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Saturday, March 29, 2014

New Tires

Some things age gracefully.  RV tires, not so much.  Because my rear tires rolled over the seven year mark last fall and were showing cracks in the sidewalls, they had to go. (I had replaced the two fronts in 2011 because they were starting to develop cracks in the sidewalls.)

The day before, I took off the hubcaps,


and the lug nut covers so the tire replacement would go faster.



I had ordered the tires last month at a nearby Michelin truck tire dealer and made an appointment to have them installed.  They had me back the Journey into their shop and I was able to lift the rear wheels off the ground using the rear levelers and some blocks.  I had the front wheels chocked so the Journey wouldn’t roll (the parking brake is only on the rear wheels).


A one inch drive air gun zipped the lug nuts off in mere seconds.


Looking under the Journey with the wheels off, the hub, the brake drum and the airbag are all visible.


Next one of the techs “broke” the tire’s bead with a special sledge hammer.  He was a good shot, he didn’t miss once.  Maybe he’d done this before”"?


Then a special pry tool was used to remove the tire from the rim.


While the tires were off, I had all the valve stems replaced.  Might as well do it while it was easy to do.  A preventive maintenance thing.



Out came my new tires, showing a date code that they were made in the 36th week of 2013, pretty fresh tires.  I’m good to 2020 now.


The new tires were slipped on with a long pry bar.


Then each tire was put in this cage to be inflated.  It is for the protection of the tech, just incase the tire, for some reason explodes (it has been known to happen (very rarely) with devastating consequences).


The tires were then put back on and the lugnuts tightened with the air gun.


Something I was very pleased to see was that after the lugnuts were put on, the tech used a torque wrench to ensure the lugnuts were at the correct tightness (500 foot lbs.).


The old tires were placed in the disposal pile.  I looked them over.


Even though the tread was worn less than halfway (note the wear bars in between the tread),


and the inside of the tire casings looked good,


it just wasn’t worth gambling on driving with them.  Peace of mind and safety, you can’t put a price on that.

The end result, the FMCA Michelin Tire Program saved me a little over $200.  More money for fuel which we’ll be needing as we roll next Tuesday.  :c)

I drove back to the COE Volunteer Village in the pouring rain.  Now my new tires need a bath, and the hubcaps and lugnut covers put back on, as soon as the rain stops.


Thanks for visiting and feel free to leave a comment.



  1. New shoes always put a spring in anybody's (or any rig's) step. Now to get out there and use the on a highway.

  2. A big expense, but one that "just makes sense". Too many folks try and stretch it out more because the tires "look good". Too me, it's just not worth the possible damage and additional expenses encountered by using tires that are too old.

  3. Thanks for an interesting lesson on how big tires are changed on a MH. It sure looks like hard work with that pry bar getting the tires off and on the rim.

    Again, smart move on getting new tires after 7 years!

  4. We replaced the front ones last year, and I am looking to do the backs soon too. Ours are also seven years old. 2014-2007 =7. Its time.

  5. Safety with you tires is sure worth the cost, good deal on the Michelins. My tire place in Ontario gave us $75.00 each for our 7 year old Good Years last time, when we purchased 4 new Michelins. But they were not cracked at all.

  6. Ready to go with a thinner billfold you won't sit so crooked in the drivers seat, good move.

  7. We did all 4 at once. A BIG ouch! Wish we could have done two and two like smart folks do. Glad to know you are safe.

  8. Ok, now you are ready to roll...

    Safe Travels and Happy Trails!!

  9. Congrats on your quadruples! :) I know you'll feel better and safer having taken the plunge :)

  10. On ounce of prevention......good job, my friend. Now, get out there and go! Sure hope you have been cured of your PDD

  11. With new shoes, you'll be dancing down the highways!

  12. Where the rubber hits the road is so important!!
    congrats on the new wheels!!

  13. You are right. It certainly isn't worth gambling. We had our tires replaced last year so we're good for a while too.

  14. I always hate spending money on tires--not very much fun but certainly necessary. We too bought new ones for the front about a year ago and probably will soon have to do the back four--YIKES!!

  15. In the 6 years we had our Damon Motorhome we did one complete tire change as well. Two new fronts in Canada & 4 new back ones in Kingman Arizona. Tires are always my biggest worry rolling down the road. When I look at the smaller tires on our 26' Class C it gives me the willys. Hoping to get back into a bigger tire rig soon. Awwww, piece of mind.

  16. Glad you are all set with new tires for safe travels to MO.

  17. Better to be safe! We replaced our tires on the RV in October of 2012, and the truck last summer. We have a few years to save up money towards the next batch of shoes!

  18. Seven years is a pretty good run for RV tires, so you were wise to get it out of the way.
    I recall having the tires replaced on the Class A that we had, and the Dude doing the work was one heck of a strapping lad. It's heavy and hard work, and you could tell he was up for the task. Seems to be a requirement for that kind of horse work.

  19. Tires are very expensive, thankfully only every few years.

  20. That's a nice way of putting it. By the looks of it, you were taking care of your tires well! One could tell, because when you examined them after they were removed, they weren't that worn out after seven years. Still, you can never discount safety. As you said, it's priceless.

    Maria Valencia @ Mexican Tires and Services

  21. I agree. A tire is not something that ages gracefully. Some of it get cracks, leaks, and other problems, as time goes on. It’s not repairable like most auto parts. So buying is really the only option to take. It’s a good thing that you know a shop that can give you the exact tires you needed. It definitely saved you time and hopefully money. How is it, btw?

    Bradford Oliver @ Lacustoms Performance Products