In 2017, it was estimated that nearly 10 million families owned RV’s, with many other families looking into financing or purchasing one in the near future. Clearly, having an RV is a fairly common practice.
While there are a ton of RV’s on the road, they do not have a lot of the same guidelines and protocols as a normal vehicle.
Can you plug an RV tire? Yes, you can plug or patch RV tires. However, it is not a permanent solution or an easy fix, and tires should be thoroughly inspected both interiorly and exteriorly before doing either.
Let’s discuss what exactly both methods are, some preventative measures you can take, and, ultimately, how to get you home safely after facing an RV tire mishap.
Table of Contents
Plugging An RV Tire
Tire plugs usually come in a slime version or a sticky expandable material that you can stick into the air leak of a tire to stop the air from leaking in.
This selection is also the cheaper of the two repair options, but that does not necessarily mean you are getting a good bargain in terms of effectiveness.
While plugs can be useful for getting you off the highway and onto a side road to a tire repair service of sorts, tire professionals do not recommend this method, nor is it considered a solution or a permanent fix.
If you are going to plug your tire, it should still be completely taken off of the vehicle for internal inspection as to not worsen any issue you cannot see from the outside.
RV REPAIR -Plugging a trailer tire on the road >> Check out the video below:
Most tire repairs done by anyone who is not a professional are done incorrectly and can further damage the tire.
It is also apparently a warranty issue if you plug your tire. Usually, that will void any warranty from any large tire manufacturer.
Obviously, in a sticky situation, it may be the only feasible solution, but if you can, it is recommended finding an alternative fix to the issue.
Related reading: LT vs. ST Tires for Travel Trailers: What Works Better?
Patching An RV Tire
Out of our two options, this one will take longer but is known to be a little more reliable. This method covers more surface area, so you are less likely to miss the exact problem spot.
Plus, you do not necessarily need to take the whole tire off to fix the issue.
These also usually are self-heating in reaction to the heat of the tire, creating a better seal.
While these are just as temporary as a plug, they are known to be an easier and more precise option (as far as DIY solutions go) but are also considerably more expensive and time-intensive.
Logistics of RV Tires
Similar to any type of car, there are hundreds and thousands of variations in makes and models of recreational vehicles.
So, there is most definitely a large assortment of tires, depending on which model you might have.
When selecting tires for your RV, it is recommended that you consult a professional, be it someone at a tire store or at a specialized store.
As mentioned previously, these vehicles are carrying double, if not triple or quadruple, the weight of a normal car.
So while tires may seem like a boring decision in the grand scheme of things, picking the right ones will definitely pay off in the long run.
Also, if you purchase your RV used, it is critical to know how old the tires on the vehicle are before you take it on that cross-country trip to an amusement park this summer.
While it is tempting to just get in and go, this could cause a major issue midway through that fun family vacation.
Age is another thing that a professional can help you determine and help you decide whether or not it is time to invest in new tires.
Size is super important and particular to your exact make and model, so a professional is also really handy in helping narrow down the options should your tires be too old to take trekking.
In terms of maintenance, it is suggested you check tire pressure regularly, even during those cold months where it is getting less use.
Tire covers also protect your tires during those aforementioned cold months and can extend the life of your RV tires.
With their large size and specialization, these can be a big investment. And really, selecting tires is a big investment in the safety of whoever plans on riding in the RV as well.
They can be a pricier item, but in the long run, they are worth it.
Proper selection and maintenance are key and may prevent you from ever having to patch or plug your tires in the first place.
Avoiding the Issue Altogether
While accidents can happen and flats are usually not the most predictable issue one can run into on the road, there are some preventative measures you can take to ensure your tires are prepared for the road and less likely to get a flat.
It is recommended that you take your RV into a tire store or mechanic to get all of your tires checked before a big trip. Tread, tire pressure, and all of those fun logistical elements can be checked.
This will not only give you some peace of mind along the way but can nip a problem in the bud before you even hit the road.
When getting your tires inspected, it is also a good idea to have your spare checked. Should you need to use it, you do want it to be in excellent condition as well.
Bathroom breaks, pit stops for snacks, and any other stop along the way is a good place to check on all of your tires.
While it may seem a tad overboard, it is better to be ahead of an issue obviously, and noticing a leak early on can be the difference between needing to take the tire off and plug it or getting to where you are headed safely.
The main goal, whether you are plugging or patching your tire, is to arrive at your destination safely. That said when doing whichever tire repair, be sure to pull over somewhere where you have ample room to examine your tire.
If you must pull off on a shoulder, be wary and try to patch rather than plug, since the whole tire does not have to be removed.
It is ideal, in these situations, to get to a gas station or anywhere where you can find aid soon after temporarily fixing your tire.
As we have discussed, neither of these methods is a permanent fix.
Read also: Can You Use Truck Tires on Travel Trailers?
They will likely safely get you to the next off-ramp to civilization, but it is advised that you seek professional evaluation of your problem tire sooner than later as to avoid any further issues.
As an RV owner, tires are an element that you need to be attentive to and considerate of your options.
Even though both methods we have discussed primarily are not long-term fixes to any issue your tire may run into, they are good to have on hand should you run into a problem.
Like we talked about, unforeseeable things happen on the road all of the time. But mitigating risk and getting ahead of it may make your travels a lot less stressful.
Ultimately, the biggest takeaway here is that tire upkeep is essential.
And, while it is good to trust your gut when it comes to the color of your RV or buy the same make that your neighbors did, trusting professionals is the way to go.
No matter how long you have been driving, RV and motorhome maintenance are fairly niche markets, and it is always best to have a professional help you when selecting or fixing your tires.
Hopefully, these tips can prevent you from a vacation mishap.
At the very least, do take into consideration which option you may want to have on hand in an emergency, and familiarize yourself with that method so as not to ruin your tire beyond repair.
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