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Old 06-23-2013, 05:27 PM   #1
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Arrow Bubbles in tires & hot wheel well

Guys, went to go look at a 1981 Brave today, good condition and drives well.

Few concerns, there were noticable bubbles in the sides of a few tires (owner said he had not replaced them since he bought the vehicle from the past owner, so probably 5+ years old) - how much do these tires cost and what causes this? I've attached a pic below.



Also, I took it out for a 10 minute spin around the block. When we got back, I touched the front right wheel well, it was fine (slightly warm, nothing out of the ordinary) but then I went to the drivers side and it was hot - I could only hold my finger on it for ~ 5 seconds. Maybe a slightly seized caliper? Owner said the camper has been sitting all winter. Anyone have any experience with this as well?

Thanks guys
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Old 06-23-2013, 07:28 PM   #2
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Your pic did not show up. But I would plan on replacing the tires if there are bubbles on them. It also sounds like a caliper may be hung up..can't tell you how much the tires will be but I am sure someone here can tell you.

Got the pic, those look like broken belts.
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Old 06-23-2013, 07:29 PM   #3
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Those aren't bubbles, more ripples. Those are ok. Happens when the weave inside just holds tighter in some places. If you have goose eggs, that's a diff story.
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Old 06-23-2013, 07:36 PM   #4
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That tire does not look healthy to me. What is the date code on the tires? Likely they are pretty old.
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Old 06-23-2013, 07:50 PM   #5
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Thanks guys, we looked very hard to find a date (serial number last four digits = week/year) but could not see one. I could not tell you how old they are and neither could the owner. Had plenty of tread though, easily 1/4-1/2in

If we are going to Cali from CT, we want everything to work right. Thing is, we are on a budget, so 6 tires at $300 a pop won't help. If it is just mild ripples, than that puts my mind to rest.

Here are a few pics of the rotor with the issue, pretty hard to see much but maybe a trained eye could spot something.

Rotor 1





Rotor 2 (one with issue if I remember correctly)





Anyone else chime in on the brake/tire issues? Thanks!
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Old 06-23-2013, 07:54 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Waymon3x6 View Post
Thanks guys, we looked very hard to find a date (serial number last four digits = week/year) but could not see one. I could not tell you how old they are and neither could the owner. Had plenty of tread though, easily 1/4-1/2in

If we are going to Cali from CT, we want everything to work right. Thing is, we are on a budget, so 6 tires at $300 a pop won't help. If it is just mild ripples, than that puts my mind to rest.

Anyone else chime in on the brake/tire issues? Thanks!
I'm thinking ply separation. $300 a pop is better than "holy cow what just went pop?"
You are at risk of more money and also delays.
Just do it.
Just sayin....
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Old 06-23-2013, 07:57 PM   #7
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Not to be rude, but you can't really get an RV and be on a budget. Diesel/gas, tires, brakes, motor, everything assoc. with an automobile, then the entire house area. Not cheap.
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Old 06-23-2013, 08:09 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Waymon3x6 View Post
Thanks guys, we looked very hard to find a date (serial number last four digits = week/year) but could not see one. I could not tell you how old they are and neither could the owner. Had plenty of tread though, easily 1/4-1/2in

If we are going to Cali from CT, we want everything to work right. Thing is, we are on a budget, so 6 tires at $300 a pop won't help. If it is just mild ripples, than that puts my mind to rest.

Anyone else chime in on the brake/tire issues? Thanks!
Yes, I'll chime in. You have tires of an unknown age, but certainly over 5 years old. They have visible defects on the sidewalls that cannot be diagnosed from an opinion of a photograph. The tires need to be removed from the rims by a qualified tire shop so they can be inspected inside and out. The brakes need to be examined by a qualified mechanic. Right now you have a completely unknown safety situation. I would not trust this vehicle to take my family anywhere. A front tire blowout at 60mph is something you do not want to experience. If you do plan to drive it as is, please let us know your intended route so I can be somewhere else.
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Old 06-23-2013, 08:14 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Waymon3x6 View Post
If we are going to Cali from CT, we want everything to work right. Thing is, we are on a budget, so 6 tires at $300 a pop won't help. If it is just mild ripples, than that puts my mind to rest.
Anyone else chime in on the brake/tire issues? Thanks!
With all due respect,,,,,,,,,,,,If $300 per tire is a financial hardship then buying a 30 year old RV for a coast-to-coast trip will be a financial disaster.
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Old 06-23-2013, 08:19 PM   #10
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Alright everyone take it easy, this board is getting a little heated. I know its late and its Sunday but no need to get nasty.

We're just a few college kids, found a Winnebago nearby for $3200 and we're trying to keep our total operation under $10 grand for a 3 week trip from CT to CA and back.

Tires - someone said they were only ripples, well in that case, we can use the valuable $1800 somewhere else. Some of you think it is very serious. I suppose I will take it to a mechanic then. I did not purchase the vehicle yet, so nothing gained and nothing lost. Just looking for an opinion. Thanks
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Old 06-23-2013, 08:29 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Waymon3x6 View Post
Alright everyone take it easy, this board is getting a little heated. I know its late and its Sunday but no need to get nasty.

We're just a few college kids, found a Winnebago nearby for $3200 and we're trying to keep our total operation under $10 grand for a 3 week trip from CT to CA and back.

I left RV Net for just the reasons stated, and rarely post here any more for the same reasons. Be safe on your trip, take your time and enjoy.
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Old 06-23-2013, 08:31 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Waymon3x6 View Post
Alright everyone take it easy, this board is getting a little heated. I know its late and its Sunday but no need to get nasty.

We're just a few college kids, found a Winnebago nearby for $3200 and we're trying to keep our total operation under $10 grand for a 3 week trip from CT to CA and back.

Tires - someone said they were only ripples, well in that case, we can use the valuable $1800 somewhere else. Some of you think it is very serious. I suppose I will take it to a mechanic then. I did not purchase the vehicle yet, so nothing gained and nothing lost. Just looking for an opinion. Thanks
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I left RV Net for just the reasons stated, and rarely post here any more for the same reasons. Be safe on your trip, take your time and enjoy.
I don't see this getting heated or nasty at all, just honest.

Yes, I said ripples, but more people said danger, so I'd go with majority. I'm just going off what I see on my F350 LD truck.

To me, if you are basically looking for a roof over your head and a motor to drive you, you could spend the money on tires/brakes/etc.
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Old 06-23-2013, 08:38 PM   #13
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Can agree with some that they are not bubbles. They are in fact the seam where the side wall comes together during manufacturing. Some tires are manufactured better than others, so some have little to no visible seam and others are cheaply manufactured and are more obvious. Either way it is absolutely normal. There is a DOT# on the sidewall of every tire. I have the same chassis as that motorhome with 16" wheels. I just purchased 7 new tires on ours for $768 out the door mounted and balanced. The heat issue could possibly be a sticking caliper, check for uneven brake wear. It may be something simple like a over tightened wheel bear nut too. Jack it up and rotate the tires on both sides and note the rolling resistance. Remove the caliper and try it again. This will help isolate the issue. Did you take your mechanic friend?
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Old 06-23-2013, 08:38 PM   #14
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Waymon..........I don't detect any "heat" here. What I do detect is some folks trying to honestly advise and help you. Even college students have a responsibility to have a safe vehicle.
The date code on the tires is usually preceded by the letters "DOT" and do not follow the tire serial number as you stated in post #5.
I hope you guys can make your trip.........adventures like you contemplate will remain in your memories. Just be safe.
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Old 06-23-2013, 09:15 PM   #15
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Thanks for all the replies guys, I really appreciate the help. Perhaps I read your posts a little wrong and got a nasty notion, I apologize. Anyways:

Winnebeater - my mechanic friend could not make it today. But I did bring along another buddy who knows something about engines.

I took a bunch of pics (but sadly none of the tires) and we took it out for a ride. Everything was great - not fuel injected so there was some pumpage to start. Brakes were pretty hard to push down (that 1980s technology I suppose) but everything worked the way it should. Dash AC/heat was in fact disconnected so we would run genny with the cabin AC unit the whole time. Did not realize it was a 100 gallon fuel tank but that's even better (less fill ups in the desert). Roof was in excellent condition - no sagging. Posts put up in interior due to previous owner using roof as a deck to sit on. New AC unit as well.

Here are a few pics of the actual unit itself:



























He's was originally asking $3500 then dropped to $3200 and I got him to 3 even. Plan is to wait until August, call him again and offer him $2500 hopefully settle for a few hundred less of 3k. If he doesn't want to do that, then he can winterize it again and keep it. Says a few guys have checked it out, but no one has made an offer yet.

What do you guys think?
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Old 06-23-2013, 09:23 PM   #16
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It doesn't look too bad but the tires and caliper would be a worry, especially if headed out for a long trip.
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Old 06-23-2013, 09:26 PM   #17
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Offer the 2500 now to give you time to totally go through it and service anything needed. If he doesn't take it now he may be hungrier in August. All your pics didn't load
Pn edit: Pics finally loaded. Sick upholstery on driver seat. The water heater controls are of a really old technology........be sure you understand the control operation. If you ever need to replace the thermocouple be very careful to not overtighten into control.
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Old 06-23-2013, 09:38 PM   #18
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Visually it looks pretty good. The orange carpet is a flashback to the way ours use to look a couple of years ago (we've repalced a couple of things since we bought it). Another thing to help you with you fuel calculations; the generator will use about a gallon an hour. You will be able to confirm the tank size after a couple of fill ups but I believe it is a 70 gallon tank. Here is a brochure that you might find interesting (the brochure has specs for this motorhome): http://media.gowinnebago.com/models/...-Brave-bro.pdf
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Old 06-23-2013, 09:48 PM   #19
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All tires are required by law to have a DOT date code.

Without knowing exactly what the date codes are you are really taking a chance with your lives and the lives of people around you.

If you have seen and read any of the stories and photos of the significant damage that has occurred with a tire failure on the highway, you would think twice but without the money to put on new tires it is a moot point.

Thankfully, I won't be back on the road until after your trip, that's is IF you can finish it in one piece.

Dr4Film ----- Richard
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Old 06-23-2013, 09:56 PM   #20
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All tires are required by law to have a DOT date code.

Without knowing exactly what the date codes are you are really taking a chance with your lives and the lives of people around you.

If you have seen and read any of the stories and photos of the significant damage that has occurred with a tire failure on the highway, you would think twice but without the money to put on new tires it is a moot point.

Thankfully, I won't be back on the road until after your trip, that's is IF you can finish it in one piece.

Dr4Film ----- Richard
Richard, I think he got it already.
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