THE LIFE OF AN RV TIRE

by
Gary Motley
Master Certified RV Technician
RVDA Learning Center Faculty

Miles alone cannot measure the life of a tire used on an RV. Among other factors, your RV tire life depends on driving habits, driving and storage conditions, geography, atmospheric conditions, loads carried, weight distribution, as well as the age of your tires.

If the tires you have on your RV were being driven on a small commercial truck, they might last 80,000 to 120,000 miles and be replaced every two years. With the average (non-full timer) RV driving 5,000 miles per year that could take close to 20 years to obtain! Therefore, with tires on an RV, the most important consideration in the life of tires is age. The tires should be examined periodically for signs of aging, and removed from service if required. It is very likely that tires on an RV will need to be removed from service before the tread is worn out.

The rubber in your tires ages just like the rubber in your fan belt and radiator hoses. Tires contain waxes and emollients to help protect their outer surfaces from ozone and weather checking. As the tire rolls and flexes, the waxes and emollients continually migrate to the surface, replenishing this protection throughout the normal use of the tire. In cooler, clean air locations, the expected tire life will be longer than in high temperature, high ozone areas. Of course, as a tire ages, you should inspect it more frequently. Due to these factors most manufacturers have an expected tire life of five to seven years.

READING DATES OF MANUFACTURE ON TIRES

Use the DOT numbers to determine the age of a tire.

Tires made from 1994 through 1999 will have three numbers at the end of the DOT number. The first two will designate the week of production and the last number will indicate the year 1994 through 1999.

Beginning in 2000 there will be four numbers. The first two indicating the week and the last two indicating the year.

The letters previous to the numbers indicate such things as factory, country of origin, etc.

For example:

DOT HN BJ CDN X 164
16TH Week 1994
(through 1999)

DOT HN BJ CDN X 1603
16TH Week 2003

12/5/05

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