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Old 10-26-2005, 08:25 PM   #1
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1994 35' Land Yacht Diesel
Franklin NC , North Carolina
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Motorhome Tire Size

When we owned a classic GMC, the tire question brought out the biggest debate in their Internet Forum. But, we now have an Airstream Land Yacht Diesel Pusher Motorhome that is in need of a couple front tires.
I've always replaced them when they reach 5 years old and never wore
an RV Tire out. Had a few blow out, but never worne the tread off anything.
Now, our Land Yacht has these fancy 19.5" aluminum wheels with real skinny tires. I've always thought that it wasn't enough rubber on the
road for a 35 foot motorhome. So, I went to the tire store and they said, that's the RV size. I still think wider might be better so I'm asking all you
experienced Airstream motorhome people what size you use. Are there
alternatives? Any ideas would help.
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Old 10-26-2005, 08:52 PM   #2
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Tire size

I asked the same question about my MH. 325 1985. I was told if you keep
all the tires the same for reasons of changing the tires around where ever you find it necessary they would have to be the same size as the originals.
The "duals" would be too wide and would rub together under certain load conditions and then would probably blow out.
I got my best information from a "Discount tire dealer" they also have a very
special computer match balance machine that matches the out of roundness
of the rim with the out of roundness of the tire. As they are both almost
always out of round. After they match this problem they then balance the tire with wheel weights or you can put in the "Equal" that most of the big trucks on the road use now.
The Discount tech may tell you its too big of a tire to set up on their machine but after checking there balancer out they found it fit on just fine.
What I am saying is be a little bit insistant and I always stay at the machine
and watch to see what they do!!! Its not cheap My last tires were $25.00
per tire for computer match and balance etc. tires extra of course. Don't
forget what I said about the computer match!!!

Hope this helps
Mixednuts
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Old 10-26-2005, 09:39 PM   #3
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Paul, I will get back to you tomorrow night after I check my catalogs at work. You can use low profile tires on your coach, but you may have to replace the wheels as well as the tires, so they have enough offset to keep from rubbing each other when mounted on the rear.
The low profile tires will have almost a thrid more tire on the road, if you are wondering what the difference is. They will also be a little shorter as well as wider, so you may not want to do this if something on your coach is sitting low to the ground right now.
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Old 10-27-2005, 07:45 PM   #4
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all the tires the same for reasons of changing the tires around where ever you find it necessary they would have to be the same size as the originals.
The "duals" would be too wide and would rub together

I'm not one to rotate my RV tires front ot back because I change every five years reguardless of mileage or wear. I find they dry out and crack after 5 years so I just don't want problems on the raod. Since we drive 5-10 K a year, they always have new looking tread.
My big hope was to get more tire on the road surface in the front for better braking and turnig traction.
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Old 10-28-2005, 10:42 AM   #5
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Paul,

Just went throught this with tires for my '89 370. Same 19.5" wheels as yours. The only tire on the wheel/tire matching charts other than the original 19.5/8R was a 225/70/19.5. Gives you about 1/3 in. more width, which may help just a little on the front. Other than that, you're probably talking new wheels (big bucks), and then still have the problem with the duals. I agree they look way to skinny, but can't say I've had any difficulty I can relate to the tire width. Unless you want to spend lots of money on new wheels (hard to beat those Alcoa aluminum wheels), I really think you're just as well off staying with one of the two sizes recommended for the original wheels. This is strictly my opinion, of course. Would like to know what you finally decide.

Tim
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Old 10-28-2005, 11:25 AM   #6
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what kind of pricing are you all findiong for the tires? I will need to replacve two or more , probably next Spring, due to aging.
That brings up the question on the age cracks...some say when cracking gets beyond a certain depth or amount to replace thes, others say after a certain number of years no matter what. I know mine are at least 5 years old. but cracking is minimal if at all right now.
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Old 10-28-2005, 12:28 PM   #7
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Motorhome Tire Size

I found prices from about $170 up to $280 per tire, depending on the name on the sidewall. I dealt with a tire dealer I've used for a long time. I was leaning toward the original Michelins, but they were the $280 ones - of course! My dealer was making the point that the cheapest ones were made by Kelly-Springfield in the USA, and that they always saw RV tires rot out before they wore out. I went with the $170 tires, but did stay with the exact size as the Michelins (8R 19.5) because they diameter was exactly the same. Since only about 3 or 4 companies make all the tires manufactured in the US, I reasoned that the extra $110 per tire to say Michelin on the side just couldn't be justified on my budget. I replaced only the front set and the outer duals. Total of 4. Since the size match is perfect, no problem with mis-sizing. Time will tell, of course, but load rating, construction plys, etc. were identical on all the brands.

Cracking - replacing tires due to aging is certainly the conventional wisdom, and I wouldn't argue with that. However, I did a thorough investigation of each tire on the coach, and the only ones I could see any cracks on were the ones I replaced. I'll probably do the other 4 in about a year. That will soften the financial blow, and give me some time to see how the "off-brand" new tires are doing. My biggest concern with the front tires was avoiding a blowout from an aging sidewall. There was a rather dramatic difference in the ride with the new ones on the front. I'm sure the sidewall on the old ones (probably orginal in 1989) wasn't doing much flexing. Anyway, that's how I handled it. I love Michelins, and use them on all my other vehicles, but couldn't justify the money in this situation. Let you know if I regret this choice.

Tim (Noiva)
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Old 10-28-2005, 02:17 PM   #8
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Motor Home Tire Size

Just this past August replaced all four rear tires as they hit the magic 5 year time frame. Also I ran over a piece of road junk in the middle of the night, outside Cincinnati, that took a big hunk out of one of the inner tires. Camping World had two tires: Michelin and Goodyear. I went with the Goodyear 19.5 as they were already on the front. I think they were $237 each with all the taxes, balancing etc.
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Old 01-09-2007, 09:25 AM   #9
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Paul,

I found an old thread that you started re: skinny front tires on you MH.

How did you resolve that issue? I, too, don't like the skinny front wheel/tire setup on my LY and am searching for a wider wheel/tire combo.

Thanks in advance.

FRank
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