It is vital that your tyres are in good condition. Tyres can deteriorate just as much when a vehicle stands for long periods, as when it is being used. As tyres age, the surface rubber can crack and rubber compounds can deteriorate.
Most tyre manufacturers recommend that tyres after 5 or more years of use be thoroughly inspected at least once per year by a professional.
If tyres are worn to the legal minimum tread depth, they must be replaced regardless of age. Remember to keep a spare that is the same, and gets replaced at the same time as the other tyres.
Tyres must have a sufficient load-rating and speed-rating for towing, and must have the correct tyre pressure to suit the load being carried. Tyre pressure maintenance is important, as properly inflated tyres will give you the best economy, safety and performance from your towing vehicle and caravan. Under inflated tyres can lead to the tyre walls becoming overheated and blowing out. Over inflation can cause severe vibration and stress to your caravan.
One way to decide on the correct tyre pressure is to check the tyre placards on the vehicle and the caravan. For the towing vehicle, the placard specifies the recommended pressures for both normal and maximum load conditions when the vehicle is operated for sustained periods at high speed.
For safety and optimum tyre life, inflation pressures should be adjusted in accordance with the placard recommendations.
In addition to the towing vehicle’s tyre placard, a plate affixed to the trailer will provide information on the trailer’s important ratings and tyre pressures.
The tyre pressure must be adjusted according to the load, and the best way to determine the optimum tyre pressure is to know the fully laden weight of the van. A trip to a weighbridge will establish this. Tables providing the correlation between load and pressure are available from your local tyre dealer.
In addition, tyre pressures may need to be adjusted to suit differing road surfaces. If in doubt, contact a tyre retailer.
Correct tyre pressure will provide safe operation, maximum tyre life, the best ride, handling, and fuel economy.
WHEELS, NUTS & STUDS
All wheel nuts must be carefully tightened to the correct torque, in the correct pattern, and in accordance with the instructions provided by the vehicle and trailer manufacturer.
The procedure for periodically checking the torque must also be in accordance with the instructions provided by the vehicle manufacturer.
Warning: Manufacturers of recreational vehicles are responsible for ensuring wheels, studs and nuts are fully compatible. If after-market wheels (and nuts) are fitted, the vehicle must be thoroughly inspected and written assurance provided that the replacement wheels, nuts and studs are suitable for the vehicle and axle(s).