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Old 03-11-2014, 08:59 AM   #1
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Tire covers, are they really neeeded?

How well do tire covers really protect your tires? Isn't it the ozone that rots tires? If so, how will covering them with anything short of saran wrap help them? If it is direct sunlight, how many hours per day does the sun really hit them hard? Nobody puts tire covers on their car and plenty of cars go 7 years on a set of tires (ok, low mileage drivers anyway). My rig has never had them and at the 7 year tire age, I don't see any rotting issues. Personally I think it is something thought up by someone trying to sell another gadget to an unsuspecting newbie RV owner. Maybe I am trolling a bit here, but what are your thoughts? And can we be objective, not just justifying why we did or did not spend money on them. Any factual info from the tire manufacturers?

Ole and Anne Anderson, Highland, Michigan
'02 Adventurer 32V, Ford F-53, ours since 4/08,Goodyears, Konis, SeeLevel, CHF
'84 CJ-7 , 5.3 Chevy, 3" lift, 33's, Detroit Locker, Fiberglas tub, winch, hi-lift
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Old 03-11-2014, 09:08 AM   #2
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You are like me. Most people hear something and go do it without finding out if it's true. I had the same question when it comes to putting something under your tires while parked on concrete. Couldn't get a solid answer. Glad you brought this up because I'm sitting on the fence on getting some tire covers. I've heard ozone is what damages rubber in which case you can't do anything about it, and I've also heard it's UV that will damage them.

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Old 03-11-2014, 09:15 AM   #3
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Well, I understand the position for sure, and agree with what you are saying, CJ7.

I did order mine and paid about 30.00 for the set of 4 covers, which is peanuts when it comes to protecting the tires IMHO.

While my tires (Michelin XRV) do have UV resistance built in to the manufacturing process, I still keep them covered while the coach is stored at home.

Here in North Texas, I get a good 8-10 hours daily of direct sun exposure and do believe the sun adds to rotting tire syndrome.

I think that folks that do not have to use them are traveling in their coaches more than I do. I try to get the coach out and 'exercise' the tires once every 60 days, but through the winter months, I haven't had it out since the beginning of November.

While traveling, regularly using the tires, I'm not concerned about covering them.

I think each situation is unique, but for me, I keep them covered while 'docked' at home.

To each his own, if you've had no issues in 7 years, obviously you don't need to worry about them. I have friends that don't use them either, but they also put their tires on rubber 'mats' to keep them off the concrete. My coach is on a river rock driveway while in storage, which keeps the concrete from leaching the tires as well.



From Goodyear's website:
storing your vehicle properly helps protect your tires.
• Keep your vehicle in a cool, dry storage area out of direct sunlight and UV rays.
• Unload your vehicle so that minimum weight is on the tires.
• Inflate your tires to recommended operation pressure plus 25%, but don’t exceed the rim
manufacturer’s inflation capacity.
• Thoroughly clean your tires with soap and water before storing them to remove any oils that may have
accumulated from the road.
• Move your vehicle at least every three months to help prevent cracking and flat-spotting,
but avoid moving it during extremely cold weather.
• Place your vehicle on blocks to remove the weight from the tires. If the vehicle can’t be put on blocks,
make sure the storage surface is firm, clean, well-drained and reasonably level.
From Michelin RV Tires:

Unless the RV owner is a full-time RV-er, the vehicle
probably spends some time in long-term storage. But
what the RV owner probably didn’t know is that rubber
tires age when not being used. So, if the owner must store
the RV, a cool, dry, sealed garage is the best bet. Also, some
storage surfaces can cause tires to age faster. That’s why
Michelin recommends placing a barrier (cardboard,
plastic or plywood) between the tire and the storage

Here are some other steps the RV owner can take to
help reduce the aging effects from long-term storage:
1) Thoroughly clean tires with soap and water before
placing into storage.
2) Cover tires to block direct sunlight and ultraviolet

3) Store out of a high ozone area

Hope this helps!
Kent - '03 Fleetwood Storm Ford F-53 V-10
With Susie (Lhasa); Angie (Shorkie) Ferbie (ShihTzu)
In Memoriam: Katie, Spencer and Zoey
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Old 03-11-2014, 09:25 AM   #4
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My thoughts are that ANYTHING left in the sun long term will degrade.

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Old 03-11-2014, 09:29 AM   #5
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I do not use them but I run my coach miles every month. In fact the only time they are exposed is camping or running. In the garage I do not cover them and on the road I do not but running about 30K miles or so a year keeps the tires properly conditioned.
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Old 03-11-2014, 09:30 AM   #6
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I have seen tire under a MH (spare) disintegrate never ever exposed to the sun ,leads me to agree with the OP - its ozone not UV.
That said UV takes everything part sooner or later ,so I try to at least keep my tires in the shade as much as possible.
In storage parked 2' apart I don't give it a second thought.
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Old 03-11-2014, 09:36 AM   #7
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I'm stored in doors now, but since UV hurts rubber, and new Michelins are expensive, I cover them if I'm gonna sit in the Florida sun for two months. If it's a manufactured problem by the RV supply industry, at least it's a cheap one.
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Old 03-11-2014, 09:51 AM   #8
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We used to see lots of problems with plastic and rubber belts, tires, hoses, etc. on farm equipment stored outdoors. After building indoor storage for everything those problems went away as well as the faded paint. Tires are just parked on the ground or concrete, but getting out of the sun added life to the point where they wear out instead of rotting. FWIW.
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Old 03-11-2014, 10:17 AM   #9
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A tire guy told me a long time ago that the tires dry rot on the inside as well as the outside. I don't know about that but I've lived in southern Az my whole life and found that frequent use of the rv or boat trailer will cause the oils in the rubber to lube the whole tire. I've never used any tire covers. Better quality tires use more natural rubber and has more natural oils. I had all six boat trailer tires lose the tread on a trip to lake powell, the tires were 4 years old and the boat was garaged when not in use. Discount tire told me it was dry rot and that in Az they will dry rot in 3.5 years. I don't know about that either.. It was a pontoon houseboat and not heavy at all. I always change all my tires every 5 years.
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Old 03-11-2014, 10:20 AM   #10
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Get new tires. Cover just the front two. Look at all of them 5 years later.

My tires are large and lots if $. They will all look like your front tires.
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Old 03-11-2014, 10:34 AM   #11
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My guess, but I do not know, is that:

If the tires stay stationery for long periods covers would be good if in sunlight.

If the tires roll frequently hence mixing the "rubber juices", they need less or no cover.

That has been my formula, and seems to have worked to about 7 years of age for each set of tires. The rig is stored outdoors, direct sun on the driver side for 8 hrs per day or more in Northern California with no covers. Tires on each side look the same at the 7 year mark this year.
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Old 03-11-2014, 10:34 AM   #12
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Also on the fence about the benefit of wheel covers, so I bought two and use them on the side mostly exposed to the sun, and only when parked for long periods.
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Old 03-11-2014, 10:44 AM   #13
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I wonder if tires rot faster in warmer places, like TX, for instance than they do further north. Our motor home tires look just fine still?
Jim & Pam Smith, Saskatoon, SK, Canada
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Old 03-11-2014, 10:47 AM   #14
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I bought a set and use them when I park the RV for a few days or longer. They are a pain in the neck to use, store and keep in nice shape...but i think that they do extend the life of a tire.

Craig Gosselin
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