RV owners know that tires aren’t cheap. Neither are rims. These things alone are investments that can run into the thousands of dollars. It only makes sense to protect them as best you can, especially if your vehicle will be parked up between RV adventures
But what is the best way to do that? Are RV tire covers the right answer? And if so, which ones, because there are an awful lot of them out there to choose from. Well, wonder no longer, we’re here to help you learn all about caring for those pricey tires, the best RV tire covers and just why it’s so important that you have them in the first place…
Also read our guide to learn how to keep track of pressure with a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS).
Classic Accessories OverDrive Deluxe RV Wheel Cover (4-Pack)
Classic Accessories offer wheel covers for all kinds of vehicles, from standard family cars to huge Class A rigs. Their RV wheel covers are some of the best you can buy however, for several reasons.
While looks count for a lot, and these are great looking tire covers, offered in white with a neat black trim, it’s function that is most important.
These RV wheel covers were designed with the harshest of outdoor conditions in mind. This means that they can stand up to the baking hot sun or to the chilling winds and snows.
In terms of materials used in their construction the Classic Accessories OverDrive Deluxe RV Wheel Cover consists of two different textures. The outside of the cover is a thick, durable, waterproof and fade resistant vinyl, while the inside is crafted from a softer felt designed to protect, rather than scratch or damage the wheels they cover.
The covers are offered in a wide range of sizes (18-21″ ; 21-24″; 24-27″; 27-30″; 30-33″; 33-36″ and 37-41″), and so almost any RV owner should be able to find the right fit. The covers attach to the wheels via an easy to use rope and grommet system that allows you to customize the perfect fit for your vehicle (and your preferences, as some people prefer a looser fit so the covers are easier to remove) and they are further secured by an elasticized edge that runs all around the cover.
We are also very optimistic about the durability and lifespan of these RV wheel covers, as a number of online reviewers reported that these covers actually outlasted their tires! And the pricing is very reasonable, so all in all, no matter where you live or what RV you happen to drive the Classic Accessories OverDrive Deluxe RV Wheel Cover is a solid choice that we can highly recommend.
Pros: wide range of sizes, fade resistant, easy to put in place, waterproof & weatherproof, easy to clean
Cons: Larger cover sizes are one of the more expensive choices on our list.3
Camco Vinyl Weatherproof Wheel Cover (2 Pack)
If you live in a nice, temperate climate, or better still, if you garage your RV when it’s not in use, then you may not need to spend too much money on the wheel covers you choose. If that’s the case, then the Camco Vinyl Weatherproof Wheel Cover is an excellent choice for you.
Crafted from a flexible, durable vinyl these covers are designed to protect your wheels from dust, dirt and general wear and tear as well as prevent rust by keeping moisture out. In terms of the looks they are very basic – simple, standard white, off white or black vinyl – but as we mentioned earlier, function is the most important consideration when buying the best RV wheel covers.
The covers are available in a number of sizes (24-26″ ; 27-29″; 30-32″; 30-35″; 36-39″ and 40-42″) and are secured by an easy to use buckle and strap systems. One of the things buyers comment on a lot is just how easy these covers are to get on and off, and that is indeed the case.
It’s worth noting that the vinyl is not as thick as that used to create some of the other tire covers on our ‘countdown’ but considering the very reasonable price they last as long as can be expected, about, according to many reviewers, one to three years. Some do caution however that you need to be gentle when removing the Camco wheel covers as they will scratch and rip if treated roughly.
Pros: very reasonable priced, easy to fit/remove, attaches snuggly for optimum protection against dust, dirt etc.
Cons: may not be as durable as higher priced options.
TCP Global Canvas covers (Set of 4 fits diameter of up to 28″)
Not all tire covers are made from vinyl and not all RV owners feel comfortable covering their expensive, shiny wheels with a material that might scratch their delicate finish. Canvas is softer and more flexible, so for some a better choice.
TCP Global Canvas Wheel Tire Covers are crafted from a loose woven canvas and feature an inbuilt wire that helps them maintain their shape and fit the tire better when in place. Comes in two sizes: standard which fits tires up to 28″ in diameter and up to 6″ in depth and wide which fits tires up to 28″ in diameter and up to 9″ in depth.
This gives the covers a fitted appearance (much like a fitted bedsheet) and slightly squared look that is unusual and quite attractive. Most people find that this makes the covers a little easier to fit while also saving them time. A few did struggle with the concept at first but got the hang of things after a few tries.
TCP Global Canvas Wheel Tire Covers are designed to protect your RV tires from dust, dirt, the sun and the wind, but, as you might imagine they offer no protection from the rain or snow. If it rains or snows when you have these RV tire covers in place they will get wet and so will the tires.
They are a great choice however if you live in a hot, dry place like Arizona or perhaps if your RV is garaged at all times when not in use. Sometimes new RV owners do not realize just how damaging the sun can be for their tires. However, as some reviewers praised these covers as ‘SPF 50 sunscreen’ for your tires’ then we can assume they do indeed offer lots of sun protection.
In terms of durability the materials the covers are crafted from are thick and feel robust. Those who have owned TCP Global Canvas Wheel Tire Covers for some time report that they wear well and offer a good return on what is a very reasonable investment.
Pros: softer canvas material is less likely to damage your wheels, excellent UV protection, fitted wire system makes the covers easy to put on, attractive, breathable fabric is very durable.
Cons: not recommended for use in wet or cold climates.
Amfor 4-Pack Aluminum Film tire Covers
Not everyone has the room to garage the RV when it is not in use and many of us live somewhere – and park our RV – where we see extreme weather at least a few times a year. And pouring rain, high winds, snow and the baking heat of a very hot summer sun will all do damage to your RV wheels if you don’t protect them. AmFor 4 Tire Covers were designed to help protect tires from extreme weather related damage and they do an excellent job at doing so.
The appearance of the AmFor 4 Tire Covers is slightly futuristic, as they are made from a waterproof aluminum blend material that is tough and rip resistant. They attach to the wheel via a hook system that is designed to provide a snug but not too tight fit that can withstand high winds. High winds have been known to blow some RV wheel covers right off, but that should not be the case here. Available in a range of sizes to suit any tires in a camper, RV, trailers, cars and trucks: fits 19-22″ ; 24-26″; 27-29″; 30-32″; 33-35″; 36-39″ and 40-42″ tire diameters.
Another great thing about these wheel covers is that the tough aluminum material is backed by a soft, fluffy cotton side that protects the wheel without scratching or damaging it. Many of those who have purchased these wheel covers love the cotton wool like feeling of this backing!
In terms of ease of use some do feel that the hook system can be a little harder to get used to than some other wheel cover options but are impressed by the fit when they do get the hang of it. The AmFor tire covers are available in a wide range of sizes, so most RV owners will be able to find the right option for their vehicle.
Pros: waterproof, wind resistant aluminium is very tough, won’t blow off in high-winds, provides good protection from harsh UV rays, soft cotton backing protects wheel finish, snug fit without being overly tight.
Cons: hook fasteners can be hard to get the hang of.
Leader Accessories Universal Spare Tire Cover
Once you have great wheel covers for your active RV wheels, there is one more thing you need to think about; protecting that spare tire on the back. Given that this is exposed even more than the active wheels are – and fully exposed to boot – it’s essential that the spare tire cover you choose is as durable, well-fitting and weather resistant as possible. The Leader Accessories Universal spare tire cover ticks all those boxes and more.
The cover itself is crafted from a tough, but soft, heavy duty vinyl that is designed to resist both weather related problems and ‘aging‘. Because the spare tire is exposed at all times, the latter is very important. It’s available in 7 sizes so there is fit here for any type vehicle.
If you are lucky, you may get to go years between spare tire uses – and if you are really lucky, you’ll never need to use it at all, so the fact that a tire cover will not degrade with age – which both lab testing and customer testimonials say these covers will not – then it can only be a great thing. The last thing you need is to desperately need your spare to get back on the road only to discover the tire is damaged because the cover failed.
In terms of fit this cover fits snuggly but is not so tight that it is difficult to get on or off and it is ‘breathable‘ so your tire won’t ‘sweat’ underneath it in extreme heat. The shiny vinyl finish looks stylish and elegant and the pricing is excellent value for such a sturdy, durable choice. Leader Accessories Universal spare tire cover is a great but for anyone interested in better protecting their RV’s spare tire (which should be everyone).
Pros: Sturdy, heavy duty vinyl that resists the effects of aging, waterproof and weatherproof, great UV protection, fits well and goes on and off easily, soft backing won’t scratch tires, reasonably priced.
Cons: Some people found it ran a little bigger than expected.
How We Picked The Best Wheel Tire Covers
The options we have just introduced to you are what we consider being some of the best options available right now for those looking for RV tire covers to consider. But they are not the only good ones available, there are many more.
However, before you invest in any RV tire covers – or a cover for your RV’s spare tire – there are some basic considerations you should keep in mind as you shop. Here’s a look at some of the most important of those along with the answers to some frequently asked questions about RV tire covers in general.
Size is obviously one of the most important buying considerations of all when shopping for new RV tire covers. Most are sold based on tire measurement in inches and are designed to fit snugly without being too tight.
Most people do know their RV’s tire number, which will give you its size, but if you don’t, take a look at the sidewall, you’ll find the number there.
If you are purchasing your tire covers online it can be helpful to take a look at what previous purchasers have to say about size in the reviews. Just like clothes or shoes sometimes an RV tire cover can run a little big – or a little small – but helpfully if that’s the case consumers will often share that fact to assist other buyers.
RV tire covers are designed for use when an RV will be parked up for a while between trips. For some people that means they may be in use for weeks at a time and for others the covers may need to remain in place for months and this may affect your buying choices.
It makes a difference if your RV is garaged or not. An RV that is garaged may not need quite as much protection for its tires so you can opt for a good budget option like the Camco Vinyl Weatherproof Wheel Cover we chose.
Then there are weather conditions to consider. If you live in an area that gets lots of rain then unless the RV is garaged at all times a canvas wheel cover will be of no use to you – or your RV – as you need something waterproof. If, on the other hand, you live in a hot, dry climate canvas may be a great choice as it is lightweight, offers good UV protection but will allow the tire to ‘breathe’ properly in the heat.
Vinyl is a very common – and popular – choice when it comes to RV tire covers, but it is not the only one. On our list, for example, we have added picks that are crafted from canvas and from an aluminum blend material.
If you are sticking with vinyl however, you should try to determine – before you buy the covers – how thick that vinyl is. A very thin vinyl will probably tear or scratch easily but a very thick, rigid vinyl may be hard to handle and be a little too rigid to provide that snug fit you are looking for. Finding an option that falls somewhere in the middle of those two extremes – as the vinyl wheel cover choices on our list do, is usually the best bet.
Durability is another important consideration to keep in mind when buying new covers for your RV’s tires. Often, these covers will be in place for months at a time and they may also, as we have discussed, be exposed to some pretty extreme weather conditions.
While you can’t expect that any of these tire covers are going to last forever, you can reasonably expect that they should be able to offer you several years of good service before they need to be replaced.
Determining how durable a cover is going to be hard, and every manufacturer will naturally claim that theirs are the best. Customer reviews can be very helpful here, as durability is something many of them often address.
Ease of Installation
Having read through our list of top picks you’ll now have realized that RV wheel covers can be affixed to your wheels in a number of different ways. No one way is inherently better than the other, but what is important is that the covers will be relatively easy for you to use. This is an especially important consideration for a spare tire cover, as this is something you should be able to remove quickly and easily should the need to use the spare arise, as you will almost always be in an emergency situation at that point.
When you are purchasing something that comes in standard, generic sizes – clothes, shoes and yes, RV tire covers – there is always a chance that you will find, when you get them home from the store or they arrive in the mail that they don’t quite fit after all.
To avoid getting stuck with tire covers that don’t fit and that you have very little use for check what the return policy attached to your purchase is before you buy, especially if you are opting for one of the more expensive RV wheel cover options.
Price is usually a consideration when we buy anything, and that is a perfectly sensible stance to take. In this case, however, it should not be an overriding one. In buying RV tire covers you are doing so to protect what was already a significant investment. So while you do want to make sure you are not paying extra just for a brand name or a fancier pattern or color, spending a few bucks extra to get the quality you need is an investment that will pay off in terms of extending the life of your RV’s tires.
Common FAQs About RV Tire Covers
Why Do You Need wheel and Tire Covers for Your RV?
The weather affects all the exposed areas of any vehicle, but it can have a particularly damaging effect on RV tires – and tires in general – even when they are not in use. Obviously, however, different weather conditions cause damage in different ways.
RV Tires and Sun Damage
The sun is a wonderful thing. Let’s face it, a beautiful sunny day is one of life’s great little pleasures. The sun is not so kind to tires though, especially if it is beating down on them when they are stationary.
The sun’s UV rays put your tires at much greater risk of developing tire dry rot. As soon as a tire leaves the factory it is immediately and unavoidably exposed to three elements that can do it harm it in the long term; oxygen, UV rays and ozone. These elements begin to break down the rubber molecules in the tire, so essentially it is rotting from day one, just very slowly.
As the molecules break down eventually the density of the rubber is decreased, reducing the flexibility, strength and durability of the tire. This is why tires have expiration dates in fact, because they simply won’t last forever.
Therefore, the more you can protect your tires from the damaging effects of the sun, the better. So, just like you put on sunscreen every day to protect yourself from the harm UV rays can do to your skin RV tire covers are ‘sunscreen’ for your tires.
RV Wheels and Rain and Snow Damage
Modern tires, including modern RV tires, are now usually well equipped to handle water and standard rainfalls and snowfalls won’t do them too much harm, if any at all. What rain and snow can damage however are your wheel’s bearings and the lug nuts holding it onto your vehicle. Prolonged exposure to rain will often lead to rust too, ruining those shiny rims of yours. A good tire cover can protect your wheels and help keep them rust free longer. Which is a good thing, as replacing a wheel completely is a far more expensive prospect than replacing a tire.
RV Tires and Ozone Damage
Ozone is everywhere, it can’t be avoided. Ozone is a naturally occurring gas that is created both at ground level and in the Earth’s upper atmosphere. The ozone created at those higher levels is actually good, as it serves as a protective ‘bubble’ around the planet.
Ozone at ground level is not so good. It can damage trees and crops and it can be harmful to human health, especially as it is a major component of the smog that now affects a number of places worldwide. And this ground level ozone is bad for your tires.
Ozone can, and will, damage your tires over time and there is very little you can do about it. Slowly it will begin to break down the rubber molecules in your tires – just like UV rays do – and eventually render them unsafe to drive on. However, by keeping you wheels covered when your RV is not in use however you can minimize that damage and buy your tires months – or even years – of extra useful life.
How Long Should RV Tires Last?
According to Michelin, who know a lot about tires in general and are one of the world’s leading manufacturers of RV tires it is hard to say how long an RV tire will last based on ‘calendar age’ because there are a number of different factors involved in how an individual set of tires will wear.
Usage is an important consideration, as is the amount of time they sit idle. If tires sit on a vehicle, unused, for more than six months their useful life can decrease significantly. Usually however good quality RV tires that are properly cared for and see an average annual usage of less than 10,000 miles can last up to six years.
If tires are improperly cared for however, they can become unsafe in as little as 24 months. In addition to making sure that they are protected by a good quality set of tire covers when not in use you should also make sure that your RV’s tires are inspected annually by a tire specialist who can assess how well they are wearing and offer solid advice about when they might need to be replaced.
How to Measure for your RV Wheel Covers
Start off, by measuring the diameter of your wheel, including the tire to determine the size required. Remember to measure the overall width rather than just the rim to ensure proper sizing.
How Long Should RV Tire Covers Last?
As we were researching our top picks list we heard and read over and over again that most of the RV tire covers we chose – with the exception sometimes of our budget pick – actually outlasted the tires themselves! However, nothing lasts forever, and you should still inspect even the best of them whenever you sure them to make sure they are still fit to do the job you need them to.
How Tight Should RV Tire Covers Be?
Some people believe that to be most useful tire covers should smother the whole wheel completely. And their reasoning for thinking this is understandable. We’ve been talking about the slow damage things like ozone can do to your tires and so keeping as much air off them as possible would seem to make sense.
A snug fit is what experts recommend. And by that we mean that the exposed areas of the tires are covered and protected by the elements but not so tightly that no air touches them at all. The good news is that most good RV tire covers – including those on our list – are made from ‘breathable’ materials that allow for this to happen.
I Was on Etsy and Saw Some Novelty RV Tire Covers That Were Very Cute. Should I Buy Them?
We went on Etsy to take a look at some of these novelty tire covers for ourselves before answering this question. And we were rather surprised by what we found. Some offerings seemed to be high quality standard tire covers that has been painted or otherwise decorated.
Those, one could assume might be fine for use, although we would advise you to find out from the seller exactly what brand of covers they used before purchasing them and do so with great caution, as most of the options we saw cost more for a single tire cover than a set of 4 of any of the RV tire covers on our list!
We also saw a lot of crocheted and knitted tire covers. They were pretty, especially if you like that ‘hippy’ vibe, but in terms of tire protection, they have absolutely nothing to offer. A cute idea, but in no way practical.
RV tire covers need to protect your tires. There are some pricier ‘designer’ options available that we did not add to our list because they had little to offer in performance over those we did choose. And to be honest the choices we made look good. If you do want to add a little aesthetic personalization you could always opt for a ‘designer’ option for the spare tire only, just maybe not a crocheted one…
Protect Your RV Tires with Quality Wheel Covers
We hope that this guide has been helpful and that you are now in better informed position to go out there and buy the right RV tire covers for your recreational vehicle. Now all that it remains for us to do is to wish you happy trails, and happy driving, and wish you a great trip the next time you head out on an RV adventure.