When should you replace your tires? How old is “too old”?

RV Tire Safety
with RV tire expert Roger Marble

A lot of folks talk about tire age and when they “age out.” Here is what a few tire companies have to say about passenger and light truck tire service life:

Japan Automobile Tyre Manufacturers Association (JATMA) recommendation: At 5 years have tires inspected by “Qualified tire service person,” and no matter the condition, replace any tire at 10 years.

Bridgestone and Firestone issued a Tech Bulletin that supports the 10-year maximum but advises that “some tires will need to be replaced before 10 years due to operational conditions.”

Michelin, Falken and Yokohama suggest tires be inspected by a specialist annually starting at 5 years and replaced at 10 years as a precaution “even if such tires appear serviceable and even if they have not reached the legal wear limit.”

GM recommends tires be replaced after 6 years.

Hankook says to replace tires 10 years after manufacture “even if the tire was never used.”

Goodyear, Continental and Cooper do not give a maximum calendar age but stress “Monthly Inspection” along with proper storage and monitoring of inflation pressure.

Kumho says to have tires inspected annually starting at 6 years and to replace the tires at 10 years, even if the tires appear serviceable.

Vredestein suggests tires be inspected by a specialist annually starting at 5 years and replaced at 10 years as a precaution “even if such tires appear serviceable and even if they have not reached the legal wear limit.” They also say that tires on trailers, campers, horse trailers and caravans (motorhomes) be replaced at 8 years.

NOTE:
They are talking about the annual inspections after 5 years to be done by a “Tire Specialist,” not just anyone that sells tires. I would suggest that when having this inspection done you ask for a written assessment at a minimum. You can ask if the dealer has an ATS Certified Technician on staff.

Read more from Roger Marble on his blog at RVtiresafety.net.

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6 Thoughts to “When should you replace your tires? How old is “too old”?”

  1. nancy

    I change my tires on my rig and TV no more than 3 Yrs –at times before that, and maintain inflation regular, and I carry 2 spares for the coach and 1 for the TV. I have GY Endurance’s on the coach and Cooper STT’s on my TV. Both High Quality, however environmental factors creat somewhat of a unknown. Sun, Rain, Heat, Travel, ect… I plan for the buy’s, as both sets need special ordering from a local shop when needed.

  2. Ken

    What is the relevance of recommendations for passenger & light truck tires for big, heavy RVs?

    I am more interested in what manufacturers suggest regarding the tires used on large Class A coaches.

    1. Roger Marble

      Ken, Many Class B and Class-C motorhomes come with LT type tires from the mfg. Most trailers come with ST-type but some smaller trailers may come with P-type. The use of a P-type tire on a truck, SUV or trailer requires that the load capacity be “de-rated” by dividing by 1.10
      Some people incorrectly get P-type to replace ST type, for example, using a P235/75R15 to replace an ST235/75R15 but this is definitely a mistake. The P-type is only rated for 1,844# @ 35 psi while a ST235/75R15 LR-C is rated for 2,040# @ 50 psi.

      Most Class-A motorhomes come with 22.5″ wheels or 19.5″ wheels and there are no P pr LT type tires designed for those size wheels.

  3. Jack Fate

    Other RV forums seem to have come to the conscience that 4 yrs it’s time to retire.

    1. Roger Marble

      Yes, that seems to be the opinion of many trailer owners.
      Motorhome owners seem to feel about 7 years. Given that it is suggested that Motorhome owners start having their tires inspected starting at 5 years they need to balance to the cost of inspection vs the cost of tire replacement

  4. Darrel

    The only way to truly check condition of a aging tire is to remove it from the rim to inspect inside the tire.

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