Caravan Tyres, Safety First or Cheap and Cheerful?

by chris sanders on 28th May 2015

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Our partner, Tyremen have been supplying tyres to the caravan trade for years. Being based in East Yorkshire, the retail site is close to the biggest and best caravan manufacturers in the UK. They also supply wheels and tyres to the major motorhome and campervan makers, so they have some great knowledge.

The roads are now beginning to fill with caravan’s on their way to coastal camp sites throughout the UK and across the channel and into Europe, so now’s the time to look at decent tyres, talk about changing them before they have worn the tread away and tyre maintenance for your van and safety.

Bad caravan wheel and tyre

So if your tyre (and wheel) look like this one, you may well have a couple of problems. Under-inflated, rusty wheel nuts that may well have seized and a wheel that may be weak due to rust penetration. Not good, not safe.

The problem with caravan tyres against the tow car tyres is that they do considerably less miles, spend a lot of time parked up and just follow with not a lot of stress put on them. This leads to tyres that have cracked side walls, a build up of pressure on the bottom section that is in contact with the tarmac or ground and this can seriously damage the side wall as they lose air pressure over time. When parked, particularly over the winter period, if you can remove the wheels, or at the very least, lift them to reduce the pressure, you will go a long way to protecting and keeping them safe from damage. Cover them over during parked up periods to stop damage from the sun on the rubber.

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We’ve given you a little advice on looking after your tyres, but what do you do when you need replace them, what’s best?

A lot of van owners take the view that they have to replace the tyre before it has worn out and it is only the age that makes it needed. Numerous insurance companies will insist that you change the van’s tyres after 5 years and in any case, you shouldn’t leave it more than 7 to drastically reduce the risk of a blow out.

Don’t fit cheap, budget tyres. Tyremen fit the Nankang CW-25 usually, a cost effective but very reliable tyre. Your van is heavy and you wouldn’t put cheap budget tyres on your tow car so it is advisable not to fit them to your van. The tyres are a small commercial van tyre and have good strength and can carry the weight, anything from 850kg for two on a single axle, with twin axles able to carry more. After all, a loaded tow car and van with two weeks gear carry’s a lot of weight. The life span of the tyre in terms of wear isn’t really an issue, as we touched on, they tend not to wear the tread out. Ensure that you have the safety band fitted inside the tyre on the rim and all the tools and fitting information with you. This is one of the best protections you have should you suffer a blow out or puncture. It’ll keep you straight until you can stop quickly and safely.

touring

When you have your new tyres fitted, make sure you check the spare, after all, it’s been sat under the van for, well, years, and has probably had more road salt, water and debris hitting it than the other two and when did you last check the air pressure? That’s what we thought, a while ago.

Now you’ve checked the tyres and pressures, fine, replaced the ‘not yet worn out but side walls cracking, more flipping cost’ tyres, what next?

Get them balanced, that’s right, balanced. A lot of places won’t balance, but its exactly the same as getting your car tyres done. Take them off your van if possible and take them to your local tyre fitter, they have the equipment to do this. By having the balancing done, the vans wheels will run smoother at higher speeds, reducing uneven wear and vibration, both back through the tow vehicle and inside the van on your possessions.

To re-cap the main points and advice:

  1. Check tyre pressures regularly and always before moving after the winter park up
  2. Check the spare tucked away underneath.
  3. Keep all the tools with your van to refit the belt after a puncture or blow out
  4. Remove the wheels and tyres over winter if you can and store in a dry place, don’t put them under the van, its also good for security
  5. Fit reasonable quality tyres and have them balanced, this will be one of the best things you do

We hope that you have found this review useful, for new and experienced caravanner’s alike. Enjoy the summer, enjoy your trips, but enjoy them safely, happy holidays!

Please feel free to leave a comment, a review on any tyres you have used or to simply ask a question.

Thanks

The Which Tyres? Team

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