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Old 04-21-2016, 05:21 PM   #1
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From 12R's to 295/80's - report:)!

I have just finished my first 150 miles or so on our new shoes, enough to go in and get the nuts re-torqued. Wanted to share my thoughts on how they feel.

What:
- X's 6 new Michelin XZA2 Energy 295/80, DoT of 0416. Mounted on the Steers and Drives
-Moved our 15-16 month old BF Goodrich ST230 12R from the Steer to the Tag. (Checked with Oregon Motor Coach first, and they said that would be ok, as the Tag and Drives were independent of each other.)
-These tires are all Load Range H

Replaced:
-X's 6 of my 6 years old Michelin XZE* 12R's. In good shape, no signs of cracking. Tire Manager, Laszlo at TCI Tire Center in Lakeside, CA - a well known Southern California tire dude - did a through inspection, and felt we could safely go for another season with them. (But, I had told the DW that we'd replace them between 6 and 7 years of age. Getting ready to head out for 4-5 month trip that will cover quite a few miles. The DW was more comfortable changing them now, then at the end of the season. So, yep, we did so!)
-The XZE* in 12R Load Range H, are shall I say 'robust' tires. Lots of extra meat on the side walls, to help them handle regional delivery and primarily school district bus duty, where encounters with curbs are more prevalent. This ended up with a 'stiffer' ride then many other tires in the 12R family.

Report Out:
-PSI is still a bit higher then I think I'll run normally with them, will adjust down a bit at a time. Chalking the tires between dropping, until I see a wear (Chalk removal.) problem. Will still stay above the PSI Chart for our four corner weights + 10% contingency. Right now, I'm a good 10PSI over the on the front, and 15 over that on the rear and the drive.
-Even with this higher PSI, the ride comfort is noticeably improved.

-If the 12R XZE* were a 10 out of a scale of 1 to 10 on stiff, rough, expansion joint and road Dots, and road roughness transferring. (10 being the highest.)
-The ST230's on the Steers. With coming up on a year of driving on them. Were a 8 - 8.5. (So 15-20% improvement in ride quality.)
-The XZA2 in the 295/80 size, are a minimum 7, perhaps even a 6. So 30 to maybe 40% improvement.
-And according to the Michelin Rolling Resistant site, the XZA2 are a over 20% more fuel efficient then the XZE*.

-----

I knew the XZE* were going to be a bit 'stiffer' when I bought them. Being a rookie in a 40', coming up from our T28 Bonder, I wanted the extra insurance of the beefier tires for the 'lesson's of curb connecting' I anticipated ahead! So for sure, not in anyways criticizing the XZE*. We always felt safe on them, even with I felt an extra edge of ability to handle these rougher roads. (We lost two, a broken cord on one, and a slipped cord on the other, to a severe pot hole impact on I99 outside of Bakersfield. I often wonder if I might have had a blow out with a tire of lessor strength.)

But that robustness of the XZE* came at a price of 6 years of more vibrations transferring into the coach.

------

And please note. This is posted here on the CC section, because for sure, variations in chassis will have an impact on road comfort. So I felt this was more meaningful for CC owners with the DynoMax chassis.

And within the CC world, also please note that my 04 40' Allure High Cascade with two driver side slides - is going to be much lighter in weight then say a 45' Magna or Affinity. Heck, higher then even the 40' Intrigue on up to Affinity too. Fully loaded and ready to travel, we're just at 36K lbs, without toad. So compared to coaches of 40K, 42K, and above - our 12R XZE* tires may never have been even considered harsh on those later rigs. And many of them are equipped with 315/80, so apples to oranges.

------

IMO, the 295/80 are a very suitable replacement for my equivalent size and weight coach, from the 12R's. And a bit interesting info to share. Our XZE* 12R with a GPS reported 65MPH, reflected 63-63.5 MPH. Our coach with the 295/80 XZA2 with a GPS reported 65MPH, reflects 66-66.5MPH. So, I've decided to not go have our speedometer/odometer reset to these tires.

(12R's will have slight differences in diameter and revolutions per minute between brands. The XZE* being a bit different then the norm of 12R's.)

So, that is the end of my info sharing report. And looking forward to 6-7 years of good traveling with these tires.

Best to all, travel safe, have fun,
Smitty
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Old 04-22-2016, 11:24 AM   #2
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Good report. We have the XZA2 Energy 295's on our coach. I see a lot of those tires on motorhomes.

When we test drove this coach in 2013, the original XZA2 Michelins were on the coach and the wear pattern on the fronts looked like the prior owner ran them underinflated. The coach rode well but I could feel the uneven tire wear on the steers during the test drive. One of the conditions of purchase was a set of new shoes and the dealer did put 8 new tires on the coach. A few months after purchase, I got a bit suspicious when I noticed the date codes were not visible on all of the tires. I started looking at the inside and discovered three of the tires had 2012 date codes. The other five were about 6 months old. They were all new but figured they used some that had been sitting around for at least a year. I will replace them at the 6 year interval. I have considered going to 315's on my steer axle since my coach is at or slightly above max weight on the front.

These tires do seem to give a good ride. I had new Hankook AH-12's on my previous DP and they were a great tire also.

Curious about your balancing choice..... beads, spin with lead or Centramatics?
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Old 04-22-2016, 05:04 PM   #3
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I have each wheel balanced, and also have Centramatics on all axles positions.

I have no doubt that I (me, myself) would have been served well by the Hankook's AH12. I had the Manager at TCI in Loveland, CO recommend them last year, during the Michelin and BF Goodrich tire shortage. I also know at least another three RV'ers with larger size DP's that have had good success with the AH12's. And what is not to like about the price!

I stressed "I" (me, myself) because of the other half of the equation 'her'. And frankly I'm glad to have heard her tell me: "Don't step back from the tires you can get for your vehicles. Tires are the only thing that allow you to accelerate, steer and brake." I had preached that at her, my daughter, my sister, my nephews and friends that were close enough that I felt safe they would take my opinion without resenting it. I do truly believe that top quality and higher performing tires provide a safety edge.

Now, IMO, the lines have been blurring more and more between both the automobile tire manufactures and RV tire manufactures. Bridgestone, Toyo, Continental, Michelin, Yokohama, Hankook - I feel these are all very well constructed tires, with ISO 900X series processes in place, and with solid engineering and material usage. The two primary sizes I was considering, OEM 12R's and substitute 295/80's, are not available in all models - so that was a limiting factor for this time around.

While after this short period of driving I'm ver pleased with the results of going to 295/80's, my first choice was to have stayed with he 12R's. With only year + stock available in the XZE and BF Goodrich ST230, I did as Laszlo the availability of the AH12's, and if he knew if they would check the dates on 6 tires for us, to cheery pick younger DoT's. born dates. He said he did things they would, but was willing to call, and would also get the price for me. It was then that we talked over the 295/80's, and he went to check the dates on them. 0416 and he had more then 6 of them at that date. So, it was a done deal. The tire weight ratings were very close to the 12R's, I run the same PSI's for the four corner weights, and 20%+ higher efficiency. As mentioned above, is off on the odometer/speedometer by about the same amount, but in the other direction, so in 6-7 years we might balance out from the last set!

I know I go on about tires, it's my nature, and I admit it.

Best to you, and all,
Smitty
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Old 04-24-2016, 10:30 AM   #4
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Smitty,

I have a call into Lazlo at TCI now about replacing my tag tires. A good place to get work done and replace tires.
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Old 04-25-2016, 06:08 PM   #5
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That it is Bob!

And for anyone else in the region, my obvious endorsement to the knowledge that Laszlo shares with his customer base. I also observed not your my service, but those of others too - the gang in the shop close the deal with careful service.

Bob - Please give my best to Laszlo!
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Old 04-25-2016, 06:25 PM   #6
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I figure I'll end of taking ours to the Les Schwab in Junction City since they also could do the SmarTire setup with new sensors.
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Old 04-25-2016, 09:02 PM   #7
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I went the Hankook route. 12R on tag 315/80 22.5 on steer. One season and am quite happy with my choice. This year o will replace the Michlein drives. They show no cracks, but at 9 years I guess it's time. Previous owner put 315 on drives with 8.25 wide Alcoa's. My plan is to go back to 12R, replace wheels with proper 9". ( I already replaces tag wheels) I know CC used 8.25 " on all rear . The tire industry says 12Rs and 315s all should have 9" wheels. Not sure why CC derated the capacity of the tag and drive by using 8.25s.

It is quite noticeable now with my tag tires on the new 9" rims compared to the old Michelins on the drive. I hate to buy 4 new Alcoa wheels, but feel it's the proper way to go.
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Old 04-25-2016, 09:13 PM   #8
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Our "problem" may be the tires/wheels we already have. Fronts and tag are 10.5" wide Alcoa's and 365/79 tires, drive are 315/80's on 9.0" or maybe a little wider rims. That pretty much keeps us with Michelins.
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Old 04-26-2016, 08:16 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr_D View Post
Our "problem" may be the tires/wheels we already have. Fronts and tag are 10.5" wide Alcoa's and 365/79 tires, drive are 315/80's on 9.0" or maybe a little wider rims. That pretty much keeps us with Michelins.
Wow, wide stear wheels ! You are carrying more wt. than me on the front I am sure......I am right at 17,500 I think. What psi in those 365s ?
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Old 04-26-2016, 08:19 PM   #10
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Quote:
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Wow, wide stear wheels ! You are carrying more wt. than me on the front I am sure......I am right at 17,500 I think. What psi in those 365s ?
We're at 18,030 as loaded and both in the seats. Front axle is rated for 20,000#'s so a long ways to go on it.
CC now says (or did when the rig was made) that all tires should be run at the weight sticker psi and not lowered for less weight.
Quote:
Tire Industry Changes
The tire industry, as a whole, has changed its traditional stance on adjusting cold tire inflation pressure for RV tires installed on recreational vehicles and busses. Previously, tire manufacturers supported a policy where tire inflation could be adjusted according to the actual loaded weight of the vehicle. Now, the major tire manufacturers recommend that medium duty truck tires be maintained at the pressure that corresponds to the Gross Axle Weight Rating for the axle to which they are mounted. To make this recommendation uniform across the industry, tire manufacturers strongly urge the consumer to keep all tires inflated to the pressures recorded on the Federal Tire Label.

Tire Inflation
Country Coach recommends that the cold tire inflation pressures should at all times be maintained at the inflation pressure(s) recorded on the Federal Tire Label. There are no acceptable circumstances where tire inflation pressure(s) should be reduced below that pressure recorded on the Federal Tire Label.
My sticker calls for 125 front and 105 in all the rest. I run 110 front, 95 drive and 85 tag.
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Old 04-26-2016, 09:38 PM   #11
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We're at 18,030 as loaded and both in the seats. Front axle is rated for 20,000#'s so a long ways to go on it.
CC now says (or did when the rig was made) that all tires should be run at the weight sticker psi and not lowered for less weight.

My sticker calls for 125 front and 105 in all the rest. I run 110 front, 95 drive and 85 tag.
I run 120 stear , 110 drive 85 tag
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Old 04-27-2016, 11:14 AM   #12
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I went the Hankook route. 12R on tag 315/80 22.5 on steer. One season and am quite happy with my choice. This year o will replace the Michlein drives. They show no cracks, but at 9 years I guess it's time. Previous owner put 315 on drives with 8.25 wide Alcoa's. My plan is to go back to 12R, replace wheels with proper 9". ( I already replaces tag wheels) I know CC used 8.25 " on all rear . The tire industry says 12Rs and 315s all should have 9" wheels. Not sure why CC derated the capacity of the tag and drive by using 8.25s.

It is quite noticeable now with my tag tires on the new 9" rims compared to the old Michelins on the drive. I hate to buy 4 new Alcoa wheels, but feel it's the proper way to go.

Hi Daystar - Wow, 315/80 on the Drives with 8.25" rims, is probably actually dangerous due to lack of proper space. I'd be very surprised if they are not under recommended spacing requirement.

It's your funds, but 12R's or 295/80's (Validate the 295/80 on your specific coach.) are not a problem on 8.25" rims. No devaluation of weight required for the 12R's or 295/80's. Now, that is a based upon Michelin and BF Goodrich tire spec's.

Tire Selector | Michelin RV Tires

The 315/80 on the 8.25 does require a weight devaluation, but a non matter for you, as you have the 9" rims on Steers and Tags already.

I'd see zero problem keeping your 8.25" rims on your drives. (But, for sure, check this on the Hankook AH12's specs too.)

Your coin, and for sure no problem doing what you want to do!

And you echo all of the other positive's I've heard on the AH12's - hope they continue to serve you well.

Best,
Smitty
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Old 04-27-2016, 01:51 PM   #13
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Smitty77 - I re-read this post messages and notice that you met a pothole on 99 that caused two of your tires to fail. I met a pothole going from the 57 to the 10 two summers ago. My tire did not fail, but it caused a leak in my front tire bearing. I had to have TCI in El Cajon make a new seal and they had to adjust the bearing.

My point being. Some CA roads are the worst we see in our travels. Specifically I am very reluctant to use 99 at all any more. Although some parts of it have been redone and are better than 5. I will never use the 57 to 10 interchange again. I now go 215 all the way to 15 and then go south. And if possible I avoid LA.

I am getting my tag tires replaced today at TCI. I am going with the 295 instead of 12Rs. TCI's 295s were newer and when I replace the drive tires in two years I will go 295 there too. Seems like 12R's are being less used today and pretty much phased out.

I really like the FMCA tire program. It just eliminates looking for the best deal on tires and you know you are getting a good brand.
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Old 04-27-2016, 02:41 PM   #14
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Hi Daystar - Wow, 315/80 on the Drives with 8.25" rims, is probably actually dangerous due to lack of proper space. I'd be very surprised if they are not under recommended spacing requirement.

It's your funds, but 12R's or 295/80's (Validate the 295/80 on your specific coach.) are not a problem on 8.25" rims. No devaluation of weight required for the 12R's or 295/80's. Now, that is a based upon Michelin and BF Goodrich tire spec's.

Tire Selector | Michelin RV Tires

The 315/80 on the 8.25 does require a weight devaluation, but a non matter for you, as you have the 9" rims on Steers and Tags already.

I'd see zero problem keeping your 8.25" rims on your drives. (But, for sure, check this on the Hankook AH12's specs too.)

Your coin, and for sure no problem doing what you want to do!

And you echo all of the other positive's I've heard on the AH12's - hope they continue to serve you well.

Best,
Smitty
Hankook requires 9" rims. The price I pay,,,, I really want all to match, as well as mounted tire width Hankook is up and coming in the premium tire world they are building a plant in the U.S.
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