RV Tire Care, Maintenance & Replacement
RV Tire Care, Maintenance & Replacement
Plus, how you can save on your next set of tires using your WIT Club Membership.
By: Kenny & Sabrina Phillips
If there is one thing on our RVs that we should never neglect, it is our tires. Ignoring tire care and maintenance can lead to premature wear, dry rotting, and flat spots. These issues can cause uncomfortable rides or, even worse, an accident due to a tire blow out.
RV Tire Care & Maintenance
With tire maintenance being so important and so easy to do, there really isn’t any reason why we can’t be taking the time to perform these inspections.
These easy steps only take a few minutes every week:
Check for Proper PSI
The first thing we want to make sure of is that the tires are inflated to the proper PSI. This information can be found inside your RV on the tire and loading sticker. Having the proper tire pressure will give you a safe, comfortable ride and also help you get optimal fuel mileage.
Do a Visual Inspection
Visually inspect your tires once a week, making sure there is no drying or cracking and that the tire is even across all the tread. Uneven tread could be a sign of a bad alignment and should be checked out by your mechanic or tire center. If this goes untreated, you will lose tire tread very quickly and will need to replace your tires much sooner than you expect.
Use Tire Covers When Parking Long-Term
It is recommended to use tire covers when parked at a campground for an extended amount of time or at a storage facility. Tire covers provide protection from the sun’s UV rays and help prolong the life of the tire. Tire covers are relatively cheap compared to tire replacement – we bought a set of tire covers for our Class A for $60. I feel this is well worth the investment.
I also recommend taking the RV out once every six weeks. This is not only good for the tires, as it will help prevent flat spots, but good for your engine and transmission (if you have a motorized RV). Just like our bodies, a little bit of exercise is good for the RV.
Clean Your Tires
Keeping your tires clean will help you during your visual inspections. But be careful of which tire cleaners you use and what chemicals are in them, some do more harm than good. I have always used Dawn dishwashing detergent and a soft tire brush to clean my tires and have found it is not only safe to use on the tires, but also does a great job of cleaning them. (Here is a video of how I clean my entire RV).
RV Tire Replacement: When is it Time for New Tires?
Even with excellent care and maintenance, your tires are not going to last forever. But how do you know when it’s time for a new set of tires? Most RVers only travel 5,000 miles per year, so the age of your tire is probably going to be the deciding factor of when to get new tires.
Tires are more prone to failure as they age, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Some vehicle and tire manufacturers recommend replacing tires that are six to ten years old, regardless of treadwear. You can determine how old your tire is by looking on the sidewall at the ‘DOT’ serial number. The last four digits of the code indicate the week and year the tire was made. Looking at the photo of my old tires above, you can see they were made on the 17th week of 2015.
In our case, we did wear our tires down at 72,000 miles. You can see in the side-by-side photo comparison, it was time for us to replace our tires. There is a simple trick to find out if your tread is worn down by using a penny. Turn the penny so that Lincoln’s head is facing down and insert it into one of the tire grooves. If you can see all of Lincoln’s head, then you have less than 2/32 of tread left and it is time for new tires.
Having a professional inspect your tires is also always a good idea as they may notice unusual wear that you might miss.
How We Got Discounted Tires Through WIT Club!
When it came time for us to replace our tires, we used our WIT Club membership to get a great discount with the WIT Club - Michelin® Advantage Program, which is offered to all WIT Club members. Our membership was also helpful for finding a location that could handle the size of our RV!
Process for Using the WIT Club - Michelin® Advantage Program
Getting discounted tires through your WIT Club membership may look a bit complicated on paper, but I assure you it was very easy.
Here is a link to the official instructions on how the program works and the steps to take. However, this is a step-by-step look at what the process was like for us:
- The first thing we did was determine our tire size. You can find this written on the sidewall of your tire.
- We then went to the Michelin Advantage Program dealer locator web page. There you can search your area with the RV filter turned on to see what dealers are located in your area that offer RV tires and which ones are able to accommodate the size of your RV.
- Once we found the dealer we wanted to go with, we called WIT Club to receive the Michelin Advantage Account number.
- We then called Michelin (1-888-532-6435) to pre-register our credit card. This is necessary because, with the program, you are purchasing the tires directly from Michelin.
- After pre-registering, we contacted the dealer we had found from the locater and told them that we would like them to replace our RV tires and that we would be using the Michelin Advantage Program. They had the tires in stock, so we were able to set up the appointment right away.
- Everything from this point on was pretty standard: we arrived at the dealer and they did the work to our RV.
- The only thing that is a bit different is that there will be two bills, one from the dealer and one from Michelin. The dealer is going to charge you for the labor, tire balance, and disposing of tires. Once the dealer performs the work and charges you for the labor, Michelin will then charge you for the tires.
All in all, it was an easy process, and the dealer we used (North State Tire in Chico, CA) made the transaction go very smoothly. I would definitely recommend them to other RVers.
How Much Did We Save on Our RV Tires?
This is probably the big question everyone has: what did it cost, and did we save a lot of money? If we were to buy the six tires online ourselves from Amazon, or some other tire outlet store, the Michelin tires for our RV would have cost us $2,635. With the Michelin Advantage Program, we paid $2,340 – saving us almost $300 (that’s one week in a nice campground with full hookups!). We feel it was well worth the extra phone calls to set up the account and use the discount.
I hope you find this information helpful and informative, take care everyone and we wish you safe travels!