Camping trips are the ideal weekend getaway from our busy lives. After the busy weekdays, a night spent outdoors around a campfire is loved by all. With the increasing demand for camping gear, people are raging on to get everything they can. Campers are our usual partners when we’re on a road trip.
But do camper tires need to be balanced? There’s an ongoing debate on camper tire alignment, and the world has never been more divided. Some people say that they need to be imbalanced while the other half believe that balance is essential. So let’s find out the real deal!
Do Camper Tires Need to Be Balanced?
The answer is yes; they need to be in perfect balance. If you don’t do some additional tuning and balance the tired, you will be stuck with a wobbly camper. So it’s better to get the tires balanced before hitting the roads.
The answer depends on the campers’ size and the speed at which you’re going to be pulling it. If you’re a speed freak and want to spend more time on the camping spot than on the road, it’s recommended that you get the tires balanced before taking it out for a ride.
If you’re looking for a new camper, your dealer might force you to believe that the balance isn’t needed at all. Yes, that’s true in some cases. If the camper is pretty light in weight, you shouldn’t necessarily have to worry about the tire balance. But the thing is, the wobbliness of the camper might still arise due to imbalanced tires.
Most people will listen to their dealers and agree that they shouldn’t go for the additional expense of balancing out the camper tires. I mean, do camper tires need to be balanced at all? It sometimes depends on what you’ll be carrying inside the camper.
Some mechanics advise not to go through the pain of balancing the tires mainly because no one would probably be sitting there while you’re on the road. While it’s right in most cases, if you keep fragile things inside the camper, a slight jerk might damage your camper.
Are Imbalanced Tires Bad?
The answer is that it depends. No one will probably be staying inside a camper while it’s on the highway. So, any physical harm shouldn’t be an issue. But some people do carry pets on the camper sometimes while they’re on a trip. So if you’re one of them, you should consider getting the tires balanced.
If you’re carrying a lot of load on your camper, the excess weight will automatically increase the friction. So you don’t have to worry about wobbly tires. What’s wrong with unbalanced tires? Why do camper tires need to be balanced? Well, a wobbling camper might bump into your truck while taking sharp turns.
You better be safe than sorry, right? But if you aren’t carrying anything heavy in your camper, you will undoubtedly notice an unusual jerking. But that won’t affect your vehicle that much, just so you know. Do keep in mind that, if you move around with an empty camper, there’s a higher chance of potential damage.
Disadvantages of an Unbalanced Tire
If you’re still not convinced why unbalanced tires are bad, read on. If the tires of your camper aren’t perfectly balanced, the lower tire generates more heat. Tires are made of rubber, and they can wear off over time with multiple wear and tear.
If the wheel can generate enough heat, you will have a tire blowout to worry about. Now that is something you surely do not want to happen while your road tripping. If you don’t balance the camper tires, they rattle a bit due to being on different levels.
The rattling of the wheels and rivets might cause smaller parts to loosen up. This could be dangerous. That’s because if a screw loosens up and falls on the road, you’re probably never going to get it back. Besides the potential accidental situation, you also need to spend a lot of green to replace those parts.
Balancing a Camper Tire
Even though manufacturers often provide perfect vehicles from their factories, you can expect some misalignments. Sometimes the wheel leveling also deters while the campers are at the dealership. The dealers don’t put much emphasis on the balance of tires.
If you ask them about this, they’ll probably reply to you with a sly “Do camper tires need to be balanced? Really?” And it continues. But Tire balancing is proving to be more and more critical. So it’s better to balance out the tires perfectly before you take the camper out on the road.
The weight distribution plays a huge role in handling. When it comes to pickup trucks, even the slightest misalignments might cause huge discrepancies. And with unbalanced tires, the vehicle is waiting for accidents to occur.
Although the balance of camper tires isn’t as significant, you still better keep them balanced to stay on the safe side. Tires get unbalanced due to the presence or absence of extra rubber on both sides of the wheel (outer and inner). A machine is used to balance the tiers perfectly.
Your set of tires are placed on the rims and put inside the machine. The wheel is then spun, and the centrifugal force is measured. The machine can depict the imbalance while spinning. Additional weight is then added to compensate for the missing rubber, and voila! The tire gets perfectly balanced.
How Do I Balance My Camper Tires?
Camper wheels can be quite different in size and shape from truck wheels. As they aren’t made by the same manufacturers, you won’t quite find the same wheels for both your pickup truck and camper. But it doesn’t matter if you don’t value aesthetics too much.
So what are the questions that are going through your mind? Where can I find tire balance machines? Do I need get my tires rotated then reattach them? These questions are quite common if you’re new in the camper market.
As for balance machines, you can find them abundant in well-reputed dealerships. Make sure you purchase your campers from reputed dealers so that you won’t have to sacrifice after-sales servicing. The right dealership will voluntarily approach you to get your tires balanced. They also will treat you better than any other shady place.
Complications While Balancing Camper Tires
The balancing process is automated, but there are still chances for things to go wrong. That’s because the added weight that’s been put inside the tire can end up coming off. If this happens, you’ll end up back in square one. The weights are usually thrown off due to excessive wobbling.
Some campers with 3 axles can lose the weights after going through a couple of potholes too. Most local dealerships that aren’t very popular don’t keep balancing machines around. Findinf a good dealership can a take a longer time than you might expect. So try and find a dealership that will willingly help you out in this regard.
If your camper comes with a lug-centric wheel instead of a hub-centric one, you might face complications as the automated machines don’t tend to work very well with lug centric wheels.
Another complication arises when the wheels that came with your camper are galvanized. These wheels weren’t made to be balanced. So the tire needs to be perfect for them. They don’t work very well with counterweighted balanced tires.
Taking Care of the Camper Is Important
Most people forget about their campers after and throw them at the garage’s back after coming back from their trip. And it’s understandable as we get back to our busy lives after the weekend. In the meantime, you end up forgetting about the camper entirely.
This leads to the camper facing damages overtime. If you only g on one or two trips in a year, you probably can’t even gather enough time to balance the tires out and leave them be. The practice eventually leads to the tires getting worn out faster. So you should get them balanced right when you get them from the dealership.
You can also opt for getting custom wheels for your camper. If you get custom made wheels, the tires will fit in perfectly. Alongside providing you with a unique looking camper, you will also get balanced wheels.
Camper tires are slightly different from truck tires. They’ll be fine even if you keep them covered for months, and they are pretty long-lasting too. But if you got a camper with unbalanced tires, you’re in for a surprise, and it’s not a pleasant one.
You might still be asking, “Do camper tires need to be balanced?” And the answer is yes. Perfectly balancing them will keep them secure and stay put. So that you don’t have to worry about potential accidents. This should clear out all your remaining confusion So go out and balance your camper tires!
Pavel is a true outdoor enthusiast with a passion for nature and a love for the great outdoors. He started Outdoor Fun Mag to introduce people from all walks of life to everything the outdoors has to offer and hopes that you’ll find something that excites you every time you stop by.
When not exploring nature Pavel works as an Electronics Engineer — a job that gets him thinking and makes sure he pays attention to all those fine details. This means that when he leaves work for the week, there’s no better contrast than the calmness and serenity of the natural world. By giving Pavel the chance to switch off and relax, his time spent camping and hiking allows him to feel refreshed.
In the future, Pavel plans to explore new areas and corners of the world with nothing more than a backpack and a tent. It’s an authentic way of seeing new places that allow him to de-stress and enjoy life, and he wants you to make the most of your life too.