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There is an abundant supply of tires available for purchase, and these tires cover a wide range of dimensions, categories, manufacturers, and a multitude of other criteria. When it comes to picking out the best tires for your RV or travel trailer, the key to making the right decision is understanding everything there is to know about the available options. You have invested a significant amount of time in selecting and maintaining your equipment. Let’s set aside a few minutes to learn more about how to select the appropriate tires for your recreational vehicle (RV) journey trailer.
P Tires versus LT Tires versus ST Tires
ST (Special Trailer) tires are the only way to go when it comes time to replace the tires on your rig. P (Passenger) or LT (Light Truck) tires are acceptable for everyday drivers and tow vehicles, but when it comes time to replace the tires on your rig, ST tires are the only way to go. ST tires are manufactured in a way that is tailored particularly for use on recreational vehicles (RVs), cargo trailers, and travel trailers. These tires are designed to conform to the stringent industry standards and manufacturer guidelines, giving you the safest ride that is humanly possible. You should be able to find the vast majority of the information and recommendations that you will require to choose your ST tires in the owner’s manual that came with your rig. If you choose tires that are in compliance with the manufacturer’s guidelines, you will likely experience enhanced safety and handling, in addition to a longer lifespan for the tires themselves.
Benefits of ST (Special Trailer) Tires
Even though ST tires were developed with your RV or travel trailer in mind, they are adaptable enough to be used on a wide assortment of towables, including boat trailers, utility trailers, and other campers. ST tires are manufactured with the greater load requirements and demands of trailering taken into consideration during the manufacturing process. The utilization of larger polyester cords in the production process results in ST tires having sidewalls that are both sturdier and more rigid than those of P or LT tires. To further support additional weight requirements, the steel cords in a ST tire have both a large diameter and a greater tensile strength than those in a standard tire.
ST tires have less of a risk of having their sidewalls punctured and are also less likely to slide under the rim when turning thanks to the reduced amount of sidewall flex that they have. Additionally, ST tires enable the trailer to track better behind the vehicle that is pulling it, which helps to minimize swaying.
Even though ST tires are manufactured with a higher load carrying capacity to accommodate the weight of your travel trailer, there are still many weight-related factors that need to be taken into consideration to guarantee the highest possible level of safety and performance.
All of the tires on your RV trailer need to be the same size, and the total capacity of all of the tires must be equivalent to or greater than the Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) of the axle. Only then will you be able to effectively manage the weight of your RV. The total capacity of all of the tires should, in point of fact, be greater than the weight of the filled trailer by twenty percent. Putting an excessive amount of weight on your ST tires, or any tires for that matter, significantly increases the risk of a tire blowout and can even distort the axle.
In addition to the load capability, the load range of your ST tires is another important factor to take into consideration. The load range of a tire is denoted by a series of letters or numbers that are located on the sidewall of the tire and specifies the maximum amount of weight that the tire can securely carry at a given inflation pressure.
Both LT (Light Truck) and ST (Special Trailer) tires designate ranges in ascending alphabetical sequence, with load range ‘B’ representing a 4-ply rating at 35 PSI and load range ‘C’ representing a 6-ply rating at 50 PSI, and so on. LT tires stand for “Light Truck,” and ST tires stand for “Special Trailer.” As can be seen, moving further down the alphabet results in tires that are of a higher quality and strength.
It is essential to maintain the correct inflation and pressure in the tires of any vehicle, but this is particularly true for the ST tires that come on your RV travel trailer. Because underinflation is the leading cause of ST tire failure, it is imperative that you maintain the tires at the maximum inflation level specified on the sidewall at all times. Additionally, underinflation can lead to the accumulation of excessive heat as well as faster or more uneven tread degradation. When your tires are cool and have not been subjected to the heat of the sun is the ideal time to examine the levels of inflation in your tires. If you have to check the inflation of your ST tires when they are heated to the touch because they have been operating, you should add three psi to the maximum amount of air in the tires. A real-time report of the pressure in your tires can be sent immediately to your vehicle or your smartphone if you have a tire-pressure monitoring system installed. The tried-and-true technique of checking the pressure of your tires using either a manual or digital pressure gauge is always an option.
Wear and Tear
ST tires, on the other hand, are built to withstand substantially less wear and tear than regular passenger tires on account of their unique construction. They are built to withstand a great deal of punishment, but that does not make them indestructible. Your ST tires have an expected lifetime of between three and five years, but time and the elements can shorten that considerably. A tire loses approximately one-third of its strength after approximately three years, so its condition should be meticulously monitored throughout this time period. It is possible for the rubber used in ST tires to become brittle with age and begin to deteriorate, particularly when subjected to prolonged exposure to the sun or heat. ST tires typically have a maximum speed rating of 105 kilometers (65 miles) or 65 miles (105 km/h). If you continue to journey at speeds higher than that for any length of time, your ST tires will experience heat buildup and fatigue. If your RV or travel trailer is parked or housed outside for an extended period of time, you may want to consider purchasing tire covers to protect your tires from the damaging effects of the elements while the vehicle is stationary.
A standard ST tire should last anywhere from 3,000 to 15,000 miles (5,000 to 19,300 kilometers) according to the manufacturer’s specifications. That is a significant travel range, but it is calculated assuming that the typical RV travel trailer is used for just a few shorter trips throughout the course of a season. Longer trips do not always mean that you will need to replace your tires every year; however, they do mean that you will need to pay closer attention to the surface levels and inflation of your tires.
It’s time to start looking for new tires for your RV travel trailer now that you know what to look for and how to keep them in good condition. Visit the collection of RV Trailer Tires offered by RV Part Shop Canada in order to view all of the brands and sizes of RV and Travel Trailer tires that are currently available.