Caravan tyre checks are quick and easy to perform and vital for your towing safety.
Follow our quick tyre care guide before you head off on your next adventure.
- Inspect your tyre condition. Have a look at the tyres for any visible punctures, cracks, objects stuck in the tyres like nails or glass and note the general condition of the side walls of the tyres. Visible defects put you at risk of a tyre blow-out so these should be repaired or replaced.
Next, check your tyre tread depth. You are required to have 3mm of tread depth to be roadworthy however if you are setting off on a trip you will want to ensure you have more than that to keep it roadworthy for the trip. A tyre pressure gauge with an in-built tread depth indicator and is a great addition to your tool kit.
- Uneven tyre wear, where you see visible wear on the inside or outside edge of the tyre, it is an indication of an alignment issue. Caravans of all types should have wheel alignments done at regular intervals – whether they are beam axles/leaf springs or independent suspension. We have specialised equipment that enable us to perform accurate alignments in all situations. Interestingly, almost all caravans are not laser aligned at the factory prior to sale. To get the most life and value out of your tyres, and better handling on the road, contact us about a professional laser alignment.
- Balancing – just like a car, correctly balanced tyres will result in better handling and lifespan for your tyres. Again, almost all vans do not have their tyres correctly balanced ex factory.
- Tyre Pressure – tyres have their recommended pressure written on the side wall of the tyre (in PSI or kPa). Often this value is vastly different to the one engraved on the caravan’s VIN plate. See the tests below to further refine this to an exact recommendation for your rig.
- Cold test – Before you leave home, check the tyre pressure. Using a good quality tyre pressure gauge, measure the cold tyre pressure. The cold tyre pressure is the pressure when the tyres haven’t been driven on for a couple of hours. The cold tyre pressure should match the manufacturer’s specifications which are detailed on your compliance plate. The compliance plate is commonly located inside the front storage compartment of your van. Inflate or deflate the pressure of your tyres as needed. Remember to include your spare tyres in this check.
- Hot test – When you are about an hour or 100 klms down the highway use your tyre pressure gauge to re-check your tyre pressure. For LT tyres (the most common type on caravans) you are looking for a 5 to 6psi increase in pressure from cold to hot tyres. If the psi increase varies from this then you will need to make small pressure adjustments (ie. 2psi) when the tyres are cool and haven’t been driven on for a couple of hours.
- An increase of only 2-3psi indicates that the tyres are over-inflated and you will need to deflate them.
- An excessive rise of more than 6psi means that you need to inflate your tyre as you have started with too little air pressure.
- A rise of 10 psi or more is an indication of a serious problem such as dragging brakes, fautly bearings or a faulty tyre which needs immediate attention.
- Nitrogen Inflation – consider filling your tyres with Nitrogen instead of just compressed air. Nitrogen almost eliminates the pressure differential between hot and cold tyre temperatures, resulting in more even wear, and extending the life of your tyres.
Tyre checks are performed as standard with any service at the RV Service Centre. The tyre gauge we use in our workshop and recommend to our customers is the 4×4 Equip Tyre Gauge. It is an industrial quality gauge with tread depth indicator and is available to purchase in-store.