Even with the car for your regular driving, you already need to arm it with a suitable and good-quality set of tires, let alone a large and bulky RV. RV tire is the specialized type of tires designed to handle heavy loads with ease, while maintaining the driver’s control over the RV.
You certainly will never want to choose the wrong set of 4 poor tires to bury yourself in the unexciting experience of any family trip. Therefore, let’s find out more with RVing Trends about the characteristics of RV tires on the market and their compatibility with each model right now.
If you’re in a hurry, take a look at this quick list of our top picks for the best RV tires or continue scrolling to check on our full list with in-depth reviews.
The best RV tires for the money:
- Best Travel Trailer Tire: Carlisle 6H04591
- Best Fifth Wheel Tire: Trailer King TKS53
- Best Class A RV Tire: Bridgestone Duravis M700HD
- Best Class C RV Tire: Firestone Transforce HT2
- Best Class B RV Tire: Michelin XPS RIB 13080
Do RVs Need Special Tires?
Some people may still think that all tires are the same. As long as they can keep the vehicles moving on the road, they all meet the standard. However, reality is always different from thoughts. In fact, different vehicles will require different types of tires to serve different purposes. Your truck, for instance, will definitely need a set of tires which is different from those for a passenger car. So with a special usage for camping trips, RVs must be equipped with special tires.
It’s extremely important to get a good set of tires that is compatible with your RV. Aside from the weight issues, the properties and materials that make up a tire are also vital factors in leveling your driving experience to the maximum.
To enable the RV to carry a considerable and sometimes over-stuffed load above, manufacturers must always pay attention to production technology, the structure, and the materials of each type of tire released on the market.
RV tires are often constructed with long-term purposes of use but are somewhat extreme and different from regular passenger tires. Having to carry a large load for a long time or be affected by elements on the road surface in mountainous or sandy terrain, for RV tires, is as daily as sipping tea.
Of course, you don’t have to use these bulky cars to commute every day. And because of that, you can avoid damaged, cracked, or worn status happening too quickly. However, because of their special structure, they will always need the proper care and attention to limit some inevitable impacts from the surrounding environment.
As the RV is not used on flat roads with driving sensations like surfing in the clouds, its tire always has to meet the standard of durability, heavy load capacity, good controllability, and excellent road grips. The tire’s structural compounds and tread pattern design will also be focused on, reinforced, and completed in the production process. A tire made of quality materials and manufacturing techniques will help you maintain a full-controlled driving experience.
The construction of such heavy motorhome-specific tires usually exists in two forms, the radial, and the bias structure. The type of tire that best suits your vehicle will determine how it behaves, how it moves, and how you handle it on the road. Installed with the radial tires, your RV tends to be easier to handle, and the fuel consumption is also lower. On the other hand, bias-structured tires with increased durability will make your ride smoother and lighter.
Overall, the optimal strength of the RV tire depends on the build type, the max PSI figure, and its load range. RV tires should be selected based on the requirements of your RV to ensure ultimate driving safety throughout its service life.
To summarize, the special features of tires for RVs or trailers are reflected in a few characteristics:
- Tire tread blends compound and tight ribbed design for added durability.
- Unique bias and radial construction with different capabilities and uses depending on the type of RV you are using.
- The spiced inner rubber compound improves the load-carrying capacity of the RV tire without worrying about it being deformed due to high pressure.
You can drive a Class B RV that doesn’t seem to fit a family of 3 during a long day trip and hope for the gradual comfort to come later. However, you will be in a hard-pressed situation right away when using a set of typical tires for an oversized trailer of similar dimensions to a regular large car.
The characteristics, features, and operation of each type of motorhome or trailer are different. So, don’t let your travel experience turn into a disaster just because you have chosen some car tire type that is not special enough and perfectly suitable for your vehicle.
Types of RV Tires
Before getting into the best RV tires notices you’ve been looking for and waiting for, let’s take a look at some of the salient features of popular tires on the market to understand more about the diversity of the car tire ecosystem in today’s market.
ST vs LT Tires
ST and LT are two of the best RV tires that have been favored in the RV accessories market since the RV fever emerged until now. With their advantages and even disadvantages, both types are the choice of many, from newbies to experienced drivers. Nothing is perfect, and those imperfect traits have made them especially prevalent.
There are many differences between light truck tires and special trailer tires as they are developed with different purposes in the manufacturers’ minds.
Light Truck tires (LT tires): The primary objective of light truck tires is to maintain traction while accelerating, braking and cornering while also having decent ride comfort. When this tire rolls over a bump, it absorbs some of the energy from it. And then, therefore, the tire transmits less of that bump through the suspension. Drivers typically use Light Truck tires in half-ton, three-quarter-ton, and one-ton trucks.
Special Trailer tires (ST tires): Identified by an S T on the tire sidewall, the purpose of these trailer tires is to minimize sidewall flex, carry heavy loads, and dissolve heat. In addition to the internal differences, the rubber used in ST tires typically has more anti-aging chemicals and UV rays. The rubber compound is usually stiffer, providing more strength to the sidewalls. In a nutshell, ST tires and the trailer are the destiny to get you through every kind of weather within a year.
Radial Tires vs Bias Tires
Following today’s basic RV tires review are the two types of tires that show unique characteristics and a more developed structure. In bias tires, the tire body is made up of layers of filaments with diagonal directions, creating a 30 to 45-degree angle to the radial line of the tire. The tire surface forms a diamond-shaped network due to the diagonal layers of the fabric. Because of that, it can stretch very easily.
Bias tires have considerably thick sidewalls. So when moving on the road, they will generate more heat and consume more fuel from your vehicle. When not on the ready load, the bias tire surface still forms a small elliptical area as contact with the road, causing it to wear out faster.
When being on load, the bias tire will flatten. In contact with the road surface, the greater your trailer load, the more flattened the tire will be. Meanwhile, the top of the tire tends to be lifted, thereby reducing traction, which can cause unsafety for the driver when moving on the crowded street.
Meanwhile, with a radial tire, its body will consist of one or more layers of parallel filaments creating a 90-degree angle to the periphery direction of the tire.
Because this tire type is made of one or more layers of parallel steel fibers, the radial sidewall is usually thin and has good bending and folding resistance. At that time, the tire generates heat but still can ensure a comfortable driving experience with lesser tire wear. This difference is an advantage for radial tires in use when compared to bias tires.
The next inner layer of the radial tire forms a network that prevents the tire from being deformed during rolling on the road, helps the wheel and vehicle grip the road well, being less susceptible to external damages, and gives you a smoother driving feeling.
On the outside of the tire is a fabric layer wrapped with a steel burlap made from nylon fiber, which helps prevent the expansion of the tire due to centrifugal force generated when the RV is running at high speed. Even with no load, the tire remains in contact with the road’s flat surface. When moving under some load, this area only stretches up. And the tire’s width will not be reduced, and the treads will still be in contact with the road surface.
There is no doubt that the bias tires have good solidity and rigidity at a more economical price than the radial. However, when you use radial tires with their horizontal and vertical solidness adjusted independently, the RV or even your trailer will grip the road better and help you navigate more easily on every road condition.
Below will be a summary table to give you a quick overview of the strengths and weaknesses of these two types of tires, radial, and bias.
|Bias tires||Radial tires|
|More against damage||More prone to damage|
|Weak traction||Good traction|
|Higher load capacity||Lower load capacity|
|Easier to repair||More difficult to repair|
|Give a stiffer ride, you can feel every piece of the road when sitting on the vehicle.||Give a smoother riding experience|
|Not so durable||More durable|
Best RV Trailer Tires (Travel Trailers And Fifth Wheels)
1. Best Travel Trailer Tire: Carlisle 6H04591 Radial HD Trailer Tire
- Size: ST205/75R15 107M
- Load Capacity: 2,150 Pounds
- Load Index Rating: 107.0
- Speed Rating: M
- Tread Depth: 9 32nds
- Tire Aspect Ratio: 75.0
- Weight: 20.0 pounds
- Section Width: 205 Millimeters
- Rim Size: 17 Inches
Why This Is The Best Travel Trailer Tire:
Versatile and flexible, Carlisle 6H04591 is able to give a good account of itself in quite a few settings. Thanks to the wear-resistant tread compound, this tire for RV slows down the wearing rate as time passes. Additionally, it’s worth pointing out that with excellent heat tolerance, this travel trailer tire holds together well even if temperature spikes out of the blue. Hence, in my opinion, this tire is one of the best RV tires money can buy in terms of longevity.
About installation, the setup process of the tire made by Carlisle is a straightforward affair that involves little time and effort. Since everything I need is in my toolbox, I could set up this tire whenever and where I want which is a big plus. Aside from that, this tire incorporates a variable pitch pattern that keeps the noise down on the road. Needless to say, this camper tire receives a shower of praises from RV tire reviews once it comes to noise level.
Introduced at a reasonable price, 6H04591 matches the shopping budget of a lot of RVing enthusiasts. Upon purchase, this tire is accompanied by a two-year warranty that brings peace of mind.
- Setup process is child’s play
- People sometimes complain about sidewall bubbles
- Shipping could use some work
2. Best Fifth Wheel Tire: Trailer King TKS53 ST Radial Trailer Tire
- Size: 225/75R15 117L
- Load Capacity: 2,833 Pounds
- Load Index Rating: 117.0
- Speed Rating: L
- Tread Depth: 10 32nds
- Tire Aspect Ratio: 75.0
- Weight: 28.0 pounds
- Section Width: 225 Millimeters
- Rim Size: 15 Inches
Why This Is The Best Fifth Wheel Tire:
Designed with an emphasis on consistency, Trailer King TKS53 allows RVers to maintain control over their rig around the clock. Boasting nylon overlay, this tire for RV is capable of handling everything that the outdoors throw at it. Moreover, the center groove of this fifth wheel tire not only stabilizes the vehicle but also bites into the ground. As a result, by taking advantage of this tire, I could execute all sorts of maneuvers at my leisure.
For compatibility, TKS53 supports a multitude of vehicles from travel trailers to fifth wheels. Therefore, if I decide to change my vehicle in the future, I may continue using this tire instead of buying new ones. Besides that, compared to standard models on the market, this tire lasts a long time regardless of the conditions. That means with this tire on my RV, I don’t have to spend too much money on tire replacement while traveling.
As proof of confidence, Trailer King willingly offers everyone that opts to pick up its tire a five-year manufacturer warranty. Naturally, many full-time RVers who like to stay on the safe side deem it to be among the best 5th wheel tires available for purchase.
- Sturdy and stable
- No-nonsense maintenance
- A number of inconsistencies exist between tires
- Tires show up damaged every now and then
3. Maxxis M8008 ST Radial Trailer Tire
- Size: 205/75R15
- Load Capacity: 2,150 Pounds
- Load Index Rating: 117.0
- Speed Rating: R
- Tread Depth: 9 32nds
- Tire Aspect Ratio: 75.0
- Weight: 24.0 pounds
- Section Width: 205 Millimeters
- Rim Size: 15 Inches
Why We Love It:
So you travel around the year in your RV and need tires that don’t give out all of a sudden? In that case, you may want to spare a bit of time to check out Maxxis M8008 (46119). With a tough double steel-belted construction, this camper tire excels at resisting physical impacts as well as outdoor elements. In addition to that, this tire makes use of an advanced tread compound that extends tread life and leads to a long replacement interval.
One thing I like about M8008 (46119) is the low rolling resistance that leads to a fantastic fuel economy on the road. Unsurprisingly, those with fuel-hungry rigs think of this tire as one of the best travel trailer tires nowadays. Also, since the maintenance of this tire for RV is a breeze, keeping it in top shape is a walk in the park. With this tire on my side, I could spend less time on tire maintenance and more time on traveling.
In terms of handling, the tire from Maxxis absorbs shocks effectively and efficiently for most of the time. Thus, this tire permits people to navigate less than ideal terrain with relative ease.
- Dependable and reliable
- Reports of RVing enthusiasts getting old tires on occasions
- Less than ideal post-purchase support
Best Motorhome Tires (Class A, B, C RVs)
4. Best Class A RV Tire: Bridgestone Duravis M700HD All Terrain Commercial Tire
- Size: LT265/70R17 121 R E
- Load Capacity: 7,043 Pounds
- Load Index Rating: 121.0
- Speed Rating: R
- Tread Depth: 17 32nds
- Tire Aspect Ratio: 70.0
- Weight: 52.0 pounds
- Section Width: 265 Millimeters
- Rim Size: 15 Inches
Why We Love It:
Once it comes to heavy-duty tires for Class A RV, few models perform as well as Bridgestone Duravis M700HD (206276) in the outdoors. Since it packs a strong casing, this tire is less vulnerable to stone drilling than others and that is advantageous. Furthermore, featuring dual sidewall, this motorhome tire superbly handles cuts and abrasions as my RV is in motion. Because of that, with this tire, I don’t have to worry too much about tire blowouts due to sharp objects.
The moment the setup process concludes, the Bridgestone tire is good to go so there is no need for a break-in period. Being an all-terrain model, this tire for RV permits me to overcome mud, snow, … while retaining complete control. Hence, from what I see, this tire is among the best RV tires for Class A motorhomes in its price range. Last but not least, the affordable nature of this tire means it fits the wallet of ordinary RV owners.
About tread, Duravis M700HD (206276) wears out slowly so its tread holds together for years. A tread wear indicator is present too so I could tell when I need a new tire.
- Noise level is low
- Reasonable price
- Delivery service is mediocre
- Quality control still leaves something to be desired
5. Best Class C RV Tire: Firestone Transforce HT2 Commercial Light Truck Tire
- Size: LT225/75R16 115 R E
- Load Capacity: 5,908 Pounds
- Load Index Rating: 115.0
- Speed Rating: R
- Tread Depth: 14 32nds
- Tire Aspect Ratio: 75.0
- Weight: 34.7 pounds
- Section Width: 225 Millimeters
- Rim Size: 16 Inches
Why We Love It:
Despite its plain appearance, Firestone Transforce HT2 (2760) is a solid tire that rarely lets RV owners down on the road. Incorporating saw tooth edge siping, this tire for motorhomes bites aggressively which guarantees traction on multiple terrains. Additionally, with full-depth lateral slots that speed up the evacuation of water, this RV tire could minimize the risk of hydroplaning too. That is why RVers, novices as well as veterans, believe this tire to be one of the best Class C RV tires regarding handling.
Thanks to high chip resistance, the tread of Transforce HT2 (2760) won’t get damaged easily so one set of tires lasts for a long time. With the long replacement interval of this tire, I could travel to my heart’s content before finding new tires for my motorhomes. Aside from that, since the maintenance of this tire is a piece of cake, there is no need to give it a lot of care. That being said, for good measure, I balance my tires every ten thousand miles.
To reassure customers, Firestone backs its tire with a three-year warranty. In the case that my tire fails due to manufacturing defects within the warranty period, I may claim a replacement free of charge.
- Installation is undemanding
- Second to none handling
- Sporadic complaints about swaying
- Old stocks don’t get pulled from the market
6. Best Class B RV Tire: Michelin XPS RIB Radial Tire
- Size: 235/85R16 120R E1
- Load Capacity: 3,042 Pounds
- Load Index Rating: 120.0
- Speed Rating: Q
- Tread Depth: 15 32nds
- Tire Aspect Ratio: 85.0
- Weight: 57.0 pounds
- Section Width: 235 Millimeters
- Rim Size: 16 Inches
Why We Love It:
Owing to the presence of tread compounds optimized for commercial applications, it takes years for Michelin XPS RIB (13080) to wear out. This RV tire includes steel casing for strength as well so most challenges in RVing give it little trouble. Also, in times of need, I could have this tire rethreaded to extend its longevity. As a result, compared to classic tires for motorhomes on the market, the amount of money that this tire saves is superior by all accounts.
Since the tire of Michelin is made from the ground up for universal installation, compatibility is less of an issue. Besides that, the setup process of this tire is child’s play too so I don’t have to postpone my schedule. In the outdoors, the noise-reduction tread pattern of this tire contributes to a low noise level and that is nice. Lastly, with top-notch traction of the tread pattern, this tire is good at maintaining contact with the ground in an assortment of environments.
Don’t have a lot of time to take care of the tires of your rig? In that case, with its intuitive maintenance, XPS RIB (13080) is among the best Class B RV tires you can get.
- High endurance
- Quick shipping
- Customer service is responsive
- Packaging is barely acceptable
- People report getting used tires from time to time
Detailed Standards To Consider The Best Tires For Campers
Before choosing the suitable RV tires for your vehicle, you should get to know clearly about the RV Tire Sidewall and how to read it. To make sure you understand the figures and their meanings to prepare for yourself a best-suited tire, follow along.
You may have already taken down some notes on the most basic things to understand about an RV tire. We will now discuss further the criteria you should consider to get a proper one for your vehicle.
Depending on the diameter and wheel width that different vehicle manufacturers decide, RV tires come in a wide range of sizes. You can easily choose a suitable set of tires, as long as you know a few simple rules. For any tire size, the higher the load range (ply rating), the more weight the tire can safely carry. The RV mass depends on the inflation pressure plus the size and construction of the tire.
First and foremost, you should get to know the RV or trailer you’re using to see what tires it will fit by the manufacturer’s specifications. In general, there is a big difference in size requirements for a travel camper compared to a regular passenger car. Look for a signboard or paper filled with vehicle information on the wall behind the driver’s seat in a motorhome Class A. You can also see it in the front left corner of the outside of the fifth wheel and towing trailers. In addition, for a Class B or Class C RV, the sign may be located on the gas tank cap, in the glove box, or inside the driver’s door trim. Just look around a bit and you can find it in no time.
Be sure to look for and use tires with the sizes recommended by the RV manufacturer’s manual or signboard and follow them carefully. Because the tire size is a required factor in assuring the safety of RV occupants when moving on the road, especially on unfriendly and ragged roads.
It’s always a good idea to check the size of the tire currently mounted on your RV, but make sure to double-check with the signboard inside your car. If you buy a used one, this checking process will be even more essential. Because you never know if the previous owner followed the proper tire size recommendations for the vehicle until now. With a little extra attention, even with a slightly worn old buddy, you can still find the best RV tires to assist your journey in a blink of an eye.
Here is an example to help you understand more about the tire size specifications. Assume that you are driving an RV with a number set presented on tires as 206/46R18. In detail, the tread width is 206 mm, which is your tire width measurement when looking at the tread. The side aspect ratio is 46, which means that the height of the sidewall of the tire is 46% of the width of the tire. So the tire will be 94.76 mm from rim to tire. The final number in the tire size is the rim size. Rim size 18 means that the diameter of the tire and the wheel or rim both need to be 18 inches for a safe and comfortable driving experience.
The tire speed rating is established to match the maximum speed capability of the vehicle in which they are installed. Based on numerous laboratory tests with simulated velocities, the experts will identify the car speed ratings when the tire is pressed against a large diameter metal drum to reflect its appropriate load. To achieve the desired speed rating, the tire needs to maintain its performance at that speed for a considerable period. Industry standards will control how the tire achieves and maintains a certain speed level during the test.
However, laboratory analyses cannot simulate all possible real-life situations that occur with your tire. Therefore, you should only consider the tire speed rating as an indicator of the tire’s ability to operate under specified conditions. The actual max tire speed may be lower than rated. Because tires are affected by many unwanted factors such as pressure, wear, vehicle state (including wheel alignment), traffic conditions, and the distance traveled by the vehicle at the same speed point.
Today tires’ speed rating system uses the letters system of A to Z. Each letter represents a certain speed level. In general, the maximum speed limit will increase in the same order as the alphabetical one.
In RVs or trailers, the tire speed ratings are typically in the 65–75 mph range (from J to L). Except in special cases, fifth-wheels and travel trailer tires usually have a 60-65 mph of speed rating.
Note that a tire’s speed rating is not the speed you should be driving. This figure is often above the maximum highway speed limit, and of course, no vehicle or tire manufacturer recommends driving against the law.
It is also important to note that speed ratings only apply to tires that have not been damaged, replaced, overinflated or overloaded, or when the vehicle is properly handled and usually commutes in good weather. In addition, according to most major tire manufacturers on the market, an RV tire that has been punctured or patched will no longer hold its original optimum speed rating, even if it has been thoroughly repaired. Since the tire manufacturer cannot control the quality of the repair process, the standard tire durability and warranty also decrease accordingly.
Load Range and Ply Ratings
You need to know about the range and tire load capacity to not exceed it in all situations. Because you will experience heat buildup and tire explosion if you intentionally load too much. Where can you find the load range of your beloved RV? Of course, at the data plate or information signs that you can easily spot in the cabin or at some reputable tire brand websites.
Understanding the tire load parameters will make it easier to buy new and plan more specific maintenance or inspection for your tire. You can meet or exceed the load capacity listed in the manual without worrying about the fitness of your tires.
It is important to note that this number should be calculated based on the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR), the maximum weight your RV can carry at any time. The weight includes clothing, equipment, attached external items, and water in fresh, black, or gray tanks.
For example, when your owner’s manual shows a GVWR of 3,600 pounds, the tires will need to meet or exceed that weight.
If you have a trailer or fifth-wheel with one axle and a single tire on either side, and 3,600 pounds is the load range listed on the manual, you should buy tires with a load capacity of at least 1,900 pounds. At 1,900 pounds each, both of your tires combined can support up to 3,700 pounds. It is 100 pounds more than the standard.
As ply ratings, they are less concerned and mentioned in today’s market. Instead, it was renewed and denoted primarily by an alphabetical load range corresponding to increasing strength, higher inflation pressure, and heavier load capacity.
Below are the letters representing the load ranges indicated on the sidewalls and the numbers representing the respective ply ratings.
|Tire load range||Ply ratings||Max. tire pressure|
RV Tire Sidewall Strength
The strength of the sidewall of a tire is usually based entirely on the number of grooves extending into the sidewall with the thick tread design and tread pattern. The greater the sidewall strength, the less likely the tire will bend, even at lower pressures. So when choosing a new tire for your RV, determining the sidewall strength of the tire is very important.
Motorhome manufacturers will recommend different levels of air pressure to inflate the tires. It is important to remember that the pressure on the sidewalls cannot meet or exceed the pressure indicated on the tire, as that is the maximum allowable pressure. Keeping the pressure a bit lower will help the tires handle and carry the weight of the RV better.
Proper inflation pressure is key to getting the most out of your RV tire power. An improperly inflated tire will not be able to carry the maximum load, which can affect the vehicle’s performance down the road and even cause a tire blowout.
In particular, if you own a set of tires that are around 16 inches in size, you can set the tire pressure from 35 up to more than 80 psi or 210 to 60 kPa. These numbers cover a fairly large range and are not exact to any specific tire. What you need to do is find an exact number that matches the weight of your vehicle.
You can find accurate tire pressure parameters for a particular RV or trailer at the tire sidewall itself, the owner’s manual, instruction sticker, edge of your RV door, fuel or glove box door, or on the website of a reputable tire brand. The figure includes the maximum recommended tire pressure based on the RV’s max weight. You can easily access reputable sources to get helpful information for yourself. For example, if using Michelin RV tires, you will be provided with a Michelin load and inflation tables to find details quickly and accurately right on the brand’s website.
However, the tire pressure listed on the RV or manual may differ from the actual one. So if possible, check your tire pressure information with an RV tire pressure monitoring system before every trip. As your motorhome’s tire pressure will change, possibly quite dramatically, in the face of temperature fluctuations or changes in altitude.
Tires can also be divided into types depending on the weather, like summer and winter tires.
Summer tires are inelastic at high temperatures. The surface of the tire has shallow grooves and small spikes, creating just enough friction to keep the car in constant motion.
The made materials and the design of summer car tires help the car grip the road more sufficiently while increasing the handling on dry or wet pavement. In addition, this type of tire has a long life that enables your vehicle to achieve better fuel economy than winter tires.
As for tires specialized for winter, their main component is rubber, which can stay soft in low temperatures. The side of the tire has a deep-cut groove, with large rubber spikes to help the car grip the road well in a different way compared to summers tires when traveling in cold weather and slippery streets.
When it comes to owning a superior tire for your RV, no one can recommend a specific type because all RVs are different. However, if focusing on a single tire is too unrealistic, try one among the few well-known tire brands today.
For each tire brand, you’ll find rave reviews online, shared from each individual’s experience. There are surplus advantages, but also considerable disadvantages. For example, the Michelin RV tire seems to be the tire that is loved by the whole RV community. But in fact, there are thousands of people who decry and hate them for their specific reasons.
So, to find a suitable set of tires, you must do your research, talk to a reputable manufacturer or dealer and get information from reliable sources when planning on a new set of camping tires.
Popular brands in the market include Firestone, Michelin, Continental, and Cooper Tires. If you are not sure which tire to buy and are satisfied with the tire installed by the manufacturer, you can easily order it again. Remember to consider carefully before buying something so you don’t have to spend money on a brand new set of tires from bad brands that you can’t use.
- Class A motorhome tires
Most Class A motorhome models are over 30 feet long with extremely heavyweight and bulky shapes. These factors have contributed to a total bill of RV tire replacement cost that is often dizzyingly high. However, if you follow your favorite tire brands or online shopping websites, you can save some money on selling promotions or a buy 4-5 get 1 free deal that will reduce the total costs when you shop all at the same time.
The average cost you need to spend on a set of quality class-A tires tends to be between $250 to $350 per tire.
- Motorhome class B tires
They are called B-class RVs, but they are divided into many different segments, creating a diverse system of class-B. A single B class tire can cost anywhere from $300 to $370, roughly the same as an A tire in the other range. With slightly smaller cars, the price per tire can be anywhere from $150 to $250.
- Class C motorhome tires
Not according to the alphabetical order, the class C motorhomes on the market can be larger and take up more space than class B models. The average amount you need to spend to buy a set of tires is approximately $250 to $320 for a large vehicle.
- Fifth-wheel camping tires
It may sound cramped at first, but people traveling or camping with a fifth wheel can enjoy time in a pretty comfortable large lodge.
Of course, such a comfortable and spacious space also means that the tires of the fifth-wheel can bear the same load as a class A RV. The cost per tire is around $250 to the high-end $350 range. Overall, the fifth wheel tires tend to last longer as they are not responsible for any applying torque from the drivetrain of the trailer.
- Travel trailers & toy haulers tires
For the above vehicles, the tires tend to wear even as it withstands the same amount of impacts from all directions. When you want to switch or replace a new type, you only need to prepare to change two or all four tires at a time without worrying about not taking full advantage of the strength of all tires. In the market, towing trailer and toy haulers tires can cost anywhere from $80 to $210 for a single tire sold.
- Popup camper tires
With the advantage of expanding the sleeping space, this camper is gradually becoming popular among RVers in recent years. However, being unable to bring as many conveniences as other types of vehicles due to limited size, the tire for a popup camper is still cheap, only about 60-70 dollars for a typical one. And about $140-150 per tire for more modern models.
- Teardrop camper tires
The teardrop camper has recently been widely used and has become more popular because of its light towing ability while ensuring a comfortable sleeping place for two to three people. Since they don’t carry a lot of weight and don’t require maintaining acts like rotating the tires, the life of teardrop camping tires can last quite a bit to save on your wallet.
A reasonable and desirable price for a lightweight camping tire will be in the $80 to $150 range.
|Type of RV||Tire prices ($)|
|Class A RV||250 – 350|
|Class B RV||150 – 250|
|Class C RV||250 – 320|
|Fifth wheel||200 – 350|
|Travel trailers & toy haulers||80 – 210|
|Popup camper||140 – 150|
|Teardrop camper||80 – 150|
How to Read Your RV Tires Sidewall
Are you looking at the tire and wondering about the meanings of several numbers and characters presented on its surface? If you already have a good understanding of each of those numbers, that’s cool. But if you stare at the sidewalls of a tire and still feel like every number on it looks like an alien sign, stay tuned with us.
Overall, the tread numbers or codes provide all the information you need to understand about your car’s tire type and traits.
For your quick reference, let’s take a look at an illustrational picture of how to understand the information on a tire to assure that you will not have to spend too much time searching and choosing the most suitable tire any longer.
The first thing you should notice on the tire sidewall is its max load information. This number is usually engraved on the tire pretty small but is easy to read. This parameter indicates the load capacity of the tire. The larger the value, the higher the load of your tire. You should note not to replace the original tire with one that has a maximum permissible load index lower than this number. You can only use tires with the same or higher figure to ensure that the tires can withstand the proper maximum load of the vehicle when operating.
You’ll also find information on inflation pressures to get the optimal tire pressure for your vehicle before hitting the road to avoid unwanted situations. Maximum cargo capacity will manifest through maximum PSI (pounds per square inch – the unit of pressure). So the thing you need to do is calculate the weight of your RV when inflating your camping tires to achieve an appropriate inflation level.
The side of the tire will also show other necessary-noted information you need to learn. The first two letters appearing on the left side are the tire type designation (LT, ST, etc.). You can then see a set of numbers that tell you about the tire width and heigh placed after the service specification and with a slash in between. The first three numbers are the tire width, measured in mm. The width will range from 155 to a maximum of 315. The tire profile is the two figures after the width and after the slash, which indicates the ratio of the sidewall height to the tire width.
Next is the tire construction parameter, shown with the letter A to L, located just after the tire profile. The letter R stands for Radial steel structure, one of the industry standards for cars, specifically RVs in this case. When looking at other types of vehicles, you may come across letters like B (belted tire), D (bias tire), or E.
The letter is then followed by a number indicating the wheel’s diameter in inches, speed designation, load range, and condition rating to travel on mud and snow.
Wheel diameter is the diameter of the wheel in inches. Common to this size are always round numbers from 8 to 28, known as the “inch rim” size, commonly found in passenger cars, small trucks, minivans, vans, and motorhomes.
Besides that, there are also tire parameters of odd numbers like 14.5, 15.5, 16.5, 17.5, and 19.5. This figure is only available in the tires heavy-duty pickup trucks or trailers.
Next up is the load range index represent by a letter. This tire parameter tells us the maximum load the tire can withstand when fully inflated. Another noticeable index is the speed rating, the maximum speed the vehicle can achieve when the tires are installed, denoted by a capital letter. And note, the above speed is only applied when the tire is completely undamaged, underinflated, or the vehicle is also being too heavy.
Other than that, sometimes, you may find a heat resistance index on the sidewall. If you see the letter A, B, or C located in the inner part of the tire, the tire’s high-speed heat resistance will correspond to each. In particular, the C index represents the lowest heat resistance, while the A symbolizes the highest.
In addition, several parameters, though not very vital forces that contributed to the long lives of the RV tires, still need to be identified for a better purpose. They are the particular codes of the Department of Transport showcasing the made and place of the tire production called DOT code.
DOT stands for the Department of Transport, confirming that this is a tire that has passed the inspection of the Ministry according to the safety standards for motor vehicles. After the DOT figure will be the tire number with code groups.
The first group of codes (eg: 4B), with two to three characters, which can also be numbers or letters, is the code of the tire factory. The second group of codes (eg: 08), with no more than two characters, specifies the tire size. The third group (eg: 4DHR) of no more than four characters, is an optional code set by the manufacturer according to the size or characteristics of the tire.
To drivers, the above three groups of codes are not as essential as the last one. The last group of codes (eg: 3022) will tell you the production time of the tire. This four-digit writing type is used on tires manufactured after the 2000s. The first two numbers indicate the week, and the remaining two numbers indicate the year. In this example case, you can tell that your currently used tire was produced in the 30th week of 2022.
Though these highlighted figures may seem confusing and hard to remember immediately, if you try to absorb them even a little bit better every day, you can find and choose yourself a suitable and qualified set of tires in just one glance. In case you are having a hard time deciding in the mid of confusion or uncertainty about the meanings of characters on the standard tires, consult some detailed instructions on each tire type or take notice from a reliable expert or experienced RV driver.
Tires For Different Types of RVs
Hopefully, this piece of information will be helpful to you to decide on the top-rated RV tires to go with in the future. There is no better time to talk about this tires-choosing subject than now since you may already be in the middle of preparing for your summer trips.
Best Tires for Class A RV: Use Commercial-Truck Tires
According to tire experts and experienced drivers, all-position commercial-truck tires, with a range of use up to 220,000 miles, are the best-suited choice for Class A motorhomes or towing trucks that often carry a large amount of weight. These are also the best truck tires for towing a travel trailer.
Of course, commercial truck tires are significantly different from regular truck tires or large touring vehicles. The purpose of the manufacturers for this tire when launching it on the market is durability, cost savings, less fuel consumption, good traction, and stability. Without focusing on smooth driving experience or performance, you may not feel the full comfort when traveling on such a set of tires if you are not used to it. However, what it gives you is worth more than that.
Tires guaranteed quality and durability are the hallmarks of RVs, and commercial truck tires can cover them all. With a standard firmness and qualified tread tire, you can control your vehicle with confidence when it is imperative to run on uneven terrain, especially soil and gravel.
High-quality all-position commercial tires can also save you up to 2-3% on fuel consumption, thanks to some low-rolling technology that reduces the force of the engine that keeps the vehicle’s speed.
With this sturdy tire type, you can replace the tread easily. The cost of installing a tread on tires is cheaper compared to replacing a whole one. Not only that, each reputable commercial truck tire manufacturer has its technical support team. This team will give you advice on the proper use of the products to limit bad tire wear habits and maximize performance.
Best Tires for Class B RV: Use Automotive Tires
As the vehicle with the smallest size and weight, the standard for RV class B tires may be somewhat more effortless to meet, but it is by no means easy. Using a too-big tire for a small car will increase its road contact and consume more fuel. In contrast, a too-small tire will not be enough to satisfy your RV’s specific requirements and effectively exert the displacement power.
With that said, the best-suited tire for the Class B would be an ordinary but non-trivial automotive radial tire. You can also use light truck tires if you constantly need to carry big loads on top.
The thick tires with the open lateral grooves, the excellent brake control, and high flexibility will be a great sidekick for your small RV on every colorful road during four seasons.
Best RV Tires for Class C RV: Use Light Truck Tires
Class C motorhomes built on a light-truck chassis will be best suited to a set of quality light truck tires. Tires that can fully meet the standards of this compact motorhome do not necessarily have to withstand a terrorist weight class. The key to a great driving experience on this vehicle is the agility, towing ability, and good traction both at high speed and on wet roads with the LT tires.
Although the tire type is commonly used on highways, light truck tires also stand out under all-terrain structures and muddy terrain. Famous, strong, and flexible, LT has gradually become an indispensable product in the automotive industry. Light truck tires can let you experience memorable riding performance on any road surface you’ll come.
Best RV Tires For Travel Trailer: Use Special Trailer Tires
As mentioned above, the best RV tire type for fifth wheel and travel trailer is nothing but special tires (ST tires). You can rest assured when choosing this type of tire because they are made of compounds that can withstand a strong force from a trailer during uncontrolled movements on the road. What makes this tire more special is its outstanding load-carrying capacity when your trailer or fifth wheel has to stay in one place for long periods.
As for the LT tires that are often compared with the ST, most of them won’t be able to handle so much weight. Since the tires will usually be placed close together towards the end of the trailer, the tread will be under a lot of pressure. Without a suitable specialized structure, any tire will fail quickly and reduce its strength significantly.
On the contrary, even after many months of staying in one place, special tires still make a difference thanks to the tough sidewalls and the difficulty of bending at corners. The outstanding sidewall characteristics of the ST tires will make your on-road driving experience more stable and confident, especially on the highway, even at high speeds.
You must have realized that the experience of riding on a trailer with special tires will not be as pleasant as with LT tires. However, the trailer or fifth wheel is not a motorized vehicle that needs to be controlled. And you also don’t have to be in the cabin to feel the rocky roads for a long time. So it certainly won’t be too big of a problem.
Tires Maintenance: Tips and Tricks
We’ve just gone through a few criteria to help you choose the best RV tires with a big smile without regret. Once you have selected them, you can use them immediately for any of your trips. However, using tires and how to use tires properly are two whole different stories.
Tires, especially RV tires, always have to withstand tremendous impacts from every direction they move. Therefore, if you do not know how to take care or neglect to maintain them regularly, your motorhome will not be able to move smoothly, no matter how good your equipment and engine are.
Here are a few helpful tips we’d like to share to prolong the life of your tires.
Check the inflation regularly
Tire pressure is simply the tension or underinflation of the tire. Checking tire pressure is a vital act that car owners should do regularly to ensure safe trips.
If the tire pressure is reduced (underinflated), the contact area of the tire and the road surface will be the largest. As a result, the tires will wear out faster than usual, reducing the grip on the road surface. The braking distance will be longer; the ride will lose its safety and even cause exploding tires, which is dangerous for car owners when driving.
If your tire pressure is too large (inflated), the middle part of the tire surface will be worn out faster, prone to tire explosion, and many other dangerous unexpected circumstances.
Avoid not using the RV for a long time
Many people, even though owning a car, often “store the car” at home, in a corner for a considerable long time because there is no need to use it. But this is a bad habit.
When your vehicle is not in action for a prolonged period, the ground and the part of the tire that is in direct contact with the ground surface will experience a constant force of gravity during the whole time. This can lead to several consequences, such as:
- The tire quality is reduced compared to the original.
- Directly contribute to tire damage after using the car again.
- May cause lots of wear and tear on tires.
Rotate the tires
After a period of use, the tire will gradually wear out due to different rotational frequencies or the different forces pushing on the tire. So in each position, the tire wear will also be different.
To be able to achieve the necessary stability and balance for the tires, car users should pay attention to rotating the tires when the vehicle reaches about 8,000 – 10,000 km.
Performing tire rotation will contribute to helping enhance your loving RV in some aspects:
– Tire life is increased more.
– Ensure safety for tires
– Help your car save fuel in the best way.
Balance the wheel periodically
Compared to the manufacturer’s standards, the cause of the tire’s root deviation reflects both objective and subjective reasons.
There will be car tire wear situations or loss of connections to the suspension and steering system, especially when your RV has to move often on rocky, mountainous, or even bad terrain.
Therefore, to increase the life of the tires, reduce the vehicle vibrations and eliminate the phenomenon of steering deviation, you should regularly check, adjust, and balance your car wheels/tires.
Limit sudden vehicle break
Vehicle speed, weight, and rolling friction are the 3 main factors that affect tire wear, as well as the force that causes the wheel to rotate. Two of these three factors are almost constant. So, the factor that you need to pay attention to keep your tires healthier and last longer is the vehicle speed.
The vehicle speed is the average speed on the road and the acceleration during car acceleration. From the car’s stationary position, the process of frictional braking to help roll the wheel will take longer if your car only accelerates moderately. Also, because the driving force is easily transferred to the bottom of the road, the level of tire wear will be lesser.
On the contrary, the tire slip will happen when you step on the accelerator extremely hard. In the meantime, the tires will wear a lot as the friction between them and the road is considerably large.
Pay attention when driving up to the place with bends.
When the vehicle heads towards the sidewalk, the first tire on the sidewalk will be subjected to a great deal of pressure, including the transmission force and gravity.
If the contact angle with the pavement does not provide a slope for the vehicle to pass, then under such big pressure, your first RV tire will be very susceptible to cracking.
Therefore, you should limit driving on the sidewalks or areas with bends perpendicular to the road surface and choose entering paths with relative slopes.
Avoid hitting potholes on the road
The potholes are often jagged and very sharp. So you should avoid collisions or go to places with potholes if you don’t want your car to have a punctured tire, or a tattoo pin, then have to take it to the garage for repair full of sorrows.
At the same time, when the tire is in contact with surfaces such as potholes, it is easy to suffer severe damage and even tear apart harshly. If you have no choice but to go on bad roads or mountainous terrains, your car must be replaced with specialized tires.
Cover the tires
Overall, heat can increase the chances you get the tire buildup. So continuously subjecting the tires to excessive heat will cause them to fail early.
You will need an RV tire cover made of vinyl, fabric or leather to protect the tires from direct exposure to the sun. To prevent harmful UV rays from overexposing and wearing down the outer layer of your good tires, wrap a thick cloth around the whole wheels every time you park in the sun for too long.
Use genuine tires from reputable brands
Maybe very few people when buying RV tires care about the origin of the tire. Instead of choosing good tires or genuine tires that are warranted and distributed from reputable and quality companies, they get tires that are widely sold in the market just because the prices are cheaper.
On the cover, all tires seem to have the same shape and structure. But the difference that people cannot see is the quality, warranty policy, and manufacturers.
In short, every RV owner needs to have periodic maintenance methods to renew the “solid base” of the car, helping it operate in the best way always. Tire experts also said that to ensure absolute safety when participating in traffic, you should also check the health of your tires periodically every two months.
Related reviews: Best RV Spare Tire Covers
FAQs About RV Tires
1. How many miles do RV tires last?
RV tires can last about 70,000 to 120,000 miles in theory. However, the actual number may differ as the number of miles you travel may be less or more than the actual age of the tires, usually around 5 or 6 years.
Regardless of how long it is recommended to get your tires to one occasional inspection, regularly inspecting and carefully checking the set tires yourself, even day or night, is a prerequisite for their durability and long-lasting strength on days of traveling on countless bumpy roads.
2. How can I make my RV tires last longer?
+ Do not store your RV for longer than six months.
+ Use your RV as often as possible.
+ Do not overwash tires or use alcohol or petroleum-based cleaners.
+ Make sure your tires are always properly inflated – even when your RV is in storage.
3. Do trailer tires need to be balanced?
Yes, the trailer tires need to be balanced occasionally. Typically, this type of maintenance should be done every 1-2 years, or after each 5,000 to 8,000 miles on the road.
4. How often should you rotate RV tires?
Just like any vehicle, RV tires will wear out over time due to lengthening use and external influences, including uneven wear from driving over terrain, driver’s handling ways, and mechanical problems that increase tire wear areas.
Most experts recommend rotating your tires every 6,000 to 8,000 miles. For towing trailers, manufacturers suggest that you should rotate tires once you’ve traveled 3,000 miles. However, some also recommend that you wait up to 6,000 miles, then rotate the tires and have the car fully inspected at the same time.
5. How do you know if your RV tires are bad?
Look for the following signs to know how bad your RV tires are:
– Tread of RV tires is about 1/16 inch worn. In this condition, your tires will easily slip on wet roads, runways, and even on wet leaves.
– Damaged valve stem
– Your tires fill with bulges, and cuts, have extremely bald spots, and are flat.
– Old-aged tires
– Cracked or punctured tires
6. How much does it cost to replace RV tires?
In general, the cost to replace good tires can range from around $100 to almost $500 for the class A, B, and C motorhomes, depending on the size and quality of each set of tires on the market. If you’re towing a smaller trailer with you along the way, the overall cost will be lower, between $80 and $200 per tire.
7. Why do RVs have such small tires?
RVs have small tires. Because smaller tires mean the spaces that ground clearance and wheel take will be lesser, creating more room inside for your comfort. Even with small tires, the RV retains more stability.
Another reason for these small tires maybe because the manufacturers cut costs by using fewer materials to develop smaller ones during the assembly process.
8. Why do trailer tires wear out so fast?
Tire wear out is a never-be-that-surprise matter when owning a car. And we are sure that you are already ready to prepare to face any bad situation that may arise. The following factors can contribute to rapid or uneven wear of trailer tires:
+ Frequent vehicle use with false tire pressure.
+ The quality and packing exceed the load capacity of the tires.
+ Impacts on the curb, potholes, or debris cause the trailer to shift or the tires to break or bend.
+ The extra weight and pressure against an axle will add up if you do not pull the trailer level properly.
+ The uneven load or weight distribution on all wheels/tires
9. Which is better: bias or radial trailer tires?
Bias tires can be the right choice if you often have to travel on country roads at slow speeds or uneven or unpaved road paths. Not only that, but your low usage frequency is also a contributing reason that makes bias tires one of the best types that you should consider and equip for your trailer.
On the other hand, when crossing long, large highways regularly and having to control the vehicle at high speeds, without any doubt, a set of premium radial tires will be your best RV tires choice.
10. How do you keep RV tires from dry rotting?
Dry rotting often occurs due to tire exposure to sunlight, harmful UV rays, and insufficient tire pressure. When this issue arises, the tires will gradually turn gray and lose their flexibility as the chemical bonds that make them pliable break down. The tire sidewalls, which are the thinnest part, will then develop cracks. When inspecting your RV tire, pay close attention to the sidewall since this is where the bulk of dry rot takes place.
Here are a few things you can do to keep your RV tires from dry rotting.
+ Inspect the tire sidewalls or a whole tire monthly to follow its general condition, especially looking for bulges, cracks, wear spots, or bizarre smudges.
+ Try to park your car in more shaded areas if your vehicle has to be exposed to extreme heat and sunlight. In addition, covering your RV and tires with a thick cloth will help partly block out UV rays.
+ Clean the tire monthly using water and mild dish soap. A water-based cleaner or solution will not harm your tires by adding any chemicals that can potentially ruin the tire’s compounds and materials.
+ If you plan to use tire protector or other cleaning products, read the product labels and note what other chemicals are coming to contact with your tires. Avoid using any petroleum-based products, as these can degrade the rubber’s agents and lead to premature cracking.
Maintaining proper inflation pressure is also a vital thing you can do to avoid dry rooting, increase tire durability and maximize tire life.
+ Don’t overload your motorhome to avoid dry rooting, severe cracking, or possible tire failure.
+ Follow the appropriate instructions if you plan on long-term storage of your winter or summer tires. The ideal way to store tires is to keep them mounted on the wheel and a hook through the rim on the ground.
- Quick Recommendations
- Do RVs Need Special Tires?
- Types of RV Tires
- Best RV Trailer Tires (Travel Trailers And Fifth Wheels)
- Best Motorhome Tires (Class A, B, C RVs)
- Detailed Standards To Consider The Best Tires For Campers
- How to Read Your RV Tires Sidewall
- Tires For Different Types of RVs
- Tires Maintenance: Tips and Tricks
- FAQs About RV Tires