Off-Road Caravan and Trailer Tyre Selection
Which tyre should I fit to my Off-Road Caravan or Trailer?
Which tyre is best?
Tyre design and manufacturing techniques has come a long way since the first set of rubber was mounted onto a mode transport over a 100 years ago. The answer to selecting the correct tyre for a trailer or caravan is no easy task and there is no single tyre that is the perfect tyre.
Do camper tyres wear slower than tyres fitted to a vehicle?
Some do, some don’t. In many cases, camper tyres do have a slower rate of wear than other tyres. There are several reasons for this:
- No Steering – Camper tyres don’t steer the vehicle (except when the alignment is out). So, they’re not subjected to the huge forces needed to change the course of the vehicle and thus wears slower than steering tyres.
- No Drive Torque – Unlike drive tyres, camper tyres aren’t being driven by an engine. Slip and engine torque aren’t boosting their wear rate.
But doesn’t slow wear increase chances for irregular wear?
Often it does however, the age of the rubber will become a bigger factor in the replacement cycle of a camper tyre than irregular wear. It is recommended that tyres are replaced if older than 5 years.
Can I use a normal Car or Pick-up (Bakkie) tyre on my camper?
Yes, for the most part tyres fitted to off-road caravans and camping trailers are in fact normal bakkie tyres. Car tyres are generally not used on off-road caravans and camping trailers. Some tyres are specifically designed for use on trailers, but these tyres are mostly used on commercial applications.
When selecting a tyre here are some key considerations:
Price is usually an important deciding factor when we opt to replace the tyres on our campers but be careful, just because they look the same on the outside doesn’t mean the inside mechanics of a cheaper tyre is correct for your application. The following key points should be on your check list when choosing tyres:
- Select a trusted brand with a proven track record.
- Ensure that the speed rating of the new tyre is similar or higher than the speed rating of the tyres currently fitted to your caravan or camping trailer. Where possible match the speed rating to the speed rating of the tyres fitted to your towing vehicle provided, they are higher or equal than that currently fitted to your camper.
- Select tyres with the correct load rating, again we recommend that the replacement tyre’s load rating is equal or higher than the load rating of the tyres currently fitted to your caravan or camping trailer. Also, where possible match the load rating to the load rating of the tyres fitted to your towing vehicle provided, they are equal or higher than that currently fitted to your camper.
- Replacement tyres should be the same size as that fitted to your camper. If you do want to replace the tyres with a different size check with your local dealer if the new size would be suitable for your caravan or trailer. More often than not, Off-road Caravan and Trailers can be equipped with tyres similar in size to that of the towing vehicle.
- Tyre model or tread patterns – for on-road caravans the type of tyre should preferably be for tar road applications. For off-road trailers and caravans the choice of tread pattern can be a bit more daunting. Our recommendation for off-road campers would be an All-Terrain tyre suitable for both on- and off-road use.
In the above points you would have noticed that we mentioned matching the camper replacement tyres to your towing vehicle tyres provided that the specification on the camper replacement tyres are equal or higher than that of the tyres currently fitted to your camper. The reason for this is simple, what if you are traveling in a remote area and you suffer tyre damage on multiple occasions? Tyres can then be swopped between your vehicle or camper and in instances where the PCD is the same on both the camper and vehicle complete spare wheel assemblies can be swapped.