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Old 02-16-2020, 05:46 PM   #1
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Problem with new Michelin tires

I have a 2000 Itasca Horizon 36 (same as Winnie Journey DL) I just installed my third set of tires, always Michelin's, and up until this last set I have never had any handling problems. The motor home now is almost impossible to keep between the white lines. It sways back and forth a foot or more on straight level roads without any wind. I've changed air pressure up and down with little effect. I can't find any changes in the suspension. All six tires I had installed had build dates of less than 90 days. The problem started the dday I drove home from the tire shop. It's as if Michelin has changed their tire construction. They are XRV 235/80R22.5
Any one else having problems with recent XRV tires??
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Old 02-22-2020, 09:01 PM   #2
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Hi What pressure are you running at and what weight on the axles ?

You check the Michelin Tire pressure chart for tire ?

That much sway not likely it's tire related, could they have jacked it up on a steering component and busted something when changing tires,
I'd check the U Bolts first and see how tight they are up front, if they came loose or moved when jacking it up you would end up with a sway result for sure. does it brake straight ?
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Old 02-22-2020, 10:01 PM   #3
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A tire manufactured with a bad belt will cause that kind of driving issue.
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Old 02-23-2020, 07:42 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Flagstick View Post
I have a 2000 Itasca Horizon 36 (same as Winnie Journey DL) I just installed my third set of tires, always Michelin's, and up until this last set I have never had any handling problems. The motor home now is almost impossible to keep between the white lines. It sways back and forth a foot or more on straight level roads without any wind. I've changed air pressure up and down with little effect. I can't find any changes in the suspension. All six tires I had installed had build dates of less than 90 days. The problem started the dday I drove home from the tire shop. It's as if Michelin has changed their tire construction. They are XRV 235/80R22.5
Any one else having problems with recent XRV tires??
did they balance all the tires? You also may want to ck the alignment. It's kind of a long shot, because your rig was driving straight before you took it in. But it's something to strike off the list before moving on to the "Bigger" stuff.
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Old 02-23-2020, 07:44 AM   #5
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Ohh, one more thing. Get the shop owner or Tech or head tech to do a Test drive with you so he can see for himself and get a better idea.
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Old 02-23-2020, 09:21 AM   #6
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I would check to make sure the wheels are properly mounted to the vehicle. It might be an installation problem rather than a tire problem.

Have you checked the torque on the lug nuts?
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Old 02-24-2020, 08:28 PM   #7
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Guess that you have checked the tire pressure and the weights. Guess that you did not put on retreaded tires. So go back and let the tech guy check the following things:
Are the wheels properly mounted?
Check the brakes and function.
Check the steering geometry (front and rear).

Perhaps you remember the old tires and if they worn irregularly or on one side. Perhaps there are some used bearings or rubber parts which also need to be replaced. That could be the case after a few tens of thousands of miles, you wont remark it until you put on new tires.
So, if changing the tires, always check the brakes and steering geometry and if bearings etc are still working correctly. By the way: this is a matter of thenth of a millimetre, so just one worn rubber part on the suspension can trigger that.
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Old 02-26-2020, 04:41 PM   #8
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Time to go back to your tire dealer. If no answers or help call Michelin.
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Old 02-26-2020, 05:05 PM   #9
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Time to go back to your tire dealer. If no answers or help Have the Dealer call Michelin.
fify

The pros should talk to the pros and get you satisfied with what you expected to get from their service and their products.
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Old 02-26-2020, 06:33 PM   #10
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Is this the same tire dealer that installed the last 2 sets of tires? Some tires dealers are not setup to correctly mount large truck tires on the rims and many do not have the equipment to properly spin balance them so they end up causing drive-ability issues due to making due with what they have to get the job done.



I had one such issue at a tire dealer that while they technically handled commercial trucks their balancing machine would only handle up to 16.5 inch truck rims and their mounting equipment needed a manual assist with a long pipe to mount the 19.5 inch tires. The only thing that resolved the issues with handling was to go to a full service commercial truck tire dealer who primarily sold 19.5 and larger truck/bus tires. They immediately recognized the specific equipment need to properly mount and center the tires on the rims and the rims on the hubs of my coach and assigned the remount and balancing work to the tech in the bay with that specific equipment available. The coach drive smooth and straight as an arrow afterwards.
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Old 02-26-2020, 11:33 PM   #11
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It sounds like your tire side-wall-belts are not holding up with the weight of your coach.

Can we assume you have less than 3,000 miles? I'm just throwing that number out. Chances are you have driving over 800 miles which is beyond any "break-in period" they may ask you to put on the coach.

Note: I have seen new tires take 200-400 miles before they travel straight. So if you have not at least driven this far... you should before you call Michelin.

Are these the same size tires as you previously used?

Did you change to load rating?

===

I think you need to do what I did when I had a tire problem and call Michelin. They have a special department that will help you.

Also, ask if you can talk to a Level-2 technical support person; and when you are done with your conversation and have no other alternatives to consider... ask to "open a claim" and then ask for the Michelin Regional Manager name and phone number so you can speak with this person.

You then can call your tire dealer and ask that they discuss this matter with the Regional Manager to arrive at a solution you will be happy with.

This will establish a record and an internal "traveler" (paperwork) which the tire dealer can use to get reimbursed my Michelin.

I also recommend you move away from the Michelin "RV" designated tires and go with truck "steer tires" all they way around your RV. These tires are much higher quality!!! They are marketed as "X-line Energy".

First you need to find out if Michelin offers a real truck tire in your size?

But don't worry, Michelin will take care of you. They will pay the tire shop for the extra labor to swap tires to another model, and and probably upgrade you to a truck "steer tire" for free if they make a truck tire in your size.

This can be a $700+ savings since you have 6 tires. ...At least this is how they treated me!

I love my X-Line-Energy "steer tires" and I will never, never use Michelin's RV tires again!

I have driven over 30,000 miles in the last 3 years and I am very, very happy with my Michelin Steer Truck Tires, but I have 22.5" rims. So again, I don't know if they offer a truck tire in your size. If they do, and if Michelin upgrades you at no extra cost, you will be happy and forget about this mess and time-sink you are dealing with now.

Just follow Michelin's recommendations on how to deal with the tire shop and they will take care of the bill. I truly think this will happen in your case too.

Good luck!

PS
Instead of paying $20 for a wheel balance, you can use a product called "Equal" to put inside your tires. This stuff works great and it will auto-balance your tires for ever. I highly recommend this over using weights! Just make sure you never have water in the air hose when you fill your tires, which should not be a problem.
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Old 02-27-2020, 01:33 PM   #12
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I have the same size tires on my 38' Adventurer, and it handles very well. I doubt very much that the new are your problem. Sounds like an alignment issue. Also - be sure to check all tire pressures - front and dual rears, because incorrectly inflated rear tires will definitely give you bad handling, as well as being very dangerous from threat of a blowout.

Whenever one experiences a new problem which you did not have before - look at whatever work was most recently done, as that is the likely cause of such new issue. In your case - you had a tire shop change all tires. Therefore, consider what their work might have impacted:
(1) New tire differences
(2) Tire pressures
(3) Wheel alignment
(4) Tire balance
(5) Wheel problems
(6) Lug nut tightening torques

So start to look at each of these individually, starting with the easiest -
(a) Michelin tires are the best made, so unlikely (though not impossible) to be source of your handling problems. Lets save this as a last possibility

(b) Tire pressures. Tire pressures are THE MOST critical item which every RVer should check. Because even just 1 tire under inflated can blow out and then that can easily lead to a serious accident, or at least severe body damage. So make sure all 6 of your tires are properly inflated. I do so on each travel day before I leave camp. They are easy to check, I carry a compressor so I can re-inflate as needed to proper specs, and if I suddenly see 1 tire severely under inflated I know that there may be another problem I need to address. (such as nail in the tread, sidewall damage, or most likely - a loose valve stem). So - make sure all your tires are equally and properly set to correct inflation pressures. If still bad handling problems lets go to (c) -

(c) Alignment. There is no reason why this should change from just installing new tires. If you had no handling issues before, and if you checked your old front tires for irregular tread wear and found none, then this may not be the cause because it should not change. BUT - you had the tire shop working around your suspension. I have heard (rare) of cases where in their process of jacking up the vehicle that the jack has hit the tie rod, bending it. Since the tie rod connects the 2 front tires, and is critical to keeping both tires pointing in the same direction, bending it (even a little) would instantly cause your tires to be pointing away from each other, which would cause exactly the handling problems you describe. You might be able to see this if you get under the rig and try to see if there is any noticeable bend in the tire rod. (May be hard to ID) So if possible go back to the shop and ask if they might have done this when jacking up your rig. Have them check the wheel alignment. Your case with them was that you did not have any problems before they changed your tires - but now you do and they were the only ones working down there. If you have any shop checking your wheel alignment be sure to ask them to check that the tie rod is straight and not bent!

(d) Wheel Balance. Your tires should be balanced - hopefully spin balanced - by the tire shop. However - even out of balance tires should not cause the handling issues noted, though they will result in long term tire wear.

(e) Wheel problems. It is hard to remove old tires from 22.5" wheels. And even though those wheels are pretty tough I have seen tire shops use a long crow bar to pry the tire off the steel rim. The point is - one or more of your rims could have been damaged (bent or warped) by the shop. Not likely as most tire shops should have the proper tools and knowledge to do this correctly. But it is a possibility.
Part II of wheel problems is that they somehow got a stone or gravel or sand in between the wheel and wheel hub when remounting your new tires to your vehicle. Though not likely, it would cause the wheel to run crooked on the hub.
To check for either of these potential wheel problems - what I would do is use my front leveling jacks to lift the front tires just off the ground, so that they turn freely. You can then use your hands to turn the wheel/tire assy rapidly, and in doing so you should easily note if there is any runout of the wheel. By this I mean - does it appear that the wheel is turning smoothly and consistently, or is the edge moving in and out as the wheel turns? If any wobble, then it is likely caused by one of these 2 reasons.
HOWEVER - While wheel wobble is not good for tire wear, it is also not very likely to cause the handling problems noted. But it should be checked.

(f) Lug Nut Torque. For these sized wheels a torque of 475 ft/lbs is required. This is very tight, and can only be done with a very long torque wrench or large impact wrench. But any truck tire shop should know this and be able to tighten them correctly. But - they may have forgot. Loose lug nuts is obviously a very bad thing and would allow you wheels to wobble, and eventually fall off. This is not likely your problem, but again - the tire shop did have to remove all your wheel and re-install them - so it is a possibility. Ask them to re-check all lug nut torques. They should be glad to do this as a safety check anyway.

(g) New tire problems. Again - not likely with Michelins - but anything is possible. Ask the tire shop to inspect all the new tires for any issues. But even a defective tire would not likely cause the handling problems you noted.

SO - If it were me I would concentrate first on tire pressure (which you should be checking anyway and they are easy to check and set correctly) and secondly on wheel alignment. It sounds like your front tires are pointed in 2 different directions (usually outward) so your vehicle is fighting each tire as to which way it is turning.

Finally - when you get your handling issues resolved you should consider installing a Steering Stabilizer. (I installed the Roadmaster) This a large shock which mounts from the spring mount to the tie rod and will absorb any sudden shocks to the suspension (pothole or tire blowout) to help prevent the steering suddenly changing. It also has a large spring on it which will help keep your Make steering centered. Makes driving and handling much better.
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Old 02-28-2020, 08:24 PM   #13
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Experienced a similar problem with my coach on the last set of Michies. Now running Toyo and no more problems. I did experiment with inflation but never totally cured the problem and they wore very unevenly. No help from Michelin.
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Old 02-29-2020, 12:00 AM   #14
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Again: I would not buy Michelin RV tires, but their Semi-Truck "Steer Tires" are fantastic!
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Old 03-01-2020, 07:46 PM   #15
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Well just for adding HappiHenri great post, it's important to look that the tire shop is well equipped and the guys there have practice to change rv-tires. Like you should do it with the general maintenance too.

Because cheap can be very expensive. Especially tires are such an important part and it does not worth to play with your life for a handfull of dollars that you supposedly could save.

We are not fulltimers but we use our rv quite often, even winters for a ski-weekend. I have a checklist when I get the rv out of the storage at home (this takes me at least two hours). Our rv is in the garage of our trust twice a year for maintenance. So, this costs us some money but first: nothing in your life is for free and second (knocking on wood) we do not have big worries with our vehicles.
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Old 03-01-2020, 08:30 PM   #16
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Experienced a similar problem with my coach on the last set of Michies. Now running Toyo and no more problems. I did experiment with inflation but never totally cured the problem and they wore very unevenly. No help from Michelin.

Which can still be the fault of the installer.

Only a trained truck tire tech knows how to use the equipment to index the balance marks on large tires with the rims found on motor homes and other large vehicles and how to mount them so that they are actually centered on the rims. This is usually not a problem with the lighter tires found on most cars and pickup trucks however is very critical on the 19.5 and 22 inch tires on our coaches.

If the tech does not have the training and equipment to mount the tires correctly then the tires can squirm, bounce, shimmy and wear very unevenly even when there are no defects in the tires themselves.
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Old 03-29-2020, 11:39 AM   #17
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I contacted Michelin and they had me take the M/H to their dealer. He checked tire pressure, torqued lug nuts, checked suspension, test drive, etc.. They replaced the front two tires and tested again. The same problems, even a bit worse.
After $2000 for steering damper and another $300 to replace front tires (Michelin only pays for the tires, I paid tax, mounting and balance) I'm done with the Michelin tires.
What do owners think of Toyo or Goodyear on 36ft diesel pushers? If that doesn't work I know where you can get a cheap M/H
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Old 03-29-2020, 11:49 AM   #18
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When did you install the steering damper? I'm suspecting it's not the tires if they have been replaced and you have the same problem. Not sure what the go to source would be for suspension issues on a MH, but it's probably not a tire shop, company dealer or not.
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Old 03-29-2020, 08:11 PM   #19
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(1) Read my other post about many possible ways your problem may have been caused.
(2) On your return to the dealer - did they check wheel alignment? I again say - whenever you have a new mechanical problem you have to 1st go back to what work was most recently done, as that is where you problem was created. In your case -

a> Your Motorhome handling was fine, until you went to the dealer and had all tires changed. And that is when your handling problems began. So - -- right away you almost certainly have identified the culprit - the dealer which did the work.
b> Highly unlikely that tires are the fault here. New Michelins? I don't think so.
c> Have the dealer jack up the front end and spin the front tires. Are they wobbling?? Do they spin smoothly?
d> Now have the dealer jack up the rear end, start the engine and run the engine slowly in order to have the rear tires spin slowly. Also check - any wobbling? Any irregularities noted while turning?
e> I still strongly suspect that the dealer bent your tie rod when jacking up the front end. This would instantly cause your front tires to "tow out" (each tire pointing away from the RV) causing exactly the bad handling you describe. You can check the tie rod to see if any marks on it from being jacked, better yet - have the dealer do a proper wheel alignment - at their charge. (see below)
(f) $2000 for a steering stabilizer??? Was this installed by the same dealer?? If so - you have a bad, crooked dealer. I paid ~$250 for my Roadmaster Steering stabilizer. Installed it myself, so I know that dealer labor to do the install should be <$200. If they charged you $2000 (seriously?) they have not only ripped you off but I suspect also very likely damaged your suspension when installing your tires.

Don't let this dealer off the hook. You came in with no handling problems - but left with very bad handling problems - on new tires no less. So there's the source of your problem - the install dealer. They not only somehow created a dangerous handling issue, but severely ripped you off on the steering stabilizer.
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Old 03-30-2020, 10:55 AM   #20
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The steering stabilizer was installed after the new tires and handling problems. The kit was $945 and also included a new bell crank. Also $350 for new front shocks. $700 to install all this. I know it's too much but the people who can do work on M/H's is getting more limited. I had the tire dealer inspect the steering suspension for any damage and none was found. Old tires I took off were not worn and didn't show signs of alignment problems. Still looking for truck center that can do alignment on solid axle Freightliner SC.
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