I've done my research here...just looking for input, if anyone is willing!
Have a 2007 Coachmen 26' on a (2006) Chevy chassis.
OEM Tires are Uniroyal Laredo LT225/75R16 110/107S M+S Load Range D.
DOT code is 1206 so they are 5.5 years old.
So, am I at the automatic age out point? Should I replace before traveling this year? Or should I based it on what Discount Tire or Costco (or ???) says upon inspection of my tires (i.e. will they last one more season before they age out)?
If they need to be changed now, that's fine. I've been planning on doing this, just debating about when to pull the trigger. In case this matters, our RV is typically stored indoors in a temperature controlled warehouse.
I was leaning toward the Goodyear G947 based on discussions here. The Michelin XPS steel option doesn't look like a good choice for me as I'm in Colorado and even in summer I may encounter snow, so I prefer a M+S rated tire. I've also seen a lot of discussion about the Michelin LTX tires. Opinions seem very hot/cold, so I'm not certain if it's a good choice for an RV or not (it's actually the tire I put on my 4Runner a year or two ago).
I just called Discount Tire. They quoted the following:
Goodyear G947: $2569 w/install and tax
Michelin LTX MS2: $1494 w/install and tax
Costco quoted the LTX MS2 at $201/tire + $15 install/tire. So, that would be $1296 + tax. However, they guy wasn't certain if they could take the RV or not (I think they hear RV and think bus, he was surprised when I told him the tire size).
So, is the all steel tire worth $1075 more? If they last six years, that's $180 extra per year, so not super significant over the long run. Is Discount Tire a good retailer? We've used Costco and Discount Tire in past, either is fine by me but if there's a better option I'm open to it.
* This post was
edited 04/26/12 05:04pm by alliemac9 *
I did the exhausting task of changing out six tires on our Winnebago Aspect 26' MH last year. Had Mich LTX on it with bad sidewall cracks. If you check out the forum that seems to be common on that tire. I finally came up with Firestone Transforce's for $1,150.00 installed. I really like them a lot. I also installed borg dully tire valves with the new tires. I went to a family owned, for many decades, tire store and they really know their tires. A lot of my friends with work trucks and MH's recommend them. They depend on return business and referral business so they do care about what they sell you. They told me they highly recommend the Firestone Transforce tires for the size RV we have. I have the same theory you do. 5 or 6 years and they are off replaced with new ones. The ride and handling is the same if not just a tad better handling than the Michelins. I went to Tire City in Bristol PA. If you have a local family owned tire company I would also let them weigh in on their recommendation.
Consider the balancing of the wheels, as you talk to the tire seller. Many can't 'spin' the six-lug bolt rims that our Sprinter has - - when I recently installed a full new set of Firestone Transforce tires (pulling the 'new' looking Kumho's)the dealer insisted on using 'Magnum Plus' balancing compound in the tires. I checked it out and it's a good deal - - designed for the 'big rigs' that can't spin balance their expensive tires. It works and you might consider it when the dealer tries to talk you out of balancing - - because he can't do it.
Your rig is 5 years old and is stored in a climate controlled environment. You did not say how many miles are on the tires, but I will assume you have plenty of thread remaining, threadwear is even, and the tires are well balanced.
You travel as a couple with 2 dogs, so you are likely not over-loading your small rig with no slide out and load range "D" tires.
I do not recommned changing the tires based on the calandar. Your unique storage situation says you can safely extend their use.
My opinion here: To determine if your tires need to be replaced due to age alone, look for cracks in the side walls and also in between the threads. Shallow depth cracks are still fine, even if they are very long. It's when they get deep is when the crack exposes the inner woven fiber cords. If that happens, then you'll want to think about new tires.
We own a 2007 motor home with original tires and 15,000 miles. Like you, our rig is kept in a climate controlled indoor environment. I hope to get 12 or more years of use before thinking about tires.
Our previous motor home had 2 sets of tires in the 24 years and 107,000 miles we owned it. We sold it with 12 year old great looking tires with only minor surface cracking. Had we kept it, we would have kept going on them.
You do what you feel is right for you. But I consider new tires a waste of money based on age alone.
Be sure to donate your used tires to a charity like Cars For Kids or something and let the charity run the tires to their useful end. That saves the environment too.
I bet those tires would sell on Craigslist quickly at $300. If you take the old tires with you to sell yourself, you'll save some money on the disposal fee too.
* This post was
edited 04/27/12 11:35am by ron.dittmer *
You have a small Class C motorhome that's probably similar to ours (Itasca 24 ft no slides) in weight.
Here's some take-them-for-what-they're-worth Class C motorhome tire comments based on my experience and research:
Always use Load Range E tires for extra durability.
Consider using 215/85/16R tires instead of 225/75/16R tires. 215/85/16R tires are larger in diameter (about 1.2 inches taller) and slightly narrower. This means they increase vehicle ground clearance by about 0.6 inches, increase gas mileage slightly by raising the ratio in every gear including over-drive, and improve rear dual-set tire cooling in warm weather because there is more air space between the adjoining dual tires' sidewalls.
Always use M&S tires just in case you wind up on slippery or soft roads.
Do not use Michelin LTX M&S tires. If you use Michelin LTX tires, only use their new LTX M&S2 design tires.
Use Michelin LTX M&S2 tires if you want tires with a 70,000 mile warranty. Even if you may never have tires on your MH this long, at least it probably means that their tread will be worn less (more depth) whenever you do replace them.
If you want full steel ply (tread and sidewall) tires for their additional ruggedness, you probably will have to go with the ultra-expensive Goodyear G947 commercial all steel ply tire. This is ... if you want the M&S tread -> as there may be other less expensive all steel ply tires available, but they probably will only have the smooth "highway" tread. (Michelin used-to-have/still-has available an all steel ply full mud commercial tire - but I consider this of type tread as too aggressive for a motorhome that spends a lot of time on hard surface roads.)
Stick with recognized brand name quality tires - DO NOT purely price shop for "good enough" motorhome tires. Considering what a MH costs and what the risks may be, scrimping on the cost of it's tires at a possible (and unknown at purchase time) quality penalty may not be the prudent way to save money.
* This post was
edited 05/27/12 02:43pm by pnichols *
We just made arrangements to have 6 Firestone Transforce load range "E" tires put on our 2008 Freelander 3150SS. $1483 installed with new steel valves and extensions in order to use a Pressure Pro TPMS. We were quoted $1773 for Goodyear and $2083 for Michelin comparables. We decided on the Firestone because of the good reviews on this forum and, of course, the good price.
Thanks, everyone for the input (and keep it coming!).
@ ron.dittmer: I appreciate your insight as your situation is similar to ours. I do have a couple of mitigating factors to throw in:
1. We purchased this 2007 RV new in Feb 2010. Therefore, it sat on the lot before we took brought it to CO and started storing it indoors. The dealership actually did store this thing inside in their showroom (it was a fairly small dealership) and represented that it had been stored inside a "lot", but I don't really know what that means, and how much of its first three years were inside. So, we could easily assume half or more of the tires life was outdoor storage (and worse yet, little to no driving for the first three years).
2. We have an old pickup that is just used for pickup needs (i.e. not a daily driver by any means, but so cheap to own that it's worth keeping for when a pickup comes in handy). Its tires are getting to the scary point. Since we think the RV tires are relatively decent (I'm no expert, but I don't see anything alarming) we plan to move four of the tires to the pickup and retire () its bald tires. Since the pickup just gets used for running around town, we're not that concerned about older tires on it.
So, although I'm tempted to put off replacing the tires for another year or more (contingent on a tire place taking a look at them), the reality is that the pickup tires probably won't (and most likely shouldn't) be used for another year. It doesn't seem to make sense to purchase new tires for that vehicle (since it really is just an occasionally-used utility vehicle) and then turn around and purchase new RV tires a year later (or so).