Caravan tyres, supplied and fitted at your location by Hometyre
What could be worse than planning every detail of a holiday or long weekend - only to spend several hours on the roadside due to a caravan tyre failure?
And yet every year throughout the season, you don't have to travel too far to come across a distressed holidaymaker on the hard shoulder with a tyre problem!
And there's a very good reason for this as well! It's fair to say that it is almost unheard of to replace caravan tyres that have worn to their legal tread limit. Most caravan tyres never cover the sort of mileage required to wear a tyre out.
Regardless of use or mileage, caravan tyres have a lifespan. Even a tyre never driven on will deteriorate over time. Natural aging of the composite materials that form a tyre occurs from day one. It is widely recommended that caravan tyres should be replaced at 5 years old.
New tyres have a date mark stamped on them to show the week and month of manufacture. However, a tyre retailer can carry caravan tyres on the shelf for a number of years prior to sale. Therefore, a caravan tyre fitted, for example in 2012 may have been produced in 2010 - giving the impression that the tyre may have been on the vehicle for some time.
At Hometyre, we try to ensure that any caravan tyre we fit is within six months of manufacture. It is unlikely ever to be much newer than this as tyres are often shipped across the globe on large container vessels which, along with importation etc can take several months.
With this in mind, it is not always possible to determine how long the tyre has physically been fitted to the wheel on the caravan. Following the advise of the Caravan Club (below) makes good sense. General rule of thumb should be that if you are in any doubt as to the age of the tyre, don't take the risk and have it replaced.
Here's what The Caravan Club have to say:
"It should go without saying that tyres which are damaged or worn to the legal minimum tread depth must be replaced immediately. However, tyres which are visually OK, and which have seen little or even no use are also recommended to be replaced when they reach a few years of age. As a general rule (and following guidance issued by the tyre makers' trade body, the British Tyre Manufacturers' Association, it's advised that caravan tyres should ideally be replaced when 5 years old, and should never be used when more than 7 years old.
"This advice is borne out by the Club's own research into caravan tyre failures, which confirms that the likelihood of a tyre problem increases after such age. Our research further suggests that tyres which need a high inflation pressure (say 50psi or more) require greater care still. Such tyres should be closely examined for signs of deterioration from 3 years old, and it would be strongly advised not to use them beyond 5 years old. It is not the case that all tyres over these ages will rapidly fail.
"However, the statistical likelihood of a problem occurring increases noticeably with age. Given the disruption to your holiday that a tyre failure could cause (let alone the risk involved), it's strongly recommended that you follow this guidance. Since tyres deteriorate with age even when not in use (unless kept under very strictly controlled conditions of temperature, humidity, light level etc), it is usually necessary to consider a tyre's age from the date it was made, and not from when it was bought or fitted to the caravan."
Checking your Caravan tyres
You can check how old your caravan tyre or tyres are yourself. The information you need is found on the sidewall, and denoted by either 3 numbers if manufactured before 2000, or four numbers after 2000. For example:
Where 34 denotes the week of manufacture and 9 represents the year - 1999.
This tyre was manufactured in the 34th week of 1999.
Where 21 denotes the week of manufacture and 07 represents the year - 2007,
meaning this tyre was made in the 21st week of 2007.
If your tyres are older than 5 years old, you should consider replacing them!
PLEASE NOTE: Caravan tyres that are represented in this manner
185R14 (where only two numbers are shown)
are known as having a 'standard profile' (sidewall height) of 80. Please input this detail when using the website for a tyre quote.
As caravan tyres are unlikely to be replaced due to wear, age is one factor, the others to be aware of are:
Perishing Caravan Tyres
Left outside permanently, the outer exposed section of a tyre can suffer degradation from the effects of ultra violet light (sunlight!). This will have the effect of drying out the rubber and causing it to perish and split. It is advised that you examine the outer sidewall and first sections of tread closely for signs of cracking and splitting.
Flat Spotting of Caravan tyres
When a caravan is left parked for considerable periods of time without movement, the weight of the vehicle held on one section of the tyre will have the effect of distorting the inner framework of the tyre and creating a 'flat spot'. On a passenger car this would not be a major issue as under normal driving conditions, the tyre would be loaded and heated to fairly quickly return it to the original shape. On a caravan tyre however, as they are simply trailing tyres, the heat generation is very small and a signifcant strain can be placed upon the tyre.
Prior to use, tyre pressures should be adjusted correctly.
If you are in any doubt as to the suitability of your tyres it is advised to replace them before use. Call our support team now for further assistance or book your commercial grade replacement tyres online.
CARAVAN TYRES SHOULD BE REPLACED ONLY WITH LIGHT COMMERCIAL GRADE TYRES (FOR SINGLE AXLE) OR A MINIMUM OF REINFORCED (FOR TWIN AXLE). LIGHT COMMERCIAL TYRES ARE DENOTED BY A 'C' AFTER THE SIZE:- 175R13C
If you are unsure about the right specification of tyres for your website, please call us immediately for assistance.
For help and advise on replacing your caravan tyres, please call our Support Team today on 0800 783 9310 or 0333 444 5454.
- Tyre Info
- How to Check Your Tyres
- UK Tyre Laws
- Tyre Data and Symbol Guide
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