On The Road - Wheels and Tyres



The subject of a suitable jack for the Eriba Touring was a long and involved discussion thread on the Eriba Owners Photo Board, the outcome of which seems to be:

Roadside Lift: If you need to change a wheel or maybe raise the Eriba to place the wheel onto a leveling block, then you can buy a jack that fits the jacking point just to the rear of the wheels. Suitable model jacks include those for the VW Beetle Type 1 and 2, VW Transporter (which appears to be the same jack but with a longer lift section), certain models of Polski FIAT, and Mercedes-Benz from the 1960's.

Under no circumstances should you place any part of yourself under the van when using this type of jack.

For better stability, your Eriba should be attached to the tow car when you start the lift.

Home Lift: If you need to work on something underneath the Eriba, then it is probably best to use a trolley jack with a lift cup shaped to cradle the ALKO axle tube, and if you can use a rubber mat (2mm or so thick) to cushion the axle then so much the better.

You should also use supplementary supports to make sure the caravan cannot fall in case the jack fails.

A trolley jack is more stable than the old VW jack, but as I found out when changing a car tyre you need to be aware that the ground itself may not be stable, so do not expose yourself to risk without being 100% sure.


Caravan Wheels

Caravan wheels may look like car wheels, but they are specially made for caravan use. Principally this means that they are stronger than a car wheel of a similar size, and some of the dimensions may be different.

On an Eriba Touring, each wheel must support half the weight of the caravan, which is often more than one quarter of the weight of a tow car. Also caravan suspension has different characteristics compared to a tow car, and from time to time, will place more than half of the weight onto a single wheel.


Car Tyres

It is wise to check your car documentation for any possible tyre pressure changes when the car is used for towing.

Some car do not require a change, but many suggest an increase when the boot carries an additional load - as it will when a caravan is attached to the tow-bar.

Caravan Tyres

Perhaps surprisingly, tyres are not made specially for caravans and car or light van tyres are used. The role of a caravan tyre is different to that of a car tyre, they are not required to apply motive traction to the road surface, they are not required to steer the vehicle, nor are they expected to handle high cornering forces. Instead they provide a significant percentage of the suspension and this is another reason why correct inflation pressure is important.

The tyres fitted to all modern Eriba caravans are chosen to match and exceed the MTPLM of the caravan - in other words the ALKO axle weight limit.

For 2008, it has been reported on the Eriba NL web-site that Eriba NL will be fitting the well respected GT Maxmiler brand of tyres to all new Eriba Touring caravans


Tyre Load Index and Pressure

All tyres are marked with the load index and indicates the maximum weight it will carry when driven at the maximum design speed for the tyre.


Tyre size

Load Index

Pressure - Unladen

Pressure - Max Weight

Puck 155/80 R13 79 2.5 bar 2.5 bar

Puck L

155/80 R13


2.6 bar

2.8 bar

Familia (with 850 kg axle)

155/80 R13


2.8 bar

3.0 bar

Familia (with 900 kg axle)

165/80 R13


2.6 bar

3.0 bar

Eriba with 1000 kg axle

185/70 R13


2.5 bar

2.8 bar

Triton and Troll (with 1200 kg axle)

195/70 R14


2.5 bar

2.8 bar

Troll (with 1300 kg axle) 195/70 R14 XL 96 2.9 bar 3.3 bar

The previous recommendations in the Eriba Touring manual for a single 2.5 bar inflation pressure - a sort of one-pressure-fits-all - have been superceded by a technical note from the Eriba Touring factory, for two reasons that we can see: A wider range of tyres and combinations are now possible, and the new inflation pressures take into account the payload range of the caravan. Typically increasing the load by 100 kg should require you to inflate the caravan tyres by 0.2 bar

This technical note is in agreement with the experimentation carried out by Eriba Amiga, and the Eriba Forums across Europe

Experience when towing for 200+ miles on motorways with the increased tyre pressure revealed that the Eriba tyre temperature was consistent with the car tyres, and cooler than that noted on a previous journey with lower "old-book" tyre pressures. Also our Eriba was even more resistant to aerodynamic disturbances.

See the image to the lower right, where the B shows position of the tyre size and load index markings.


Tyre Replacement

It is common practice to replace caravan tyres on their 5th birthday, which is easy if you bought your Eriba new, but how do you know the age of a tyre on a pre-owned Eriba?

All tyres are marked with the North American Department of Transport (DOT) tyre identification number, which includes the year code. See the image to the right, where the G shows the position of the DOT code markings:

Before 2000, when a typical DOT code could be DOT AB34 DEF267, the last digit was the year (7=1997) and the week number is the first two digits (26)

After 2000, additional useful information was encoded into the DOT code, and this example DOT code comes from our 2005 Triton - DOT 1319 2004 - in this case the last 4 digits show a 2 digit week number and a 2 digit year number. So 2004 means week 20 year 04

If your Eriba has the old, pre 2000 style 3 digit DOT tyre marker then it's well past time for replacement.



Updated Aug 2008


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