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Old 03-31-2015, 12:02 AM   #1
jaydar's Avatar
Fleetwood Owners Club
Ford Super Duty Owner
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Sierra Vista, AZ
Posts: 52
Question Tires

just purchase a 1988 Fleetwood Jamboree 26S, actually purchase last year in August. Purchase in Southern, CA drove home to Southern Eastern AZ. Took a chance on tires they look as if they were new, not cracking, no signs of dry rot. Had the RV in for some maintenance and the Mechanic informed me that although the tires appears to look new, with good rubber, no cracking, are no signs of dry rot, they were dated from 2005, my question is should I continue to drive with the current tires or replace with new tires. My wife and I want to hit the road and start enjoying this vintage RV. What should I do?

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Old 03-31-2015, 12:09 AM   #2
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Location: Vancouver, WA
Posts: 22,350
From Michelin and Toyo:
Michelin Technical Bulletin

Service Life for RV/Motorhome Tires

The following recommendation applies to RV/Motorhome tires. Tires are composed of various types of material and rubber compounds, having performance properties essential to the proper functioning of the tire itself. These component properties evolve over time. For each tire, this evolution depends upon many factors such as weather, storage conditions, and conditions of use (load, speed, inflation pressure, maintenance, etc.) to which the tire is subjected throughout its life. This service-related evolution varies widely so that accurately predicting the serviceable life of any specific tire in advance is not possible.

That is why, in addition to regular inspections and inflation pressure maintenance by consumers, it is recommended to have RV/Motorhome tires, including spare tires, inspected regularly by a qualified tire specialist, such as a tire dealer, who will assess the tire’s suitability for continued service. Tires that have been in use for 5 years or more should continue to be inspected by a specialist at least annually.

Consumers are strongly encouraged to be aware not only of their tires’ visual condition and inflation pressure, but also of any change in dynamic performance such as increased air loss, noise or vibration, which could be an indication that the tires need to be removed from service to prevent tire failure.

It is impossible to predict when tires should be replaced based on their calendar age alone. However, the older a tire the greater the chance that it will need to be replaced due to the service-related evolution or other conditions found upon inspection or detected during use.

While most tires will need replacement before they achieve 10 years, it is recommended that any tires in service 10 years or more from the date of manufacture, including spare tires, be replaced with new tires as a simple precaution even if such tires appear serviceable and even if they have not reached the legal wear limit.

For tires that were on an original equipment vehicle (i.e., acquired by the consumer on a new vehicle), follow the vehicle manufacturer’s tire replacement recommendations, when specified (but not to exceed 10 years).

The date when a tire was manufactured is located on the sidewall of each tire. Consumers should locate the Department of Transportation or DOT code on the tire that begins with DOT and ends with the week and year of manufacture. For example, a DOT code ending with “0304” indicates a tire made in the 3rd week (Jan) of 2004.

Toyo RV Safety

Tire Damage and Aging (Non-Commercial Use)
Vehicle operating conditions and tire maintenance practices vary widely. Tires should be routinely checked for damage or signs of fatigue or aging. This should be done at scheduled vehicle maintenance intervals and preferably on a lift so that the tires can be thoroughly inspected by a tire professional.
Tire longevity is extremely dependent on factors such as air pressure maintenance. It is recommended that tires be thoroughly examined by a tire professional after reaching five years of service. Even tires with serviceable tread remaining may require replacement prior to wearing out. Tires which have reached a remaining tread depth of 4/32nd should be replaced.
The age of your tire can be determined by reading the sidewall. Every tire has a 10 or 11 digit DOT (Department of Transportation) identifying number on one sidewall. The last 3 or 4 digits are the most important to you. Older tires have 3 digits, the first two identifying the week of manufacture and the third digit the year when the tire was made. Tires made between 1990 and 1999 may have a triangle alongside the numbers. As from January 2000 4 digits are used, the first two give the week of manufacture and the last two digits tell the year the tire was made.

2009 45' Magna 630 w/Cummins ISX 650 HP/1950 Lbs Ft
Charter Good Sam Lifetime Member, FMCA, SKP
RV'ing since 1957, NRA Benefactor Life, towing '05 Odyssey
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Old 03-31-2015, 02:30 AM   #3
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Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: SoCal
Posts: 8,374

Replace them.

They are too old. You don't know their maintenance history. If one fails it can be more expensive than just the tire, as the whipping remnants of the blown tire can cause body or other damage. Not to mention the safety factor...

Replace them...
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 03-31-2015, 03:37 AM   #4
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Don't be a hero, I mean a cheap hero. Take the advice from above.
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Old 03-31-2015, 03:56 AM   #5
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Forest River Owners Club
Ford Super Duty Owner
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Toledo, OH
Posts: 1,587
If the MH is going to sit up on the lake and rarely, if ever be on the road, leave them.

However, if your on the road and travel, they might last a few miles, or a few years. But if your like me, when one of them lets go, it will be in the worst location at the worst time.

They are past their design life and are now on barrowed time. When you bought the MH, you knew it needed new skins, why press it any farther, so for the piece of mind, I'd replace them.

It will be one less item to worry about.
2001 Coachmen Mirada (Ford F53 6.8L V10) - Toad 2003 Saturn Vue.
It won't do MACH 2, but I can get a sandwich and take a pee.
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Old 04-02-2015, 02:20 PM   #6
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Monaco Owners Club
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Posts: 415
Whew, I just replaced two that were ELEVEN YEARS OLD!! We got lucky.
1997 40' Monaco Signature Series Cummins 325HP & MD3060
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Old 04-07-2015, 05:34 PM   #7
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Location: Wilmington, MA
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1. Don't take advice from me.

2. Take advice from those whom you trust, not those who are trying to sell you something.

3. With proper care, many items can last far longer than the average.

4. With improper care, many items last far less than average.

5. Do not discard common sense, and clear and obvious observable facts in the face of advice to the contrary.

Case in point... Jiffy Lube tells me to change my oil every 3000 miles. My car manufacturer tells me to do it every 7500 miles, unless driving like this or that. (It has a built in sensor based on my driving that tells me when to get an oil change.)

Whom do I listen to?
Karl I. Sagal KarlSagal@Gmail.com
Well done is better than well said. (Ben Franklin)
1988 Fleetwood Southwind, 34'
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Old 04-10-2015, 09:38 PM   #8
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Location: Fulltime on the Road
Posts: 88
When we first bought or motorhome it had good looking Michelin 8r:19.5 tires but they were older. They showed no signs of cracking or any other bad ware. We went from Washington State to SoCal and then on to Florida. In New Mexico we blew the entire tread section from and outside rear tire, the carcass still had 90 psi. It blew a football sized hole in our grey water tank and came very close to ripping the propane line to the stove and refrigerator out of the wheel well. That was an expensive lesson. Next Lesson was: We bought two new tires had them installed on the front, moved one old front to the rear and replaced all four rear tires when we got to Florida. The new tire were 2ply nylon sidewall and 4 ply tread. Their about 8 years old now and have about 60% tread BUT one developed a tennis ball sized knot on the left front coming back from the South West last trip, put the spare on and found the inner sidewall a rippled and bulging when we got back to Washington. I now have 12ply rated Steel belted Radials for the front now. Finally took the time to learn about Tires.
Richard "PONY", Virginia & Cleo "Cleopatra" the Cat..Restored 1988 Gulfstream HiRise 32' HiPo 460, 1974 Harley 74. Fulltimers since 2005.
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Old 04-26-2015, 03:07 AM   #9
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Ford Super Duty Owner
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 181
Replace the old rubber. The last thing you need is a blowout or some other tire failure while out in the middle of nowhere. I had to replace 8 tires on my 97 Pace Arrow Vision. When they pulled off the left side inner dually they found it was beginning to separate. Tire aren't cheap, but compared to injury or death due to an old tire failing it al comes into perspective. My tires though old had plenty of tread and appeared good.
'97 Pace Arrow Vision 36 with Tag Axel, Ford 460 with Banks Power Pack. 2000 Jeep Wrangler Toad, one miniature schnauzer that rules the roost and a wife that enjoys traveling. Retired FTCS (SS) USN and loving it. FMCA#461483
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Old 04-26-2015, 09:40 AM   #10
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Location: Snowbird - Waterford Mi and Citrus Springs Fl.
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There's 2 places I've found where shortcuts can reach up and bite your butt (in the area of your wallet) easily. The first is your roof. That will toast your coach in very short order if not maintained well. The second is your tires.....
1997 37' HR Endeavor, 275hp Cat, Freightliner
03 CR-V Blue Ox, Ready Brake
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Old 05-02-2015, 05:16 PM   #11
Winnebago Owners Club
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 96
Jaydar. I have only one question. Do you carry a spare tire and rim?

If you do, then go ahead. Drive to your hearts content and hope that the inevitable blowout occurs on one of your duals and will only scare the crap out of you because you think somebody just fired a shotgun into the side of your RV - instead of one of the front tires that may pull you right out of your lane. Be prepared to sit on the side of the road for an hour or two until your road service shows up. You do have road service don't you? (I know; that was question #2). Then be prepared to pay highway prices to replace the spare - if you can find your size.

Or; you can spend the money to replace the front two tires and stay in your lane, prevent a head on collision, etc., but still worry about spending time on the side of the road (and all the previously mentioned troubles).

Or; you can shop at your leisure from your easy chair at home, source good quality tires - at a good price, from a local tire shop that will stand behind their work, located in the town you spend most of your time in.

Yes it will cost you a lot of money, but what is your time worth? Your life?

I've been there. Done that. Got lucky. Twice! But I was in a corridor that I travel monthly and have a pretty good idea of the available services. Now I have new tires. My wife and dog are worth it!

Oh, and one more thing; if your coach specifies 8R-19.5 tires (for example), don't replace them with metrics unless you understand all the details that go into such a swap. Remember; metrics are the most commonly available sizes at roadside repair shops. OOPS!
Enjoying the simple life w/a 1994 Winnebago Brave 31RQ (A). Past RVs; RoadTrek (B), Starcraft Pop-up, Coachmen (C), MinnieWinnie (C) and an American Something-or-other (TT). Started it all off as a teenager in a 1964 Apache Pop-up we named Wag Along.
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Old 05-02-2015, 05:34 PM   #12
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Speaking of spare tires, I need to crawl under my 1999 Class C, that I picked up last year, to see if it's original. No need to carry THAT around.
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Old 05-16-2015, 03:42 PM   #13
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 46

I have a 1996 Allegro 28m I went through the tire search issue last year. One of my friends has a 1994 winne he is not for maintance on his coach I was helping him with a windshield leak issue when I saw a bubble on his left front tire he went down and had two new tires put on. The tire was 7 years old. WE got to checking all our tires date codes and mine were 7 to 10. All the tires looked great. After doing my tire search I realized the name brand were way out of my reach. I look at what the school buses were using and several other RV sites. I needed 6 tires and I went with Samsons six tires mounted and balanced cost me $1326 and I kept one of my youngest old tires for a spare. My old spare was the orignal to the coach. I how have about 4000 miles on them and they ride great after I found how much air I needed to carry in them to suit my coach. A lot of people talk about china tires I found 6 to 10 other rvers that had up to 10,000 miles on these tires and so I went with the flow, and would now recommend them to anyone. Have a great day and keep the shining

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