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Old 05-04-2009, 07:39 PM   #1
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sprinter van tire problems?

We have had two flats, one on each side in the rear, in the last year without an obvious cause. Smooth pavement, 50 degree temperature, lightly loaded, but heavy cross wind. Just wondered if anyone else has had that many flats. The tires are Michelin LT 225/75 R16.
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Old 05-12-2009, 05:54 PM   #2
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How old were they? And were they inflated correctly?
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Old 05-14-2009, 10:34 AM   #3
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The first blow-out was at 90,000 miles and only about a year after purchase of the van. (The van had sat on the lot for perhaps a year.) The second flat was at about 180,000 miles and happened to a tire 2 1/2 years old (plus maybe the year the van had sat on the dealer's lot). We can't remember the tire pressures at the first occurrence, but since that time, we have kept the front tires at 60 and the rear at 65 psi religiously, but had a second flat tire anyway. Since replacing the second tire, we have upped the pressures to 80 on all tires, hoping that will be better. What do you think? Any opinions as to proper tire pressures on the van? Our Dodge van door recommends 80psi but a sticker inside an Airstream cabinet in the camper section of the van stated the 60,65 setup, I think.
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Old 05-14-2009, 01:23 PM   #4
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90,000 and 180,000 miles on two tires! That's incredible. I think maybe you got your money's worth.

Of course this means you have two other tires that are still on the van and going. Incredible.

What would your average speed be, when using the Sprinter? 65? 75?
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Old 05-15-2009, 08:21 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by electrodx View Post
The first blow-out was at 90,000 miles and only about a year after purchase of the van. (The van had sat on the lot for perhaps a year.) The second flat was at about 180,000 miles and happened to a tire 2 1/2 years old (plus maybe the year the van had sat on the dealer's lot). We can't remember the tire pressures at the first occurrence, but since that time, we have kept the front tires at 60 and the rear at 65 psi religiously, but had a second flat tire anyway. Since replacing the second tire, we have upped the pressures to 80 on all tires, hoping that will be better. What do you think? Any opinions as to proper tire pressures on the van? Our Dodge van door recommends 80psi but a sticker inside an Airstream cabinet in the camper section of the van stated the 60,65 setup, I think.
That's what we have concluded is to stay with 80 psi front and rear. The Airstream door sticker recommends that as well as our Michelin dealer. You did far better on milage than I did. Our blowouts occured at 9000 miles and 18,000 miles.
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Old 05-15-2009, 06:32 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by electrodx View Post
The first blow-out was at 90,000 miles and only about a year after purchase of the van. (The van had sat on the lot for perhaps a year.) The second flat was at about 180,000 miles and happened to a tire 2 1/2 years old (plus maybe the year the van had sat on the dealer's lot). We can't remember the tire pressures at the first occurrence, but since that time, we have kept the front tires at 60 and the rear at 65 psi religiously, but had a second flat tire anyway. Since replacing the second tire, we have upped the pressures to 80 on all tires, hoping that will be better. What do you think? Any opinions as to proper tire pressures on the van? Our Dodge van door recommends 80psi but a sticker inside an Airstream cabinet in the camper section of the van stated the 60,65 setup, I think.
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That's what we have concluded is to stay with 80 psi front and rear. The Airstream door sticker recommends that as well as our Michelin dealer. You did far better on milage than I did. Our blowouts occured at 9000 miles and 18,000 miles.
Uhh, YOU are the one that said you got 90,000 and 180,000 miles.
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Old 05-16-2009, 12:16 PM   #7
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electrodx

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Originally Posted by pageclot View Post
90,000 and 180,000 miles on two tires! That's incredible. I think maybe you got your money's worth.

Of course this means you have two other tires that are still on the van and going. Incredible.

What would your average speed be, when using the Sprinter? 65? 75?

I'm so sorry, I meant the tires went 9,000 and 18,000 miles. I must have had a brain cramp when I typed that note! Thanks.
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Old 05-17-2009, 11:18 AM   #8
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We have Michelins on our 2006 Interstate, have nearly 50,000 miles on them, have had them rotated several times, no problems at all.
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Old 05-18-2009, 11:04 AM   #9
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Question

Doug and Maggie,
You have done much better than we have. What pressures do you keep the tires at? 60? 80? Do you drive in much sidewind?
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Old 05-18-2009, 11:41 AM   #10
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Doug doesn't know offhand, says it is whatever the factory specs are---tire pressure is checked and adjusted as needed when we have them rotated every 6,000 miles. As for sidewind, yes, not excessive as we are in the Midwest/South/East most of the time.
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Old 05-19-2009, 08:05 PM   #11
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Strange...any signs of dry rot or anything like that?
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Old 05-20-2009, 01:32 PM   #12
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No. We looked carefully for such an abnormality and the tires looked ok with good tread. It has us stumped. All we have been able to imagine is that the air pressures of 65 psi were too little for a loaded sprinter van. This version has the hot water tank, toilet and kitchen in the rear, over the rear tires. We drive it mostly in the southwest, NM and west Texas where there are heavy winds and both occurrences were in the midst of 35-40 mph winds, maybe gusting to more, so the rig leaned a little to the side driving down the road. (And it was unpleasant changing tires in it.)
Thanks for considering our dilemma. It doesn't appear that many others are having the same problem, which is what we wondered. We're driving now at 80 psi, hoping that we'll not have a recurrence.
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Old 05-20-2009, 08:43 PM   #13
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There should be a sticker, usually on the driver's door frame, that indicates what the tires should be inflated to. Definitely underinflation will cause problems like that; I just hope you haven't overinflated them now. For example, in my B-van the fronts are to be inflated to 51 PSI, and the rears to 80 PSI due to the extreme weight sitting on the rear axle (6000 lbs). If I were to inflate the fronts to 80 PSI, they'd be overinflated and would wear out prematurely.

So definitely look for that sticker or try to find that information - it should've been given to you.

Also, you may want to learn how to read the date codes on the tires to see how old they really are. This shouldn't be the problem but anything can happen!
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Old 05-21-2009, 04:21 PM   #14
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Thank you, Skater. That is helpful. The Dodge sprinter van sticker recommends 50psi in the front and 80psi in the rear (as you are doing), but the Airstream sticker recommends 80psi front and rear. So, there are two sets of recommendations. I assume the Dodge sticker is for an empty sprinter van and that Airstream changed those recommendations when it added all the equipment for the camper adaptation (ie propane and water tanks, kitchen, bathroom, etc.), so we're going by the Airstream recommendations. Hope that is ok. (We know for sure that 60psi front and rear were the pressures at which we had at least one of the rear tire blowouts.)...here we go!
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