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View Poll Results: Did you know tires had a "shelf life" independent of wear and exposure?
Yes, you must have been sleeping in driver education to have missed that 12 100.00%
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Old 05-19-2019, 07:52 PM   #1
Tagettel
 
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Default Beware "Old Tires" risky despite excellent tread

This was kind of news to us! My wife was taking our freshly de-winterized Westy for its first trip of the year (winter has been a little longggg here in CO) and in the middle of I-25 in downtown Denver she experienced the tread separating from the left rear tire (a Michelin LTX A/T2). Fortunately she was able to maintain control of the vehicle and get safely to the shoulder (albeit in a position without enough room to safely exit). After a CDOT Safety Patrol was kind enough to take care of swapping out the spare for the destroyed tire (see pic) she got as far as Pueblo before another vibration similar to what occurred immediately prior to the Denver incident started all over again. She was close to an exit that just happened to have a tire store she stumbled upon. They quickly determined from the DOT codes on our tires that despite looking good from the tread standpoint, they were manufactured in 2007 and in the tire world they were all kaput.

Since our tread was great from the low miles and the rig is stored garaged and out of the UV light and were rotated regularly I had figured they had plenty more life left.

So far all we are aware of is some cosmetic damage to the left rear of the vehicle from the tire coming apart at speed--we're having it looked at this next week. But this could have easily resulted in a serious accident. Thus, I am hoping someone else who is as ignorant about tire life as I was can avoid our scenario!

A link with some useful info:
https://www.edmunds.com/car-maintena...our-tires.html

PS - A shout out to Belmont Tire Car Care Center in Pueblo, CO who helped out a ton--they didn't have the right size tires to install that afternoon but "lent" a used tire that allowed my wife to travel a few miles to a campground to spend the night. The next morning they hooked her up with a new set of 4 tires (and since they didn't have a 5th available, kindly installed the "best" of the old tires to the spare rim until we can replace it too).
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Old 05-19-2019, 09:24 PM   #2
OldWest
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Default Re: Beware "Old Tires" risky despite excellent tread

Thankfully, no injuries or damage.

May not have taught in driver education, but RV forums often discuss. Your experience is a good reminder.

A lot ot folks don't know because their tires normally wear out on tread before age becomes an issue. But, of course, RVs are often not driven as much and now tires have much longer treadwear miles.

1. Tires like to be used and letting them sit is bad for tbeir health.

http://www.rvdoctor.com/2009/10/uv-d...tires.html?m=1

https://rv-roadtrips.thefuntimesguide.com/rv_tires/

2. UV rays are bad for tires so tire covers are often useful.

3. Difficult to impossible to tell if old tires are still good except for exterior cracking and damage. Some folks here got new replacement Michelin tires because of sidewall cracking ( made in 2010 and after).

https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-...512-story.html

https://sprinter-source.com/forum/sh...light=Michelin

Inspecting exterior:

https://www.michelinman.com/US/en/sa...tion-tool.html

https://www.yourmechanic.com/article...by-jason-unrau

4. I had Michelin XPS Ribs and replaced at about 7 years to be on the safe side although these commercial type tires had more tread left on them. Note that some places recommend 5 or 6 year age replacement. These Michelin XPS Ribs are retreadable. I got the XPS tires to improve handling so replaced original tires after two years on the original tires.

https://sprinter-source.com/forum/sh...t=Michelin+xps

5. Recommendations for tire replacement by age vary. Five years on low end for RVs up to 10 years, depending on manufacturer of vehicle and of tire. From same link that original poster posted:

https://www.edmunds.com/car-maintena...our-tires.html

[Quote]

Many automakers, including Ford, Nissan and Mercedes-Benz, tell owners to replace tires six years after their production date, regardless of tread life. Tire manufacturers such as Continental and Michelin say a tire can last up to 10 years provided you get annual tire inspections after the fifth year.

The Rubber Manufacturers Association said there is no way to put a date on when a tire "expires" because such factors as heat, storage, underinflation and conditions of use can dramatically reduce the life of a tire. Here's more on each of these factors:

Heat: NHTSA research has found that tires age more quickly in warmer climates. NHTSA also found that environmental conditions, such as exposure to sunlight and coastal climates, can hasten the aging process. People who live in coastal states and other areas with warm weather should keep this in mind when deciding whether they should retire a tire.

[End Quote]

https://blog.tirerack.com/blog/hunte...old-is-too-old

https://www.discounttiredirect.com/learn/tire-aging

https://www.michelinman.com/US/en/he...new-tires.html

Because the Westy is a relatively heavy vehicle and difficult to control, I think being conservative on tires is a good idea.

6. Manufacturing Date. I get my tires from Costco. I ask them for the manufacturing date (4 digit code on sidewall, first two digits are the week and last two digits are year). They have high turnover of tires and I have not had to reject new tires as being too old.

https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/loan...ce-your-tires/

Probably, other good tips out there.

Last edited by OldWest; 05-19-2019 at 10:01 PM. Reason: Add info., fix typos.
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Old 05-19-2019, 10:19 PM   #3
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Default Re: Beware "Old Tires" risky despite excellent tread

IMHO, classic example of tread separation as the result of flat spots developing during long-term storage.

To mitigate the possibility of flat spots, prior to storing your Sprinter, did you inflate the tires as recommended in the owner's manual?

To maximize tire life, best to store vehicle on Jack stands. Especially a heavy motorhome.

Last edited by Bobnoxious; 05-19-2019 at 10:22 PM.
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Old 05-20-2019, 05:23 AM   #4
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Default Re: Beware "Old Tires" risky despite excellent tread

Just replaced our Michelin tires with weather cracks on the sidewall. Photo below. Inside duals were not cracked. Plenty of tread left but these clearly had to be replaced. Tires were past Michelin waranty period but Discount Tire gave me an adjustment on the new set. I had a tire separation on our class A motorhome many years ago. Pulled me left of center and the tire collected plumbing for the hydraulic jacks and wound it up on the wheel. Plenty of collateral damage but thankfully came to a safe stop. Happened just south of Moab on a two lane. Spent a few days in Moab getting things sorted before continuing south.

All the best,
Hein
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Last edited by hein; 05-20-2019 at 05:26 AM.
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Old 05-20-2019, 02:03 PM   #5
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Default Re: Beware "Old Tires" risky despite excellent tread

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldWest View Post
...

1. Tires like to be used and letting them sit is bad for their health.

...
That's what I've learned.

I don't bother to get my trailer tires balanced anymore because they always age out before they wear out. That doesn't work if you're riding on the tire, but a trailer doesn't mind.

When any trailer comes out of storage I always take a long low speed turn around the neighborhood before leaving on a trip. At times the tire hard spots are noticeable until a bit of low speed driving. I believe that helps the tires come back to life. I have no data. (I also manually drag the electric brakes a bit and then feel for the rims to be a bit warm. A cold rim means that particular brake isn't touching. A crude test at best, but it also helps knock off rust.)

vic
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Last edited by Aqua Puttana; 05-20-2019 at 03:19 PM.
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Old 05-20-2019, 03:45 PM   #6
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Default Re: Beware "Old Tires" risky despite excellent tread

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobnoxious View Post
IMHO, classic example of tread separation as the result of flat spots developing during long-term storage.

To mitigate the possibility of flat spots, prior to storing your Sprinter, did you inflate the tires as recommended in the owner's manual?

To maximize tire life, best to store vehicle on Jack stands. Especially a heavy motorhome.
Re: storage conditions. Our Westy was not stored on jack stands but b/c it is located conveniently between home and where I work it does get driven regularly for at least short distances (min 1x/month generally) so flat spots would be less likely. We also have an air compressor at the storage facility so the tires are routinely checked and kept at 55 PSI front/80 PSI rear. I didn't have input into the replacement tires as I was MIA at the time of the incident, but the Michelins were replaced with Nokian cLline commercial rubber. We'll see how those perform (though based on past usage you can guess we won't wear them down too far either)! Cheers, Tom G
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Old 06-03-2019, 03:23 PM   #7
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Default Re: Beware "Old Tires" risky despite excellent tread

Our original Michelins and replacement LTX M/S also needed to be replaced due to age.

We have replaced them with the Kumho Crugen HT51 in the proper E load range. After several thousand miles, I can say that this tire is equal to the Michelin in performance and comfort. It is better in the snow -- and a better price.
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