When tire shopping for your travel trailer, your tire dealer may tell you that trailer tires do not be balanced. This may be true for some lightweight trailers, or utility trailers only used for short amount of times at low speeds, but your travel trailer which runs at high speeds for many miles will be different. Your travel trailer should be keep in the best running shape as possible, which requires its tires to be balanced.
Do you need to balance travel trailer tires?
Travel trailer tires do need to be balanced as an unbalanced tire can cause unnecessary vibration, premature wear, and damage to your axle bearings that can lead in failure. An unbalanced tire will cause more heat which can lead to a catastrophic blowout. Most tire dealers have the ability to balance your RV tires.
Travel Trailer Balance Guide
Why do travel trailer tires need balanced?
The tires on your travel trailer are your lifeline when traveling. The health of your tires is very important, as a blowout could leave you stranded in a remote area. Tires on vehicles need to be balanced as they are a rotating mass moving at high speeds. A small off balance of weight can change the force that is applied to that one area of the tire causing a tire to vibrate or even bounce at certain speeds. On a travel trailer, this can lead to sway, loss of traction, or the feeling of being uncontrolled.
With a tire bouncing around unbalanced, you may lose traction with the road and cause erratic behavior from your trailer. Also if you lose contact with the road surface, this can enhance sway on your trailer.
What damage can an unbalanced tire do?
An unbalanced tire creates more heat. This heat can cause premature wear to the tire and even lead to a blowout on a hot day. A tire blowout is one of the worst things that can happen when you are traveling to your favorite campsite on your vacation. Another cause of a blowout can be an unlevel trailer while towing, read about it in our guide here.
Unbalanced tires cause vibration which can rattle rivets, screws, and other items loose on your expensive trailer. Your travel trailer already has enough vibration and earthquake like movement so adding an unbalanced tire can further road damage on the vehicle.
Excessive vibration can cause axle bearings to fail. Your hub with axle bearings hold your wheels and frame together, by damaging a bearing your wheel will not spin as usual and can cause extensive damage to your trailer. Always keep your bearings greased according to manufacturer specs, and try to take good care of your bearings.
What is balancing a tire?
You need to balance a wheel and tire because your wheel or tire weight may not be perfectly balanced from the manufacturing process. Meaning a bit more rubber on one side of the tire, as well as with metal on one side of the wheel. Balancing a tire involves mounting your new tire on your set of rims. The wheel and tire are put into a machine which spins the tire and measures centrifugal force from the tire. Weight is added on the opposite side to compensate for the unbalanced rubber and retested. Once your unit tests good, you are done. This process is usually very quick for an experienced tire dealer.
How do I balance a travel trailer tire?
Always buy tires from a reputable dealer, most reputable dealers should have a tire balance machine that is used for automobiles. If a tire dealer tries to convince you that your tires do not need balanced, then you should move on to the next dealer that is willing to balance them. Also keep note, when you pay a dealer to put the tires on, it is usually a mount and balance price. Make sure you are getting what you pay for.
Should I balance my single axle trailer tire?
Yes, you should balance your tires on your single axle trailer tires you. Single axle trailers are prone to vibration due to an improperly balanced tire just as much as a dual axle travel trailer. It is more important to take care of your tires as you don’t have a backup tire like a dual axle does.
Should Travel Trailer Tires be Rotated?
Yes, travel trailers can benefit from having their tires rotated. If you notice one tire cupping wearing differently, or having more wear than the others, rotate your travel trailer tires to wear them evenly to gain more life from your set.
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