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Old 06-18-2016, 04:39 PM   #1
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Tires

OK, We just bought a 2004 Southwind 37C. We have not taken it home yet. We noticed the tires are ORIGINAL to the rig with about 20% wear (44,000 miles.) We think it would be wise to go ahead and purchase new tires, though the dealer says they should be fine. The size is 245/70R19.5 Load Range F and brand is Goodyear. my questions are:
  1. Any brand preference?
  2. Difference between RV and Truck tires?
  3. Since we travel A LOT, we think local like Les Schwab might not be prudent.
  4. Are steering tires different?
Thanks
Joe & Laura
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Old 06-18-2016, 04:41 PM   #2
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YES, you need new tires!!
A couple of ours are dated 4707 so almost 9 years old and I'm planning on replacing them soon. Rig was stored inside so the tires look great but even so....
I'll be using Michelin again as I always have in the past. Have never had a blowout or even a flat on any MH we've owned with Michelins on it.
Most MH's run steer tires all around.
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Old 06-18-2016, 04:44 PM   #3
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Their age is far more of an issue than the wear.
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Old 06-18-2016, 04:53 PM   #4
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You need new tires.

If you are a member of FMCA, you can take advantage of the Michelin Advantage. This allows you to purchase replacement tires at a really good price (I think).

The thing about RV tires as opposed to Truck tires is you set your air pressure according to the weight you are carrying. With some brands of Truck tires, you often do not have access to a load inflation table.

As to your question about Steer tires versus Drive tires, this thread on the FMCA forum might shed some light. Drive Tires vs Steer Tires - Tires - FMCA Motorhome Forums

Hope that helps.
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Old 06-18-2016, 05:28 PM   #5
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I think you need to find a more knowledgeable dealer!
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Old 06-18-2016, 05:46 PM   #6
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If you do some research online you'll find lots of recommendations to replace your tires at 7 to 10 years regardless of how good they look. I just replaced 4 of my 8 tires. The two front steer tires were Double Coins and looked virtually brand new, but right at 10 years old, so they were replaced, and the tags were original to the coach and looked their age, and probably should have been replaced before now, so they were replaced as well. The four remaining tires are the dual rear tires that are 6 year old Double coins and look great, so they're staying on for a few more years.

I purchased Double Coin RT600's (225/70R19.5) from a Les Schwab in Oregon. The total cost for the 4 tires was $990. The tires themselves were $225/each. I looked on the Double Coin website and found many dealers all over the country that sell their tires. I also researched the double coin tires by reading reviews and looking at trucker forums and felt comfortable with them. They were also the tire that Les Schwab recommended to me, and the tire guy couldn't believe the 10 year old tires looked as good as they did!

You'll find many opinions on tire brands and where they're made, and you'll just have to come up with your own decision on which brand to go with. However, I believe that 99% of RV owners would say that you really do need to replace the tires, especially the front steer ones.


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Old 06-18-2016, 05:52 PM   #7
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IMO "RV tires" vs "Truck tires" are more a marketing difference than technical difference. Some will claim "more UV protection". I would ask More than what? and Does the tire co offer written longer warranty against UV damage on their "special" RV tires?

RE Load & Inflation tables. You will find that 98% of tires for sale in the US either use the same tables as published by Tire & Rim Association and available on-line from a number of different web sites or the differences in load capacity are only a couple % on a couple sizes that might be based on European designed tires (Michelin) .

Steer vs "Drive" Steer and "all position tires have basically a rib design while truck "drive" tires have "lug" pattern.
One down-side of drive tires is they are usually worse for mpg and if you need to rotate you can't move drive tires to the front. So unless you plan on some extensive off-road driving and this doesn't mean just on gravel roads but real dirt, gravel and snow paths you probably will never need "drive" design tires. They are also noisy.
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Old 06-18-2016, 08:39 PM   #8
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Yes you need new tires.

I used Les Schwab for my gaser. Both tires and alignment. Great support here in the west. Use a (Les Schwab) shop that does lots of trucks and you will be OK. They stand behind their products and work.

Be sure to balance ALL tires and get an alignment at the same time. Protect your investment and improve the driving experience. You will not regret it.

Have a great time with your MH...Drive safe....
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Old 06-18-2016, 10:54 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tireman9 View Post
IMO "RV tires" vs "Truck tires" are more a marketing difference than technical difference. Some will claim "more UV protection". I would ask More than what? and Does the tire co offer written longer warranty against UV damage on their "special" RV tires?

RE Load & Inflation tables. You will find that 98% of tires for sale in the US either use the same tables as published by Tire & Rim Association and available on-line from a number of different web sites or the differences in load capacity are only a couple % on a couple sizes that might be based on European designed tires (Michelin) .

Steer vs "Drive" Steer and "all position tires have basically a rib design while truck "drive" tires have "lug" pattern.
One down-side of drive tires is they are usually worse for mpg and if you need to rotate you can't move drive tires to the front. So unless you plan on some extensive off-road driving and this doesn't mean just on gravel roads but real dirt, gravel and snow paths you probably will never need "drive" design tires. They are also noisy.
Good info.!!
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Old 06-19-2016, 09:37 AM   #10
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I just spoke to a Les Schwab about my tires. They said that after seven years to bring them in for inspection, 10 years is the top limit. I really trust this company and would feel guilty buying somewhere else. I friend had tires getting 10 or 11 years old, he wanted to wait on replacing them, a back tire blew, tore out some wiring just above the wheel well, he was down a couple months s they sorted that out. FYI i bought Toyo from them.
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Old 06-19-2016, 11:29 AM   #11
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Joe & Laura need a better tire dealer, one with more experience or training in heavy duty tires. No tire manufacturer condones driving on 12 year old rubber and any tire dealer with half a brain should know that.

I don't think choice of dealer is all that important for the new tires, but I would choose a tire brand that had a lot of dealers nationwide. And I would choose a first or second tier brand tire, because of both warranty/service and quality. Doesn't have to be Michelin or Goodyear or Bridgestone, but stick with names like Continental, Toyo, or Hankook. Or one of the lesser brand labels from Michelin (BF Goodrich), Goodyear (Dayton), or Bridgestone (Firestone). Often the same tire, produced in the same plant, with a different brand stamped on the side.

IMO, the different between a truck tire and an RV tire of the same size and load rating is purely advertising hype. Yes, there are truck tires designed for more specialized usages, but generally a truck tire designated for the "regional delivery" or "long haul' application will be indistinguishable from an "RV" tire. Long haul tires use harder tread compounds for more tread mileage, while regional use tires have greater scuff resistance, but motorhomes rarely have much need for either.

Some few tire tread designs are exclusively for steer axles and others best for traction (drive) axles, but most are "all position" tires that can be used in either position. I see little or no value in choosing one of the more specialized tread design tires for an RV, but suit youself,
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Old 06-19-2016, 12:30 PM   #12
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I agree with Gary - RV Roamer
Have one addition and one minor correction.

Dayton brand is a Bridgestone-Firestone brand not Goodyear.

One way to know if a tire company has the latest technology "in house" is to look at the brands seen on new cars.
You will see a number of different tire manufacturers if you wander through a new car lot.

What you will not see are the "off-brand" low cost imports as seen on almost all RV trailers.

There are a few truck tire companies that do not supply "Detroit" but if you look at the brand name seen on national truck fleets those would be on the shopping list too for 19.5 and 22.5 size tires.
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Old 06-19-2016, 11:48 PM   #13
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Thank you all for the education on tires! We are not new to RVing but a This will be a whole new driving experience. (37 ft Class A) Now to find a class on Class A driving!
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Old 06-20-2016, 07:33 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DigMyPast View Post
Thank you all for the education on tires! We are not new to RVing but a This will be a whole new driving experience. (37 ft Class A) Now to find a class on Class A driving!
Speaking of classes on Class A driving, check out RV School. They have instructors located throughout the country and the classes are a good value (I think). Used them to help me and the wife safely deal with others while towing a travel trailer. Went back to them when I purchased the Dutch Star.
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