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Old 07-17-2020, 08:46 AM   #1
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Spare tire management for Interstates

Expounding on a comment I made on the Maintenance thread, we have decided to replace the spare tire that is carried beneath our Interstate's rear end.

The original tire is still there and it has never been used - but it is now 14 years old.

There seems to be a consensus that, even if not subject to wear, tires should not be retained more than 10 years beyond their production date. And they are not warrantied beyond 6 years.

I don't know if those conclusions are true from a technical standpoint. Is a tire strongly subject to failure due to rubber degradation if older than 10 years, or did the manufacturers just need to pick a date to use for policy reasons?

In the end, I don't care, because I am not inclined to take any chances on this issue. Common sense is making me distrust the idea of driving long distances on a 14-year-old spare that is of different spec from the other tires I have put on the van.

This 14-year-old tire has become a concern for me now, today, because of these realities:

(1) If we enter Nova Scotia as planned, we will not have the legal freedom to seek a tire repair for the first two weeks we are there. We will be on our own in every respect. Therefore if we have a tire problem, we will need to deal with it ourselves.

(2) Even after emerging from quarantine, we may encounter multiple forms of trouble in this context. Pandemic-related shortages and supply chain disruptions have caused me to question whether I would be able to purchase a MCH DEFENDER LTX tire of the same specs as the other four, especially in remote locations.

Ergo, the decision to buy and mount a new spare tire here in Houston.

This additional consideration makes this topic thread-worthy:

Upon dropping the old spare to the ground this morning, it bumped to the forefront of our imaginations the fact that we could be using the spare tire rack and associated void space for multiple other storage purposes. There is a MASSIVE (by van standards) amount of space available under the chassis there.

So for instance, while we may want to carry this spare wheel with new tire to Canada for the aforementioned reasons, maybe while traveling within Texas where I can access Good Sam on-the-road resources without restrictions, maybe we should transition to carrying something far more useful in that spot.

I'm going to leave this thread open to such discussions. What should your spare tire space really be used for, and why?


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Old 07-17-2020, 08:59 AM   #2
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AS solved the spare tire problem on the 19 by putting the generator in its place. "We don't need no stinking spare tire".
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Old 07-17-2020, 09:01 AM   #3
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Someone else please chime in on the NCV3s, the EXTs and standard length models.

Do y'all also have spare tires, or were they deleted?
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Old 07-17-2020, 09:59 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by InterBlog View Post
.....

... Is a tire strongly subject to failure due to rubber degradation if older than 10 years, or did the manufacturers just need to pick a date to use for policy reasons? ...
Answered my own question. In order to transport this wheel to a servicer so that they can replace the tire, I had to first clean it up so that it would not make the inside of my small van filthy.

I think the post-cleaning pics speak for themselves.

Check the condition of your spares. If there's any chance you will drive on them, make sure they are fit for purpose.

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Old 07-17-2020, 02:54 PM   #5
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Holy shiitake mushroom!

Michelin Defender LTX M/S LT225 /75 R16, which is pretty much the go-to tire for the T1N Sprinter, is sold out nation-wide.

I managed to identify ONE tire shop that located ONE tire in an Orlando Florida warehouse, and they are willing to ship it over to Houston Texas for me, a process that will take 3 to 5 days.

As of right now, there are other tires still for sale which will fit my wheels, but I don't want a mis-matched spare tire. I want the same tire, because I might be forced to drive on it for 800 miles. Or more.

One of the reps warned me that stocks are diminishing and they are not being replenished because the manufacturing plants cannot keep up with demand under our current conditions. He has seen it with multiple brands.

Forget about toilet paper. We are running out of TIRES.

My advice: Inventory your entire life, reasonably project your needs, and buy now, whatever it is, while you still can.

I should have made this decision months ago. You gotta give me kudos for my instincts, because here I was worried that I would not be able to locate that tire in Canada, if I needed it. For frig sakes, I cannot even locate it in TEXAS.
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Old 07-18-2020, 04:07 PM   #6
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I have a 2020 Interstate Lounge. When ordered it a spare was specified. When delivered the spec for spare was deleted. That is allowed under their standard contract. Only plus is generator is easier to service.
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Old 07-18-2020, 04:39 PM   #7
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AS solved the spare tire problem on the 19 by putting the generator in its place. "We don't need no stinking spare tire".
I will follow up to my previous post. The generator is probably placed where it can be. I hadn't really given it too much thought until now. I thank InterBlog for raising the point. We have owned several other motorhomes before now. Two class C with 16 inch tires had spares including our 2004 AS Land Yacht. But our three class A with 19.5 and 22.5 inch tires did not. This kind of made sense due to the size but mostly the weight. I believe the average RVer should not be handling a 100+ Lb wheel and tire probably beside the road. This is a good reason to have road service. This had probably been discussed in another part of the forum but i am now considering an external mount. I have found a couple on the web which claim to mount to the left door with little modification such as this one.

Any one have any experience with these?
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Old 07-18-2020, 05:30 PM   #8
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....I believe the average RVer should not be handling a 100+ Lb wheel and tire probably beside the road. This is a good reason to have road service. ...
Absolutely I agree with you, but unlike previous years, the Government of Canada will not permit me to use my existing roadside service, as I mentioned. I will be on my own.

One cross-reference and one side note:

(1) This post on the other tires thread, with notations about Michelin Defenders, and the issue of other tires for Interstates, and stock generally; and

(2) Hah - the Magma grill fits *exquisitely* inside our spare. I had heard about other vanners using their spare for a purpose like this, but until today, I had not tried it myself. It fits like it was born to be there. When I finally am able to procure my new spare, we will be raising it back up under the chassis with our Magma inside it.

With and without carry bag, so the dimensions are clear:



EDIT: One vanner famously designed a round camp table for storage on top of his underslung spare tire. That is also an option for people.
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Old 07-18-2020, 06:19 PM   #9
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. . . (2) Hah - the Magma grill fits *exquisitely* inside our spare. I had heard about other vanners using their spare for a purpose like this, but until today, I had not tried it myself. It fits like it was born to be there. When I finally am able to procure my new spare, we will be raising it back up under the chassis with our Magma inside it. . .
Very clever - but the NCV3 Interstates donít have the Mercedes OEM swing down spare tire carrier. They have an Airstream winch system with a cable that goes right in the middle of the wheel. That eliminates the ability to use the inside of the wheel for anything but small objects. It is also more difficult to lower the spare with the winch compared to the swing down spare carrier.
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Old 08-05-2020, 04:48 AM   #10
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Interblog, I just bought a pair of Michelin Agilis Crossclimates from advice off another forum. My significant other made the appointment at a tire shop and they sold him another tire stating the Agilis is not able to handle the front end weight. Curious if anyone has had any road time with the Agilis and if it would suffice to sub for the Defender that is now out of stock everywhere. I’d like to know if the shop just took the opportunity to sell their own set or what as everyone is saying they have switched to the Defender or are now getting the Agilis.

Good reminder and advice to check your spare or check your main set and any of us who need to pay attention will have to figure out what to do with the tire shortage.
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Old 08-05-2020, 08:55 PM   #11
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Interblog, I just bought a pair of Michelin Agilis Crossclimates from advice off another forum. My significant other made the appointment at a tire shop and they sold him another tire stating the Agilis is not able to handle the front end weight. Curious if anyone has had any road time with the Agilis and if it would suffice to sub for the Defender that is now out of stock everywhere. I’d like to know if the shop just took the opportunity to sell their own set or what as everyone is saying they have switched to the Defender or are now getting the Agilis.
Your significant other was sold tires by that shop that makes more money on the tires they sold him. The Michelin Agillis CrossClimate light truck tire is the replacement for the now discontinued Defender.

I have had a set of the new Agillis CrossClimate installed on my Interstate last September. I've driven about 5,000 mile since then and these tires are smooth, quiet and every bit as good as the Defenders.

There are many versions of the Agillis tire line and some passenger car versions are not suitable for the Sprinter. Here is the listing from Tire Rack for the proper light truck tire in LT215/85R16 size for the Sprinter 3500/Interstate:

https://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires...rtnum=185R6ACC

Here is the offical Michelin web page on the Agillis CrossClimate truck tires:

https://www.michelintruck.com/tires-...treads/agilis/
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Old 08-07-2020, 12:40 AM   #12
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Thanks Boxster. I did buy that pair off Tire Rack. Although I prefer to support my shop’s income with my purchases, I was afraid the supply might run out so nabbed them online this one time.

I do believe he was super sold and I’m not super impressed by being undermined by the shop and now having to debate which set will work. It’s not the first time I’ve run into a similar repair issue and I dislike these kinds of treatment. I think we may try another shop. The magic number they gave him is 15,000 miles on the Agilis so hope someone may have put more than that on them just so I can rub it in a bit! . With that said, I do appreciate your backing and sharing your mileage and input!
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Old 08-07-2020, 04:53 AM   #13
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I’ve put about 6k miles on the Agilis tires I added last October and they’ve been great. No complaints here, whatsoever.
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Old 08-07-2020, 10:18 AM   #14
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Thanks my AI friends. Keep empowering me, Iíd love to win this fight!
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