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Old 04-27-2008, 12:41 PM   #1
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On my 05 Dutch Star 40' DP, I have 275 x 70R tires. I'm at the weight limit for the front axel and, according to Michelin I need to air the front tires to the maximum (125 psi.) That would make the coach ride like a wooden wagon. Spartan suggested that I go to 305 x 70R and could then get by with only 100 psi.

My questions are: would it be a problem with leaving the 275s on the rear and 305s on the front? Could I also go to an 80R profile for an even larger tire, thus go even lower on the psi?

Lastly, can anyone give me ball park prices for 305s (70 or 80R) and is there a best place to buy tires for motor homes? So far I'm hearing prices in the $600 each range. Can I beat that?

Thanks!
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Old 04-27-2008, 12:41 PM   #2
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On my 05 Dutch Star 40' DP, I have 275 x 70R tires. I'm at the weight limit for the front axel and, according to Michelin I need to air the front tires to the maximum (125 psi.) That would make the coach ride like a wooden wagon. Spartan suggested that I go to 305 x 70R and could then get by with only 100 psi.

My questions are: would it be a problem with leaving the 275s on the rear and 305s on the front? Could I also go to an 80R profile for an even larger tire, thus go even lower on the psi?

Lastly, can anyone give me ball park prices for 305s (70 or 80R) and is there a best place to buy tires for motor homes? So far I'm hearing prices in the $600 each range. Can I beat that?

Thanks!
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Old 04-27-2008, 08:06 PM   #3
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What did Spartan say? I would call them back and ask them the rest of your questions. You may also be able to go to a higher load range tire and use lower pressures.

How bad was it really when you tried the reccomended pressure. The statement "that would" seems to indicate that you may have not tried it yet so maybe you should try and see first before going though all this.
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Old 04-28-2008, 04:36 AM   #4
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Spartan said about $600 each. I didn't ask them about higher load ranges - good question. I had the 275 x 80Rs at 115 psi and it was teeth rattling. 10 more psi would have been a lot worse, I think. Frankly I'm trying to find out if there is a better source for larger RV tires. I'm not near Spartan right now and am heading west.
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Old 04-28-2008, 06:29 AM   #5
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First a little background information on the 38' and 40' 2005 Dutch Stars. Newmar used the same chassis on the Dutch Star and Mountain Aire and it has a 14,600 pound front axle. The only difference was the MA weighed more and had larger tires. They installed small tires, 275/70s, on the DS and being low profile that had no give at maximum inflation they gave a very rough ride. (If you are running 125 psi in your front tires that is unsafe because your wheels are rated for a max of 120.)

I was a member of the Rough Ride Club and I know there were at least 28 of us who complained to Spartan. When we complained to Newmar they told us to talk to Spartan so we all worked with Spartan.

Spartan went out of their way to help and we all got larger and softer front air bags, softer front shocks, a different height of suspension stops and 275/80 XZA3 LRH front tires. That made a world of difference in ride quality.

So it is not only larger tires that improves the rough ride on 2005 Dutch Stars, it is the combination of tires and suspension parts. We all got the work done free the first year of ownership and I doubt if Spartan is still doing that for 2005 DS owners, but it might not hurt to ask.

As for running different size tires on the front and rear that is not a problem. For almost three years I ran 275/80s on the front and 275/70s on the rear. In January I was at Spartan and I had my rear tires upgraded to 275/80s to match the front tires. I paid $425 plus mounting, balancing and tax for each tire.

With 275/70s on the front I ran 120 psi and with the 275/80 tires I run 105 psi. If I had gone to 305/70 XRVs I could have lowered the pressure a few more pounds.

I am very happy with my Michelin 275/80s and the ride quality and handling. Being high profile tires (80 series) they may give just as good of a ride as the 305/70 low profile (70 series) tires. The higher profile gives more sidewall flex when driving rough roads for a smoother ride while the lower profile has less sidewall area and will flex less. But the 305/70 can run at a lower psi so the tires may equal out and give about the same ride quailty.

This may confuse you more than ever, but I wanted to give you some background information on the 2005 Dutch Star. In 2005/2006 I had the list of owners on the Rough Ride Club and I met with Newmar (Dick Parks) and Spartan before they started resolving the problem. I learned more about chassis, suspensions and tires than my old mind could handle.

Good Luck.
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Old 04-28-2008, 01:00 PM   #6
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Norm,

GREAT post! All the info I needed WHEN I was at Spartan a couple of weeks ago. :>( We plan on coming back to Camp Newmar for our "final" inspection and any last minute fixes just before our 3 years are up - so we'll go by Spartan and just see if maybe they can provide the front end fixes you've mentioned.

Please tell me the difference (other than higher profile on the 275x80R) in the XRV and the XZA3 LHR tires. I asked Spartan about different Michelin tires and they told me they went back to the XRVs. Or were they feeding me a line to get rid of some older tires? Actually I checked the mfg date and these were mfgd in Nov 07, so they aren't that old, I don't think.

Again, thanks for the history lesson! I needed that.
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Old 04-28-2008, 02:33 PM   #7
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Ron,

I'm part of Norms Rough Ride Club that had the changes to the front end plus the switch to the 275/80 XZA3 LRH tires. I'm very pleased with the outcome. My preference is for the XZA's over the XRV.

I run 105 pounds in the front and 95 in the rear with the XZA's.

You are probably getting close to the end of your warrenty, so I would not waste any time in getting on the phone with both Newmar and Spartan to get these changes made.

By the way, I shopped the tire price for the XZA's 275/80's and bought one (as a spare) for $456 about 5 months ago. They are probably going up with the price of oil. Take note the my 2 front tires were warrantied when the front end work was done, i.e., there was no charge for the tires, new air bags or shocks for the front end. I did have to buy the rear tires but I got a better price elsewhere instead of paying Spartans price (plus trade in value for the used rear tires).
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Old 04-29-2008, 03:33 PM   #8
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Here is the scoop on the tires you are considering. The first specs are for the Michelin 275/80R22.5 XZA3 LRH and the second spec is for the Michelin 307/70R22.5 XRV.

Load Radius - 18.7" - 18.1"
Overall Diameter - 40.1" - 39.1"
Overall Width - 10.9" - 12.3"
Preferred Rim - 8.25" - 9.00"
OK On Rim - 7.50" - 8.25"
Min Dual Spacing - 12.2" - 13.5"
Revs Per Mile - 518 - 531
Max Single Load/Pressure - 7160/120 - 7830/120
Max Dual Load/Pressure - 6610/120 - 6940/120
Weight - 115.3 lb - 126.8 lb
Pressure required for 13,000 lbs on front axle 105 - 95

You can use this to determine which tire you want to install, Good luck.
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Old 06-06-2009, 12:52 AM   #9
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Dutch Star Rough Ride

We just purchased our first motorhome (2006 38 foot Dutch Star, model 3817) and drove it from Virginia to California. Is is a great coach, but I noticed that going over old freeway roads with patches and ruts that the front of the coach rattled and squeaked and I felt some strong jolts. I just read Norms post dated from 2008, where he had his coach upgraded by Spartan under warranty with better shocks, airbags, and tires.

I am just out of the warranty but need advice on what to do to make the ride smoother. After I parked our Motorhome I noticed that the right windshield had a 16 inch fracture in it that led from the upper frame where a lot of shaking had taken place, and also the wood frame that holds the front TV had dropped some small woodshavings onto the dash.

I have Michelen tires, I think they are 305/r 22.5 and they have about 107 pounds in front. Spartan told me to adjust the air bags and that should help, also an RV shop recommended Koni shocks ( I have Bilsteins now) but I read another Post where Motorhome magazine rated the Bilsteins much better in road rides over the Koni's. Any ideas!
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Old 06-06-2009, 09:11 PM   #10
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That's more than a "rough ride". I'd guess you have a problem with the front cap, which led to a broken windshield and tv cabinetry about to break away. I'd be inclined to drive it to Nappanee, Indiana and get Newmar to figure out what is wrong.
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Old 06-08-2009, 10:20 AM   #11
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I had a similar problem on my 06 DSDP. I went back to Newmar to have it fixed. They didn't change the tires (it road like a truck), but they did re-build the front TV cabinet etc. The monuting bolts were loose and some were broken. I asked the tech why the problem with the cabinet assy. He told me there were not enough bolts in the support mount..thus the problem!
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