Can You Use Car Tyres on A Caravan?
Whether you are an ardent caravanner, or someone just beginning to enjoy having your own mobile holiday space, your caravan tyres are an important factor to consider.
You would be forgiven for thinking that the tyres on your caravan have it easy, only being used a few times a year, and never going above 60 mph. Unfortunately, whilst they don't get the wear that a regularly used car tyre ends up taking, they will degrade at a similar rate. This is due to the fact that the tyres are still made from rubber, with oxygen and sunlight combining to break the tyre down over time.
It is recommended that tyres are replaced on caravans at least every five years, in order to reduce the chance of blow-out or other catastrophic failure.
It is a commonly held belief that caravan tyres and car tyres are different beasts, with one never to be used on the other, but in reality, there are more subtle considerations at play. A single axle caravan will, generally speaking, need to be able to cope with a higher load than a car, so a van tyre may be more appropriate. Dual axle caravans spread their load more evenly, so each tyre does less work, but in turn, the caravan may be heavier.
A mathematical conundrum
In order to ensure that the tyres chosen for your caravan are appropriate for the load, a few sums will need to be done. Firstly, you need to be sure of the fully laden weight of your caravan. You should find this within your documentation, and unless you are intending to load half of your caravan with dumbbells and the other half with books, you shouldn't come close to this weight in the everyday use of a caravan.
If your maximum weight is around 1500kg, each tyre will carry 750kg of the load. There will often be a safety margin of around 20% involved, so the tyres will need a load rating of 900kg, which equates to a load index of 104. A tyre's load index will be printed on the sidewall and shows how much it has been designed to carry.
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Ensure your tyres aren't too wide
Another common misconception when buying a new set of tyres, whether from Pirelli or any other leading brand, is that a wider tyre is going to be better at handling the load. Whilst this is generally true, the new tyres may be too big for the wheel housing, causing serious potential issues. Our years of experience tell us that following the guidance given by the caravan manufacturer is essential to ensure that you get the correct tyres for the job.
Here to help
If you're looking at all of these considerations and wondering why you ever began to think about buying a caravan, talking to a local tyre professional can reassure you that you are choosing the best tyre for the job.
If you're in need of a free vehicle check, please contact your local Protyre garage, or book online here on the site.