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Old 08-09-2003, 12:45 PM   #1
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Ok, I had my 99 Adventurer DP weighed on all 4 corners with a full load of fuel, etc. I've got 4 year-old Michelin XRV 245/70R 19.5 inch tires that have a max air pressure rating (cold) of 95#. The actual weight of the RV is lighter than the vehicle's GVW ratings, especially on the front axle. The tires have about 26,000 miles on them and they look good (tread and sidewall). They are wearing even. I just bought this coach and the previous owned kept the tires at 95# all around. When I look at the Michelin tables on their web site, they call for 75# on the front tires and 90# on the rear tires based on my actual weight. What would you do?: 1. Don't change a thing from the current 95# pressure.....or.....2. Lower the cold pressure to 75# (front) and 90# (rear) and look for ride improvements? (I'm satisfied with the current ride and handling)......or.....3. Set tires at something in-between (say 85 and 90 or so). Given all the talk on this and other forums about the importance of maintaining accurate tire pressure and knowing your vehicle's weight, I'm faced with a dilemma and would like to do the right thing. Any advice or input?
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Old 08-09-2003, 12:45 PM   #2
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Ok, I had my 99 Adventurer DP weighed on all 4 corners with a full load of fuel, etc. I've got 4 year-old Michelin XRV 245/70R 19.5 inch tires that have a max air pressure rating (cold) of 95#. The actual weight of the RV is lighter than the vehicle's GVW ratings, especially on the front axle. The tires have about 26,000 miles on them and they look good (tread and sidewall). They are wearing even. I just bought this coach and the previous owned kept the tires at 95# all around. When I look at the Michelin tables on their web site, they call for 75# on the front tires and 90# on the rear tires based on my actual weight. What would you do?: 1. Don't change a thing from the current 95# pressure.....or.....2. Lower the cold pressure to 75# (front) and 90# (rear) and look for ride improvements? (I'm satisfied with the current ride and handling)......or.....3. Set tires at something in-between (say 85 and 90 or so). Given all the talk on this and other forums about the importance of maintaining accurate tire pressure and knowing your vehicle's weight, I'm faced with a dilemma and would like to do the right thing. Any advice or input?
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Old 08-09-2003, 06:13 PM   #3
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DanS,

You can go two ways, in either event you are the second owner, so you probably don't have a warranty. So you have a choice of these two.

1. Since the tires are is such good condition, "don't fix it if it isn't broke". Do as the previous owner did, it worked for him.

2. If you want for follow the factory's guide lines; since they made the tires, they should know whats best. If you have a problem after following their recommendation, you can blame them. Just what they'll do about it is another story. If you go this way, Call Mr. Porter at Michelin and expalin your position and see what he says.

I like to put the responsibility where it belongs, "with the one who made the product". If they can't support their products after the sell and advise the customer with assurance, then buy else where.

I spoke with mr. Porter(Michelin Engineer) at Winnebago's GNR and fully understand Michelins position. Most tire problems are owner related. Michelin has designed into their tires, away to determine tire mishaps/failure. The tire damage investegator has all the tools, the only thing I see as a problem, is not letting the tire or tires get away from you before he actually gets to see them.
Michelin dealers are not qualified nor are they authorized to make a decision as to what caused the tire failure. If you leave your tires with a dealer, chances are they'll never get inspected by the factory, the dealer won't pay the freight.
So, if you do have a tire problem and you want a fair evaluation, have the tire or tires sent back to Michelin's Engineering for inspection.

This information came straight from the source, Michelin.

Tomcat F15
2003 Journey DL 39QD on Michelins set at factory specs after weighting each wheel.
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Old 08-10-2003, 09:33 AM   #4
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I would go with the Michelin guideline pressures plus about 5 psi, because your actual weight as a way of sneakily increasing and you NEVER want to have too little pressure. Some experts even recommend 10 psi over for RVs, as long as it doesn't exceed the max rating. That means your rears are right on at 95 psi but your fronts would come down to 80-85 psi. Not a big difference, which is probably why they seem to be working OK as is.

But the 95 psi is not a problem if you want to stick with what appears to be working. At worst is giving you a harsher ride than necessary, detracting a bit from the tire's grip on the road and maybe wearing the center of the tires a bit faster than otherwise. However, I personally would use the lower pressure on the fronts because I like anything that improves traction a bit - you need traction to steer and brake and every little bit helps.

Gary Brinck
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Old 08-10-2003, 09:45 AM   #5
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Tomcat, Michelin will not pay the freight? Are they that cheap? We had two Toyo failures and Toyo had the tires picked up for their inspection by the factory to determine the cause of failure and were very customer service oriented and very fair in their settlement.
Is Michelin also so arrogant that their tire "never" has a manufacturing defect and it is "always" owner abuse or neglect.
No wonder you so many bad reports about adjustment requests from Michelin if we end users of their tires are automatically guilty because we are RV'rs. If that is the tone Mr Porter conveyed and Michelin's attitude I for one will never use their tires as I prefer to deal with honest customer service oriented companies that gives us the benifit of actually trying to use their tires in accordance with their published instructions. Sorry to come off so negative about company on second hand information or quotes but I have seen so many negative comments about them recently and their tires and adjustments I felt like stating an opinion.

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Old 08-10-2003, 03:21 PM   #6
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One other factor that warrants consideration is the wheel's pressure limit. Altho 95 psi is at or above the limit of some wheels, one would suspect that it is safe in your case because the rig has been performing that way for some time. But assumptions have a way of biting you where it hurts. The difficulty in verifying the safety is that the limit is typically stamped inside the wheel. You might try calling the manufacturer for that info.

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Old 08-10-2003, 05:08 PM   #7
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Rich & Babs
I did not say or write, " Michelin wound not pay the freight", I was told that most dealers won't pay the freight. Stop and think about it, if you were a dealer. Would you ship tires back to the factory, if you weren't the original selling dealer. From my conversation with Mr.Porter, I understand that the tires have to be inspected at the factory in their lab. So, when an owner of their tires has a warranty issue, the owner will have to wait till the inspection process has been done, before any settlement can be reached.

Yes, there has been a lot of negative writting about their tires. I don't have an answer, nor would I even try. What I understand, is that tires are affected in many ways and we have to be alert to what happens and how we maintain them. One of the biggest problems that we also talked about, "is over weighting the coach".

I was told a story about a couple, who were in to rocks and stones. Understanding the weight factor that rocks and stones have compared to their size, it was not even thought about by the couple, when they made their trip back home from out west with storage compartments packed with rocks and stones, and two tire failures. The same thing holds true for people who take everything, but the kitchen sink when they travel. Most coaches have a limit on the weight they can carry, just as any other vehicle.
Motor Homes are designed and engineered to be able to carry a specific load in correlation with the tires. When the carring limit is exceeded, somethings got to give. Thats why it's important to beaware of whats going on around you and your coach.

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Old 08-11-2003, 05:16 AM   #8
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Tomcat: Most tire manufactures have a return system same as most other product manufacturers "dealers will not pay freight" is a cop out statement by the factory engineer. I am sure the engineer if he checked (which he should already be aware of) would find a return policy and procedure is already in place. Michelin needs to face up to the fact that ther XRV tire may need stronger sidewalls that are abrasion resistant because we RV's drive into unpaved campgrounds or off of paved roads and "abuse?" the tires by doing so.

One of the things that helped me with my adjustment with Toyo was that we had had the coach weighed by "a weigh we go" now RVSafety.org and could supply hard data about weights. We have also gone to a larger tire on the front of our coach. The tires were on the coach when we purchased it and I could not verify what pressure they had been run at before our purcchase and Toyo still stood behind them.

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Old 08-11-2003, 08:29 AM   #9
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Michelin will arrange for shipping at their expense if THEY ask for the tire to be returned for anaysis - I know of someone with that experience. However, if either Michelin's or the dealer's preliminary conclusion is that the problem is NOT a tire defect, then the owner would typically be responsible for return shipping if he wants further analysis. In other words, you have to get Michelin (like most any manufacturer) to authorize return shipping before sending something back. And not authorizing shipping is a pretty effective way to discourage further action when the item is as large & heavy as a tire. So yes, it is a cop-out in that sense, but it merely represents their judgement that there is no valid warranty claim.

That said, Michelin is notorious for classifying nearly all failures as abuse by the owner. Perhaps in the case of RV tires they are justified, but we have no real way to know. We do know, though, that many Rvs are run overweight or under-pressure. Other companies seem more inclined to make adjustments, perhaps as a customer satisfaction policy rather than warranty, but who cares what the rationale is? The net result is the same for a tire owner.

You should also be aware that Michelin tires may be sold through merchandising agreements where the distributor is responsible for handling warranty claims. Michelins sold in Canada, for example, cannot be handled by a US dealer. Same for Mexico. And I have heard that Sears also does the warranty claims handling for the Michelins it sells.

Gary Brinck
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Old 08-11-2003, 09:32 AM   #10
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Gary B: Seems Michelin tires for RV use are being sold without a warranty as dealers can say anything they want to sell a tire but cannot warranty a tire unless they sold it. Sounds like a sweet deal for Michelin as they sell a tire for a premium price and use what ever "arrangement" they can to sidestep any warranty express or implied. This just reinforces our decision not to use Michelin tires and they DO NOT stand behind their tires per your example.

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Old 08-11-2003, 10:40 AM   #11
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Wow.....I kinda feel like I threw fresh meat into the lion cage!!! Thanks for the input. I'm going to talk to Michelin about the proper pressure but, at this point, I think I'll go with 95# for the rear duals and 85# for the fronts (down from 95#). Seems like a good middle ground given my actual weights. I agree that I don't want to risk underinflating so, instead of the 75# as recommended for the fronts, I'll bump it to 85#. If I get anything different from Michelin, I'll let you know. Thanks.

DanS
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Old 08-11-2003, 11:25 AM   #12
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Dan S: I was just talking to a friend of mine who has lost 5 of 6 XRV 19.5 due to zippered tires, his brother has lost 6 and his ex wife 4. None were "adjustable" because all RV's run their tires underinflated/overloaded per Michelin (do not know if factory or tire stores). All tires were under 5 years old so timing caused me to "go on a rant". I wish you better luck than they had as there has been some good advice posted.

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Old 08-11-2003, 11:54 AM   #13
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Thanks......BTW, I just talked to Michelin. They asked all the right questions about type of RV, weights, etc and were very helpful. They made the recommendation that I run 70# in the front and 90# in the rears (right from their tables). Nothing about adding 5# or 10# to the numbers. The rep stated that the ride should improve markedly from what it is today.

Now I'm still a bit nervous about going down from 95# to 70# in the fronts. I'll have to think about it. No big deal on the rears (going from 95# to 90#). At this point, I'm still leaning toward going to 80 or 85# in the fronts and 90 in the rears. I would like to see if the ride is positively affected by the lowering of pressure to the 70# level, but all the talk about "underinflated" tires blowing is scaring me away from the low figure on the fronts.

The subject of RV tires is veeeeeery interesting....lots of opinions, horror stories and old customs. Let's see, the tire stores and mechanics say run max pressure on all tires, M says follow the tables and experienced RV'rs are somewhat all over the map......what's a guy to do?? Actually I've learned a lot from all this. Whatever I do, it will be a more educated decision that before I started this thread. Any other input before I "do it" and leave on a long trip?
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Old 08-11-2003, 12:05 PM   #14
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I'd like to weigh in on this issue, if I may. Some of you old truck drivers out there might have the same take on this.

I have a fleet of tractor-trailers that routinely gross out at 80,000lb. I use Michelin exclusively because of their customer service and the long life I get from the tires. I do realize that my XRV's may be handled differently by the company, but that's another issue. I run all my commercial truck tires at the maximum pressure for maximum load as printed on the tires. Over the years this has lead to a decrease in tire failures ESPECIALLY in the summer when heat becomes the enemy of all tires. I run my XRV's all at 95-100 lb and feel confident that the heat build up in the tires is greatly reduced by the decreased flexing in the sidewalls. Now...if ride is the issue, then reduce your pressure in the front. I don't feel that the ride in my Adventurer is objectionable in any way, so I will continue to max the pressure in all my HD tires, truck AND RV.

I do realize that there are lots of differing opinions about this, but I'll stick to what is actually printed on the tire.

Ron & Kathy
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[This message was edited by RVRon on Tue August 12 2003 at 09:10 AM.]
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