Winter Protection Advice For Caravans

Tyres are the only part of a car or trailer caravan in contact with the road surface. In spite of this, there is strong evidence that drivers are delaying replacing tyres which is leading to a larger number of vehicles and potentially caravans, on the road with defective or badly worn tyres. For a car towing a caravan this could be a very dangerous combination.

Protyre, the UK's leading independent tyre dealer network, is offering some helpful and practical tyre advice to caravan owners who will lay up their trailer for the winter months. Firstly, tyres should be checked visually for any damage particularly to the sidewall of caravan tyres which can easily sustain impact damage through trailer cut-in on corners and should be acted upon.

To ensure that caravan tyres are fit for next year's spring and summer motoring seasons Protyre recommends the following actions:

  • Examine and check the tyres for tread depth and any signs of damage to the sidewall or signs of mis-alignment.
  • Check the valves for general condition
  • Ideally the caravan should be jacked up so the weight of the caravan does not rest on the tyres, alternatively the caravan should be moved from time to time or the wheels rotated to prevent flat spots from forming. Cover the tyres with a dense breathable material such as hessian to protect them from the winter elements. Alternatively cover the front face and exposed tread of the tyres, when dry, with black plastic to offer winter weather protection.
  • Better still, remove wheels completely and store them flat, in a cool and dry condition, away from sunlight. Care should be taken not to store them in close proximity to volatile solvents or on a damp concrete floor.
  • If wheels are removed, cover the brake drums and hubs following any necessary servicing.
  • Caravanners should also be aware of insurance requirements which normally require the use of wheel clamps or locks. Whilst the lack of wheels may appear to immobilise a caravan, thieves have been known to fit wheels to steal a caravan and the owner would be liable if precautions were not taken.

Commenting on the winter tyre advice Barry Norris from the Camping and Caravanning Club said, "Reports indicate that tyre failure is a major factor in accidents involving towed caravans. It therefore makes sense to take care of this vital component of a caravan."

27 November 2009 Staff

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