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Question: I have a slight shimmy when driving between 45 to 65 MPH. Not sure if I need an alignment or maybe a tire balancing. Taking my rig into Freightliner next week for its routine annual service, oil change etc. They said they can do an alignment for an extra $300. 

I purchased my rig in 2017, it’s a 2015 that was originally sold in July of 2014. I replaced the rear 6 tires (it’s a tag) in 2019 but was told the front 2 were good. The door label says the front tires are supposed to be 295s but they are 315s. The rears are 275s.

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I think that I would bring it up with the shop when you are there. There are several things that could cause your symptoms. If you have a trusted tire shop you might want to discuss it with them as well. 

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Each tire will have a small raised ring near the bead surface. This is for the installer to guide him when mounting the tire on the rim. If that small raised bead is not concentric with the edge of the rim the tire should be deflated, beads seal broken and the tire re-centered on the rim. Then the tire must be re-balanced.

That information is from https://www.rvtiresafety.net/ 

 

Edited by Ray,IN
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16 hours ago, Ray,IN said:

Each tire will have a small raised ring near the bead surface. This is for the installer to guide him when mounting the tire on the rim. If that small raised bead is not concentric with the edge of the rim the tire should be deflated, beads seal broken and the tire re-centered on the rim. Then the tire must be re-balanced.

That information is from https://www.rvtiresafety.net/ 

 

I’ve owned the RV for 4 years now. The wobble just started on my trip south for the winter a few months ago. I don’t think it is a mounting problem since I have put 30,000 miles on with no problem before now. I may have lost a balancing weight or something like that? Will have the alignment checked by Freightliner when I get my annual service. Just don’t want to spend $300 for an alignment if it is not the cause of the problem. Hopefully a tire inspection will show the cause of the problem. 

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Check both of your front tires to see if you have any balancing weights. Not many HD truck shops use them anymore, but I don't know what the RV shops are doing. As far as I know, beads are still the preferred balancing medium since they continually balance the tire as conditions change due to normal wear. Rear tires in these sizes are usually not balanced.

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4 hours ago, Twotoes said:

I’ve owned the RV for 4 years now. The wobble just started on my trip south for the winter a few months ago. I don’t think it is a mounting problem since I have put 30,000 miles on with no problem before now. I may have lost a balancing weight or something like that? Will have the alignment checked by Freightliner when I get my annual service. Just don’t want to spend $300 for an alignment if it is not the cause of the problem. Hopefully a tire inspection will show the cause of the problem. 

Have you ever had an all wheel alignment done? All the manufactuers some ware in their paperwork will recommend that an all wheel alignment be done after loaded like you are going on a trip. Full fuel, water, propane and all the usual load.

It could also be a internal tire problem like a belt separation.

Bill

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1 hour ago, Dutch_12078 said:

Check both of your front tires to see if you have any balancing weights. Not many HD truck shops use them anymore, but I don't know what the RV shops are doing. As far as I know, beads are still the preferred balancing medium since they continually balance the tire as conditions change due to normal wear. Rear tires in these sizes are usually not balanced.

I only do business with places that can properly do the work and have the tools to do it right. Places like Cowser tire.     https://cowsertire.com/

"Rear tires in these sizes are usually not balanced." Yes but they are mostly on trailers not Motorhomes. You can risk your warranty if you have/use beads. Go look at the Michelin website.

Bill

 

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2 hours ago, WILDEBILL308 said:

I only do business with places that can properly do the work and have the tools to do it right. Places like Cowser tire.     https://cowsertire.com/

"Rear tires in these sizes are usually not balanced." Yes but they are mostly on trailers not Motorhomes. You can risk your warranty if you have/use beads. Go look at the Michelin website.

Bill

I suggest you look around at other large RV's and see how many you can find with weights on the rear wheels. Or on HDT's where fleet operators go to great lengths to extend tire mileage. Michelin's concern is mostly with the moisture content of the balancing liquids when some people use antifreeze and other non-freezing liquids that can damage the interior lining. Some folks have also used BB's and other types of shot for balancing which can also break down and cause interior tire damage. Good quality commercial balancing beads are made from inert materials that do not break down and contain no moisture. I have never heard of a denied warranty claim due to using purpose made commercial balancing beads. I have seen the damage thrown wheel weights can cause though. It's your RV of course, so I expect you'll do what you feel is best for it.

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On 3/1/2021 at 10:50 PM, Dutch_12078 said:

I suggest you look around at other large RV's and see how many you can find with weights on the rear wheels. Or on HDT's where fleet operators go to great lengths to extend tire mileage. Michelin's concern is mostly with the moisture content of the balancing liquids when some people use antifreeze and other non-freezing liquids that can damage the interior lining. Some folks have also used BB's and other types of shot for balancing which can also break down and cause interior tire damage. Good quality commercial balancing beads are made from inert materials that do not break down and contain no moisture. I have never heard of a denied warranty claim due to using purpose made commercial balancing beads. I have seen the damage thrown wheel weights can cause though. It's your RV of course, so I expect you'll do what you feel is best for it.

Well Dutch, I just happen to be at a rally with over 60 coaches. We are at Cajun Palms RV Resort, North Barn Road, Breaux Bridge, LA. I have ben doing a survey on who balances their rear wheels. So far no one will say they don't balance their rear wheels.

We also have reps from Freightliner and Spartan doing presentations. I have asked both of them about the question of balancing wheels. They both say all chases shipped have all the wheels spin balanced. Neither recommended balancing beads. So Dutch I will continue to use the spin balance method. 

I still think the op needs a good balance and inspection for damaged belts.

Bill

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I've never heard of wheel balance definitively affecting wheel bearing life. My drive axle bearings are approaching 2 million miles and to my knowledge, the drives have never been balanced. Jay

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11 hours ago, Jaydrvr said:

I've never heard of wheel balance definitively affecting wheel bearing life. My drive axle bearings are approaching 2 million miles and to my knowledge, the drives have never been balanced. Jay

That's why I wrote my opinion.

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