Are your RV campers tires ROAD WORTHY?

RV travel trailers and fifth wheel trailers with tires that are UNSAFE at ANY speed

I was driving along I-90 just west of Butte, Mt. a few days ago. Along my brief route while returning to Anaconda, I encountered a half-ton 5th Wheel SPEEDING ahead of me that made me SEE RED. Here’s why…

The speed limit on this stretch of interstate is 80 mph and I was right about there. I moved to the left lane to pass an 18 wheeler. I then observed an MD (mental deficient) pulling a half-ton 5th wheel (it had a giant decal boasting “half-ton towable” on the back of the trailer). He was farther ahead in the LEFT lane and clearly speeding as he was pulling away from me in the left lane!

This actually happened to me several years ago when I (foolishly and naively) kept the Towmax (sometimes referred to as BLOWMAX) tires that my Crossroads Seville 5th wheel camper came with. Blowouts in a trailer are often a big deal. I sustained over $3000. damage as this tire “unwound” and ripped up the plumbing and propane connections inside my camper. If I only knew then what I know now!

Now, don’t even get me started on what I think about the RV manufacturer (it was one of the popular and TRULY MEDIOCRE RV manufacturers – one I would NEVER endorse to my own Concierge RV clients) its trailers, or half-ton 5th wheel trailers in general, but what I observed was UNSAFE and I’d bet the driver had no idea of just how dangerous his actions were.

Safety REALITY – How Fast Can you SAFELY tow a 5th wheel trailer

Simply put: 80+ mph when pulling ANY trailer is TOO DARN FAST.

I’m a full-time traveler. I own a WELL CONSTRUCTED 5th wheel with TOP QUALITY (Milestar) G-Rated tires. Even though I’m well equipped, I RARELY exceed 70mph when towing the trailer, and more typically I maintain 65mph or just under. Even those speeds are NOT SAFE with MANY (most) trailers. The speed at which this irresponsible RV owner was driving created a ongoing hazard for himself and anyone else around him on the interstate.

RV Trailer Tires

Here’s how strongly I feel about this issue: When I was in RV sales at a dealer in Casper, Wyoming, I would if the situation warranted it advise the buyer of a new camper that the first stop they should make after taking possession of their new trailer is to buy (roadworthy) tires at a local tire store.

Why? In my view, many RV manufacturers purchase substandard, cheap (Chinese) tires for their trailers. Tires like these are NOT SAFE at any speed and NOT road-worthy.

Important: I’m NOT condemning all Chinese tires. As with anything, there’s different grades of manufacture and different grades of rubber (in the case of tires.) My tires (Milestar) are Chinese, but they (according to recommendations and reviews) do not suffer the same issues as some other Chinese manufactured tires.

How do you know who the good guys and “not so good guys” are in tire manufacturing

I check online reviews (Amazon, Google, etc.) I also read the RV owners forums to gain a sense of how many owners of a particular brand have had a blowout. The tires affected are often called “china bombs.”

Conducting searches like the following can be helpful: If the tire manufacturer is named “xyz”, I would Google search “xyz tire complaints” or “xyz tire blowouts” or “are xyz tires china bombs”.

If you’re looking at a trailer with substandard tires, in addition to replacing them immediately, I would suggest you consider this: If the RV manufacturer is so clearly cutting corners on their choice of tire, where else have they cut corners?

Asking this may cause you to take a more critical look at the RV camper you’re considering purchasing and may even cause you to gravitate towards the (few) RV trailer manufacturers who make a superior quality camper.

If you’re looking for an RV camper (of any type), the issue I’m addressing here is just one of the services I provide to my Concierge RV Buying Clients.

The Milestar Steelpro Tire – be sure to get the right size AND keep pressure to recommended levels by your camper manufacturer

Tires I’ve had success with…

Goodyear Endurance have a good reputation. When I looked for a set for my 5th wheel (larger tires, G rated), I was quoted nearly $500. per tire! After some digging, I decided upon Milestar Steelpro AST. Over a year later, I’m satisfied, and the price ($240./tire) was FAR more manageable!

I’ve also owned Maxxis m8008 series tires. These are also great trailer tires. I’ve recommended them to many clients with zero negative feedback.

When to replace your trailer tires…

RV’s are stationary – a lot! Because of this, the tire tread is a poor indicator to establishing when its time to get new tires. For trailers, I go with the 5 year rule. Check the DOT date on your tires (look it up if you don’t know what to look for) and if they’re over 5, they’ve gotta go!

FYI, for motorhomes, I go for 6 years on RV tires.

Concluding thoughts and a request…

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5 thoughts on “Are your RV campers tires ROAD WORTHY?”

  1. Noel,
    Good article. I would also suggest a good RV Roadside assistance plan. (Good Sam) In the last year we have had 4 blow-outs on our 2 year old 5th wheel. All tires, now, are upgraded. Be safe.

    • Rod,

      Yes! BUT, absolutely NOT “good sam”! Good sam is owned by camping world – a truly worthless entity in the RV world. Instead, I highly recommend CoachNet ( – I’ve had it since 2012 and used it to even cover hotel stays for times when my camper has had to be in several days for repair. AND they are easy to work with. Recently, I had a truck breakdown (only the truck), it had to be towed. I got a tow company to take care of it. That evening, I called CoachNet, told them what happened and they called the tow company to pay him directly! GREAT customer service.


  2. Hi, Alan.

    Welcome issue! I would encourage you to speak more about driving issues with an RV.

    For example, when my wife and I were RVing 5 months every summer in the west escaping from Arizona heat, we followed the following guidelines:

    – 300 miles or 6 hours a day which ever came first
    – Following the above rule when planning our route before our RV summer started. Note we typically stayed for a week or two in most of our stops except at the beginning and end of the season.
    – No more than 65 miles an hour.
    – Shifting to lower gears at the top of a mountain down grade keeping the speed way below 65 miles an hour especially for 6% and higher down grades.
    – Testing the tire pressure all around before a drive and filling up or down as appropriate.
    – Of course having top grade tires all around including the spare

    Keep up the good work!


    • Great points Noel and thanks for the input! It certainly gives me more “ammo” for a future post. Right now I’m working on one that includes “my take” on the frame flex issue some 5th wheel owners are experiencing.


    • Hey Noel:

      We use the SAME process. We call it T-Squared, or “Trailer Time.” 65 mph is the MAX we will ever drive, and we use the “two-two-two” rule. No more than 250-300 miles per day. REST stop every two hours. This includes re-checkng the towing lights, tires, TPMS readings, stablizer bars, etc. No less then two nights at each stop unless there is something “urgent” calling us.

      We have been using this rule and towing a variety of TT’s since 2016.


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