Without the right tires on your motorhome, travel trailer, or fifth wheel, your RV isn’t going to get very far. The weight and stresses a recreational vehicle puts on tires are much more than in a car or pickup truck and can lead to dangerous accidents when a blowout occurs.
Don’t risk tire failure during your next RV trip. Instead, follow this guide to the best travel tires for RVs.
Inside, you’ll learn how to choose the right size and type of RV tires and the eight best travel tires that will keep your recreational vehicle safely on the road during all your camping adventures.
Whether you own a teardrop, a pop-up camper, or a fancy Class A motorcoach, you’ll want to invest in the best RV tires, so let’s dive into all the details!
How to Choose RV Tires
While you could toss any tire set onto your RV and probably get through a trip or two, they will give out, often with serious consequences if they cannot withstand the load they are under.
To avoid disastrous accidents from tire blowouts that could put your family and others in harm’s way, as well as cause major damage to your RV, you must know how to choose the best tires and know when to replace them.
The Differences Between P Tires, LT Tires, and ST Tires
When buying tires, the first thing you must understand is the ratings, so you know which line to select before narrowing down which brand and specific tire size and type for your camper.
P Tires stand for passenger tires, which are rated to handle the weight loads of standard passenger cars like sedans.
LT Tires stand for light truck tires, rated for such vehicles as SUVs and smaller pickup trucks.
ST Tires stand for special trailer tires for recreational vehicles and cargo or travel trailers. ST Tires meet safety guidelines set by RV manufacturers and will support the much heavier load and stresses of RV travel and campsite parking conditions.
Of course, if you own a Class B, Class C, or Class A motorhome, a fifth wheel, or a large travel trailer, you must purchase ST tires.
However, even if you have a small travel trailer or lightweight pop-up camper, you should always stick to buying tires in the ST category for the best performance and longest wear.
The Benefits of ST Tires for RVs
ST tires are built differently than P or LT tires and offer these benefits:
- Thicker and stiffer sidewalls to reduce sidewall flexing and punctures
- Larger diameter steel cords to support more load and stress
- Shape and tread design that allows trailers to track better and reduce sway
- Better load range to keep inflation levels correct for the RV weight
Please keep in mind that ST tires are more rugged than P or LT tires, but they aren’t made to be used as often as a standard vehicle tire. Most have a lifespan of between 5,000-12,000 miles.
Another critical fact is that most ST tires are rated for speeds not to exceed 65 MPH. So if you habitually cruise your RV down the highway at 70 MPH, you’re putting excess wear on the tires as they heat up more than they should.
These ST tire facts mean you’ll need to replace your RV tires every three to five years, or every two years if you’re full-time RVing and covering thousands of miles annually.
RV tire inspection, which I cover below, should become part of your routine maintenance checks before departing on any trip to ensure you catch signs of wear that indicate it’s time to replace the set.
What to Know About RV Tire Load Capacity
Within the ST tire category, there are many choices. While you should find specific information in your RV owner’s manual about which tires to install, the general rule is that your RV tires combined load capacity should exceed your camper’s gross vehicle weight by 20%.
Why the 20% buffer? There are two reasons to give yourself extra support on your RV tires.
The first is that people notoriously overload their RVs when packing for camping trips, and having more robust tires will help alleviate chances of failure under the extra pressure. A combination of too much weight and even a slightly underinflated tire will cause extreme friction that will blow a tire fast.
The second is that even if you keep the GVWR, or total weight of your camper and supplies, under its limits, you’ll put less stress and wear on the tires during travel so they’ll last longer. I know it costs me about $1500 to replace the tires on my Class C motorhome, so prolonging that hit to my wallet by even a few extra months is helpful.
You never want your RV trip ruined by tire deflation or blowouts that can leave your camper stranded in remote areas. Excessive weight on recreational vehicle tires can also lead to axle bending, causing you even more grief and an expensive repair.
Buying an ST tire in the right size with the correct load rating for your RV is key to safe and happy travels, so never skimp on this necessary expense.
How to Choose the Right RV Tire Size
Getting the right size tire for your RV is fairly straightforward. Manufacturers will note the size in the owner’s manual and on stickers placed on the recreational vehicle.
The tire must fit on your RV rims, and you’ll want to follow the load and pressure ratings suggested for optimal performance.
If you can’t find any information about tire size on your RV, you can look at what tires are currently on the camper for an idea of what you’ll require. Always consult a reputable tire dealer for the proper size tire to purchase if you’re unsure.
How to Know Your RV Tires Need Replacement
You should be able to run your tires for at least two years before seeing signs of wear, but it’s best to check the condition of the treads and sidewalls every time you verify the tire pressure is correct.
On the sidewalls, you’ll want to look for bulges or uneven wear that may have happened if the tire was hit or rubbed with an object. Tiny cracks will start to form as the rubber ages, and large cracks should be an immediate concern for replacement.
Tire treads should be at least 1/8 to 1/4-inch deep, depending on your original tire’s tread depth. Most RV tires start with around 1/3 to 1/2-inch of tread depth.
However, it helps to remember that the more shallow the tread becomes, the less traction you’ll have on wet road surfaces because the tires can’t deflect the water, and it will cause hydroplaning.
For RVs, it’s always best to err on the side of caution when deciding the right time to replace tires. Waiting too long or ignoring apparent signs of damage can result in extreme damage to your RV or persons when tires fail.
Tips to Keep RV Tires in Good Condition
Next, I explain the three best things you can do to prolong the life of your RV tires.
First, make sure you buy fresh tires from the manufacturer. Knowing how to check tire date is crucial to see for yourself the tires you are buying haven’t been sitting in the shop for a year or two. Try to get tires that are six months old are less whenever possible.
Tire rubber will begin to deteriorate the minute it comes off the assembly line, so even tires that are “new” but left stacked at a tire store lose integrity over time. So before you allow a technician to install your new RV tires, check the dates for yourself and recheck after the tires are in place to ensure you’re going to get the full life out of your tires.
Secondly, stay vigilant about checking tire pressure often before and during trips. Buy a quality RV tire pressure monitoring system or an RV tire pressure gauge and take a few minutes during fuel breaks and ensure everything is okay.
It’s also wise to keep a compact air compressor in your RV for quick fills whenever you see a low tire.
The third tip to keep tires in better condition is to purchase and use heavy-duty RV tire covers. Tires weaken from UV exposure, whether that’s during trips to warm, sunny regions or when the RV is in storage. Covering the tires keeps damaging UV rays, dirt, rain, and snow off the rubber so that they will last longer.
8 Best Travel Tires for RVs
These eight tires rated for RV use get the highest ratings for performance from customers. Some are better for motorhomes, while others are best for travel trailers or fifth wheels.
1. Goodyear G670 RV Tire
Load Capacity: 4540
The Goodyear G670 is a special RV tire ideal for mid-size or large Class C and Class A motorhomes that provides excellent stability and impressive load ratings.
With extra protection against road grime and harsh weather, along with excellent grip in wet conditions, this tire is a top choice for safe RV travel.
- Super durable and great traction
- Advanced tread design for better wear and tracking
- Able to run at higher speeds
- Must personally inspect tire date to avoid old stock
2. Trailer King Radial Special Trailer (RST) Tire
Load Capacity: 2540-3520
The Trailer King RST Tire is excellent for lighter travel trailers and has a unique shoulder design that reduces heat, so it performs well at higher highway speeds.
The nylon overlay gives the tire more strength and longevity, and the tread features a deep central groove that improves tracking and water deflection. The company also provides a nationwide limited warranty ideal for RVers who enjoy taking long road trips.
- Long lifespan
- Stable ride
- National warranty coverage
- Some reports of sidewall bulges
- Wears quick under heavy loads
3. Goodyear Wrangler Silent Armor
Price: Starts at $215
Load Capacity: 2680-3640
If you want an off-grid camping RV tire, then the Goodyear Wrangler Silent Armor is one to check out. This tire is pricey but worth the investment if you want an extremely rugged tire rated for 50,000 miles of use.
This tire features extra touches, like a Kevlar ply and aggressive tread pattern to get you through rocky, muddy off-road tracks to reach your favorite remote camping destinations.
- Superior off-road traction with deep tread pattern
- Stable highway tracking
- Excellent treadwear with Dupont Kevlar layer
- Smooth and quiet ride
- Shape provides rim protection
- Performs better on unpacked versus packed snow
- Size range is limited
4. Carlisle Radial Trail HD Trailer Tire
Load Capacity: 1120-3960
The Carlisle Radial Trail HD tire is another favorite for travel trailer owners who enjoy long-distance RV trips.
The tread design helps cool the tire after hours of continuous road travel, reducing heat damage that can lead to blowouts. In addition, the tire resists punctures, and the shape flows over road surfaces smoothly with little friction to help with fuel economy.
- Even wear, tracking, and performance
- Runs quietly
- Good traction in wet conditions
- Very affordable
- Some people find service centers installing “new” tires over a year old
5. Goodyear Unisteel G614 RST
Load Capacity: 3900
The Goodyear G614 RST is the best tire for any size fifth wheel or travel trailer, as it was made with this application in mind.
Featuring extra stable ribs and a more shallow tread pattern, this tire is tough, yet it sheds heat to reduce damage during highway travel. With lateral grooves, edge sipes, and unique rubber compounds, this tire’s handling allows you to feel safe towing your camper in all weather conditions.
- Super durable and great traction
- Advanced tread design for better wear and tracking
- Able to run at higher speeds
- Limited size and requires high-load wheel and pressure tire valve
- Requires higher PSI than other tires for optimal performance
6. Goodyear Endurance All Season Radial Trailer Tire
Load Capacity: 2150-4080
The Goodyear Endurance design is ideal for travel trailers or fifth wheels of any size and features Durawall Technology to hold up against punctures, scuffs, and wear.
The tread design is deeper with a decoupling groove to reduce tire heat during travel at high speeds, as the tire rates for over 80 MPH. The tire is also easily compatible with existing tire pressure monitoring systems.
- Excellent highway tracking and stability
- Very durable, with long lasting tread that remains cooler at speed
- Optimized tread for braking capability
- Poor traction over snowy surfaces
- A bit noisy
7. Bridgestone Duravis M700 HD RV Tire
Load Capacity: 2680-3415
The Bridgestone Duravis M700 HD is a top pick for RVers who love to camp both at RV parks and more rustic campsites, as the tires can take on all types of weather and terrain conditions.
The thick and deep treads provide excellent traction and water displacement to keep your wheels firmly on the ground at all times. In addition, twin steel belts, spiral wound nylon, and durable rubber hold strong under rough use so that they will last much longer than a standard RV tire.
- Excellent off-road and highway performance
- Great highway traction and tracking
- Very even tread wear
- Performance in heavy snow is lacking
8. Maxxis M8008 ST Radial Trailer Tire
Load Capacity: 1760 – 4122
The Maxxis M8008 ST Radial steel-belted tires feature full nylon caps for added strength and longevity, making this brand perfect for travel trailer or fifth wheel installation. In addition, the tread design reduces friction, which helps increase gas mileage when taking long RV trips.
These tires absorb shock and run smooth and straight when towing, making it feel like your trailer weighs nothing at all. The tire can handle heavy loads with dual-cord body casing, and the tread pattern whisks away water to prevent hydroplaning.
- High-quality double-steel belt construction
- Tread pattern runs smooth and even
- Excellent shock absorption
- Load rating not as high as others
The best travel tires for RVs must be rugged, have excellent grip, reduce heat buildup, and clear water in rainy or wet conditions so you can reach your camping destinations safely.
I hope this guide helps you find the most suitable RV tires for your needs, so you can experience a smooth, quiet ride in your motorhome and a stable and stress-free drive when towing a heavy fifth wheel or travel trailer.
Good tires make a tremendous difference in handling a big and heavy recreational vehicle, so inspect your RV tires today and use this guide if it’s time to shop for a new set. The best journeys are safe journeys!
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