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Old 12-10-2013, 04:35 PM   #1
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Tire evaluation: Michelin vs Firestone vs Les Schwabe house brands

I have a 2007 40' Holiday Rambler Ambassador with original tires. Even though it has only 7000 miles I am concerned about aging tires. As far as i can determine the rig has been in western Oregon and subsequently western Washington (no long times in the SW). Before I purchased the rig the tires were inspected by a truck tire company and the mgr thought that the tires would last a couple of years. He also stated that they could fail sooner.

In making the deal I realized that I may have to replace the tires for peace of mind before heading to Tucson for part the winter. I have done some price checking and the Michelin (18 Ply) are about $700 - $765 each out the door. Our local Les Schabe store quoted $765 out the door. They also quoted price for Firestone FS560 for $489 out the door and Geo Star (Their brand?) out the door for $369.

I am trying to decide if the low priced tires would be a smart or stupid decision. Would the low priced tires be safer than using the Goodyear tires?

My options are:
  • continue with the old Goodyear tires with a new TPMS (Tire-Safeguard)
  • get two tires for front with a new TPMS
  • get all 6 tires with a new TPMS
  • New Michelin on front and 4 lower priced tires on rear?
  • go with all Michelin or Firestone or Geo Star
  • Go with Les Schwabe vs a truck tire company with only one store - Les Schwabe is in many of the western States for warranty, etc. Most of our use will be in the western states.
Any comments and ideas will be greatly appreciated.

My inclination is to go with either 2 or 6 Michelins but I also have spent too much money on the rig for this year but I don't know if trying to cut costs on this is 'false economy' at the price of safety and trip interruptions from tire failure.



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Old 12-10-2013, 04:39 PM   #2
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In house brands like Les Schwab (as well as national brands with in house models) can be a good deal. Just remember that if you travel outside of the chain's area of influence you'll be on your own for warrantee work.

There are a few areas where I rarely cut corners and tires is one of them. Steering tires will always be the best I can afford. Drive/tag tires I may go for recaps, but they'll be good caps.

You don't say why the existing tires are up for replacement or why they were deemed only good for a year or two? Are the treads thin? Are the side walls checked or otherwise damaged?

Lyman & Deb; Charlie (Portuguese Water Dog) and Castro (Havanese); Portland, Oregon
2004 Itasca Horizon 40AD
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Old 12-10-2013, 04:45 PM   #3
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Hi Lee,
I had a very similar situation. A 2007 MH with '05 date code Michelin tires and 30K miles. I did a lot of homework and 6 weeks ago did the following:

Went to GCR tire at Coburg OR, just north of Eugene (I presume you are in the Pacific NW). Had 6 Firestone FS560 tires installed there. Talk to Corky there as he is very experienced. I am pleased so far.
George R. - Fulltiming since January '03
2007 Newmar Mountain Aire 3991
2012 Chevy Malibu LT1
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Old 12-10-2013, 06:17 PM   #4
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Michelin tires

We are ready to leave for Florida. Went out Sunday and checked the air pressure on the tires. I noticed about a 1" check (crack) on one of the Michelin steering tires. The typical Michelin check. The tires have about 11,000 miles and 5 years of age. They were mfg in Canada.
Our our last Class A Dutch Star, I installed Samson tires while in Florida. We had zero troubles and 5 years of no wear service from the Samson brand.
I am having 2 new Samson 295/75/22.5 Hply (16 ply) tires installed this Friday. Out the door, mounted, balanced $372.00 each. When we get back this spring there will be 4 new Samson tires installed on the rear.
The OTR trucks in our area use alot of Samson brand tires. They all have had great service out of the brand. The rock trucks have had good times with the brand also.
We have tires made all over the world this day and age. The tires all meet the requirements required by the USA. This is no way intended to change anybody's mind on tire brands. I am stating what works for me. Bridgstone has tires made in China and etc for example.
I have a friend who believes in the GLADIATOR brand on his rig. GEO STAR have a good following also.
Just my opion on the matter.
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Old 12-10-2013, 07:21 PM   #5
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June 2010 6 ea 22.5 Bridgestone R250F from Les Schwab <30 days old. Great price, great tire. >20K miles, still look new and ride great.
04 Horizon QD, 12 Ford Flex, Excalibar, Brakemaster, Winter Texan, RVin! since 1974
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Old 12-10-2013, 07:28 PM   #6
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I have Firestone 560's on my coach and can report a decent ride and good handling. The tires can sing at higher speeds >65 mph but not objectionable. The primary reason for going with the Firestones instead of Michelin was not cost but firsthand witness of the cracking that occurs on some Michelin tires. Just realize that you will not get the same ride of an RV specific tire as the Firestones are a medium rib truck tire. They have had millions of miles on them and I could find no complaints or major issues(sidewall cracking) online about Firestone 560's.
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Old 12-10-2013, 07:36 PM   #7
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re, tire replacement, etc

Hi guys,

Thanks to all of you for your quick response. I will try to answer/comment on each reply that came in so far, except that in replying I can't see the 4 comments:

The reason for replacing is age only and the feeling of not wanting to drive with tires that may fail without warning. Even though i was told by one person that the tires would generally get a bulge and start thumping or vibrating before giving out I remember the lousy condition of some of the California freeways where even good tires would feel bad due to the vibration and ruts in the pavement. I could mistake tire failure for bad roads and/or vise-versa. The inspection of the tires had no indication of cracks or checking, etc. At close to 7 years on the coach they may be getting aged out.

We are in Anacortes WA and it may be a good idea to buy when we get to Oregon at a couple of the tire dealers mentioned.

I am glad to hear of the good response related to the Firestone tires that one of you bought.. I juist may go Michelin on the front and Firestone on the rear duals. It would save a good chunk of money. I don't feel secure about the Chinese Tires though.

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Old 12-10-2013, 08:52 PM   #8
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My preference for a motorhome is Michelin, Bridgestone, Sumitomo.
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Old 12-12-2013, 07:53 PM   #9
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I am on my third set of Michelin XRV tires. No problems whatsoever. I don't argue with success so stay with Michelin XRV.
Vince and Susan
2011 Tiffin Phaeton 40QTH (Cummins ISC/Freightliner)
Flat towing a modified 2005 Jeep (Rubicon Wrangler)
Previously a 2002 Fleetwood Pace Arrow 37A and a 1995 Safari Trek 2830.
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Old 12-12-2013, 08:32 PM   #10
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I've found lots of opinions on this issue, but the facts are much harder
to determine/evaluate. My opinion is that I will not put my safety at risk with
cheap tires, especially from China. I'm sticking with Goodyear G670s.
My tires are from mid 2007 and they are getting changed out this
year, they show no signs of age and have no issues. I am just
unwilling to take a chance with a catastrophe that can be
easily avoided. Yes it is expensive, but I'll cut back on something else.
Just my opinion, good luck with your decision.
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Old 12-13-2013, 04:57 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by lymanlouis View Post
....There are a few areas where I rarely cut corners and tires is one of them. Steering tires will always be the best I can afford. Drive/tag tires I may go for recaps, but they'll be good caps.
This is an oxymoron indeed. Placing recaps, regardless of their "quality" on any wheel position on a motorhome is asking for a several thousand dollar repair bill when (not if) it seperates and becomes a road alligator. On it's trip leaving the rim I can assure you that it will beat the snot out of any plumbing, electrical, batteries, hydraulic pump compartments as it exits from under the coach. I've even seen them take out side and rear radiators too. In many cases for those with sensitive electronic compartments directly behind the rear wheel, it will render the coach's electronics destroyed as it makes it's way out from underneath.
94-Newmar Kountry Star 40-KSDP
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Old 12-13-2013, 05:50 AM   #12
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Learn from my error

My Coach has been in the Body shop for 10 weeks getting repaired from a front tire blowout that will exceed $19,000 in repair cost. I knew my tires were getting near replacement due to age, but they looked good and I took the chance. Thank God, no one was hurt when my right front blew at 65 MPH. Most of the damage was underneath, but the passenger side of the coach had to be repainted due to shards of tire and steel belting that ripped up the entire side.

I get it back next week and the first stop will be to the tire shop where I am replacing all 6 tires, including the $750 replacement tire that I had to buy at the scene of the blowout. ( it will become my unmounted spare).
Michelin has a discount program with FMCA and my tires will be About $560 apiece plus mounting.
Jim, Becky and our Four Legged Friend "Jackson"
2006 DSDP/2007 Chevy Tahoe
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Old 12-13-2013, 02:36 PM   #13
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tire replacement

Thanks guy's for all the info. Now I need to find out about joining FMCA and the Michelin discount available.

Beth, Lee and Buster (AKA Busticator, 14# King of All Pomeranians - Protector of His People)
2007 40' HR Ambassador & 2005 CR-V
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Old 12-13-2013, 02:48 PM   #14
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I went with Firestones -- less $$ than the FMCA program
Not happy with the cracking on my Michelins --


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