Motorhome Tyre Life/Age – Time For Replacement Tyres?

Hi, I’m Chris. About Me

We have a range of old and new motorhomes that visit us here each year at Horton Common. As you would imagine after running a popular campsite for quite a few years now our guests have discussed several topics with me. For instance, we had a guest last year who had purchased a used motorhome. They were pretty happy with the deal they had secured and noted even the tyres had lots of tread left on them. The motorhome was over ten years old so I asked how old the tyres were? The guest had a bemused look on their face. They asked why the age of the tyres was important if there was sufficient tread depth?

Motorhome Tyre Age - When to Replace Tyres
Motorhome tyre safety is not just about tread depth. The industry recommends changing motorhome tyres every six years: Original Image –

I’ve written quite a few posts around the subject of tow car/leisure vehicle tyres and tyre safety.

For instance, I recently wrote about the best tow car tyres currently available which I think are Michelin CrossClimates.

However, I’ve also written several posts about caravan tyres, such as how long caravan tyres last and caravan tyre pressures. Its also why I’m writing this post on motorhome tyre safety.

Tyres may not be the most interesting topic to write about for most people. However, I believe tyre safety for tow cars, caravans and motorhomes isn’t discussed enough.

The condition, age and pressure within your tyres is really something you should be checking regularly.

Disclaimer: Hey! By the way… any links on this page that lead to products on Amazon or Caravan Guard are affiliate links, and I earn a commission if you make a purchase, with no additional cost to you 🙂

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Introduction To Motorhome Tyre Safety & Replacements

So to get straight to it, for motorhomes, its recommended to change your tyres every six years. This is presuming of course that the tyres are not damaged before this point and require early replacement.

Its actually similar to the recommended rule for caravans, but for caravan tyres its actually recommended to change them every 5 years.

Please note, the 6-year replacement period for motorhome tyres is not dependent on the remaining tread depth.

When it comes to true tyre safety, tread depth is only one consideration of when a motorhome tyre needs replacing.

Motorhome Tyre Pressures & Inspections

With this post, I’m going to discuss a couple of different aspects of motorhome tyre safety. The first topic to discuss is correct motorhome tyre pressures.

Now, your motorhome manufacturer within the manual for the vehicle will probably have stated a recommended inflation pressure.

You may even find the recommended tyre pressures close to the weight plate. However, that will typically be based on the motorhome at a specific weight, either fully laden or unladen.

The best means to find out the correct pressure for your motorhome tyres is to weigh the motorhome to find out the weight on each axle.

Then contact your tyre manufacturer and provide them with that weight and they will state the correct inflation pressure.

Obviously, its also worth checking their website. Alternatively, you could visit the Tyre Safe website:

Tyre Safe Motorhome Tyre Pressure Calculator
If you click the image above, it will load up the motorhome tyre pressure calculator on the Tyre Safe website: Image –

I personally would advise getting in contact with the tyre manufacturer if you can to double-check the figure presented to you by the Tyre Safe calculator.

As motorhome tyres are inflated to a much higher pressure than standard car tyres, you will need a tyre pressure gauge which can read up to 100 PSI.

You can now get 12V present digital tyre inflators which are suitable up to 100 PSI: Image –

When it comes to inspecting the condition of your motorhome tyres, you want to give the sidewall of each tyre a thorough inspection.

If you can see deep cracks, bulges, or chunks of rubber missing, you need to get the tyre changed.

Tyre sidewall damage is a vulnerability which could potentially lead to a blowout. With regards to tread depth, the current legal minimum is 1.6mm.

However, once the tyres go below 3mm, the performance of the tyre (handling and braking) is affected.

With only minimal tread remaining, the tyre cannot evacuate water effectively. In some cases, this can lead to aquaplaning in very wet conditions.

All of these factors are discussed in the video below from Practical Motorhome and Diamond Dave.

Dave discusses the process of checking motorhome tyre pressures; side tyre wall condition, tread depth, and tyre age.

How To Check The Age Of Motorhome Tyres

As discussed above, industry advice is to change motorhome tyres every six years. After this age, the rubber is less malleable, with a higher risk of tyre sidewall/cracking and blowouts.

But how do you know how old your motorhome tyres actually are? Well, if you have watched the video above, you will know the answer.

Every tyre has embossed on them a 4-digit number close to the wheel rim. In the video above, the tyre states 1714, which means it was made in the 17th week of the year 2014.

Therefore, you base the 6-year replacement date on this 4-digit number.

Motorhome Tyre Tread Inspections

As stated above, tread depth is one indicator of when a motorhome tyre should be replaced. However, as discussed, the condition of the tyre and its age are equally important.

Its very difficult to properly inspect a tyre completely when its fitted to the motorhome.

For instance, while you can easily inspect the exterior tyre wall condition, its not so easy to inspect the interior sidewall.

Furthermore, if you only inspect the tread depth and condition of the tyre when the wheel is fitted to the motorhome, you may miss some serious damage to the tyre.

The second video below from Practical Motorhome provides an example of such a scenario.

A motorhome tyre which, on first impressions, while fitted to the vehicle may seem fine, hides some serious damage.

Dave shows how a tyre fitted to one of his customer’s motorhomes was hiding a nasty secret.

As Dave states in the video above, the owner of that particular motorhome is extremely lucky that tyre damage did not result in a serious accident.

With extensive tread damage such as this, you would normally feel steering wobble. Driving over something sharp would typically be responsible for such damage to the tyre tread.

What this example illustrates though is from time to time, its a good idea to remove each wheel on a motorhome to properly inspect the tyres over the whole surface.

How To Remove A Motorhome Tyre & Dealing With Punctures

Removing a wheel from a motorhome is obviously very similar to that of a car; therefore, if you are familiar with the procedure no need to watch the video below.

However, if you have never changed a wheel before, the video below should be of some use.

Something I will note, however, which is not referenced in the video below, is wheel locking nuts. If you have alloy wheels on your motorhome, to deter theft, they may be fitted with locking nuts.

Now, somewhere in the motorhome, either in the glove box or with the jack, should be the wheel lock key.

If you have never looked for that locking nut key, I would encourage you to do it now. Otherwise, when the time comes when you or the breakdown service needs to remove a wheel, you will be stuck.

Dave shows how to jack up a motorhome to change a wheel in the event of a puncture, for instance.

Conclusions On Motorhome Tyre Life/Age & Replacement

Hopefully, from the above information, its clear you can not judge when a motorhome tyre is safe purely by measuring the tread depth.

Other factors, such as tyre sidewall cracking and tyre tread damage, are equally important. Therefore, the recommended age to change motorhome tyres is every six years.

As motorhomes are commonly and infrequently used as leisure vehicles, its more likely you will need to change your motorhome tyres due to their age than a low tread depth.

I would also encourage you to read my post on the best tyre pressure monitors.

I also hope, at some point in the near future, you consider coming to visit us here at Horton Common to experience our fully serviced pitches and amazing views. 🙂

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