heating of tires also.
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