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Old 10-31-2007, 07:23 PM   #1
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I have a 1996 class C motorhome on a 1995 chassis. It is a Ford E350, 30 ft. long, and has 37,000 miles on it. Originally it had Michelin tires but I replaced them about two years ago. On the way to the Octoberfest Rally at Lake Medina I had a blowout on the inside rear tire on the passenger side. A friend with me told me the tires I had put on there were load range D and should be load range E. The current tire says 225/75 R16.

I have found prices from $118.99 - $142.99, BF Goodrich for $124.00, and Michelin for $169.99 - $175.00 per tire. Do I need to replace all 6 tires (way out of my budget, especially since I expected these tires to last another 5 years)? Can I replace just the front tires for now? Is there anything I can do with the current tires that have only about 3,000 miles on them? Thanks.
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Old 10-31-2007, 07:23 PM   #2
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I have a 1996 class C motorhome on a 1995 chassis. It is a Ford E350, 30 ft. long, and has 37,000 miles on it. Originally it had Michelin tires but I replaced them about two years ago. On the way to the Octoberfest Rally at Lake Medina I had a blowout on the inside rear tire on the passenger side. A friend with me told me the tires I had put on there were load range D and should be load range E. The current tire says 225/75 R16.

I have found prices from $118.99 - $142.99, BF Goodrich for $124.00, and Michelin for $169.99 - $175.00 per tire. Do I need to replace all 6 tires (way out of my budget, especially since I expected these tires to last another 5 years)? Can I replace just the front tires for now? Is there anything I can do with the current tires that have only about 3,000 miles on them? Thanks.
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Old 11-01-2007, 07:29 PM   #3
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Explanation of tire codes here, you'll find the Light truck at the bottom of the page:

http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/cars/rules/.../brochure.html

Load range E offer a greater margin of safety by allowing the tire to carry a heavier load.

The best method to see if you are within the tires rated load handling capabilities would be to weigh the coach both on the front axle and then on the rear axle. Alot of times a blowout happens is if the air pressure in the tire is lower than the manufacturers suggested pressure for the load the tire is carrying. Many Class C coaches are pushing the limits of the tires and thus a D range tire might not be enough. Also lower load range tires have to be run at max pressure for the tire and then result in a harsher ride than a comparable tire with a higher load rating.
It makes it difficult to say if you are operating within safe margins without knowing axle weights of your coach.
The four tires in back should all be from the same manufacturer and type of tire. ( Same size tires from different manufactures might be different diameters and will not carry the loads evenly) If you had all the same in the back, you can put two tires on the front from a different manufacture. You just won't be able to rotate them.
Cooper is another company that makes a good truck tire and is more reasonably priced than some. Might be worth looking at also. I used them on my last class A and was very happy with them as I could not justify spending the high prices Michelin or Goodyear wanted.
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Old 11-02-2007, 02:55 AM   #4
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">The best method to see if you are within the tires rated load handling capabilities would be to weigh the coach both on the front axle and then on the rear axle. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Ctcamper is correct.

Without knowing the weights, everyone is just guessing.
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Old 11-02-2007, 06:03 PM   #5
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I had all the tires checked at my local auto repair shop when I had the oil changed before I left for the trip to Lake Medina.

At the present time I have three of the 2 year old tires and one 10 year old Michelin (that had never been on the ground) mounted on the rear. As soon as I find a good tire (or set of tires) I will see that the like tires are mounted there. I have been told that it is more important to have the best tires on the front.
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Old 11-02-2007, 06:35 PM   #6
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Barbara, my experience with the class C's is the rear tires are typically loaded heavier than the front. In general RV tires seem to last 5 to a max of about 7 years due to ozone and UV degradation.

The 10 year old tire does need to be replaced before you do any extensive road traveling. Most of the class C's in that size range have load range E tires. I did notice that your chassis is an E350. What is your GVWR listed for the coach and what are the front and rear GAWR? Another question is have you ever had the coach weighed?

I think you will find you are running on the ragged edge with the load range D tires when you get your weights. The E would give you a greater margin of safety.

If your weights are within the load range for a D tire, you could move one of the 2 year old front tires to the rear and replace the 10 year old tire currently on the rear. Then get two new load range E tires for the front. I would take the second load range D front tire and make it the spare. Then as soon as possible, get your 4 new tires for the rear and go to load range E.

Best of luck,

Ken
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Old 11-03-2007, 10:42 AM   #7
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Thanks, Ken. No, I have never had the motorhome weighed. Many years ago I had a company truck weighed and the only place I know to go is way out on Hempstead Hwy.

The motorhome is stored inside an enclosed storage and the spare had never been exposed to sun light. I do plan to get it off as soon as possible. Your suggestion about the tires is exactly what I plan to do.

After 30 years of owning RV's I guess I should have known better, but with the others I guess I traded them off before I had to buy tires. This is the first NEW motorhome I have bought and kept long enough to buy tires for it. :-)

Thanks again!
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Old 11-11-2007, 09:07 AM   #8
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This goes back a few years but I recall my E350 under a 27' MH had Load Range E from the factory.There should be a sticker someplace in the MH that gives the recommended minimum tire sizes and also the inflation pressure. While you are driving with a 10 yr. old tire on the back it is really probably 12 years old and of a different diameter than the new one you just bought. That is an invitation to blow out another tire and possibly both on that position.
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Old 11-11-2007, 09:30 AM   #9
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Yes, the current tire arrangement is only temporary. I have ordered 2 new tires from Discount Tire company and hope to have them installed on the front this Thursday. I will move one front tire to the rear to replace the "old" tire and use one 2 yr. old tire as the new spare.

Next year I will work on replacing the remaining load range D tires. So far this month I have spent more than twice my monthly salary on vehicle repairs so I will have to spread this expense out a bit.
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