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Old Rv Tires Are Dangerous, All Tires Have Date Codes on Them.

Updated on January 28, 2021
Don Bobbitt profile image

Don has been an avid traveler and motorhome owner for most of his life. He shares his experiences along with valuable tips for RV owners.

Typical truck or RV Tire on Wheel

RV Tires are usually mounted on sturdy Truck rim designs and are made to take heavy punishment while on the road.
RV Tires are usually mounted on sturdy Truck rim designs and are made to take heavy punishment while on the road.

Tire Safety includes Tire Age

Most of us never think about the tires on our automobile or if you are a camper, on your RV, until they give you some kind of problem.

But just in case you didn't realize it, all vehicle tires have a limited safe period of time over which you can use them.

You see, tires are made from a number of man-made compounds and also a common natural ingredient called rubber.

And, ALL tires deteriorate starting from the moment they are manufactured.

That's right, as I mentioned, the materials used in your tires are compounds which include rubber, a natural component that breaks down over time.

And, as tires age, this process weakens the tire's physical capabilities down from the manufacturer's original design limits.

We all need to not only understand this fact about tires and because of this we all need to keep up with the age of our RV tires.

All Tires AGE!

Tires are made of combinations of synthetic and natural materials, and they actually begin to physically degrade from the moment they are manufactured.

Check the Data Code when Buying new Tires

Here's my story about learning how tire retailers can fool you, if you are not careful.

When we had left home, on a camping vacation, several months before, I already knew that I needed to get tires for the car we had left at home.

But I also knew that the car would be sitting in the garage for those months, so I decided to wait until we returned from our trip before purchasing replacement tires.

So, when we returned home, I fired up my PC, went to the local yellow pages, and conducted a search for local tire dealers, and eventually I had over twenty of them listed on the screen.

I broke out my pad of paper, pen and Cell Phone and began my search for the right tires at the right price.

Tire Covers protect against Sun damage

ADCO 3952 White Ultra Tyre Gard Wheel Cover
ADCO 3952 White Ultra Tyre Gard Wheel Cover
Probably the most important thing you can do for your RV or Car tires is use a good tire cover to protect them from sun damage when the vehicle is not being used. I use this brand on my RV tires and they are still going after 8 years..

Check the tire date code before buying

And then a thought struck me. For your information, and as all RV owners know, tire manufacturers do not recommend that anyone drive on a tire that is over 5-6 years old.

Tire Age and the Environment are important

Of course, tires are essentially over-designed to still meet their original specs after 5-6 years, but after that it is anyone's guess when or if they will go bad.

Heat, Cold, the Sun ..... all of these variables can accelerate this tire degradation.

SO, I turned and asked the rep what was the manufacturers date code on the tires he was selling me.

That's when I saw that strange look come into his eyes, as he looked down for a moment, and then told me that he really didn't know.

I told him that I wanted new tires and he needed to check the tire date code, so he reluctantly went out to the back of their building.

He returned after a few minutes, and said that the date code said the tires were already three years old.

I slowly inhaled, counted to ten a couple of times, composed myself, and said to him:

That makes these NEW tires of yours 3-years-old. You do know that the manufacturers do not recommend tires even be used after 5 years ...... don't you?

Is the fact that the tires are so old, the real reason you are selling them so cheap?

His reply was: No Sir. We are selling them so cheap because we have so many of them.

I told him to check on his other inventory, and he reluctantly went to the back of the rear of the building as my "danger sensors "went up.

Environmental Extremes age tires faster.

Heat, Cold and other environmental extremes age tires fast.

Great Tire Gauge for RV Owners

Accu-Gage H100X Professional Tire Pressure Gauge with Protective Rubber Guard (100 PSI)
Accu-Gage H100X Professional Tire Pressure Gauge with Protective Rubber Guard (100 PSI)
Those RV tires cost a lot of money and you must keep the air pressure set properly. I use this particular tire gauge myself because of the long flexible hose.

Check those Cheap Tires

He returned after a couple of more minutes and told me that his whole inventory was dated the same, and he had almost 200 of them.

Then, and I loved this, he looked at me and defiantly asked me if I wanted them or not.

I almost exploded, but I controlled myself and explained to him again that I wasn't in the habit of buying degraded parts, at any price, and turned to leave.

I got halfway to the door, and he stopped me and asked if I would take a newer dated set of tires at the same price, if he could get them.

He went on to tell me that because the tires were slow movers, they would probably only be able to get tires dated one year old, at the newest, but he was willing to try for me.

I replied that I would accept tires dated one or less years old only; and he, to my surprise, agreed to call me back within two hours. And he stated that he was confident he would have the tires delivered within two days.

Of course, that call never came, and I went back to the phone the next morning and made more calls with my new requirement at the top of my list.

Needless to say, several other potential dealers fell from my list when asked about date codes.

I did finally end up with another pretty good turn-key price of $970, and a guarantee that the tires would have a date code of the present year.

Delivery was promised within a couple of days and I ended up getting my truly NEW tires for my car.

In Summary, Look out for those old Tires on the market.

My point here is, look carefully at that great tire price, if you care about the safety of yourself and your family.

And be sure you get a quote that is for NEW new tires, and not "OLD new" tires.

In my opinion, here is where a new consumer law is required, of some sort.

At the very least, tire quotes should include the dealer stating the manufacturers date code on any product where the date of manufacture is a safety matter for the consumer.

Have a Nice Day!

Tire Codes Defined for the Consumer

Tire Codes are on all tires and look like what you see in this picture.
Tire Codes are on all tires and look like what you see in this picture.

How to check your Tire Date Codes

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.


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