Vans And Caravans: Correct Tyre Pressure For Your Load

Caravan and van tyres endure particularly harsh treatment as they often deal with heavier loads. They also face stop and start journeys in different conditions such as city centres and off the beaten track. This means you have to choose the right type of caravan and van tyres with the correct tyre pressure.

Choosing the right van tyres and maintaining the appropriate tyre pressure will help with fuel economy, reduce CO2 emissions while improving overall safety and handling. Without proper tyre maintenance, you will only increase your spending and compromise the safety of everyone around you. This becomes even more serious in the current economic climate as many people hold onto their vehicles for longer.

Van Tyre Maintenance Tips

When it comes to van and caravan tyres, regular checks are essential, especially before long journeys. Never ignore your tyres and make sure you check each one at least once a month. Here are a few more tips on caring for your van and caravan tyres.

van tyres

Know Your Load For Van Tyres

Tyre pressure for van tyres is vital as it changes according to the vehicle’s load. The tyre pressure when transporting empty boxes will be vastly different than for bags of cement. If you overload your vehicle without adjusting the tyre pressure, they will wear much faster. Before you embark on any journey with a load, make sure you have the correct pressure for your van tyres.

Our top tip is to always check tyre pressure when the van tyres are cold for absolute accuracy. You should always let them cool for a few hours if you drove a long-distance or check them when you’ve only covered two miles at a low speed. This means you can take a slow drive to your nearest service centre to check it properly before going anywhere.

General Tyre Condition

As is the case with all car tyres, you should regularly check the overall condition of your van tyres. This allows you to identify possible damage, wear or road debris stuck in the tread. Objects like sharp stones, screws, glass or nails can easily cause punctures and result in a blowout or an accident. At the same time, inspect the tread to make sure there are no cracks or bulges in the sidewall. Considering that van tyres often drive over uneven surfaces and debris, objects are more likely to embed themselves in the tread.

Tyre Safety Checks At Elite Garages

Tyre safety checks at Elite Garages are quick and thorough to ensure your van tyres are safe and legal. It only takes a few minutes as our experts check the tread, tyre pressure and general tyre condition. Elite also offers vehicle safety checks where we carry out visual inspections of your brakes, battery, exhausts, oil level and shocks.

If you suspect misaligned wheels or notice any tyre damage, visit Elite Garages for a FREE Tyre Check. Our professional and friendly tyre experts will perform thorough checks to identify any potential problems or threats to your safety.

Related Article: ‘5 Benefits Of A Wheel Alignment Check

What You Should Know About Caravan Tyres

Caravan tyre maintenance follows some of the same rules as van tyres. Before leaving, you must always check the tyres and tyre pressure as incorrectly inflated and burst tyres cause many accidents each year. If you only spend a few minutes checking your caravan’s tyre pressure, you can save yourself hundreds of pounds if not more.

For the last few years, most caravan manufacturers have stamped the necessary information onto a plate or sticker. This is fixed to the outside of your caravan and most often near the door. It contains all the vital information including the following:

  • Maximum Technically Permissible Laden Mass (MTPLM)
  • Mass in Running Order (MRO)
  • Approved tyre size
  • Recommended caravan tyre pressures for your specific van

If you don’t have such a plate, your owner manual can also contain some valuable information.

Maximum Weight For Caravan Tyres

Many responsible caravan owners don’t overload the inside of their caravan to avoid exceeding the maximum tow weight of their car. However, it is also important that they don’t exceed the maximum weight for their caravan tyres.

In the UK, tyre experts strongly recommend that the maximum vehicle load does not exceed 90% of the combined tyre load capacity as indicated by the load index. One would assume that your caravan has two tyres so that means the total weight figure can be doubled. See the example table below:

tyre load index table

For example, a single axle caravan with a maximum weight of 1,600 kg, each tyre should carry half of the total which is 800kg per tyre. This means the total weight of your caravan and contents must not exceed 1,440kg as this figure is 90% of the total 1,600 kg. Here, the load index figure on the tyre is indicated by the figure, 100.

Caravan Tyre Pressure

All tyres should have the required information on the sidewall where it states the maximum inflation PSI. This is usually in very small print but it is legible and you should always use that as a guide. In this particular example, we’ll look at these tyres (185 R14C 102/100) with a maximum inflation pressure of 64 PSI.

  • Tyre specification: 185 R14C 102/100
  • Tyre Load Rating: 102/100
  • Load Capacity Per Tyre: 750 kg
  • Load Capacity Per Tyre (90%): 675 kg
  • Maximum Tyre Inflation Rate: 64 PSI

For more comprehensive checks, keep the Caravan Pressure Calculator from TyreSafe handy. It is super easy to use and the ideal way to accurately find the information you need.

Checking The Tread On Caravan And Van Tyres

By now you should know that the minimum legal tyre tread depth in the UK and Europe is 1.6 mm. This applies to all tyres and many experts have said that tyres should already be replaced when the tread is 3 mm. They believe that the tyres don’t offer enough grip at 1.6 mm, especially in slippery conditions.

If you want to check the tyre pressure yourself, here are three ways you can do it at home:

  • Use a tread depth gauge to measure the inside and outside of your tyre tread
  • Check the tread wear indicators which are moulded into the tread grooves. If you can see them, it’s time to replace your tyres
  • Use the 20p coin method by inserting it into the main tread grooves. If the outer band of the coin is not visible, your tyre tread is fine but if it is, you should replace your tyre

Why Choose Elite Garages For Your Van Tyres?

Put your trust in Elite Garages as we provide the kind of quality services you’d expect from a family-owned and managed company. We offer greater value for money without any hidden costs or small print. If you’re looking for vehicle, caravan or van tyres, our new website makes it easy as you can now reserve your tyres online.

If you notice damage to any of your tyres, including the spare, get it checked out soon as possible, especially if you’re planning a long journey. Find the nearest Elite Garages fitment centre for quality budget, mid-range and performance tyres for cars, bikes, vans and caravans.