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Why Are My Trailer Tires Getting Hot?

Why Are My Trailer Tires Getting Hot?

Trailer tires overheat when they feel too hot to touch with your hand. You should avoid driving when they are hot because it can increase their sudden blow-out or explosion chances. Air pressure in the tires also increases because of the expansion of rubber polymer instead of contraction.

Trailer tires getting hot can be due to excessive braking, driving at high speed, use of incorrect size of tires, poorly aligned axle, driving on rough terrains, excessive rubbing with asphalt, uneven air pressure, worn-out bearings, and overloading of trailers.

These tires become slightly warm after driving on roads because of the rubbing of rubber material with road material.

Last week, I faced an overheating issue, and I noticed the burning rubber smell. I checked the wheel temperature with my hand, and these were excessively hot. I stopped there for a few minutes and did not drive until they cooled down. I did not continue driving because high pressure increases their explosion risk.

Problems Solutions
Excessive braking Drive slowly in city areas
Driving at high speed Take short breaks
Use of incorrect-size of tires Use tires that are compatible with the load
Poorly aligned axle Replace poorly aligned axle
Summer season Inflate tires properly in summer
Driving on rough terrains Use all-terrain tires
Uneven air pressure Check the air pressure in the tires
Worn-out bearing Grease and tighten their castle nut

Excessive braking

Trailer tires usually overheat because of their excessive rubbing and increased friction. Rubber tires contain chains of polymers that are bound vertically.

These polymer molecules expand because of an increase in temperature. The issue comes because of excessive braking while driving on the road.

You have to apply brakes frequently while driving in city areas. Moreover, driving in high-traffic and crowded areas requires frequent brake application.

You do not have to press the brake pedal frequently while moving on highways because of the decreased traffic loads and wide roads.

Frequent stop increases the tire’s friction and overheating chances. You should drive slowly and carefully in city areas and high-traffic roads so you do not have to apply brakes frequently.

However, I usually avoid driving in city areas with my trailers because of their large stopping distance. Moreover, these are larger, and you require more time to move between the lanes because of crowded roads.

Driving at high speed

Many people prefer to drive at high speed on highways because of the less traffic load. In addition, driving at high speed covers the distance quickly, and you can reach the destination on time.

Driving at maximum speed also saves fuel because the engine runs constantly at the same speed to supply power to the wheels. However, constant driving at high speeds causes the tires to heat up.

Heat can build in the wheels because of their constant rotation at high speed. Air pressure in the tires also increases because of the expansion of air. They can also come off from the wheel assembly because of the degradation of rubber material.

My neighbor experienced the same issue during a long trip. He told me that he drove the towing vehicle for more than 10 hours without any stop and felt the rubber-burning smell.

He parked his trailer on the side of the road and checked the air pressure with a gauge. It was more than 35 psi because of overheating. He stopped there for 2 hours to cool the wheels because it can lead to serious damage.

You should take short breaks during long trips to cool down the trailer and towing vehicle parts.

Use of incorrect-size of tires

Many people do not know about the size of the tires that their trailers need. They add wheels of incorrect size and weight holding capacity, which can lead to severe issues.

The issue usually comes when you replace the factory-installed wheels with new ones to gain better traction on snowy and rainy roads. However, my friend also faced the overheating issue because he installed the winter tires in his RV, but their size was not compatible.

Those were not compatible because of the difference in their weight-holding capacity. You should install wheels after checking their weight-holding capacity.

Minimize your amenities when you mistakenly add wheels of smaller size to decrease the strain on their tread surface. Install them after checking their compatibility with the trailer load.

Poorly aligned axle

Trailers contain front and rear axles to transfer the power to the wheels for spinning. A misaligned axle cannot control the wheel movement, leading to increased friction with the road surface.

It can cause the deformation of wheels, and deformed ones cannot maintain their contact with the road. In addition, a misaligned axle also increases the rolling resistance, which can make the wheels hot.

A Bent axle puts excessive strain on one side of the wheel and can overheat because of excessive weight. Axle can misalign because of their age, driving over large potholes and speed bumps.

It is necessary to consult the dealerships for the replacement of bent and poorly aligned axles with new ones to ensure safety during trips.

Summer season

Tires can also get hotter because of the outside weather conditions. Surrounding temperatures have a greater effect on the RV interior and exterior components.

Roads become extremely hot during summer because of exposure to high temperatures. Moreover, direct sun heat exposure also raises their temperature.

Summer heat not only increases the risk of wear and tear on the inside of tires, but it also makes them hotter. The issue comes when they come in contact with hot asphalt surfaces.

Hot asphalt surfaces and friction make them overheat. You can keep your trailer wheels cool in summer by inflating them correctly and checking the air pressure frequently.

I do not plan a trip in the summer season because of the high outside temperature, which can affect the exterior components and interior cabin temperature. Driving on the road during summer days is not a pleasant experience.

Driving on rough terrains

Driving at a normal temperature causes a slight rise in the temperature of the trailer tires because of the friction of rubber material and asphalt road surfaces.

However, the issue worsens while driving on uneven terrains. Their temperature increases because of the friction on road surfaces.

You can face the overheating problem while driving on unpaved and snowy roads. Wheels cannot stick better to these uneven surfaces, which increases the rolling resistance.

You should add all-terrain tires in your RVs if you are a frequent traveler and prefer off-roading trips. Moreover, keeping the air pressure slightly low decreases the chances of expansion.

Uneven air pressure

Tires need correct air pressure to spin at different road surfaces and speeds. The correct air pressure usually depends on their size and weight holding capacity.

You should check the air pressure that they need for their proper inflation. Over- and underinflation increase the wear and tear of wheels and cause them to overheat because of the increased rolling resistance.

Underinflated tires become hot because of their increased friction. The issue comes when you do not check the air pressure before planning the trip.

You should inflate the tires according to the correct air pressure. Check the owner’s manual for information about the air pressure.

Worn-out bearing

Wheels bearings are the steel balls that connect the wheel assembly to the axle. These contain tapered bearings that are held together with metal rings.

Wheel bearings ensure smooth movement of trailer tires with minimum friction on the road. Worn-out bearings do not allow the RV wheels to turn correctly and increase friction.

High friction converts into heat and makes the wheels hotter. Moreover, worn-out bearings also cause wheel hub overheating, which causes the problem.

Wheels bearings are vulnerable to failure because of their low quality and hitting the curbstone. You can decrease their wear and tear chances by greasing them regularly.

It is better to tighten their castle nuts and ensure that cotter pins are in place.

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