RV Tire Covers: Use Weights, Not Bungee Straps
An Installed RV Tire Cover
RV Tire Covers are a Necessity for Campers
RV tires, like all other vehicle tires, degrade over time and the biggest culprit that ages your tires is exposure to the sun.
Tire manufacturers do state that their tires will meet their design specifications for at least 5 years before they should be replaced due to degradation.
But, if you read the fine print, this five year limit assumes what they call “normal” wear and tear, which includes typical exposures to the sun.
With this in mind you will see that most RV owners will place tire covers over their tires when storing their RV, and most will even use tire covers when they are staying in a campground for several days or more.
Problems Installing and Removing RV Tire Covers
But, I have problems with these tire covers.
Sure, they’re fitted, but it takes a few minutes, standing in an awkward position, to fit the cover over the tires, because the rubber the tires are made of is not a slick material that other materials will easily slide over. So, at times, you can end up in a tugging match just getting your tire covers properly installed on your tires.
Then, once you do get the cover in place, there is an attached bungee strap that you must deal with.
The purpose of the bungee is to keep the tire cover from flying off of the tire and disappearing into the campground.
Popular RV Tire Cover
Probably the most popular brand of Tire covers for RV's, I purchased my new set of white covers almost two years ago. They fit perfectly and they are easily cleaned.
The Bungee Strap Process is Horrible
Getting this bungee attached properly can turn into a real task at times, for some campers.
At first glance, the process looks simple. There are two brass-lined holes in the back edge of the tire cover, and all you have to do is pull the bungee through the two holes and attach it to itself.
Oh, did I mention that the positions of these two holes are on the backside of the tire? Yep, that’s right, this is one of those tasks that requires you to get your arms and hands behind the tire and then fiddle with the bungee ends until it is laced through the two holes and then tied to itself.
Now, here is my problem; I am 69 years old and I am not some nubile gymnast that can bend my body into different positions anytime I want. Nope, I am old, and stiff, and it takes me a while just to get down onto my knees.
The very thought of the contortions required to hug my very large tires and install a tire cover, or remove one for that matter, sends my worn-out lower back into sympathetic spasms before I even start.
Oh, and of course, you need to install, and eventually remove, one of these covers for each outer tire on your RV.
That means at last four times you have to get onto your knees, and go through this painful process. In case you haven’t noticed, I loathe the fact that I have to use tire covers.
Redefining the Problem Before you Look for a Solution
Being such a “baby”, if you want to call me such, I have put a lot of thought into this tire cover process and I have devised a much more humane way to install my Tire Covers.
The first thing I did was sit down and define the real problem.
The real problem is that these tire covers are open in the back and really have nothing to hold them onto the tire when the wind gets to blowing around in a campground or storage area.
So, if the rear of the cover is not contained in some way, the gusting wind can eventually blow the tire cover off of the tire. After all, the tire cover is just a lightweight piece of vinyl with a soft interior lining that is, again, open on the backside of the tire.
I figured that I could deal with installing the tire cover, because this step of the process is relatively easy after you get the hang of it.
But, I needed to get rid of this whole bungee strap and the need to wrestle with tying the backside corners of the tire cover to each other.
Think ing this over some more, I realized that what I needed to do was keep the back corners of the standard tire cover from being blown away from the tire itself when the winds got heavy.
Simple Parts to Modify Tire Covers
Weights, Not Bungee Straps
Then it hit me: if all I needed to do was keep the backside corners of the covers from “flapping” in the wind, what was needed was a way to put weights on the backside corners.
Perfect! I had a solution, weights on the corners of the cover. Then I went through a long list of potential weights that pretty much any camper could get and attach to the tire covers.
Whatever weights I used had to be: (1) just heavy enough to hold the corners down, (2) cheap, and (3) easy to attach.
So, I ended up with a three dollar roll of good carpenter's line and eight two-ounce or heavier fishing sinkers as a kit. See the attached photo.
All you need to do is cut pieces of carpenters line into eight ten-inch lengths. I found that if the string are too long, they will often tend to get tangled up on things on the ground.
You just tie one end of the string to each sinker, then you tie the other end to the brass eyelets on the corners of the tire covers—the same eyelets designed for the bungee strap. See the attached photo.
Once you have installed the sinker weights onto the tire covers, you simply slide the cover over the tire, as you normally would and then you reach around and flip the sinkers behind the tire. I use my awning hook for this so I don't have to bend over.
The sinkers keep the ends of the backside of the tire covers from being blown around by the wind and they stay firmly in place.
And, when you are ready to pull out, a few tugs on the cover will pull it off of the tire with the sinker weights dragging along to the outside of the tire.
Then it's a simple process to roll up the tire covers, with sinkers attached, and stuff them into your RV storage area for use the next time.
Tire Cover Weights installed
Make Your Own RV Tire Covers
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© 2015 Don Bobbitt