Best RV Tires

Updated September 2020
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

32 Models Considered
8 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
410 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best RV tires

Last Updated September 2020

When it comes to choosing an RV tire, many people go with whatever is on their camper at the time, simply swapping like for like. Or, they opt for whatever is on sale at the local dealer. However, doing a bit of research before you buy can result in greater mileage, improved handling, and a more comfortable ride.

We looked at a huge range of RV tire models and evaluated their construction and use. Our recommendations underline a variety of price and performance options and offer something that will satisfy the majority of RV owners. The following guide delves into the details, provides practical tips, and answers a number of common questions about RV tires.

Always check the manufacture date of the tires you’re considering. Dealers offering cheap RV tires might have had them lying around for years, and they will have already begun to deteriorate.

The right type of RV tire

Tire size is a key element, and we explore that in detail in our FAQ section. The other big issue is the type of RV tire you need. There are two categories: ST (special trailer) and LT (light truck) tires.

ST vs. LT tires

ST-rated tires are often a good value, but it’s important to understand their intended use. As the name suggests, these are trailer tires. They are fine for towable RVs, fifth-wheel rigs, and pop-up campers or tent trailers, but they can’t be used on motorhomes and camper vans. The tires simply don’t have the structural strength for either steering or drive wheels. For those purposes, you need LT-rated tires, which are stronger and more supportive than ST-rated tires.

Buyers should note that P-rated tires (for passenger vehicles) must also be avoided. That’s the type of tire you’d fit to your car.

EXPERT TIP

In addition to type and size, think about tread pattern. Most RV tires are designed for road use, but if you frequently park off-road, all-terrain tires are a good compromise.


Staff  | BestReviews

Radial or bias ply

Radial tires are more popular because their construction provides better cooling, which increases mileage, and greater flexibility, which results in a more comfortable ride. LT-rated tires are almost invariably radial, and they may be reinforced with extra belts (plys) to handle the bigger loads of a large RV. Bias ply tires tend to be stiffer, which is fine for ST-rated trailer tires because ride comfort isn’t an issue. They usually cost less, too. However, your array of choices may not be as extensive.

Tread patterns

The majority of RV tires possess a general-purpose design that handles wet roads well. Main grooves run around the tire, dissipating water. Tread blocks are kept reasonably small so the tire isn’t noisy.

However, if you’re likely to use your RV in more challenging conditions, it’s worth considering a set of snow tires. These are widely available for larger RVs because the same tires are used on commercial trucks. The alternative, though not as good as full-on snow tires, is all-season or all-terrain tires. This may be your only option on smaller RVs and trailers because snow tires may not be available. If you are towing, a practical solution is to fit snow tires to the tow vehicle itself. Snow chains are another consideration (and a legal requirement in some places).

CAUTION

If you notice sidewall cracks, get your tires checked out immediately. Weaknesses in that area are a major cause of blowouts. Bulges are another indication of sidewall damage.

Big name vs. budget brand

There are some brands of RV tire you’ll recognize instantly. Often, you’ll pay a premium for these big names. Inexpensive ST-rated RV tires can cost as little as $75, and entry-level LT-rated tires can cost around $110, but you could pay up to $300 for them.

The question is, are big name tires superior to budget models? As long as they have the initials “DOT” marked on the sidewall, any RV tire is legal for road use in the states, so safety is not an issue. However, it may be argued that when you invest in tires from a big name, you’re paying for better technology. Tires with enhanced durability are more likely to offer a quiet, smooth ride and last longer. Whether the higher price tag is worth it is up to you.

If you want to clean your RV tires, use soap and warm water, not spirits or solvents. Soap and water are just as effective at getting rid of oil and road dirt, and they won’t harm the rubber compound. You should also avoid tire shine unless specifically recommended by the tire maker.

FAQ

Q. What do the numbers on my RV tires mean?
A.
These numbers give you lots of important information, so let’s look at a typical set:

LT 215/65 R 16 110 H

  • “LT” is for Light Truck. You might also see “ST” here.
  • “215” is the width of the tire in millimeters.
  • “65” is the aspect ratio, which is the relative height of the sidewall, also called the profile.
  • “R” means it’s a radial tire. “B” or “D” would denote a bias-ply (also called a cross-ply) tire.
  • “16” is the diameter of the wheel the tire will fit.
  • “110” is the load rating, or the amount of weight it’s designed to take (in this case 2,337 pounds). Full charts are available online to decipher this number. You should know the weight of your RV — every vehicle has a plate with it stamped on — but you also need to consider the added weight of what you’re carrying, including the people on board. It’s wise to overestimate or to get your RV weighed when fully loaded. Tires that are overloaded wear down faster, and they can be dangerous.
  • “H” is the speed rating, the maximum speed the tire can safely handle. In this case, it’s 130 mph. Again, full charts can be found online.
     

Finally, there’s the date of manufacture, which starts with the letters DOT and is followed by 12 letters and numbers. Something like this:


DOT X6 AB 00 0D 2419

The only thing you’re concerned about is the last four numbers. The first two give the week of manufacture (in this case, 24), and the other two are the year (in this case, 2019).

You can choose whichever brand of tire you like, but never mess with size or weight ratings.


Q. What’s the minimum legal tread depth on RV tires?
A.
Legally it’s 2/32 inch (we don’t know why it isn’t given as 1/16 inch). Several road safety organizations would like it raised to double that, but it hasn’t happened yet. Many tires have a wear indicator molded into the tread, so you can do a quick visual check rather than getting a gauge out all the time.

However, if the tires are over seven years old or you don’t know their age because you bought a used RV, it’s recommended you change them anyway.


Q. Should I rotate the tires on my RV?
A.
It’s a good idea that’s recommended by the Rubber Manufacturers Association. They suggest rotating them every 6,000 to 8,000 miles. Combine that with proper care and regular pressure checks, and you might get as much as 50% additional mileage.

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