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Old 01-30-2016, 12:15 PM   #1
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Do I need Tires?

This is my first post. We're brand new to motor homing.

My wife and I just retired and bought a 2006 Itasca 39.6' Meridian diesel pusher motorhome with 43,000 miles on it. We plan on extensive travel this spring and summer including a trip to Alaska from Texas.

My question is about tires. It currently has Michelin 255/80R 22.5 XRV tires on it. They are date coded 2010 but only have about 10,000 miles on them per previous owner. They are not weather cracked and have excellent tread. The motorhome has always been under cover with no exposer to sun. Am I taking a chance on the road with them? If needed, any recommendations on what to replace them with would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you!!

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Old 01-30-2016, 12:22 PM   #2
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Should be OK, but I'd get them inspected as per Michelins recommendations.
Michelin Technical Bulletin

Service Life for RV/Motorhome Tires

The following recommendation applies to RV/Motorhome tires. Tires are composed of various types of material and rubber compounds, having performance properties essential to the proper functioning of the tire itself. These component properties evolve over time. For each tire, this evolution depends upon many factors such as weather, storage conditions, and conditions of use (load, speed, inflation pressure, maintenance, etc.) to which the tire is subjected throughout its life. This service-related evolution varies widely so that accurately predicting the serviceable life of any specific tire in advance is not possible.

That is why, in addition to regular inspections and inflation pressure maintenance by consumers, it is recommended to have RV/Motorhome tires, including spare tires, inspected regularly by a qualified tire specialist, such as a tire dealer, who will assess the tire’s suitability for continued service. Tires that have been in use for 5 years or more should continue to be inspected by a specialist at least annually.

Consumers are strongly encouraged to be aware not only of their tires’ visual condition and inflation pressure, but also of any change in dynamic performance such as increased air loss, noise or vibration, which could be an indication that the tires need to be removed from service to prevent tire failure.

It is impossible to predict when tires should be replaced based on their calendar age alone. However, the older a tire the greater the chance that it will need to be replaced due to the service-related evolution or other conditions found upon inspection or detected during use.

While most tires will need replacement before they achieve 10 years, it is recommended that any tires in service 10 years or more from the date of manufacture, including spare tires, be replaced with new tires as a simple precaution even if such tires appear serviceable and even if they have not reached the legal wear limit.

For tires that were on an original equipment vehicle (i.e., acquired by the consumer on a new vehicle), follow the vehicle manufacturer’s tire replacement recommendations, when specified (but not to exceed 10 years).

The date when a tire was manufactured is located on the sidewall of each tire. Consumers should locate the Department of Transportation or DOT code on the tire that begins with DOT and ends with the week and year of manufacture. For example, a DOT code ending with “0304” indicates a tire made in the 3rd week (Jan) of 2004.
Toyo RV Safety

Tire Damage and Aging (Non-Commercial Use)
Vehicle operating conditions and tire maintenance practices vary widely. Tires should be routinely checked for damage or signs of fatigue or aging. This should be done at scheduled vehicle maintenance intervals and preferably on a lift so that the tires can be thoroughly inspected by a tire professional.
Tire longevity is extremely dependent on factors such as air pressure maintenance. It is recommended that tires be thoroughly examined by a tire professional after reaching five years of service. Even tires with serviceable tread remaining may require replacement prior to wearing out. Tires which have reached a remaining tread depth of 4/32nd should be replaced.
The age of your tire can be determined by reading the sidewall. Every tire has a 10 or 11 digit DOT (Department of Transportation) identifying number on one sidewall. The last 3 or 4 digits are the most important to you. Older tires have 3 digits, the first two identifying the week of manufacture and the third digit the year when the tire was made. Tires made between 1990 and 1999 may have a triangle alongside the numbers. As from January 2000 4 digits are used, the first two give the week of manufacture and the last two digits tell the year the tire was made.
Out tires are dated late 2007 so I'm planning on replacing them this year if the DW's liver cancer doesn't take all our $$ and time.

2009 45' Magna 630 w/Cummins ISX 650 HP/1950 Lbs Ft
Charter Good Sam Lifetime Member, FMCA, SKP
RV'ing since 1957, NRA Benefactor Life, towing '05 Odyssey
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Old 01-30-2016, 12:22 PM   #3
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You will hear that you MUST replace them soon. Michelin will tell you to have them inspected annually until they reach 10 years old and then replace them regardless of mileage. You can go to Michelins web site and find information on RV tires. You should take them and have them looked at, but if there is no significant side wall cracking and look to be in good shape otherwise, not need to rush out.
Tom Wilds
Blythewood SC
2016 Newmar Bay Star Sport 3004
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Old 01-30-2016, 12:25 PM   #4
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Buy a TPMS and keep then aired up properly at all times.
Wayne & Roberta and Maggie the Miracle Dog
08 Winnebago Destination 39W Gas UFO Workhorse Chassis
Making the Journey in our Destination

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Old 01-30-2016, 12:31 PM   #5
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You are going to get replies that tell you to replace before the Alaska trip. I have made that trip on less than new tires and all I would suggest is 1 new tire (so that if you do have a problem you have a tire with you. Some places on the Canadian part of the trip you could wait 5 days for a tire to come from Edmonton. Extra tire is like insurance. You have it but never want to use it.
I have tires WAY older than what you have on my rears now. Good tread and no cracking of any kind.
"96" HR Navigator, 38' no slides, Cummins, Allison
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Old 01-30-2016, 12:38 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by wildtoad View Post
You will hear that you MUST replace them soon. Michelin will tell you to have them inspected annually until they reach 10 years old and then replace them regardless of mileage. You can go to Michelins web site and find information on RV tires. You should take them and have them looked at, but if there is no significant side wall cracking and look to be in good shape otherwise, not need to rush out.
Good advice, you have lots of life left. Just keep them aired to proper pressure and go. I check mine at least every two or three days or less when we are traveling.
Dennis & Carol
2003, 4006, 41' DutchStar, Spartan, ISC 8.3L W/BanksPower - 2013 Honda CRV, BlueOx Baseplate, Aventa Bar & Patriot Brake. And the 04 Bird, Sunshine Car.
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Old 01-30-2016, 12:40 PM   #7
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Yes, almost all motorhomes need tires! (Sorry, couldn't resist. mea culpa )

Tires are one of those things that really depends on your level of risk aversion. I'm running 8 year old Goodyear tires that came OEM on my 2010 WGO. The chassis is 2009 but the tires are 2008.

I replaced the front tires when I bought the rig last year because I don't like taking risks with the steer wheels. Now, nearly 10,000 miles later, I plan to replace the rear 4 tires before our annual summer getaway from the oven called Arizona.

My risk level is 7-8 years on tires whose history I don't know. If I were the original owner and the tires appeared to be in good shape and my tire shop said they were fine, I might push it to 9 or 10 years.

The problem with tires is that a catastrophic failure at highway speed can have very bad consequences. Even if no one injured, the damage to the underside of the motorhome can be very expensive.

Bottom line, if those were my tires, I probably wouldn't worry too much at 6 years but understand the cost of failure could be expensive. I also added a TPMS to keep a closer eye on the tires. As always, YMMV.
2010 WGO Vista 30W, 1993 Geo Tracker
Just a user with no RV or mechanical expertise
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Old 01-30-2016, 12:40 PM   #8
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Here's my story. Tires were 5 years and 7 months old and perfect shape no side wall cracks, tread perfect air pressure set based on weight and monitored with a TPMS. Blew a right side front tire on I-5 no warning at all, it just let go. Since you can't be sure how the tires were treated by the previous owner my suggestion would be to change at least the front tires and have the rest checked. In a perfect world change them all since you want to do a lot of trouble free traveling.

2006 Windsor PRT
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Old 01-30-2016, 12:46 PM   #9
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Wow, what a great forum. Thanks to everyone!!

I guess the DPS is a good tire pressure monitor. Any recommendations on a good one to buy? Would rather have quality than cheap. Figure my wife, kids and grandkids are worth it. Me, not so much.
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Old 01-30-2016, 03:15 PM   #10
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All the surviving TPMS systems on the market today work decently. You will hear many opinions (mine is better than yours), but you can't go far wrong. Or you can just use the old-fashioned tire gauge every morning, if you can be religious about it. Most of us find the TPMS much more convenient, and it does the "minding' for us.
Gary Brinck
2004 American Tradition; 2014 Buick LaCRosse
Homebase in the Ocala Nat'l Forest near Ocala, FL
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Old 01-30-2016, 03:35 PM   #11
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Well here comes another opinion, since you have no history of
proper inflation on the tires, I would get new ones, get your
coach weighed and be sure to run proper inflation. After the
next six+ years get new tires.

Check your pressures by gauge at the start of the season,
and during any large seasonal temperature variations,
then check their appearance, or some say shoot them
with an IR temperature gauge after the first
hour of every trip and look for any that are out of
range with the rest, a low tire will run hot.
7 years, 76,000 miles of experience has taught me this,
but I'm still learning.
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Old 01-30-2016, 05:31 PM   #12
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Do I need Tires?

I replaced my 9 year old tires today. Looked good except for one tire with a crack. Stored outside and monitored by a tire pressure system. I wouldn't replace tires under 7 years old with no visible cracks. I'm happy with my 9 year life!
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Old 01-30-2016, 05:46 PM   #13
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"xitnet"......Welcome to the forum. Personally, if your tires are in good shape and were cared for as you described, I would push them a little longer. If you feel uncomfortable about taking them to Alaska, just replace the two fronts.

Here are some tips for your coach.....my sister had one almost the same. On your coach, there is room between the frame rails, about the middle of the coach, where a mounted spare can placed. Your coach also had a an issue with the front hood and rear engine doors falling off. They were only glued on. Since yours was housed inside, the repair may never have been done. There is also an upgrade for the front door, a door stop, that will keep your door from swinging open in the wind.

All of the above info can be found by doing a search in the Winnebago Owner's Forum, here on this forum.

Lastly, your coach has the radiator and charge air cooler (turbo radiator) sandwiched together. They need to be cleaned yearly and can be difficult to get to. You need to lift the bed and remove the large metal engine cover. Take a flashlight and look between the two units (radiator and charge air cooler). It can get very dirty between the two (looks like hair growing) and will cause you to get hot or overheat in warmer months. It's difficult to clean between the two since there is only about 4", but can be done. If you find it to be dirty, PM me and I will tell you how we cleaned them in my brother-in-law's coach.
Don & Mary
2014 Newmar Dutch Star - All Electric - 450 ISL
2016 GMC Canyon 4WD Crew Cab
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Old 01-31-2016, 07:59 AM   #14
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Thank you for the information about my Motorhome. I'll get it out this week and check those areas of concern. Plus I'll take it in to have the tires inspected. Might replace the front two for peace of mind.
Thanks to everyone!!

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