Trailer Tire Inflation & Temperature
The main cause of trailer tire failure is under inflation. Check your trailer tires often, for proper inflation levels. Most trailer tire manufacturers recommend adjusting the air pressure to the maximum pounds per square inch (PSI) listed on the sidewall of the tire. If you inflate the tires to less than the maximum inflation level, you dramatically reduce the load carrying capacity of the trailer tire. The max load listed on the sidewall is only true when the trailer tire is inflated with the recommended maximum air pressure also listed.
Trailer Tire Life Span & Replacement
High speed towing in hot conditions degrades trailer tires significantly. As heat builds up during driving, the tire's internal structure starts to breakdown, compromising the strength of the tire. It is recommended to not exceed 60 miles per hour (MPH) while towing a trailer. 3 to 5 years of service is the average life expectancy of a Trailer Tire. After three years of use you should consider replacing your trailer tires with new, even if the tires have adequate tread depth left. After five years of service, trailer tires are considered worn out and should be replaced.
When replacing trailer tires it's a good idea to replace all of your trailer tires at once to ensure your trailer tows properly, but if you're not buying a complete set, make sure you purchase individual tires that match the others on your trailer. Also make sure your trailer tires are "ST" specially designed for trailers. ST or Special Trailer service tires are stiffer than the radial tires found on most cars and trucks. This stiffness helps to protect against trailer sway.
Cleaning & Storing Trailer Tires
If you are storing your trailer for an extended period, it is always best that you store the tires in a cool dry place with tire covers to protect your trailer tires from the harsh effects of the sun. Lifting and blocking the trailer just enough to get the weight off the tires and reducing air pressure for storage, can also increase the overall life of your trailer tires. Keep your tires clean by washing them with a soft scrub brush, mild soap and water. Use caution when selecting tire care products, and do not use any that contain alcohol or petroleum distillates, which can actually accelerate breakdown of the tire compound.
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