Tires and long term parking

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dmiller226

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I'm sure this question has probably been asked and answered more than once but my Google Fu is not helping me find it in the "Search".

When we're at home, I have my travel trailer parked beside my house in a dirt/gravel drive. If the TT is going to be parked for a long period of time (such as winter), is there any type of mat or material that I should have under the tires to protect them from rot or anything?  I usually go out every couple of weeks or so and move the trailer forward or backwards a few feet just to move the tires so that they're not sitting prolonged in the same location.


I guess to put it simply, my question is "does it matter what you're parked on (grass, dirt, concrete, wood, etc) if parked for a long time"?
 

darsben

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Yes it does
Perhaps this will be interesting reading
https://www.consumerreports.org/tires/how-to-keep-your-tires-looking-good/
and Michelin states: excerpts below

If tires sit outdoors, unused for long periods of time (a month or more), their surfaces will become dry and surface cracks can appear.

Storing your tires:
Store your tires indoors in a clean, cool and dark location away from direct sunlight, sources of heat and ozone such as hot pipes or electric generators.
    If you are storing outdoors (recommended for a short time only), raise tires off the ground and use waterproof covering with holes to prevent moisture build-up
  If tires are on a vehicle parked for a long period, the weight of the vehicle needs to be taken off the tires by jacking it up or removing the tires. Failure to do this may cause irreversible damage


https://www.michelinman.com/US/en/help/tire-care.html#tab-3
 

HappyWanderer

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The old-wives tales about parking on boards or grass or whatever have been pretty thoroughly debunked.

Yes, it's always better for a tire to be rolling than standing still. But the surface that the vehicle is parked on matters not a bit.
 

darsben

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HappyWanderer said:
The old-wives tales about parking on boards or grass or whatever have been pretty thoroughly debunked.

Yes, it's always better for a tire to be rolling than standing still. But the surface that the vehicle is parked on matters not a bit.
If it makes no difference why would Michelin state " use waterproof covering with holes to prevent moisture build-up".  Any surface that allows moisture build-up is going to affect tire life. So park in the grass and it gets muddy the moisture will decrease tire life. Park on a well drained surface with minimal water then you avoid moisture build-up
 

winona

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darsben said:
If it makes no difference why would Michelin state " use waterproof covering with holes to prevent moisture build-up". 

My thought was the same reason every clothing manufacturer says "machine wash in cold water on gentle cycle" and every bottle of contact lens cleaner says "do not use directly in eye."  Lawsuits and complaints abound.  The longer the "don't do" list is, the less a leg a consumer has to stand on.
 

darsben

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On the other hand it could be that standing in water for prolonged periods washes away the components that give a tire its longevity.
I have to believe someone and since Michelin builds a real quality tire I figure I will follow their recommendation..

 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Agree that the manufacturers have caveats for everything and anything these days. Sometimes just in response to frequently asked questions, whether the item is important or not.


Most experts agree that a tire that is under load when stored (the vehicle is resting on it), should be on a dry, well-drained surface and inflated to its max load pressure, or even 10 psi more.  That is the optimal circumstance short of an air conditioned warehouse. Gravel is fine, as is sand, but earth with a lot of clay or similar, i.e. hold water well, is not so good.  Concrete leaching out chemicals is a non-issue after the concrete is well-cured, say maybe 2+ years old.  Ditto for macadam.  If you feel you need a barrier on the ground, you can use plastic (cutting boards work well) or wood (but avoid chemically treated woods unless well-aged).

Moving it periodically, even a few feet, is good for the tires but maybe not so good for the engine & tranny. If the engine is run, it should get up to full normal operating temperature. Starting it and running for two minutes is as bad for the engine as the position change is good for the tires.
 

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