Caravan tyre safety

Most responsible car drivers regularly check the condition of their tyres. Few would consider even for one second taking their vehicle out on the road with tyres that were hovering around the legal limit or otherwise in poor condition.

That’s laudable (and a legal requirement) but it is important to carry that same attitude over into the tyres on your touring caravan.

Here’s why.

Road contact

It’s worth remembering that not only the tyres of the towing vehicle are in contact with the road. Those on the caravan are too.

Collectively, all your tyres have an important role to play in keeping the assembled car and caravan firmly attached to the road surface they’re using. That’s essential both in terms of stability when cornering, driving on slippery surfaces plus, of course, when braking.

If the towing vehicle has tyres in good condition but those on the caravan are less so, the results when taking bends at some speed or breaking quickly are likely to be, at best, highly unpredictable. At worst, “iffy” tyres on your caravan might prove to be disastrous.

Keep in mind too that running with poorly maintained tyres might also put your touring caravan insurance at risk.

Warning signs

It is imperative to regularly check the tyres on your caravan. Here are just a few things you need to look for:

  • tread badly worn down to somewhere at or below the legal limit. Reference tables are widely available online and should be consulted based upon your specific configuration and gross weights etc. Many experts argue that steps should be taken to replace tyres long before they reach this level;
  • check for irregularity in tread wear. There may be many different causes but if the tread depth is fine over most of the surface but with odd bald patches here or there, it is not a good sign and one that says the tyre should be changed immediately and the cause investigated;
  • another worrying symptom would be bulges in the tyre’s side wall. Once again, there could be many potential causes but a tyre in such condition is not likely to be reliable or safe;
  • significant cracks in the tyre’s surface are another warning symptom;
  • look for unusual discolouration On the road, tyres can pick up all sorts of muck and that can discolour them. That in itself is not necessarily a problem but if the marks are difficult to brush off and appear to be linked to a deterioration in the surface of the rubber itself, action is required;
  • it is a simple thing but do regularly check your tyre pressures. The recommended inflation figures will typically be contained in your owner’s guide book and they should be adhered to. It is always a sound idea to check your pressures once a week and of course, certainly before you take the vehicle on the road for the first time after the winter season;
  • look for stones, pieces of glass or metal wedged in between the treads. It might not be causing a problem right now but it could easily do so in the future. If it’s there, remove it and check to make sure that the result isn’t a slow puncture of some sort.

If you are in any doubt about good tyre practice, you should consult an expert garage.

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