Caravan and motorhome owners reminded of essential checks for tyre safety
TyreSafe is reminding motorhome and caravan owners of the importance of ensuring their tyres are in a roadworthy condition before they head to the roads. As both types of vehicle are likely to be parked or stored for a considerable period of time each year, and due to the specific demands placed on them during use, it is essential their tyres are regularly checked. Tyres should be in good condition, inflated correctly and have a tread depth of at least the minimum limit of 1.6mm.
To help owners minimise the risks of a tyre-related incident, TyreSafe has a range of tools and guidance, which are free to use and easily accessed via tyresafe.org
Two animations guide owners through the checks they can carry out themselves, at least once a month and before setting off on a tour. Overall condition is an issue which needs particular attention. As tyres deteriorate more rapidly when not in use, especially if left exposed to the elements and if they have been supporting the vehicle’s weight, so particular care should be taken to carry out a thorough visual inspection.
Start by looking for any signs of damage such as lumps, bumps or cuts, and deterioration which is most commonly seen as cracking in the sidewall. Also look for any objects which might be caught in the tread pattern, which should be removed with a blunt tool if possible. It’s important to remember, a tyre can be damaged even when brand new so these checks should be carried out regularly, and certainly if you suspect you’ve run over a pothole or through road debris.
Caravan and motorhomes’ (up to 3.5 tonnes) tyres must have a tread depth above the legal limit of 1.6mm across the central ¾ of each tyre’s width and its entire circumference. Ideally, an accurate tread depth gauge should be used to check but if this is not available then a 20p piece may be used as a guide to see how close they are to this limit. Insert the 20p into the main tread and at various points around the circumference – should you see the outer rim at any point, you need to have the tread depth checked as it may be illegal.
TyreSafe has two animations specifically detailing these and other tyre safety information for caravan and motorhome users in the ‘Film & Animation Library’ at tyresafe.org, where unique tyre pressure calculators are also available. TyreSafe recommends tyres are inflated to the pressures recommended by the vehicle manufacturer, typically found in the owner’s handbook or on a plaque fixed to the bodywork. However, when this is not available, TyreSafe’s calculators will provide a guide pressure based on vehicle weight, tyre size and wheel configuration.
Both are found under the ‘Check Your Pressures’ section and are accessible from mobile devices.
Stuart Jackson, Chairman of TyreSafe, said: “Caravan and motorhome tyres face particularly challenging conditions of use. As they are usually driven close to their maximum weight, the tyres come under significant loads, especially when cornering. To reduce the risk of an incident, owners should take that into account and always remember to check their vehicle’s tyres are in good roadworthy condition and correctly inflated regularly.
“TyreSafe has all the resources owners need to carry out these essential tyre maintenance checks themselves but ultimately it is the driver’s responsibility to carry them out.”