Caravans can sit in the one spot for months on end with little or no use and be exposed to the weather for long periods, which can adversely affect the tyres.
Goodyear is urging caravan owners to check and maintain their tyres, ensuring they are up to the rigours of long-haul and extended holidays and suited to the size and weight of the caravan itself.
Weight is definitely the biggest issue for motorists who own caravans. A caravan manufacturer will supply the tare weight of the caravan, but with extras like the gas bottle, topped up water tanks, and holiday gear it may add another five hundred kilos. Obviously the tyres need to be able to handle this weight.
Goodyear Product Manager for Light Truck Tyres Prosper Labb, said the easiest way to check the weight of a fully laden caravan was on a weighbridge. "When the weight is determined, a certificate is issued which should be taken to your local tyre expert. He will ensure that the tyres fitted are able to carry the load and if not he can recommend an alternative. Tyre wear will also be examined and the correct tyre pressures advised."
Correct tyre inflation is critical when towing a heavy caravan. "Most tyre problems on caravans and trailers are the result of overloading for holiday travel, or not increasing tyre pressure to compensate for the loading,” he said.
"And before you go on a trip you should check the tyre pressures on your vehicle, which need to be increased when towing a caravan,” said Labb. “Australia’s road and weather conditions can change dramatically from state to state, particularly during winter.
Goodyear suggests drivers complete a simple checklist to answer the following questions prior to departure:
Are the tyres and rims in good serviceable condition?
Are your tyres inflated correctly?
Have you checked the spare tyre?
Are the towbar bolts tight?
Are the towbar bearings adjusted correctly for the load?
Are your brakes operating correctly?
Are the caravan and trailer indicators operating correctly?
Is the load as even as possible?
Do you have clear rear vision when towing?