(You can enlarge the pictures by clicking on them)
My goal was to get a professional opinion on if there was anything that I needed to worry about, or not.
I have always maintained proper air pressure in the tires, never overloaded them and only used 303 Protectant on them, an anti UV ray spray coating. It is a non-petroleum based product. Petroleum based products can cause deterioration damage to rubber products like tires, slide seals and rubber RV roofs.
The date code on the tires (4106) show they were manufactured the 41st week of 2006. Tire life should be 6-7 years, even up to 10 with annual inspections. The rear tires are fine. I think the cracks, which Michelin tires are noted for, are caused by the front tires getting full sun while the rear tires are shaded by the campers parked on either side of the Journey.
For all you sharp readers, yes this picture was taken last summer. The trees look a little bare right now.
I drove the Journey, with Marti following me in the Element to the tire shop. Unbelievably, the shop is closed on Saturdays and Sundays! I failed! But this is the reason I carry an unmounted spare tire underneath the Journey, I would not want to sit on the side of the road with a flat all weekend waiting for a tire shop to open on Monday.
So I'll have to find the time during the week to take the Journey over there. I'm thinking there could be a couple of scenarios that might come out of the inspection. One would be all normal, nothing to worry about. Another would be a shrewd tire salesman claiming that I was lucky to get here and the tires wouldn't last for another trip around the block. A quick $900-1000 sale.
Or the tires may be marginal, but could be rotated to the rear and the rear inner tires that have never seen the sun put on the front. That way, if the cracks got large enough to fail, it would not be on a steering axle.
All was not lost, however. I have a Monday morning appointment at my RV dealer to have the Norcold refrigerator recall done. Additionally, I asked them to change the antifreeze in my generator. Its an 8KW Onan Quiet Diesel, which has a radiator and a cooling system. I won't have time to do that chore before we leave in a couple of weeks for Disney World.
The recall is to install an emergency shut down device if the cooling system on the fridge fails and goes into an overheat condition.
This is a "Before" picture, I'll post an after picture when it's completed. Basically, there will be a switch attached to the black box circuit board in the upper left of the picture, it has the white and yellow stickers on it. It is the "brain" of the unit. A temperature sensor will be attached to the chimney, the silver tube on the right that will tell if there is an overheat condition detected. The circuit board switch will shut the fridge down before a fire could start.
Hopefully, this will never happen, because that means your cooling unit has died and needs a costly replacement (or even a new refrigerator - Big $$$).
It will be interesting to see how this all turns out, stay tuned.
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