Check Your caravan Tyres
Check Your CARAVAN TYRES
Tyre experts recommend that owners of any trailed vehicles should remove the complete wheel or wheels .Then take them to their favorite garage or auto centre. Then have them checked by a professional member of the team. It is important that the wheels are given a thorough inspection, this will ensure the safest possible outcome. So Check Your CARAVAN and MOTORHOME TYRES . The most common thing found on caravan tyres is sidewall cracking. This usually only comes to light when the tyre is removed. We can flex the sidewall with the tyre removed from the wheel, and this will show the extent of the cracking. This problem is due to the affect of ultra-violet light acting on the carbon black. This is in the make up of the tyre when the caravan is parked, and is more common on Old Michelin tyres.
This information also applies to motor-homes.
The wheels will be checked for corrosion. Then the tyres will be removed from the wheels and checked for internal cuts and damage. This is most important as unseen damage can become a nightmare scenario. Especially, when going down a motorway at sixty mile per hour and losing complete control due to tyre failure.
The tyre dealer will then Check Your vehicles tyres regularly, the outside of the for damage to the tread area and the sidewalls for cuts and cracks. Also important is to check the age of the tyre, this can be easily done by an expert fitter. Tyres do become out of date after six years and are affected by aging in the sidewalls.
Check Your CARAVAN TYRES As stated above cracks start to form around the rim area due to the caravan wheels been stood in the Sun for long hours. Especially, during the Summer months. And eventually the carbon black, that is used in the manufacture of the caravan tyres, starts to break down. Small but deep cracks start to form around the rim area. This will eventually join up to create a very dangerous hazard. Indeed this is one of the most common cause for tyre blowouts on caravans and trailers. Any caravan tyres with cracks and cuts should be scrapped and replaced with a new tyre. Finally if everything is OK the pressures and tyre valves should be checked to the correct loading for your vehicle and trailer.
Another important point is to have the vehicle loading checked on your caravan tyres,
to make sure that the wheel set up conforms to your caravan or trailers recommended weight carrying capacity. Some of the larger heavier vehicle require more heavy duty tyres to carry the extra loading, your tyre dealer will advise you on the correct fitments by advising you fit either re-enforced or larger ply rated ones.
Check Your CARAVAN TYRES pressures, which should always be checked and adjusted when the pressures are cold before every journey. If in doubt replace with new and correct caravan tyres.
At the present time then the caravan/motorhome market has hit the roof. Henceforth, so has the tyre market for these types of vehicle. So, it is even more important to fit the correct tyres on these vehicles. of course the main consideration is the weight that these vehicles will carry! Especially when loaded up ready for the holidays.
Most drivers of these vehicles are responsible and do buy the correct tyres. Indeed tyre companies now make special tyres for these vehicles. Michelin tyres are a good example. Hence offering the Michelin Agilis Camping tyre range.
Heres a great Email that a kind customer about this subject-
Dear Mr. Roberts
I recently came across a blog which appears to be headed by you. The content was of great interest to me. So, for a large number of years, have had a 1988 Ford Transit Mk III AutoSleeper motorhome. Which, I had bought it to try and improve on the lack of guts of an earlier Mk II Transit and to avoid the types of construction which led to continual water leaks! I therefore pulled this Mk III Transit to pieces, using hands far more competent than myself, and fitted a 2.9 EFi V6 Ford engine with all ancillaries plus heavy duty clutch and gearbox. Importantly, I then fitted a sub-frame with front axle, rear axle, running gear and anti roll bars etc. derived from a later heavy duty Transit and added adjustable dampers.
I needed to do quite a lot of other modifications to get the vehicle the way I wanted it. I thus have a wonderful high performance motorhome which, due to the massive increase in weight low down, it has a centre of gravity which should be below floor level or very near. Thus, a very stable motorhome to drive at high speed to and from Ireland and on winding roads between times. In particular, I had researched tyres for the vehicle which has the 15” 6 stud wheels off the later Transit, I remind with a single wheel rear axle, not double. I looked at bullion vans and similar on the same set up and found that Michelin Agilis was the choice. I therefore fitted a set of Michelin Agilis 81’s, as they were at that time.
They were made in France.
I enquired of Technical Dept. at Michelin of the pressures I should run at and gave the weighbridge weights for my vehicle fully laden. Particularly emphasizing that it was single rear wheel axle set up. They assured me, particularly the rear tyres, should run at 42psi. So, I questioned this but assurance was given again. Needless to say, with that pressure in the rear tyres, they looked as thought they had a puncture and would be unsafe to drive on! The bullion vans were running 62psi minimum on the rear and I therefore put similar pressure in my rear tyres to put the matter right. This achieved transformation. I therefore enjoyed my family trips to the West of Ireland and back many times and found the journeys comparatively relaxing compared with the trips in the previous Transit.
An MOT inspector commented that the vehicle was a delight to drive and asserted that it felt more like a high performance car than a motorhome. He further added that most people merely stuffed a more powerful engine into a vehicle and did little more, but I had created a completely new vehicle by altering the specification so that everything gelled together to create something that might have come out of the factory. I only had two problems with the tyres: the first not really with the tyre, was that I suffered a burst tyre valve (fortunately when the vehicle was stationary). I did write to the motoring press. They seemed to treat me as a crank and were unwilling to make the public aware of the dangers.
I fitted steel valves and solved the problem.
I noted in the motoring press, after about 3 years, an increasing number of letters. Advising motorhome owners who had gone down the motorway on their side or roof through a blowout. That they should fit steel valves when running high pressure!
The other problem I had, on a trip via Galloway: I woke up one morning on campsite. So, to find that one rear tyre appeared very soft. I went to the local tyre distributor! And estimated that I would receive my pension book before they got to attend to me! I therefore put some air in the tyre and monitored it. It held pressure perfectly. When I got home, however, the mechanic who helps me. Indicated that one rear tyre had been cut deeply in the groove of the tread (almost as though with a Stanley knife). He agreed with me however that it appeared to be tyre failure rather than sabotage. I merely fitted a replacement to match the others.
Shortly afterwards, the tread was getting low on two of the tyres. I was advised to fit a later Michelin Agilis (Green X) ! Which I think was the early camping tyre, country of origin unknown. A pair of these were fitted to the rear. It was noticeable that the tyres seemed to have more of a balloon effect. Especially, in the side walls ! Also that they had no kerbing blocks in the side walls which possibly made the side walls more flexible.
I lost the precision straight line stability of the steering but worse found that the vehicle suffered from dreadful tramlining on the inside lane of motorways which I put down to the mix of tyres. There was no undue wear in the steering or suspension, the weight had been maintained as normal, as also the tyre pressures.
The vehicle then came out of use for a few years due to various family bereavements etc.
Firstly, I am now in need of getting the vehicle back in trim and propose to replace all tyres. My inclination is to consider fitting a set of latest Michelin Agilis 3 which appear to be very similar in design to my original tyres and have side walls which will be the nearest match from a behavioral point of view.
Secondly, I am wary of the Michelin Agilis camping tyres referred to above, just in case they perpetuate the problem mentioned above, but also in view of the fact that motorhome owners (when I read their forums) seem to have had many problems with these particular tyres. I have always been a very safety conscious person and I am not prepared to take any risks which, for a vehicle like mine, means that I consider the tyres the most important part of the vehicle. I annex an image of the vehicle from which you will that it has a close coupled chassis design which has a large overhang at the rear.
The revised plating shown on the attached and the weighbridge weights where the vehicle was fully laden are shown on this scribbled note attached. The actual travelling weights should normally be slightly less. The vehicle is capable of 112mph but is fitted with a governor on the back of the gearbox to limit the speed to approximately 89mph. So, I have previously been told, however, that the first statistic is the one that governs the tyre spec.
I hope you do not find this letter too long.
I could supply a lot more information, if needed, and hope that you will be able to give me some feedback of your views as to the direction in which I should go. You might be interested to know. That I have regularly seen people with front wheel drive motorhomes. Being towed off grass campsites (weight in the back, drive on the front). On one occasion in very wet weather, I awoke in the morning to find my wheel rims level with the turf. I started and warmed the engine thoroughly then, despite leaving some horrific ruts for quite a long distance. I crawled the vehicle out without spinning a wheel!
The only downside to the vehicle is the petrol consumption!
Ornhams Hall – Boroughbridge – York – YO51 9JH