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RV Tire Sizes & Basics Every RVer Should Know

| Updated May 1, 2024

Understanding RV tire sizes and maintaining your tires are of utmost importance for a safe trip. Here are the basics every RVer should know…

Choosing the right size tire for your RV is critical for safety and performance. Understanding tire sizes, load ratings, and load capacity is key to choosing the right tire.

This blog post will provide RV owners with all the information they need to make the best RV tire choice for their vehicle. Plus, give you extra resources and information on properly maintaining them.

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RV Tire Sizes & Types

RV Tire Sizes

There are different types of tires for different types of RVs. Class A, Class B, Class C, travel trailers, fifth wheels, and motorhomes all require different types of tires to handle the weight, load capacity, and speed limits of each recreational vehicle.

These types include radial trailer tires, special trailer tires, light truck tires (LT), and commercial truck tires. Tire sizes are indicated by a code on the tire's sidewall that includes the tire's width, aspect ratio, and rim diameter.

Single tire or dual tire configurations also need different types of tires. RV owners should check their vehicle's tire size and load rating in the owner's manual or by consulting with a tire dealer to ensure they use the correct tire.

Popular RV Tire Sizes

RV tire sizes vary depending on the type of RV. Plus, some manufacturers use slightly different size designations.

Popular RV tire size equivalents:

  • 235/80R22.5 = 245/75R22.5
  • 255/80R22.5 = 265/75R22.5
  • 275/80R22.5 = 295/75R22.5

As Goodyear explains, a HIGHER load range tire can always be substituted. For instance, a ST225/75R15 LR D Marathon substituted for ST225/75R15 LR C Marathon.

We know that looks like just a bunch of numbers with a letter thrown in, so let's break down what they mean…

Interpreting RV Tire Size

RV Tire Sizes

The tire size can be found on the tire itself. It's a string of numbers on the sidewall, interrupted by a backslash (i.e. XXX / XXXXXX). (Not to be confused with the DOT number, also found on the sidewall.)

Interpreting the tire size requires understanding what each number and letter means. Let's use the following example.

EXAMPLE: RV Tire Size 235/80R22.5

  • 235 = the tire's width in millimeters
  • 80 = the aspect ratio, which is the tire's height as a percentage of its width
  • R indicates that the tire has a radial construction
  • 22.5 = the diameter of the tire in inches

Load Index and Speed Rating

Load index and speed rating are two additional factors to consider when choosing the right tire for your RV. Load index indicates the maximum weight that the tire can carry, while speed rating indicates the maximum speed at which the tire can safely operate.

These ratings can also be found on the tire sidewall, usually next to the tire size or right beneath it. It's two or three numbers and a letter (##X or ###X).

The ## is the load index that translates into weight. The higher the tire's load index number, the greater its load-carrying capacity. You can view a tire load index chart on the Goodyear website.

The tire speed rating increases in alphabetical order, meaning the further the letter in the alphabet, the higher the maximum speed.

Speed RatingMaximum Speed
BUp to 31 mph
CUp to 37 mph
DUp to 40 mph
EUp to 43 mph
FUp to 50 mph
GUp to 56 mph
JUp to 62 mph
KUp to 68 mph
LUp to 75 mph
MUp to 81 mph

Importance of Choosing the Right Tire Size

Using the wrong size tire can lead to serious safety issues and even accidents. Choosing the right RV tire size is crucial to ensuring that your vehicle can handle the weight and load capacity of your RV.

In most cases, you simply replace tires with the existing tire size or greater. But, here are the factors to consider when choosing the RV tire size.

RV Weight

RV owners should consider the weight of their vehicle, including the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) and maximum weight limit, when choosing the right tire size. Using a tire with a load capacity that is too low can result in tire blowouts, while using a tire with a load capacity that is too high can lead to a rough ride.

The Terrain

The terrain that the RV will be driving on is an important consideration when choosing the right tire size. RV owners should consider the type of terrain they will be driving on, including highways, city

Tips for Maintaining RV Tires

The following are tips and resources for maintaining your RV tires.

Ensure Proper Tire Inflation EVERY Travel Day

Proper tire inflation is crucial for safety and performance. RV owners should check their tire pressure regularly and inflate them to the manufacturer's recommended level.

We suggest watching the above video and reading The Danger of Underinflated RV Tires.

Do Regular Tire Maintenance

Regular maintenance, including regular inspections, balancing, and alignment, can extend the life of RV tires and prevent premature wear.

Don't Forget Tire Rotation

Rotating tires can help ensure even wear and prolong their lifespan.

Frequently Inspect Tires for Wear and Damage

RV owners should inspect their tires regularly for signs of wear or damage, such as cracks, punctures, or bulges.

Know When to Replace RV Tires

RV owners should replace their tires when they have reached their maximum age or have worn down to a minimum depth. Although, there are many cases when you'll want to replace them sooner. That's why we recommend reading When to Replace RV Tires (Advice from Real RVers).

RV Tires: What Every RVer Needs to Know

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RV Tires are perhaps the most essential but overlooked parts of an RV. Failure to pay attention to the care and maintenance of your RV tires is a significant safety risk, and today we share the basics that every RVer needs to know.

Watch and see how you can prevent issues with certified RV Tech and RV Industry Consultant Chris Daugherty. Full details, tips, and more on our companion blog:

RV Tire Sizes & Basics Every RVer Should Know 1

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Mike Wendland

Published on 2024-05-01

Mike Wendland is a multiple Emmy-award-winning Journalist, Podcaster, YouTuber, and Blogger, who has traveled with his wife, Jennifer, all over North America in an RV, sharing adventures and reviewing RV, Camping, Outdoor, Travel and Tech Gear for the past 12 years. They are leading industry experts in RV living and have written 18 travel books.

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