I have seen some folks say they had their tires “inspected” and were informed the tires were OK but still had blowouts on a subsequent trip. Does this mean the inspector was wrong? or that even having an inspection is a waste of time?
Well as will almost all things about tires, it depends…
Inspecting a tire is a bit like having a check-up with your doctor
There is no 100% guarantee you will not get sick later on, but the doctor may discover a problem before it becomes real serious. Also, just as taking your blood pressure and getting on a scale are things you can easily do to monitor your own health, having a TPMS may provide the warning you need to take corrective action.
There are inspections, and then there are inspections…
A complete tire inspection would include dismounting the tires and possibly placing them on a special fixture to allow the inspector to get both a work light and his/her head inside the tire to look for hidden damage on the inside. Just walking around the RV and possibly checking the inflation and measuring tread depth is not what is needed for RV tire inspection. Most tire stores “inspect” passenger tires and that is all they do, as normally wear out is the major issue with car or even pick-up applications. RVs and especially trailers have quite different issues such as overload, under-inflation, and tire damage.
If you have a trailer tire that has been in use for 5 years it may not be worth the expense to have the tires dismounted and completely inspected as many suggest 5 years is about all they expect to get out of ST type tires. This short life is due to the abnormal internal structural stresses seen in trailer tires. Trailer owners can find a bit more info HERE.
Motorhomes, especially big Class-A rigs may find a complete dismount inspection at 5 or 6 years a more reasonable trade off.
Do inspections guarantee no future failures? Not any more than looking at the engine temperature gauge 10 minutes after starting a long day of travel will guarantee you will not have a cooling problem 5 hours later. This is where having a TPMS comes in.