After fuel and batteries, the next most commonly replaced item on an RV is tires. This is not because the tires wear-out. In most cases, RVers must replace tires long before the tread is worn-out. Towable RVs seem to have the highest incidence rate of tire failures (blow-outs, tread separation, or bulges). This is probably because towable RVs typically are left parked for many months, even a year or more at a time. To put it simply, the rubber (which is actually made of oil, not real tree rubber) gets hard from not being flexed as it was intended to be rolling down the road. It may be hard to picture, but think of it as if the rubber was lubricating itself by circulating the oils in the material and the tire flexes while rolling at normal speeds. Some brands of tires show their age in different ways or more readily than others. Some brands of tires are more prone to sidewall cracking as they age. Other brands get “hard” so their ride quality and wet weather traction deteriorates badly. Other brands tend to go out-of-round, so the tires shake and balancing with not solve the problem. That is not to say that the tires are defective, but, rather, the rubber compound selected by the tire engineers was chosen primarily for a combination of traction, wet traction, wear resistance, ride quality, noise & vibration resistance and cost. Resistance to aging when in storage is not a high priority because how well the tire will resist aging when not in use is not a strong selling point to most tire customers.
The USDOT requires the date that the tire was manufactured to be molded or stamped into the sidewall of every tire, so you can tell how old it is. The tires that were installed on the RV when it was new may be a year or two older than the model year of the RV, because the chassis may have sat in inventory before the RV was completed. It is not uncommon for tires on brand new RVs to crack before the RV is even sold to the first owner if the RV sits on a dealer’s lot for a couple of years.
Tune in next time for more information about RV tires.
Your RV is constantly out in the weather, which means it needs good, regular, cleanings. First of all, make sure not to use dish soap, shampoo, or any household cleaners. Your RV is like a car, it needs specialized cleaners that aren’t harsh on the paint and finish. One tip, though; you can add vinegar to your RV cleaner to prevent water spotting and enhance the cleaner a little bit. Use about 1/3 cup per 5 gallon bucket of water and cleaner. Pressure washing is a great way to get dirt off of your RV. However, you want to make sure to dry your RV off manually, do not let it air dry. This creates water spots. Clean the inside of your RV as if you are cleaning a house and the outside as a car, but take care when doing both. Your RV is always exposed to the elements and needs proper care and cleaning.
Have you ever wondered what to look for when buying any kind of RV? First off, do your research. Look up reviews for RVs. Listen to people who know what they’re talking about. Find people who have the RV you’re looking at and pick their brain. Before you buy an RV, check competitors if you’re buying form a retailer. If you’re buying used from an owner, have the RV checked first. Do a walkthrough of the RV. Take your time, buying an RV is a big decision, no need to be hasty. You want to get your money’s worth and get everything you pay for. During the walkthough, spend some time inside pretending you live in it. Walk around, pretend to cook in the kitchen, see if you can visualize all the people you plan to entertain inside and see how much space you have. Always take into account the weight capacity of your RV. As a rule of thumb, you don’t want to go over 80% of the total weight capacity, just to be safe. Make sure you get specific specifications, not just a “Oh yeah, that’ll totally work.” Again, do your research.
Have you ever wondered what you should name your RV, if anything? Naming your RV can be a great way to express yourself. Boats aren’t complete without a name and your RV can be the same. This can add a sense of closeness for a family in an RV. Naming your RV can also help you start conversations and meet new people on the road. Naming you RV can be a fun way to give your RV some personality without completely repainting it. You could name it something clever, or just a normal name. It’s completely up to you. There are plenty of letters that can be used on RVs that are cheap and easy to use. Try to find some vinyl letters that stick to RVs. You could also get it custom detailed if you want it to look really crisp, detailed, or maybe in a different font.
If you have your RV stored for a long period of time it is possible to forget to reopen the bypass valve in your water heater. This could result in the tank being empty when you try to heat the water. This then, could cause the heating element to burn through the tank and create a hole in it. At this point the tank must be replaced. To prevent your water heater from getting to this point, make sure to get your RV checked by a professional before you take it out of storage.