A guide to caravan tyre pressures

So you picture it, right? Screaming metal, shredded rubber, and your beloved caravan teetering precariously on the hard shoulder.

Yes, the dreaded tyre blowout—a caravanner's worst nightmare.

We all know the feeling. That knot in your stomach, the silent prayer you whisper before every journey.

Before you drown in a sea of "what ifs," let's talk about the secret weapon that banishes blowouts—checking your caravan tyre pressures.


Demystifying the numbers about caravan tyre pressures

Think of your caravan tyres as the tiny, inflated Atlases holding your precious cargo aloft. 

Just like Atlas needed strength to hold the world, your tyres need air to support your caravan's weight. If they don't have enough air, they might collapse under pressure. 

But here's the rub—one size doesn't fit all.

Related: What does touring caravan insurance cover?


Identifying the ideal caravan tyre pressure

Unlike your car, your caravan tyres aren't just carrying your holiday essentials. They're shouldering the full weight of your home away from home. 

That's why simply pumping them up to the pressure you use for your everyday car won't cut it.

Here's how to find the magic number for your specific caravan:

  1. Crack open the manual—your caravan manual should have a dedicated section on tyre pressure. If you don't have the manual, look for a tyre information plate on your caravan, likely near the driver's door or chassis. It'll list the recommended pressure for your caravan's tyre size and its maximum technically permissible laden mass (MTPLM). That's the fancy way of saying the caravan's weight when fully loaded for your adventure.
  2. Load matters—remember, weight distribution plays a crucial role. Imagine packing all your heavy gear at the back—that uneven weight can throw your tyre pressure off balance. So, check your pressure after loading up, ensuring each tyre is inflated to the recommended level for your weight.
  3. Beyond the sticker—while the information plate is a good starting point, the UK tyre industry strongly recommends you don't exceed 90% of the combined tyre load capacity. Even though your tyres might technically be able to handle more weight, staying slightly below that limit offers an extra layer of safety and extends their lifespan.


Executing the perfect pressure check routine

Here's the kicker—checking your tyre pressure shouldn't be a once-a-year chore.

Think of it as a quick and essential pre-journey ritual. Invest in a reliable tyre pressure gauge (they're not too expensive), and make it a habit to check your pressure before every trip. 

Remember, even a slight under-inflation can wreak havoc on your handling and fuel efficiency.


Implementing preventive tyre care strategies

Tyre pressure is just one piece of the puzzle. Like any good superhero, your caravan tyres need a bit of TLC to stay in top shape. Here are some bonus tips:

  • inspect your tyres regularly—look for any cuts, bulges, or uneven wear to the tyres fitted – these could be signs of trouble brewing.
  • tread depth matters—don't let your tread depth dip below the legal limit of 1.6mm. That's like driving on bald tyres—not ideal for towing a heavy caravan!
  • seasonal adjustments—did you know extreme temperatures can affect tyre pressure? To maintain optimal performance, consider slightly adjusting the pressure based on the season.
  • never miss a check—check your caravan tyre pressures before every journey! It's a quick and easy habit that can prevent major headaches.

Remember, ensuring your tyres are inflated to the correct pressure isn't just a chore—it's essential for safety and performance. Correct caravan tyre pressure is the foundation for safe and enjoyable travels.


Dispelling common myths about tyre pressure

Let's face it, the internet is a treasure trove of information, but not all advice is created equal. Here are some common misconceptions to steer clear of. 


Harder is better

Inflating your tyres to the maximum pressure listed on the sidewall might seem like a good idea, but it's‌ dangerous. 

Overinflated tyres can lose grip and handle poorly, especially on uneven roads. They can also increase stopping distances and compromise handling. 

In the worst-case scenario, they can even overheat and burst, leading to blowouts and potential accidents. 

Remember, the recommended pressure considers your caravan's specific weight and tyre size—inflate accordingly for a safe and smooth journey.


Generic pressure recommendations online are the gospel. 

Resist the urge to mindlessly follow online advice. Remember, your caravan's specific weight and tyre size are crucial factors.

Check your vehicle's manual or locate the tyre information plate to ensure you have the correct caravan tyre pressure. 

Related: Does my car insurance cover towing a caravan?


Caravan tyre pressure FAQs

What pressure should caravan tyres be set at?

Hold your horses, adventurer! There's no one-size-fits-all answer here. The best pressure for your caravan tyres depends on two key factors:

  1. Your caravan's specific weight—every caravan has an MTPLM (maximum technically permissible laden mass), basically its weight when fully loaded for your trip. This info is gold—find it on your caravan's information plate or manual.
  2. Your tyre size and load index—check the sidewall of your tyres. You'll find the size and a number called the "load index". This tells you how much weight each tyre can handle.

Now, the real magic happens! Armed with these details, you can:

  • Consult your caravan manual or manufacturer's website—they'll have a pressure chart specifically for your model, considering its weight and tyre specs.
  • Use a reliable caravan tyre pressure calculator—tools like this can help, but remember, double-check with your manufacturer's info first.


Should I increase my car's tyre pressure when towing a caravan?

This is where things get interesting. While you might think cranking up the pressure is the way to go, overinflation is‌ dangerous. 

It can make your tyres lose grip, especially on uneven roads, leading to handling issues and blowouts.

But fear not! Here's the real deal:

  • Generally, stick to the recommended pressure for your caravan's MTPLM, even when towing. This pressure considers the combined weight of your caravan and car.
  • However, some car manufacturers might recommend slightly increasing the pressure on your car's rear tyres when towing. Check your car's manual for specific advice.

Remember, the key is to find the correct pressure for your specific setup, not just inflate based on towing alone. 

With the right car and caravan tyre pressure combined, your caravan will glide like a dream, and you can focus on the open road, not tyre worries!


Specialist touring caravan insurance through Ripe

Want added peace of mind whilst towing your caravan this year? You might want to take out specialist touring caravan insurance to protect yourself, your passengers, and your holiday home.

Through Ripe, the cover protects your tourer from theft, loss, or damage up to the value of £75,000 and your Public Liability up to £2m. So, you can travel with the comfort of knowing you’re financially protected if the worst happens.

You can get an instant online quote and protect your holiday home in minutes.


Please note the information provided on this page should not be taken as advice and has been written as a matter of opinion. For more on insurance cover and policy wording, see our homepage.

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