With the first Bank Holiday of the year approaching, TyreSafe is reminding the UK’s 650,000 caravan and motorhome owners about the importance of ensuring their tyres are in a safe, roadworthy condition before heading off.
By doing so, owners will minimise the risk of being involved in a tyre related incident while on their travels and any roadside misery and potential injury this could bring.
“For many, Easter is the first time of the year that they will be heading away in their caravan or motorhome,” comments Stuart Jackson, chairman, TyreSafe. “After the winter when they’ve often had little or no use, it’s essential that the vehicle’s tyres are checked thoroughly before use otherwise a number of potential safety hazards could bring an abrupt end a relaxing holiday.”
A visual inspection of the condition of the tyres is the first area that owners should address. As well as looking for obvious signs of damage such as lumps, bulges or cuts in the tyre, they should also pay particular attention to signs of ageing. This can be seen by the presence of cracks in the sidewall rubber.
After being unused for a number of months, owners should also look for signs of carcass deformation. If the tyre has become misshapen, it should be examined by a qualified professional prior to use.
When inspecting the condition of the tyre, owners should check its tread depth to ensure that it complies with the UK minimum tread depth regulations of 1.6mm across the central three quarters of the tread, around its entire circumference.
Anyone unsure of their tread depth is advised to take the quick and easy 20p test which gives a good indication of whether the tyre has sufficient tread depth. Simply place a 20p coin into the main grooves of the tyre and if the outer band of the coin is visible, then they tyres may need replacing and should be inspected by qualified professional.
The final main check that owners need to make is to their tyre pressures. This is vitally important as tyres that are under-inflated or overloaded are much more likely to suffer from a rapid failure which can lead to a potentially catastrophic incident. Pressure should be checked before every journey when the tyre is cold using an accurate, calibrated pressure gauge. Details of recommended tyre loads and pressures can be found by visiting the TyreSafe website
Owners should also remember that the pressures on any towing vehicle may need to be adjusted to accommodate the additional load being carried. Details of this can be found in the vehicle handbook.
“It’s important that caravan and motorhome tyres are checked regularly throughout the entire season, but this is even more critical at the start of the year after any periods of lay-off,” adds Jackson. “If you are in any doubt about tyre safety issues, don’t take any risks, seek professional advice to ensure your break isn’t brought to a premature end.”
For more information about caravan and motorhome tyre safety, including a free downloadable advice leaflet, visit www.tyresafe.org.