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Old 04-17-2017, 08:33 PM   #1
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Model: 2013 31L
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THOR #908
2013 Michelins go boom

I just experienced my 1st ever blow out
My OEM michelins were 4 years old and just shy of 11,000 miles
one went boom and caused quite a bit of damage. Nothing too serious but still a lot of trouble.
I bought the coach new and have been very careful about pressures. I've been watching and concerned because the tires were starting to crack prematurely. I didn't think they were quite to that point but I was wrong.

Turns out the inner tires still looked good.

Also, it was an outer tire that blew so it could very well have experienced a few curb kisses in it's life....

Replaced all 6 with Yokohama. Now I have to fix the tail pipe, mud flaps, and other misc damage....
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Old 04-17-2017, 10:44 PM   #2
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THOR #5821
Tires can be difficult to predict useful safe lifespans for. The old rule of thumb was replace them at five years regardless of mileage. New tires today can go longer, but should be inspected annually at least. I have had tire pro's tell me, if you can see cracking, replace them, not worth the risk.
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Old 04-18-2017, 12:15 AM   #3
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THOR #2121
Have you weighed the motorhome at all four corners? I'd want to know how much weight tires are carrying by position.

It's good to know regardless, but after a blowout I'd really want to know.
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Old 04-18-2017, 02:01 AM   #4
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THOR #908
no, I do have axle weights but am planning to get new numbers. It's been a while and I know weight creeps. When I do it I'll see if I can get off the side to get wheel weights but I don't think so..... don't know of a place to get corner weights.
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Old 04-18-2017, 03:41 AM   #5
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THOR #1589
Escapees will weigh 4 corners and your toad, too, at Sumpter Oaks campground near Bushnell.

After you weigh, stop in at the Florida National Cemetery. It is a humbling experience. They average over 50 burials per day there!
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Old 04-18-2017, 04:14 AM   #6
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It may be worth the effort to get all four corners weighed because the 31L is not only a large motorhome, but the bedroom slide on passenger side sits well behind the rear axle. It "may" be that right rear tires are highly loaded.
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Old 04-18-2017, 04:28 AM   #7
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THOR #5645
Michelin Tire Recall

Can't remember the details but seems like that is right in the time frame when Michelin recalled a lot of RV tires. You might check the Michelin website for details.
Thanx,
Dan
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Old 04-18-2017, 01:28 PM   #8
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Do you use any dressing(sunscreen) or covers on your tires? Here in the Sunshine State it lives up to its name. I have used 303 on my tires several times a year for years and never had any cracking. I usually change them out at around 5-6 years.
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Old 04-18-2017, 02:36 PM   #9
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Keeping tires protected from UV and coating them with 303 can certainly help. Of course maintaining proper air pressure for the weight they are carrying goes without saying. But with original tires it is difficult to stick with the rule of changing them out at 5 years.

For example, Thor gets your chassis from Ford in 2012 and they build the motorhome. In many cases that unit will be titled as a 2013. The new owner figures he doesn't need to replace those "2013" tires until around 2018. But in reality Ford probably got tires manufactured in 2011 to use on that 2012 chassis, so those tires that came on your brand new 2013 Thor should be replaced around 2016.

My coach is a 2014 (VIN) and 2015 (Thor coach build), but since it was originally titled in Illinois and not Florida it is a 2014. I haven't located the date on my tires yet but I would be willing to bet they were made in 2013. I will be pricing the change out next summer no matter what they look like.
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Old 04-18-2017, 02:48 PM   #10
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Yes, that's a great point Chance. That slide likely does create an imbalance. Grey tank is right behind the tires on that side too.

mcr1010, no I have not been routinely using anything. Also did not cover them. I considered doing this back in the day but when I read the differing opinions on that topic back then I opted against covers. I'm also reluctant to routinely put "products" on my tires. In the back of my mind I remember years ago reading a theory about armor all that said it would actually condition the tires to need it, then if you don't keep it up they might actually dry out faster. I don't know about all that, but i do think it plausible that solvents in some products leaching out compounds or otherwise chemically changing the tires in some way or another.... so I haven't been a fan since I know sooner or later I'll let it lapse for a while. It's not like I'm able to keep after something like that on a really regular schedule.

WarEagleDan, thanks.... I actually looked into that a year or so ago when i started becoming concerned about the premature cracking. It didn't apply in my case. I believe the recall issue was a bit earlier
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Old 04-18-2017, 03:44 PM   #11
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THOR #908
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe-FL View Post
Keeping tires protected from UV and coating them with 303 can certainly help. Of course maintaining proper air pressure for the weight they are carrying goes without saying. But with original tires it is difficult to stick with the rule of changing them out at 5 years.

For example, Thor gets your chassis from Ford in 2012 and they build the motorhome. In many cases that unit will be titled as a 2013. The new owner figures he doesn't need to replace those "2013" tires until around 2018. But in reality Ford probably got tires manufactured in 2011 to use on that 2012 chassis, so those tires that came on your brand new 2013 Thor should be replaced around 2016.

My coach is a 2014 (VIN) and 2015 (Thor coach build), but since it was originally titled in Illinois and not Florida it is a 2014. I haven't located the date on my tires yet but I would be willing to bet they were made in 2013. I will be pricing the change out next summer no matter what they look like.
For what it's worth my 2013 model had tires date code 0113 and 0213.
Just over 4 years old and just under 11,000 miles on them
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Old 04-18-2017, 04:12 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blw2 View Post
For what it's worth my 2013 model had tires date code 0113 and 0213.
Just over 4 years old and just under 11,000 miles on them
That's the biggest problem I see with replacing tires every 5 or 6 years regardless of mileage. Many motorhomes get driven very little, so you'd be retiring tires with most of their useful life left on a wear basis.




I'm way past due by age, but hate to buy new tires if I'm going to trade. When I had van in for repairs at Ford recently, I asked them to do a safety inspection and they didn't say anything about the tires. Two months ago I took van in for State Inspection and again no issue. Since inspection was at a tire shop, I asked them afterwards about tires, whether it would prevent passing. They said cosmetic cracks would not cause inspection failure.

Still, I look at 10-year-old tires (maybe more) with about 80,000 miles on them and they concern me some. Cracks are limited to area just below tread, are not deep, and are considered cosmetic. Still?

Interesting that if damage is caused by UV, the outside of tires should show more cracking. Mine are the same on inside and outside, suggesting sun hasn't played much of a role.

Likely damage is due to millions of cycles of rubber at shoulders flexing with each rotation. Obviously, when tires are loaded heavily they flex more, and they get hotter too, which speeds up the cracking problem.
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Old 04-18-2017, 05:28 PM   #13
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THOR #908
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chance View Post
That's the biggest problem I see with replacing tires every 5 or 6 years regardless of mileage. Many motorhomes get driven very little, so you'd be retiring tires with most of their useful life left on a wear basis.
.
yep, it's painful. Pathetic really. In my case, the other 5 Michelins barely had their mold vent "hairs" worn off. The inner two looked great without even any cracking.
I wouldn't be a bit surprised if they don't go on one of the employees pick-up truck for another 5 years....and they would likely do just fine in a lightly loaded application. i just didn't want to chance it, knowing the damage I received could have been a whole lot worse... I count myself lucky in that regard.
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Old 04-18-2017, 09:07 PM   #14
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THOR #6199
blw2,

Do you have a TPMS on your RV? If so, did it give u any warning?
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Old 04-18-2017, 09:59 PM   #15
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THOR #908
Yes, I have a TST system
and no, no warning form it. It wasn't that sort of failure mode.

Running approx 70MPH, I picked up a shimmy that progressively got worse. At first I immediately put the TST monitor into my "high alert" scan. Pressures weren't dropping and temps weren't spiking noticeably.
So I figured i might have thrown a wheel weight. Varied speed up and down slightly to see if it was in a suspension system resonance. Nope. So I slowed to maybe 60ish. It was still only a light vibration

When the vibration started increasing, I slowed down a bit more and considered hitting the shoulder. Opted to slow to maybe 50MPH to an upcoming exit a mile or two up the road figuring safety of family was paramount and stopping on the side of the highway isn't always the best choice. In this case, I wish that I would have stopped.

So I slowed down, but right as I was getting to the beginning of the deceleration lane.....it went boom!

Maybe 1 second later....BEEP BEEP BEEP from the TST

Hind site, I honestly feel a bit stupid. I had lots of warning. Maybe 6 or 7 miles of warning from the very start of a slight shimmy. It was at alarming levels for much less than that but, still.... I should have stopped.... and barring that I should have slowed significantly more than I did. I was probably running about 45 -50 MPH when it let go....
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Old 04-18-2017, 11:15 PM   #16
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THOR #2121
Ignored my first TPMS warning ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by blw2 View Post
.....cut.....

Hind site, I honestly feel a bit stupid. I had lots of warning. .....cut....
That's so funny because I felt the very same way about a week ago for ignoring a TPMS warning. And another warning before that.

I had not had a flat in so long I can't remember -- well over 10 years, and probably closer to 20. Anyway, I picked up a little Ford Focus rental at airport in Maryland, and right away I could feel a flat spot on a tire leaving the parking garage. I pulled over and checked tires and they looked fine, so I assumed tires may have developed flat spots from being parked too long in cold weather. A few miles later the thumping stopped so I figured I had assumed correctly.

About 10 miles later the TPMS signaled a low pressure, so I ignored it thinking the rental company probably didn't monitor pressures closely, and that one tire was right on border. Not too smart since pressure would go up with heat faster than normal leak rate.

We stopped for a long lunch, and when we came out a rear tire was flat -- had a nail. Rather than waiting for roadside assistance I changed it myself and drove to change cars.

I felt dumb for not returning car back to airport initially, and then for ignoring TPMS warning. At least I got to practice changing a tire -- though a tiny one.

Not owning a vehicle with TPMS, next time I'll take warning more seriously.
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Old 04-19-2017, 12:38 AM   #17
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THOR #6199
Years back I was driving down the road one night in a One ton dually to drop her off at a garage for some exhaust work. My uncle was following me. I heard a strange noise in the left rear and a little vibration. DOT was repaving the road in that area and milling up the old pavement. I did not pay much attention to it. At 55 mph, BANG!!! Inner dual blows. Takes out tail pipe, mud flap, e brake cable and tail light harness. Luckily spared fuel tank fill pipe. Uncle says he saw a tread cap in roadway. Then noticed orange glow under the truck (steel belts heating up) then bang. Thought it was back fire. To this day things pucker when I feel a strange vibration.
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Old 04-22-2017, 07:47 PM   #18
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THOR #2817
I wonder if the OP has had the RV since new? We bought a used diesel pusher with 17,000 miles and had a front left blow out on our first trip. No damage. The tires were Michelins. According to tire people who I spoke with, the fact that the tires were properly inflated at the time of the blowout didn't matter, because there was no way to know if the previous owner had run the tire(s) with low air pressure, causing damage. Replaced all tires (and bought a spare) with Goodyears and the new tires had a higher load carrying capacity.
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Old 04-22-2017, 10:47 PM   #19
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THOR #908
yes, I bought it new, and have been very diligent about pressures.....but to your point even that doesn't mean much. It was a previous years model and had been on the lot a while. Also there were approx 1,100 miles on it from the delivery trip down from Elkhart
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Old 04-23-2017, 02:15 AM   #20
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Model: Four Winds 22E
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THOR #3119
When I picked up my RV brand new from the dealer I had 2 tires that were at 50 psi and several that were over 70, the rest were at the door sticker of 65. I initially thought the 2 low ones may have had a leak and went down on the dealers lot but after 20000 miles and 2 years they have never lost a single psi so that means they were most likely driven the whole 700 delivery miles that way. Thankfully it is a rather small light RV with no slides but I am still trying to figure out how it got out of the factory and through delivery inspection and prep without anyone but me noticing the problem.
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