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Old 09-02-2020, 04:58 AM   #1
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Should I buy new tires or balance the old ones?

Newbie here. Just purchased a 2000 Holiday Rambler Admiral. My tires are 7 yr old Sumitomos with 25K miles on them (245/70R19.5). They have been covered and look practically new. No dry rot or cracks anywhere. However, I'm getting some vibration in the front end at around 45mph which disappears at 50mph. Vibration returns at around 65 and is much more pronounced and a bit concerning. Not wanting to spend $2K on new tires, should I have them balanced or should I bite the bullet and buy new ones. How much should I expect to pay for tire balancing? Also, I live on the south side of Atlanta, GA, and need to know the location of a reputable tire shop who sells/balances RV tires. Any help would be appreciated.
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Old 09-02-2020, 05:09 AM   #2
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The first thing I would look at is the front suspension. Then, and only then would I look at the tires. New tires or old tires will pretty much act the same if the are worn parts on the front end. As to "RV" tires they are really just truck tires on an RV. Most places that handle truck tires can handle RV tires. You said that your tires are 7 years old. There is a school of thought that says you should replace your tires due to age, I can't disagree with them, but you also said that they appear to be in good shape. Personally I would run those tires until I have eliminated all of the other possibilities for the shake then it's your decision as to whether or not to replace them due to age, but at 7 years they're getting pretty long in the tooth. Good luck.
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Old 09-02-2020, 06:42 AM   #3
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65mph always seems to be the magic number for wheel shake due to unbalanced tires. You could have them balanced and see what happens. The caveat is that you still have 7 yo tires. Even if balancing fixed the issue how long will they last? Anybody's guess. At a minimum I'd replace the steer tires.
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Old 09-02-2020, 06:57 AM   #4
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Tire experts have recommended that tires older than 5 years be replaced or inspected by a specially qualified inspector. 10 year old tires need to be replaced. It has to do with the ongoing chemistry in the rubber and how long the rig is not rolling.

Conspiracy theories aside, the signs of pending failure are not easy to see and require a trained eye.

Remember a blow out can be life threatening.

I wish you good luck and happy trails ahead!
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Old 09-02-2020, 08:25 AM   #5
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Confirm that all the suspension components are as they should be first. If it were my coach, I would also be replacing the tires. You have no way of knowing of the history of their use and care other than they look good. If the budget isn't there for all six, at least replace the steer tires. A rear tire failure can cause more damage that a set of tires, but a front blowout can make for a really bad day. Plus after any repairs you would still have to buy new tires.
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Old 09-02-2020, 09:14 AM   #6
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Hi ! Welcome to IRV2! We're sure glad you joined us!

I would put balancing beads in them and go for another 3 years!

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!
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Old 09-02-2020, 09:31 AM   #7
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If you decide to keep using the current tires, at least consider purchasing a good TPMS so you can monitor the tires pressure and tire temperature while traveling. If the tires exceed a certain threshold for heat it raises the probability of a blow out, and I cannot confirm it but, it seems reasonable, that older tires would be less able to expand from the additional heat versus a newer tire due to weakening over time of the tire sidewall which has held up the weight of the coach for the past 10 years.
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Old 09-02-2020, 11:17 AM   #8
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Another option....replace the front tires for a little added safety precaution. But, I would have the front end aligned and check for any problems that may be causing the vibration.

Agree with getting TPMS system.

And, if it were me, I would replace all the tires. The cost of one blowout can be costly, let alone cause some inconvenience and/or loss of time for a planned trip. You should be able to replace all 6 tires for around 2K including balancing the tires.

If you do the rear tires, consider getting one piece (i.e. Borg dually) tire stems for the inner rear tires. The Borg stems are great and eliminate any problems caused by extensions.

Enjoy your new rig!
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Old 09-02-2020, 11:17 AM   #9
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You do not know if the tires were abused... no history. Put 2 new on the front and roll the dice on the rear after having them inspected and if needed put the better of the front on the back. The out of balance could be a belt separation. $600 is cheap insurance.
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Old 09-02-2020, 11:33 AM   #10
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Thanks for all the replies and info. Is there a good video on checking the steering components i.e tie rod ends, ball joints, etc. on the F53?
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Old 09-02-2020, 01:48 PM   #11
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If you are not familiar with suspension then you should have the front end checked by a reputable shop. Also alignment issues will not cause a shimmy /vibration. It is balance or worn parts. I would replace at least the steer tires.
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Old 09-02-2020, 04:17 PM   #12
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At 7 years old I would replace them and make sure you get a good balance done, and if the viberation continues with the new set then have the suspension checked.
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Old 09-02-2020, 05:09 PM   #13
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If you are going to get them re balanced might as well rotate them while the wheels are off.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Persistent View Post
Tire experts have recommended that tires older than 5 years be replaced or inspected by a specially qualified inspector. 10 year old tires need to be replaced. It has to do with the ongoing chemistry in the rubber and how long the rig is not rolling.

Conspiracy theories aside, the signs of pending failure are not easy to see and require a trained eye.

Remember a blow out can be life threatening.

I wish you good luck and happy trails ahead!
I am no tire expert and you did not name YOUR expert, but to replace tires at 5 years is totally ridiculous, waste of time and money, not sure where you got this info from, although I could agree with getting them inspected, but I do not know of anyone getting there tires inspected at 5 years.

Oh another question, how to you know if the kid at the tire shop is a "qualified inspector" is there some tech school on tire inspectors, do they actually get certified.

Would really like to know if you actually practice this?
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Old 09-02-2020, 05:38 PM   #14
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I am no tire expert and you did not name YOUR expert, but to replace tires at 5 years is totally ridiculous, waste of time and money, not sure where you got this info from, although I could agree with getting them inspected, but I do not know of anyone getting there tires inspected at 5 years.
There can be a good reason to replace tires at 5 years. I have done it and will continue to do so. There is a market for 5 year old 22.5" tires in my area. Farmers and seasonal produce truckers use them on seasonal trucks and trailers. Selling for $100/tire, it makes a five year replacement plan attractive to me. It comes out to 6 cents per mile to have new 295/80/22.5 tires every five years. Pretty cheap peace of mind.
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