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By some measures, tires are the hardest-working components of your travel trailer. Just think about what they go through in the course of a typical trip of a few hundred miles on the road: Millions of revolutions, encountering all of the rocks, cinders, oil, glass, water, potholes, cracks, and other assorted debris scattered along our highways, bearing the weight of the trailer and everything stuffed in it.
Often smaller in diameter than the tires on your tow vehicle, your RV tires rack up far more revolutions while covering the same distance. Those additional revolutions are also endured by the axle, bearings, and brakes of the RV.
In general, RV tires are used less frequently and spend more time parked under load than auto tires. While we use our RVs as often as time allows, they often sit unused for weeks (or months) at a time. Tires don’t thrive when parked - Sidewalls are stressed unequally, sunlight causes uneven aging, and pressures often sink well below appropriate levels. All of this makes travel trailer tire care and upkeep essential. Here are key things to remember:
One of the easiest and most effective ways to make your RV safer, more comfortable, more reliable, more economical, and more enjoyable is to maintain your travel trailer tiers at the proper pressure. Proper tire pressure improves on-the-road handling making turns and other maneuvers more stable and safer. Properly inflated tires provide the right level of control in windy conditions and on bumpy terrain, reducing strain on suspension components and trailer systems. Proper inflation reduces the operating temperature of tires, encourages even tread wear, and reduces the likelihood of a failure or other difficulty while driving.
With so many advantages in performance, comfort, and safety, it just makes good sense to check travel trailer tire pressures regularly and to use readily available sources of compressed air to fill tires as needed.
Because of their role in providing safe, reliable transportation, travel trailer tires are covered by strict industry rules and government regulations. These rules require standardized coding that can tell you everything you need to know about the construction and characteristics of your tires.
The large code molded into the sidewall is the TIN (Tire Identification Number) and starts with DOT.
DOT = Department of Transportation, the regulating authority
ST = Designates a Special Trailer tire
205 = Refers to the width of the tire in millimeters
75 = Refers to the aspect ratio of the tire, comparing width to diameter
D = Identifies tire construction - D for Bias Ply; R for Radial Ply
14 = Refers to the wheel/tire diameter in inches
Below the Size Code is the Speed Rating.
The speed rating states the speed at which the tire is designed to run for extended periods.
Elsewhere on the sidewall is the Load Range
6PR LOAD RANGE C = 6 ply, 50 psi; D = 8 ply, 65 psi; E = 10 ply, 80 psi.
100L = Load index of 100 (1760 lbs.), Speed index of L (75 mph)
Finally, the tire maker and date of manufacture is also recorded, in the event a recall or other data tracking is needed.
RQSS = Unique manufacturer code
44 = Week of manufacture
17 = Year of manufacture