Last Updated on 05/06/2023 by Glynn Willard
Rotating your tires on your travel trailer might be controversial and in some cases unnecessary.
But after towing a travel trailer all over the country for over 35,000 miles, I’ve made a few observations.
First and foremost, tire and wheel care on your travel trailer should be your number one priority for the sake of safety.
So again, some will say tire rotation is not necessary. Let’s see if it is your your personal situation.
For the duration of this article, I’ll be discussing tire rotation on duel axle travel trailers.
Why: Travel Trailer Tire Rotation?
It doesn’t take much in the way of axle alignment and your suspension system to have one or more tires wear unevenly.
Some of the misalignments might be negligible and take a while to present themselves.
You can counter this by rotating your tires, so that all tires can wear evenly.
Of course, if there’s a lot of tire wear on one tire in particular, it’s time to take additional measures.
We did an entire video about checking your wheel alignment and changing the bushings and shackles.
You can read more about it in our article: Uneven Tire Wear On Your Travel Trailer? It’s Not What We Expected.
Or watch the video 🙂
How Often Should I Rotate My Trailer Tires?
I never went with a quantified schedule. I’ve read everything from every 3000-6000 miles.
That’s quite a spread! So, I just rotated them spontaneously.
I would watch for the tiniest bit of wear and then rotate. It was part of my constant maintenance and checking the bearings, brakes, lug nut torque and suspension.
Overkill? No way! That was my house with everything we needed to live off grid for my family. Definitely not overkill.
Besides, I learned the hard way after one of our wheels fell off to always do proper preventive maintenance.
And yes, I did a lot of this maintenance right on BLM land with no issues. I also never left a mess or disrupted the land in any way.
I write that in the past tense because we have since sold the trailer and are in limbo until we decide our next means of travel.
Which Way Do You Rotate Trailer Tires?
Again, I’m only discussing rotating tires on a duel axle travel trailer.
It always made the most sense to move the front tires to the back and form an X pattern for the rear tires to the front.
In other words, front to back on the same side. Then rear passenger moves to the front driver and the opposite for the opposite side.
This has been standard in the automotive industry for decades.
Why Not Tire Rotation [Travel Trailer]?
I can think of only one reason not to rotate travel trailer tires.
If you move very infrequently with low milage, it’s not necessary.
Your tires will likely rot from sun exposure if uncovered before they wear out from road use.
But really, this article is for those of you who move/travel frequently or live fulltime in your travel trailer.
Should You Balance The Tires On Your Travel Trailer?
When I first purchased my travel trailer, I never thought about this. Then I had a fleeting thought.
Do travel trailer tires need to be balanced? I thought about the physics and the answer was a no-brainer.
After speaking with many specialists, my conclusion that you should balance your trailer tires if you have duel axle was correct.
It minimizes the jarring on your suspension and equates to a smoother ride.
Besides, balancing the travel trailer tires costs so little, it’s cheap insurance.
Therefore, based on my experience, yes you should balance travel trailer tires.
Premature Wear On Your Trailer Tires
There are a few potential contributing factors that can cause one of your tires on your travel trailer to wear prematurely.
As long as you constantly check your tires and you should, you’ll recognize any unusual wearing, cracking or a buldge.
- Axle Alignment: What this means is that there’s a small discrepancy in the axle spindle. It can be corrected professionally.
- Worn bushings and shackles: This was my issue. Replacing all the components took care of 90% of the problem.
- Tire Pressure: If you don’t maintain the correct pressure in each tire for the weight of the trailer, there can be uneven wearing.
- Weight: Overpacking your trailer above the load limit of the tires can cause premature and irregular wearing of your tires.
- Terrain: The more pavement your tires see, the faster the wear. Also, if you do a lot of off roading in rocky environments, this can contribute. But a lot of dirt roads has minimal impact.
Again, we cover many of these factors in our article Uneven Tire Wear On Your Travel Trailer? It’s Not What We Expected.
Do I Need All Terrain Tires On My Travel Trailer?
This may not fit into the article, but I have to make a comment. An all terrain tire is designed to grip and propel you in loose terrain.
Trailer tires sre not self propelled. They just lazily roll along. Therefor, mount a tire that will give the smoothest roll on any surface.
That’s a standard highway tire made for channeling water at high speeds.
Kind of a head scratcher if you ask me. It’s totally for aesthetics!
Other Considerations For Travel Trailer Tires And Wheels
Each one of these topics requires it’s own article. All are of the utmost importance for your and others safety.
Not to mention prolonging the lifespan of your travel trailer.
- Proper maintenance of bearings. Please take the time to do yourself or have the bearings regreased by hand.
- Grease the wet bolts on your shackles and suspension system (without weight on the axle).
- Learn the proper torque for your lug nuts and check every second move with a well calibrated torque wrench.
- When buying new tires, make sure the manufacturing date was recent.
As you can see, there’s a lot more to maintaining your trailer tires for a travel trailer than many expect.
And I can comfortably make that statement since I was also in the dark about trailer tires when I first started full timing.
I hope this article helped if you’re about to purchase a travel trailer or just bought one.
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