16 MAY 2023
One element of your Ducato-based motorhome that you should pay close attention is the tyres, which support the vehicle’s weight, transmit power from the engine to the road, and ensure adequate braking. They also have an impact on comfort because—together with the suspension—they help to cushion the vehicle over irregularities in the road surface. They also directly affect performance and safety, as well as fuel or power consumption. They must therefore be suited to the vehicle, efficient and in good condition.
Ducato-based motorhomes offer optional all-season tyres (MS) with 3PMSF (3 Peak Mountain Snowflake) certification. Available in 15” and 16” sizes, these tyres have been specifically developed for recreational vehicles and, in addition to being particularly resistant to deformation caused by prolonged parking, they are suitable for all seasons (including snow), so you can say goodbye to winter tyres! They combine perfectly with Traction+ to ensure excellent grip even on slippery terrain.
People often make the mistake of thinking that their motorhome’s tyres will last indefinitely, because such vehicles normally travel fewer miles than a car. On the contrary, it is advisable to replace the tyres every five years, as the rubber is still susceptible to wear and ageing; at the very least, they should be carefully checked at least every five years. In general, all four wheels should be fitted with matching tyres. Legally you can use different tyres on a separate axle, but tyres on the same axle must be identical (same dimensions and brand). If only two tyres are replaced, the new ones must be fitted on the rear axle.
It is essential to periodically check the wear condition of the tyres, including the depth of the tread, which is in direct contact with the road. In most European countries the legal minimum depth is 1.6 mm, but it is advisable to replace the tyre as soon as it reaches 3 mm. Even winter tyres can lose their original efficiency when reduced to 4 mm. The tread depth is measured using special tools, but the limit can also be visibly checked using the tread wear indicators (TWI), which are small bars with a height of 1.6 mm that run across the tread grooves. Travelling with tyres that are worn below the permitted limit is dangerous, because the rubber no longer adequately grips the asphalt, especially in rainy conditions (increased risk of aquaplaning). In addition to signs of wear, also look out for cuts, bulges and changes in the colour of the rubber. Tyre damage can be caused by, for example, striking a kerb, pothole or other sharp-edged obstacle.
Inflating the tyre to the correct pressure is also very important: under-or overinflation adversely affects grip on the asphalt, as well as fuel consumption, performance and even the durability of the tyre. Considering that motorhomes are often stationary for long periods, before parking the vehicle for storage it is advisable to increase the pressure of the tyres to avoid them developing flat spots, which can cause vibration when steering. Flat-spotting is more likely to occur when the vehicle is stationary in low temperatures. This deformation can be temporary and disappear after a few minutes of travel, but it can also be permanent and increase the risk of the tyre bursting. In the same way, correct wheel alignment (such as the toe angle), is particularly important, so we advise periodically consulting a tyre specialist. The wheel geometry can become altered when driving on rough roads or uneven road surfaces, or as a result of hitting kerbs or other obstacles.
By keeping this information in mind and checking your tyres, you will be even safer touring in your Ducato-based motorhome!