Should You Use An RV Spare Tire Cover?
The last thing we want to deal with is a flat tire or a blowout while driving. An RV’s tires are important for transportation and preserving the quality of the vehicle. Driving with deflated or flat tires is a problem, which is why it’s always a good idea to travel with at least one spare. But do you really need an RV spare tire cover, or is it just an unnecessary piece of equipment?
Generally speaking, it’s a good idea to get a tire cover for your spare tires. The main service they provide is protection against UV radiation and weathering damage.
They’re not required by any means, but they are cheap, easy to install, and low maintenance. There isn’t really a reason to avoid them unless you just don’t like how a cover looks. So, yes, you should use an RV spare tire cover.
We’ll cover some of the benefits below, as well as other methods you can use to extend the lifespan of your tires. If you’re interested in buying a tire cover, we’ll also provide some product recommendations.
Benefits of an RV spare tire cover
Protects your tire from UV light
One of the biggest enemies of rubber tires is UV radiation. Tires are meant to hold up over a long period of time, but when a tire is not in use and constantly exposed to the sun, it’s in danger of breaking down. Unprotected tires are subject to dry rot, which is the process of UV radiation evaporating the oils in the material and leaving it cracked and damaged.
A spare cover can be a handy tool that prevents your tires from breaking down before you even use them. They cover the tire and prevent UV rays from making direct contact.
However, exposed tires can still get quite hot, even when they’re protected by covers. Because of this, it’s best to use cover materials that will deflect heat as much as possible. Don’t use a black RV spare tire cover because it will trap heat and make the tire even hotter than its surroundings.
Keeps the tire cleaner
Another benefit of a tire cover is the fact that it keeps your tire clean! It’s not hard to figure this one out. All vehicles eventually pick up dirt, grime, dust, pollen, bugs, and anything else that comes from traveling outdoors.
Your spare tire can get filthy if it’s not covered, and this will make it unpleasant to deal with when you need to switch them out. A tire cover is an easy solution that will keep your tires clean.
Can provide a level of security
Some tire covers even protect your tire against theft! It’s not too hard for enterprising thieves to steal an unprotected tire from the back of your vehicle. But some models (usually hard-shell ones) can lock your tire in place and make it harder for others to access.
You’ll want to make sure you have a backup when you need it, plus tires can be expensive! There’s no reason to leave it unprotected if you can avoid it.
Cheap/often included with purchase
Finally, an RV spare tire cover isn’t very expensive. Some models are as cheap as $20, while others might be up to $100. Many RVs might offer them upfront when you purchase the vehicle as well.
They may be decorated with the brand name, but these covers could be included in the overall cost with no need to buy a new one. Overall, they aren’t a big investment, and they can help make your tire clean, safe, and long-lasting.
Other ways to preserve your tires
Tire covers are an easy and cost-effective way to preserve your spare tires, but ideally, you won’t need to use them very often. Tires have a pretty long lifespan, and you can extend it even further by following some good driving/maintenance habits.
The more weight you put on your tires, the faster they will wear out. RVs are pretty heavy already, so the tires are under a fair amount of strain all the time.
You can make the tires last longer by keeping your RV’s weight within safe limits. All RVs have a gross vehicle weight rating, which describes the maximum amount they can weigh (factoring in the base weight plus all the cargo, water, passengers, etc.).
You should never exceed this limit, but you can actually make it easier on your tires and tow vehicle by staying at least 15% below the maximum weight rating. Pushing your RV’s weights to the limit can be a dangerous game, and it can lead to blowouts and equipment breakdowns.
Another factor that can eat away at your tires is the terrain that you drive on. When you’re traveling in an RV, you’ll mainly be dealing with highway driving and paved roads, but it can get dicey once you get to more rural areas.
Camping often includes driving on rough, unpaved roads. Some drivers also like to push their luck and drive their RVs in unstable off-road conditions. This is extremely dangerous for you and your vehicles.
Always drive on paved streets when possible, and drive slowly and cautiously when you’re dealing with rough roads. Your tires will definitely last longer if you avoid uneven terrain.
Protect against extreme temperatures
Rubber is a strong and versatile material that can withstand a good amount of wear and tear. Unfortunately, it is somewhat vulnerable to temperature fluctuations.
Luckily, you can preserve your tires by protecting them against extreme temperatures. We’ve already talked about how UV radiation and hot temperatures can damage tires, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg (so to speak).
If tires get too cold, they can crack and split. This will lead them to deflate before their time and will end up costing the owners hundreds of dollars to replace them. Extreme temperatures are bad for tires, whether it’s too hot or too cold.
You can protect your tires by covering them with insulating materials during the winter and using tire covers when you are parked in hot weather as well. Try to park in shady areas if possible, and be sure to use an RV spare tire cover on any tires that are fully exposed (such as those that are mounted on the back).
Best tire covers
If you’re interested in buying an RV spare tire cover, there are lots of great options on the market. We personally love the Explore Land Tire Covers because they provide covers for all your wheels, not just the spare. The Kohree RV tire covers are also highly rated on Amazon.
If those products don’t interest you, the video below gives some great recommendations for the top spare tire covers.
See what other RVers are saying
Any of these options can give you an extra layer of protection and keep your tires, your vehicle, and yourself safe.
One of the best parts about RVing is engaging with the community of traveling enthusiasts. iRV2 forums allow folks to chat with other RVers online, and get other perspectives on everything RVing, including products, destinations, RV mods, and more.
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