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Old 06-24-2016, 11:24 AM   #1
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Hard/Expensive Lesson: Goodbye, Yokohama Geolander Tires

My wife and I just returned from our maiden voyage in the new-to-us 1997 Holiday Rambler Vacationer 32CG. Ours was built on a Ford F53 chassis, the last year of the old-style 1990-1997 F53 with the narrow track, weak brakes, tiny wheels, and 460ci engine.

Prior to departure I trotted the unit down to the tire store and we departed on a set of Yokohama Geolander tires, size 235/85r16, load range E (about all you can get for this wheel size).

For those with short attention spans, or who won't read this part after the pictures: All tires started every day at 80psi (the tire mfr maximum), I have TPMS which I watch like a hawk, and we weren't even close to overloaded.

Right front:



Followed later in the day by the left front:



Both were instantaneous, catastrophic blowouts and the left front nearly pitched us off a mountain bridge, also managing to damage chassis wiring that runs through the wheel well, including my rear view camera and generator. Tire tread also flew back and smashed the lights on the tow dolly. Since I only had one spare and I had two blowouts in one day, I got the pleasure of tossing $418 down the drain on roadside assistance to bring me some no-name tire I never heard of before. That tire got a grand total of 700 miles on it before being taken right back off. That doesn't sound bitter at all, does it?

After extensive research (including some great research here on iRV2) I opened up my wallet, took a giant gulp, and parted with the better part of $3k (incl. tax, mounting/balancing, and road hazard) on 7 (including spare) Michelin XPS RIB tires (also load range E). I sure hated throwing away nearly-new tires, but I refuse to drive on something I don't trust.

Although I have no manifest reason to suspect suspension issues I am also taking it to the alignment shop to ensure all is pointed in the correct direction and there are no deficiencies in the steering or suspension.

Interestingly, the TPMS system showed that underway the Yokohamas would inflate to about 95-ish PSI from the starting point of 80 PSI. This, to me, is a direct indication of flex-induced heat.

The replacement tires only go from 80 PSI to about 86 PSI. It will be interesting to see how my real-world experience with these gazillion-dollar Michelins comes out. One way or t'other, I'll definitely update this thread.
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Old 06-24-2016, 11:32 AM   #2
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I am so glad you are safe. And, have taken care of the future safety for your ride. What an awful surprise. Cheap camping is tenting... if you go with anything else, it becomes an expensive hobby, or vacation when it's all accounted for!
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Old 06-24-2016, 11:39 AM   #3
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Had a similar experience with my '98 Winnebago Adventurer. Put 6 new Kelly tires on it when I bought it. First one blew out at 2 years sitting still with jacks down in a campground three days after we arrived. Lost another a year later. Finally lost three in one day a year later. The left rear outside dual took out the connection to the black tank drain. Imagine what that resulted in on I-26!

It was either upgrade to 19.5" wheels and tires or trade. Put new tires all around on it and traded for a new to us Allegro Bus. I believe those LT tires are just too undersized for that size rv. I really did like the Adventurer, but just could not trust the tires. Made me a nervous wreck driving it after that experience. I had always checked the tire pressures everyday we traveled, but still had the blowouts. All together, I lost six out of seven tires on that rv.
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Old 06-24-2016, 11:41 AM   #4
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I hope you took the original tires you bought back and got a full refund. That should not have happened, and if they tell you they were overloaded, then they should have never sold them to you and mounted them on your MH in the first place.
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Old 06-24-2016, 11:42 AM   #5
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Have you had the rv weighted at each axle and in each corner? I'm guessing it weights around 17000lbs. Assuming an even weight distribution (it usually is not) then that's 2830lbs/tire. Im not sure exactly which geolander you have, assuming it's an LT but for dually they are rated at 2780lbs and 3042lbs as singles. There is a real possibility that you were overweight for the tires. Glad everyone is safe.
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Old 06-24-2016, 11:48 AM   #6
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Wow that is crazy!...Do you happen to know what the date codes were on the Yokohamas? I know they were new but just curious how old they were.
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Old 06-24-2016, 12:01 PM   #7
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Did you have the front end aligned when you bought the Michelins ?
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Old 06-24-2016, 12:02 PM   #8
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Brad;

I am glad you are okay with no more damage (other than your wallet) than what you had. Were these the same tires you were seeing the seemingly high temperature rise that you discussed earlier in another post, or was this a different set?
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Old 06-24-2016, 10:04 PM   #9
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Old 06-25-2016, 03:39 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lt Dan View Post
Brad;

I am glad you are okay with no more damage (other than your wallet) than what you had. Were these the same tires you were seeing the seemingly high temperature rise that you discussed earlier in another post, or was this a different set?
Indeed the same set.
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Old 06-25-2016, 08:23 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad Felmey View Post
......



...........we departed on a set of Yokohama Geolander tires, size 235/85r16...........

............Although I have no manifest reason to suspect suspension issues........

Brad, I'm glad no one was hurt! A rotten and costly trip, to be sure.
The two notes above caught my eye:
1) Tire size 235/85/16. Astounding! Just for reference, your 32 ft motorhome is running on tires that are just ever so slightly larger than the tires on my 3000 Lb Honda Element (225/70/16).
2) >>>.... I have no manifest reason to suspect suspension issues....<<<. You did say you were riding on an old style F53, right? 'Nuff said.


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Old 06-25-2016, 11:01 PM   #12
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From my tire selling days, shredded tires like that were due to heat build up - exceeding mold/curing temps. Usually we'd find a small nail(under inflation) or it came from a vehicle that was overloaded. In this case, I would think the load rating of the tires would be suspect...not knowing the weight of the RV's front corners or the load rating of the tires, 80 psi sounds a little on the low side to me.
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Old 06-25-2016, 11:10 PM   #13
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Are you sure the 80 lbs was the recommended maximum pressure or the minimum. Most truck tires list the MINIMUM pressure for the maximum load on the tire. Different than car tires.
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Old 06-26-2016, 12:32 PM   #14
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Agree with underinflation. I have the same tire/wheel combo and clearly stamped into the rim is "minimum pressure 80 psi."
I also feel your pain, I had left front blowout @ 62 mph....without warning and it too destroyed a ton of wiring and hydraulic lines. Repairs to wiring and hydraulics was time consuming and expensive. Best of luck with your repairs.
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