October is Tyre Safety Month
October is Tyre Safety Month, a national campaign from TyreSafe encouraging drivers to check and maintain the most critical components of their vehicles. We’ve put together some helpful safety checks to make sure you stay safe on the road as well as some member offers to help you save money.
Tyre Safety Month aims to educate drivers on the importance and benefits of tyre safety and offers a great opportunity for us all to take a moment to check an often overlooked aspect of our vehicles. This year’s campaign focuses on the question If your tyres don’t stop you, what will? which not only serves as a reminder for motorists to perform tyre checks but also highlights the literal message that checking your tyres is crucial for safe and effective braking and cornering.
We’ve put together a guide with some tips for easy caravan tyre checks and included some handy accessories to keep you touring safely through Tyre Safety Month and beyond.
Essential caravan tyre saftey checks
Regular caravan safety checks are essential for road safety and should be undertaken monthly (at the very least) in addition to whenever your caravan comes out of storage or before for a long journey.
You must keep tyres within the legal limits and roadworthy, so make these simple checks part of your routine. And don’t forget to check your spare.
What should your tyre air pressure be?
Incorrect air pressure damages caravan tyres and alters the handling of your vehicle and trailer, which leads to increase braking distances and difficulties steering.
Check the data plate (usually found near the door on Bailey caravans) or in your owner’s handbook to find the correct pressure for your vehicle.
It is recommended you check air pressure while tyres are cold for the most accurate readings.
We know the importance of checking your tyre pressure with the correct kit, which is why we're pleased to be able to offer our Members a great deal with TyrePal. Save 20% across their tyre pressure monitor systems to keep you safely touring, whatever your vehicle. TyrePal TC215B systems allow you to monitor caravans and tow vehicles, whilst their latest TyrePal Solar Colour is perfect for monitoring the tyre pressures of motorhomes, cars and campervans.
Check the condition of your tyres
Damaged tyres can cause tragic accidents on the road. Check for cuts, cracks, lumps, or bulges — any damage or distortion means they need replacing.
Tyres have a limited life expectancy of around five years (including spares) or when the condition demands it. Bear in mind that a tyre’s age is the manufacturing date, not the date of fitting.
*Tip — the date of manufacture is on the tyre wall. For example, 11.21 means made on the 11th week of 2021.
A poor maintenance routine can mean replacements are needed more frequently. A good maintenance routine is not only good for safety but also for the wallet.
Why is tyre thread important?
Tread keeps your outfit gripped to the road, as well as braking and stopping safely. A deeper tread provides more grip in all weather conditions, while a worn swallow tread increases stopping distance and may be illegal.
The legal minimum caravan tyre tread depth is 1.6mm. Anything below 1.6mm you are failing to meet your legal obligations.
Read our guides for more practical and in-depth advice on keeping your caravan tyres and wheel in top condition.
But even the best maintenance regime in the world cannot stop accidents from happening, so keeping a selection of reliable tools and accessories in your toolbox is essential for getting you back on the road.
For drivers, the fear is that any knock or clunk could be the beginning of a nightmare. Checking and tightening the wheel bolts should be in all pre-tour checks, which is a job that can be made a lot easier if you fit the Milenco caravan wheel bolt indicators which allow you to immediately see if any have bolts worked loose with just a quick visual check. If you spot a bolt that needs attention, use the heavy-duty WSL Torque Wrench to deliver a precise torque to ensure the bolts are correctly tightened.
Losing a wheel is a serious concern when prevention is always the best medicine, so fit these advanced WSL locking wheel bolts and, thanks to the superior clamping force and increased grip length, prevent wheels from working loose. For extra peace of mind, a secure bolt key is needed to adjust the torque, so you can be sure your wheels have not been tampered with.
If the worst does happen and your tyres fail you, if you have these emergency must-haves in your caravan toolkit, you won’t be left stranded at the side of the road for long.
The AL-KO Side Lift Jack is a powerful jack allowing you to lift to 2000kg and replace the damaged wheel with your spare or patch up a puncture with the Fix and Go Kit Tyre Repair Kit to reach the nearest garage.
If you still need some help with your tyre safety or you just want to seek the advice of an expert then we have you covered. The Caravan and Motorhome Club have joined forces with National Tyres and Autocare – the UKs largest independent tyre and autocare specialist to offer our Members a free tyre safety check and a 5% discount on tyres. Visit camc.com/nationaltyres for more details.
Visit the TyreSafe campaign for more details and useful information.