Choosing Better Wheels

How To Give Your Trailer Tires A Long Life

A utility trailer is a useful thing to have on hand, if you need to haul things with any type of regularity. Yet, unless you use the trailer daily, there will likely be some extended periods where the trailer just sits on your property. This can be especially hard on the tires, since a combination of disuse and weather can make them give out prematurely. The last thing you want is a flat, when you need your trailer the most. The following care tips can help you prolong the life of your trailer tires.

Tip #1: Invest in tire covers

Sun, wind, and even moisture can lead to sidewall cracking on your trailer tires. To prevent this, get a set of tire covers, and place them over the tires, each time you park the trailer for more than a day or two. You can find covers to fit your tires at a trailer dealership, car accessories store, or from an RV supplier. If you can't find covers, then cut a piece of plywood large enough to cover the sides of the tires. Lean it against the trailer, and use a large brick or rock to hold it in place, so the wood doesn't blow over. This isn't a perfect solution, but it is better than leaving the sidewalls exposed.

Tip #2: Keep the tires inflated

Tires that aren't properly inflated can develop flat spots, where the weight of the trailer sits on them. This is especially likely, if the trailer sits in one place for several days at a time. Then, even after the tires are aired up, they won't be perfectly round, due to flattening damage to the sidewalls. The tires will then be more likely to suffer a blowout, when you are driving. Make sure the tires are filled to the recommended PSI, before parking the trailer, then check them periodically, to ensure there has been no air loss while the trailer has been sitting.

Tip #3: Use a tire conditioner

If you live somewhere with dry weather, particularly if it is hot and dry, then you have to take extra steps to ensure the tires don't suffer from dry rot. A tire conditioner is a liquid protectant that you rub or spray onto the tires. The conditioner prevents the rubber from drying out and developing cracks. This is especially important, since drywall damage isn't always immediately visible. You'll find out it occurred, when you have a blowout while driving. You can find tire conditioner at auto parts stores.

For more help or to purchase new tires, talk to a tire shop or trailer dealer in your area.

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