The tires are one of the most overlooked parts in any recreational vehicle. It is a known fact to many that rubber degrades over time and our tires are all made of rubber. Chemicals and oils in rubber evaporate over time and when this happens the rubber loses its flexibility and become brittle. The breaking of chemical bonds make a dry tire. A dry tire will exhibit itself first by the fading color from black to dull gray and then you will see tiny hairline cracks on the surface of the tire’s sidewalls and tread. If a tire in this condition is used for long distance driving, then the heat will make the rubber expand the cause the tire to break apart while driving. You can ruin your well planned vacation with this.
The reason why the tire industry has set a ten year maximum tire replacement period is for this reason. A six year replacement period is suggested by most tire companies for the simple reasons that rubber degradation can compromise your safety because it can cause serious accidents.
If you do not use your tires, or if they are not inflated well or are stored near excessive heat, it can cause dry rot. Tires of motor homes, classic and vintage cars, trucks and jeeps are the most to experience dry rot because of infrequent use. Classic and vintage car owners rarely drive their cars more than once a month as surveys have shown. Trailer tires are also candidates for dry rot. Dry rot can also happen to tires bearing recreation vehicles and they occur more frequently than those often used vehicles. There are even trailer owners who have expressed alarm when the tires on their camper, boat, or horse trailers can showed signs of dry rot after only two years of ownership.
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It is not only inactivity that can cause dry rot but it can also be caused by low tire pressure and exposure to excessive heat. When tires are improperly inflated they wear out prematurely and can cause harm. These problems can be avoided by examining the tire pressure regularly using an inexpensive tire gauge and using your vehicle often.
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A tire exterior can also provide you information about your tire aside from tire pressure. The greatest threat to tire sidewall cracking or dry tor is constant exposure to the sun. If your vehicle is stored in a heat absorbing surface like black asphalt of petroleum based products then your tires will deteriorate fast. Constant exposure to the sun can hasten the effects of dry rot upon your tires.