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A Guide To Changing Caravan Wheels

In general the replacement tyres for your caravan must be the same service description as those that were previously installed. However there are a variety of circumstances in which this may differ.

the original specification for tyres is no longer available
the original specification for tyre was insufficient
the capacity of payloads on the caravan has been raised
the wheels of the caravan were changed to wheels that are different in dimension (normally the wheel is made of alloy)

If you’re in any of these situations when you are looking for replacement caravan wheels, you can follow our simple guideline.

Find the nominal wheel diameter, the tyre size and the maximum weight of the caravan.
Choose tyres that have an entire service description that be able to match the wheel’s diameter and have a load index that is sufficient to support the weight maximum that the vehicle can carry (taking into consideration whether the caravan is double or single axle) and include a speed symbol that is at least “M” (81mph) or greater.
Eliminate any tyre option if the maximum weight of the caravan is more than 90 percent of load index.
If the width of the section differs only a little (eg 175 vs 185 (say) the chances are not to interfere, but only if the distance between the wheels and the box tiny. Try jacking the wheel of your caravan to check the width of the wheel as it is moved within the wheel box, in case you are you are unsure.
If the width of the section is different significantly from that of the tyres previously installed, or when the rim width has been altered from the original specifications Make sure that the tyres fit with the wheel however also ensure the section width and overall diameter are inside the wheels box.
Unless specifically stated by the manufacturer of your caravan, don’t choose a very low profile tyre, unless specifically requested by the manufacturer.
Don’t choose commercial grade (‘C suffix) tire unless the demands for speed and load demand it and a ‘car style’ tyre cannot be found to meet these.

Indicating the proper inflation pressure

The pressure of inflation is an important aspect – the durability and safety of your tyres for caravans are dependent on the correct inflation pressure. A wrong inflation pressure could adversely impact the handling of your caravan, as well as increase the consumption of fuel.

For each tyre, you will find an ideal pressure for inflation, dependent on the weight it’s carrying. Since caravans are typically operating near to its maximum capacity, it’s prudent to choose the best pressure for the load conditions. When your RV is in a way that is significantly less than its maximum weight however, you may select an appropriate pressure for the actual weight. We strongly suggest that you verify the actual weight of your caravan in the intended load condition with the weighbridge.

Commercial quality tyres have been made to perform over a wide range of loads , and may be different when used on the caravan. For example, a tire with a maximum pressure of 54psi when it is at its highest load might only require 30psi pressure for use in the caravan.

The process of re-fitting an old wheel

If the wheel was removed to perform maintenance or to repair a puncture, we advise you to follow the correct procedure for refitting the wheel.

Check you have mating surfaces that are clean between your hub and wheel are dry and clean.
Check that the threads on wheel nuts or studs are free of dirt and dry, and free of paint particles on the thread or the seats. Be careful when lubricating the threads of bolts or wheel nuts. The torques for tightening are typically specified dry, and any lubrication might need a different torque setting or damage could result.
Make sure that all nuts and studs are tightened to center the wheel prior to using the wrench for the wheel brace or torque wrench.
Utilize an inverse wheel nut tightening sequence in order to make sure that the wheel sits on the hub with no misalignment.
Don’t over tighten the wheel nuts or studs. Follow the torques for tightening that are recommended by your manufacturer of the caravan or the chassis supplier. We don’t recommend to tighten the nuts completely or studs with air-powered equipment. It can cause excessive tightening and cause damage to threads. In the event that you believe nuts or studs were tightened too much the nuts or studs should be replaced.
We recommend that you complete tightening using the torque wrench according to the figures in the operating manual for caravans. Avoid using the corner brace, which is designed only to lift or lower the corner steadyes.
When a wheel is replaced, make sure to check the torque after 20-30 miles of usage or 20-30 minutes of travel. Even if the wheel is torqued correctly there is a chance for the fixings to become loose should the wheel “bed in” onto the hub.

Check that your tyres meet legal

It is illegal to mix radial and cross-ply tires on the same axle.

We strongly suggest that aspect ratios also be to be matched (80 and 82 could be taken as one) As well as load index or ply rating values for the same axle. However, these aren’t legally required. Mixing different models with the same dimensions or specification is fine.

Tyres need to be properly filled, and free of any cuts, or other flaws. They must have at minimum 1.6mm tread depth over the central three quarters the tread’s width across the circumference of the tire (depth of 20p pieces outer edge). They should be of an appropriate design.

If a spare wheel or tyre is used, it must also be compliant with all applicable laws.

The maximum penalty for each unsuitable or defective tire is PS2,500. Plus 3 points on the driver’s license.

Travelling abroad

In general If your vehicle is in compliance with the legal requirements to use in the UK and the EU, it is able to be used throughout Europe without issue. One exception is the case with the tyres that are used in France. Because on some French motorways, it is permitted for towing speeds of speeds up to 80mph (130kph) however, the French will require that your tyres satisfy the speed limit. This will only be an issue for older caravans. If there is any doubt, you should make sure you know the specifications of your tyres prior to traveling and study up on international driving regulationsas on-the spot penalties can be costly.