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Tire Life Covered: Preventing Cracks In Sidewalls

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My motorhome (class A 22.5) and some of my friends' motorhomes are equipped with Michelin tires.

I wonder to what extent we should tolerate minor cracks on the sidewalls.

What would be the normal useful life of Michelin tires (covered when the motorhome is parked) for a long period of time?

What should we use to prevent cracking ?

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Michelin's official position is that a complete inspection needs to be done by a competent tire dealer at least every year, beginning at year 5 from tires manufacture date (from DOT number).  And, that they positively have to be replaced at 10 years.

 

Certainly there are a number of factors within owner's control that will extend useful tire life:

1.  Always run correct PSI/do not overload.

2. Cover if out of doors to protect from UV light. Light colored/white covers preferable as they allow less heat, another degrader of tires.

3. Drive frequently enough so that the emoluments that protect the tire are able to migrate to the surface.

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While Michelin does not endorse any aftermarket products, Aerospace 303 is a good non-petroleum product with UV protection.

As far as cracks, I would recommend you swing by a Michelin dealer to their evaluation-- kind of hard to evaluate on the internet.

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My Michelins are 6.5 years old and everyone who saw them said the cracks scared the **** out of them.  That includes the RV manufacturer and a local tire company.  We full time and we don't cover our tires at any time.  I am very disappointed with this result.  I did replace the steer tires to ensure my safety but the drive tires are still in place in hopes that I can wait another 6 months or so before I have to spend a whole bunch more to replace those 4.  In the past I have had Michelins that were 10 years old on the coach and in much better shape.  I am concerned that Michelin is reducing quality to improve profitability.  My next tires will likely be BF Goodrich (a Michelin product) for the hundreds of dollars in savings involved.  These tires are also included in the FMCA Michelin tire program.

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Knowing nothing about Continental tires on RV's I am not sure where they would fit in other than possibly offering a lower cost product.  When it comes to my tires, low cost is not the #1 thing I am looking for.  When BF Goodrich and Michelin are made by the same company I look to low price.  When it's choice between Two Coins, Goodyear or BF Goodrich/Michelin I am more likely to go with the top of the line choice.

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28 minutes ago, Alan.Darson said:

The potential damage to your coach from a blown tire far, far, far exceeds the price of a new tire. 

Welcome to the forum Alan. You are absolutely right.

Bill

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Continental makes a good tire. I had them on many road tractors and off road dump trucks, never a problem. Some of their car tires leave a bit to be desired with regards to traction in bad weather, but no quality issues.

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3 minutes ago, jleamont said:

Continental makes a good tire. I had them on many road tractors and off road dump trucks, never a problem. Some of their car tires leave a bit to be desired with regards to traction in bad weather, but no quality issues.

The ones that came on my CR-V lasted over 51,000 miles and wore evenly. They still had some tread left (above the wear bars) when I took them off. 

Bill

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Please consider running a TPMS to monitor tire pressure. With the right system you can avoid the need to get our and check the tire pressure every stop.

 

Remember checking tire pressure can sometimes result in the valve core not closing properly and possibly even causing a flat.  My TPMS has a "Morning Reset" that gets new pressure readings while I am finishing my coffee so no getting down on my knees on wet grass or in the rain. I'm also not letting bits of air out every day which increases the need to add air.

 

 

Also check my post of today on "Tire Recommendations"

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Wow, Roger hit it on the head.  On our last trip out west I turned on the TST monitor and had a zero reading. Expecting that the battery went dead I purchased a battery and then took off the monitor. when i did the valve stem of the tire just hissed.  I put the valve cap back on quickly to stop it.  Okay so not I have to check the air pressure before we leave so I took the valve cap off and checked and it was 10 or so pounds under "my" inflation pressure. I re-inflated to several pounds over "my" pressure and quickly put the valve cap back on.  Went to a tire dealer and they used their tool to re-seat the valve stem.  When he was finished luck was on my side as when we checked the pressure it was exactly at "my" pressure.  The only thing that kept the original valve stem from leaking was the TST tire pressure monitor with a valve stem on it.

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Tire life can also be hurt with excess heat exposure. Tires can get quite hot just sitting in full sunlight. Sprays may help reduce the UV exposure but do nothing to lower the temperature.

I have conducted tests that confirm White Vinyl or mesh shades do a good job of keeping tires cooler.  I collected data on mesh shades at Redmond Convention and they are almost as good as the white material even when the mesh in not white.  IMO black bag cover would be about the worst thing you could do. It would get hot and hold the heat in.

 

The post on white vinyl has info on why high temperature is not good.

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