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Old 11-28-2022, 10:23 AM   #1
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new front tires 225/75/16

have a 22 feet triple E class C



front michelins are due ,( loved the comfort but road stability so/so)

I would like to have more rigid sidewall for better stability



so many choices, hard to choose,

we buy these , then live with it !


any good advices from RV owners who changed for better ?

thanks

Dan
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Old 11-28-2022, 11:12 AM   #2
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What Michelin tires do you have on the rv now? I have Michelin XZE 255 / 70R 22.5H commercial truck tire for rv use. Review their features and benefits here: https://business.michelinman.com/tires/michelin-xze.
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Old 11-28-2022, 04:42 PM   #3
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I would think if you went from the 115 load index to 121 you’d get the stiffer wall you’re looking for.
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Old 11-28-2022, 08:40 PM   #4
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It sounds like your 1996 E350 chassis could benefit from a heavy duty front stabilizer bar and heavy duty Bilstein RV shocks. Also a heavy duty front steering stabilizer.

Something to keep in mind is that unless a previous owner added one, you do NOT have any kind of rear stabilizer bar. Adding a heavy duty one in back along with heavy duty rear Bilstein shock absorbers, all in combination with the improvements up front, will help immensely with your handling issues.

If you are on a tight budget, everything I mentioned can be purchased affordably off the internet and install yourself.
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Old 11-28-2022, 11:08 PM   #5
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Stay away from anything that looks like ups tires.. they are made for city .. get some with better grip .. look at tread .. and load range.. imho..
By the way.. what does triple e mean? If you have a Ford e350.. follow above advice.. but get front tires that have big tread on them..
Good luck and keep us posted
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Old 11-29-2022, 08:08 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Dittmer View Post
It sounds like your 1996 E350 chassis could benefit from a heavy duty front stabilizer bar and heavy duty Bilstein RV shocks. Also a heavy duty front steering stabilizer.

Something to keep in mind is that unless a previous owner added one, you do NOT have any kind of rear stabilizer bar. Adding a heavy duty one in back along with heavy duty rear Bilstein shock absorbers, all in combination with the improvements up front, will help immensely with your handling issues.

If you are on a tight budget, everything I mentioned can be purchased affordably off the internet and install yourself.

Ron,
I can see that you know quite well all this RV thing
I already added a 1.5 inch rear stabilizer bar
Good steering stabiliser,
I could switch my front shocks for stiffer
I also changed my camber from barely 1 degree to almost 4 +,( great move )

I really have the impression that the front tires sidewall are mushy

As mentionned by GABob ,I might go for 120 rating , but I dont want to totally ruin the ride either
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Old 11-29-2022, 08:13 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by donr103 View Post
Stay away from anything that looks like ups tires.. they are made for city .. get some with better grip .. look at tread .. and load range.. imho..
By the way.. what does triple e mean? If you have a Ford e350.. follow above advice.. but get front tires that have big tread on them..
Good luck and keep us posted
Hi Don
What do you mean by ups tires ( sorry i’m born french )

I tought that I should go for tires that have no all terrain thread, but you seem to favor the opposite
I admit that we boondock in desert quite often
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Old 11-29-2022, 09:40 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by BigDan1 View Post
Ron,
I can see that you know quite well all this RV thing.
I already added a 1.5 inch rear stabilizer bar.
Good steering stabilizer.
I could switch my front shocks for stiffer.
I also changed my camber from barely 1 degree to almost 4 +,( great move )

I really have the impression that the front tires sidewall are mushy.

As mentionned by GABob, I might go for 120 rating , but I dont want to totally ruin the ride either
Good for you Dan. You have done well with the suspension upgrades already done.

Heavy duty Bilstein shocks would contribute further in improving the handling of your rig. I specifically recommend "Heavy Duty Bilstein RV shocks" based on my personal experience HERE WITH OEM AND KONI-RV SHOCKS. Keep in mind that each subsequent improvement will naturally provide less of an over-all improvement as you get closer and closer to your "Best Possible".

We own a 2007 Phoenix Cruiser built on a 2007 E350 Super Duty chassis. Our B+ rig has a low over-all height compared to most class C's with it measuring only 9'-10" to the highest point, the a/c unit. So our rig naturally responds better to suspension improvements.

Regarding thicker side-wall tires, I would not make a decision without first weighing the rig during a trip, fully gassed up, empty waste tanks, full tank of fresh water, and everyone sitting in their place. Your actual working weight on the front tires will help in making a decision on tires. You want to first adjust your tire pressure to correspond to the load the front tires carry, then evaluate from there. If you think thicker side walls will improve your front floaties, try adding 5 psi in each existing front tire (incrementally) to stiffen the side walls, but never exceeding 80 psi.

On the Phoenix Cruiser forum, another member there has the exact same model as us but one year older on a 2006 E350 Super Duty chassis. He replaced his standard "E" rated tires with those higher capacity Michelin tires with thicker side walls. He stated his ride became more rough with no mention of improvement in handling. He went in that direction primarily for more load margin in the tires which I feel was over-kill to the max.

I went in the opposing direction with our rig, softening the ride up front for our ride comfort and to benefit the house. I felt the house was getting unneccessarily jolted. After weighing our rig on a number of different trips, (we got fairly consistent weight numbers) I eventually got bold enough to replace our standard E350 front coil springs with ones rated the next level less. You can read all about it HERE which includes many pictures. I don't feel the change made the floaties any worse.

After I got that project done, by chance I happened to observe the forces applied from the heavy duty Safe-T-Plus steering stabilizer. It actually twists the end of the E350 frame that its mounting bracket attaches to. There is at least 1/4" of movement in the Safe-T-Plus mounting bracket before starting to do it's job of which I believe is the cause of much of the floaties. I will be looking into a way to stiffen the E350 frame in that area to reduce or eliminate the twisting action.

I am surely not meaning to come across as a self-proclaiming expert on this subject. I only share what I have learned through personal experience. My replies can be a lot to digest. Sorry about that.
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Old 11-29-2022, 12:06 PM   #9
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Ups and us postal service use commercial tread tires.. sence mainly low speed and delivery in town.. the compound is harder.. they are easily recognised by the tread.. there are 5 to 6 cut parallel groves and denoted by general smoothness.. no snipe for rain water to get out.. if you DON'T have 4wd then don't go too crazy .. just good tread that can remove a lot of water.. i was fireman for 12yrs+ and drove every type of e ford ambulance and so many different trucks.. i also own e150 heavy hi top conversation van same one.. for last 30yrs+ .. so i have tried about every different tires.. possible.. commercial tread was worse . Let's face it.. you are never going to get Rolls ride.. but you will be in water and if off road.. extra tread will determine how well mud, salt, sand and snow shed off tire..
Tires are subjective and all depends on what each customer wants.. that is why so many choices..
The fact that you are looking for opinion and not wanting something cheap and holds air is great.. I do not work for any tire shop and try to stay away from name brand naming.. but she is your ride.. you best.. know how you use it.. not person behind computer.. look at your load range and tread you like..
Tell me what a triple e is? Please.. oh on my van.. most of braking is in the front.. I found commercial ups tires last.. but can not stop very well.. Imho
Good luck and keep us posted
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Old 11-29-2022, 02:01 PM   #10
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I looked up "Triple E", and found that Triple E is an RV manufacturer that currently only builds Leisure Travel Vans on Sprinter and Transit platforms, but in years past has built the entire gamut of RVs, including 3 different Class A diesel pushers, 2 different Class A gas pullers, a couple of different trailers, in fiver and bumper pull flavors, as well as two different Class C motorhomes... one called the Regency, similar in style to the Phoenix Cruiser, and the other called the Regal, which is similar in style to the typical flat sided Class C motorhome.

Until today, I had never heard of Triple E before, so curiosity got the best of me too.

As for front steer tires on the Ford E-Series van and RV cutaway, I must agree with what previous posters have already said regarding paying attention to the tread design and traction of the tire selected, not just the load index rating.
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Old 11-29-2022, 04:00 PM   #11
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Thank you.. was worried it was slang of some sort.. many many manufacturers over yrs..
Good luck and keep us posted
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Old 11-29-2022, 04:00 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigDan1 View Post
have a 22 feet triple E class C

front michelins are due ,( loved the comfort but road stability so/so)

I would like to have more rigid sidewall for better stability

When you say "Michelins" (or any brand of tire), it is important to identify the specific MODEL of tire, not just the brand.

In the case of Michelin, a Michelin LTX is a very different tire, with very different sidewalls, than say a Michelin XPS Rib, even when both the LTX and the XPS are the exact same LT225/75R16 size and Load Range E Load Index 115/112.

When uninflated and unmounted, so that the tire bead and sidewall itself can be grasped in the hand and wiggled back and forth, the sidewall of an LTX feels like a limp party balloon when compared to the sidewalls of an XPS Rib.

The difference is in the construction of the tire. The XPS Rib is a steel/steel tire, meaning that it not only has steel belts under the thread, it also has steel belting radially oriented in the sidewalls, from bead to bead. The LTX does not have steel sidewalls.

One can immediately tell by the weight difference between these tires. The XPS Rib tire (in the LT225/75R16 LRE size) weighs 50 lbs, while the LTX tire in the exact same size and load rating weighs less than 40 lbs. The weight difference is largely due to the steel in the sidewall of the XPS rib.

UPS tires means tires used on United Parcel Service delivery trucks, that are subject to lots of turning, lots of stops and starts, lots of braking and acceleration cycles, lots of tread scrub, lots of concrete curbing and sidewall scuffing... and not a lot of highway cruising.

While Europe is no doubt different, over the years and areas I've been in the USA, most UPS step vans are built on Freightliner MT55 commercial stripped chassis that utilize 19.5" tires, and all 19.5" tires have steel in the sidewalls.

It is somewhat rare for a 16" light truck tire to have steel in the sidewalls, even though most 16" LT tires have steel belts under the tread deck.

There are, however, at least 3 name brand LT225/75R16 LRE tires available in the USA that are considered "all steel", or "steel/steel", and have steel in the sidewalls wrapping from bead to bead. They are listed alphabetically below, in no particular order of preference, nor recommendation.

Bridgestone Duravis R238
Goodyear Endurance RSA ULT
Micheline XPS Rib

Note that all three brands and models of tires listed above have the following characteristics:

All 3 weigh 50 lbs each.
All 3 are 10 ply rated load range E
All 3 are Load Index 115/112
All 3 are Speed Rated Q, or 99 miles per hour
All 3 are considered "Summer" tires by their manufacturer
All 3 are Steel / Steel, with steel sidewalls
All 3 are Ribbed Steer tires, aka All Position

It is the "Rib" tread design (as described by donr103 in an earlier post), and the steel sidewalls, as I've explained above, that makes these three tires more like "UPS" stepvan 19.5" tires.

Steel sidewall tires have stiffer sidewalls. And both the stiffness, and the steel, can be a benefit for durability, as well as a problem in an RV application.

I have another vehicle with steel sidewall tires, and when that vehicle is unloaded, and underinflated, one cannot visually tell that the tire is low, because the steel in the sidewall makes the sidewall less flexible, so the sidewall doesn't balloon out as much when the load is light and the pressure is low.

That isn't really a problem with regular inflation checks, but when failing to check pressure, an underinflated steel sidewall tire can become a serious danger to whoever attempts to reinflate the tire back up to proper pressure again.

A 225/75R16 tire is 29.4" in diameter, and rotates around 710 times per mile at 45 mph. That means the steel in the sidewall of an underinflated tire will be bent back and forth over 710 times per minute when traveling under the speed limit, and will be bent even more frequently when going faster.

If I take a metal wire coat hanger, and bend it back and forth only 10 times, the steel wire will fatigue from the flexion, and i will easily be able to sever the coat hanger in two at the point where it was bent back and forth.

The same thing is happening to an underinflated steel sidewall tire... only much faster if driven upon. The steel wires inside the sidewall are bending back and forth, to the point of fatigue. Then, when the tire is reinflated, a sudden zipper failure can occur due to the weakened steel wires. This kind of failure more often happens with 19.5, 22.5, and 24.5 tires that are all steel, as they are typically inflated to pressures higher than 80 psi.

Anyway, all this is to say that yes, there are stiffer sidewall tires out there to chose from, that are more durably constructed, as evident by the amount of raw material put into the tire itself, demonstrated by the tire's weight.

Yet that is only one parameter to consider among a host of sometimes mutually exclusive considerations... that are occluded by conclusions drawn from assumptions in the absence of enough facts.

For example, in this particular size range, many have been attracted to the relatively new European standard of tire, denoted as the 225/75R16C. The "C" in this case is not the North American designation for "load range." Rather, the C is the European designation for "Commercial", which is how Europe describes what North America denotes as "Light Truck."

The popular Michelien Agilis CrossClimate tire in this size comes in two versions... a unidirectional 225/75R16C, having a Load Index of 121/120 at 83 PSI, and an omnidirectional LT225/75R16E, that has a Load Index of 115/112 at 80 psi.

The natural assumption is that the Euro "C" version with a 121 Load Index must be a heavier, stiffer, more durable tire "commercial" tire, due to the 121 load index rating the tire at between 400 to 500 lbs. more carrying capacity than the LT LRE version of the Agilis with a load index of 115.

Yet the Euro C version of the Agilis weighs only 37.5 lbs, whereas the LT LRE version of the Agilis weighs 40 lbs. Which tire has more material?

Taking this a step further, unlike any other LT225/75R16E tire that I am aware of, and I've entered 153 different brands/models of light truck tires in just this exact size to compare, the LT LRE version of the Agilis CrossClimate is rated to 90 psi, whereas the Euro "C" version of the Agilis is max rated at 83 psi.

Note that most E-Series wheels are max rated to 80 psi, and Ford's recommended cold operating pressures on the front axle are in the range of 65 psi, so any tire pressure higher than 80 psi is purely academic. But when thinking of the strength of a tire carcass to be able to contain 90 psi, it is difficult to dismiss the Agilis LT LRE tire, which is rated to 90 psi, that also has 2.5 more lbs. of material, as being a wimpier or weaker built tire than the Euro "C" version of the Agilis. Note that the Agilis LT LRE does need to be inflated to 90 psi to achieve its load index of 115, which is satisfied at 80 psi.

The previous poster also made mention of tread depth. That is an important consideration in a steer tire. Let's compare the tread depths of just the tires discussed in this post, listed from least amount of tread depth, to most amount of tread depth, in 32nds of an inch:

11.5/32 - Michelin Agilis CrossClimate "C"
12.5/32 - Michelin Agilis CrossClimate "LT LRE"
14.0/32 - Michelin XPS Rib
14.0/32 - Bridgestone R238
17.0/32 - Goodyear Endurance RSA

There is more to compare, as mentioned by donr103... and I'm thinking of sipes in particular. Yet this post is already long in the tooth, so I'll let others pick up the torch and carry the discussion forward from here.
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Old 11-30-2022, 07:32 AM   #13
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WOW
I’m amazed !
Thanks for all this contribution

1) I said that I increased the camber to 4 degrees ,wrong ,It is the CASTER that I increase to 4 degrees

2) my RV weigths 12,000 lbs , ( 3500 front, 8500 rear ) with us and all the load included ( fresh water, clothes etc…) ( verified on legal gov scale )

3) Triple E is Canadian , considered in the very well built rv’s , all aluminium 2x2 structure, 2 inch styrofoam , mine is 96 in mint condition …

4) as mentionned ,maybe I should try to play with air pressure ,,,,,
And slow down , I tend to drive at 70 mph ….
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Old 11-30-2022, 11:36 PM   #14
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My RV weigths 12,000 lbs , (3500 front - 8500 rear) with us and all the load included ( fresh water, clothes etc…) ( verified on legal gov scale )
By comparison, our rig weighs 11,480 (3260 front - 8220 rear) during trips (USA CAT scale).

If you had these tires, your front axle weight of 3500 (1750/tire) should have roughly 45 psi.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigDan1 View Post
As mentionned, maybe I should try to play with air pressure, and slow down. I tend to drive at 70 mph.
Yes, adjust your tire pressure per your tire chart, and slow down. For us with our rig, I like to cruise around 60-62mph. Doing so helps a lot with fuel economy and control which reduces driver fatigue, which extends driving time. I can drive 50% to 100% longer between rest stops when driving 60-62mph compared to 68-70mph, interstate cruising speed. So in reality, slowing down makes better time......and saves on fuel costs.

Over-inflated front tires increases side wall rigidity as you seek, yet often negatively affects handling. Experiement with it and find out for yourself. On your next trip, fill your front tires with 80psi and drive until tired. In the rest area, reduce the front tire pressure to 50 psi and compare the difference in handling.
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