Caravans and Trailers
Damage through ageing is more common with caravans, trailers, horse boxes and other vehicles that are only used occasionally.
The National Caravan Council estimates there are circa 525,000 touring caravans, 327,000 caravan holiday homes and 174,000 motor-homes currently in use in the UK.
Unlike with cars, potential problems with caravan, trailer and horse box tyres are not caused by excessive use – just the opposite, in fact.
Caravans and trailers are often static for months, but although the tyres are not moving, they are still under load. Caravans are usually stored in the open, making tyres prone to ozone damage, with cracks or ‘crazing’ of the rubber. This process is then accelerated by the ultraviolet rays in sunlight.
The Caravan Club offers the following advice, which can also be used for trailers:
“As a general rule, it is advised that caravan tyres once in use should ideally be replaced when 5 years old, and should never be used when more than 7 years old. This advice is borne out by the Club’s own research into caravan tyre failures, which confirms that the likelihood of a tyre problem increases after such age. Our research further suggests that tyres which need a high inflation pressure (say 50psi or more) require greater care still. Such tyres should be closely examined for signs of deterioration from 3 years old, and it would be strongly advised not to use them beyond 5 years old. It is not the case that all tyres over these ages will rapidly fail. However, the statistical likelihood of a problem occurring increases noticeably with age. Given the disruption to your holiday that a tyre failure could cause (let alone the risk involved), it is strongly recommended that you follow this guidance.”