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Tyre checks

Checking the tyres

The tyres make contact with the roads and are the number one safety mechanism on your motorhome. Those who don’t clock up that many miles should scrutinise their tyres particularly carefully. Now is the perfect time to do this!

Is the tread depth enough to last the whole season? In Germany and the UK, there is a general rule for all vehicle tyres, including those on motorhomes: the tread depth must be at least 1.6 millimetres – all the better if they’re even deeper. If the tread of your motorhome tyres is nearly 1.6 millimetres deep at the start of the season, you should have them changed as a matter of urgency. If you’re planning a tour of Austria, the minimum tyre tread depth there is 4 millimetres! Do not underestimate this information, as the tread depth is important for your vehicle’s road grip – especially in wet conditions.

Next, you should check the tyres for damage such as cuts or bulges on the sidewall. If the tyres are damaged, please consult an expert for advice.

The next thing on the checklist is tyre pressure. The correct pressure is very important, especially when braking. Having the correct tyre pressure will keep you safe on the road. The pressure will probably be slightly less than before winter. This is normal. But if you notice that the pressure in one tyre has dropped much more than the others, you must check it and the tyre valve for damage. Use the tyre manufacturer’s specifications as the recommended value. The tyre pressure is usually around 5 bar. Always measure the pressure when the tyres are cold, as heat can change the value. However, if you do measure the pressure when the tyres are warm, add 0.3 bar to your reading.

The tyre age can be read from the last four digits of the DOT Code on the sidewall. These figures stand for the production week and year. For example, ‘2409’ means calendar week 24 in 2009. The tyres should not be more than six years old.

Tyre checklist:

  • Tyre pressure
  • Tread depth
  • Tyre age
  • Damage / general condition
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Finally, check the filling pressure. It will probably be slightly less than before winter. This is normal. But if you notice that the pressure in one tyre has dropped much more than the others, you must check it and the tyre valve for damage.

Don’t forget to check the spare wheel, if one is kept on board. Fill it to the highest value stipulated on the vehicle.