With May half term week approaching, a tyre company is calling on caravan owners to carry out some simple safety checks.
Bridgestone is offering some simple advice as thousands of caravans are expected to be seen again on roads, many of which might well have been inactive over the winter months. The tyre-maker believes that vehicles such as caravans, or trailer tents, should be inspected prior to re-use during the summer months, with a spike in usage expected in the coming weeks.
And the tyre manufacturer strongly advises that any caravan tyre should be replaced after 10 years irrespective of how it looks from the naked eye, due to it being exposed to varied conditions, such as the effects of sun and lack of moisture.
Bridgestone’s Stuart Jackson, who is also chairman of TyreSafe, said that motorists should look for any sign of age deterioration in the tyres such as sidewall cracking and carcass deformation. He added that tyres can ‘flat spot’ when a caravan is only moved a couple of times per year, owing to the weight of the vehicle.
Stuart said that tyres on the caravan and towing car should be correctly inflated, with simple load and inflation advice available at www.tyresafe.org in the ‘Check your pressures’ section. An animation, guiding caravanners through all essential tyre care is also available on the TyreSafe site.
He said: “Whichever tyres are fitted to the towing car, caravan, trailer tent or motorhome, it is essential to the safety and stability of the combination that all tyres are correctly inflated for the applied load.
“Tyres that are driven under inflated for extended periods are more likely to suffer from rapid wear which could lead to a sudden and rapid deflation, causing loss of control. Debris left on the carriageway after a tyre failure could prove hazardous for other motorists.
“We never recommend the dangerous practice of fitting a replacement tyre on the hard shoulder and roadside safety advice issued by Highways England should always be observed.
“Keeping tyres correctly inflated ensures an even wear rate leading to longer tyre life. Pressures should be checked and adjusted prior to any journey when the tyres are cold – not during or after a run when they will be higher. Never reduce pressures when the tyres are warm, as they could be too low when they cool down.
“After pressure checking, ensure the valve is not leaking and the valve cap is fitted. The correct inflation pressures for your car tyres can be found in the owners’ handbook and often inside the drivers’ door or the fuel filler cap displayed on the vehicle.”
For more information about correct tyre pressures for both caravans and towing vehicles, visit http://www.tyresafe.org/tyre-safety