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5 Things to Check on your Trailer Tires Before your First Trip!

5 Things to Check on your Trailer Tires Before your First Trip!

Do you have that itch yet? We're not talking about a trip to your doctor; but that itch to hitch up, gas up, and hit the open road. Where to? To a National Forest? The Great Lakes? Maybe wine country? Or even the local campground with the family? We hear you and have 5 quick checks for your trailer tires you can do before you get out and go.

These 5 checks for your trailer tires will help you get to where you want to go safely.

Tire Condition

Trailer tires are the workhorses of your trip. They’re carrying the goods and fueling the fun for your trip. We recommend checking these 3 main items: tire age, weathering condition, and tread area.

Tire Age
Locate the tire identification number found on the sidewall of the tire.

The 3-4 last digits represent the date of manufacture for your tires. If over 5 years from when you purchased them or over 5 years from the date listed on your tire – we recommend replacing those tires. For more information, check out our article on Trailer Tire Aging

Weathering

Visually inspect the sidewalls, shoulder area, and tread grooves for micro-cracking. This is called weathering and is a process that happens when rubber is exposed to UV and ozone from the environment. If you see a high degree of weathering, we recommend you take the trailer to a tire service location for inspection or snap a photo and contact us for recommendations.

Tread Area

Look at the tread area of the trailer tire for items like worn down to 2/32nds, irregular wear, cuts/snags, nails/object punctures. Irregular wear could indicate a need for trailer alignment, braking system check, and tire pressure deficiencies. Our recommendation would be to have the trailer inspected at a service location to make sure these items are corrected before your next adventure. Nails and punctures should be repaired by a tire service location following the correct repair procedures. Never use a rope and glue at-home repair kit. Repairs should be a patch and plug that is done from the inside of the tire. For more examples of tire related conditions, please see our Tire Warranty Guide.

Pressure Check

Check all assemblies, including the spare if equipped, with an accurate tire pressure gauge. Trailer tires are designed to operate and carry their maximum load at specific “COLD” inflation pressures. Tire and wheel manufacturers have accounted for the rise in pressure as temperature increases. It is important to find the cold pressure setting information on the sidewall of the tire and inflate the assembly to that pressure. Check out our Trailer Tire Marking Guide for more information!

Torque Check

It’s a great check to verify that all lug nuts are accounted for and they are torqued to their proper specification. Using an accurate torque wrench and tightening pattern, check the torque of all positions. If any wheels are missing lug nuts, we recommend replacing the missing lug nut immediately and taking the trailer in for an inspection to ensure the hub and studs are in their best operating condition. Check out our Wheel Torque Pattern Guide and table below for torque specifications.

Weight Distribution

One of the most often overlooked towing items – weight distribution. When packing up for your next trip, be mindful of where you are storing or loading all items. Too much load over one axle or side may cause tire and wheel issues down the road due to overloading or heat build-up. A quick run over to your local scales is always a great option to double check that you have not exceeded the carrying capacity of your unit.

Trailer Lights

Signals being seen is good for all. Make sure your vehicle-to-trailer connection is functioning properly and that all lights, brake lights, and turn signals work and are clearly visible. If any lights are out or if the connection does not yield repeatable service, we recommend having a trailer service location inspect and repair as needed.

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