I have read the Michelin guide in great detail. They seem to really know their stuff and was interested in their assessment that RV tires should be changed after 10 years max regardless of mileage. So, depending on how long it took to get from the molds to the MH, the life would be somewhat longer than the date stamp.
OK, this makes sense but I keep hearing reference to 7 year service life, 7 years from date stamp, and even 5 years from date stamp. This seem to contradict Michelin and I guess I'm wondering who's right and what is the source of the other life expectancies. Is the info from companies/researchers as reputable as Michelin or merely Internet opinions.
Newell recommends changing the front tires every 3 years and the rear tires every 5 years. They also recommend Michelin tires only!
Personally, I follow their recommendation about changing the tires, but I will buy any GOOD tire brand according to price. I have used Michelin, Toyo, Goodyear all with good results. If I had Russo's money I'd buy Michelin!
Tire failure on RV’s can be extremely dangerous and can cause extensive damage to your RV. There are lots of reasons for tire failure on RV’s, like under inflation, over inflation, overloading and the age of the tires. Today I want to discuss how the age of your RV tires, and exposure to the elements, can lead to tire failure.
Tires are designed and built to be used. The rubber used in tires ages faster when they are not used, so more use results in longer tire life. The problem is lots of RV’s don’t get used that much.
When tires are manufactured compounds are added to help protect the rubber from weather cracking and ozone damage. The problem is the tire needs to be rolling down the road, heating up and flexing for these compounds to work their way to the surface of the tire and protect the rubber from damage. So, when tires sit still, like in storage they start to dry out causing them to age faster.
Weather cracking or checking occurs on all tires when they are exposed to heat and sunlight. This is especially true of the tires sidewall. Ozone in the air and UV rays from the sun shorten the life of your tires. It’s not uncommon to see RV tires with low mileage and plenty of tread that are ruined by the damaging effects of ozone and UV rays. Ozone in the air causes tires to dry rot and deteriorate. UV rays from the sun , and not using the RV make it happen quicker.
You need to inspect your tires for weather checking or cracks in the sidewalls before each trip. Cracks less than 1/32 of an inch deep are ok, but if the cracks are more than 2/32 of an inch deep the tire should be replaced immediately. If you notice damage to the tires and you’re not sure what to do have them inspected by a professional.
This faster aging and weather cracking are why tire manufacturers recommend replacing the tires on RV’s when they are 5 to 7 years old, especially if the RV isn’t used that much.
So how can you tell how old the tires are? All tires manufactured in the United States have a DOT number. The DOT number may be on the inside or outside sidewall. At the end of the DOT number the last three or four digits in identify how old the tire is. Older tires used three digits. The first two identify the week of the year the tire was built and the third identifies the year. Newer tires use four digits. For example 3208 is the 32nd week of the year and 08 is the year 2008. If you question the age of your tires, especially on a used RV, and you can’t find the DOT number have them inspected by a qualified tire center.
Now that we know how age and the elements can affect the life of your RV tires what can we do to help extend the life of tires when they’re not being used?
Considering where and how your RV is being stored can add life to your tires. Of course a covered, dry garage is the best scenario, but we know this isn’t always possible.
The first step is to clean the tires. Clean the tires with a mild soap and water. Avoid using tire dressings. Sidewall rubber contains antioxidants and anti-ozones that are designed to work their way to the surface of the rubber to help protect it. Washing tires excessively removes these protective compounds and can age tires prematurely. The same is true of most tire dressing designed to make your tires shine.
Inflate the tires to the recommended inflation pressure on the tire sidewall when in storage.
Avoid storing tires on petroleum based products like asphalt and other heat absorbing surfaces, and avoid storing tires on frozen ground.
If stored outside you should place some type of barrier between the tire and the ground surface. Make sure the blocking is wider than the tires tread and longer than the tires footprint. If tires are not blocked properly and the load distributed evenly the tire sidewalls can be damaged.
Avoid any exposure to heat and sunlight. If the RV is stored outside cover the tires with covers that block out the sun.
The RV should be stored with the least amount of weight on the tires as possible. That means it should be unloaded prior to storage.
You should move the RV every few months help prevent sidewall cracking from the tire sitting in one position for too long.
Following these simple tire storage tips can add life to your RV tires, but keep in mind that tire age and exposure to the elements are leading causes for tire failure. Make sure you know the age of your RV and automobile tires and always inspect your tires for signs of weather cracking before each trip.
RV Education 101
1976 Newell Classic (Sold)
Home Base: Riverside, CA
If anyone needs my contact info private message me and I will send it to you.
No one can tell you exactly how long a tire will last because there are so many variables that affect aging of the casing,statistics show that the average service life expectancy of a tire in RV service is 5 to 7 years. In fact, it is important to note that tires age more quickly when not used! Tires are designed to roll, heat up, and release anti-weathering chemicals that help to keep the tire supple and resist aging. In the RV world, we frequently subject tires to the absolute worse case scenario; We sit for a season in the sun and ozone, then pull onto the interstate and dash down the highway at speeds in excess of 65 miles per hour, then park it for a few months, etc., creating an extreme duty cycle. Every RV owner should know the age of the tires on his/her coach and be alert for signs of aging.
Michelin recommends that the tires be professionally inspected starting with the 5th year with, as you say, mandatory replacement at 10 years.
Actual longevity is very dependent on their "care and feeding".
Exposure to UV light vs covered or indoors, sitting for long periods of time vs weekly or monthly driving, full recommended PSI all the time vs running at lower than recommended PSI all contribute to materially affect useful life of any tire.
Sadly, lots of coaches sit outside with tires uncovered for months at a time and then are driven with little concern for tire pressure. Do NOT expect 10 years of service from any tire treated this way.
Don't do like I did and buy new tires that sounded like a great deal to find out these supposed "new tires" were already 3 years after the manufacturing date. I'm realizing this can be all to common. And by all right my tires were not new when installed 1 1/2 years ago and are now already 4 1/2 years old. Now its after the fact, right?
Brady K. Jones
1986 Newell 40' 8v92
All great advice so far and a great article by Mark Polk.
Another thing to consider is that Newell's current recommendations on tires may not be appropriate for our older coaches. There was another discussion on tires and their suggestion to upgrade the tire size. As I remember that also has to do with the 3 year suggestion. I do plan on on replacing our steer tires after 5-7 years just because it sounds like a good idea.
have Coach will Travel
Steve & Tricia
1982 Newell 38' (built before #1) 6V92 DD, 5 Speed Allison, 12.5 KW Kohler, Couch used to make into a Bed but I fixed it! https://newellshowcase.com/thumbnails.php?album=214
2007 Yukon, 1981 CJ7 Laredo, 2002 Honda CRV, 1955 Thunderbird, 1952 Pontiac Sedan Delivery, 1952 Ford 8N, 1958 Airstream, 1959 Glasspar 16' Avalon, Cabin in the Woods........what will I work on next
IMHO the rule to change tires at 3,4,5, years or whatever, regardless of their condition, is contradictory to all tire manufacturer's advice, I think its a simple gimmick started by tire dealers to sell more tires. The people who design and make the tires know best, and recommending shorter life would mean they sell more, but the better tire manufacturers do not suggest that short life many are hung up on.