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Author Topic: Class A MH - Tire Replacement  (Read 2309 times)

1PlasticMan1

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Class A MH - Tire Replacement
« on: March 02, 2015, 04:29:59 PM »
I am led to believe that the tires on RVs & MHs don't last very long.  Is this true, and if so why?  What is the average life expectancy of the tires?  Mileage doesn't seem to be a factor.  I would think that if the tires were covered while in storage, and possibly the jacks are down to relieve some to the pressure, they would last a long time. 
2016 Bounder 33C
2008 T&C - Ltd.
2010 LR2
and Frisco

Larry N.

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Re: Class A MH - Tire Replacement
« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2015, 08:16:20 PM »
Tires age, and can rot (often from the inside out) even if they're not used much. So MH tires are frequently recommended for replacement around the 7 year mark. On trailers they typically have less of a loading margin on the tires, so often the recommendation is around 5 years, or so. So they often will still have plenty of tread and just have deteriorated.
Larry and Mary Ann N.
2016 Newmar Ventana 3709 -ISB6.7 XT 360HP
2015 Wrangler Sahara Unlimited toad
Formerly: Trailmanor 2720SL
  de N8GGG

driftless shifter

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Re: Class A MH - Tire Replacement
« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2015, 09:35:29 AM »
A tire disintegrating due to unseen age deterioration can totally ruin your day or trip or even a whole wheel well!

Bill
Bill & Nan
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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Class A MH - Tire Replacement
« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2015, 09:49:02 AM »
What is "a long time" to you? Heavy duty motorhome tires will last at least 5 years and typically 7-10 years. That is largely independent of mileage, as Larry N already stated. Many of us feel that the likelihood of a failed tire causing body damage on an RV is too high past about age 7, so choose to replace them before it happens. If you are willing to gamble more, you might get 10 or even 12 years.

The tires on trailers are more difficult to put a lifetime number on because they tend to be abused and nearly always are operated at the edge of their performance envelope. There are also a lot of mediocre quality ST (trailer) tires installed on trailers, both by the manufacturer and by tire shops catering to customer low-price demands.  3-5 years is often the range but those who buy  a better grade of tire and take care of them will still see 7+ years of useful life.

The type ST tires used on most trailers have a max speed rating of 65 mph but few owners know or observe that. Even running at 60-65 means the tire is running at it max capability. Trailer tires are also typically barely adequate for the weight they are expected to carry, so again they are at maximum stress. Both of these factors shorten the useful working life. Then factor in that many are underinflated to begin with and early life failures become common.

The tire age thing is not just on RVs. Some years back we bought a 7-year old Oldsmobile car from an elderly lady who seldom drove it. It was showroom condition inside & out and had just 18,000 miles on it. Within a year of our purchase 3 of 4 original tires had failed, even though they looked new and had low miles. Just plain died of old age.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2015, 09:53:37 AM by Gary RV Roamer »
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scottydl

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Re: Class A MH - Tire Replacement
« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2015, 11:02:45 AM »
Gary covered all the basics.  Heat and non-use are what lead to tire failure.  Excessive heat is most often caused by under-inflation or over-speed, factors that may be in place quite often with RV's.  Non-use is pretty common since most weekend/vacation RV folks have their rigs stored during winter months.

A lot of owners do not properly check and maintain their tire pressures on RV's, which is more crucial (compared to your average car or truck) because RV tires are often run at/near their maximum loaded capacity... that equals a hotter running tire overall.

A loaded/rolling tire disperses chemicals in the rubber, that keeps the tire pliable and prevents dry rot.  When RV tires sit unused for months/years at a time, that degradation process speeds up.  Even during storage months, a full "shakedown" drive is recommended at least once/month to keep rubber and fluids circulated.  And as mentioned, older RV tires often will not show treadwear from the outside since they don't have high travel miles, and dry rot starts internally.

The most important thing to check on RV tires is the manufacture date.  There are DOT codes on the tire sidewall that show this information, and that (the tire's age) will tell you a lot more about necessary replacement than the outer appearance of the rubber or tread.  We have a guide here on reading DOT codes in the library (link at the top of page) if you haven't already seen it.  :)
Scott, wife, 3 boys... and the dog
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1PlasticMan1

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Re: Class A MH - Tire Replacement
« Reply #5 on: March 03, 2015, 01:15:48 PM »
Thanks, thought that it had to be more about lack of use than use.  Appreciate your comments.  Trying to set up a budge, so if I put in five year life, that should be good.  Other than removing a tire, is there anyway to tell if it is rotting from the inside?  Does the Nitrogen gas prevent this?
2016 Bounder 33C
2008 T&C - Ltd.
2010 LR2
and Frisco

scottydl

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Re: Class A MH - Tire Replacement
« Reply #6 on: March 03, 2015, 03:57:13 PM »
There are mixed opinions on Nitrogen.  I am of the camp that it's mostly a gimmick... I mean, our natural air is already almost 80% nitrogen, right?

Around here we usually talk about 7-year average RV tire life and I think that would be fair to put in your budget, especially if you exercise the tires regularly and keep them properly inflated.  Sure you might (probably will) lose a tire younger than 7 at some point in your RV ownership.  But it's not really the norm, and if you have some emergency funds set aside then you can deal with it when it happens.
Scott, wife, 3 boys... and the dog
- 2008 Forest River Wildwood 32BHDS
- 1995 Chevrolet Suburban C2500 tow vehicle
- 1994 Thor Residency motorhome... owned 2007-2012

99WinAdventurer37G

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Re: Class A MH - Tire Replacement
« Reply #7 on: March 03, 2015, 04:41:42 PM »
Here is a link to tell your tires age:

http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tiretech/techpage.jsp?techid=11&s_kwcid=AL!3756!3!50154916573!p!!g!!tire%20age&ef_id=U1dY8wAAAR5fh@L3:20150303222917:s

Maybe Ned can fix that, I've tried to shorten the links but believe I had a technological bypass at birth, because I've been unable to make those cool links that say ; "click here"

And here's a link to a story about trying to legislate aged tires off the road.  http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/tire-industry-fighting-legislation-aged-tires-off-road/story?id=23686666

In it Michelin says 10 years it their limit, while the industry recommendation is 6 years, others will say 7 years. 

For myself I keep my tires covered, when not in use so they are out of the UV rays.  But inspection is key, if they look dry rotted with cracks in the sidewalls, I'll replace them at 3 years.  If they continue to look good, and don't lose more than about 2 lbs of pressure a month, I'll stick closer to the 7 year mark.  But if you've ever seen what a failed tire can do to a MH or trailer, you will want to get those tires replaced before they blow.  A friend of mine had a tire blow, and the wheel well of his unit was only plywood, which it shredded puncturing the interior.  It cost him over $4,000 to get all the repairs done.  I'd be interested in what the most damage done by a failed tire is, but I would thing $4k is pretty close to the top, but it still would pay for a full set of tires.
1999 Winnebago Adventurer 37G , Ford V-10
2006 Honda VTX 1300S

ArdraF

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Re: Class A MH - Tire Replacement
« Reply #8 on: March 03, 2015, 05:06:29 PM »
Quote
I would think that if the tires were covered while in storage, and possibly the jacks are down to relieve some to the pressure, they would last a long time.

Agreed, they may last a long time but after a certain point the question becomes "Is it worth the cost of repairing the motorhome undercarriage from a tire that was kept in use too long?"  In most cases, the answer is no because it can damage wheel wells, water lines, retractable steps, you name it - whatever is near that tire.  Replacing tires earlier rather than later is the prudent action.

ArdraF
ArdraF
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99WinAdventurer37G

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Re: Class A MH - Tire Replacement
« Reply #9 on: March 03, 2015, 05:28:55 PM »
Agreed, they may last a long time but after a certain point the question becomes "Is it worth the cost of repairing the motorhome undercarriage from a tire that was kept in use too long?"  In most cases, the answer is no because it can damage wheel wells, water lines, retractable steps, you name it - whatever is near that tire.  Replacing tires earlier rather than later is the prudent action.

ArdraF

Yes, I think the problem most of us have is when we lay out the $3,000 for the new tires, and the old still looks like it has plenty of tread, even looking like new.  I've taken tires off with less than 7,000 miles.  And the thought is, did I just waste money?  Is this age thing on tires just a conspiracy by the tire companies to get us to buy more tires?  I just want to be safe, and many vehicles I've seen on the side of the road that turned over, have a blown tire. 

I believe a good idea is a device to put in the rear wheel wells that would contain a blow out preventing any damage to the MH.  Maybe someone on here will design, patent, and give me the first set to try out?   ;)
1999 Winnebago Adventurer 37G , Ford V-10
2006 Honda VTX 1300S

SMR

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Re: Class A MH - Tire Replacement
« Reply #10 on: March 03, 2015, 05:40:26 PM »
when we purchased our MH we decided that new tires were going on it. the tires were 7 years old and "looked" fine. the tire dealer showed me where one of the inside duals was rotting away and said it was really good that we decided to get new tires.
Gonna put the world away for a minute......
Steve
2016 Bighorn 3760 EL
2015 Ford F350
me, DW and our 2 dogs

Larry N.

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Re: Class A MH - Tire Replacement
« Reply #11 on: March 03, 2015, 05:46:13 PM »
Quote
I've tried to shorten the links but believe I had a technological bypass at birth, because I've been unable to make those cool links that say ; "click here"

I use BBCodeXtra add-on to Firefox. Then all I have to do is to bring up the link in the browser, select its address, CTRL-C (copy to clipboard (I usually open a new tab in Firefox for this)), then when back in the dialog box for the post I'm making, I right click where I want the link and use the context menu to put in URL with label. It only takes a few moments, and is much easier than trying to remember the needed syntax.
Larry and Mary Ann N.
2016 Newmar Ventana 3709 -ISB6.7 XT 360HP
2015 Wrangler Sahara Unlimited toad
Formerly: Trailmanor 2720SL
  de N8GGG

ArdraF

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Re: Class A MH - Tire Replacement
« Reply #12 on: March 03, 2015, 05:46:44 PM »
I don't think it is a conspiracy.  We had a friend who arrived at our house after experiencing a flat tire on the way here.  He and Jerry spent a couple of days repairing "stuff" underneath his rig.  Personally, I worry most about a front tire blowout and pray I remember what I've been taught about handling a front blowout should it ever happen when I'm driving.  Of course, we have tire pressure monitors.  So far they worked on the car.  Flats happen fast when you have a puncture, for example.  Haven't had any blowouts on the motorhome (knock on wood).  Jerry uses his "thumper" to check tire pressures on both just about every time we stop.  But those are not the same as tires just plain wearing out.  We paid an arm and a leg about a year ago for a complete set of new tires.  Ouch!  But also peace of mind.

ArdraF
ArdraF
:D :D

 

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