It's slow, so I thought I would tell my tale of woe. We just got back from a trip to the Grand Canyon and we're leaving for Yellowstone Sunday. I was checking the tires (GoodYear G670's) Thursday and realized I was running them a little underflated, so I was adding some air (30000 miles).
I noticed a knot the size of a golf ball on the sidewall of the left front tire that concerned me. It was also the only tire that was showing some excessive wear on the outside shoulder. It had a small concave groove on the outer edge of the tire where it was wearing thin.
I called the truck tire store I use and they didn't have a tire in stock, but could get one by Monday or Tuesday. I carry a new unmounted spare so I took the coach over this morning to have the spare put on. I asked about the price of the new tire so I could order one. They quoted me $526.00, $32.00 FET, $50.00 sales tax, and $50.00 to mount and balance ($658.00). I thought this is was a little high.
I called me friend who owns a tire store where I worked in high school to get me a price. Even though he doesn't do motor homes, he quoted me $390.00 + the $32.00 ($422.00 and no tax
). He also said I could pick the tire up right from his supplier if I wanted to. I sent my neighbor over for it. I paid the extra $50.00 to have it installed so that I had two new front tires.
I've never had my alignment checked, but I'm leary of most alignment shops because very few use quality/correct equipment. This shop had 4 wheel laser alignment equipment with an old guy that was very thorough. I paid for the alignment to be done ($150.00).
I found the coach was sitting with both tires at 0.0 on the toe in/out. The specs called for .06 toe in. The mechanic said that the way the coach was set up, the tires were actually spread outward under the load of driving. He added that this would often cause some of the outside shoulder wear. He corrected the alignment and made sure that it was tracking straight.
On the drive home I had a noticable improvement in steering. The coach tracked much straighter and the fresh balance and new tires rode very nice.
I check my ride height once a year, changed to the Koni's and finally had the coached aligned with it fully loaded. Each item has improved the ride.
The moral of the story is to check your tires, check you prices and at some point get your coached aligned.