Trailer Tire CareYour trailer tires function much differently than your car tires. Here are the guidelines for proper maintenance.
Keep a Close Eye on Pressure
Your tires must always be properly inflated. Low air pressure causes dangerous heat buildup, which degrades your tires. Likewise, over-inflation causes more wear on the central surface than on the edges and can even lead to a blowout. Ultimately, uneven wear patterns shorten the life of your tires.
Don’t be tempted with all that extra storage space. Trailer tires are designed with specific weight capacities, and adhering to those guidelines keeps you safe on the road.
Regularly Rotate Your Tires
Tires naturally wear at different rates due to the way toque is applied to different axels. Make sure you keep up with regular rotations to promote even tread wear and reduce vibration when towing. On a fifth wheel, for example, weight distribution is rarely even. You want to account for these differences and make sure that all positions are being traded out regularly. Furthermore, never run bias tires with radial tires. Choose one tire type for your entire set.
Keep Tires Clean and Out of the Sun
Cleaning your tires with mild soap not only makes them look better, but it also helps them last longer. This is especially critical on boat trailers that are constantly exposed to salt water. Also, try to keep your tires out of the sun whenever possible. Long-term heat exposure only speeds up wear by causing dry rot and ozone cracks.
Perform Regular Inspections
Your trailer likely sees much more than just paved surfaces, so you want to continually check for tears, bulges, punctures, and tire rot. Even with proper protection, your tires are still susceptible to cracking. Boat trailers are particularly at risk due to the constant temperature changes from going in and out of the water.
Don’t put off the inevitable just to save a little time or money. No tire should last forever, but a proper maintenance routine can extend its life and help keep you safe out on the road.