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Old 07-17-2010, 10:46 AM   #1
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Tires

New to Motorhomes, and when we were looking for one, we did exam the tires and did not know that they needed to be changed as often as they do, so after investing the money into that used motorhome we now discovered that the great looking tires will all have to be replaced because it has been at least 5 years. so I guess we should have considered that after the motorhome is bought another $1200 to $1,500.00 need to be added to the purchased cost.

So being we don't expect to use this 83 Pace Arrow that often, what can be done to preserve the tires to try and squeeze another year or two out of them, or is there nothing that can be done?

What other items will demand to be replaced before it looks worn out that we should now worry about.

Please tell us that they are not all money pits.
We bought this motorhome to allow us comfort and ease traveling out of state, we were excited to buy this one with hopes of getting a lot of use and enjoyment from it allowing us to do things we always wanted to, and to use more when we retire, but now we have concerns that after retirement that we may not be able to afford to replace things like tires every five years, although we hope to put far more miles on the motorhome after retirement as we do beforehand.

So some words of encouragement would be welcomed.

We are now in it for the long haul so let us know what we should now expect.

We are prepared tell it to us straight we can take it.
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Old 07-17-2010, 12:47 PM   #2
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With all due respect for opposing opinions (undoubtedly MANY!), and with full respect for safety and potential damage resulting from tire failures, tires on various forms of RV do pretty much the same function as tires on any other vehicle. They are designed for specific weight support, at specific road speeds - just as are the tires on your other passenger vehicles.

As long as the tires have been properly inflated, and not overloaded or abused, I'd observe the SAME cautions as I would tires on any other vehicle I own - no more, no less! Sure - you don't know what treatment RV tires on a used RV might have received from a previous owner - but you don't know that on a used passenger vehicle, either - so will you automatically toss the tires on it entirely based upon the DOT date stamp - even if the tread and sidewalls look entirely acceptable?

SURE, any tire that LOOKS good, but is 20 years old, would raise reasonable suspicion and concern - but will paranoia raise it's worrisome head on apparently good RV tires that are 8-10 years old?

If worried, take the rig to a tire shop you trust for their inspection and recommendation - might save you a bundle! OH - and just for grins, what is that DOT date stamp on all your OTHER vehicles - how old are THEY, and what condition as to inside, outside, tread and sidewalls - how often do you inspect THEM - and if they get "too old", according to some arbitrary chart, will you also automatically replace THEM, regardless of apparent condition?

I, personally, won't "knock" concerns regarding tire safety - but ALSO refuse to allow my RVing travels to be overshadowed by paranoid concerns purely over RV tire age, over and above any extent that I am similarly concerned about the tires on my other stuff - I can be killed, injured or suffer expensive damage from THEIR failures just as surely as I can by those on my RV - so why should I be excessively preoccupied and paranoid only by the RV tires - when they ALL perform the same basic functions in getting us from point "A" to point "B"...
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Old 07-17-2010, 12:56 PM   #3
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Thank you Gray I have read so much in the opposing view point and it would be wise regardless to have them inspected by a good tire shop. I have a regular place I get most of my car tires but am unsure that the guy they really understand about MH tires I have not check the dated yet I hope to do that this week end being we only bought last week. During the last work week I read everythng I coud find on these vintage motorhome and thus the tire question, granted if it was just me I may risk more but I would not risk the well being of either my wife and children, grandchildren.
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Old 07-17-2010, 05:48 PM   #4
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I bought a used coach last fall that definitely needed tires. I took it to a small shop and bought 4 used Bridgestone tires for the rear that had most of the tread remaining and were 2 years old. I bought imported tires for the steering axle that were new.

Part of my responsibility at my job before I retired was running a tire shop so I know some about tires.

I am like you and don't have the funds now to to replace tires on date code only so that is what I did. That said there is concern in the industry about the age of tires, especially here in the southwest. I believe if the tire companies made the tires, especially radials , with better components there would be fewer problems. Being a govt. our tires were bought by bid. When we got tires that obviously were of low quality it was rare to wear out the tread, the tread usually seperated from the casing first.
I also just purchased imported tires for my Dakota 4X4 for half of the cost of BFGs. They seem to be alright but only time will tell.
If you look at Craigslist for your area you may find an outlet for tires similar to what I did.
Good Luck
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Old 07-26-2010, 12:09 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary - K7GLD View Post
With all due respect for opposing opinions (undoubtedly MANY!), and with full respect for safety and potential damage resulting from tire failures, tires on various forms of RV do pretty much the same function as tires on any other vehicle. They are designed for specific weight support, at specific road speeds - just as are the tires on your other passenger vehicles.

As long as the tires have been properly inflated, and not overloaded or abused, I'd observe the SAME cautions as I would tires on any other vehicle I own - no more, no less! Sure - you don't know what treatment RV tires on a used RV might have received from a previous owner - but you don't know that on a used passenger vehicle, either - so will you automatically toss the tires on it entirely based upon the DOT date stamp - even if the tread and sidewalls look entirely acceptable?

SURE, any tire that LOOKS good, but is 20 years old, would raise reasonable suspicion and concern - but will paranoia raise it's worrisome head on apparently good RV tires that are 8-10 years old?

If worried, take the rig to a tire shop you trust for their inspection and recommendation - might save you a bundle! OH - and just for grins, what is that DOT date stamp on all your OTHER vehicles - how old are THEY, and what condition as to inside, outside, tread and sidewalls - how often do you inspect THEM - and if they get "too old", according to some arbitrary chart, will you also automatically replace THEM, regardless of apparent condition?

I, personally, won't "knock" concerns regarding tire safety - but ALSO refuse to allow my RVing travels to be overshadowed by paranoid concerns purely over RV tire age, over and above any extent that I am similarly concerned about the tires on my other stuff - I can be killed, injured or suffer expensive damage from THEIR failures just as surely as I can by those on my RV - so why should I be excessively preoccupied and paranoid only by the RV tires - when they ALL perform the same basic functions in getting us from point "A" to point "B"...
I couldn't agree more!
Regular inspection, proper care, and common sense are paramount to the tires age in my opinion.
I never really bought into the to old to use theory myself, thought it was a scare tactic created by the industry myself, and supported by those who have more money than they need.
Granted, this opinion is in the minority, most forums you ask, you get the 5 or 6 year reply, and anyone who disagrees is ridiculed right out of the discussion.
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Old 07-26-2010, 02:15 PM   #6
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The Goodyear tires on my '02 Georgetown, which we just bought, have date codes "3301". The sidewalls are a crappy brown color. We tought the selling price was discounted far enough to cover a set of tires and will be visiting our local Les Schwab store today.

Based on comments on this forum and on RV.net, I don't plan to change the new ones until they get to 7 years old, maybe 8 if they're still looking good. I'll be specifying date codes "no earlier than TBD" as part of the purchase agreement. I'm hoping "TBD" will be "1910" or newer.
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Old 07-26-2010, 03:11 PM   #7
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The inner tire carcass is made of perishable materials: rubber and fabric along with other compound chemicals. No matter the appearance outside, the inner tire is weakening with age (Hmmm,, sounds familiar). Replace them every 5-7 years.

Best Practice for long life:
- Drive them, use them (Stagnant or idle tires are short lived)
- Use tire covers not only for UV but also to protect against Ozone. Ozone is the greatest cause of tire cracking.
- Modern tires are manufactured with Ozone protection waxes. The waxes deplenish over time, but is lessened by use as the sidewall flexes.
- Never use compounds, sprays or polishes that have Petroleum distillates on the tires

Repeat from Online

Why are Tires Black?

To protect rubber against UV damage is why tires are black. Tire makers use a common type of UV stabilizer called a competitive absorber. Competitive absorbers capture and absorb the UV light instead of the tire's rubber. Carbon black, a very cheap ingredient, is used as a competitive absorber whereas, all other UV stabilizers are extremely expensive. This is why tires are black and are not made in designer colors.
UV stabilizers are called sacrificial, meaning they are gradually used up and reach a point where they can no longer protect the tire against UV damage. As carbon black loses its ability to do this job, it turns gray, which explains why tires appear gray as the get older.
Ozone Protection

Waxes are used to protect tires against ozone. When tires are being driven they flex. This flexing causes the protective waxes to move to the surface where they form a physical barrier between the air --which contains ozone and oxygen-- and the tire polymer. This is called blooming.

When tires are not regularly used, such as a parked RV, boat trailer, or classic car, this blooming does not happen. Ozone then starts eating away the protective wax and before long reaches the tire polymer. Often by this time, the surface carbon black has lost its ability to protect against UV. With UV light and ozone working together, deterioration starts. The tire dries, checks, and will eventually crack.
Other Degradants

Petrochemicals and silicone oils can also remove protective waxes and increase the rate of decay. Common automotive protectants and tire dressings can contain chemicals and/or silicone oils which dissolve protective waxes and can actually attack the sidewalls. In the event of failure, one of the first things tire manufacturers look for is evidence of the use of these types of products. If it is found it may be a cause for invalidating a warrant against manufacturing defects.
Solutions

The most effective solution for this problem is to remove the tires from their rims and store them in a cool dry location which is not exposed to sunlight.
Because this is not always practical or convenient, some specialized products have been developed to deal with this problem and lessen the loss. One product I've seen is described at :
http://www.303products.com/main.php?infopage=protectant
I have no first-hand experience with this product nor the company which makes it, but if you know of anyone who has, we'd just love you to visit this forum and tell us about it.


Read more: Tire sidewall deterioration -- a tire's silent killer
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Old 07-26-2010, 03:43 PM   #8
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I suggest you check out Motorhome Magazine August 2010 edition with the article on RV tires.
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Old 07-26-2010, 04:19 PM   #9
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motorhome mag + tires

Quote:
Originally Posted by okgc View Post
I suggest you check out Motorhome Magazine August 2010 edition with the article on RV tires.
Well I looked on line and they don't allow you to view back issue, so unless I want to subscribe can any one direct me to this article so I can review it?
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Old 07-26-2010, 06:22 PM   #10
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kartvines: when we purchased our '84 SW (in 1989) the tires looked great. No sidewall cracks but bias ply tires.
First long trip I lost a driver that wiped out my grey water tank.
I assume you checked or replaced all belts and hoses already. Another thing to check on a P-30 is trans cooling lines. The rubber hoses at the cooler get soft especially at the clamps.
FWIW Bud's Automotive in Beaumont works on M/Hs.
Walts in Fontana used to buy all the left over stock from Fleetwood, Riverside after the years run and used to have trailer loads of old stuff. I heard he moved but was still in the area.
If your steers are cracked you may consider rotating with the inside drivers. that may buy you some time.
Kelly, Toyo and Yokohama seem to be a good value.
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Old 07-26-2010, 07:07 PM   #11
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I bought this one from Bud's lot, and yest Walt's did move into and industrial building a few miles from their old location after Walt died. Buds has been my mechanic for years so I guess he will continue working on it, and yes all belts and hosed have been replace and there is just over 6K miles on a new engine and transmission. I get so many different views on tires I don't know what to think. It sound as if you are from this area. A quick question what is your opinion on bud's if yo have used hm on a motor-home before
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Old 07-26-2010, 08:17 PM   #12
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kartvines: I still use Bud's but I've never used him on a M/H, just my personal preferrence as I do most everything myself. If you remember Ralph he was one in a million.
The company I work for is based in the pass (CV). When things start to freeze in MT. we are usually nearby.
I hope I didn't scare you on tires, I just wanted to point out possibilities.
Costco (R.Cuc.) used to sell/install 19.5s.........Michelin and Bridgestone only. Leinegger &Short(sp) in Ont. is another place to check (Kelly).
To address one of your other questions I don't believe you bought a money pit, just a project. If you're not repairing you'll probably be upgrading or remodeling.
We would not even consider being without an RV of some type.
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Old 07-26-2010, 08:51 PM   #13
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Thanks for the feedback, I understand restoring and upgrading as a hobby I restore vintage travel trailer. Yes I do remember Ralph, my mechanic use to be Monte,not only honest but a great guy and I moved to Bud after Monte moved to Bowie's Motors to sell cars, lost a great mechanic and a friend. I kept going after Ralph died, and am now doing business with his son Glen, they have been fair to us so far and I hope that never changes, they are growing and sometime that put a end to good service, but I guess we will see.
I want to begin doing as much as I can with this motorhome, but my wife tries to protect me by complaining about me getting upset because thing didn't; go well, but I am of the opinion that when you are not close to home you have to make the best of it, so I better be able to do more than I do with our family cars, but in no was can I say I am a mechanic. because I just don't enjoy it. So I guess that is what bothers me. But we have it so I plan to move forward regardless.
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