Enjoy your RV this summer – Maximize the safety, durability & service life of your tyres
Low tyre pressure is a very common cause of tyre damage on vans and RVs, as not everyone is aware of the higher than normal pressure required for van tyres. Keeping the pressure at a sufficient level will improve traffic safety and extend the tyre’s service life. Tyre structure and correct storage between seasons also affect the durability of van tyres.
This summer, holiday makers make their way in their RVs to interesting destinations across the country. Durable tyres in good condition will make their travels easy, comfortable and safe.
– Very often, structural damage and bead area damage on van tyres are caused by tyre pressure that is too low in proportion to the load. Too low tyre pressure will cause the tyre to flex excessively under load, which in turn will heat up the tyre body. The tyre will also wear down faster, says Technical Customer Service Manager Matti Morri from Nokian Tyres.
Comfort and greener driving
Many are surprised by the higher inflation pressure required for tyres for vans and RVs. Morri mentions the common size of 235/65R16 C as an example.
– In this size, maximum load requires a pressure of 575 kPa. For the sake of comparison, passenger car tyres in the size 205/55R16 commonly have recommended pressures of 220–230 kPa. The recommended pressure for different loads is usually explained on the driver’s side door pillar or the fuel tank lid, Morri says.
In addition to tyre durability, tire pressure also affects driving safety, economy and eco-friendliness. Too low inflation pressure makes the tyre harder to control in extreme situations, increases fuel consumption and significantly reduces the tyre’s service life. When the pressures are correct, the tyre will be comfortable and silent to drive. You should check your tyre pressures at least once every month.
In addition to higher operating pressure, you should also pay attention to your choice of valves in van tyres in order to make sure they match the pressure levels being used. Morri recommends using metal valves.
The fibers used in aviation also strengthen tyres
Regular passenger car tyres are sometimes seen being used on vans and RVs. However, Morri thinks it is of utmost importance to use C category tyres, especially designed for vans.
– On van tires, the body structure, belt package below the tread and the rubber compounds are more durable and tailored for heavier use than on regular passenger car tyres. In practice, you can see this in the fact that C tyres will warm up less under load, which in turn reduces the risk of tyre damage, Morri states.
When choosing van tyres, you should also pay attention to the materials used on the tires and their durability. Unique aramid reinforced sidewalls offer special strength to Nokian Tyres’ van tyres. Aramid fibre is also utilized by the aerospace and defence industries, for example.
– Aramid-reinforced sidewalls are better at resisting impacts and cuts from potholes and curbs, for example. Aramid protects the tyre against expensive and dangerous damage, and it can even help you avoid some damage.
When changing tyres, also check the condition of your tread
When changing tyres this spring, you should check your inflation pressures as well as the condition of the tyre tread. The law states that summer tyres must have a tread depth of at least 1.6 millimeters; in practice, however, the tyre’s safety characteristics will be substantially affected when the tread depth falls to 4 millimeters. The risk of aquaplaning will increase, in particular, and braking distances in wet weather will also be extended.
– For those who drive a lot, rotating tyres during the season is a good way to ensure that they last longer and wear down more evenly. The drive wheels usually wear down faster than free-rolling wheels, so rotating the tyres from the drive wheels to the free-rolling wheels will even out the wear and maximize the service life of your tyre set. This small effort with tire rotation will create major savings in terms of tyre purchases.
The storage conditions of your tyres will also affect their service life. Between seasons, tyres should be stored indoors in a cool, dark and dry place in order to prevent UV light or incorrect storage temperatures from affecting the tyre’s rubber compound.