Caravan Safety tips: How tight do your caravan wheel nuts need to be?

Caravan wheel nuts. If they aren’t tightened correctly the wheels can fall off.

One customer recently had the misfortune of a wheel coming off his fairly new camper, shattering the brake drum and causing a lot of damage to one side of the van. The cause of the wheel falling off was due to only two of the six wheel nuts being tight. The two that were taking the load popped and the other four loose nuts failed. Holiday over and a major repair job. Correctly tightened wheel nuts on your caravan or camper are critical but something that can easily be overlooked.

Ideally caravan wheel nuts need to be firm but still able to be taken off manually if you need to change a tyre on the side of the road. If the wheel nuts are too tight, as can happen when they are tightened with a pneumatic rattle gun at the tyre shop, then it will be near impossible to loosen them by hand if you need to change a tyre. When our team carry out a service at the RV Service Centre, we tighten the wheel nuts with a torque wrench to a particular setting. This is a secure setting and firmer than hand tightening but will still allow the wheel nuts to be taken off manually to change a tyre. The exact torque depends on

  • stud diameter and thread
  • type of rim (e.g. steel or alloy)
  • manufacturer specs

Torques can vary from 100 to over 230Nm – so there is a very big variation, and needs to be set correctly

When fitting the rim/tyre back to the van, follow these tips:

  1. Start all bolts or nuts by hand to prevent cross threading
  2. Tighten bolts in sequence above
  3. Re-torque within 200kms
  4. No lubricant should be used on the threads of either the stud or the nut, but these should be clean and free form rust or corrosion.

Servicing your caravan, pop-top, camper-trailer or motorhome ensures that your rig is ready for the next 10,000 kms of trouble-free touring and reduces your risk of any nasty surprises, like a wheel falling off. Our comprehensive RV service program checks everything in your van from wheels to cupboards, to ensure safe, relaxing travel. If you are due for your 10,000 km or annual caravan service, give our team a call to book in. At the RV Service Centre we offer servicing at our Toowoomba workshop or our Mobile Service team can service your van on-site at your home, work or at the caravan park.

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Toowoomba QLD 4350

(Cnr Gardner Ct)

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