With spring in the air, many of you will be bringing the RV out of its winter mothballs and prepping to hit the road. Most of us give our tires a quick once over. Checking the tread wear, inflating them to proper PSI and inspecting them for defects.
But one often overlooked check is the tires age. An RVs tire may look perfectly fine with lots of tread left but if older has the potential to be rotted out from the inside.
In that condition, a blowout tends to be more catastrophic usually causing damage to the RV wheel well area as the main tread area peels away from the tire body and flaps around violently until the rig can be safely pulled over. If plumbing or electrical wiring is nearby the damage can get very expensive and leave you waiting for repairs when you should be enjoying the trip.
So, it’s well worth a look, especially if it’s a “new to you” used RV. The conventional wisdom indicates trailer tires should be changed at 5 years of age and motorhome tires somewhere between 7 -10 years. Each manufacturer generally has the recommended lifespan available online or ask your local tire dealership for advice.
Example from Michelin Tires
If the tires haven’t been replaced 10 years after their date of manufacture, as a precaution, Michelin recommends replacing them with new tires. Even if they appear to be in usable condition and have not worn down to the tread wear indicator.
This applies to spare tires as well.
Determining the Tires Manufacture Date
A quick google search will reveal several sites detailing how to find a tires age. Finding the Tires Data Code
Basically, you read the last 4 numbers – The first two digits are the week of manufacture, and the last two digits are the year. As an example here is my trailer tire DOT code showing they were made in the 18th week of 2014
This quick look at the numbers on the tire sidewall and a bit of research may save a dangerous tire failure down the road.