Need to replace the two front tires

The friendliest place on the web for anyone with an RV or an interest in RVing!
If you have answers, please help by responding to the unanswered posts.

Pat

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 17, 2005
Posts
1,234
Location
Payson AZ
Today I had the covers off and noticed my two front tires are deteriorating.  One has a long crack along the rim for about 10 inches. The other has a small bump about an inch in diameter near the rim.  What I could see of the back tires (4) looks ok. 

I bought this MH 5 years ago March.  Have lived in it the past 3 1/2 years.

Questions are:

--Should all 6 tires be replaced at the same time?
--Are there any suggestions, warnings about MH tire shopping that I should know?
--Is there a good/bad place to go for new motorhome tires?  This MH is on a Chevy van chassis.  24' long.
--Anybody think CampingWorld would be best?  Dealers?  Tire places like Big O? 
--Anything I should be sure to get on these wheels, such as exactly the same tire?  I think these are General Tire. 
--I have about 30 miles to go to Mesa on Feb 6.  After I remove some things from the MH, which I won't be using till Moab in April, I'll take it in for tires.  Do these flaws sound so dangerous that I probably won't make it?
--Should I wait till closer to April 27 to get new tires?  The MH is just going to sit on them till then.

--pat
 

rhmahoney

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 9, 2005
Posts
1,405
Check our libraries for tires and how to read the date code.

You have had the rig for 5 yrs and tires were of some unknown age when you got it.

RV tire life is 5-7 years.

I suggest replacing all 6 NOW!

I have had good service from Discount Tire... but that was for car tires.

Call your coach manufacturer to see what they recommend.
 

Karl

Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Mar 3, 2005
Posts
5,154
Location
Elkhart Lake, WI for the summer. Work at Road Amer
Pat,

Without respect to your lack of an avatar (and I know Russ is far more handsome than a crab), looks are not everything - especially when it comes to tires. Get rid of them all and go for new. Secondly, if your front tires are showing that much degredation than the rears and assuming equal mileage and mfg. date, you shold make sure the front/rear weight distribution is within spec's. Sounds like you've got a lot more weight on the front than is desired, and may have to  shift your cargo around. 
 

Carl L

Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Mar 14, 2005
Posts
7,239
Location
west Los Angeles
--Should all 6 tires be replaced at the same time?

Might as well make it unanimous -- Darn straight you should.  ;D  RV tires last about 5-7 years max.  If some are already going, that is the end of it.  Change spares at the same time. 

--Anybody think CampingWorld would be best?

Depends on your market area, but I would not bet on it.

--I have about 30 miles to go to Mesa on Feb 6.  After I remove some things from the MH, which I won't be using till Moab in April, I'll take it in for tires.  Do these flaws sound so dangerous that I probably won't make it?

I would drive nice and slow, and have your towing/tire changing service insurance paid up to date.  Driving to the tire dealer should be your only errand on the trip.

--Should I wait till closer to April 27 to get new tires?  The MH is just going to sit on them till then.

Do it now.  You could be caught out by timing later in the game.  Tires are always a safety issue.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

Site Team
Joined
Feb 2, 2005
Posts
74,650
Location
At our Silver Springs FL home
I'll add my voice to the consensus: you are driving on borrowed time - change the tires now!

If I recall, your rig has 16 inch wheels, so any reputable tire dealer should be able to supply you with a good tire suitable for your load.  Most light truck tires will do fine and cost less than "RV" tires.  Check the size and load range you now have and buy the equivalent or even one load range higher (original equipment tires are sometimes on the borderline of the range). Better yet, weigh the rig and find out exactly how much weight is on each corner and make sure the tires you buy encompass that weight with plenty to spare.  If your tires are larger than 16", go to a truck tire dealer.

As for cautions when buying tires, you might want to check the date codes on the new tires before they are installed - sometime you get a tire that has ben sitting around in a warehouse for a year or two and is already middle-aged.  That is less likely with popular size tires (the inventory turns over quickly) but its an easy check to do and avoids a problem.  Just tell the dealer you won't accept any tire with a date code more than 6 months prior.

 

Tom

Administrator
Joined
Jan 13, 2005
Posts
48,942
For an explanation of tire manufacturing date codes, click the Library button above, select Maintenance items, then click Tire manufacturing date codes.
 

Ron

Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Jan 29, 2005
Posts
18,082
Location
Home is where we park it
We will join in one the general consensus that it is past time to replace all tires.  Tires may seem expensive but compared to possible consequences of a tire failure they are a very good investment.
 

DougJ

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 7, 2005
Posts
549
And from personal experience, I add my voice to the concensus.

When we bought our motorhome--a thirteen year old Elandan--the tires looked good.  No cracking on the sidewalls and with tread still to be worn down, according to measurements.  When eight months later we were about to head south for 3+ months, I asked my tire dealer to take one more look.  They're OK, but if you want to spend money put new tires on the front wheels. 

I spent the money.

Then, after dark, driving south on I-5, just short of Olympia, WA, in lane 3 of 4 (as I recall), happily cruising along in evening rush-hour traffic, there is an almighty bang somewhere in the back.  Then there is a continuous sound of something flapping an banging.  Ease over to the right hand shoulder--not entirely easy as no one was ready to let me ease in.  Get off the freeway, check the back, and I find outside rear tire has delaminated.  The flapping was the delaminated part and it has worked a little havoc on the wheel well and side of the motorhome in the immediate area.

Call CoachNet ERS.  Two towtrucks arrive.  With traffic whizzing by on the inside lane of I-5, they say they're not doing anything right there, but they'll shield me from the back so that we can all exit the freeway in about half a mile.  Just off that exit there is an overnight truck stop.  They change the tire there--my spare is good (and I had checked it before we left Vancouver).  We spend the night there--with diesel trucks idling all night long, no one heard our genset running so that our electric heaters could be useful, along with the propane furnace--did I tell you the wind was howling and it was bloody cold?

In the morning down the road a mile or so to Les Schwab and have four new tires installed.  No shopping around; just put them on for I had missed my best opportunity to shop.  Oh, and then to a body shop to have repairs done to the wheel well.

So, Pat,  new tires all the way round.

Ciao,

Doug
 

Pat

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 17, 2005
Posts
1,234
Location
Payson AZ
Thanks for the info.? The decision was mostly between 2 or 6 new tires.? (7 new tires? Change the unused spare?)?

And where.? There's a place called Big O here in Fountain Hills.? They'd be about 30 miles closer than driving in to Mesa.?

I am planning to drive the 30 miles and then park the motorhome until I leave on April 27 for the rally in Moab.? Get the tires now and let it sit on them for the 3 months?? (modification:  Never mind.  Asked and answered.  Do it now.)  It'll be the same 5 more miles to the tire place whether now or at the end of April, assuming this bubble doesn't blow itself up while sitting (assuming I make it to Mesa at all);? ?

I tried to insert a pocket knife tip into the split, and it is a very superficial cut.? Split is about 8" long.? The bubble is about 1/4" high and 1" in diameter.? Pics attached.

GVWR is 12,300.? Tires show significantly higher capacity on the printing on the sides.

At a CAT scale I showed
Steer axle 3920
Drive axle 7820
Towed 3320

At an open, untended scale in Oregon I showed
Front left 1850
Front right 1850
Rear left 3850
Rear right 4050
Towed was attached but not pulled onto the scale.

I, too, wondered if the front was overloaded.? There are twice as many tires carrying the load in the back. I can see only the outside of the outer tire, of course.

Could somebody estimate about how much these puppies will cost??

--pat
 

Attachments

  • e closeup of bubble.JPG
    e closeup of bubble.JPG
    41 KB · Views: 14
  • e long split.JPG
    e long split.JPG
    54.8 KB · Views: 11

Pat

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 17, 2005
Posts
1,234
Location
Payson AZ
BTW, I don't skimp on tires.  I'm looking for best, not cheapest. 

Also, I didn't reply that these tires are original equipment.  I bought the MH new 5 years ago  this coming March.  Figure it had the tires on half a year before that.  They have maybe 22,000 miles on them.

--pat
 

Ned

Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Feb 1, 2005
Posts
25,107
Location
USA
We need to know the gross axle weight ratings to determine if you're weights are within limits.  There is a 220 lb. discrepency between the two weighings on the front axle and 80 lbs. on the rear.  Either one scale was off or you have a different loading for the second weighing.  But without knowing the GAWR for the axles, there is no way of knowing if you're safe.

What size are the tires?  We need to know that to give you any estimate of cost.  At 6+ years old, they are due for replacement.  What is the date code so we can determine the real age?
 

Gary RV_Wizard

Site Team
Joined
Feb 2, 2005
Posts
74,650
Location
At our Silver Springs FL home
The proportion of front-to-rear weight is typical for a motorhome and your total GVW is under 12,000 lbs, so most likely you are fine on weights as long as the tires match the load.  The pressure shown on the side of a truck tire is the capacity at maximum inflation and effectively denotes the max load range of the tire, so if it exceeds the actual load by a good margin they are OK in terms of capacity (as long as they are inflated properly).  Note, though, that dual tire installations have a lower rating than singles (usually shown on the sidewall aslo).

You should be able to get a top grade of 16" diameter tire of the LT (Light Truck) type for $150-$175 each "out the door". Goodyear and others make plenty of tires in the required load range for popular pick-up trucks. If your tires are 19's or 22.5's, figure more like $300 each, as the market is much smaller and the price competition much less.  So called "RV" tires (like the Michelin XRV) will cost more than LT's, but I doubt if they are worth the extra $40 per tire they are likely to cost.  They are going to be dead in another 5-6 years no matter what you do, so you may as well buy the LT tires and put the savings away to help buy your next set of tires (or a newer RV when the time comes).

If my rig were going to sit for three months, I would wait and get the tires later. Put the spare on to replace the one with the bubble, though.  And yes, the spare is probbaly "bad" even though it has never been used.



 

Pat

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 17, 2005
Posts
1,234
Location
Payson AZ
Tires are on order. I found a Discount Tire here in Fountain Hills.  Their price was about 1/3 out-the-door cheaper than Big O.  I have a half dozen Michelin XPS Rib tires coming from the Michelin plant.  As for DOT, the ones from the plant will be newer than anything in stock in the area.  They should be here Friday or Monday for installation.  I'm glad I don't have to drive 40 or so miles in to Mesa.  This'll be about 10.  Almost no highway.  The total price of the tires, with tax and installation, comes to a couple hundred dollars apiece.  There are some things on which I won't skimp, just because I don't know enough about them and feel more secure with the best.  Tires are one.  I can spring for another half dozen in 6 or 7 years.  I'm told these Michelins are about 4 times stronger than the General Tires on here now. 

Question:  It costs $23 apiece to get the Discount Tire replacement warranty.  This covers 100% replacement cost if a tire has to be replaced for any reason.  6 years.  There is a Michelin warranty, but it's not as comprehensive.  Worth it?  I spend about 5 months of each year out and about the northwest, where Discount Tire is not located.  I discussed this with them last year when I had the tires on the towed changed, and I have the impression they don't honor the warranty at another tire shop.  Does this make sense?  I'm generally opposed to extended warranties.

I think this tire purchase and installation entitles me to 6 years of free tire rotation and balancing.  Do it?  I understand MH tires are replaced due to age rather than tread wear, so rotation isn't advised.  I know someone who had trouble keeping Michelins balanced on a Bronco, which is driven a lot more than I'll be driving this MH before I head up to Moab.  Anybody hear of problems with balancing these tires?

With the concurrence of the DT guy, I did not order a replacement for the spare. It's tucked underneath.  They'll check it when they change the tires next week. 

Anything I should do for the tires for the duration the MH is parked on a cement slab from Feb 6 to April 27?  Do they need to be driven now and then?

Regarding the weights, they were taken June 1 (CAT) and September 9 (Oregon).  The CAT weighings were done on three platforms.  Front axle, back axle, and towed.  The Oregon weighings were at an unmanned scale with each wheel (or duals) on the platform at a time.  If one of the scales is less accurate, it's probably the Oregon one, since it's less controlled.  I did my best, with the tow car still attached, to get the wheel in the middle of the platform.  It was kind of fun. 

--pat
 

BernieD

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 1, 2005
Posts
5,877
Location
Goodyear, AZ
Pat said:
Question:  It costs $23 apiece to get the Discount Tire replacement warranty.  This covers 100% replacement cost if a tire has to be replaced for any reason.  6 years.  There is a Michelin warranty, but it's not as comprehensive.  Worth it?  I spend about 5 months of each year out and about the northwest, where Discount Tire is not located.  I discussed this with them last year when I had the tires on the towed changed, and I have the impression they don't honor the warranty at another tire shop.  Does this make sense?  I'm generally opposed to extended warranties.

Pat

I took out the extend warranty when I replaced the tires on my SUV. Since we do a lot of off roading, I felt I was more exposed to damage and Discount has already replaced 2 tires, tho one was an Interstate debris problem. If we weren't off roading, I wouldn't have gone with the extended warranty, tho the ongoing rotation and rebalancing is good.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

Site Team
Joined
Feb 2, 2005
Posts
74,650
Location
At our Silver Springs FL home
I never rotate the motorhome tires. No need, as far as I can see, unless there is a front end alignment problem that causes uneven wear on the fronts.  Then you can move fronts to back once you correct the problem.

If the tire warranty is for the life of the tire (be sure you know how they calculate that "life"), then one failure in 6 years would fully recoup the 6x$23 price.  Assuming you were lucky enough to have a failure near a DT dealer, that is.  You are just ending nearly 6 years on a set of tires - did you have any failures on them?  And yes, it is common for big store warranty deals to be honored only at that store - only manufacturer warranties are good at any dealer.

Your Michelin warranty isn't worth the paper it is printed on - it is NEVER Michelins fault if your RV tire fails. OTOH, I had excellent service from Michlein XPS Rib tires on another motorhome and have XRV's on this one.

 

Pat

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 17, 2005
Posts
1,234
Location
Payson AZ
I told the guy at DT I was buying the best tires so I wouldn't need the warranty and that I expected them to outlast the 6-year warranty by at least a year. 

I don't rotate motorhome tires.  I've already run into one Schwab guy who didn't know how to jack this up when a valve extender had to be replaced. 

No offroading.  I consider an unpaved campground site roughing it.  I'm an interstate driver.  I just want to get there.  The worst these tires will suffer is sitting for months at a time.  Also they'll be in Arizona heat in October, March, and April. 

The tires are always covered when parked.  If there is treatment I can use on them to protect them in heat and during long periods of inactivity, I can use that.  If I should drive it now and then, even a foot or two, to change the position, I can do that.  Hooking and unhooking this little MH is pretty fast.

I bought the warranty on my towed Tracker tires.  It does go places the MH does not, and most of the places where I might get flats are around AZ.

--pat
 

Gary RV_Wizard

Site Team
Joined
Feb 2, 2005
Posts
74,650
Location
At our Silver Springs FL home
Occasionally moving the tires is indeed "good" for them, because they rely on the flexing to distribute the compounds in the rubber that help protect it against UV and keep the rubber pliable.  It probably takes a few miles to do much good, though. I've never heard a recommendation as to frequency or distance, but I would think the tire ought to at least get warm.

Whether driving them occasionally is necessary to get a full six years of life is something I have never seen written anywhere, but all the manufacturers state that driving them is better than having them sit around. Of course, if you drive it enough they don't have to worry about you complaining the tire died prematurely. [grin]
 

Pat

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 17, 2005
Posts
1,234
Location
Payson AZ
I can fire it up and run down the road once a month.  I hope that'll be of some value.  I'll check at the tire place when they're installed.  Or, I could email Michelin for frequency.

Contrary to what Discount Tire told me last year, they seem to have stores in the northwest.  Bellingham WA is close to where I plan to summer this year.  I may get the replacement warranty.  It's a good comparison that the cost of the warranty for all 6 tires is less than replacing one tire.

--pat
 

Pat

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 17, 2005
Posts
1,234
Location
Payson AZ
Got an email back from Michelin.  They concurred that it's best to drive on the tires at least once a month until they're warm.  No info on how long that takes.  They also said if it's going to be idle for a long time, to put it up on blocks, but that isn't going to happen.

New tire day tomorrow.  It's about a dozen miles down to Discount Tire.  Shall limp along slowly.  I've removed some of the heavy stuff, like laundry, bottled water to the towed to lighten the load. 

--pat
 
Top Bottom