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October is Tyre Safety Month, a national campaign to encourage drivers to check and maintain the most critical components of their vehicles. Read on to discover some valuable caravan safety checks and essential accessories to help you out when accidents happen.
We all know a set of good tyres and wheels keeps us on the road and regular checks keep touring as safe as it can be. But things can and do go wrong. Read this guide to easy caravan tyre checks and discover some handy accessories to keep you touring safely through Tyre Safety Month and beyond.
Essential Caravan Tyre Safety 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.
Tyre Air Pressure
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.
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.
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.
Caravan toolbox essentials
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 lose 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 Ko Jack Hydraulic Jack is a powerful 3-tier bottle 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.
Don’t get caught in a quagmire
It’s not always the condition of your tyres that can cause problems. Weather conditions can throw a spanner in the works, especially when pitching up or leaving a boggy site. Even the newest rubber can get stuck in slick mud, so try these Milenco Caravan Tyre Savers designed to spread the weight and stop your wheels sinking or these Milenco Extra-wide Grip Mats to save you from sliding and wheel-spinning when exiting the site.
Remember — Caravan tyres are safety-critical. Read the government guidance to towing checks. Make checks a part of your pre-adventure routine and arrive safely at your destination.