How much time do you spend thinking about your RV tires? Most RV owners keep notes regarding the well-being of their coaches, and many perform a variety of repairs themselves. However, it is fundamentally important to keep the condition of your tires at the forefront of your mind whenever you are embarking on an RV trip.
It is your tires that have the mammoth task of keeping your rig rolling smoothly and safely down the road so it is extremely important to regularly inspect your tires, as well as to be aware of the manufacture date, since RV tires tend to age out instead of wearing out. RV tires should be replaced every five to seven years in general, and they should always be replaced in sets whenever possible. You will not likely notice significant tread wear on RV tires, although wear patterns can be indicative of other alignment or chassis issues. Rather the rubber will start to dry out, crack, rot, and generally wear out. This can happen from the inside out, so careful inspection is fundamentally important. Your local tire shop can assist you with the inspection and recommendation for replacement. Do not neglect this important aspect of RV maintenance. Experiencing a flat tire is never a pleasant experience, especially when it’s on a larger RV or trailer. These units can be excessively hard to control during a blowout, and you aren’t likely to be able to replace the tire yourself, even if you do carry a spare. This is one area where you definitely want to be proactive rather than reactive.
When it comes time to replace RV tires, many people experience severe sticker shock, with the price increasing with tire size and quantity. For a large diesel RV for instance, it is not uncommon to spend close to $4,000 to replace all tires. Although this is predicted pricing for high-quality tires, I would not suggest putting low- or even mid-grade tires on your coach. This is a major outlay of cash, and when faced with this scenario, some RV owners opt to have lower quality tires installed, or only have some of the tires replaced. As I mentioned before, resist the temptation to go this route if you possibly can.
Fortunately, Coach-Net has acknowledged the burden that the high cost of new tires has on most RV owners and has decided to take action. Coach-Net now offers a discount tire program, which allows members to purchase high-quality tires from Michelin® or Goodyear® at a significant discount. Plus, Coach-Net’s program is completely hassle-free.
If you are purchasing tires on your own, you have to follow these steps, which can be cumbersome and, often times, extremely time consuming:
- Source the tires. This may take several hours/days to find the type of tire you want at a cost you desire.
- If the RV in question takes automotive tires that are not classified as truck tires, this is generally not a problem, since most places that sell tires, such as Costco, will carry these.
- Note that if the RV takes “light truck”, or “LT” tires, selection may be limited at some locations.
- If the motorhome takes truck tires, sourcing them requires a little more effort, since these would have to be purchased from a tire shop.
- For large RVs such as diesel pushers, the tire shop would also have to have both the space and expertise required to work on trucks.
- I recommend always spending the extra money to get the highest grade tires such as Michelin or Goodyear, as they are of superior quality, and actually result in a better ride. There is a lot riding on your RV tires!
- If you are looking for trailer tires, a tire shop is the best bet, but be sure to purchase the correct size AND load rating of tire.
- It is recommended by most tire and vehicle experts and mechanics that all the tires be replaced at the same time. In addition to not having to worry about different wear states of tires, there are other risks to not replacing all tires, including a high chance of dually tires being different diameters if they are not both replaced at the same time.
- Make an appointment with the tire shop or vendor to install the tires. As mentioned above, not all places will have the capability or expertise to work on your vehicle, so choose carefully.
- If you really can’t afford to replace all tires (or if you are replacing as a result of a blowout), have the tire shop rotate the tires.
Coach-Net’s process is much simpler, PLUS members can receive high quality tires at up to a 15% discount.
- Fill out a simple online form, in less than 5 minutes, where you are asked for information such as your name, member number, number and size of tires needed, etc.
- A Coach-Net representative will call you back to confirm the details.
- The Coach-Net team then makes all the arrangements for you, including booking the appointment and arranging payment on your behalf. = 0 minutes of your time
- Finally, take your vehicle into the tire shop for your appointment. That’s it, no fuss!
I recommend all Coach-Net members take advantage of the Tire Discount program when you need to replace your tires. It can save you lots of money on your choice of two of the best tire brands on the market and takes the hassle out of tire shopping.
About the Author:
Steve Froese, an avid RV owner, traveler, and Coach-Net member since 2013, is the principal of “A Word to the Wise Technical Communications”, a published RV author, certified RV technician, and licensed Professional Engineer. He frequently collaborates with the “RV Doctor”, Gary Bunzer, and has worked with the RVIA/RVDA as a technical and training writer and consultant. Professionally, he works as a quality engineer and musician. Watch for more of Steve’s work in upcoming Coach-Net publications.
A.G. – “Peace of mind knowing you would come to our rescue when our 30′ fifth wheel blew a tire. Professionalism all the way around”