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Help me decide about tires

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My fronts are 6 years old and are too weather checked to use. Since the rears are the same age, I looked into replacing all 8 tires. They are Michelin XZA3 (275/80-22.5). Since I am dealing with a front axle that is a couple of hundred pounds overweight, I am going up a size to 295/80. Freightliner tells me the weakest link on the front axle are the tires. The n ext weakest link is about 300 lbs higher and that should be enough.

The out the door quote for the 2 front tires and 6 rears is around $5800 (WOW!!!!). I asked for a less expensive alternative and the dealer quoted Yokohamas for the front and Generals for the rear. This would save me about $1300.

Another shop quoted me about the same price ($4500) for Toyos all the way around. I haven't read any comments about Yokohamas or Generals on Class As (but I have run them both on autos without any issues). I have read that some people don't like Toyos on the steers because they feel 'squishy'.



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While I am no tire expert, I have always believed that going cheap on tires was not a good way to save money because the risk if one should fail is too great. Many an RV has been wrecked due to the sudden loss of a front tire when traveling at highway speeds Even a tire on the rear axle can do major damage to to the RV. In some cases a blown tire has been known to do thousands of dollars of damage to the RV. But most of all, my concern is with the safety of those who travel in our RV.

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Did I say that one was cheap? I only commented that in my mind, tires are not the place to go cheap. To put it another way, I try and pick what I believe to be the best tire that I can get, then find the best possible price for that tire. Is there any tire manufacturer that doesn't make more than one price/quality of tire? Most brands come in several different tire models of each size. Because I have now been out of the motorhome tire market for several years, I make no comment on any specific tire, only on the selection process.

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What is the max load of the current tires 275/80R22.5 as stated on the sidewall?

Do the fronts have the same max load as the rears (double check the sidewall of the tires to make sure)


Likely will be 6175 lbs (Load Range G) or 7160 lbs. (Load Range H)


How do you know the front axle is overweight? Was it measured on a scale? If so, what is the measured weight from the scale and what is the Front GAWR from the Federal Certification label (on the wall near your drivers seat) What is the Rear GAWR just to know?

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Many of the best tires have tread wear that suggests the tire is good for a lot of miles. As RVers most us don't drive that many miles. Instead many of us replace tires based on age. For this reason I often don't buy the very best for RV use. However, I also avoid cheap maybe unreliable tires. I have Yokohama tires on the front of my HDT and have been pleased with them. I consider all of the brands you mentioned as good tires and tires I would consider.

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To figure out what was going on, I went through the Smartweigh program twice. Once before and once after the rear suspension was adjusted. The front axle GAWR is 14,320 lbs, which is the maximum tire capacity. Here are the results of the (first one) and last one. All of the tires are load range H which is 7,160 single and less for double (I don't) remember, but it's beyond what I need.



Left Right Total GAWR Front (7,500) 7,310





14,320 Drive (5,100) 6,650





20,000 Tag







10,000 Total 17,560 19,310 36,870 44,320

When I first got it, I had more weight on the front axle than on the drive axle. After a Freightliner dealer working with FCCC and three trips to a scale, I got a much improved reading. FCCC didn't want any more weight off the tag. They were concerned with the drive axle. Note that the only real issue I have is the left front tire. According to FCCC, after the tires, the hubs are good for 14,600 and the axle can carry 14,700. Putting larger tires on the front, gets the left front within 10 lbs of capacity. I can live with that.


Since all my heavy stuff underneath is already on the right, there's nothing I can do to lighten the left front wheel. Also, note there is more weight on the left tag than the right while the drive axle is just the opposite (by a lot!)

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Out of curiosity - Did they say why they were concerned about the rear? Is it the Right side Rear? It is pretty close to half the RGAWR.

There is a pretty good amount of difference left to right on the rear axle.

Only other option is if there anything on the right side rearward that could be moved over to the left side. - probably not since most stuff back there is bolted down and immovable.

Or something heavy on the front left side that could be moved over to the right side.

I know it is unlikely but thought I would mention it, just in case.

Just guessing without being able to see.


Make sure the overall diameter of the tire will not be a problem with the space in the wheel well.


XZA3+ (275/80R22.5) is 40.1" inches and the

Yokohama 104ZR (295/80R22.5) is 41.6"

Toyo M144 is 41.5"


Also, when purchasing double check the max load to make sure they have the correct load capacity.


So, the difference will be about 1.5" needed for clearance.

Then also clearance will be needed with wheel turn.

Check these.


Everybody has an opinion on tire brands.



Front (First) Last

Left (7,500) 7,310

Right (7,000) 6,660

Total (14,500) 13,970

GAWR 14,320



Left (5,100) 6,650

Right (7,880) 9,400

Total (12,980) 16,050

GAWR 20,000



Left (5,100) 3,600

Right (4,570) 3,250

Total (9,670) 6,850

GAWR 10,000



Left 17,560

Right 19,310

Total 36,870

GVWR 44,320

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All I can add to this is that I have Toyos on the rear of my MH and they seem fine....only have about 7000 miles on them though. i did go one load range heavier than the Michelins that they replaced. Michelin truck and MH tires IMO are overpricd and overrated.


Another really good brand of tire that the truckers use a lot are Hankooks.....I would not hesitate to use them.

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For the life of me, I have no Idea why the weights are so unsymetrical.My wife might have a problemif I start moving the shower stall or vanity. This is a front kitchen design so most of the kitchen weight in on the front wheels. The fresh water and fuel tanks are directly behind the the front axle. I can't imagine the 10kw generator is a lightweight either.


Even though I'm a full timer, I don't think everything I'm carrying could be moved around enough to significantly affect the balance. Waste tanks go across the back so they should apply weight evenly.


Many times, I'll travel with a full load of fuel and fresh water. When I'm headed to the wilds, there's no guaranty that I'll have hookups when I get there. At least in the rear, the tires aren't the limiting factor.


I amgoing to have the tire guy inspect the rears. They may be acceptable according to the chart Michelin gave him. If that's the case, I'm either going with the Michelins or Yokohamas on the front. The dealer came highly recommended and I like the way he has dealt with me. FCCC says I won't have any problem with a wider tire as far as lock to lock goes. When aired up, I have nearly 8" to the closest body part to the tire and when aired down, I have about 3.5". SInce the tires are round (I hope), the 1.5" difference will only be 3/4" on top. I don't think anythingn will drive the front wheel up 7". If it does, I'll have bigger problems than tire scrape.


As far as which brand is better. Michelin spends a lot of money telling me that they have the best tire for my RV. A lot of others think X or Y is the best. I was never a Ford or a Chevy guy. All of the brands I looked at are the same ones that I grew up with (okay maybe not the Hankooks, but a friend who retired from International Truck said they are as good as any other tire that is approved for OEM installation).


If I can get away with the steers only, I'll consider Michelins, although the $350 savings using the Yokos would go a long way towards paying for a TPMS. When it comes to stuff like tires and parts, I tend to analyze, right up until signing the work order.


TrayandSusan: Thanks for your comments about everything. You took a pretty good look at this and your comments were spot on. Personally, I think something is going on with the suspension. If one side is so much heavier than the other for the drives, why is the weight difference on the tags in opposition to it? Next time I have the opportunity, I'll probably weigh it again.


JeffAlberta: If I could find Hankooks, they would be in the mix. I couldn't find my sizes in stock in the few places I called.

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We put Toyo's on our MDT and were very happy with them. Much better ride than the GY we had before and less $$.


Have you ever had your rig weighed by tire and side? Escapees call it Smartweigh. We found it an eye opener. Our old 5th was 1000# heavier on one side, not a thing we could do, it was the kitchen side of the rig, had 3 slides on that side. Just lived with it.

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All of the tire brands mentioned are good. There are many factors that go into making that decision. Certainly going for a second or third tier tire is a good choice if money is a factor.

examples of top tier - Michelin, Bridgestone, Goodyear

examples of second tier - B.F.Goodrich (Michelin), Firestone (Bridgestone), Toyo, Yokohama, Hankook

All good choices

etc. (I am sure I left some out but that is not intended to say they should not be considered and some may not have that tire in the right size and capacity)


The heavier corners mean the leveling (ride height) valve(s) are doing what they are supposed to do.

When there is a heavy side the leveling system will pick that corner up and you will see a transfer of weight to the opposite corner.

In this case probably the back right (guessing this is the heavy kitchen side you mention) to left front in this circumstance.

This is why the total side to side is not really bad but looking across the axle we see the more important differences which are causing the issues/limitations.


Sometimes it is possible to make some adjustments with loading and sometimes it isn't, but I thought I would ask - just to make sure and to keep that thought in mind for consideration.

It is very hard to do with some floor plans and models.

Keep thinking about the possibility, because any help you can give in this situation will be good.

It can be surprising what a few changes can do and since this situation is hovering around those margins some small changes can be beneficial.

So, it's good to let that thought swim around.


What was done with the tag was very good. This happens often - when there is too much weight on the tag there is usually a corresponding heavy front axle. It's kinda lifting up the rear with the rear axle acting like a fulcrum and shifting weight to the front. When the tag is lowered there is a removal of weight from the front axle. If the left-right difference was less then a little more adjustment might be done to remove more weight from the front, but with the way things are side to side this seems to be a good spot. (getting a larger capacity tire for the front) It will be a good safety move for these circumstances.


It is very good to keep well maintained tires on the front. From a safety standpoint if there is an incident of sudden pressure loss it is not desired to have that happen on the front. It will be more difficult to control than a rear or tag tire issue.


IMPORTANT: Since there are such differences from side to side it will be important to properly set the air pressures for the tires on each axle based on the heavier axle end (wheel position). Make sure you have the correct tire chart for the tire you have (or will purchase). Even though the tire size designation is the same the inflation table may vary between manufacturers and even different models with the same manufacturer.

This is a good example why wheel position weighing is important for RVs.

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I decided to go with the Yokos on the front and Generals on the rear. The rims are the wide end for 275s and the narrow end for 295s so that won't be a problem. I've been living with the weight issue since I got it. Like I said before, this subject has never been far from my thoughts, but I don't even think if I emptied all our stuff, we could affect the weight. The heaviest things I have are my tools and they're not more than a hundred pounds or so.



They're putting on the tires now so I'm looking forward to a couple of days of buyer's remorse.



Now to convince my wife we need to spend another $700 for a TPMS.

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Michelin, Yokohama, General Tire, and Toyo

Of the 4 you mention I have some personal preference to Michelin due to long life and high miles but on an RV this may not be a factor.

I drove trucks over 48 states for a long time and have never ran Yokohama, general for some reason I just never had good luck with them ( it seemed that the belts would roll up) and they would become out of balance . I will also agree with you statement of the Toyo feeling mushy or squashy .


I will add that in my experience I had good luck with Kelly as a front tire and the price was a little less than the Michelin.


edit: sorry I see you have already purchased now I have started the buyer remorse

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