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Caravan tyres: everything you need to know


One crucial aspect of caravan maintenance that often gets overlooked is tyre care. Neglecting your caravan tyres can lead to serious safety risks and costly repairs, as they are the only contact point between your caravan and the road

In this tyre guide, we'll explain everything you need to know about looking after your caravan tyres and keeping your adventures worry-free.

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Words by Lee Davey


Caravan tyre maintenance

Regular inspections are crucial for maintaining caravan tyres. Check pressures and inspect tyres for signs of wear or damage.

A destroyed tyre

(Photo courtesy of Lee Davey)

Caravan tyre tread depth and overall condition

The legal minimum tread depth for caravan tyres is the same as that for car tyres 1.6mm across the central 75% of the tyre. However, caravan tyre tread depth is seldom a reliable indicator, as age is a huge factor.

In addition to tread depth, visually inspect the tyres for signs of general wear, cuts, bulges, or embedded objects. Also, check for cracks on the sidewall or between the tread. These cracks can be very small, so look closely.

How old are your caravan tyres?

As most caravans cover much lower mileage than cars, it is likely that age, rather than wear, will limit the life of a caravan tyre. UV damage and potential flat spots from sitting in one place for too long exacerbate this.

Both UK clubs the Caravan and Motorhome Club and the Camping and Caravanning Club recommend changing tyres every five years and never using a tyre that is more than seven years old. Using my mother-in-law's caravan as an example, cracks began to appear in the tread once the tyres had reached their fifth birthday.

The date of manufacture is usually stamped on the sidewall in a four-digit format, ie, 0524 would indicate that the tyre was manufactured during the fifth week of 2024.

Checking caravan tyre pressures

Maintaining the correct tyre pressure is crucial for caravan safety and performance. Underinflated tyres can lead to increased fuel consumption, imprecise handling, overheating and excessive wear. On the other hand, overinflated tyres can result in a harsh ride, reduced grip, and uneven wear.

Regularly check your caravan's tyre pressures using a reliable tyre pressure gauge. For the correct pressure, refer to your caravan's handbook or the data sticker on the side of your caravan. Ensure that all tyres, including the spare, are inflated correctly.

Storing your caravan

UV damage

When storing your caravan, consider using tyre covers to shield the rubber from damaging UV rays and other environmental factors. These covers can prevent cracking and premature tyre ageing caused by prolonged exposure to the sun.

Choose the right storage location to minimise damage to tyres

Ideally, store your caravan in a dry and well-ventilated space. If possible, avoid parking your caravan on grass or any surface that may cause the tyres to sink or become unevenly loaded. This isn't always possible if the storage compound is in a field.

Implement proper maintenance before storing your caravan

Check your caravan's tyre pressures before it goes into storage, as this helps prevent flat spots and underinflation issues that can arise from prolonged storage periods.

Check your caravan tyres before each trip

Tyres should be checked before each trip but pay closer attention if your caravan has been in storage for some time. Following the steps in the Caravan tyre maintenance section above will pay dividends.

Tyre safety devices

Caravan tyre pressure monitoring systems (TPMS)

A TPMS can monitor your caravan's tyre pressures, alerting you to potential issues before they become a safety hazard. Using TyrePal as an example, the system fitted to my caravan includes sensors for each tyre and a unit that monitors tyre pressure and temperature. For example, should a tyre begin to lose pressure, an alarm will sound, indicating that I have a puncture.

Parameters for pressures and temperatures can be set, and the system is suitable for single-axle caravans and twin-axle caravans with the addition of more sensors.

It's worth noting that factory-fitted TPMS sensors may be fitted inside the tyre, whereas a retrofitted system may be a screw-on cap that replaces the standard valve cap. I tend to replace batteries in the screw-on caps at the beginning of each year.

Your insurance company may offer a discount if you have a TyrePal system fitted.

Tyron bands

Tyron Bands

(Photo courtesy of Lee Davey)

Tyron bands fit inside the wheel's well, preventing the tyre from detaching during a sudden deflation. I've had Tyron bands fitted to numerous caravans, and I've been fortunate not to test them during a blowout. They are fit-and-forget items, but you may need specialised tools when changing a tyre.

Many dedicated caravan tyre suppliers have the tools and expertise to remove and refit Tyron bands, but it's worth taking any supplied equipment with you on extended trips, especially overseas.

Your insurance company may offer a discount if you have Tyron bands fitted.

Choosing replacement caravan tyres

The date stamp

(Photo courtesy of Lee Davey)

  1. What size tyre is currently fitted? The size will be marked on the sidewall, and it should be something like 185/65R14.
  2. The replacement tyre must have a sufficient load capacity for the caravan's maximum weight (MTPLM). For example, tyres fitted to a twin-axle Bailey Phoenix GT75 762 have a load rating of 93. The maximum weight of the caravan must be at most 90% of the tyre's load rating. However, 93 is not the maximum figure in kg; it equates to a maximum load of 650kg. These figures can be cross-referenced by Googling 'tyre load rating chart'.
  3. The tyre should also have a speed rating of at least M or higher to make it suitable for caravans.


How much do caravan tyres cost?

Cost is primarily determined by tyre size, load and speed rating. Using a 185/65R14 93N tyre as an example, tyre retailer Kwik Fit quoted £58.95 per tyre at the time of writing. Many companies offer a mobile caravan tyre replacement service.

How long do caravan tyres last?

Caravan tyres are usually replaced before the tread wears to a legal minimum, as various factors can affect the tyre's structural integrity. Both UK Clubs suggest that tyres are replaced after five years and not used after seven years.

Is it law to change caravan tyres after five years?

The five-year guideline for replacing caravan tyres isn't law, but it is worth adhering to. I have seen caravan tyres develop cracks inside this five-year period.

What pressure should caravan tyres be?

Tyre pressures vary and will depend on whether the caravan is single-axle or twin-axle, its weight, etc. Tyre pressures can be found in the handbook or on a data sticker fixed to the side of the caravan.

Final thoughts

As the contact patch (the part of the tyre that makes contact with the road) is likely smaller than a sheet of A4 paper, looking after your caravan tyres is an essential part of each trip.

Regular inspections, pressure checks, and renewing your caravan's tyres after five years will make your outfit safer on the road and protect your investment. TMPS and Tyron bands add a level of safety and may save money on your insurance premiums.

By choosing the correct tyres and following these maintenance tips, future caravanning trips should be worry-free and have an increased level of safety.

Expert Caravan advice to your door!

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