RV Tires

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Steve CDN

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What advice should be offered to someone considering changing the tires on their RV?  Should RV Tires be changed only when there are visible signs of deterioration or cracks?  Are there diffrences between the tires of the major manufactirers?  How much pressure do tires require?  What is the best source for air for the tires>

When RV tires are installed, what are the options with regards to balancing the tires?
 

Tom

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Great question Steve. I'd always believed they should be changed for sure if there were visible cracks in the sidewalls. However, when I changed tires on our old (low mileage) coach for that same reason, the tire mechanic told me they were merely surface cracks and I needn't have changed them.
 

Steve CDN

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Since RVers usually park in hi ultraviolet sunny areas, it seems tires are subject to degradation from the sun.  The date of manufacture is printed on every tire, but I am not sure how to read the date information.
 

Tom

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There's an explanation of tire date codes in our RV Glossary of Terms compiled by Don Jordan. To view the glossary, click the Library button above, select Newcomers need to know and then click Glossary of Terms.
 

Phil

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Steve said:
What advice should be offered to someone considering changing the tires on their RV? 

Steve,

If you are considering changing the tires on your RV, you have had the RV way too long.  It's time to purchase a new RV.  :)

Phil
 

rvrrat

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Standard rule on tires is after 5 years toss em no matter what they look like. Mine were 5 years old and still had lots of tread. Very next trip....boom!  Big tires tend to cause damage to the rv when they blow due to the high pressure. I always go by the mfg recomendations of tire pressure-unless youre driving thru like Death Valley in the middle of summer.
 

Ron

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General rule is to replace tires between 5 and 7 years after date of manufacture.  Note Date of manufacture not date installed. Tires could set on the shelf for 4 years before installed leaving only 1 to 3 years usefull life left.

When your tire blew out was it 5 uears old from date of manufacture as determined by the date code on the tire or 5 years since installed?
 

rvrrat

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Ron, thats correct. The owner of the tire store I went to explained all the tire info to me. He showed me where the nfg date stamp is etc. Apparently the rv was stored for quite a while before I had purchased it, and the tires looked in good shape. Second trip out on the way home......scared the you know what out of my wife!!!! Since then I keep a close eye on all my vehicle tires.
 

Ron

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Unfortunately visual inspection cannot always determine tire condition.? For more information on tires Michelin has provided two very good videos.? Click HERE to see the videos.
 

chrpennings

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Phil,

I disagree with you. There are two reasons for changing tires or buying a new coach. One is that you accumulate a lot of miles in a reasonable short time (5 years) so that wear and safety requires to change tires. I fall in this category. The other reason would be that you exceed life expactations of the tires (5-6 years) and hardly have any miles on your tires and coach, and I wonder if you would be a candidate for this category. ;D ;D ;D

See you in Moab,  chris
 

Evechild

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I just bought 5 new tires. Mine were five years old, from the date code on the tires, and everyone I talked to said "Change 'em now, before you have a blowout!" It's not just about wear, or sun, or cracks. It's about age.
After talking to many RVers, and researching on the Web, I chose Denman ST 225/75 15 E. 15 inch because that's what was on my trailer.
I visually inspect the tires, and check the pressure every time I leave a camp site, on trailer and truck. I never drive with uneven, low, or high tire pressure. Every time I stop, for gas or a rest, I walk around and put my hand on every tire, checking temperature.
If I still have this rig in 5 years I will replace them all again.
Nancy
 

Ron

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Nancy,

Good move changing tires.  Tires can cause a lot of damage if they blow out.  Just not worth trying to use them beyond their useful life.
 

aboss

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First time here-great forum!!  My tire trick, after a rear blowout tore out all the wiring to the genset and mangled the propane lines in back of the wheel well, is to check my NEW tires with my infrared thermometer at a stop to locate any overheating tires.  With the infrared, you just point the little red laser at the tread of each tire immediately after a run and you get a read out of each tires temp with just a quick walk around the vehicle. Very quick and easy.  Also can check brake rotors and drums to see if one is hotter than others, indicating a dragging brake.  A/C temps can be monitored as well as coolant temps if you think your dash guage may be lying to you.  This is the best darn tool to come along in many years!  They run $40-50 on ebay sometimes, but exotic models cost more.  As a note, they can't tell you what your tire pressure is, but they can sure point out a potential problem before it turns into a real problem.

Happy motoring!  Alex and Nancy

 

Charles

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At the Perry Monaco Pre-rally, there was an interesting round-table discussion of when to change tires.

The Goodyear representative disagreed with the 5 year change cycle.  The rest of the forum members were quite surprised, especially one of the Monaco representatives.

The Goodyear rep pointed to fire engines as an example of tires that are seldom used, lots of tread left, and in service after 20 to 25 years.

Naturally, UV isn't much of a problem inside a covered fire station, but they also do not get the flex action that "supposedly" creates a release of chemical action that in effect keeps/delays the tires from dry-rotting.

About a month after that forum, there was a lengthy article (I believe in FMCA) again touting to change tires in 5 to 7 years, but still absolutely no explanation how fire engines having tires that last 20+ years but RVs can't get a third of that.

There are numerous reasons why a tire can blow, whether at the 5th year, or longer.  Just because one blows at 5 years is not in itself a "one size fits all" definite reason to change at 5 years. 

On a different note, I recently changed my original Goodyears on the front at 17,000 miles & 4 years (due to a road hazard event) to their new G670RV and the ride is noticeably better.  I recommend their new tires.
 

Terry A. Brewer

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Charles

>> but still absolutely no explanation how fire engines having tires that last 20+ years but RVs can't get a third of that.<<


I don't know of many fire trucks that travel down a freeway at 60-70 mph in 100+ degrees? 10-12 hrs day after day....Most of their trips are a few miles at speeds under 50 mph.


Terry
At Clark Fork, ID
 

Ron

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I would highly suspect that Goodyear rep will be having a discussion with his superiors when they hear of his comments since Goodyear has recommended the 5 - 7 year life expectancy for quite some time.
 

Charles

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After the forum, I asked other reps at the show what they thought.  All parroted each other with the standard line.  I got the feeling they said what they said out of historical "it's always been that way" answers more than definitive knowledge based on controlled test results.

Do you suspect the tire manufacturers have a profit motive for their recommendations?  Their current answer certainly will sell more tires.

I found the forum rep's answers refreshing.  I have no way of knowing who is right.  I even wonder if the tire industry knows what is right;  not what is historically the "politically correct tire answer" but what is scientifically correct.  Not one rep could site statistics or studies, only just "what they'd always heard."

I do like the point made that fire engines don't travel long distances at high speeds.  That's a good observation.  However, I've noticed by my Pressure Pro tire sensors that once the tires reach their "running temperature" that they stay at that temperature, and do not increase with more hours of use.  Once they reach about 10% to 12% or so of temperature increase over the PSI, the temperature does not keep climbing.  That makes me think continuous use would not by itself increase danger.  If that is correct, that brings me back to being suspect of the need to change tires at 5 years, especially since the manufacturers build the tires with knowledge that they increase temperature as they are used, so the tires are simply operating within their designed tolerances.

Thanks for your input.




 

BernieD

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Charles

A few musings about your comments.

Once you are on the highway and generally maintaining constant speeds, there is no reason for your tire temperatures to increase. If you drive for 1/2 hour at 30mph and then drive for 1/2 hour at 60, your tire temperatures will increase. If you then increase your speed to 75 mph, your temperatures will increase again. If you drop your speed down again to 30 mph, you will see a temperature drop. Tire temperatures are related to speed and inflation.

RV tires are a different formulation than OTR truck or fire truck models. Ride and grip are  more important and tire life less so. I would also tend to question a 25 year life on a fire truck. In any case, the chance of a tire failure is much greater on a tire older than 7 years from manufacture date than a newer one. Frequently, people have replaced 5-7 year old tires that looked good on the outside but had cracks on the inside. If you want to risk it, it is your choice.
 

Tom

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I replaced tires on our old coach because of age and visible cracks in the sidewalls, although they had relatively few miles and lots of tread. After removing the old tires and inspecting them inside and out, the tire guys told me I really didn't need to change the tires and that the visible cracks were cosmetic. I went ahead and changed them anyway.
 

RLSharp

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For what it's worth, I posted the following message on 23 May 2005:

Our local paper had the following article on replacing automobile tires based on their age just as recommended for RVs. Note that the last sentence incorrectly identifies how the date of manufacture is determined. As we all know, a tire produced in the 1990's decade would have three numbers and a triangle symbol. The first two digits would indicate the week of the year that the tire was produced and the last digit would be the last digit of the year of manufacture. Starting in the year 2000 the DOT number would be four digits with the first two digits indicating the week of the year and the last? two digits indicating the year.

Quote
**************************
Ford Motor Co. has become the first U.S. automaker to warn customers that they should replace older tires, even if their treads are not worn out.

How is Ford warning people?
It has posted a tire warning on its Web site, www.ford.com, and it will be printed in owner's manuals beginning with 2006 model year vehicles.

Why is Ford doing this?
Ford officials said the move comes in response to a growing body of research that suggests tires deteriorate as they age and can experience failures, even if they look robust. My bolding.It is recommended that tires generally be replaced after six years of normal service. My bolding.

So there haven't been warnings before?
Similar warnings have appeared in Europe, but this is the first time one of Detroit's Big Three has cautioned U.S. customers.

What else is being done?
Activist Sean Kane has petitioned the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for an easy-to-read tire age label. Kane, the president of SRS Inc., a Massachusetts auto safety research firm, has documented 73 crashes related to older tires that have resulted in 50 deaths since 1999.
Kane also said the safety agency should issue a consumer advisory based on the latest research.
Also, New York state lawmakers are considering a bill to require tire makers to put "born-on" dates on tires sold in the state.

How do you determine the age of tires?
? Find the U.S. Department of Transportation tire ID number on the inner sidewall. It begins with the letters "DOT."
? The two numbers or letters after DOT identify the plant where the vehicle was made.
? The final four numbers show the week and year it was built. For example, 3197 means the 31st week of 1997.

Compiled from a Detroit News article.
**************************
End Quote

Now we have to check our automobile tire dates as well as our RV tire dates.

Richard
 

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