Tire Covers

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ditsjets7

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Woodstock, NY
Hi all, Quick simple question. Our tire covers worth the expense that they cost? Do they actually prolong the life of the tires? Thanks guys
 

darsben

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Central NY in summer beautiful Casa Grande AZ in w
As I stated in a previous post
Perhaps this will be interesting reading
https://www.consumerreports.org/tires/how-to-keep-your-tires-looking-good/
and Michelin states: excerpts below
If tires sit outdoors, unused for long periods of time (a month or more), their surfaces will become dry and surface cracks can appear.

Storing your tires:
Store your tires indoors in a clean, cool and dark location away from direct sunlight, sources of heat and ozone such as hot pipes or electric generators.
    If you are storing outdoors (recommended for a short time only), raise tires off the ground and use waterproof covering with holes to prevent moisture build-up


https://www.michelinman.com/US/en/help/tire-care.html#tab-3

That should limit discussion
 

darsben

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actually what I have used for the past 5 years is sheets of FRP from Lowe's.  I cut them to size. they are very thin and light.  They are stored in the compartment with my spare tire. Same stuff as used in lots of milk houses.
They can be painted to match your rig
 

NY_Dutch

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Where our wheels take us!
FenderP said:
"waterproof covering with holes"    ???

M understanding is that there should be drainage for any water accumulation and ventilation. Most standard RV wheel covers meet those criteria by being open on the bottom and at the back.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Quick simple question. Our tire covers worth the expense that they cost? Do they actually prolong the life of the tires?

Maybe a simple question, but not a simple answer.

Lab tests show that long term exposure to ultraviolet will shorten the maximum life of a tire. That's a proven fact, but it takes years, not days or months.    A bunch of other things will also shorten tire life, and that's where the practical answer gets less clear.  If the tire dies of some combination of other factors before the ultraviolet causes enough damage to be fatal, is it worthwhile to reduce UV exposure?  And how much UV exposure can you really prevent? Obviously UV gets to them while you drive, and also during shorter term stops if you don't apply the covers.

Rv tires that get driven on reasonably often and don't wear out due to mileage will probably last 5-10 years, and some few even 12-14 years.  With or without being covered.  Tires that sit in one place and rarely ever get driven on typically don't last long anyway, though they may continue to hold air until there is an attempt to drive on them again.  Covering a tire that sits in one place for extended periods and is constantly exposed to direct sun can probably be of benefit.  Whether it's enough to justify the cost is harder to say, and no data exists to prove or disprove that.  Covers for 15-16" tires aren't expensive, so not much financial risk there.

The most obvious effect of UV exposure is fine surface cracks (called weather checking).  Weather checking on the surface rubber is considered a cosmetic problem unless the cracks get deep, say 1/16" or more. The Michelin RV Tire Guide has some info on this and other factors:https://www.michelinb2b.com/wps/b2bcontent/PDF/RV_Tires_Brochure.pdf

So, it's clear that you can take UV-preventative action by covering the tires as often as practical. It really can't hurt, and in some circumstances it may help. As a practical matter, heat & air circulation are probably not a concern with any of the products available, or even any home-made design. White or silver is better than  black, and loose is better than tight, but you probably cannot enclose a tire enough to have much negative effect anyway.

At this point I need to say that I am not a fan of covering tires, even though much of my life has been spent in the Sunbelt. I've never been one to let them sit for months or years, so that is probably a factor. I replace tires at 7-8 years of age regardless of miles or other factors, simply because age itself is a factor. I don't know if covering them religiously would lengthen that time span or not.
 

SargeW

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^^^Gary's answer is so good, we should make it a sticky!^^^  But I do use tire covers on my rig. Even though I drive it a lot, I like them to help keep my aluminum wheels in better shape. I have spent the last few weeks on the Oregon coast, and the constant blowing wind coats everything with fine dust and sea salt. That can be tough on the aluminum surfaces.  I keep them covered it's less time I spend with my Mothers polish and Power Ball.

But beyond that, it's your call. 
 

egalt

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Jul 24, 2018
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Being familiar with Dry Rot (and not RV related), I just dropped the $70 for the tire covers during storage.  I'll let you know in 8 years how it worked out :)
 

Ernie n Tara

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Ft Myers, FL
Tires are subject to UV damage, particularly if the elastomer does not contain an adequate UV protective  material. This is a common problem with Michelin tires. However the major damage to tires is due to HEAT aging.. I have personally managed the conduct of thousands of hours (years equivalent aging in each case) of testing on products developed for submarine applications. Those products use typical tire construction, fabric reinforcement with tire materials,  and tire compounds (among others specifically developed for the application).

Tests conducted included UV exposure (including protection against same - a product named Agemaster #1 is quite effective), Ozone exposure, and heat aging. By far the earliest failures were due to heat aging. The failure mode differs for different types of elastomer, but  they all age to failure due to heat if adequately protected against UV through compounding,  coating, or shielding. In most cases tires are adequarely protected by compounding or coating.

Tire covers, preferably white, are fine so long as they don't restrict air circulation or contribute to heating. Incidentally,  we found most elastomers used in tires have a "knee" in the aging failure curve between about 200 and 250  deg F where the rate of aging accelerates dramatically. This is why run flat tires should always be replaced.

The reduction of age test data resulted in a seven year replacement cycle being recommended for the submarine products!

Ernie

Another data point is the fact that the FAA recommends that piston aircraft engines be overhauled after seven years service for the same reasons; polymers tend to age out. (I'm not an ATP, but I do hold a Commercial Pilots License plus CFI and something like 700 hrs flight instruction with the related ground school).
 

blw2

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My OEM michelins had some significant surface cracking, stored their whole short little life without covers
When my blowout happened and the roadside service was changing it, I noticed that the inner of the dualy looked significantly better then the outers....like little to no cracking at all...
I don't think at all that the surface cracking caused the blowout, although it may very well have been an indicator of a problem with the elastomer.

Anyway, my new tires have been covered always when in storage...different brand and all, so the experiment will teach me nothing much, but I figured it's not likely to hurt.
 

blw2

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blw2 said:
My OEM michelins had some significant surface cracking, stored their whole short little life without covers
When my blowout happened and the roadside service was changing it, I noticed that the inner of the dualy looked significantly better then the outers....like little to no cracking at all...
I don't think at all that the surface cracking caused the blowout, although it may very well have been an indicator of a problem with the elastomer.

Anyway, my new tires have been covered always when in storage...different brand and all, so the experiment will teach me nothing much, but I figured it's not likely to hurt.

Funny that I find this thread, in which I was the last post.  Just happened to be looking at old threads on tire life....

so I was looking to verify my date codes yesterday,wondering if it's getting time to think about changing the tires.  Couldn't remember how long its been since my blowout and replacement.... 02416 and 3616...so about 4 years old, and about 3 years in service. 

Anyway, I figure since I stumbled onto it, this thread deserves and update.  Just based on a fast superficial inspection of the visible sidewalls, my tires still look great.  I didn't notice any cracking at all.  Nothing definitive of course, but I feel like the covers have helped.

Now, why am I starting to feel nervous about tire age?  My blowout happening about 3 years into my ownership might have a little something to do with that.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Despite a lot of internet hoopla, surface cracks on the sidewall are mostly just cosmetic.  A crack has to be seriously deep to affect the sidewall structure.

That said, I've never figured out why Michelin hasn't altered their tire surface rubber compound to avoid this nuisance problem. Other brands are nowhere near as likely to have those cracks, so it's certainly practical to do.
 
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