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Old 05-14-2020, 09:32 AM   #1
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How long tires are "safe" for regardless of tread

I have a 32' Fleetwood Flair that has mostly 'sat' for the past 5 years covered and there are no sidewall cracks on the tires. I move it around a few times a year but have not travelled much in it since I put new Michelin radials on it (with correct size and load range) just about 4-5 years ago and have maybe 6,000 miles on them since.

I am wondering if there is a lifespan in the AGE of a tire if it is in otherwise good shape; meaning no visible wear. My father-in-law says to change them out "religiously" at the 4-5 year mark or risk a blowout.

Thoughts on this?

Thanks and stay healthy,
Chuck
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Old 05-14-2020, 09:39 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chucksel View Post
I have a 32' Fleetwood Flair that has mostly 'sat' for the past 5 years covered and there are no sidewall cracks on the tires. I move it around a few times a year but have not travelled much in it since I put new Michelin radials on it (with correct size and load range) just about 4-5 years ago and have maybe 6,000 miles on them since.

I am wondering if there is a lifespan in the AGE of a tire if it is in otherwise good shape; meaning no visible wear. My father-in-law says to change them out "religiously" at the 4-5 year mark or risk a blowout.

Thoughts on this?

Thanks and stay healthy,
Chuck
There is definately an age-out factor but wide disagreement in what age that is. Michelin says to have your tires inspected annually by a dealer after 5 years and replace after 7 years. I did not do the inspection but did replace at 7 years. My tires were stored indoors in ideal conditions and I think they could have gone 10 years, but I'm not into taking chances.
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Old 05-14-2020, 09:43 AM   #3
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My goal is to try for the 10 year mark. But, and this is a big but,,, I know how my tires are maintained, used, and stored. They're stored when not actually camping, on a hard, dry surface that get's no sunlight. I maintain tire pressures and make frequent visual checks.

Yours sitting up for so long, maybe out in the weather, may be a different story. I'd "guess" that you're probably good to go for a couple of three more years. To be more certain, it'd probably be good idea to let a tire service center inspect them.
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Old 05-14-2020, 09:46 AM   #4
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Several years ago, I was going to replace my 9 yr old tires with about 4k miles on them when a friend called and wanted to go camping about 90 miles away. The tires looked great and hadn't been used in about 3 years.

I had no problems with that trip and the following week, drove about 50 miles to the tire shop. The guy told me I "might have made it around the block one more time" as one of them had a football sized bubble on the inside where I couldn't see it.
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Old 05-14-2020, 10:01 AM   #5
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7 years is max for me. Some may try for the 10 mark but if you have ever had a tire blow out while traveling at speed I think you would prefer to change them out sooner. I have experienced a front blow out and the damage it did was not something I would want to go through again. I have seen trailers have a lot of fiberglass damage when those tires come apart as well.
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Old 05-14-2020, 10:01 AM   #6
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The manufacturer is the best place for that info: https://www.michelinrvtires.com/refe...and-bulletins/

From the PDF titled "Service Life for RV/Motorhome Tires":

"That is why, in addition to regular inspections and inflation pressure maintenance by consumers, it is recommended to have RV/Motorhome tires, including spare tires,
inspected regularly by a qualified tire specialist, such as a tire dealer, who will assess the tire’s suitability for continued service. Tires that have been in use for 5 years or more should continue to be inspected by a specialist at least annually. "

"Michelin recommends that any tires, including spare tires, should be replaced after 10 years of service, even if they have not reached the legal wear limit."


They seem to allude to a difference between "in use" and not. would think that "not" means not mounted, no pressure, and not exposed to the elements and sunlight but do not know for certain.

My big question is what constitutes a qualified inspector and what do they look for specifically. From another PDF when a tire was run low on air:

"A qualified tire technician should demount the tire to conduct a thorough tire and wheel inspection before returning them to service."

Check this doc and search for the word inspect and you may get some idea of what they should look for:

https://www.michelinb2b.com/wps/b2bc...s_Brochure.pdf


If I were in your position, brand new tires installed five years ago and little mileage, I'd take the RV to a truck tire dealer that is also a Michelin dealer. I'd have them remove and dismount each tire and inspect them inside and out. I'd also have them install new solid metal valve stems just because it's good insurance and cheaper to do while the tire is already dismounted. I'd ask if they could install balancing beads as well. They also should carefully inspect the wheels (rims) for cracking, corrosion, etc.

If the full weight of the RV was on the tires (jacks were not down to relieve some of the weight), let them know. If you ever found a tire that was close to 20% low on air, let them know which one and consider replacing that tire.

Tires are not solid as they appear. The rotational velocities from normal driving help keep some of the protective chemicals inside dispersed through the tires. I have no idea how long it would take for a lack of driving to affect the tire negatively and I suspect no one really knows because that's just not a normal condition.

Do you have any records or WAGs on how often the RV sat between drives? If so, that would be good information for the tire inspector as well. 100 miles a month for five years is a whole lot different than a couple of very long trips with the RV stationary for ten months.

Good luck,

Ray
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Old 05-14-2020, 10:15 AM   #7
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One thing to consider... a tire failure would no doubt be catastrophic. The best case scenario would be extensive damage to body work. Worst case would be roll over and death of passengers.

Now... how far do you want to "push it" knowing what is on the line?
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Old 05-14-2020, 10:16 AM   #8
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I'm no expert, but I have read that a rolling tire is better than a sitting tire. When rolling, the chemicals in the rubber help to preserve it. Sitting idle for several years inflated just doesn't keep the rubber alive. Only an expert Tire engineer, Like Roger aka "Tireman" on this forum can provide you with an accurate assessment. The rest of us are just repeating what someone else has said.
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Old 05-14-2020, 10:38 AM   #9
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A common topic. Supposedly, the RV Michelins are prone to sidewall cracks, but the truck tires (I bought) are not.


Per recommendations from longtimes on our outdoors-stored rig;


1) in storage, the tires sit on wood, not gravel or concrete,
2) regular treatment with 303,
3) religious use of tire covers, shading them from direct sunlight.


The rears are Goodyears, roughtly 5 years old, with pristing appearing sidewalls. Their life is near end.
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Old 05-14-2020, 10:43 AM   #10
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Oh, and if you do not have and use a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS), I'd put that right at the top of your list.

Ray
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Old 05-14-2020, 10:47 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crasher View Post
I'm no expert, but I have read that a rolling tire is better than a sitting tire. When rolling, the chemicals in the rubber help to preserve it. Sitting idle for several years inflated just doesn't keep the rubber alive. Only an expert Tire engineer, Like Roger aka "Tireman" on this forum can provide you with an accurate assessment. The rest of us are just repeating what someone else has said.
Crasher's info is consistent with what I've always understood, including the comment about Roger Marble aka Tireman9 (not just Tireman). Here's a link to his blog, which has a wealth of information on many tire topics, including age:

https://www.rvtiresafety.net/2017/02/
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Old 05-14-2020, 11:54 AM   #12
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Per recommendations from longtimes on our outdoors-stored rig;

1) in storage, the tires sit on wood, not gravel or concrete,
2) regular treatment with 303,
3) religious use of tire covers, shading them from direct sunlight.

The rears are Goodyears, roughtly 5 years old, with pristine appearing sidewalls. Their life is near end.
Tireman9's recent article: https://www.rvtiresafety.net/2020/05...se-covers.html

"Tire "Dressing" and "do not use covers"! Where's the test data?"

Spoiler alert: He does not address #1, is skeptical of #2, definitely likes #3.

FWIW,

Ray
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Old 05-14-2020, 01:18 PM   #13
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under federal law a tire can be sold as new as long as it is under 3 yrs old places like tire pros and discount tire will not repair a tire older the 10 yrs old now at one time it was 5 yrs old. i have work at both companies in the past i have seen store managers sell old stock (5-10 yrs old) as new as manager specials. i always check dot dates on all tires (car, motorcycle and rv) before buying i ask for discounts on tires older then a 1 yr and replace as needed i would not go over 13 yrs old
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Old 05-14-2020, 01:33 PM   #14
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I travel about 7500 miles a year. Mostly on interstates as we travel to the west coast (2500 miles away) .

About 10 years is my max. I buy two new tires every three years. I rotate the tires toward the back and install the new tires on the front. This helps spread out the cost of tires, AND, I always have new tires on the front that are less than three years old.

Baby’s got new shoes. – 1999 Southwind 35S


..
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