Ten-year anniversary of ‘the safer alternative’

Compared to a tube type tyre, the tubeless tyre is, as the name says, without an inner tube. This means that in the event of a puncture, the air escapes slowly rather than explosively, as the butyl inner tyre liner surrounds the foreign object penetrating the tyre tread and slows the air loss through the punctured area. The tubeless concept for static caravans and park homes was introduced by STARCO ten years ago, as the industry was using relatively small tyres with high operating pressures.

“We initiated the development to give the market a better solution for the application, and we succeeded in improving the safety, differential load performance, stability and strength of the tyre, whilst also simplifying puncture repairs,” explains Shaun Jones, Segment Director for Trailer & Caravan at STARCO, who has worked for STARCO for 20 years and played a key role in introducing the tubeless option to the market.

Even though it is the tyre that differs mostly from original tubed type tyres, the benefits lie in the optimum compatibility between the wheel and the tyre. The development of a 4.5” wide wheel with an integrated double safety hump feature allows for improved stability and reduces the tendency for the tyre to be rolled off the rim. All STARCO caravan wheels also come with E-coat anti-corrosion protection (as used in the automotive industry) and a powder coat top finish as standard, giving excellent corrosion resistance and an aesthetic appearance.

“Our customers are very satisfied with the performance and benefits of this unique offering and some of the issues experienced in the past are now completely gone. Besides the benefits when the wheel and tyre is in use, the caravan manufacturers have experienced another upside: on their production lines, the use of metal staples is commonplace, and therefore so is the risk of a ‘rapid deflation’ on the line. However, this is not the case with tubeless tyres as the air escapes slowly, just like when we annoyingly discover a screw or nail in the tyre on our cars,” Jones explains.

STARCO primarily supplies tubeless tyres for the UK and Western Europe markets. However, they also see a great deal of potential in other regions for other applications.

The tubeless tyre from STARCO was the first tubeless design of tyre to be approved by the National Caravan Council.

“As with all tyres supplied by STARCO, the tubeless static caravan performance is analysed by our own SQA Engineers and from customer feedback. This tyre performs very well and complies with all necessary regulations, so we have no plans to change this clever solution,” states Mike Green, Technical Director at STARCO.

The tubeless tyre, which costs more or less the same as a tube type tyre, has proved its worth over the last ten years as a safe and sensible alternative to standard tyres for static caravans. With good performance in the field and steady growing demand, there is no doubt that it is here to stay. STARCO remains the only supplier of this tubeless wheel and tyre combination in Europe.

Tubeless tyre illustration by STARCO

Picture: In the event of a puncture, the air escapes slowly rather than explosively,
as the foreign object penetrating the tyre tread can act as a seal slowing down the air loss.
This leads to less damage and a safer solution.