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Old 08-31-2017, 11:10 PM   #1
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Not the usual tire question?

I just returned home from a 4,200 mile month long trip in my motorhome (28 ft 2002 Safari Trek), before taking off on this trip I invested in a used 19.5 inch wheel, and import spare tire, and hitch mount tire carrier. About 3,000 miles into the trip one morning shortly after getting on the road crossing Nebraska I noticed a vibration in the steering wheel when I hit speeds over 65 mph that seemed to be coming from the front right corner. Over the course of the next 40-50 miles this vibration seemed to occur at lower and lower speeds. Eventually I made it into a small town where I found a tire shop, by this time I could detect the vibration at about 50-55 mph. Unfortunately the shop did not have a balancing machine that could handle 19.5 inch wheels, so I had them replace the right front tire with my non matching cheap import spare, and used it for the remainder of my drive home.

Now that I am home, I need to decide what course of action to take, should I replace both front tires with new matching tires? (all the other tires excluding my new "spare" have a late 2013 date code). Should I have the "shaking" tire unmounted and inspected in case it just threw a balance weight, .....

Should I just continue on and keep the "shaking" tire as an emergency spare as it is unlikely I will be taking any more long RV trips in the next year or so since my wife has a big project at work coming up which will likely limit us to long weekend outings for the next 12-18 months?
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Old 08-31-2017, 11:35 PM   #2
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By the spring all the tires will be in there fifth year , and for some ( even major brands ) that's about their lifespan.
The amount you spend investigating the vibration now, is up to you.
Usually if there is a missing wheel weight there will be marks in the tire bead next to the rim. 55/60 MPH is prime out of balance speed and if you didn't feel a wobble at slower speed ; that would indicate a separation . The tire MAY be usable . But, JMHO , start saving for a complete set of tires in the spring .
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Old 09-01-2017, 07:39 AM   #3
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With tires that old, I'd replace both front tires. No way would I keep that tire, even for a spare. Tires are a LOT cheaper than repairing the body after one blows or looses a tread. I would however have the tire inspected when removed. If it's coming apart then you might just consider replacing them all if they were a set.
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Old 09-01-2017, 07:50 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Isaac-1 View Post
I just returned home from a 4,200 mile month long trip in my motorhome (28 ft 2002 Safari Trek), before taking off on this trip I invested in a used 19.5 inch wheel, and import spare tire, and hitch mount tire carrier. About 3,000 miles into the trip one morning shortly after getting on the road crossing Nebraska I noticed a vibration in the steering wheel when I hit speeds over 65 mph that seemed to be coming from the front right corner. Over the course of the next 40-50 miles this vibration seemed to occur at lower and lower speeds. Eventually I made it into a small town where I found a tire shop, by this time I could detect the vibration at about 50-55 mph. Unfortunately the shop did not have a balancing machine that could handle 19.5 inch wheels, so I had them replace the right front tire with my non matching cheap import spare, and used it for the remainder of my drive home.

Now that I am home, I need to decide what course of action to take, should I replace both front tires with new matching tires? (all the other tires excluding my new "spare" have a late 2013 date code). Should I have the "shaking" tire unmounted and inspected in case it just threw a balance weight, .....

Should I just continue on and keep the "shaking" tire as an emergency spare as it is unlikely I will be taking any more long RV trips in the next year or so since my wife has a big project at work coming up which will likely limit us to long weekend outings for the next 12-18 months?
Simple - just take the tire that was giving you the issue and have it checked - contrary to "popular belief" your tire will last longer than 5 years - - and no Money doesn't Grow on Trees - so be smart.

JMHO,
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Old 09-01-2017, 07:55 AM   #5
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With that kind of a vibration any decent tire shop can easily see a shifted belt, bulge showing an internal ply separation etc. Slowly spin the tire while on a computer balance machine and hold a pointer steady next to the wheel. That will show run-out and other issues.

Replace both front steer tires and take the unit for a decent drive before you pay the bill. Many, many threads on here talking about vibrations that were never found by dealers or tire shops but over the course of many months it was determined that it was a defective tire that caused the vibration.

Here's the problem. Shops install and balance tires so they ASSUME that they were installed and balanced correctly. They (Ford, Goodyear, and tire shops) steadfastly refuse to go back and look at any thing already done. So months and months pass and eventually a good shop finds bad or incorrectly installed tires.

I'm also with Arnold. Five years is a bit soon to condemn all 6 tires. I treat mine yearly inside and out with 303 as well as when it's at home it's under cover and out of the suns rays. I should get a bit more than 5 years.
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Old 09-01-2017, 11:38 AM   #6
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I wouldn't throw the tire away without some further investigation. Could be as simple as a thrown weight (if that's how it was balanced) or as bad as tread separation or damaged belt. Or just have it spin balanced and reinstalled, and take the coach for ride to see if the problem persists. You are only out $20 or so if it is still bad, and saved a couple hundred if it good.

If it's still bad, I might replace both at age 5, but you could replace the bad one now and do the other in 2-3 years, spreading out the replacement expense.
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Old 09-02-2017, 06:13 PM   #7
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I'm guessing that your coach has Goodyear tires. I'm willing to bet that your problem tire has a tread separation. I had an EXACT same experience as you coming home from the Grand Canyon several years ago in a Fleetwood Terra with 19.5 Goodyears. I sold and installed tires for many years and knew immediately it was a tread separation. Sure enough, once I stopped, I could see the separation. If you're tire had thrown a weight, you would not have felt the vibration occur in lower and lower speeds.

If you slowly roll the tire and look carefully at the tread, you'll probably see a wavy portion at some point near the outer edge of the tread. A separation in the belts.

I would definitely replace both front tires, as there is a high probability the other Goodyear will separate. Goodyear has not had the best record with RV tires. If it were me, I would install Hankook's on the front. They're a GREAT riding tire and inexpensive.

If your off brand spare is the correct size, I would leave it as the spare. Once you're done, you'll have confidence in your new front tires and can use the rears for another couple of years, spreading out the costs.
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Old 09-03-2017, 11:54 AM   #8
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I an cheep. I would buy two tires and put them on the front. Next year I would buy two tires and put them on the front. Do not change the direction of rotation and put last years tires on one side of the rear. Next year repeat.
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Old 09-03-2017, 07:49 PM   #9
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Old 09-03-2017, 09:54 PM   #10
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Please have the tire checked by a reputable tire dealer before you drive any further!!!

I have seen two MHs in the last week towed into a recovery lot apparently after on of the front tires blew and the front end hit a tree, telephone post or something.

Having a tire checked is cheap compared to buying new ones. But I agree that the amount of tread left on the tire has very little to do with when to replace them.

I also agree that 303 helps keep the weather cracks away and prolongs the life of the tire.


Good luck and good RVing.
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