Tires – What are you Riding on?

Mansion on Wheels
RVing is one of life’s great adventures, freedom to travel where you want when you want. Stop anywhere at anytime, stop for a night or a  day or even a month, if you are retired that is. RVing is truly a great adventure waiting for you.
Unfortunately less air sources are available and usually air is not free.  Many small air sources often do not have the capacity to supply high enough air pressure for large tires. It is a good idea to check your tires before every trip and if you don’t have your own air compressor, there is probably a familiar air source close to home. Hauling or driving a large rig is difficult enough without maneuvering in and out of service stations in a strange town trying to find air for your low tires. Click here to check out air compressors. Make sure the 12 volt lighter plug-in wire is long enough to reach all your tires, or carry a spare battery and a lighter plug adapter. Click here to order a lighter plug battery adapter.
But my Tires looked good?
Tires on an RV can be a disaster waiting to happen. Tires like to be used, in other words tires don’t like to sit for months on end, they start to deteriorate & dry rot.
Tires do degrade over time, and that process is called dry rot. Oils and chemicals in the rubber compound start to evaporate or break down because of UV exposure. The rubber loses its flexibility and begins to crack at the surface, and the structure becomes more and more brittle (think of a really old rubber band), leading to sidewall damage and eventual failure. You might even see the tread start to separate. It’s good practice to replace tires as soon as you see signs of dry rot, to prevent blowouts and the subsequent loss of vehicle control.
Tire dry rot
Even if there are no signs of rot, the industry standard is to swap out tires before they hit 10 years old, and some tire companies recommend replacement as early as six years after manufacture.
Protect your Tires
Two ways to protect your tires from dry rot.  Protectant applied monthly and tire covers will help protect from UV rays that causes dry rot, click here to order RV tire covers.
Our Story
On one of our tours to the south west we had tire issues. We had bought our motor home used with low mileage, so naturally I figured the tires were fine. They were only about 7 years old and had plenty of tread left, 30 thousand miles on the motor home.
We headed out and traveled several days to the warmer weather. A few miles outside of Mojave, Cal. a rear tire blew and scared the crap out of us. Lucky it was on the rear and one of the duel tires. We limped into Mojave, the tire store did not have a replacement but we had a spare.
blowen tire
The next major town we hit was Victorville, Cal., my thought was to replace the front tires in case we had another blow out so it wouldn’t happen on the front. That could be a disaster on a heavy vehicle.
We continued on our tour to San Diego and from there east on highway I-8. We crossed over the mountains and headed toward El Centro, I hit the ruble strips on the side of the highway and boom another blowout. We made it to El Centro where I had the rest of the tires replaced. Luck had been with us and no damage or disaster which could have been the case.
Replacing Tires – Which brand to buy?

Chinese Tires?

Made in China

For many drivers, how safe are tires imported from China, given that country’s poor safety record on other products including toothpaste, pet food, toys and drywall? The answer depends on whether you buy Chinese-made tires from name brands like Goodyear or Michelin, vs. Chinese-label tires, or those made in China under contract for some private store labels.
Tire manufacturers, many of which have moved some production to China to save money, say that production techniques and materials are the same no matter where the tires are made, and that their Chinese tires are every bit as good as those made elsewhere in the world.
Nevertheless, there have been some safety blips in Chinese-made tires.  Last year the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration launched an investigation into defective tire valve stems produced by a subsidiary of Shanghai Baolong Automotive Corp. The company sold 300 million valve stems, which were susceptible to cracking, potentially causing the tire to deflate, a problem that led to one fatality, according to NHTSA.
Tire tread separation
Tire tread separation

Nearly a half million tires manufactured in China may be rolling time bombs on light trucks and some RV recreational vehicles. A lawsuit filed in June blames cheap Chinese tires for a fatal Pennsylvania traffic accident. The suit says tire separation caused a cargo van carrying four passengers to crash, killing two passengers and injuring the other two.

The two fatalities were attributed to defective tires made by Hangzhou Zhongce Rubber Co. because of tread separation. The tire importer issued a recall for the 450,000 tires it had sold.

Tire tread separation1
Another example of tire tread separation

But with tires, as with many other products, it’s buyer beware – you get what you pay for.

Consumer Report magazine tested 23 affordable all-season replacement Tires, click here to read the results .

The question of safety and performance in real-world driving conditions, Chinese tires will have to prove their worth to convince consumers. Unfortunately, because these tires target the price-sensitive low end of the market, customers might be more swayed by the price tag than by the potential for longer braking distances.

With prices starting at just $89, less than half the cost of better-known models, tires from China may seem like an irresistible deal. That’s why, for the first time, Consumer Reports included a few Chinese brands in our latest tests: Geostar, Pegasus, and Sunny. click here to read the results

Aside from the performance lows, if value is a high priority, consider that the Pegasus cost about half as much as a top-scoring tire, the Michelin LTX M/S2. But keep in mind that the Michelin will last almost three times longer. Factor in the cost of buying two additional sets of tires, plus mounting and balancing, and you could save hundreds of dollars, not to mention get a better all-weather performing tire, if you choose the Michelin.

Certainly if you are on tight budget, and who isn’t nowadays, buying a cheap tire is better than riding on worn-out tires. But as our tests show, buying bargain-priced tires such as these Chinese models isn’t the right choice for the long haul.

I hope the information in this article will help keep you & your family safe when it comes to tires increase your fuel economy.

For your convenience I have compiled a comprehensive list of equipment and items you may need for your RV and camping travels, complete with product  links, click here to check out my list & links.

OR

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Thanks for visiting.

Gord B.

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Tire Review Staff

Tire Review Staff

Staff Writers at Tire Review Magazine

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