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Proposed Changes Coming for Recreational Vehicle Tires

Tires are a critical safety component of every recreational vehicle trailer. Each such vehicle has at least two tires, and larger units may have four or even six tires. Without adequately rated tires that are kept properly inflated, these tires will likely fail, leading to unstable, unreliable trailers and potentially disastrous repercussions. It has also been well established that overloading and/or improper inflation causes accumulative and unrepairable tire damage, which can further jeopardize trailer safety.

NHTSA has identified tire failures on trailers as a major concern that it continues to focus upon. Over the last decade, tire related incidents have prompted the RV industry and government safety officials to seek more information about tires, failures and how to develop a solution.

Part of this effort is included the publication of the ANSI TSIC-1 Recommended Practice, Process Controls for Assembly of Wheels on Trailers by the Trailer Safety Industry Coalition (TSIC). This standard addresses the proper assembly of trailer wheels and provides information on the recommended design and assembly of trailer wheel components and control processes. The

intent of the standard is to improve the reliability of trailer wheel assemblies to enhance consumer safety.

In an effort to further enhance safety regarding this topic the NFPA Technical Committee on RVs, which is responsible for maintaining the NFPA 1192 Standard on Recreational Vehicles, has proposed, the following new section for inclusion in the upcoming 2018 edition. Please note that this draft language is still under consideration and will be subject to public review.

8.6 Axle, Tire and Wheel Assembly Requirements for Towable Recreational Vehicles.

8.6.1 Tire and wheel assemblies shall be installed in accordance with ANSI TSIC-1 Recommended Practice, Process Controls for Assembly of Wheels on Trailers.

8.6.2 The sum of the maximum loading ratings of the tires fitted to an axle shall not be less than 110 percent of Gross Axle weight Rating (GAWR) specified by the RV manufacturer as shown on the certification label required by 49 CFR Part 567, Certification. The RV manufacturer shall be permitted to de-rate the axle value established by the axle manufacturer by not less than 12 percent.

8.6.3 Bias ply tires shall not be used on towable recreational vehicles having a wheel size of 13 in. (330 mm) or greater.

Also note that the above language only applies to towable RVs. It incorporates a minimum reserve capacity into the design and construction of RV trailer wheel and tire systems and provides RV manufacturers with the flexibility to re-rate axles under specific conditions. This text, should it be approved for the 2018 edition, would go into effect on Sept. 1, 2018 and will provide a safety factor in the event a consumer unwittingly overloads the trailer.

This proposed action will move the RV industry toward safer tire/axle combinations that will surely result in safer and more reliable trailers for use by our consumers.

About the Association

The Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) is the national trade association representing recreation vehicle (RV) manufacturers and their component parts suppliers who together build more than 98 percent of all RVs produced in the U.S

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