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Old 11-05-2014, 10:40 AM   #1
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Tire question

I have just purchased a 1998 Winnebago Adventurer model 37ww. It seems to do its share of wandering, I didn't get to drive it before purchase. The front tires are michelin LTX m/s lt235/85r16 e rated that are almost 4 years old but look new. I've not seen these tires listed as being used on a motorhome are the side walls strong enough not to roll. The rear 6 tires are the michelin XPS rib tire which are older and will soon be replaced. I am planning on a front end alinement in a few days should I replace the front tires first.
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Old 11-05-2014, 10:53 AM   #2
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I previously had a 1998 Adventurer 35 WP with the same tires. Based on the multitude of blow outs I had using the 16" tires (3 in one day), I do not believe they are adequate for your RV. I actually had a total of 5 blowouts out of a set of 6 tires. One while I was in a campground and had been set up with jacks down for three days. I would strongly suggest you consider upgrading your wheels and tires to 19.5, load range F as a minimum. You can look at ricksontruckwheels.com for new wheels for yours. It will be much more expensive, than just replacing the tires, but I can tell you that blowouts are no fun and it is a very dangerous occurrence. I was planning to do the same to mine, but wound up trading it. The 16" tires just don't have enough load carrying capacity for a class a motorhome IMHO.
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Old 11-05-2014, 11:06 AM   #3
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I don't think i will be able to invest that much at this time. We work full time and will only get to use it a few times a year. I have a lot down toward Dale Hollow where it stay most of the time for weekends. Maybe in a couple of years i can upgrade the wheels and tires.
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Old 11-05-2014, 12:18 PM   #4
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znt1186 The tires you were having all the blowouts on what brand and type of tires and how old were they. Thanks James
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Old 11-05-2014, 12:30 PM   #5
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They were Kelly tires made by Goodyear. The first one was two years old, the third was three and the last three were five. Check yours to insure that the rears are not kissing, or touching. You should have 1-1/2" to 2" between them at the bottom. Mine only had 1/2" clear space and probably were chafing when I went over a bump. However, all of the blowout were not on the back. One was on the front and the steel belts came through the tread. I did a load capacity comparison, and the tires had about 200# rated capacity above the GVW of the motorhome. By the way, the wheels and tires were one of the reasons we traded. Guess I am just paranoid now. Other than that, we loved our Adventurer. Had it for eight years and still miss it at times. I'm sure you will love the Adventurer, and just wanted you to know about my experience with the 16" tires.
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Old 11-05-2014, 12:44 PM   #6
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I have the 16" tires on my 97 Bounder and have had no problems yet. I keep 80 lbs of air in all the tires. Also we don't load the MH down either just me and the wife. The gap in the back is just over 1 inch. Good luck and enjoy.
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Old 11-05-2014, 12:51 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kysportsman View Post
I have just purchased a 1998 Winnebago Adventurer model 37ww. It seems to do its share of wandering, I didn't get to drive it before purchase. The front tires are michelin LTX m/s lt235/85r16 e rated that are almost 4 years old but look new. I've not seen these tires listed as being used on a motorhome are the side walls strong enough not to roll. The rear 6 tires are the michelin XPS rib tire which are older and will soon be replaced. I am planning on a front end alinement in a few days should I replace the front tires first.
The tires you have now will do for the front end alignment, but I would look for other causes of the "wandering" before even doing the alignment.

Do you know which chassis you have? That info will help you get better answers about things you can try to fix the wandering. Sometimes it is as simple as setting the tire pressure for the actual load, and that is "almost" a FREE fix. Sometimes there are mechanical issues that cost more, but just doing an alignment isn't likely to stop "wandering". Usually an alignment issue results in a PULL to the right or left, and is evident by uneven tire wear.
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Old 11-05-2014, 01:00 PM   #8
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I should have put that in the first post but its a 1997 ford f53 chassis with a 228" wheelbase +tag axle. The dry weight is a little over 16000 and fully loaded is 20000lbs. I am taking it to get it weighted in a couple of days.
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Old 11-05-2014, 01:29 PM   #9
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I had a 1996 F53 same wheelbase, the Max weight was 17000. Same size tires and load rating E as you are stating, there are thousands of these chassis on the road with the 16". If you are not overloading it there is no great concern. I just sold mine (1996 Pace Arrow Vision 33L) so I can't go check the sticker. However; memory serves curb weight was stated around 14,500 and gross weight max @17,000, if you have not seen the 20,000 in writing on the capacity I would double check that number. Actually the E rated tire is 3040# at 80 psi for singles (front) and 2778#'s as duals, this gives you 17192#'s total weight capability. I looked at several brands and went with the Toyo version of the size, I never weighed mine and was possibly overweight to some degree, never a problem.

So far as wandering the rear sway bar bushing are probably gone, most of them are. Buy the "Blue" poly ones from Skuterdude on e-bay, just search Ford F53 sway bar bushings. Also the steering damper attached to the tie rod may be worn out, these fixes cured mine completely.

Also, under RV FORUMS at the top of the page you will find FORD CHASSIS tons of info and help there on your Ford chassis questions.

Edit
I just realized you said "rear 6 tires" if you have a tag axle and the tires on it are the same size you can add 3040#'s for each. Some times the tags tires are a smaller size.
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Old 11-05-2014, 02:25 PM   #10
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Like Brock, I also had a 1996 coach with that Ford chassis and tag. Assuming they are Load Range E, I doubt if you are overloading those tires, but a weigh-in will give you the info needed to compare to the tire load rating. The max load is stamped right on the sidewall, but you can also find it, plus proper inflation specs, on the Michelin RV tire website.

Wandering has a number of causes, including the driver as well as mechanical things. Start with getting the inflation correct for the load. The alignment may help a little, but chances are what you really want is a track bar (panhard rod), either the TruTrak or Supersteer. That typically has a fairly dramatic effect.

Check the site FILES area (Chassis section) section for my article on Motorhome Handling Problems.
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Old 11-06-2014, 08:18 AM   #11
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update

I done a little more checking the chassis has had some work already done. It has a heavy duty rear track bar that goes from the spring hanger u bolts on drivers side to the frame on the other side. The sway bar bushings still don't look too bad they may have been replaced. The tag and drive axel has a air bag system for the tag. The reason I was asking about the tires is I put a set on my 2500hd pickup goodyears they were E rated and had to change them with less than 200 miles it was unsafe to tow my trailer. They drove like they were half flat you could not hold it in your lane, I put on a different brand and no more problem.

The michelin LTX M/S is a cheeper tire than the michelin XPS rib tire by about a $100. Could they be adding to the driving problems.
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Old 11-06-2014, 10:00 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kysportsman View Post
I done a little more checking the chassis has had some work already done. It has a heavy duty rear track bar that goes from the spring hanger u bolts on drivers side to the frame on the other side. The sway bar bushings still don't look too bad they may have been replaced. The tag and drive axel has a air bag system for the tag. The reason I was asking about the tires is I put a set on my 2500hd pickup goodyears they were E rated and had to change them with less than 200 miles it was unsafe to tow my trailer. They drove like they were half flat you could not hold it in your lane, I put on a different brand and no more problem.

The michelin LTX M/S is a cheeper tire than the michelin XPS rib tire by about a $100. Could they be adding to the driving problems.
Just to be clear, the sway bar bushings I was referring to are the ones that mount the rear bar to the frame. They are frequently missing completely the front and end links generally are not much of a problem.
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Old 11-06-2014, 11:28 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by kysportsman View Post
I done a little more checking the chassis has had some work already done. It has a heavy duty rear track bar that goes from the spring hanger u bolts on drivers side to the frame on the other side. The sway bar bushings still don't look too bad they may have been replaced. The tag and drive axel has a air bag system for the tag. The reason I was asking about the tires is I put a set on my 2500hd pickup goodyears they were E rated and had to change them with less than 200 miles it was unsafe to tow my trailer. They drove like they were half flat you could not hold it in your lane, I put on a different brand and no more problem.

The michelin LTX M/S is a cheeper tire than the michelin XPS rib tire by about a $100. Could they be adding to the driving problems.
PLEASE replace the front LTX's ASAP! They are for a 1/2 ton pick-up truck.
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Old 11-06-2014, 11:53 AM   #14
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PLEASE replace the front LTX's ASAP! They are for a 1/2 ton pick-up truck.
Where is Tireman9 when you need him?
If they are 16" load rate E, they are not for a 1/2 ton pick-up and they meet the requirements for the Ford F53. The 16" rims on the Ford F53 are only rated for 80psi. The 235/85r16E are rated 3042# at 80psi.
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