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Old 01-17-2012, 07:24 PM   #1
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Tire wear question

Last summer, I put on a new set of Michelin tires all the way around on my motorhome. I've probably put approximately 2,000 miles on the tires since the installation. Looking at the tires this last weekend, I noticed that at least one rear tire might not be wearing properly. When I ran my hand back and forth over the tread area of the other tires, it felt relatively smooth, but on this one tire I could see and feel what I might call small 'dips' or indentations. The tire tread-wear didn't feel smooth to the touch. (Not like 'cupping' from poor alignment.) My first thought was that maybe the tire was not properly balanced and making the tire jump/hop up a bit at highway speeds. Can't feel it while driving, but then a gas-chassis ride leaves a bit to be desired other than a perfectly smooth road, so it's hard to tell.

Any ideas or suggestions? I could try to post a picture but not sure if a digital image will show what I see and feel.

Thank you. -RT
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Old 01-17-2012, 07:55 PM   #2
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It's unusual for a rear tire to be wearing abnormally. Only guess I might have is that the rear axle may need aligned. Before spending money, have someone follow you in the motorhome, and see if they notice that the RV goes down the road crooked - meaning that the front axle tracks one direction, and the rear axle tracks in a slightly different direction.

Another hint may be in how the coach handles. If you feel a constant pull to one side, that too may suggest a rear axle alignment problem. It doesn't take much to cause a pull - several fractions of a degree misalignment. A 4-wheel laser alignment will determine for sure - but these alignments aren't cheap (if they need to re-adjust the rear axle).
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Old 01-17-2012, 08:02 PM   #3
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Move it to a different position and see if the wear follows or the new tire in that position starts to wear unusually.
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Old 01-17-2012, 08:19 PM   #4
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Is it inflated the same as the others? If so like said above try another position.
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Old 01-17-2012, 08:26 PM   #5
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While you are there - check the shocks for oil leak.
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Old 01-17-2012, 08:33 PM   #6
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I didn't see what gasser chassis you had (you might want to add it to your signiture), but you have a Workhorse, closely check the rivets that hold the shocks - the mounting points. There is an issue with those rivets rusting out or pulling loose if you installed stiffer after market shocks like the Bilsteins.
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Old 01-17-2012, 09:49 PM   #7
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Cupping on the rear is normally caused by the tire bouncing up and down. Either the tire is out of balance or the shocks on associated with wheel position are bad. If it was out of alignment then it would be dragging across the road sideways and you would have rapid wear on the inner or outer tread with the opposite pattern on the tire on the opposite side.
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Old 01-18-2012, 07:22 PM   #8
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Thank you all very much for the replies. We have a few days of rain headed our way, but when it subsides, I'll try my hand at getting a good quality close-up image and post it. Just not sure if I can get a 'digital image' of what I can 'see and feel'. -RT
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Old 01-18-2012, 08:05 PM   #9
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RTegarini.....Did you watch the installation. A LOT of facilities don't balance rear tires on coaches and trucks. It sounds like you have one tire that is really out of balance or has a tread separation. Either way, you should take it back to the original installer or a facillity close to you.

Both your rim and tire can be out of balance by several ounces. On occasion, the heavy part of the tire and the rim can be put in the same position and end up with a tire that is REALLY out of balance. Most tires have a colored dot on them that indicates where the tire should be positioned to the valve stem. A GOOD tire store will balance the tire and if it's really out of balance will break the assembly down and spin the tire 189 degrees to try to reduce the amount of weight needed.
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Old 01-18-2012, 08:22 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diplomat Don View Post
Did you watch the installation. A LOT of facilities don't balance rear tires on coaches and trucks.
I watched most of the installation and thought they did a pretty good job, including balancing all the wheels. Of course, that doesn't mean they got every one of them 100% right, or that I might have done something to it since the installation. My first thought was this might be a 'balance' issue.

Your reply did bring up a question, though: my motorhome has wheel-liners and I noticed that the wheel-liner on that particular wheel is not aligned 'dead-center' on the wheel, and I can see more steel wheel lip on one side than the other. If the wheel-liner isn't dead-center, could this negatively effect the tire-balance, especially at highway speeds?

Thank you. -RT
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Old 01-18-2012, 08:26 PM   #11
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The wheel liner are pretty lightweight when you're talking about how it might affect the rear duals on an RV. If it's really off center, it could be causing a problem, but would most likely cause both tires to wear poorly.
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Old 01-18-2012, 09:42 PM   #12
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You are observing sculptured tire wear. If all the above prove negative, look at the country of manufacturing on the tire. The tire compounding will vary from country to country to match the road bed materials, climate and availability of raw materials. Make sure they are all made in the USA, not imported from France. I had one from France with a similar problem.
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Old 01-19-2012, 01:52 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by garyspang View Post
You are observing sculptured tire wear. If all the above prove negative, look at the country of manufacturing on the tire. The tire compounding will vary from country to country to match the road bed materials, climate and availability of raw materials. Make sure they are all made in the USA, not imported from France. I had one from France with a similar problem.
The Michelins on our DSDP were from Spain, they were dated 4701. I replaced them in September 2010 and never had any trouble. I've never heard of tires being built to different specs for the different roads.
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