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Ask Dr. Tire – Storing Trailer Tires?

Have questions? We have Dr. Tire! How should I store my trailer tires?


Doctor Tire – many in the RV world seem to believe wood planks should be placed under the tires when storing a trailer for winter.  Myth or best practice?

Thank you!

BoondockOffRoader

Hi BoondockOffRoader!

Happy to park some information on here for you! Answers are in the gold font!

Storage Best Practices:

If you plan to have your trailer parked for extended periods; the best practice for trailer tire storage would be to jack your unit off the ground. Removing the tires from ground contact and the loads being applied to them. Once lifted, inflate the tires to their posted COLD recommended inflation and monitor periodically throughout the storage term, topping back off to COLD inflation requirements as needed. This will help keep their sidewall shape over the storage term.

An alternative to lifting the trailer would be to park on a non-porous and non-reactive surface like flat (rimless) stainless steel sheets. The stainless-steel sheet is used as a barrier from contact to the substrate (road, dirt, rocks, wood, etc.). Ideally with a slight angle to allow water to drain off (if outdoors). And again, inflate the tires to their posted COLD recommended inflation and monitor periodically throughout the storage term, topping back off to COLD inflation requirements as needed.

To find your operating inflation pressure visit: https://www.tredittire.com/tires/ and select your tire!

So parking on wood – MYTH!

Surface Matters:

What you park on does make a difference! If you have ever seen those wood planks people are using after the season and it has a black/grey tire footprint on it – that is from the transfer of the tread rubber compounds into the wood!

  • Wood is a porous material that can wick vital oils and waxes out from the tread compound rubber. And it if pressure treated wood (typically from alkaline copper quaternary or micronized copper azole), you could have a chemical reaction between the rubber and chemicals used in the weather-treating the wood.
  • Asphalt – petroleum oils and compounds in the asphalt will interact with the tread rubber oils and waxes that could degrade the molecular bonds in the rubber.
  • Concrete – porous material that can wick out the tread rubber oils and waxes.
  • Dirt/gravel – mud or moist soil can lead to direct prolonged water contact with freeze/thaw patterns that may not be good for the tread in contact with that solution.
  • Rocks – porous material contact that can wick out tread rubber oils and waxes like concrete.

Other Best Practices:

What you are parked near matters as well!

  • Electric generators (power generators, air tanks, battery power banks, etc.) all emit ozone. Ozone will deteriorate rubber compounds at an advanced rate!
  • Tire coverings for direct sunlight – these are a good option as well. Sunlight and the UV rays from it will also deteriorate rubber compounds. When choosing tire covers, look for good UV resistance/coverage and a breathable setup that wont trap moisture over long storage periods.

Parking Zone:

Recap: Lift your trailer if you can, inflate tires to COLD inflation levels, check periodically. Alternatively, park on a non-porous, non-reactive surface (like stainless-steel sheet), inflate tires to COLD inflation levels, check periodically.

One of the best setups that I have personally seen was a stainless-steel wrapped 6×2 weather-treated plank, about 18in long each under each tire. The stainless-steel sheet was on the tire parking side and it raised the unit 2 inches off the deck to give a little more distance from the ground and tires.  

To find your operating inflation pressure visit: https://www.tredittire.com/tires/ and select your tire!

Thanks for writing in!

Dr. Tire

(And if you have a question for Dr. Tire, write us at askdoc@tredittire.com and maybe we’ll answer your question next!)