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Old 06-26-2016, 08:44 PM   #1
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Tire tread type

Hi everyone.

Haven't posted here for awhile but I'm interested in feedback on tire selection. Okay, I know, the subject of tires has been done to death over and over, but there's one angle that really doesn't seem to get discussed as much: tread type.

For the purposes of this query I'm referring to tires on a class A motor coach although it could apply to class B, C and tow vehicles as well. My coach's tires are due (overdue actually!) for replacement and I had initially intended to just opt for a conventional road tread.

Currently the coach has Bridgestone M726 EL on the rear. This tire has more of a traction type tread...not quite a knobby or tractor pattern - more of a turf tire look. I like to boondock when practical and there have been a number of times when I wonder whether the slightly more aggressive tread pattern has maybe saved my bacon.

Just this winter we were camping in forest just outside Grand Canyon - there was still snow and the road into the area was definitely muddy.

On the same trip, we got into some soft sand on the bank of lake Watson. In both cases although it was a little hairy the coach handled the situation surprisingly well. I'm wondering whether it would have been the same if coach had been mounted with a more conventional road type tread.

The coach in question is a 36' diesel pusher, Cummins 8.3 on a Spartan chassis. For what it's worth it gets around 9 mpg.

Any thoughts? Thanks in advance for any feedback.
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Old 06-26-2016, 09:28 PM   #2
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My thoughts on this are, if you boondock and get off the beaten path (paved roads) regularly, keep a more aggressive tread tire on the rear and all season tread tires on the front axle. Notice, a lot of trucks use a more aggressive tread on their drive axle and they get decent mileage and tire life from them.
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Old 06-27-2016, 01:55 PM   #3
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"Steer" tires are almost always with big longitudinal grooves and some small transverse grooves. "Traction" tires tend to have the blocks of tread with approx equal size longitudinal and transverse grooves. Steer tires can be used any position, but traction tires are for drive axles or non-steering applications.

I am not aware of any difference in mileage or total wear miles between the two types.
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Old 06-27-2016, 07:05 PM   #4
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I just last year put on new tires and they are an all position tire. They have a little bit of traction element to them and I would liken them to an all season. They still ride nice and are quiet. They kick up a little more spray on wet roads which tell me they are doing their job. I had Goodyears on before and they were 9 years old so I replaced them with Firestone FS 561's I am very pleased with them after 8000 miles, but I am sure others will disagree.
|It all depends on what type of travel and where you go. I have seen Class A" with some pretty aggressive winter type tires on the drives.
It is what works best for you.
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Old 06-28-2016, 05:53 PM   #5
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First a DP isn't an off pavement vehicle and you really are increasing your chance for damage or just getting stuck which can get expensive. Even if you have roadside insurance...most have restrictions of how far off the pavement they will go to retrieve you. A friend of mine got stuck in a field where his family was having a family reunion...of all the campers there only his got stuck. The tow company charge him $100 per foot from the nearest roadway...his cost was in the thousands!!!

99% of the time you're tooling down the highway, so a good highway tread the has good water channeling and quiet smooth ride is what I'd go with.
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Old 07-01-2016, 12:47 PM   #6
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I can't imagine any place I would take my Class A where "traction" vs "steer" vs "all-position" would make any difference. Or that any traction type tire you could buy for it that would make a noticeable difference in fuel economy.

A traction tire is more about non-skid on slick wet surfaces than pulling you through mud bogs or sand, so maybe that traction tread did "save your bacon" at some point. Or at least made your bacon a little more comfortable.
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Old 07-01-2016, 01:36 PM   #7
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Basically two types of tires. Lug and rib. A rib tire will give better mileage than a lug tire. Partially worn tires will give better mileage than a new tire. Lug tires have better traction than a rib tire.

Lug tires have different levels of tread design based on the intended level of traction desired.
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