rv tire blowouts

rv tire blowoutsRV tire blowouts, though somewhat rare today, can be dangerous when traveling at highway speeds. These events can be significantly worse than automobile blowouts. If a blowout occurs on your motorhome, the results can be far more costly, even if you manage to stop your vehicle safely.

Unlike an automobile, a motorhome often suffers body damage in the wheel-well area caused by the thrashing tire carcass. This damage can be severe and may cost thousands of dollars for a single incident.

RV Tire Blowouts — Causes

So, how can this issue be prevented? Well, while there is no way to 100-percent eliminate this ever happening, you can reduce the chances substantially. To understand how to protect ourselves from having this happen, we must first look at the root causes of these tire failures.

  • Exceeding the tire’s maximum weight capacity
  • Operating outside of the specified air pressure requirements
  • Road hazard damage
  • Advanced tire age or poor condition

Of these, low pressure is said to account for nearly 90 percent of rapid deflation or blowout. RVs also have another al- too-common cause of failure: tire age. This aging deteriorates structural integrity, causing failure due to carcass or sidewall separation.

RV Tire Blowouts — Prevention

So, how can we protect ourselves from RV tire blowouts. Exposure can be substantially reduced by following these simple rules.

  • Replace aging or damaged tires immediately
  • Check tire pressures daily and correct, if needed
  • Know the weight of each wheel position and air up each tire as needed
  • Inspect or have all tires checked for wear, damage, and general condition
  • Keep axles in proper alignment
  • When stopping for a break, walk around and visually inspect tires, and if you have a laser temperature test device, check each for consistency
  • Think about installing a tire-pressure monitoring system. Even the low-priced units provide an instant alert in the event of an issue.
  • Cover tires if parked for extended periods of time and keep them clean to help in protecting aging.

The need to maintain the correct air pressure can’t be overstressed. Keep in mind that no tire is airtight: molecules pass through the tire’s casing on an ongoing basis. This pressure loss must be replenished at regular intervals.

Your tires are your only contact with the road. Look after them and they will support you for many years. Find replacement tires here, and check out more RV tech tips.

Presented By Good Sam Roadside Assistance

Peter Mercer – With a Tiring Thought

Leave a Reply


  1. Anonymous

    I’ve had really good luck with the g670 tire and Samson also makes a trailer tire that is steel belted from tire bead to tire bead.

  2. Peter Mercer

    Great advice! Yes, the Michelin LT tires are quality products and obviously you ran them within their load rating capacity and specific air pressure. Thanks for sharing your experience with us.

  3. Anonymous

    When I bought our used 5th wheel many years ago, dealer technician off handedly said get a set of Michelan (sic) and you are good to go. I took his advice installed a set of LT michs, load range E’s and got incredible service from them. Lost on to a road hazard but thats it. Also, I don’t leave home without a tire pressure monitor – very comforting when towing because unlike a tow vehicle where you can sense vibrations and the like, on a trailer you won’t know you have a problem until it is way too late. My 2 cents!

  4. Anonymous

    Most st tires are now made in Asia, with no speed rating and are absolute, total junk!

  5. Anonymous

    we are given values for “cold” pressures on our tires. This is first thing before you start out, right? So what is the effects of a very cold ambient temperature or the altitude of the campground on starting with the right pressure? Then how do I adjust as I travel? Do I inflate every morning and deflate as the tires get warmer? Are there values for “warm” pressures on tires that I can check and maintain during the use of the trailer?

  6. Peter Mercer

    Many tire sizes come in a number of ply ratings. The higher the ply rating the stronger the sidewall. Stronger sidewalls usually ride a little harder. Thank you for your comment.

  7. Peter Mercer

    Yes, checking the date on the tires when purchasing new, is extremely important. Whether they last 6 years or 10, the time start ticking from there manufactured date, not the sale day. Thanks for bring that up.

  8. Anonymous

    change the wheels to 17.5 and the tire size to the existing tire rolling dia. [of your old tire rolling dia.,]
    then you have a choice of heaver ply tires.

  9. Anonymous

    Peter…One important aspect of tire life is to check the DOT date on the tire. While the tire may look new, the tire may have been manufactured a year or more before you bought it.
    The first two digits of the four digit code is the week of manufacture, the last two are the year. Don’t get caught buying old tires.

  10. Peter Mercer

    Great you discovered it when you stopped. It underlines the need for a walk around each time you stop for a break. Thanks for your input.

  11. Anonymous

    Thanks. Info to give my man, since we caught one about to go one night when we stopped.

  12. Peter Mercer

    Screw-on after market tire pressure sensors on a class C duals are a non-issue as the tire stems should be 180 degrees for inner/outer. The front tires probably won’t even be felt. If you feel you need it, there is very little weight required 180 degrees from stem. The stems should be rigid mounted steel.
    Thank you for your comment.

  13. Anonymous

    In regards to screw-on valve stem tire pressure monitors ( I have a 2015 Class – C 29′ motorhome with 7000 miles riding on Michellan LT’s w/ Load rating E ) I was advised by a tire store that services large vehicles that if I attach these type of screw-on monitors that it actually can cause tires to be unbalanced especially if they are a metal-type valve stem monitor.
    Would this be correct?
    Also, can you recommend what specifications I should look for ( installation-type, reliability, rubber vs metal construction valve, screw on or mount-type, etc..) when purchasing a tire pressure monitoring system, so many choices out there.

  14. Peter Mercer

    Great comment! Thank you for sharing your experience regarding this popular topic.

  15. Peter Mercer

    I agree! I think it certainly makes sense to upgrade from an E rated tire to the G. By exceeding the needed specifications, one can assume a trouble free future. Thank you for your very fitting comment.

  16. Peter Mercer

    I am not aware of any tire makers that state that long term parking may be detrimental to the tire. I think that if it were, they would warn of such. However, stranger things have happened. Thank you for putting this thought forward.

  17. Anonymous

    Blowouts are caused due to the rv being parked for long periods of time. Causing the tire to not rotate and have all the weight on that one spot.my opinion that’s why tires seperate, if possible drive the rv around to rotate tires.

  18. Anonymous

    We purchased our 2017 in November 2016 and have had 2 blow out in July 2017 within 250 miles of each other. One caused no damage and other caused $1000. I replaced the other two at that time and have a claim for the damage from manufacturer. We were reimbursed 80% for first tire and waiting for action on second. I think the tires are a bad lot, but of course the manufacturer, RV maker or RV lot will not admit or reimburse for the other two. You can check pressure, weight distribution and age (all which affect life of a tire), but sometimes it doesn’t matter and you will have a blowout. I recommend you ungrade to load range G when you start replacing tires. Good luck and be safe.

  19. Anonymous

    By scanning the comments, I have yet to see any one checking the tire rating to the trailer weight. I have been camping for over 50 years and have yet to have a tire blow out!. Hundred’s of thousands of miles traveled. I have noticed that camper and tire dealers under tire the trailers and tow vehicles (many arguments with tire dealers have resulted). My current Dutchman toy hauler came with E rated tires. The tire rating was barely enough to carry the trailer totally empty. The tires only lasted two trips, roughly 1,000 miles before showing excessive (dangerous) wear. They were replaced with G rated tires and have gone roughly 5,000 miles without issue. Get your calculator out and add up the numbers on the tires and compare that to the GVW sticker on the trailer. You may need better tires.

  20. Anonymous

    You need to NOT use the Goodyear Marathon Tires, they are total CRAP!

    Look into using the Sailun S637 tires. Not sure what your tire size is, but these are excellent tires and last more than 2 years.

  21. Peter Mercer

    Tire balance certainly is very important, and you are right, we have not addressed that yet here. Out of balance tires can cause damage to tires over time. For large tires, the ceramic bead solution might work well as it not only does the immediate balancing, it also corrects for future wear changes. But, that’s another topic entirely. Thank you for bringing this up.

  22. Peter Mercer

    You need to get a portable compressor that is capable of at least 150 psi. I use a Hitachi EC510. It has a 6 gallon pancake style tank which stores well in most class A basements.
    Thanks for your comment.

  23. Peter Mercer

    Separation failures many times are caused by air getting through the inner surface and into the ply fabric. Here it remains and keeps forcing the outer skin or tread outward. This eventually starts to form a bubble on the outer side of the tire. With the pulsing pressure produced by driving and the friction of the road surface, the bubble will soon tear and leave the tire. This used to be common especially on retreaded tires. But even on what we would feel was a good brand of tire, these failures do happen. There have been many, many warranty claims on this type of failure. Let’s not rule out poor material or workmanship as being the blame perhaps for some.
    Tire construction has changed over the decades. Once the strength was determined by the number of ply, the quantity of wrapped fabric between the inside and the outside of the carcass. Today, it is “12 ply rated”, nothing really to do with the number of ply, just a strength rating.
    I really don’t know the damage that may be blamed for tires being parked on a cement floor for long periods of time. I think under inflated tires may have an issue in that scenario as they would be distorted greatly. Possibly chemicals can be slowly leeched from the tire to the concrete, as evident by the remaining staining.
    It is very difficult to try to equate the same performance we expect from an auto tire to that of any RV tire. While they are basically the same thing, there application is night and day in comparison. Your auto dose not sit idle for perhaps months at a time. It is not kept with the original tires for years and years. And much more.
    This is a very broad topic with many aspects. Thank you for your valued input.

  24. Anonymous

    These are all good comments and a good discussion. One thing that is missing is a discussion on tire failures, especially tread separations, caused due to the RV sitting for extended periods of time. We have a Class C with Load Range E tires. I generally buy Michelin tires for the coach and I am extremely attentive to tire pressures and tire condition. However, we have had a couple of trips with multiple tread separation issues. These happened at the beginning of the trip, and occurred within 100 miles of each other. They also all occurred on the rear dual wheel axle that carries a lot of the load. I noticed a couple of the other comments gave similar descriptions of multiple tread separations on the same trip.

    While tread separations can occur from road hazard damage, under-inflation, over-speed, overload, tire age, and heat – or a combination of these things, it seems unlikely that these factors would all happen within a couple of hundred miles of each other on multiple tires.

    There is another factor that can damage the tire carcass and lead to tread separation, and that is tire carcass flat-spotting. This will occur after the RV sits for extended periods of time without moving, subjecting one area of each of the tires to extended loading and deflection. Additionally, all of the tires on the RV will be subjected to this at the same time and for the same duration. Loading on each tire may vary, especially on a motorhome with front v rear tires. Trailer tires will carry load more evenly as they are close to each other. If the tires sit like this for a long period of time, say more than a couple of months without being “exercised”, tread separations are possible. Think of it similarly to how your knees can get stiff after sitting too long. I try to drive my RV every month to exercise out the flat-spots. However, I am not perfect and both trips where we had tread separation issues were after extended periods on sitting. Monthly driving is also good to keep the rest of the mechanical systems in good shape. I will also try not to start my trips on a Sunday anymore as my preferred tire retailer is not open.

    Good luck and safe travels.


  25. Anonymous

    I have the large semi size tires on our class A diesel. Have had the hardest time finding a air compressor capable of 125 PSI these tires need. The ones see rated don’t have the CFM needed to be adequate. There must be an answer? Driving around to find a place to put in air only heats up the tire thus not getting correct psi.

  26. Peter Mercer

    One of the issues as far as trailer tires is the brand. They generally are not brand names we are accustomed to. This leads to possible lower quality tires being used. So the 5,7, or 10 year replacement targets may have to be shortened substantially.
    Thanks for sharing your experience with us.

  27. Peter Mercer

    Generally the tires delivered on a new RV are quite fresh, usually within 6 months. However, what about rigs that have not been sold for an extended period of time, like several years? This probably requires physically looking at each tire and checking the manufactured date.
    Thank you for the insight on this topic.

  28. Peter Mercer

    The point of quality tires was raised by another reader. Unfortunately RV builders try and keep their products competitively priced. This usually involves the “Bean counters” cut costs by sometimes purchasing lower quality components. This is especially found in the trailer market. After all, saving a hundred bucks on a $15,000 trailer matters more than $100 on a $120,000 motorhome.
    Thanks for bringing that up.

  29. Anonymous

    We blew 2 Tow Max Tires within 100 miles yesterday they were on our 2011 Keystone Raptor and were the factory originals with less than 2000 miles on the tires. We carefully inflated them and checked for weather cracking, etc… The tread separated from one tire while retaining the air and we luckily had no damage. The other separated and blew the tire apart about 100 yards from home and we were traveling slowly so no damage there. We pull livestock trailers with heavier loads using E rated tires without having this happen. I am thinking that Tow Max tires may need to be replaced earlier than 7 years.

  30. Peter Mercer

    A point worth bringing up, speeding beyond the rating of the tire. Most RV tires are rated for 65 MPH, but we see many travelling at speeds quite above that. Yes, a tire can suffer abuse when it exceeds the designed speed. Possible overheating can take place increasing the chances of a tire failure.
    Thanks for your great input.

  31. Anonymous

    So what is an aging tire? I.e. 2 years, 3 years, 4 years? After you put the tire on or manufactures build date? Kind of confusing?

  32. Anonymous

    I have experienced two blowouts on my 33 ft 5th wheel while on a trip around the country. One tire was an original tire that had spent most of it’s life as a spare and was 7 years old but in very good condition. The other was a replacement tire for an earlier original equipment failure (not due to a blowout) and was about 2 years old. The other two tires (that had no problem), were newer replacements (Firestone transform HT). I replace the 2 blowouts with two more “Firestone Transforce” tires. I have had no more tire problems since 2012. We travel about 5000 miles each year and they still look good. It makes me suspect that tires for trailers are not as durable, especially Those made in China.

  33. Anonymous

    Travel trailer tires are only rated to 65 mph due to their construction. Exceed that speed and heat builds to the point of exploding the tire.

  34. Anonymous

    I enjoyed reading your article and the various comments.
    One thing no one has mentioned is balancing. It has been my experience over the years that most camping trailers are delivered with tires that are not balanced. I always check when looking at new trailers. This is a ridiculous practice if it is still being followed, just to save a few dollars of manufacturing cost.
    Can you imagine driving your car with tires that aren’t balanced. The potential damage to the tires, suspension and the trailer itself is not obvious because no one rides in the trailer.
    I tell everyone I meet with a trailer to get their tires balanced, as I have been doing for all the years I have been camping.
    Dave Bennett.

  35. Anonymous

    What about speed especially traveling over 65mph

  36. Peter Mercer

    I’m with you on the metal valve stems. Our daily driver cars are not subject to the same life as an RV. A car gets new tires every perhaps 3 years or so. The valve stems are usually replaced at that time. RV’s on the other hand, may not have their tires replaced for 7 or 10 years.
    Thanks for your valued input.

  37. Peter Mercer

    Hi Bil L, Well, I will take it from my own rig. My duals run roughly the same temperature on non-sunny days. On those great sunshine flooded days, the sun side runs hotter on the outside wheel only. If you find a great difference in temperature of any pairs, front, drive, or tag, there may be an issue.
    I had a right front running consistently about 19 degrees hotter than the left front, sunny side adjusted. It turned out to be out of alignment. Got all three axles aligned……All Good! Same temperature.
    Hope this helps. Thanks for the input.

  38. Peter Mercer

    Certainly a great point! However, many of today’s RV manufacturers are using good quality tires. While there are some that resort to the low price off-brands, particularly trailer tires, I think they are learning the long term pains are not worth the short term gains. But a great point and something to watch out for.
    Thanks for the tip.

  39. Peter Mercer

    Thanks for your comments.

  40. Peter Mercer

    Hi Jim, Sorry to hear of your ongoing tire issues. I noted you were using E rated tires. This seems to have been a recent topic for discussion. The issue was regarding the replacing of the E rated to G. While at a higher cost, these seemed to have taken care of the issues. It may require that you replace your rims with ones capable of a higher tire pressure.
    I believe the setting of 70 psi instead of 80 was probably incorrect. However to determine the pressure we must know the wheel weight and tire manufacturer’s specifications for that weight. I suspect it is nearer 80 psi. The serviceman may have though the 70 psi would be right given the tire is cold and would heat which would increase the pressure to much higher. If that was so, he was wrong. All tires are filled to the specified pressure when cold, Whether the tire exceeds the maximum pressure when hot is not important. That has already been factored in by the tire maker.
    In addition Jim, if you have not had your rig weighed recently, you really should. Make try to weigh each wheel individually if possible. Make sure everything you travel with is in the trailer, including water and holding tank levels as they would be when travelling. It is surprising the extra weight we can accumulate.
    Have your tire pressure gauge verified correct at a local tire shop.
    If all checks out, you might be wise to contact the tire manufacturer and see what they suggest. If you opt for replacing them someday, the heavier G rated tires would almost certainly cure your issue. I sure hope this is of some aid. Thanks for sharing your tire experiences.

  41. Peter Mercer

    Great point! We will discuss this one in a future posting. Thank you.

  42. Peter Mercer

    Using nitrogen in place of normal air in tires is a subject of its own. Nitrogen has some advantages like not needing topping up near as often as air. This, with its less expansive with heat property, can contribute to the reduction of the chance of a blow out or like tire failure.
    I did do a piece on this a year or so ago. Here’s a Link. https://blog.goodsam.com/rv-tire-maintenance-option
    Thanks for your interest in this subject.

  43. Peter Mercer

    I think the upgrading of tires on any vehicle is a great move. Higher rating specifications on tires generally can give you an easier product to maintain. There is a wider window to maintain the air pressure. They will handle a heavier load should you be already close to being overloaded. They will run cooler as you are using a lower percentage of their maximum capacity.
    I hope this answers your question. Thanks for the query.

  44. Peter Mercer

    G rated tires are much more robust than E rated. The difference is about 4 ply ratings which of course will strengthen the sidewall. Using the lower rating E provides less room for error in such things as topping up the air pressure. If the OEM now supplies G rating tires on their new rigs it is probably due to an increased weight in their product or to offer a more forgiving customer maintenance product.
    Thank you for your input on this topic.

  45. Peter Mercer

    The E rated tires that came on your rig were probably adequate if the correct pressures were maintained and the vehicle weight was within the specifications. However, things like an incorrect tire pressure gauge can cause a lower spec than needed resulting in poor performance. The E rated tires in this application may leave little for error. They are perhaps less forgiving than some owners of these less frequently used RV trailers. The G rated tires, somewhat an overkill in this application, are a great choice as they are quite forgiving. This is due to their higher inflation rating and more robust overall. If the OEM now supplies G rating tires on their new rigs it is probably due to an increased weight in their product or to offer a more forgiving customer maintenance product.
    One of the items seldom discussed is tire speed. All tires are rated for maximum speed. This rating is often exceeded. All ratings must be adhered to if one wishes to get the most from their tires,
    Thank you for your comment.

  46. Anonymous

    FYI, many Airstream owners have switched to LT (Light Truck) tires from the factory-installed Goodyear Marathon (now discontinued) and other brands of ST (Special Trailer) tires. In fact, Airstream now offers Michelin LT tires on some models.

    Two informal polls revealed that 50% of owners had experienced ST tire failures, while LT tires failed at a much lower rate of 8%.

    Most ST failures were due to blowouts, tread separation and a breakdown of the bond between the radial belts and the tire body (makes tire lose shape to where it looks like a giant bicycle tire); and many of these damaged the trailer wheel wells, body panels and interior appliances (water heater, refrigerator, etc.), with some repairs costing thousands of dollars.

    Meanwhile, LT failures were nearly always caused by unavoidable road hazards; e.g., nails, debris, hitting or running over curbs, etc.

    For more information, search the Internet for “Airstream Tire Failure Poll” for links to these poles and other tire-failure-related discussion threads.

  47. Peter Mercer

    Michelin tires are certainly a good brand product. Providing the tires are never operated at an overweight condition and the pressures in each are maintained correctly your tire should live a long life. Over loading the tire capacity is also a common issue. It is surprising what all the toys and junk we like to carry adds up to.
    Thank you for entering into this discussion.

  48. Anonymous

    What is the acceptable temperature difference between the inside and outside dual rear tires? Side to side differences on the coach?
    Bill L

  49. Peter Mercer

    Well, like you, I too have heard both 7 and 10 years to be the tire age retirement. In my opinion the time factor could vary depending on several things like the environmental conditions the tires are exposed to, road hazard damage, the quality of tire, how often the tires were operated outside of the optimum pressure to weight, storage conditions, etc. I think I would believe 5 to 7 years on average. Possibly 10 in ideal conditions. But there is no way I know of defining such a timeframe. The price of safety is probably well worth replacing them earlier than later. With that all said, I believe 10 years is possible if the tires are properly maintained. You would not want to have a tire failure due to aging, there are enough other hazards we are exposed to daily. Also, don’t forget to inspect each tire for damage and wear characteristics on a regular basis. The best answer for such technical questions is the manufacturer of the tires.
    I hope this somewhat is of help to you.

  50. Anonymous

    How about adding “buy good tires, and junk the OEM tires as part of the purchase contract”, especially for towables? The absolute cr@p the mfrs put on RVs is a sin, IMO. That, and the fact that delivery drivers regularly exceed the speed ratings on ST tires during delivery, only contributes to the problem of blowouts. I’ve seen, and heard about, too many brand new rigs in the shop to fix damage that occurred from tire blowouts on the way to the dealer.

  51. Anonymous

    Thanks for the tips, I am a firm believer in the cold pressure rating tire manufacturers put in writing on their tires. Side wall separation under low pressures like you have stated is the most prevalent damaging blow outs.

  52. Anonymous

    Peter, We own a 2011 Cougar 327 RES 5th wheel by Keystone which we bought new in May 2011. The trailer had TowMax tires on it size, ST235/80R16 E STR 11 BL. Every time we stop, either for fuel, food or to stretch our legs, I go around both truck and trailer and put my hand on each tire and hub to see if either are warm. In August 2014, while travelling back to Ontario from the west coast, I had a blow out in North Dakota. I checked the other tires to see if they were warm and they were not. I replaced all 4 trailer tires with the exact same tires (TowMax) which came with the trailer. I had some damage under the, shall I call it the wheel well, but no damage to the side of the trailer. During late August 2017 (this Year) on a trip back to Ontario from St. Louis, Missouri, I hear a little pop sound, and could see something flapping on the outside of one of the tires and pulled over immediately. I seen a piece of side wall about the size of your hand, that had blown, and was loosing air. Thankfully no damage to the trailer. I called Good Sam Roadside assistance and had the spare installed and followed the service truck to the next exit and bought a new tire (TowMax). Less than a half hour on down the highway we heard a loud explosion and I had another tire blow out, on the other side of the trailer, which did cause damage to under the trailer and minor damage to the wheel well. I put the spare on myself because I was in a safe place to do so. We continued down the road to the next city where I went into a Tire garage. I asked to have a new set of tires installed and that I would prefer not TowMax. He suggested that Carlisle trailer tires would be better. The label on the side of the trailer says 80 lbs pressure as do the tires say 80 lbs pressure but the tire business suggested that I only put 70 lbs pressure in the tires. Is this correct even though the tires say 80 lbs pressure. I do not understand why I would have so many blow outs in only 6 years. I do not speed and never go over 60 miles an hour. Do you have any suggestions on what I may be doing wrong or if I should have something else done. I have had the suspension checked by a spring company and they measured and checked the suspension and said it was ok and running straight. I also check the air pressure regularly. Thanks, Jim ([email protected])

  53. Anonymous

    Preventing a blow out is the best advice but, when you’re too late learn to handle the vehicle to avoid serious injury, death and damage by watching the film “Critical Factor”. Look it up on Google or You Tube.

  54. Anonymous

    I don’t understand you don’t advice people to blow their tires with nitrogen…
    Jp Drevillon

  55. Anonymous

    What do think about putting on G load rated tires instead of E load rated tires for the 5th wheel?

  56. Anonymous

    E rated tires do not have a beefy enough sidewall for the load rating. We had 4 (!) blow outs and caught 4 others before they did blow (tread separation). We put G rated tires, which have sturdier sidewalls, on the trailer and have not had any problems. Keystone is now putting G rated tires on all of the new Fuzion toyhaulers.

  57. Anonymous

    We had 4 (!) blow-outs over 1.5 years, and caught 4 other tires before they blew ( tread separation). These were E rated tires, could handle the weight per tire (we have had the 5er weighed, in total and per axle) , but they blew anyway. Finally switched to G rated, which are a little bigger and necessitated purchasing rims that could handle 110 psi. But we have not had a single problem in 2 years. The sidewalls on the E tires are not reinforced enough for the load. The G rated tires are, and it doesn’t matter what country they are manufactured in. We toured the Keystone factory in Goshen, Indiana this past summer, and they now put G rated tires on all of their Fuzion 5th wheels.

  58. Anonymous

    Suggested age limits for 10 ply, 5th wheel tires? I’ve heard 5 years but I recently called the manufacturer and was told 8 years would be safe. Michelin customer line.

  59. Anonymous

    Avoid I-10 and I-20 in Louisiana

  60. Anonymous

    Don’t forget the valve stems. They have different pressure ratings, and many are made with rubber bodies. The rubber will age just like the rest of the tire, can break off causing rapid tire deflation which is typically blamed as a tire blow-out.
    Metal bodied valve stems are best, followed by the high pressure rated rubber bodied stems. I do not think the usual car rated valve stems should be used on trailer tires – there is not enough safety margin for our applications and usage.

  61. Anonymous

    You mention “age” twice in your article. I have heard 7 years and 10 years for replacement age – what do you recommend?

  62. Anonymous

    Your tire failure history with your fifth wheel does not sound right at all. I would start by weighing each wheel position. I would first suspect an overload issue. Be sure to verify the weights against the tire maker’s pressure to load scale. It is surprising the extra weight that can accumulate in what people think as their needed items. If the weight is within the specifications of the axle and individual wheel capacities, I would have your pressure gauge accuracy confirmed. Tires just don’t blow at that frequency without there being something wrong.
    I had a very expensive tire pressure gauge that I believed was accurate. I experienced conflicting readings from that of two other gauges I used to try and confirm its accuracy. I tried another gauge identical to the one I owned. It indicated a 20 PSI difference from the other. Using the original supposedly top quality gauge, I was under inflating the tires by about 20 PSI.
    Outside of verifying the accurate weight and tire pressure, I would turn to the RV manufacturer for advice on this issue. It represents a serious safety concern that should be addressed without delay.
    Thanks for your input.

  63. Peter Mercer

    Sorry to hear of your two blowouts. If the tires were in good condition this was probably a failure due to under inflated, overloaded, or both. As tire pressure reduces so does the operational weight limit. Remember, all tires inflated with air, lose pressure over time. Nitrogen filled tires maintain their pressure somewhat longer than air filled, but should be checked and maintained as needed.
    While there are product solutions that can eliminate or substantially reduce vehicle damage in such an event, it may be better to take steps to reduce the chances in the first place.
    Thank you for sharing your real life blowout experience.

    Peter Mercer

  64. Anonymous

    unfortunately, we didn’t read this before our latest trip. Tires looked good, lots of tread, little wear, but we suffered blowouts of two tires (luckily not at the same time) and did quite a bit of damage to the side and undercarriage of our 5th wheel. Too late smart and paying the price for it!

  65. Peter Mercer

    The external screw on sensor tire pressure monitors are the easiest and quickest solution to install. They do, however come with some issues. They are better if installed on steel valve stems, not the extended ones, just the regular length. These type also are not capable of providing tire temperature, only air pressure. There is no question that the internal type have advantages. However, the external screw on models remain to be very popular with very little issue in most cases. Doing a physical check with a good tire pressure gauge each day when travelling is what you should do. The tire pressure monitor is to maintain an ongoing watch while you travel.
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts and experience with us.

  66. Peter Mercer

    There are many good products available for both cleaning and protecting your tires in today’s environment. They can be found at your local Camping World or automotive supplier. Look for products that contain an ultraviolet protector. Most of the products sold for this application work quite well. Like anything else, you will get people that swear by one or another.
    Keeping your tires clean is a great first step in keeping them in top shape. While you clean them you can inspect their condition.
    Thank you for your input.

  67. Peter Mercer

    Yes, smaller trailer tires are also exposed to the same issues and the prevention steps are similar. Unlike an automobile, which in general weighs the same at each wheel location forever, RV’s of all sizes can vary greatly in weight from one trip to the next. In addition, trailer wheel bearings should be checked and serviced regularly. While this type of service is generally carried out on large wheeled motor homes during their regular maintenance time, trailer owners sometime do not do this as frequently as may be warranted.
    So, maintain the needed tire air pressure and check it daily while travelling. The use of an inexpensive IR temperature gun would be wise. These can also monitor the wheel bearing temperatures when you stop for a break. Weigh your trailer and confirm it is within the manufacturer’s specifications. If it is over the specified weight, empty some of the items you carry until you are at or below the maximum weight.
    Safe driving.

  68. Anonymous

    Do these tips also apply to travel trailers……smaller ones especially?

  69. Anonymous

    What is the best cleaner and protecterant for RV tires?

  70. Anonymous

    I bought the Tire Minder system that screws onto the valve stems. It told me exactly when each of my two tires blew on the trailer. I won’t use it again since I’m certain to blow another tire. I believe the problem was multi-fold, monitors loosened enough to release air, stems were rubber rather than fully metal, tires were over 2 yrs old. Now I check air pressure before I leave, every time I stop, and when I arrive. BTW, I wouldn’t use valve stem extenders either since the release air if imperfectly installed.

  71. Anonymous

    We understand checking pressures, life of tires, using a tire minder. In the last four years we have had five blowouts on our Montana 3485 fifth wheel. The first three were on a set of Goodyear Marathons installed by CW. They lasted from November 2011 to November 2014. All blew within 200 miles, and yes we checked the pressures every morning. We had a set of Towmax installed in November 2014 and two of them blew on March 2017 at the same time. We lost a rim and ended up replacing rims and tires,again. So we are observing that the life of Rv tires is about two and one-half to three years. Any suggestions, as we carry very little water, have no generator, and not a lot of extra weight.