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steer tires and drive tires


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Getting ready to buy tires for my recently purchased class a holiday rambler. The dealer asked me if i needed drive tires or steer tires? He said the drive tires had better traction and more rubber. Also the goodyear tires(245/70/19.5) were 700+ dollars but coopers were a little over 200. Same ply ,belts,etc. This is all new to me as I have never had to buy tires this large before, always had smaller rigs. Has anyone been down this road before?

thanks

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Well, do you need tires on the front or rear? The steer tires (front) have a ribbed tread generally and the drive tires are normally more of a traction tire. There are many brands of tires and price ranges so take your time and check them out. You may find that some tires are not worth the money while others are a decent deal.

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Drive tires are for the rear one or two axles. Steer tires for the front axle. In my size 22.5 you can get "all position" tires which can be put front or back. My HDT has Goodyear drives and Toyo steers. I will be replacing the steers next year and will probably go with Goodyears. My F450 uses 19.5 and came with Continentals. I replaced last year and tried the Coopers since it doesn't get heavy towing use except on occasion. Can't say I'm really impressed with them. Yes Goodyears and Michelins are expensive but you get what you pay for. I don't think the Coopers are a bad choice just not mine when I replace. Shop also Toyos, Continentals, BF Goodrich, and even Sailun. Tons of info and debates on tires in the HDT forum, just use search in top right of that forum.

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There are some tire manufacturers now who make a tire designed and compounded specifically for use on a motorhome. That can be beneficial since most are driven differently that trucks with far more time sitting still and longer times before the tires are worn out. Those tires are designed to be used on both axles of the RV. Some examples are the Goodyear, G670 and the Michelin XRV.

 

While I try not to spend unnecessary money on my RV, tires are so much a part of safety and of happy travel that I do not make my selection based as much upon price as I do based upon rated service and safety records.

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I too suggest you get all position tires, or basically steers all around.

 

And as Kirk mentioned, save money elsewhere, and get a good quality tire that is for sure rated for our rigs usage.

 

I run Michelin, currently XZA2, but feel XZA3's are good (Not available in a size that would fit our application.) I also have 2 BF Goodrich ST230's tires as part of our 8 tires. (Had pot hole damaged tires while on the road during the middle of a tire shortage last year, and the only 'young' tires I could find that would meet my safety criteria, were the BF Goodrich ST230's. These had been on my short list when shopping for tires for this coach. FMCA has the Michelin Tire Program, that can save some good money. As they make BF Goodrich, the discounts work for them too, and the BF Goodrich are less money.

 

I also feel that Continental makes a good tire, and if we had had the time and the shop could have guaranteed the tires Born On Date were less then 6 months old. (And no matter where you buy the tires, make that a condition of the purchase. All tires to be Born On Dates (DOT) of under 6 months.)

 

And finally, I have had input from big rig owners I trust, that the Hankook AH12 tire are very good, and are a good value for the costs. Assume the AH11's are too, depending upon the size you need.

 

While I have not first hand knowledge, of know anyone that does, Cooper's are usually considered a good value tire.

 

My preference on shopping, based purely on my opinion of safety and performance would be:

Michelin

Continental

BF Goodrich ST230

Bridgestone (Escopia's if available in your size.)

Hankook AH12/AH11

 

But tires usually are like a Chevy vs Ford conversation, and opinions will vary:)!

 

I also suggest getting a four corner weight, and setting your PSI to the Tire Manufactures PSI for that specific weight load, with a 5 PSI or 10% contingency on top of that. (Weight creep over a trip, as well as you can loose some PSI while on a trip, and still be well within the proper PSI settings for your load.) And, the Escapees Smart Weight Program is worth working into your schedule, as they can get you that four corner weight:)!

 

Travel safe, have fun,

Smitty

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I second getting individual wheel weights which at the HDT rallies usually costs ~$50 then inflating according to the tire charts for that specific weight. Also consider a good tire pressure monitoring system if you don't have one. Examples are Truck System Technology (TST), Pressure Pro, Dorian. A bit off topic but also having a good handheld infrared thermometer to check wheels and tires at a stop can give you a warning of bearing or wheel problems.

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Seems I should run all steer tires or all position tires? At what tread depth should they be replaced? Thanks for all your replys, alot of valuable information here.

All position tires are probably your best bet. As I said above I run strictly steers on my front axles and drives on the two rear axles. When I replace again will go with all position all around. Not a magic tread depth. Most car tires have a tread block which is a small rib between the treads which, when level with the tread, indicates a need for replacement or the tires are replaced based on mileage. With the bigger tires like yours and mine, we will "age" them out before we wear them out. Again there are lots of opinions but most people will replace their tires about every 7 years regardless of tread depth. If you are going to be running more than 20,000 miles/year might need every 4-5. My HDT tires will run well over 100,000 miles and still have plenty of life left which is what some over the road truckers put on in a year. It would take me 10 years to do that but I replace at 7.

99HR as most of the posters have alluded to there are places to save money while RVing and still be okay. Tires are not one of those areas. There are some no name, foreign manufactured tires that dealers will tell you are a great buy but you won't think so if rolled over in a ditch because of an early blow out. Buy a good tire like mentioned above. It doesn't have to be the most expensive but make sure of its' quality and have peace of mind and happy camping.

Edited by SuiteSuccess
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I am running Sailun Rib tires on my MH, they are a very good tire.

Sailun S637 225/70R19.5

You may spend a lot of money on tires but you don't always have to. ;)

Several people over on the HDT forum are starting to run Sailun on their trailers and trucks. Will be a good Beta test. They seem to have good reviews and as you said are less expensive than some of the other brands. I'm probably gonna run them on my trailer starting next year since they are half the price of the Goodyear G114's (17.5") I'm running now. Get's pretty pricey replacing 15 tires every 7 years. :)

Edited by SuiteSuccess
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Several people over on the HDT forum are starting to run Sailun on their trailers and trucks. Will be a good Beta test. They seem to have good reviews and as you said are less expensive than some of the other brands. I'm probably gonna run them on my trailer starting next year since they are half the price of the Goodyear G114's (17.5") I'm running now. Get's pretty pricey replacing 15 tires every 7 years. :)

 

That beta test has been in progress for a number of years already . They have always had good reviews . I looked at them when I bought our Toyos . Had I not bought the Toyos , they would have been Sailun . In the years since , I have not read or heard of a bad review on them .

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That beta test has been in progress for a number of years already . They have always had good reviews . I looked at them when I bought our Toyos . Had I not bought the Toyos , they would have been Sailun . In the years since , I have not read or heard of a bad review on them .

Good info. Thanks Pete.

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Quick update, replaced all 6 tires with cooper roadmasters. What an improvement, no more constant steering wheel adjusting going down the road. Also found out that there is a Safe T Plus aftermarket device attached to my tie rods. Going down the road i can let go of the wheel and it tracks pretty well. The front bridgestones that were on the front were 5 years old but had plenty of tread left, I replaced them all anyway. I would have thought that the safe T Plus would have hid any front tire problems but guess not. All I know is that it is a different vehicle now!

thanks for all your replys!

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