Tyre covers - are they any help?

Jul 5, 2013
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I have just spent £245 replacing 2 Continental Vanco Camper tyres. Both on the nearside, which is the south facing side where I park the motorhome. Plenty of tread left but a lot of cracking caused by the sun. Offside tyres are fine at the moment so they are now on the front (lower load), and the new ones are on the rear. I suspect I will have to change the front ones though in a year or two's time.

This got me thinking. Does anybody cover their wheels when parked for a long period and if so has it helped increase tyre life?

I have seen several tyre covers for sale in the UK but they look a bit naff. On the other hand there are some very nice looking ones in the USA, such as these and they are not expensive (when compared with the tyres). We are visiting our daughter in the USA for August so we could easily buy there and bring them back. With the exchange rate the way it is 4 would cost us less than £40.
 
Oct 1, 2013
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There are millions of vehicles around the world, in far hotter places than the UK

I've never seen any of them with tyres covered up.

My bike tyres get to 60 c on track with no problems
 
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peterc10
Jul 5, 2013
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As I understand it it is not the temperature but the effect of the UV light that causes the problems. I had the same problem many years ago with my caravan. I have often seen trailers and RVs with their wheels covered in the USA and there seems to be plenty of these for sale over there - with one of the main advantages being, they say, that it helps prevent cracking caused by the sun.
 

scotjimland

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Snake oil .. my ass.. the UV degrades rubber.. and does cause premature cracking ..

I had a pair for the RV .. I used in Spain when parked in the sun for several months.. most people on site used something, old sacking, cloth and some just a piece of cardboard ..

with 22" RV tyres costing more arms than legs than I have it made sense to protect them..
 
Oct 1, 2013
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My dad has lived in Lanzarote for 30 years where the UV levels are a tiny bit higher than the UK

He's never heard of tyres cracking in the sun and he used to be a mechanic :LOL:
 

scotjimland

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Don't give a toss where your dad lives.. he's been in the sun too long ..

UV degrades rubber.. I served my apprenticeship with India Tyres / Dunlop.. and they tested for UV degradation by leaving them exposed for several months on the factory roof..

they then run them on a rolling road until they burst.. the time / miles is then compared to a new tyre..
 

scotjimland

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When you resort to insults you have already lost the argument..

this is from Continental Tyres.. but check any other manufacturers advice..

http://www.continental-tyres.co.uk/www/tyres_uk_en/themes/tyres_safety/how_to_store_your_winter_tyres_during_the_summer_en.html


If stored in unfavourable conditions, or if not properly handled, tyres change their physical properties. This can lead to a shorter service life, and the tyres may even deteriorate to the extent that they become unusable. Ideal storage conditions are defined in ISO 2230. Correctly stored and handled tyres will retain their properties and remain virtually unchanged for several years.

Storage in the open air, even under a protective covering, is not permitted.

A store room for tyres and inner tubes should be cool, dry and dark and should be moderately, well ventilated.

Storage temperature must not exceed normal room temperature. In heated rooms the tyres must be shielded from the heat source.

The tyres must be protected from direct sunlight and continuous changes of air. As ozone is particularly damaging, store rooms must not contain any devices that generate ozone.

Solvents, fuels, lubricants, chemicals etc. should not be kept in tyre store rooms or come into contact with tyres.

Ensure that tyres are not stored under tension or external pressure to avoid cracks.

Minimising storage time helps avoid damage.
 
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peterc10
Jul 5, 2013
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Well in that case your Dad must be right :rolleyes::rolleyes:.

On the other hand he isn't. I suggest you have a little Google of the subject and you will find quotes like this
"Tires do degrade over time, though, and that process is called dry rot. Oils and chemicals in the rubber compound start to evaporate or break down because of UV exposure. The rubber loses its flexibility and begins to crack at the surface, and the structure becomes more and more brittle (think of a really old rubber band), leading to sidewall damage and eventual failure."

And this
"Tyres degrade over time due to the effects of ultraviolet light, extreme temperatures, high loads, and environmental conditions".

And finally this from those well known snake oil salesmen the AA
"As well as wearing out in use, tyres degrade naturally through exposure to heat, sunlight (Ultraviolet/UV) and rain. The amount of damage depends on the exposure and the severity of the weather."

If you or your Dad need any more information I suggest you both look up Polymer degradation in Wikipedia.

As Jim says "snake oil .... my ass"

But to get back to my original question. Has anybody (who does believe in science) had any success in prolonging the life of their tyres by using covers?
 

old-mo

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Regarding the first question.............. YES..... tyre covers do stop the rubber drying out... (y)

I have a trailer, and the tyres on are covered with a tarpaulin, but the spare is fixed on a bracket and out in all weathers..

It has never been on,,,, and is cracked to buggery and not suitable to be used...:cry:

All cos I was too lazy to cover it up.. :(
 

Tootles

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A very emotive subject. All I know on this is that in Libya, our old Bedford three tonners ran around for ever on MOD bar tread tyres, standing many ours in the desert sun, with no problems. Maybe either tyre combinations have changed, or UV light is much stronger then it used to be??
 
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I worked for Pirelli for a year and the shop floor windows were coated with a yellow film to stop the sun getting at the rubber.
 
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peterc10
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A very emotive subject. All I know on this is that in Libya, our old Bedford three tonners ran around for ever on MOD bar tread tyres, standing many ours in the desert sun, with no problems. Maybe either tyre combinations have changed, or UV light is much stronger then it used to be??
It should not be emotive at all. Science is science, simple as that.

Mine was a simple question and I was looking for helpful answers, not sarcastic ones. Thankfully I got some of the former. Unfortunately I also got some of the latter.
 
Oct 1, 2013
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A very emotive subject. All I know on this is that in Libya, our old Bedford three tonners ran around for ever on MOD bar tread tyres, standing many ours in the desert sun, with no problems. Maybe either tyre combinations have changed, or UV light is much stronger then it used to be??
Don't let facts and experience get in the way :)
 

Snowbird

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To answer the OP, yes I do cover tyres when parked in the sun for any length of time. Having had more motorhomes than I can remember and having had to change tyres with plenty of life left in the tread because the tyre walls were cracked due to previous owners abuse it becomes second nature. I had some tyre covers made in Morocco years ago from heavy duty stuff and they are still going strong. UV eats tyres, heat eats batteries and being off level kills fridges. I know because its cost me enough over the years.
 
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