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Old 04-29-2014, 09:27 PM   #1
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Time to replace tires

Cracked Tire
I purchased a 2001 Winnebago Journal in 2012 with about 89k miles on it. I have been under it numerous times just checking on or repairing items. Part of what I have done is to check the condition of the tires. I found an invoice where the tires were replaced in 2006. From reading on the IRV2 forum I realized that the tires likely age out before the tread wears out. Sun light, the bane of the tire, is harsh here in the south and, from the records, where the Journal spend most of the time with the previous owner. I purchased tire covers and use them if the motor home is sitting. However, last week I was carefully inspecting the tires and although I have looked at the inside of the tires, I was closely inspecting them this time and there was a huge crack in the passenger side front tire.

Perhaps someone knows why if sunlight destroys the tires, why it would affect the inside of the tire, where the sun never shines? I had been inspecting the outside of the tires and only occasionally checked the inside. Now, for the rest of the story. On closer inspection of the records from the previous owner, the rear four tires were replaced in 2006. The driver side front tire is dated 2004 and the front passenger tire is dated 2001. Why did I not realize this? Because the date is on the inside of the tire of the front tires. Since the rear tires are dated 2006, I was assuming they all were replaced then. Dumb, I know. I am still wondering how a 2001 tire ended up on the 2001 model year MH with 89K miles on it. The tread on the tire was good.

If you look at the attached pictures, you can see the crack with a penny stuck in it. The crack is at least to 3/8 of an inch deep, maybe more; and is probably at least 14 inches long. I also included a picture of some hair line cracks (dry rot) on the same tire opposite from the large crack. How long has this large crack been there? I am not sure. The two front tires were replaced today!

This might be a wake up call for other RV owners to check both the inside and outside of the tire. The place where I took the RV for tires said the other tires look OK, no dry rot. The motor home does seem to drive better with the new soft tires. Old tires do apparently get hard.

Lastly, the tires are Michelin and my size 235/80 22.5 is in production now and is two or three weeks away from shipping. We are taking the Winnebago up to Gaffney, SC for the Freightliner class next week so I had to get them replaced before anymore driving. If I could have waited, I could have saved $130 a tire by going through Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA). Check this out before you buy new tires!
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Old 04-29-2014, 09:51 PM   #2
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Wow! It good that you found those cracks before you took that trip. That was a blowout just waiting to happen. Thanks for sharing your experience with us. Happy Trails!!
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Old 04-29-2014, 09:58 PM   #3
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I'm guessing the 2001 tire, with the good tread, was a spare at one time. It is my practice to not run tires on my 5th wheel that are over 6 years old. I'm glad you found out about your front tires. That could have been a disaster just waiting to happen.
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Old 04-29-2014, 10:01 PM   #4
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I wonder the same thing. The outside of the tires still look great. But I scooted underneath on Monday and found a lot of cracks on the INside! Getting them replaced this weekend. \ken
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Old 04-30-2014, 11:11 AM   #5
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I had a 5 year old Michelin crack all the way around the inner edge of the rim, with steel showing. I found this after a 500 mile trip and hate to think what might have happened later on the trip home.

I now have a new-to-me MH and will check all tire inside and out when the weather clears.
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Old 04-30-2014, 11:50 AM   #6
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tire cracks

Excellent post and photos. Great advice and with the photos make it pretty obvious why tire inspection is important. Thanks
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Old 05-02-2014, 08:02 AM   #7
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Wow what a crack WOW, I need tires also but mine are just old no cracks.Yours are just scary glad you bought new ones before the inevitable happened.
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Old 07-04-2014, 07:03 PM   #8
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I've seen tires like this blow out just sitting in the parking lot of the truck stop. So glad you caught it in time. The previous owner may have cleaned and treated the out side on occasion, and not the inside. Also, the inside can sometimes be subjected to much higher temperatures from engine heat coming off the engine area.
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Old 07-04-2014, 07:12 PM   #9
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Yikes!

I'd replace them all. With Toyos.

The Michelin tires on my Honda are cracking too and I'm beginning to think their quality went south as their prices went north.

I haven't seen any cracks on my coach Michelins, but they are just over 3 years old.
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Old 07-04-2014, 07:23 PM   #10
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Too bad the manufacturers aren't required to put date stamps on both sides of the tires.
The crack and date would have been clearly visible if it was on an outside dual.
Bought a 3" screen flex inspection camera to check mine, between the duals, other planned uses of course, but $90, and it was fathers day.
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