The Ultimate Guide to Buying RV Tires

Tires-Easy Achilles Tires, commercial truck tires, Federal Tires, Goodyear Tires, Hankook Tires, Kumho Tires, RV tires, Tire Buying Guide, Tire Safety, Tire Sizes, Trailer Tires

Buying the right set of RV tires involves many different factors.

Do you know how much weight your RV tires can hold?

Have you ever thought about how tires affect your motorhome and its ability to take road trips across the country?

Recreational vehicles require a lot of attention – with the tires often times being one of the most overlooked aspects. The tires are essentially the foundation of your RV or motorhome. To maximize the experience, you need to approach the buying process with the right knowledge.

That’s why we’ve created a guide that will help you understand RV tires, as well as how to find the best ones to suit your needs and particular motorhome.

How Are RV Tires Different? Why Do You Need an RV Tire?

Let’s start by discussing how RV tires are different from your everyday vehicle tires. Your motorhome might weigh anywhere from 10,000 to 30,000 pounds, which means you need tires that can support an enormous cargo load compared to your regular car tires.

Like tires on tow vehicles and trailers, RV trailer tires have a specific design, construction, and purpose. They come in a variety of sizes to fit your motorhome, and different tires are built to hold different levels of weight.

Understanding exactly which tires best suit your needs will help you avoid costly blowouts and enjoy a smoother, more comfortable ride, wherever your travels may take you.

Different Classes of RV and Motorhome Tires

Before you begin shopping for motorhome or RV tires, you’ll need to know what class will fit your needs. There are three separate classes for RV/motorhome tires, each designed to bear a different amount of weight.

Class A Motorhome Tires

This class is for huge RVs – they’re the largest tires available on the market for motorhomes. They support somewhere between 15,000 and 30,000 pounds. They can also fit on an RV that’s up to 40 feet long.

Class B Motorhome Tires

Although you’d probably expect Class C to be the smallest tires, Class B tires are actually the smallest. They can only carry loads between 6,000 and 8,000 pounds, and it’s recommended that they go on motorhomes that are between 17 to 19 feet in body length.

Class C Motorhome Tires

Last but not least are the Class C motorhome tires. These can support between 10,000 and 12,000 pounds of weight. These tires are usually recommended for motorhomes between 20 to 30 feet in length.

RVIA Weight Ratings

If you’re someone who’s pretty familiar with RVs, you know that the RV Industry Association has certain standards that tires must meet.

When you look at your motorhome, or one for sale, try to locate the oval seal that indicates its rating with RVIA. This is how you can determine that the motorhome is compliant with more than 500 different safety specifications, including fire, life, heating, plumbing, etc.

The RVIA seal also indicates weights and ratings – this is where your tire choice comes into play. You’ll need to learn exactly how much weight your particular motorhome can safely transport to properly choose between the different classes of RV tires.

To learn more about how to distribute weight, how to weigh the motorhome, or how to tow it, you’ll need to consult the vehicle owner’s manual.

You’ll also need to get familiar with some basic terms to understand how much weight your RV tire can hold:

  • UVW – “Unloaded Vehicle Weight,” otherwise known as the weight of the vehicle when made
  • GCWR – “Gross Vehicle Weight,” AKA the actual weight of the RV when fully-loaded
  • CCC – “Cargo Carrying Capacity,” which is the GCWR minus the UVW
  • TW – “Tongue Weight,” or the amount of vertical load that is on the hitch of the trailer

RV Tire Care Tips

As an RV owner, you want to ensure that your tires (and motorhome) stay in tip-top shape for as long as possible. Here are a few tips that will keep your RV tires looking sharp for up to six years.

  • Inspect the tires before every journey. This gives you the chance to see if they need to be inflated, rotated, or repaired before you hit the road.
  • Check their air pressure frequently. We recommend doing so at least once a month while you’re storing your RV – and more often when you’re taking road trips.
  • Ensure the Gross Vehicle Weight does not exceed the weight rating. Abiding by the weight guidelines is extremely important for preserving your tires and your safety.
  • Evenly distribute weight on the tires. One or two RV tires should not bear more weight than the others, otherwise it will be subject to increase wear. Each tire should do its fair share of the load-bearing if they are to last for years.
  • Inspect the sidewalls. On a regular basis, examine the tire sidewalls for damage such curb damage,, cuts, cracks, splits, and bubbles.
  • Cover your RV tires when not in use. Do you have your RV sitting in the garage or driveway? Covering your tires while your RV is parked prevents the aging process from UV radiation.  Ideally the tires can still get air circulation when covered,  and not have water trapped on them.  Although not the most attractive solution, blocking the sun with plywood or a solid piece of material lets air surround the tire, and lets it dry from weather, while still keeping sun off of the tires.
  • Wash the tires as needed. Removing dirt, debris and salt from the tread and sidewalls will help the tires last for longer – and look nicer.

How to Shop for RV Tires

Tip #1: Always Look at All Position Commercial Truck Tires

Referred to as “all-position, commercial truck tires,” these tires are essential for proper weight load rating and speed index. Other commercial truck tires are not suitable – as only all-position tires are capable of properly steering and controlling an RV. Be sure you are entering “commercial truck tire” into your search, not just the tire size – as you may end up with a passenger vehicle tire unfit for your needs.

Tip #2: DO NOT Select “Commercial” Trailer Tires

Keep in mind that commercial trailer tires are not suitable for motorhomes or RVs. They are designed for the trailers of 18 wheelers and to follow only – you wouldn’t have proper control over your RV on the road, and that would pose a threat to the safety of yourself and others.

Tip #3: Make Sure to Choose “Blank” in the Aspect Ratio When Necessary

When searching for smaller RV tires, make sure you find “commercial tires.” On 185 and 195 sizes, select a “blank” aspect ratio. Otherwise, you might end up looking at passenger car tires that are not suitable for your motorhome.

Best RV Tires

Small RV Tires

Small RV or Class B motorhomes

Small RVs, or Class B motorhomes, require particular tires. Using a tire that is too large could lead to an intrusion into the space of the tire’s wheel wells. Additionally, using tires that are too large could increase your fuel expenses without providing any benefits. On the other hand, using passenger tires can also increase fuel consumption and possibly result in a blowout – as these are usually smaller and lack the load capacity appropriate for an RV.

Thinking of getting a “small RV” that uses the smallest tires? Here are some popular models to consider:

  • Pleasure-Way Ascent Class B Motorhome
  • Roadtrek Zion
  • Volkswagen Vanagon
  • Winnebago Minnie Winnie
  • Leisure Travel Unity Class B Motorhome
  • 2019 Leisure Travel Vans Unity U24MB

To help you out even further, we’ve gathered a few of the best small RV tire options on the market, as well as some of their best features and their starting prices.

1. Hankook 185R14

We’ll start our list with a basic commercial tire that has strong sidewalls, excellent mileage, and a high level of durability. You often see this three-season radial tire on commercial trucks, vans, and small RVs.

Features:

  • Max single load capacity of 1,874 lbs.
  • Wide footprint with lots of open lateral grooves
  • Straight grooves for water evacuation
  • Reinforced sidewalls and casing

This long-lasting tire is popular among drivers who expect to encounter a wide variety of weather conditions, including heavy rain. Its open lateral grooves can take on different terrains and road surfaces with ease.

This one is best-suited for vans and small RVs.

Cost: This tire has a starting price of $75/tire.

2. Federal 185R14C

Looking for a long tread-life? Good braking capabilities? Use in both wet and dry climates? This tire might be the best option on the list, as long as you’re not carrying extremely heavy loads.

Features:

  • New tread design to extend tread life
  • Extra deep grooves for better braking
  • Specially designed rubber reinforcements in the sidewall
  • Max single load capacity of 1,873 lbs.

This tire is specially designed for small, European-style urban commercial vans. It certainly has no place on large trucks, but on small vans or motorhomes, it has just enough single load capacity to do its job.

When it comes to RV tires, this one is best suited for commercial sprinters.

Cost: This tire has a starting price of $76/tire.

Commercial Sprinter Tires

Commercial Sprinter

What’s a commercial sprinter?

Essentially, sprinters are a type of commercial van that many businesses use for deliveries, pickups, transportation, etc. Amazon uses these to make deliveries.

Some of the more popular commercial sprinter models include:

  • Mercedes-Benz Sprinter (the traditional option)
  • Nissan NV HD
  • Ram ProMaster
  • Ford Transit

You might be wondering why we have commercial vans and their tires listed in this RV tire guide. Well, you might have noticed an increasing trend in the use of vans for recreational purposes. People are taking road trips in their sprinters or even living in them on-the-road. Therefore, it’s important that RV users understand what kind of tires these vans need.

Speaking of tires for commercial sprinters, here are some of the best on the market.

3. Achilles 225/70R15 (Commercial Sprinter)

This tire is an excellent choice for those who want to be able to carry fairly big loads without compromising speed. It’s a light truck tire designed for minivans, passenger vans, and commercial vans that are used in heavy-duty circumstances.

Features:

  • Four circumferential tread grooves
  • Super durable tread rubber
  • Sidewalls with extra ply
  • Speed rating of “T” (118 mph)
  • Max single load capacity of 2,470

You’ll note that the tread rubber is extra durable. This leads to a longer tread life as well as the ability to channel more water out through the tread grooves. There’s a smaller chance of hydroplaning and a better chance of staying safe on the road.

This one is best suited tires for commercial sprinters.

Cost: This tire has a starting price of $91/tire.

4. Federal 225/7015 (Commercial Sprinter)

On the highway for long periods of time with your van or small motorhome? This tire is designed for commercial vehicles that need high levels of fuel-efficiency and long tread life.

Features

  • 3 wide circumferential grooves
  • Wide shoulder steering blocks
  • Two continuous ribs for better control
  • Wave-shaped tread design
  • Max single load capacity of 2,833 lbs.

Not only does this tire last for a long time, but it also helps vehicles reduce their fuel consumption and lower their levels of CO2 emissions. It has a short braking distance, strong water evacuation capabilities, and low hydroplaning risk.

This RV tire is one of the best suited for commercial sprinters.

Cost: This tire has a starting price of $121/tire.

5. Nokian 225/7015C (Commercial Sprinter)

This three-season light truck tire is exceptionally strong and long lasting for commercial use. Its tread pattern has been optimized for long life, and it helps to reduce the vehicle’s use of fuel, keeping fuel costs low and helping commercial fleets minimize overhead.

Features

  • Extra rubber on sidewalls to protect them from damage
  • Extra belts in the summit of the tire for protection
  • Tread pattern optimized for long life
  • Max single load capacity of 2,470 lbs

Regardless of where you’re driving, on gravel paths, unpaved roads, or regular streets, this tire can take you there. It’s highly resistant to chunking and chipping, as well as flats and stone drilling.

When it comes to RV tires, this one is best suited for commercial sprinters.

Cost: This tire has a starting price of $144/tire.

Mid-Size RV Tires

Mid-Size RV Tires

Driving a mid-size motorhome means you’ll need to find RV tires that fall in between the smallest and largest. You don’t quite need the load-bearing capabilities of Class A motorhome tires, but you still need something above the usual capacity.

Mid-size RV tires belong on many of the average RV models you’ll see, including:

  • Coachmen Galleria Motorhome
  • Leisure Travel Vans Serenity
  • Casita Spirit

Take a look at some of the top tires that belong on mid-size RVs and motorhomes.

6. Ironman 225/70R19.5

As an all-season RV tire, this option is extremely durable and stable in a variety of weather conditions. It’s best-suited for commercial trucks but can also be found on motorhomes and RVs.

Features:

  • Unique tread compound that offers superior handling
  • 5-rib tread design for improved mileage
  • Steel construction for even acceleration distribution
  • Strong casing for durability and strength
  • Max load capacity of 3,968 lbs.

Many RV tire reviews indicate that this tire is chosen by drivers of commercial trucks due to its excellent grip and handling on both wet and dry roads. Whatever weather conditions a delivery company might encounter, this tire can handle it.

Cost: This RV tire has a starting price of $163/tire.

7. Thunderer 225/70R19.5 Mid Size 

An all-season premium steer tire, this one is made primarily for medium-sized trucks and buses. It’s durable, resistant to wear, and able to withstand long journeys in a variety of weather circumstances.

Features:

  • Steel belts that maintain tire shape
  • Highly durable casing
  • Strong belt carcass
  • Low-rolling resistance tread compound
  • Max single load of 3,970 lbs.

Other benefits that come with this tire include low-fuel costs, high-mileage, and the ability to carry heavy loads. It also has a speed rating of “M,” meaning it can go up to a whopping 81 mph.

Cost: This RV tire has a starting price of $163/tire.

8. Milestar 225/70R19.5 Mid Size

Designed for pickup and delivery services, this tire is a versatile option for both small and large fleets that want a one-tire solution for all of their work.

Features:

  • 5-rib tread design that’s long-lasting
  • Center ribs with cross-cut sipes
  • Full-depth tread for good traction
  • Max single load of 3,970 lbs.

This tire has many benefits, from external edge siping that minimizes scrubbing to its enhanced traction and wear capabilities. Although it isn’t meant to go on the largest of trucks, it still has a high max-load rating and is designed to take on tough circumstances.

If you’re shopping for RV tires, this one is best suited for mid-sized options.

Cost: This tire has a starting price of $208/tire.

9. Kumho 225/70R19.5 Mid Size

Popular amongst pickup and delivery commercial service workers, this tire is made to be durable. It resists wear well, even in high scrub applications. Even though it’s geared toward mid-sized vehicles and motorhomes, it can still carry thousands of pounds easily.

Features:

  • Can carry up to 3,970 lbs.
  • Hard, durable rubber that’s resistant to wear
  • Durable ribs
  • Ply rating of G/14PR

This tire can be used in all wheel positions on small panel vans, medium-duty straight trucks, and 1-ton box vans that take 17.5”, 19.5”, and 22.5” tires.

Cost: This tire has a starting price of $229/tire.

Large RV Tires

Large RV Tires

When you’re driving a large, Class A RV, you can’t skip on your tire size. You’ll need durable tires that can support a large motorhome and heavy cargo.

Large RV tires belong on many of the most common big RV models you’ll see, including:

  • Newmar Ventana Class A Motorhome
  • Entegra Aspire Motorhome
  • Tiffin Allegro Bus Motorhome

Take a look at some of the top tires that belong on large RVs and motorhomes.

10. Goodyear 245/75R22.5 Pusher/Bus

This tire offers a lot of great benefits: long mileage, good fuel economy, and the ability to handle all seasons. You’ll often see it on big coaches and long-haul trucks due to its excellent traction and extreme durability.

Features:

  • High-tech belt system that provides added stability
  • Rated Load Range of “G”
  • Max single load is 4,675 lbs
  • Rubber compound that reduces cracks and damage

Heading out on a long haul? This tire delivers excellent comfort and reduced sway, which makes handling a breeze. You don’t need to worry as much about heat build-up and damage – thanks to its special rubber compound.

This tire can be used on large RVs, buses, motorhomes, and diesel pushers.

Cost: It has a starting price of $460/tire, which is more than many RV tires cost.

11.  Yokohama RY103 265/75R22.5 G/14 PR

Designed for medium and heavy-duty 2WD trucks, vans, and pickups, this tire offers superb performance and handling. It’ll give you the luxurious feel you’re looking for on long road trips, but it will also carry the cargo you need.

Features:

  • Ply rating of G/14PR
  • Carries max load of 5,205 lbs.
  • Handles all weather conditions well, except snow and ice

Because it incorporates low-profile engineering with quality construction, this tire offers great mileage with the potential to hold heavy cargo. Drivers of large trucks and delivery vans may choose it for its improved handling and stability, as well as its weight limit.

This tire can be used on large RVs, buses, motorhomes, and diesel pushers.

Cost: This tire has a starting price of $387/tire.

RV Tires FAQs

1. When should you check your RV or trailer tire pressure?

We recommend checking trailer tire pressure before every journey as well as onec a month if parked to ensure proper inflation. This is one of the best ways to protect your RV tires and help them last for years.

2. When do I need to replace my RV tires?

The answer to this question depends on how often you use the tires. If you’re on the road with your RV often, you might need to replace them in about three years. If you’re only driving a few times a year and not putting much strain on the RV tires, they could last as long as six years. Keep in mind damage from temperature extremes age tires prematurely.

3. How can I protect RV tires?

If you’re wondering how long RV tires last and hoping to extend their lifetime, there are a few things you can do. Keep them safe with covers that block them from sunlight when they’re not in use. Always ensure that your RV’s weight is evenly distributed so that each tire is adequately protected.  If you tires are dirty from you last trip, wash them to get any dirt ,debris  or salt off the tires will help prevent deterioration.

4. How many miles are RV tires good for?

If cared for properly and driven under usual circumstances, your RV tires could last between 80,000 and 120,000 miles.

5. How many years do RV tires last?

The typical rule of thumb is to replace your RV tire every five to six years, depending on their frequency of use and maintenance.  If you drive a lot of miles you may only get 3 years out of your tires.

Conclusion

Hopefully, this guide has given you the information and direction you need to choose the right tires for your particular motorhome. We want everyone to stay safe on the roads, and picking the right class of RV tire is a huge part of that!

Need help selecting your RV tires?

Contact the experts at Tires Easy – we’re more than willing to guide you toward the perfect set of tires for your adventurous motorhome.

Interested in Tire Deals?

Check out our specially priced tire selection in limited quantities and period of time

 

It's only fair to share...Share on Facebook
Facebook
Tweet about this on Twitter
Twitter
Share on LinkedIn
Linkedin
Pin on Pinterest
Pinterest
Email this to someone
email