It will not be long now until the Easter bank holiday, a perfect time to bring the caravan out of its hibernation and on to the open road.
Just like your car, the tyres on your caravan are extremely important in keeping you safe on the roads. It is important to make sure that before attaching it to your tow bar that you check the age and condition of the tyres.
Caravan Tyre Safety Checks
Due to the fact that your caravan is used less than your car it can be easy to forget to perform safety checks on the tyres.
However, try to make sure that you give the tyres a check-up before every journey.
This includes checking the air pressure, the tread depth and the overall condition of the tyres.
Tyres with low pressure will be more likely to cause you to lose control of the caravan when you are towing it. It also increases the risk of tyre failure.
Checking the tread depth is another important task. Once the tread of a tyre gets too low then the performance of the tyres will diminish – in particular its ability to brake and grip the road.
In the UK, the law states that tyres must have a minimum tread depth of 1.6mm across 75% of the circumference of the tyre. However, once a tyre’s tread depth drops below 3mm then you should start the search for a new set.
Whilst you are checking your tyres, keep an eye out for any signs of wear and tear – for example cuts or bulges. If you spot anything like this then have the tyres checked by a mechanic.
The chances are high that you will need to replace them as these imperfections are points of weakness which could cause an accident.
Check the Age Caravan Tyres
The condition of a caravan tyre will deteriorate with age, even if it is not in use. Due to this, the likelihood that a tyre will fail increases with age.
For these reasons it is important to keep an eye on the age of your tyres – the age since it was constructed, not since the purchase date.
This information can be found very easily and quickly. On the sidewall of each caravan tyre the age of the tyre is represented in the DOT code. This is a series of numbers, of which the 4 last digits represent the age of the tyre.
In the example below the last four digits are 3909.
In this section of the code, the first two digits tell you in which month the tyre was made and the last two digits tell you the year. So 3909 = the 39th week in the year 2009.
If a tyre is older than 6 years, then it is time to replace it. Experts from within the tyre and caravan industry agree that once a tyre reaches this age the rubber compound will have degraded to the point that they become weak and potentially dangerous.