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Old 11-21-2018, 10:58 AM   #1
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Shopping for New Tires

We have a 2003 Itasca Sunrise 36M with 245/70R19.5F tires (the recommended size) which are in quite bad shape, so I've been looking for a set of six tires. I found that some of the truck shops near me have the size I need in an "H" rated tire at a much lower cost than the "F" rated tire, and I also see significant price differences between "F" and "G" rated tires from various online stores and local shops.

My questions are:
  1. Will the truck "H" rated tire give a much different ride than the recommended "F", or "G" rated tire?
  2. Some manufacturers claim UV protection. Does it make a difference?
  3. Are there any particular brands to steer clear of for RV tires?
  4. I qualify for veterans/AARP discounts. Are there other good discounts?
  5. What else should I be looking for/be concerned about?

Thanks,
Rand
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Old 11-21-2018, 01:23 PM   #2
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I went from F to G on my Itasca 35U without any issues. I have a W20 chassis while some 35Us have a W22 chassis. As I understand it, the only difference between the two is that the W22 comes with G range tires and the W20 comes with F range tires so I went with G tires for an extra margin of safety in terms of GCVW (the W22 has a higher GCVW).

The only thing I've experienced is the psi tables pretty much bottom out at my current loaded axle weights. The H tires might bottom out at higher inflation levels which means you might have to over inflate for your axle weights which would result in a rougher ride. There may or may not be other issues.

Bottom line, I'd be comfortable with going from F to G but F to H might be a stretch. If H tires are generally cheaper, I'd ask the tire shop why this is the case.

IMHO as long as you stick with a name brand, you'll be OK. Personally I don't see the need to pay the premium for Michelins, and have to many other things that I need to spend money on, but I know others will disagree. I think you're on the right track going to a truck tire shop, especially if you can find one that services a lot of RVs (mine services several local RV dealers). "My guy" recommended Uniroyals (owned by Michelin) with the comment that they were similar except for a possibly lower tread life but would age out before tread life became an issue. I only have about 500 mi on them so I can't comment further.
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Old 11-22-2018, 08:59 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RzRzRzR View Post
We have a 2003 Itasca Sunrise 36M with 245/70R19.5F tires (the recommended size) which are in quite bad shape, so I've been looking for a set of six tires. I found that some of the truck shops near me have the size I need in an "H" rated tire at a much lower cost than the "F" rated tire, and I also see significant price differences between "F" and "G" rated tires from various online stores and local shops.

My questions are:
  1. Will the truck "H" rated tire give a much different ride than the recommended "F", or "G" rated tire?
  2. Some manufacturers claim UV protection. Does it make a difference?
  3. Are there any particular brands to steer clear of for RV tires?
  4. I qualify for veterans/AARP discounts. Are there other good discounts?
  5. What else should I be looking for/be concerned about?

Thanks,
Rand
Rand, buying tires for your RV puts you into a new world of thinking. We are putting loads on our tires we would not consider for our cars or pickups. So, to start being a well informed consumer we must first understand how to read tire specs and glean from them the information that we need to carry our precious cargo safely down the roads we choose to travel our adventures on. Please refer to the following website for an example of what I am talking about. (I like Toyo tires so I will direct you to their site.) https://www.toyotires.com/commercial-tires
Follow these steps on the site:
Choose "LONG-HAUL", 22.5, 245/75R22.5, ALL POSITION
M154 appears as the tire. Now click on VIEW DETAILS.
Next click APPLICATIONS.
Scroll down page to SIZE & SPEC...
Click Show full spec.....
Click 22.5".
Now you can see all of the details this manufacturer provides for the tire you are interested in. Read the foot notes about ratings. Note the tire details, especially the last three columns. You must always choose a tire that will carry your wheel load and, my preference, not do so at max cold psi rating.
Each manufacturer will have a similar chart. Before buying my tires I started with the Michelin specs for my original tires. Then I chose a tire that was as close to RPM and a better load to psi rating than what originally came on my coach. Yes, my tire size is not readily available from other manufactures so I did have to go larger. This is where the physical dimensions can help you. You don't want the duels rubbing together or the tire not clearing the fender of course.
So, there it is, I hope this tedious posting is helpful to you.
Happy trails.
Rick Y
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Old 11-27-2018, 08:42 AM   #4
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Are you an FMCA member? If you are, they have a tire buying program for Michelin and Continental brand tires which can get you a pretty substantial discount. You can get details on their website.

Get the H rated tire - it might ride a bit harder but it will be a better tire overall due to its weight carrying capacity.

Tires have UV protection. You can spray 303 on them or use tire covers. Or do both.

Tire brands that are good substitutes for Michelin are Toyo, Hankook, Bridgestone, and so on. Brand X Chinese tires should not be on your shopping list.
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Old 11-28-2018, 10:20 AM   #5
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Change Load Range (Ply rating)

LR-F vs LR-G vs LR-H
You should never go lower. If you go up the only way you will get increased load capacity is by increasing the inflation. It is unlikely that you will get a different ride if all you change in the marking on the tire sidewall for what the Load Range is. Now if you also change brands then ride can change and if you change from a ribbed design to traction design then I would expect ride and noise to change. When you check the load/inflation tables you will note that the capacities for LR-H match the capacity for the LR-G at the LR-G inflations so it is OK to run an LR-H at less than the max inflation on the side of the tire as long as you know the actual load on each tire position and NEVER run lower inflation than what is needed to support the actual measured load.
Remember it is the air pressure not the tire construction that actually supports the load.
I have a number of posts on my RV tire blog on Inflation as well as other tire topics so you can learn quite a bit there.

RE Brand. Yes, many to choose from. One thing to consider is how many and location of dealers."Billy-Jo-Bob cheap tire emporium and bait shop" may have the best price but with only one store how are you gonna get service if you travel?
Many of the "majors" also have alternate lines at lower cost, sometimes even made at the same plant with most of the same materials. For example in Warren Co TN Bridgestone truck tire plant also makes Firestone and Dayton brands which are less expensive. Do some research to see what other brands have.
Does the country or origin make a difference? If "Made-in-Canada" or where ever is important then be sure to read the tire sidewall as the country of origin is always listed. You can also look up the actual individual plant location by reading the first 2 characters of the DOT serial and checking HERE or HERE for actual plant location.

UV protection: All tires have some level of protection. There is no industry standard so it's impossible to get a meaningful comparison. Some will claim "more" or "better" but more than what isn't answered. Covering your tires will do a better job of extending tire life than simply depending on advertising.

Discounts. Yes, there are a number out there. Some might even vary depending on location as some large dealers can offer better discounts sumplydue to their volume.



If the price is a major concern you may be able to do a rolling change over a three year period as I suggested in THIS post.
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Old 11-28-2018, 10:49 AM   #6
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Have you checked for tire discounts? FMCA (Family Motorcoach Association www.fmca.com) and other RV associations offer tire program discounts for just being a member. You can save a bunch of money! RV tires are not cheap.....
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Old 12-02-2018, 09:17 PM   #7
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The standard chassis on the 2003 36M was a Ford F53 with the 19.5 inch rims. The stock tires were sometimes mixed at the factory with F on one axle and G on the other. The F are to me the bare minimum so I went with the H all around on my 35U which since they make more of them, though they have the greatest capacity, do tend to cost less so you have the opportunity here to get more for less.

As to the ride regardless of how many plies the tire is rated at (you multiply the ordinal position of the letter in the alphabet by 2 to calculate the plies for example F is the 6th letter which multiplied by 2 gives you 12 plies, G=14 plies and H=16 plies), its balancing the load on the coach and inflating the tires to match the load which gives you the best ride. It may take a few trips to the scales to get the weight distribution right. Many tend to overload behind the rear axle making the front too light resulting in a harsh ride for the driver along with bad handling while others load one side heavier than the other causing a lean and other issues.

Firestone, GoodYear and other name brands are usually the best bet. Stay away from the Golden Coin, etc Store Brand Chinese tires and be sure that whatever you get that they were made within a few months of the date you are purchasing them. Few people wear out their motor home tires before they get too old to be considered safe. Regardless of all the hype out on the internet which some get quite incensed about the safe age for tires is really just 5 or 6 years since after that especially on a seldom used tire the chances of a tread separation and blow out become too great.

On the tires that are advertised as capable of lasting longer you have to pay a factory rep to take all the tires off the rims, inspect them to certify they are still safe and then pay to have them remounted and balanced starting at the end of the fifth year. This usually ends up costing more than the tires are then worth plus like rolling a pair of dice the inspector may end up at the first inspection telling you the tires need to be replaced anyway making the extra cost of the tires and inspection a big waste.
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Old 12-02-2018, 10:00 PM   #8
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After pricing MH tires from the big three, I read the specs for Sailun truck tires and bought 6 275/70R22.5 tires, mounted, balanced, installed for $1,3xx including all taxes.
I've been riding on them for 6 months now and think they ride better than the Goodyear G670's I removed.
I stepped up to LR H, even though the federal tire placard said to use LR G, no difference in ride. The LR H tire weighs more than the LR G.
Sailun is just one brand becoming more popular/widespread, Toyo and a few other brands are the same way.In fact, FMCA will soon be adding another such brand to their tire program.
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Old 12-03-2018, 08:01 AM   #9
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Tire blowout

A couple of points from our limited experience.
We are on our 3rd 35' class A in 12 years, and luckily only had one blowout.
It happened on I-95 in Georgia. Michelin 22.5" tires about 6 or 7 years old on our newly purchased, used motorhome.
Boom! and the INSIDE right rear tire exploded, in what is described as a "zipper" blowout. Inflation was ok before blowout. The tire rips along the edge of the tread.
Point 1 - It was the inside tire that never sees the sun, so UV was not a factor.
Point 2 - With my dopey, engineering mind, I inspected the blowout with a magnified view and found that the steel belts were RUSTED to the point that they were substantially weaker. Didn't see much rubber checks (cracks), so I concluded that moisture can penetrate the rubber, slowly, over a few years time and get to the steel.
What can you do? Not much.
I paint the outside of all my vehicle tires (including the race car) with gloss black vinyl paint. Stays quite shiny and water resistant for years and isn't slippery like other tire shine stuff. I love to see my competition use the slippery stuff, since I'll leave them at the starting line! To try it, buy the gloss black SEM brand on Amazon.


One last thing. A truck tire center replaced the blowout with a Japanese tire. It smelled like a pig farm, so had him put on 6 new Michelins, even though the other was a good tire and much cheaper.
Richard
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Old 12-03-2018, 08:08 PM   #10
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The FMCA discount isn't that great, and only applies if you want to buy the Michelins or Continentals. They're good tires, but overpriced anyway.

Next time you're in a truck stop, look and see what the OTR trucks are running. I put a set of Sumitomo's (in 19.5") on our 2006 Sightseer. They were half the price of the Michelins! They have a warranty that is honored wherever their tires are sold - and there are quite a few tire shops that deal with them (mostly larger trucks shops). I would have bought Sailuns if the shop had a full set of them. They are very good tires for the price.

Both of my two younger brothers are OTR drivers. The older of the two is an O/O, and he is fanatical about spending as much as he can on his tires - especially the steers. My youngest brother is a slip-seat driver, and runs whatever the boss puts on the trucks. They are usually Double-Coins. He gets just as much wear and has just as few problems with them as Brother 2 with the high-dollar ones.
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Old 12-03-2018, 09:21 PM   #11
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Old 12-03-2018, 09:35 PM   #12
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Are the Sumitomos and Sailuns you mentioned the Japanese or Chinese tires that others see as lower quality? Just curious.
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Old 12-04-2018, 12:05 PM   #13
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Where they are made is not the issue, as ALL tires sold in the U.S.A. must meet the same USDOT standards regardless of country of origin.Sailun truck tires are made in Vietnam due to Chinese export fees, the company still makes smaller tires in China. Sumitomos are made in China; Michelins are made in China for their market only to avoid import fees.
I discovered the Sailun truck tire brand while surveying OTR steer tires. I was at that time evaluating which new tires to install on our MH, and Sailun truck tires build quality appeared the same as Goodyear and Michelin-all steel belts and plys. I purchased 6 new Sailun 275/70R22.5 G570 LR H tires, mounted, balanced, installed for $1,330 including all taxes.


An aside, skyking talked about a zipper blowout; which is usually the result of underinflation/overloading. Rusted steel belts/plys are the result of exposure to moisture, either from internal moisture or a puncture into the belts/plys but not into the inner lining that acutally holds the air pressure.
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Old 12-04-2018, 06:32 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by akeagle View Post
Are the Sumitomos and Sailuns you mentioned the Japanese or Chinese tires that others see as lower quality? Just curious.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray,IN View Post
Sumitomos are made in China;
My Sumitomo's were all made in Japan.
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