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Take Good Care of Your Trailer Tires (Tire Maintenance 101)

Trailer tire maintenance should not be neglected. It ensures your trailer's safe performance and guaranteed your driving safety.

But, what are the crucial points you cannot neglect when taking care of your trailer tires?

Continue reading and find out.

Trailer Tire Dos and Don'ts (Quick Facts)

Of course, as ST tires are special, it is important that you follow a few steps to ensure their safer performance. Apart from different trailer tire ratings, there are other tire-related factors that should be followed.

Trailer Tire Dos:

  • Always keep trailer tire pressure at recommended levels
  • Cover trailer tires when they are not in use
  • Tire storage should be in a cool and dry atmosphere
  • Always check tires before use

Trailer Tire Don'ts:

  • Over- or underinflated trailer tire pressure is not good
  • Tires should not be overloaded
  • Trailer tire speed ratings should not be exceeded
  • Inspect tires and don't ignore tread wear and dry rot

Keep Your Trailer Tire PSI in Check

Tire pressure levels are crucial for any tire model, including trailer tires. For this reason, frequently checking psi levels and keeping the tires properly inflated will enhance their proper performance.

Additionally, psi levels also determine the load capacity of the tire. Frequently inspecting tire pressure when the tires are cold will make sure they are always performing at their best ability.

Over- and underinflated tires hinder the trailer's load-carrying capacity. Underinflated tires won't be able to safely carry their loads, while overinflated tires are at risk of blowouts.

Checking tire prssure

Don't End Up With an Overloaded Trailer

Each trailer tire has a specific load range, which indicates its load-carrying capacity. Even heavy-duty trailer tires have their max load durability.

It is important that you choose the correct loaded tires for your trailer. These tires must be able to handle the weight of the trailer and its cargo. Running cargo trailer tires when they are overloaded quickly damages their internal structure.

Simply carrying too much load is not the only way how a tire can be overloaded. You can have two damaged trailer tires on your hand, even if only one tire fails. The other tire's internal structure will have unseen damage as well, as it will be responsible for handling the entire load weight.

overloaded tires

Check Your Camper Tires Regularly

Uneven trailer tire wear might not be the biggest issue you will face. Dry rot and structural integrity issues will ruin a trailer tire's performance more easily.

But, why does this happen?

Tread wear on a trailer tire set is only an issue if the tires are in frequent use - typically over 15,000 miles per year. However, in most cases, dry rot, flat sports, and structural issues will get to the tires sooner. While some problems are fixable, not all trailer tire repair is possible.

For example, if we notice dry rot on time, it can still be reversed. But sidewall cuts or overloading the tires will cause unfixable issues.

In order to prevent tread-related problems with your camper tire set or boat trailer tires, it is important to inspect them regularly. This is essential especially when your trailer is not in frequent use.

Checking the tires for any tread damage and air pressure loss will prevent an accident while the tires are in use.

Trailer Tire Driving Safety Measures

There are a couple of basic safety precautions you can follow to ensure your camper trailer tires (or any trailer tires in general) are up to par.

Firstly, be sure to have a spare trailer tire. Tow tires are not the only ones that can get damaged during their performance. You never know when it can come in handy. Changing a travel trailer tire is a better alternative to being stranded on the road.

sapre tire

Over-loaded tires can pop at any second. Choosing the correct load range tires is important, but keep in mind that other trailer components also have a maximum load capacity. A trailer overloaded can easily result in a bent trailer axle or other problems.

Before you roll out of your yard, visually inspect the tires. Replacing trailer tires before a trip begins if the tires are failing will be less costly than having them fail during the trip.

Whether you are running radial and bias-ply tires on your car trailer axle, will depend on the needs of your trailer and its applications. However, different types of trailer axles and various trailer uses require specific tires. Still, do not mix radial and bias-ply tires on a single trailer. Additionally, make sure all tires on the trailer are the same size.

Do Trailer Tires Need to Be Balanced?

Yes, balancing trailer tires is a good idea.

While you may find different opinions floating on the internet, we firmly believe that if you balance trailer tires you ensure their performance, longevity, and driving safety.

Unbalanced tires don't just result in a bumpy ride. Yes, they will cause vibrations to be more prominent. However, the bigger issue is that these vibrations will result in a whole heap of other problems. So, what happens if your tires are not balanced?

The driving and load pressure affecting unbalanced tires will increase uneven wear along the tread area, ruin the towing vehicle's fuel economy, and worsen the trailer's controllability.

How Long Do Trailer Tires Last on Average?

Whether you own camping trailer tires that are used once a year or your trailer tires are your work mule greatly determines how long your trailer tires will last.

Generally speaking, most trailer tires will last between 5-6 years. However, how often the tires are in actual use can change this number greatly.

Often, the tread life wearing out is not the reason for replacing trailer tires. Dry rot, uneven wear, flat spots, and other tread damage get to trailer tire models before their time is up. There are a couple of precautions you can take to prevent this, elongating their service life.

boat trailer

Protect Your Travel Trailer Tires From Dry Rot

There are a few simple steps you can take to protect your tires from dry rot. No matter which trailer tire type you are running, protecting them from harmful UV rays is always a good idea.

Dry rot is often the result is direct sunlight, high temperatures, lack of use, and decreased tire pressure. Therefore, when your tires are not in use (in other words, not running behind your truck on the road) you need to protect them.

The first step to doing that is to cover them. You can purchase tire covers online, which protect the tires from UV rays, moisture, and dirt.

To prevent flat spots on the tread area, jack up the trailer. If this is not possible, parking on plywood boards is a good alternative. This will also help minimize moisture damage.

Before each use, while the tires are still cold, inspect the air pressure levels. Running your tires with incorrect pressure levels will damage their internal integrity.

Lastly, for trailers that are in use only a couple of times a year, the best solution would be to remove the tires. Unmount and store them in a dark and cool area.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does ST Mean on Tires?

ST stands for Special Trailer. These tires are specially designed for trailer applications. Replace trailer tires only with other models marked as ST as well. Trailer tires feature an optimized internal structure that withstands heavy loads while ensuring the tire's secure performance on free-rolling axles.

Which Trailer has More Downward Pressure Where it Attaches to the Car?

Trailer type does not determine which trailer has more downward pressure where it attaches to the car. Rather, it is about load placement that creates the issues. If too much weight is placed in the trailer's rear, it will lift the towing vehicle's rear tires. Single-axle tires are more sensitive to this.

Why Does My Trailer Sway When Empty?

Trailers sway when empty because there is no weight to stabilize them. A loaded trailer has downward pressure pushing down on its tires, which stabilizes them. This helps to minimize the possibility of trailer swaying. Without this load pressure, trailers are missing the extra stability, resulting in swaying.