One of the many overlooked parts of any recreational vehicle is the tires. Since tires are made out of rubber, common sense will tell us that rubber will degrade over time. But when the chemicals and oils in the rubber start to evaporate, the rubber will lose its flexibility and becomes brittle. When the chemical bond breaks down, a dry tire will be the result. That is when the rubber in the tire fades from black to a dull gray and small hairline cracks on the surface of the sidewalls of tire and tread begin to show. In many cases, it is not very safe to drive on tires with dry rot. The heat of long distance driving can cause the rubber to expand and the tires will break apart while driving. That is one way to ruin a well-planned vacation!

For this reason, the tire industry has set the standard for tire replacement at a maximum of ten years. Some tire companies will even suggest a change at the six year period because rubber degradation can result in a serious accident and compromise your personal safety.

The many common causes for dry rot are lack of low inflation in tires, lack of use and storage near excessive heat. Dry rot will occur most often on the tires of motor homes and Jeeps due to infrequent use of the vehicle. One independent survey estimates that classic and vintage cars owners very rarely drive their prized possessions more than once a month. Little wonder that this phenomenon would also exist on the tires of all types of RVs whether it is a camper travel trailer or boat trailer. In addition to your daily transportation motor vehicle, there are thousands of tire bearing RVs that also have dry rot issues that seem to happen more frequently than on the more often used daily vehicles. Most trailer owners become alarmed when the tires on their camper or boat trailer show signs of dry rot after only two years of ownership.

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Also inactivity is not the only cause of tire dry rot. Low tire pressure and exposure to excessive ultra violet rays also adds to the problem. Tires that aren't inflated properly could wear out prematurely and become a safety issue. It is extremely important that vehicle owners need to rely on the tire manufacturer to specify the appropriate inflation pressure for their tires. Although tire pressure is listed on tires, it's important to remember that the pressure stamped on the tire is a high rating. Once a month vehicle owners need to have the tire pressure checked with an inexpensive tire gauge and the vehicle should be driven often.

Other than the tire pressure, there is a great deal of information that could be found on the exterior of a tire. The Tire Identification Number is a Department of Transportation code that has the week and year the tire was produced.

Do you have a question about maintaining your tires? Click here to contact the RV Shop today!

Courtesy of Cuselleration