Are winter tyres mandatory for caravans?
An announcement made in an official letter published by DEKRA (the German Motor Vehicle Inspection Association) on 29 November 2010 stated that winter tyres are not mandatory for trailers. This is also reflected in the German Road Traffic Regulations (Straßenverkehrsordnung).
Which refer to motor vehicles requiring winter tyres – trailers do not fall into this category and form their own vehicle classification. Depending on the type of trailer, road users can decide for themselves which type of tyres they deem right for their vehicle.
What is the point of winter tyres on a caravan?
It is very likely that an unbraked, single-axle trailer will behave as you want it to when towed on summer tyres in snow, as long as the driver takes care on the road. This does not apply to braked trailers. Not only are these trailers exposed to cornering forces (as you go around bends), they also need to be able to brake without locking the wheels. For this type of trailer, and above all for heavy trailers that are designed to be used a lot in winter (for example caravans), winter tyres may be a very sensible idea, even if they are not mandatory.
Do winter tyres need to come off the caravan in summer?
No, there is no law banning the use of winter tyres in summer. However, the rubber compound in the winter tyres is designed for cold temperatures and there will be drastically more wear and tear in hot, summery conditions.
Do the same provisions as summer tyres otherwise apply?
Yes. Winter tyres approved for use at 100 km/h must not be more than six years old. The DOT code on the tyre sidewall provides information on this. The weight-bearing capacity must of course also be suitable for the caravan’s maximum authorised mass and must not fall below the value stated on the vehicle registration certificate.
Can winter tyres be fitted in the factory?
As winter tyres are not mandatory, our vehicles are shipped from the factory fitted with summer tyres. If required, your Dethleffs contractual or servicing partner can certainly provide this service for you.
What actually are winter tyres?
As of 01/01/2018, tyres are only classed as ‘winter tyres’ if the tyre sidewall features the standard M+S symbol as well as the Alpine symbol (pictograph showing a peaked mountain with a snowflake in the middle). A transition period is in place to prevent consumers from immediately having to change their tyres: Tyres with solely the M+S symbol will be permitted until 30/09/2024, provided that they were made before 31/12/2017. Nevertheless, making the change before this date is recommended, as the tyres with the snowflake symbol have undergone a standardised brake test on snow, so they are safer.