Tires Part 2. Everyday maintenance and care of the tires on your RV will go a long way to keeping you safe. Each tire you have on the rig is rated for load carrying capacity. This load rating (usually a letter) determines how much weight the tire can handle at a given PSI of pressure. The lower the pressure the lower the weight handling capability. Each manufacture provides the weight/load capacity for their tires. For example Goodyear has a chart (PDF) that shows a 12R22.5 tire for an RV at a PSI of 90 can handle 6005 lbs. That same tire at 100 PSI can handle 6405 lbs. So a 10 percent drop in tire pressure would mean a loss of 400 lbs carrying capacity for your rig. What does that mean? Over weight rigs on under pressure tires could cause a failure of the tire and damage or death. What pressure are your tires?
Make it a habit to check your tire pressures before each trip. Know your the weight of your RV and keep the pressures for your tires appropriate for the weight. Be safe, your life or the lives of your love ones depends on it.
When checking an RV be sure to spend some time with the doors both inside and out. Here are some helpful hints. Open and close doors to check for solid latch. Look at doors for tight fit at all corners. Place a piece of paper at a corner, close door and pull paper to check for tight seal. Look at seals to check for deterioration or severe compression. Look at the latches on all the cabinet doors. Make sure they all work. Nothing like having dishes, pots and pans and groceries flying when you turn a corner and the door pops open.
Do you have fogged up headlights? You know the yellowing dull looking things in the front of the rigs? If so, get a can of Off Bug Spray and a rag. Spray the lens and wipe away the yellowing, dull stuff like magic. Try it, it works! Feel free to send the savings to my Paypal account
Tires on RV are not the same as on your car or light truck. They do not have the same UV protection. As a general rule, tires over 7 years old should be replaced. Watch when you buy tires and check the date of manufacture. It will be a four digit code on the sidewall near the DOT symbol. The first two digits are the week of the year and the last two digits are the year that the tire was made. So a 5109 would be the 51st week of 2009. Have you checked your tires?
When looking at a RV you will want to run the Air Conditioners for at least 10 minutes. Then with a food grade thermometer take the temperature of the incoming air (about 5 minutes) and then at the vent closest to the air conditioner take the out going air temperature. You are looking for a difference in temperature of about 20 degrees F or more.
When looking to buy an RV start with a roof inspection. You will need to bring a ladder, trust me, the ones that are attached will not be good enough unless you weight less then 150 lbs. Get up on the roof and start in one corner on your hands and knees and inspect all of the roof. Looking for holes, torn material, caulking that is pealing apart, broken vent or AC covers etc. If the unit has slides, check the seals while they are in and out. Do you know that most owners of RV never get up on the roof! This is were most of the water damage starts. If you find something that doesn’t look right, make a note and check the inside real careful when you get down.