Military Transports Get A Taste Of Irony As Cheap Tires Plague Convoys
For years now, RVers have been bemoaning and discussing their experience with those cheap tires that RV manufacturers try to pass off on unsuspecting new owners. Now, the Russian convoys that are pushing into Ukraine are having their own flat-tire experience, as low quality tires made in China are repeatedly failing on their motorized transports.
“An interesting new theory has emerged explaining the slow advance of Russia’s armored convoy into Ukraine, with online experts suggesting that substandard vehicle maintenance and poorly made Chinese tires have delayed Russian approaches.”
Granted, these armored vehicles aren’t using RV tires, but the reasoning and result are the same: if you put low quality tires on something that doesn’t see regular use and maintenance, you are setting yourself up for failure.
Cheap tires are nothing new
In the RV realm, fellow RVers have been sharing their own war stories about cheap tires. Popular RVing forums like iRV2, Forest River Owners, and My Grand RV all have discussion threads around cheap tires made in China. Cheap RV tires are found on nearly every brand and at one price point or another.
These discussions on Keystone Forums, Jayco Owners, and iRV2 are all sharing their concern and experiences with cheap tires on their RVs. One RVer on Forest River Forums, username upflying, shared a photo of their recent experience with a blowout, stating:
“I felt a tug and heard an explosion along with smoke and debris visible in my mirrors. I hurried to a stop on the right shoulder and discovered one of my Castle Rock tires had let go. 2 yr old trailer with perhaps 2500 miles on them. Checked pressure at 65psi before I left. OAT was 85F and I was traveling at 65mph.”
The cheap tires found on many mid- to low-end campers are typically lower quality tires made in China, and when they fail, they tend to blow out, or blow up…as it were, even when properly inflated and within an acceptable load range.
While there are plenty of stories out there about tire failure, many cheap RV tires from China are unique in the failures are often not related to age, poor inflation, or excessive load. They just…fail, seemingly for no apparent reason. Even proper tire maintenance doesn’t seem to help, though it might certainly delay an inevitable failure a bit longer.
Should I replace my cheap RV tires?
Many RVers will agree that even with a brand new RV, if it is equipped with a cheap Chinese-made tire and is not a top-tier brand you are familiar with, it may do you well to replace your tires immediately.
Bear in mind that when a blowout does occur, there is typically some residual damage done to your RV as well. We can see in the image below that a portion of the tire has smashed through the underside of the RV when it blew out. You’ll find similar stories everywhere, some of them quite dramatic and destructive.
While we don’t wish to make light of a serious political matter, this should serve as a warning that cheap RV tires are dangerous. The danger is magnified when RVers don’t adhere to a strict RV maintenance schedule. RVers are encouraged to check their tires carefully, understand your tire date code, know proper inflation levels, and consider a tire pressure monitor.
Make sure you keep track of all your RV maintenance and repairs with an online tool such as RV LIFE Maintenance from RV LIFE. Not only can you keep all of your documents in one place, but you’ll also receive timely reminders when maintenance is due to help you avoid costly repairs and potentially serious accidents.
All around RV industry enthusiast who has been RVing for 8 years and enjoys trips with his wife and dogs in their diesel pusher.