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Hi, I am new to the FMCA and am looking forward to being part of the community. I own a 1996 Freedom Wide LTV on the dodge Ram 3500 Van.  It has been a bit of a challenge due to suspension problems over my almost 6 yr years of ownership but really a fun coach, very manoeuvrable and a great little camper. I'll soon be ready to move to my second but for now I'm a bit stymied with my current RV.  To delay the purchase of a new motorhome I decided to do some sprucing up, the entire story is too long to post here but it's been almost 2 months with more than a few bad mechanics and other troubles. My current situation which I find puzzling is tires!  Actually upgrading to new tires (and new bilstein) shocks seems to have instigated difficulties.

 

Here are some details, perhaps someone else has a motorhome like this one and shed some light on this for me:.

Single rear tires, LT 225/75R-16  E  GVW is 8,510 on the door is pounds. Fully loaded I weighed it at 7,800 pounds. 

I installed 4 new Michelin LTX M/S 2 tires..  I loved them as they gave my rig a wonderful ride, however the tires introduced a bad road wander making it almost impossible for me to navigate freeway speeds and the normal winds in my area.  The worn tires I'd removed were Open County, I did not much like them but I waited until they worn out before replacing them with the Michelins.

I had my vehicle inspected believing it needed alignment and was told that the problem was the tires, the owner of the shop believed that the tire sidewalls were causing the rear tires to bulge and therefore causing the front end to sway back and forth.  I'd previously installed rear wheel spacers and both a front and rear stabilizer / steering damper and had replaced the ball joints. I called Henderson's Line Up in Oregon for advice and they recommended I replace the M/S 2's with XPS Ribs.   I did this and it was somewhat improved but not enough. I wound up seeking service at several other shops and eventually installing a new steering gearbox, a new front steering damper and a new steering gearbox stabilizer.  during this time it was found there was also a brake pull which was corrected with a complete front end brake service.  

After careful study and several mechanics it was determined that the steering will now continue to improve (I hope), It's been aligned several times and the front end has had several detailed inspections.  It seems the new steering gearbox will require driving time, to help it settle in along with the other new parts. 

My dilema  is now the tires, I've found I intensely dislike the rough and jarring ride from the XPS Ribs.  The Ribs have negated my satisfaction with the bilsteins. I am in the process now of  lowering the tire pressure, it helps a little but the best explanation was offered by an RV tire shop in Fullerton who explained that the Ribs are better intended for a heavier vehicle, like a plumbers truck and not intended to give a nice ride to a little motorhome like mine. His suggestion, the LTX M/S 2!!!!!

After checking with many shops, I can find no consensus on a good (better) tire for my Freedom Wide but I remain eager to swap the Ribs for something else so I can enjoy all the recent work and upgrades to my motorhome. . 

My current shop is researching what tires would be best fit, they have suggested the Michelin M/S tire but I am worried with all the differing suggestions and would very much like feedback on this problem.   My RV is an older one but other than this last issue it's ready for fun. I will add that I might tough out the rough tires but I travel with dogs and they react very badly to the rough ride.   Thank you.   Jamie 

 

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Welcome to the forum Jamie.  I read your post and can't offer any real suggestions for you but there are several people on the forum who should have some suggestions for you.  One question that may come up is whether you have individual wheel position weights, that is how many pounds each wheel is supporting.  Your 7800 pounds may not be distributed equally on the four wheels.  This is common in RV's.  I don't know how much size of vehicles affects this but things like location of holding tanks, personal goods, passengers, a slide out, other equipment may make one wheel or several wheels carry more weight while others are underweight.  That can affect the desired tire pressure which can affect ride.  If you haven't changed any of these kind of factors, and assuming that the tire size and the rating of the new shocks is correct for your vehicle, I wouldn't expect any significant change in the ride and handling.

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