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Old 08-21-2009, 11:35 AM   #1
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Small Cracks on RV Tires

HI I HAVE A QUESTION on side wall of tires i have small cracks starting
what would be the cause of this at this low 10,000 miles on 2005 greyhawk.
i have michelin tires on the rv they are what came on it original tires greyhawk
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Old 08-21-2009, 11:44 AM   #2
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To answer you question: age, not miles. When were the tires manufactured? How much UV exposure do they get? Are they rolled frequently? What kind of surface are they stored on? Jacks up or down? Answers to all of these have an effect on tire life. Five/six year old tires may have come to the end of their life expectancy.
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Old 08-21-2009, 11:51 AM   #3
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Too Little Usage

10,000 miles in four years? My guess is that the coach has spent way too much time sitting, probably in the sun, not being exercised with anywhere near enough frequency, and the tires are beginning to rot; the only thing the mileage has to do with it is that they are too low! You will need to replace them before long. "Sorry 'bout that."
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Old 08-21-2009, 12:35 PM   #4
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While the cracks are a sign of aging, tiny surface cracks in a tire are NOT a sign of incipient failure. It's called weather checking and is fairly common. If the cracks do not go too deep and are not too wide, I would not be concerned. The only real way to know if a tire is near failure is to dismount it and look for cracks or stress marks on the inside. And even then it's just an educated guess.
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Old 08-21-2009, 10:08 PM   #5
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All good advice. In addition, there were certain years of manufacture where Michelin fell short and had a lot of problems with premature dry cracking. Having said that, I changed Michelin 10yr old tires when I bought my coach and they had no sign of this. I also found a set of covers in the basement and use them when in storage.
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Old 08-22-2009, 12:05 AM   #6
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Michelin has produced a graphic aid to evaluate the severity of sidewall cracks. They made them available to anyone who wanted one at the Winnebago GNR last month. The aid depicts cracks in four or five stages from minor to severe, and unless the cracks are in the severe category their recommendation is to keep a close eye on the tires and if the cracks begin to worsen to change tires. The most important things for tire care are (1) correct inflation for load being carried, (2) protection from sun and UV rays and (3) keeping tires clean using non oil based cleaners, preferable just soap and water and rinsed well.
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Old 08-22-2009, 01:12 AM   #7
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It sounds like the issue here might be the cost of new tires. These things are what seperate you from the pavement and possible injury for yourself and others. If you have doubts, replace them, at least the fronts. You can limp along slowly if you loose a rear tire although it could cause a lot of damage to your rig if it blows out, but a blow out in the front can be disasterous. You can find out the age of your tires right on ths sidewall. There is a small oval with a number like 3902. This number would indicate that the tire was manufactured in the 39th week of 2002. For myself, I choose to err on the side of safety.
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Old 08-22-2009, 01:48 AM   #8
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Greyhawk, Talk to Michelin. Last year we got a 50% adjustment on our 2004 tires with 20,000 miles.

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Old 08-22-2009, 08:33 AM   #9
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By all means, contact Michelin. Tires are covered under warranty against excessive weather checking for 5 years from date of manufacture. Check the manufacture date on the sidewall. The tires may be mounted with the date on the inside, so you may have to crawl underneath.

If you are under the 5 year limit, you will have to take your RV to an authorized Michelin store for inspection. Michelin will probably give you several names in your area. I think they want you to go to a company store, not an independent franchise.

As Gary said, minor weather checking is not dangerous; but if Michelin will make a price adjustment, I would go ahead and replace the tires. We perlaced 2 front tires (12/04 mfg date) last fall at a 70% discount.
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Old 08-22-2009, 10:13 AM   #10
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If you check the manufacture date of your tires you may be at the five year mark already. When I see any cracks my tires are coming off. Inspection may miss the deeper cracks and how do you know how qualified the inspector is anyway. When I first saw cracks on my last set of Michelins I "began" to think about replacing them but there was sooo much good tread left. Very shortly thereafter I blew out a rear dual on the road. That is an experience I never want to repeat. I sustained no body damage and of course I was lucky it wasn't a front tire. Now when I see crack I replace tires.
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Old 08-22-2009, 09:31 PM   #11
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We always cover our tires when parked, and never park them on concrete w/o a vapor barrier -- we replaced 7 yr old tires about 6 months ago what had no weather cracking at all. Oh, and those tires also had about 48k on them. You have to protect 'em, and use 'em to keep 'em in good shape.
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Old 08-22-2009, 10:49 PM   #12
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This is somewhat off-topic. I don't have the web address, but there is a video of the proper actions when/if a tire fails. I think it belongs to Michelin, hopefully someone knows how to find the video.
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Old 08-22-2009, 11:26 PM   #13
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hello is there is there any rv owner that has came across recalls or knows of these tires that were recalled for small cracks please let me know iam looking for any recall info in writing greyhawk
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Old 08-23-2009, 12:07 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Ray,IN View Post
This is somewhat off-topic. I don't have the web address, but there is a video of the proper actions when/if a tire fails. I think it belongs to Michelin, hopefully someone knows how to find the video.

Try this:

Michelin North America RV Videos and Demos Page
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