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aztec7fan

Replace Tires After 7 years?

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So I've looked at the manufacture date on my tires and they all were manufactured in the early part of 2005 (January and February). This means they will all be 7 years old next year. So how hard/fast is the suggestion that we should replace tires after 7 years? I have done some checking on them and do not see any cracking, but I know there could be hidden cracking on the inside duals.

1) Should I have them inspected by a tire dealer and if no problems, just wait a year and have them inspected again?

2) Should I replace them at 7 years, no matter what the condition?

3) Being limited on funds, I was thinking about replacing just the fronts next spring and having the rear ones inspected and keeping them a while longer. Is it OK to do that?

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Are older tires more likely to fail including catastrophic blowouts-- yes.

But, there is no hard and fast rule as to an age at which they all start to fail. WAY too many variables. Were they stored out of the sun, only run at correct PSI, always driven frequently vs sitting for months at a time, etc. As with most things, "care and feeding" does make a difference.

In writing, Michelin recommends that tires over 5 years old be inspected by a tire expert.

Can you replace just the fronts separate from rears-- absolutely. And that may be an option if the inspection reveals no issues with them. While a rear blowout can do damage to the motorhome body, it is from tire blowouts that are more likely to cause loss of control.

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I'm certainly no expert but I can tell you of my experience. My tires were built in June 2002. My coach is a 2003. The previous owner had a garage for the coach and is seems he was careful about keeping the tires inflated properly. Although he actually was not sure what the pressure should be I lucked out as he kept them around 5 psi higher than the necessary pressure, much better than lower. I purchased the coach from him June 2009 and that winter learned all about corner weights, tire pressure by weight and size and the manufacturers pressure tables... I also realized that the tires were due for replacement. I read about the issue of sidewall and inter-tread cracking and in the spring of 2010 i gave my tires a very close inspection. I also did the corner weighing fully loaded and it was then I found what the proper inflation pressure should be for my coach. Fortunately I found absolutely no cracking anywhere. Also I inspected the tires runout and bulges and any sort of abnormality. Hindsight being what it is I would take the coach to a reputable dealer in the future-it's best to get an expert, easier too... However I was comfortable I had no visible issues and decided to start cycling the tires, do the front that year, then the back the next year etc. However I ran into problems finding a dealer who would guarantee the new tires would be date coded no more than 3 months old or so. I actually went to a dealer who promised me and found the tires were over 12 months old. So things being what they are I ran the tires through the season last year, being religious about checking the pressure and getting out each stop and using an infra-red temp gauge checking the tire temperatures. Then this spring right after taking my coach out of storage I took it in and had new Michelins installed. The old tires were a few months short of 9 years old and they looked great inside and out. The dealer said they were still in great shape. However there was a very noticeable difference in handling, vibration and smoothness of the ride so I think even if the tires are in super shape after 7 years you will probably find it worthwhile for other reasons besides safety to replace them.

What is interesting was the coaches I looked at since the spring of 2010 when I learned what to inspect for. I saw tires as new as 2005 with severe cracking-frightening is the word. Also in discussion with many RVers we met along the way I found very few who really understood the proper inflation criteria of their tires. I've taken to carrying some documentation and handed it out to folks to help them learn about the process. Also I always give out the FMCA info to as many coach owners as I can, these forums are terrific for educating yourself.

Anyway my plan is to replace my tires by cycling them starting at 7 years if they are in great shape at that time, if they are so-so I will start sooner. I will do the front first, then the back the next year. I'm still up in the air whether I will move the one year old tires to the rear and put the next new ones on the front. There is much discussion about mixing new-old tires in dually positions. I think if I don't put too many miles on the tires and I ensure the brand, model and size is the same I can probably put a one year old tire together with a new one in a dual position. I have 7 years to sort that one out.....

Anyway good luck in your decision, always remember to keep the tires inflated properly and cover them when they are not turning.

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