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Choosing the correct tyres for your caravan

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As a rule replacement tyres for caravans are required to be the same service description as the ones previously installed. However there are a variety of instances where this may differ.

the original specification for the tyre has been discontinued
the initial specification for tyres was insufficient
the capacity of the caravan’s payload has been raised
The wheels on the caravan are now with a different dimension (normally the installation of alloy wheels)

If you are in any of these situations in the process of choosing a new caravan tyre, make sure you follow our simple guideline.

Find the nominal wheel diameter, tyre size and the maximum weight of the caravan.
Choose tyres that have an entire service description that meet the diameter of the wheel and have a load index that is sufficient to support the weight maximum that the vehicle can carry (taking into consideration whether it is a double or single axle) and include a speed symbol that is at least “M” (81mph) or greater.
Eliminate all tyres if the maximum load of the caravan is greater than 90 percent of load index.
If the section width is different by a small amount (eg 175 versus 185 (say) the chances are not to interfere, but only if the distance between the wheels and the box tiny. Try jacking the wheel of your caravan to check the distance as the wheel moves inside the wheel box if you are unsure.
If the width of the section differs significantly from that of the tyres originally fitted, or when the rim width has been altered from the original specifications Check not just that the tyres fit with the wheel however also ensure the section width and overall diameter match inside the wheels box.
Unless specifically stated by the caravan manufacturer don’t choose a very low profile tyre, unless specifically requested by the manufacturer.
Don’t choose commercial grade (‘C suffix) tire unless the weight and speed requirements require it and a ‘car style’ tyre isn’t available to meet these.

How to determine the right inflation pressure

The pressure of inflation is an important aspect – the durability and safety of your tyres for caravans are dependent on the correct inflation pressure. An incorrect inflation pressure can negatively impact the handling of your caravan, and also cause an increase in the consumption of fuel.

For every tyre it will have an optimal pressure for inflation, dependent on the weight it’s carrying. Since caravans are typically operating in close proximity to its maximum capacity, it’s prudent to choose the best pressure that is appropriate for the load. When your RV is operating at a lower weight than its maximum however, you may select the best pressure for the actual loaded weight. We strongly suggest to confirm the weight of the caravan in the intended load condition with an appropriate weighbridge.

Commercial-grade tyres can be made to work with a broad range of loads , and may differ when mounted on the road in a caravan. For instance, a tyre with a maximum pressure of 54psi for its highest load might only require 30psi of pressure for use in an RV.

The process of re-fitting the wheel

If the wheel was removed to service or repair a puncture, we advise you to follow the correct procedure for refitting the wheel.

Make sure you have mating surfaces that are clean between your hub and the wheel are dry and clean.
Make sure that the threads of wheel nuts and studs are dry and clean without paint or rust particles on the thread or the seats. Beware of lubricating threads of bolts or wheel nuts. The torques for tightening are typically specified dry, and any lubrication might require a different torque setting or damage may occur.
Make sure that all nuts and studs are tightened to center the wheel prior to using the wheel brace/torque wrench.
Utilize an inverse wheel nut tightening sequence in order to make sure that the wheel sits on the hub with no misalignment.
Do not over tighten the wheel nuts or studs. Make sure you follow the tightening torques that are recommended by your manufacturer of your caravan or chassis manufacturer. We don’t recommend you tighten all nuts or studs by using an air-powered device. This could over tighten and cause damage to threads. When you think that nuts or studs were tightened too much it is recommended to replace them.
We recommend that you complete tightening using an torque wrench that is set according to the specifications in the operating manual for caravans. Avoid using the corner brace, which is designed to only elevate or lower the angle of the corner’s steadying.
When a wheel is repaired, it is recommended to check the torque at the end of 20-30 miles usage or 20-30 minutes of travel. Even when the torque is properly tightened there is a chance for the fixings to become loose should the wheel be able to ‘bed’ onto the hub.

Make sure that your tyres are legal

It is illegal to mix radial and cross-ply tires on the same axle.

We strongly suggest that caravan wheels aspect ratios also be to be matched (80 and 82 are considered to be the same) As well as load index or ply ratings be matched values for the same axle. However, they aren’t legal requirements. Mixing different models that have the same size or specification is fine.

Tyres need to be properly inflated, and free of some cuts or other imperfections. They must have at minimum 1.6mm tread depth over the central three quarters the tread’s width across the circumference of tire (depth of 20p pieces outer edge). They should be of the correct design.

If an extra wheel and tyre is used, it must be in compliance with all applicable regulations.

The maximum penalty for each damaged or incompatible tire is PS2,500. Plus 3 points on your driver’s licence.

Travelling internationally

In general that if your car meets the legal requirements to be used in the UK It can be used throughout Europe with no problem. A notable exception is the circumstance pertaining to tyres used in France. Because on some French motorways it’s legal to tow speeds up to 80mph (130kph) and the French insist that your tyres satisfy the speed limit. This may only be an issue with older caravans. However, if there is any doubt, you should make sure you know the specifications of your tyres prior to traveling and study up on international driving rules, as on-the-spot penalties can be costly.