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Old 08-24-2008, 09:20 AM   #1
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Hi all,

I noticed a couple of days ago that four of the tires on our 2006 Journey are starting to develop tiny sidewall cracks (see picture below).

At the moment each crack is 1/4 inch or less in size, but there are quite a few of them present on each tire. The date code on the tires is 1205 (about March 2005) and we bought the motorhome new in December of 2005.

Your input is appreciated, as always.

Thanks.




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Old 08-24-2008, 09:20 AM   #2
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Hi all,

I noticed a couple of days ago that four of the tires on our 2006 Journey are starting to develop tiny sidewall cracks (see picture below).

At the moment each crack is 1/4 inch or less in size, but there are quite a few of them present on each tire. The date code on the tires is 1205 (about March 2005) and we bought the motorhome new in December of 2005.

Your input is appreciated, as always.

Thanks.




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Old 08-24-2008, 10:08 AM   #3
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Looks like UV damage to me. I'd take it to the Michelin Man and see what he has to say. The XRV's (I'm assuming that's what they are) are supposed to have an extra heavy dose of UV protectant. Maybe your batch of rubber got missed.

I just replaced a set (wear, not damage) and they're ~$500 apiece.

I just remembered . . . Goodyear had a similar problem several years ago on OEM tires for Jeep Grand Cherokees. They looked exactly the same way - and they recalled them and replaced them for free - no deduct for age or treadwear.
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Old 08-24-2008, 12:56 PM   #4
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Michelin was giving out a pictorial gauge (among other things) at the GNR as an aid to evaluate the seriousness of cracking due to ozone/UV damage.

You might check the Michelin web site to see if they have it available for download.

The cracking has to look significantly bad (deep and plentiful cracks) for it to be a concern.
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Old 08-24-2008, 01:23 PM   #5
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I had similar cracking in mine. My date code was around mid '03. The cracking was worse around the lettering, so check those areas closely.

First noticed it last summer. A couple of tire stores said they were OK to continue my summer trip. Took them to my local Michelin dealer last Jan. and they paid 80% of the replacement cost. For just over $800, I got 6 new tires including labor, balancing, etc. I thought that was more than fair.
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Old 08-24-2008, 03:04 PM   #6
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General guidance is tires should be replaced if cracks are more than 2/32" deep OR internal steel or fabric plies are visible. Since the tires are only 3 years old, I certainly would talk to a Michelin dealer. Don't know for sure what their warranty is, but according to sites I googled "Tire manufacturers' warranties typically cover cracking for a period of 4 years from the date the tire was purchased (receipt for the new tires or in-service date of the vehicle required) or four years from the date the tire was manufactured." My '02 Michelins look perfect with no cracking at all.

I'm curious about the history of your tires.
- Do they sit more than they are driven?
- Are the tires covered when the rig is parked?
- Do you use a vapor barrier when parked on concrete?
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Old 08-24-2008, 03:34 PM   #7
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Paul, tell me more about vapor barrier on concrete.

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Old 08-24-2008, 04:28 PM   #8
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">
I'm curious about the history of your tires.
- Do they sit more than they are driven?
- Are the tires covered when the rig is parked?
- Do you use a vapor barrier when parked on concrete? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

1) Usually we drive the motorhome at least once or twice a week year round.

2) We do not cover the tires.

3) No vapor barrier when parked on concrete.

We are in Colorado with plenty of sunshine and UV exposure, but I expect the tires to last for at least two or three more years.

Also, just as tomsm I noticed plenty of cracks around the lettering as well.

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Old 08-24-2008, 04:50 PM   #9
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Thudman:
Paul, tell me more about vapor barrier on concrete.

Thudman </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Same here. When the Vectra is parked at home, it's inside a heated garage with a "SuperKote" epoxy on concrete floor. When the View is at home (and the Vectra's in the garage) it's on gravel under a carport.

I'm aware of doing vapor / contact barriers for bare dirt, due to microbal action. I've never heard of doing them for concrete or gravel.
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Old 08-24-2008, 10:48 PM   #10
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I'm curious about this as well. My neighbor at storage has his DP on plywood pads and was suggesting I do the same but couldn't explain the technical reasons for it. We're on asphalt.
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Old 08-25-2008, 06:39 AM   #11
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">My neighbor at storage has his DP on plywood pads </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Since plywood normally has glue in it, would the glue emit fumes (hot wx) that could harm the tires? My fulltime location has a concrete pad, and right now I use no barrier---tires are directly on the pad. I do use TyreGards all around to protect the sidewalls.

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Old 08-25-2008, 08:59 AM   #12
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">tell me more about vapor barrier on concrete. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

My understanding is that some surfaces, and particularly concrete, can leech moisture out of tires causing them to dry-rot prematurely. It is also possible for tires to absorb moisture if parked in standing water, causing damage to the steel belts. I believe all major tire mfg's recommend both covering tires to protect from direct sunlight, and parking tires on a vapor barrier.

In addition to recommending you DO NOT USE tire "treatment" stuff, Michelin guidance on RV tire care says:

"Unless you're a full-time RV-er, your vehicle probably spends some time in long-term storage. But what you probably didn't know is that rubber tires age when not being used. So, if you must store your RV, a cool, dry, sealed garage is your best bet. Also, some storage surfaces can cause tires to age faster. That's why Michelin recommends placing a barrier (cardboard, plastic or plywood) between your tire and the storage surface. Here are some other steps you can take to help reduce the aging effects
from long-term storage:
1) Thoroughly clean tires with soap and water before placing into storage.
2) Cover tires to block direct sunlight and ultraviolet rays.
3) Store out of a high ozone area. (Do not park near electric generators or transformers. Do not store vehicle in an area where welding is being done or in a garage that has mercury vapor lamps.)
Note: When a vehicle is stored, tires should be inflated to the inflation pressure indicated on the sidewall."

(http://www.michelinrvtires.com/asset..._Databook.pdf)
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Old 08-25-2008, 12:17 PM   #13
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Thanks for your feedback.

A lot of the recommendations from Michelin, Goodyear and others is great if you use your motorhome four times a year and it sits in storage for many weeks, if not months, between each use.

Between April and October we use our motorhome weekly and move around quite a bit, usually not staying more than a couple of days in one spot. It may go to storage for a day or two every week and I just don't have the time to cover the tires and park on cardboard/plywood. In our storage lot I see maybe two motorhomes with wheel covers and they seem to spend most of their time in storage.

In my humble opinion a tire that is used weekly should not start cracking after just 3 1/2 years. I know truck tires are different than car tires, but I have never had this problem with any of our cars.

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Old 08-25-2008, 12:38 PM   #14
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I agree, although the winter is a long storage time. Your area gets a lot more UV than most - as I'm sure you are painfully aware - and that proably is a contributing factor. In any case . . . get with Michelin, IMHO you have a valid warranty issue!
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