Owners of recreational vehicles are cautioned that the sounds of "Ah, spring!" might turn to "Aww, # ! # X*" unless the tires on the vehicle receive the proper attention before taking off on a long trip.
"The enjoyment of getting the boat in the water or getting the roadtrip off to an early start is lost when you're stranded on the highway," said Donald B. Shea, chairman of the Council. "The time to think about tire care is before the trip begins."
The Tire Industry Safety Council reminds owners of recreational vehicles that the most critical factors involved in their tire's care are proper inflation pressures for the load carried and the need to observe maximum load and inflation limits.
"One of the toughest battles your tires face on long trips is heat build-up caused by driving on underinflated or overloaded tires," said Shea. "Extreme heat reduces tire strength and increases the risk of premature tire failure.
In addition to heat build-up, underinflation may cause faster and/or uneven treadwear and can result in severe trailer-sway, fishtailing and loss of control.
Due to the fact that RVs are traditionally low-mileage vehicles, tires need to be checked for age. Even though there may be plenty of tread depth, the age of the tires (as with radiator hoses and fan belts) may indicate that they should be replaced.
Shea warns RV owners not to "bleed" tires to reduce air pressure build-up or overinflate beyond recommended limits in an attempt to compensate for heavy loads.
The Council offers a free brochure on recreational vehicle tire care for cars and light trucks. To order the guide, send a self-addressed, stamped business-size envelope to: Tire Industry Safety Council, P.O. Box 3147, Medina, OH 44258. The Council also offers an RV tire care kit which includes a professional, dual-head air pressure gauge, a tread depth gauge, eight metal valve caps and an RV tire care brochure. To order a kit, send a check or money order for $14.95 plus $3.50 shipping and handling to the above address.