RV Tire Replacement – Overview & Tips

TheRVgeeks Replacement, RV Tires 22 Comments

On June 1st, it was time for one of the most expensive scheduled maintenance items any RVer faces: the replacement of our tires. Of course we’ve known for a while that this day was coming, but it’s still a pretty big credit card invoice to sign.

Aside from the cost, we’re really happy to be rolling on fresh tires. And at least we shouldn’t be facing this again for a long time.

Here’s a brief overview video of our tire replacement, along with a couple of quick tire-related tips that might save you some money when it’s your turn to open you wallet for new rubber.


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Comments 22

  1. We are also looking at the Michelin tires for our 42′ coach and are wondering what model you went with? I have no been able to find one that is RV specific.
    Thanks for the help.
    Lee

    1. Post
      Author

      Hi Lee,

      We replaced our tires with the exact same model that came on our RV: Michelin XZA2 Energy (size: 295/80R22.5). These aren’t specifically made for RVs… but we were extremely happy with our first set, and hope to be equally happy with the replacements (so far, so good).

      We know that Goodyear has “RV Specific” models of tires that were supposed to have higher concentrations of UV stabilizers in the rubber… to help the tires last longer in typical RV use: low miles (so they don’t get replaced due to tread wear) and lots of sun exposure. We haven’t had any personal experience with those tires, but there are loads of threads about them on iRV2.com (some good and lots of bad… they apparently had an issue with “river wear” on the treads).

      Hope this helps.

  2. Another great video, thanks. No free giveaway for a set of Michelin tires? Darn! :-)

    Interesting about the spare, I just assumed (you know what that does) that all had spares. Our class A, built on a P30 chassis does, but even though the 19.5″ tires are smaller than yours, I couldn’t change the tire on my own. Gravity would help get it out and down, I could get the tires changed, but no way I could get it back in the storage area, which is on a raised shelf in the middle of one of the bays. It still would require roadside assistance.

    A quick note on tires brands and types. Goodyear and Michelin both offer RV specific tires. These are more expensive than a truck tire, but are made for RVs, and contain more UV protectant, improving the life of the tires. Unlike commercial trucks, for most RVs/motorhomes, sun and ozone damage, causing sidewall cracking and rubber degradation, is the primary cause of tire unserviceability, not worn out tread. Cheaper tires are generally commercial vehicle tires, and aren’t going to contain the extra UV protection. FWIW, I replaced my two Goodyear 670 front tires, which were worn and outdated, with commercial Toyo tires, which were at least $100 a tire cheaper. I’m sorry I don’t remember the model of Toyo’s. The Toyo tires have a harsher ride than the Goodyears for sure, and I don’t think they have quite the straight line stability as the Goodyears did.

    Bobby, it sounds suspiciously like your RV is overloaded, stressing your tires, or the tires were too light a load rating for the weight of your RV. It wouldn’t be the first time an RV Manufacturer has underestimated the final weight of a coach. For instance, our coach’s front axle is very close to it’s weight limit when the coach is empty. If you haven’t already, you should get your loaded coach weighed.

    1. Post
      Author

      Thanks for all the great additional input. One thing you mentioned was a major factor in our decision to stick with Michelins: the ride. Not saying that they have the best ride (we don’t have experience with other brands to know that). Only that we were very happy with our ride all these years, and we’d be very unhappy having to live with a rougher ride if we experimented with another brand, such as Toyo, which we strongly considered. We figure if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, and we’re super happy with our smooth Michelin ride.

  3. I’m pleased to have joined the large group of your fans. You videos are very well done and your information agrees with my experience – so I know it’s accurate! One thing I would have liked to hear about is you view of the prows and cons of the two popular types of wheel balancing. IE lead rim weights or the internal loose “beads”. I’ve heard that the beds can interfere with TPMS sensors.

    1. Post
      Author

      Hi Howard. Thanks for the nice comment, and thanks for mentioning balancing. We understand that beads can indeed create a problem, not only with TPMS, but with the valve stems. If that method is used, it requires a special valve stem with a screen in it to prevent any bead-related problems. We’ve always gone with regular weights and have never had a problem. We’ve also never had anything balanced other than the front wheels, and we’ve never had the slightest ride issue. Of course if someone is trying to solve a ride problem, then balancing the rears might be in order. And we really like your “accuracy gauge” too. Works for us! ;-)

  4. When we bought our RV it had Michelin tires. After less than 15,000 miles we had a blowout on the front right. When that tire was replaced, and no, we did not carry a spare, it was obvious that a problem with the RV caused the problem with both front wheels. I’ll blame that need for tire replacement on Ford or Jayco.
    Not long later while driving on the freeway near Texarkana we had a blowout on one of the inner dual rear wheels. We got that replaced with a Goodyear tire because with Good Sam Travel Assistance you get Goodyear tires. I think that they must have a contract with Goodyear. A couple of months later we had another blowout of a rear tire. This time we were on I-10 in Houston. The two blowouts were not along the tread, but rather occurred as a rip from the edge of the tread up the side of the tire. To my mind they were faulty tires. Both tires were less than three years old and had plenty of tread. We went ahead and had the two remaining Michelin tires replaced with Goodyear.
    I’ve heard that Michelin has been bought out by another company but I don’t have any proof. Bottom line is that I will no longer buy Michelin. Any thoughts on this?

    1. Post
      Author

      Sorry you had such a horrible experience with Michelins. We have heard some anecdotes on the forums (“a friend of mine…”) about some Michelins having some problem at some point. But we’ve also read a lot about how satisfied many people are with them. Our experience has been so good (running them without problem or incident for 10 years), that it was an easy choice. We even have years of experience with Michelin car tires providing long, satisfying service. Of course if we had your experience, we sure would stay away, too!

  5. My coach is maintained mechanically by a big truck facility, and has the same size tires as yours .
    I was informed that the tires on very big motorhomes/trucks like ours do not time-out. And are only replaced due to wear or damage.
    Where can I learn more on this?

    1. Post
      Author
      1. Thank you very much. I watched it and recall having seen this video when you first posted it. You guys are great!

  6. Thanks for yet another great video! Where did you buy your tires and did you have the alignment done at the same shop? Would you recommend them?
    PS – we used your video on LED conversions to replace the 12″ fixture under the cabinet in our kitchen and it was so helpful! Also appreciated the 5% discount at M4.

    1. Post
      Author

      So great to hear you like your M4 LEDs as much as we do. They are a truly great company. And now that it’s getting hot out, we’re happier than ever to be rid of those incandescent bulbs, and especially the hot, hot, hot halogens!

      We haven’t seen many shops that do both tires and alignments for coaches our size (maybe none actually), so we made sure to plan out the two stops in short order to minimize driving without a fresh alignment. We had the tires replaced at Superior Tire Service in Portland, OR, and the alignment done at Brazel’s RV in Centralia, WA. It was our first time at both places, and we were very satisfied and highly recommend them both.

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      Author
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  7. I think that we would all agree that Michelin manufactures quality tires. However, I wonder if one could purchase cheaper tires from a lesser-known tire manufacture and save some money and still obtain quality tires. Don’t all tire manufacturers have to meet certain federal safety guideline?

    1. Post
      Author

      I’m sure that all tires must meet certain safety requirements, and we’ve heard good things about other tire brands. The reason we decided to go with Michelin again is because we had such a good experience the first time around that we didn’t want to risk being unhappy with our ride for years to come. That, combined with the great FMCA discount, brought them down close enough to other brands to make it worth the little extra it cost us to go with a known entity. We also had somewhat more limited options, since not all manufacturers make the size we needed. If you’re considering something other than an expensive brand that your rig may have come with from the factory, there are definitely many worthwhile names to consider.

  8. Great video, again! I’m wondering, did you replace the spare, too? When we did our tires two years ago, we replaced the spare, too. It was the same age as the tires on the coach, so it seemed like the thing to do.

    Thanks again! You guys rock!

    Scott

    1. Post
      Author

      Hi Scott! Thanks for the nice comment. As far as we know, a spare tire of our size on an RV is pretty rare. We don’t actually know anyone who has a spare on this size motorhome. There are likely a number of reasons for that, including the space and weight that they take up, the fact that they just sit and age out along with the other tires, and the prevalence of roadside assistance programs (like CoachNet, which we use). Omitting the spare also allows the manufacturers to keep costs down, and maybe even dissuades an owner from ever considering attempting to change one themselves (difficult and likely dangerous). I shouldn’t say this out loud, but I’m not superstitious, so here goes….. we’ve never had a flat in 12 years and don’t personally know anyone who has. Tires are so robust these days, that the remote likelihood of a flat and the easy access to assistance and a replacement precludes owners of rigs with large, heavy, expensive tires from having to carry a spare. Neither of our motorhomes ever had one. Since you do have a spare, it would indeed have aged out along with the other tires, so replacing it was the right thing to do.

      1. Ha! :) That’s something I didn’t k know, guys! See? More education! I hope you never have the need for road side assistance, guys. You guys keep your coach looking new–something that I think is absolutely super. Enjoy your days!

        Scott

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