Warning over caravan & motorhome tyre safety

Caravan and motorhome owners are being urged to thoroughly check their tyres before heading out on the roads this Easter Bank Holiday in an effort to reduce the risk of accidents and breakdown

Statistics show that tyre failure is a major cause of accidents involving caravans.

“Tyres left unprotected and unused on caravans, motorhomes and trailers over the winter months degrade faster than tyres in regular use and are at risk of developing deformities. It’s vital that motorists closely inspect each tyre for damage, bulges and cracks before taking to the road,” warned Andy Lawrence, of Shropshire-based tyre specialist group Hometyre.

“A tyre blow-out is a very serious situation, leading to loss of control and potentially catastrophic consequences.”

In 2011 33% of caravan collisions were found to have been caused by a tyre blow-out.

“Caravan and motorhome owners need to prepare their vehicles for the coming holiday season. Some are meticulous and check everything is serviced. However, there are those who simply hook up and go,” said Andy.

“Tyres are a vehicle’s only contact with the road and yet they are often overlooked. People tend not to realise that the life of a tyre is not only measured in terms of tread depth. It’s also measured by a tyre’s age. As a natural product, rubber deteriorates and, over a period of many years, becomes brittle and prone to cracking and perishing.

“This is the reason why motoring organisations, including The Caravan Club, recommend that tyres on these vehicles are replaced between five and seven years old, irrespective of the tread depth remaining, as the hazards can be hidden. The week and year of a tyre’s manufacture is stamped on the tyre wall and can, therefore, be used to calculate when a tyre should be replaced.

“All modern tyres are steel belted and when kept in one position for many months can deform under undue stress.

“There are a number of safety devices on the market that can assist the leisure motorist, such as Tyron bands, which can be retro-fitted to wheels to provide extra safety and control in the event of a tyre failure.

“It’s simply not worth endangering lives and potentially destroying what is a very valuable asset for the sake of the cost of replacement tyres.”

A shredded tyre alone, rotating around the wheel, can cause damage to the wheel arch and floor of a caravan.

Tyre safety checklist:

1) Check tyre pressures in line with manfacturer’s recommendations, including spares, when the tyres are cold.
2) Look for deformaties, bulges, lumps, cuts, impact damage and embedded material.
3) Look for signs of aging such as superficial cracks in the sidewall. If in doubt seek professional advice.
4) Inspect the tread depth. Although the legal depth is 1.6mm of tread over 75% of the tread width right around the tyre, motoring organisations recommend replacing tyres with a tread depth under 3mm because it offers little grip in the wet.
5) Fit the correct tyres and drive within the correct speed limit for the vehicle.
6) Check the tyres frequently.

Tyre fitting and supply specialist Hometyre has over 20 branches across the UK including Shropshire, the West Midlands and Staffordshire. The group’s head office is based in Hanwood, Shrewsbury.

Section:

Pete White Pete White

Love Shrewsbury editor and chief developer at The Web Orchard, find out more on petejwhite.com

Read More from Pete White