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Old 03-08-2017, 12:14 PM   #1
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Re: Michelin XPS Ribs

Just installed our second set of Michelin XPS Ribs. See details at link below:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f438...ml#post1920377

In all of the tire posts on AirForums, I don't recall ever reading about an XPS Rib tire failure.

Just curious, has anyone running XPS Ribs on their Airstream ever had problems with them?

==========

Link to GYM blowout that led to our upgrading to XPS Ribs:

Our tire saga
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Old 03-08-2017, 07:27 PM   #2
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Re: Michelin XPS Ribs

We have Ribs and are very happy.50,000 miles and show very little wear zero issues in all weather conditions and temperatures .When the time comes to replace it will be Ribs again.
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Old 03-10-2017, 10:54 AM   #3
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We also changed to XPS ribs after several GYM and Towmark failures. Only 7500 miles, but so far, so good. We have noticed a harsher ride with higher tire inflation, and there's much debate on the forums as to "[roper" tire inflation for those tires ratedat 80psi. Some feel that you must run them at full 80 psi, while others point to load charts and say that on trucks, 80 psi tires are often run as low as 55 psi, per truck manufacturer, especially on front end, unless there's a heavy load in the rear, at which point recommendation is to 80 psi. The charts pretty much show that 65 psi is adequate for most of our Airstreams. Airstream says follow the tire manufacturer's recommendation.

We have noticed a small flat spot on one tire so far on the road riding surface, rather than a sidewall, which is where all the other tires failed--typically where the sidewall meets the road tread. We're keeping a close watch on it...
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Old 03-10-2017, 11:28 AM   #4
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On 09-02-2012, we installed 4 new XPS RIB LT225/75R16E1 115R B with new wheels plus matching spare.
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f437...hts-95949.html

Have about 40,000 miles on them now. Have not had a single issue.


According to site:
http://www.michelinrvtires.com/refer...tion-tables/#/
we inflate ours to 65 lbs - which provides a little margin.
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Old 03-10-2017, 12:15 PM   #5
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We installed the Michelin XPS Ribs on our '99 Safari in Spring of 2011 (thinking that is correct year, I'd have to check), and have not had a single problem -- and must report a great deal of piece of mind! I also must say that last year we weren't able to take the Safari out, we took out our new SOB (Forrest River Windjammer 30') because of having more space (3 slides). We bought it to use for longer trips because of the additional space.

We also changed out the axles on the new SOB (2015 Windjammer 3025W) last Spring and upgraded them to larger axles/brake drums/16" rims. We placed Michelin XPS Ribs on the SOB also. We were in her for close to three months last summer and didn't have any issues with these Michelin XPS Ribs either.

It's about time to replace them on the Safari, and we'll stick with the XPS Ribs.

Deb
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Old 03-10-2017, 01:26 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gecko View Post
We have noticed a small flat spot on one tire so far on the road riding surface, rather than a sidewall, which is where all the other tires failed--typically where the sidewall meets the road tread. We're keeping a close watch on it...
Aren't flat spots indications of an out of balance condition?

Jack
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Old 03-10-2017, 02:29 PM   #7
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Flat spot - did you lock up the brakes?
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Old 03-11-2017, 06:45 AM   #8
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Back in May 2012, I experienced a catastrophic failure of the right front Marathon 15" tire. As soon as I got home some 1,200 later, I installed 4 new XPS RIB LT225/75R16E1 and 16" wheels plus matching spare on my '85 Sovereign 25-footer. Also added a TPMS to monitor pressure and temps as well as Centramatics to keep all rotating mass in balanced. Usually run the tires right at 76psi. Streamed over 50,000 miles since replacing the old sneakers with the Michelins - no problems whatsoever. I'm sticking with this set-up.
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Old 03-11-2017, 11:36 AM   #9
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Jack and CrsipyBoy--I suspect that we did lock up the brakes. Our controller offers three levels of onset of braking, and I think that instead of slightly increasing the braking amount going over a crest, I pressed the wrong adjustment button and went to the max aggressive onset of brakes so they most likely locked and caused the flat spot. But Jack, you of course may also be correct. Since we do have Centramatics, one would like to believe that it's not an out of balance issue, so I'm guessing the over aggressive brake setting did it.

We'll keep an eye on it, and report if there's a worsening on that tire. There's still plenty of tread even in that spot. Than you both for the input!
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Old 03-11-2017, 10:42 PM   #10
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We did the full 16" Sendels, Dextar spare, Michelin XPS Ribs (on all 5 rims) Centrmatics and TPMS upgrades last June. Only have around 6,000 miles on these, but no issues or problems whatsoever. I would recommend all. I've varied the tire pressure from recommended 80 psi down to 70 psi and back. I haven't seen much evidence that it makes any difference in ride smoothness, as that was an issue some have had with the truck tires and their higher psi requirements.
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Old 03-12-2017, 10:27 AM   #11
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I am on my second set of Michelin E rated LT225 75R16s. They are not XPS Rib. I put the originals on years ago and maybe before the XPS designation was on the market so I can't comment on the XPS tire but will say I would not consider any other brand of tire.

It looks like the XPS tires can be retreaded but not something that would cause me to purchase them.
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Old 03-12-2017, 11:08 AM   #12
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Retread-ability of a tire tells you it has a high quality casing and you don't have to throw it away in 5yrs like an ST tire.
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Old 03-12-2017, 01:37 PM   #13
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I never subscribed to the 5 year rule either.
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Old 03-12-2017, 04:40 PM   #14
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Re: Michelin XPS Ribs

In my opinion, Michelin XPS Ribs are more about strength/blowout resistance and mileage. Ours lasted only six years in the desert southwest, and we replaced them due to weather checking and age. The Ribs would probably have lasted longer in northern and/or cooler states, or if our Bambi had been stored indoors in a garage (covered storage doesn't help much with UV exposure in AZ).

The biggest difference between XPS Ribs and other LT tires is the steel body/casing, versus polyester or other fiber plies. This is evident in the tire weight, which is very obvious when trying to manhandle the tires in and out of the wheel wells, with 11-18 extra pounds making a big difference.

For comparison, in size 225/75x16 LR-E, the XPS Rib weighs 49 pounds, the Michelin Defender weighs 38, and the GYM ST tire comes in at 31.

To get the money's worth out of the XPS Rib, one has to drive the heck out of them in the first 6-7 years; or you're left with just accepting the higher cost (and unused tread that remains when they are replaced) as a premium paid for trouble-free towing miles.

With only two tires on the ground, that cost is less for our Bambi; and I consider it as money well spent. However, we are going to try and cover more ground on this next set of XPS Ribs.
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Old 03-14-2017, 11:41 AM   #15
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I completely endorse the XPS Rib comments here with the same experience. They have been on the trailer for 4 years/20,000 miles; covered when not in use and no problems. I use a TPMS and load the trailer to the maximum on frequent occasions at about 10,000 lbs gross so the ride is firm. Prior to that I had 2 blow outs a year despite the same level of care.
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Old 03-14-2017, 12:50 PM   #16
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what is the size of the 16 " wheel, plus offset and hole pattern? we want to upgrade from 15" on the sport 22.any recommended wheel brands. I see just tires discused here
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Old 03-14-2017, 02:26 PM   #17
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what is the size of the 16 " wheel, plus offset and hole pattern? we want to upgrade from 15" on the sport 22.any recommended wheel brands. I see just tires discused here
I would call Can-Am Airstream in London, ON for a recommendation. They are the towing experts. I think they will advise you to keep the 15" wheels and upgrade to a far more reliable tire. The XPS Rib is most probably to stiff a ride for your lightweight Airstream.
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Old 03-14-2017, 02:51 PM   #18
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Re: 16" Wheel Specs & Centramatics

We have Sendel "T02" wheels on our 2005 19' Bambi, but many have purchased other Sendel models that have the same specifications. For example, the Sendel "T03" is the one that came standard on the Airstream "Eddie Bauer" model; and it is frequently specified.

Assuming your Airstream currently has 225/75x15 tires and 15" OEM aluminum alloy wheels, when you select your 16" wheels, just make sure that the new wheels meet or exceed the following specifications:

Wheel size: 16x6
Bolt Circle: 6x139.7 (same as 6x5.5)
Offset: 0 (zero)
Center Bore: 4.25
Load Rating: 3,200

We bought our wheels and tires from a local Discount Tire store; and they special ordered the Sendel T02's for about $105 each, with free shipping, which is the same price that we had found on the Internet. Mounting, balancing, center caps and chrome lug nuts were extra. We also had Discount Tire install Centramatic dynamic wheel balancers (that we had purchased from Inland RV in Corona, CA for about $55 each) at the same time they mounted the new tires.



Link to Inland RV (scroll down to part number 13150, which is the "Airstream Special" Centramatic balancer for both 15" and 16" wheels):

Inland RV online parts catalog

Note: Some AirForums members have installed a different Centramatic model number. The Centramatic #13150 is designed for 15" wheels, but it works equally well with 16" wheels.

While the Airstream factory sells Michelin Defender (formerly, LTX MS/2) load range E (225/75x16) tires (approximately $180 each) as an optional upgrade, we bought Michelin XPS Ribs (approximately $245 each), which have a steel (sidewall) casing instead of nylon, polyester or other tire fabric. We got these because XPS Ribs are about as close to bulletproof as you can get, and they have an excellent reliability rating on all trailer and tire forums. Many consider XPS Ribs as overkill on Airstreams; but for me, the extra cost is just additional insurance against future tire failures.
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Old 10-30-2018, 02:16 AM   #19
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Re: Michelin XPS Ribs - UPDATE

Update on the Michelin XPS Ribs installed on our 19' Bambi in March 2017:

We recently returned from this year's roadtrip from Arizona to Alaska via eastern slope of Rocky Mountains in USA, Alberta, Yukon, Alaska, British Columbia, and I-5 from Seattle to southern California and home. Total mileage = 11,000 miles during May to September 2018.

Cumulative mileage on second set of XPS Ribs (since purchase) was about 19,000 miles (since purchase in 2017).

Canadian and Alaskan highways caused about $5,000 in damage to our Airstream, but we had absolutely NO tire problems on the worst roads we have ever encountered.

Both the Bambi's XPS Ribs and our 2008 Tundra's LTX M/S2's performed flawlessly!
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