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Old 09-20-2017, 11:51 PM   #1
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Michelin RV Tire Recommendation (275/80Rx22.5) For 30,000 Lbs + Diesel RVs

I have a 2004 Itasca Horizon 40AD (Vectra 40AD), and in August of 2017, with the recommendation of Michelin Corporate Service Helpline referral agent, and a Oregon Michelin Dealer, I purchased 6 RV type tires called " Michelin "Multi-Energy Z" in an "H" load rating. The size of these tires is 275/80Rx22.5.

My old tires were a Goodyear G395, 295/75Rx22.5 (which are the same size as the Michelin) and they were about 9 years old, with plenty of tread on them. So yes, it was very hard to spend $5000 on new tires with so much rubber left on my Goodyear's, but as I once learned the hard way: "You should not confuse tire life with tread life." Blowouts are very dangerous!

These new Michelin tires had the same Michelin characteristics I have come to expect and want; i.e., they tracked well and ride soft, but these Multi-Energy Z tires also made a lot of road noise at speeds of 45MHP to 65MPH.

In fact, the whine was so obvious I just could not live with them. Plus, it really did not matter what the surface of the road was. These tires, on my rig, were either "annoying" or "very annoying" depending on the road surface ... all the time!

So I opened a Michelin Case Number and told the Michelin Dealer that I would put 800-1000 miles on the tires to see if the high-pitch whine would go away.

Then I got my axles weighed, and as expected, per the Winnebago chart, my front axles weighted 12K lbs and my rear axles weighed in at 20K lbs (fully loaded).

And with Michelin's help looking up the proper air pressure for my tires at these load ratings, I aired-up my "H" rated tires to 95 in the front and 90 in the rear. Note: The actual air pressure called for was 90 front and 80 rear, but I do not like running at this low air pressures, and that's when I discovered it might NOT be a good idea to put "H" rated tires on an RV in the 30,000 lbs category.

I then drove these loud tires for 800 miles, to supposedly "break them in," but there was no change in pitch and the annoying whine of of the tires was ever present at 45MPH+.

THE SOLUTION: Michelin replaced these RV tires with a "Truck" Steer Tire and I am very, very happy now!!! Of course, the Dealer and the Rep swore they never had this problem before. And they further said the noise might be a factor of my coach's wheel-well design, but I think different.

Immediately after installing Michelin's Long Haul Steer Tire called "X-Line Energy Z", in a 275/80R-22.5, my coach not only floated on air, it also was quiet as mouse, and handled beautifully!

Plus we choose "G" rated tires so I can air them up to 100-105 PSI all the way around and I liked that too!

Note: Truck tires are designed to be run closer to their maximum air pressure vs. their low end of 80PSI. Not to mention, if you every have a slow air leak you really do want 20+ extra PSI margin so you don't have a complete tire failure on the road. (Several times I have found slow tire leaks from the valve stem, but I caught it at 90lbs and not 70lbs.)

Note: I was told that buying "H" rated tires was waist of money; but I was more interested in having 2 extra plys, which is what you get with an "H" rated tire, but now I don't think that running "H" rated tires is a good idea, because for my coach category/weight I am suppose to run 90/85 PSI and I don't like that!

Besides, "G" rated tires provide enough protection on the front axles; and with 4 "G" rated tires on the rear axle you have more than enough load carrying capacity. So I'm now of the opinion that "H" rated tires, running 100+PSI, will leave you bouncing down the road.

Note: I found both Michelin Tire types mentioned above to be a better ride over my 9 year old Goodyear-395's, but these so called Michelin "Steer Tires" aka "X-Line Energy Z" tires designed for "long haul truckers" were superior in every respect. This includes rolling down the road, side-to-side control, and overall feel. That said, I would never buy the RV Designed "Multi-Energy Z" tire if you can get a professional grade "X-Line Energy Z" tire to fit your RV.

The Dealer also gave me these tips: Don't turn your wheel without the coach moving. And watch-out for kissing curbs. Apparently these "Steer Tires" do not have as much sidewall strength as a RV tires and he says RV owners come in with "chunks" of rubber missing from the tread side area.

In my opinion, these "X-Line Energy Z" tires are worth the money and I highly recommend them! BTW, you can't get a good price on Michelin tires from Les Schwab, because they are the Toyo Dealer.

What's a good price? I paid $550/tire in Oregon from Superior Tire when the Les Schwab tire store wanted $725/tire.

One more thing: I'm a big fan of "Equal". I have used it in 3 RVs and ever time I get a better ride vs. spin balancing a tire.
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Old 10-02-2017, 09:23 PM   #2
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Great info. Thanks. I hate to ask this question and show my ignorance but...what do you mean by "a fan of Equal"?
I have 255/80 - 22.5 Michelin XRV's on my 2010 Journey. Like in your case, I have plenty of tread but I think these tires have lived their life and it is time for a new set. I have been happy with these tires BUT, I'm not wanting to pay the Michelin price for new ones. The shop that usually does the work on our coach quoted 6K, all in for a new set. He even said he could not get a good price on Michelin. He deals Sumitomo. Ouch! I have read where others have used competitor tires (Sumitomo) and paid half that. I have learned that Sumitomo does not make a 255/80 nor do they seem to make a 265/70 which I am told is very very close to the same size. I still have not decided what to do. Safety is important to me...given a choice I would find Michelin XRV's in the same size and load range and use those but good lord the price......
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Old 10-03-2017, 12:49 AM   #3
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The decision to buy new RV tires is a big one for most people, because of cost. However, you need to also consider your comfort on the road, and peace of mind. Then you need to shop for the best price... and get it done when you are in Oregon, Texas, Montana or some other state without sales tax.

To answer your question: "Equal" is that "stuff" you put in your tires so do NOT need to spin balance your tires ever! Plus, I have used it several times and each time I removed the old weights and used "Equal" my ride was smoother. I highly recommend it and it's the same cost as balancing your tire; i.e., with "Equal" you do not pay for tire balancing.

Back to why you need to to get rid of those old tires you know nothing about: I learned the hard way a few years ago, when a 2001 National RV (24,000 lbs) blew an inside rear tire, at only 50MPH on a 95-degree California day, for no reason at all.

The sound was like a gun shot that blew off the wheel fender and sent it flying into the car traveling behind me. The flying fender put a huge 3-foot dent in her passenger side door. ...And fortunately, no one was hurt. But I have always felt that flying fender, that flew-off like a frisbee, across two freeway lanes, could have killed that girl. Lucky for me no one was hurt. But can you image the loss? ...The consequences? ...And the irony living the dream (in your new RV) only to have it turn out to be "living the nightmare"?

I never thought of a RV could be so dangerous! ...But it can be just this way if you have old tires -- that you have no history on.

In my case, I had just bought my RV off a used RV lot Portland, Oregon, just 2 weeks earlier and my tire blowout occurred on my very first out of town trip. (Note: This was my 3rd RV, but even so I had no experience with used tires. My other RVs were all new.)

I always thought I got a good deal on this RV, especially since there was only 25,000 miles on the coach, and the tires looked in excellent shape; but after this tire failure, that's when I pony'd up the $5,500 and put new Michelin RV tires on my rig. And this was my first set of RV Michelin tires I ever owned. (Which liked a lot.)

At this time, I also learned that state & federal laws do not regulate the sale of vehicle tires. So it's buyer beware when you acquire tires on a used RV.

That said, if you have owned your RV since the tires were new. ...And if you always stored your RV with the weight off the wheels, and keep a cover on them no matter if the sun was shinning on the tires or not, then your Michelin, Goodyear, Toyo, or named brand tires should be okay even up to 10-12 years, in my opinion, despite everything you have read or been told about tires needing to be replaced at 6-8 years. The question is: "Why take the chance?"

The problem with RV tires is that the RV just sits and sits 8-10 months every year. Then there is the sun factors, and I would even add freezing weather to the list. Therefore, I would define "Good Rubber" as a tire you know. Things like: Was the coach stored on it's jacks? etc. So don't assume a tire has to be replaced just by finding out when your tire was made (see tire date code) or by visual inspection alone. The truth is there are a ton of things that can go wrong with any tire. That's why air pressure is so important. And this is why I like running at 100+ PSI.

Now I'm driving a 2004 Itasca 40' RV (32,000 lbs) and I wanted a "Michelin Ride" and I was willing to pay for that ride. I also got a good price from a Michelin dealer, but only because my tire size is a common "truck tire". Consequently, I jumped on the price when I got the quote, plus I saved 6+% in sales tax since Oregon does not have a sales tax. So yes, my buy decision was based on cost too. But here's the thing...

My Goodyear G395 tires were 9 years old, and I knew I was going to put 3-5 years on the road and drive 20K-30K miles before I sold my RV. ...BUT in my case, I also knew the coach storage history; and believed I had "Good Rubber" on Goodyear G395 tires. Therefore, my decision was still a difficult one.

I guess I could have pushed-it and kept my Goodyear tires but I didn't, because 1) I wanted a "Michelin Ride;" and 2) I knew when I sell the RV in 3-5 years that I could recover $2K-$3K in a higher sales price -- with Michelin tires on my rig. So that made the cost of buying Michelin today seem more palatable.

Further, I was so pleased, when the dealer yanked those new, noisy Michelin RV tires off my ride, and put on a true "long haul" Michelin Truck Tire, that I finely knew I made the right decision. Seriously, the Truck Tire is easier to drive down the road which means less fatigue over longer periods of driving time.

I also wrote this article, because RV owners need to pay more attention to the tire load rating and air pressure: i.e., I like running with 100+PSI (even 110 PSI) in my tires and most tires will blow out if run at 75PSI or less. That said, you have 4 tires on the rear, so you pretty much always can always go with a "G" rated tire all the way around; or you can run 85PSI with an "H" rated tire... according to the tire-psi-chart. You can of course run 100+ PSI in your "H" rated tires, but then your will be "riding hot" and your ride will be stiffer. Not to mention the additional coach rattles you will have. Solution: Run the right PSI while maintaining maximum air pressure. It's not only more comfortable, it's also safer because you want 20-30 PSI over the minimum cold running psi. (When you discover your tire cap leaking you will know why.)

So my advice when buying tires are as follows:

1) BUY A TRUE TRUCK TIRE aka "Steer Tire" whenever possible for all your wheels.
2) Buy Michelin's Long-Haul Truck tire, and not their "Regional Tire" or RV tire.
Note: If Michelin does not make your tire size, then my preference would have been Toyo.
3) Don't buy RV designated tires just because they claim they put UV protection in the rubber, because all I have found is this is a marketing ploy to sell you a RV tire that cost them less to manufacture, while they (even Michelin) makes more profit on these tires. Why? The RV tire is not a Truck Tire and the ride is inferior to a "Long Haul" Truck Steer Tire.
4) Buy the load rating suitable to your maximum axle weight so your tires run at the high-end of the cold rated PSI scale.
5) Always add a $20 bag of "Equal" to your tires and don't pay for spin balancing.

Other comments:
* You need to go to a Michelin Tire Dealer to get the best price on Michelin. And if I were buying Toyo then I would go to Les Schwab. (Plus these guys are located in every town you visit.)
* Shop for tire prices!
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Old 10-06-2017, 05:10 PM   #4
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Did you check the price with an FMCA discount ?
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Old 10-06-2017, 06:45 PM   #5
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I didn't check the price with FMCA discount....not a member. Also, so far, the only quote I got was from our usual shop who is not a Michelin Dealer. He can get Michelin tires but he admits he does not get any special pricing on them. So, he did refer me to a Michelin Dealer. I called them and the first time they called back quoting the wrong tire. They were quoting Michelin tires but not the XRV. Also the tire they were quoting was not a "G" load range but rather an "H". I asked them if they could quote the XRV and they said yes and they would call back. Waited a day, no call back so called again. Oh yea....we'll give you a call back. Been a week now and no call back. Not very confidence inspiring. So, for now I have done nothing. Not a dire emergency. Just something I want to do sooner rather than later. This area is starved for good RV service.
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Old 10-07-2017, 01:36 AM   #6
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Since I posted this ad and wrote a lot about buying a "Steer Tire" for your RV, but after re-reading my post and considering everything else, I feel I have to clarify my position further to express the less obvious.

My Winnebago RV weighs 32,000 lbs (12,000 lbs on the front 2 tires, and 20,000 lbs on the 4 rear tires) with 22.5" rims. So I can use "G" rated tires for my rig with ease. I do not need an "H" rated tire and I do not want one either. Why? Won't 2 extra ply add some extra margin of safety?

Answer: No. But I am running on 22.5" rims, which puts my RV in the TRUCK TIRE realm of options, lower prices, and load ratings. If you own an RV with 19.5" wheels your decision is simpler.

For example, my 2001 National DP (330 CAT) with 19.5" wheels could only use an 19.5" wheel and I selected the XRV Michelin tires despite the cost.

To be clear, I did like the softer Michelin ride over the Goodrich tires on the coach. However, we should not compare the 19.5" XRV ride to that of a 22.5" TRUCK-STEER-TIRE, aka 22.5" Michelin X-Line "Z" STEER-TRUCK-TIRE.

And to be more specific, I'm trying to call your attention to a tire's load rating and not focus just on price for the moment.

Further, I have learned that you should not select an "H" rated tire (if you have a choice) over a "G" rated tire, because you may think you are ensuring some extra margin of safety by paying for 2 extra plys. This is not the case.

Rather, I think your goal should be to select a LOAD RATING that will let you run closer to 100-110 PSI (Cold) while still meeting your FRONT AXLE load rating, and then go with the lower load rated tire. Here's what I learned:

1) Most probably, you do not need to worry about your rear tire load rating since you have 4 tires back there, but you do want to concern yourself with the best possibly ride, and you DO want to maintain the maximum air pressure for extra margin for safety and ride comfort. This means you want to select a tire with a load rating for your maximum axle gross weight that will let you run at 100+ PSI.

2) And most likely, FOR YOUR FRONT TIRES, if a "G" rated tire is available in your wheel size (19.5" or 22.5") and IS within the acceptable load range, then your rear tires will follow suit.

So why be concerned about the rear tires?

In my opinion, you DO NOT want to "over purchase" and spend more money by buying an "H" rated tires for your front axle when a "G" load rating will do. And you also do not want to "over purchase" and buy a "H" load rating for your rear tires and run "hot."

By "hot" I mean, if you fill up an "H" rated rear tires to 100+PSI, then I guarantee you that you will be bouncing down the road unnecessarily; when if you purchased "G" rated tires and filled them up to 100+PSI you will riding smooth or smoother.

See your tire manufacture's PSI/Load Chart before you decide if you need an "G" or "H" rated tire.

And know this, almost every RV tire is only speed rated at 80MPH, so don't think paying more for an "H" rated tire will be safer. Worse, the "H" rated tire may have a higher-minimum-PSI rating (vs. a "G" rated tire). And this is more important specification you should pay attention to, because it's far more likely you will experience an air leak in your valve stem one day on the road... than it is you will hauling-ass down the road at over 80MPH in your RV.

In conclusion, I owned an XRV 19.5" Michelin tire on my National RV at 24,000 lbs and I liked the softer Michelin ride. Plus Michelin did not make TRUCK-STEER-TIRE in this size. And with the Michelin XRV tire I did not have any adverse road noise, and overall I do think this was a good tire, except for price which was $750/tire installed. (Sorry to say. But I was stranded on my RV trip and I bought the only tire I could find... from a Michelin Dealer who ream'd me! $750/tire! I'm still unhappy about that!!!)

I now own an Itasca Horizon (Winnebago Vectra) 40' RV that weighs 32,000 lbs and in this class of RVs you now have the choice of selecting an "RV TIRE" or a "STEER-TRUCK-TIRE" in the $550/tire range, and what I am saying is that in a 22.5" wheel you definitely want to choose the STEER-TRUCK-TIRE over a the 22.5" Multi Energy "Z" Michelin RV Tire.

Worse... The 22.5" Multi Energy "Z" Michelin RV Tire was a big disappointment for me vs. the 22.5" X-Line "Z" Michelin STEER-TRUCK-TIRE, and I think Michelin should pull the Multi Energy "Z" tire from the market based on my experiences.

If you have a 19.5" wheel, my guess is that the best tire on the market is a Michelin XRV tire, but I would like to hear from other RV owners who chose the TOYO 19.5" or 22.5" Toyo tire over the Michelin tire, to find out if they are getting a softer and feel like they have "exceptional handling control."

NOTE: "Exceptional Handling Control" is not something I only experienced after I I drove the 22.5" X-Line "Z" Michelin STEER-TRUCK-TIRE on my Itasca RV (end of story). And I did not get this feel on the 19.5" XRV Michelin tire. Sure it was a better ride vs. the competition, but the would I call it "exceptional?" ....NO!!! Was it worth $750/tire? I'm not sure. Was the 22.5" Michelin X-Line "Z" Michelin STEER-TRUCK-TIRE worth $550/tire? ... YES!

I hope this post clarifies my position and helps you buy a new RV tires for your rig in either 19.5" or 22.5" with confidence.

If there are any Toyo tires owners out there, we all would like to know what you think about your purchase? I.e., if you did it all over again, would you buy Michelin or stay with Toyo?

As for the other brands, the talk on the street is that only Toyo comes close to Michelin. And for me that wasn't good enough, so I spent the extra money. ...And for what it's worth, I think Michelin will be more desirable when it comes to resale in 2-5 years. (TBD)
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