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Monday, September 10, 2012

Why Do I Need New Tires On My RV?

I am thinking of buying a used Monaco motorhome. It has 8,270 miles on it. The owner says it requires new tires. Why would it need new tires with so few miles? George, (Calgary, Canada)

Welcome to the world of RV tires George, where mileage is more likely less a consideration than the age of the tire. In fact, RV tires rarely wear out. Typically they will “age” out first. To know the exact age of the tires on that motorhome, check out the DOT date code embedded into the sidewall of the tires. Because RV tires rarely wear out, it is important to know exactly when the tires were made. Though warranty begins at the time of purchase, the effective life of the tire begins as soon as it is made. The DOT safety code is used to determine the date a tire was manufactured.

The importance of reading and understanding the last four digits of the DOT code on tires made since 2000 cannot be overstated. As an example, if the full DOT Code is: DOT U2LL LMLR5107, the last four digits represent the actual date of manufacture. The first two (of those four), indicate the week, the last two, the year. So 5107 means that tire was manufactured during the 51st week of 2007.

Though RV tires may be capable of lasting much longer, all experts agree the effective life of an RV tire is approximately 5-7 years, depending on how much ozone and UV damage it has incurred, along with your particular driving habits. When in doubt, have one of the tires de-mounted and inspected on the inside by a tire expert. A good tire expert will be able to tell if that tire has hit a curb, been punctured and repaired, run under or over inflated, has weakened sidewalls, etc. They all leave their tell-tale indicators on the inside of the tire.

 
Also, study the great information posted on the official web site of the RV Safety & Education Foundation;
www.rvsafety.com.

Disclaimer:

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If you are in doubt or do not feel comfortable about a procedure, do not continue. Simply call your local RV service facility and make an appointment with them. The advice, recommendations and procedures offered by the RV Doctor are solely those of Gary. They do not necessarily reflect the opinions, procedures and recommendations of our sponsors or advertisers.