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Old 12-04-2015, 02:48 AM   #1
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Thumbs up 1st Trip - Tire-Man - Tire Valve Mecca

Some background - After picking up my Era, I immediately parked it in a storage facility while I cleared up some leftover things. Other than one local Sunday am trip to fill up diesel (thanks gas buddy), this past Monday was the next time I drove it. It was to a Wal-Mart () near the dealer. Humm, why there? Because the dealer did not do what they should have done before delivery - but that's another story. After messing with them the next day far longer than it should have taken. I started it up and pointed south. Why South you ask? Because next stop:

Tire-Man Mecca, Ridgecrest, CA - his ISP got hacked which he's in the midst of clearing up residual effects, so definitely Call if you don't get a quick response
Tire-Man: Home Page

After reading a bunch of threads, interacting with sources - Dually & Tire-Man. I decided to go with Chuck @ Tire-Man.
Yes, I could have just ordered and then found an installer locally. BUT given my total RV inexperience, not knowing the quality of any local installers (they often vary wildly especially when the job is not vanilla), knowing (from past auto experience) how critical Tire "management" is to a vehicle and since I was planning to head out soon on my first adventure, it made all the sense in the world to me to head to Tire-Man Valve Mecca.

So off I went late afternoon, 330 ish miles later I pulled into the Mecca late tuesday night & promptly went to sleep.
Chuck & I had texted each other and I PROMISED that I would be there in time for his shop opening (8am) Weds. I keep my Promises especially when Chuck set aside time & diverted other customers to do the job.
I'll cut to the chase now but needless to say; Chuck was there bright & early with warm hospitality.

One of the Primary reasons, I chose Tire-Man was that from my very first contact Chuck was very responsive both email, txt & phone (best when needing to cover technical questions or specific details). He was patient with this newbie no matter how basic or misguided my questions were.
When I was concerned that his product would fit the Era Bright PVD Wheels by CWS, we exchanged photos and talked again. Then there was about a week's gap when I was clearing up "non-RV stuff" and trying to see what more experienced owners had done. In the end, it was Chuck, his knowledge, professionalism (in a humble way too) and that he would also do the installation which was something I was VERY worried about.

After simple paperwork, Chuck quickly got to work which I watched in between Navy fighter jets taking off from China Lake Weapons Naval air station across the road with the mountains in the background......cool

For a newbie, it was GREAT because not only did I get to see parts that I'm familiar with but Chuck showed me a lot of things I had not seen before, answered ALL my questions and offered technical advice to keep the Era rolling down the road & taking care of the new valves. What an experience, my 1st RV road trip, 1st stop at Tire-Man Mecca and now I'm rolling with all the right stuff. I drove away with a BIG Smile after the GREAT work was done and forever appreciative of Chuck's attentiveness, expertise and being a really good/cool guy.

That was my first real "upgrade" to the Sprinter because to me it was that important. BTW - He has a FULL range of Valves that cover all the Makes/Models so check it out. Yes, I'm an unabashed fan forever

P.S. If someone had video taped me checking tire pressures (it had gotten cold in the SF Bay area lately) and trying to add air to all 6......failing on the inner rears - I'm just skip that part - although did solve with "assistance" . You TOO would immediately buy the Tire-Man product.
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Old 12-04-2015, 06:06 AM   #2
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Yep, first place I went in 2012 after losing an inner dual because of a valve extension put on by another tire shop. Chuck knows what he's doing!
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Old 12-04-2015, 05:33 PM   #3
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Chuck is great. I had read about him online in forums and as soon as I ordered my Libero in 2011, I called him. He patiently explained the extensions and a quick lesson on tires for this non-mechanical person who has never had duallies. I had them mailed to my dealer and he arranged for the local Goodyear tire place to install them. When it was time to replace my tires (that had a 2007 production date), I called him and he confirmed my choice on new tires.
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Old 12-04-2015, 08:58 PM   #4
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Maybe: Did you install a TPMS also?
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Old 12-06-2015, 06:55 PM   #5
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So what tires is he recommending now? Used to be Goodyears.

I just had his valves taken off ours when we bought our first set of new tires. Nothing basically wrong with them except that you can't rotate 6 tires with them on. Our Sprinter ate 2 sets of front tires in 38k miles just rotating side to side. (Continentals & Firestones). 1 set of rears, (Contis). That's with 2 front end alignments thrown in there along the way.....
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Old 12-06-2015, 08:43 PM   #6
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Wow Bobojay that sounds bad. When we sold our 2012 Serenity on a 2011 3500 chassis it had 20,000 miles on Contis that had 75% tread left and even wear (without rotation) mounted on Alcoa alloy rims and no realignments.
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Old 12-06-2015, 11:15 PM   #7
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Applegater, this is our second Sprinter RV that has had this issue with the front end. We know at least 3 others that have had less than stellar mileage on their front tires. All had steel wheels if that means anything....
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Old 12-06-2015, 11:34 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobojay View Post
So what tires is he recommending now? Used to be Goodyears.

I just had his valves taken off ours when we bought our first set of new tires. Nothing basically wrong with them except that you can't rotate 6 tires with them on. Our Sprinter ate 2 sets of front tires in 38k miles just rotating side to side. (Continentals & Firestones). 1 set of rears, (Contis). That's with 2 front end alignments thrown in there along the way.....
Who did your front end alignments? It sounds like it was someone who didn't know what they were doing. Sprinter RVs are notorious for front end alignment problems. They come from the factory aligned at empty weight. Then the converters add a lot of weight - close to GVWR and the front end are not realigned by the converters. The added weight in rear raises the front end enough to cause rapid outer edge wear. I had my front Continental wear badly at 15,000 miles before I realized the problem. Replaced the tires with Michelins and had the front end realigned by Sun Motors in Mechanicsburg, PA. They told me to bring it in loaded as I normally drive it to get alignment right. They added new camber bolts, a $15 part. Now after more than 20,000 miles the front tires are wearing evenly.
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Old 12-06-2015, 11:43 PM   #9
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Still a mystery, first B was a sprinter 2500, had over 90,000 miles on only 2 sets of tires, first Contis and second set with Michelin with no trouble. Also had Alcoa Alloys on this Sprinter.
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Old 12-07-2015, 01:01 AM   #10
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Our tires on both Sprinters, chewed up the inside edge of the tures. The 2013 wore down to the cord on the left side in 10k miles, right side a bit less. The camber was WAY off on both. No camber extensuon bolts required though.
A commercial Ford truck dealer is the only place I can find here that will do a long & tall Sprinter. Benz dealer can't, neither can local Freightliner dealer.
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Old 12-07-2015, 03:47 AM   #11
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Well we are picking up our new ARV unit in about a month so we will keep an eye on it. Not getting alloys this time, will use same brand of TPMS that we used on other 2.
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Old 12-07-2015, 10:33 AM   #12
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I'm on my third Sprinter and have always had even tire wear. The Continentals on my 2011 were replaced with Michelins after about 36,000 miles but I did so a little earlier than necessary because we were heading out on a 10,000 mile anticipated trip. My current Continentals look better on wear this time after 27,000 miles.
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Old 12-08-2015, 02:58 AM   #13
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Maybe: Did you install a TPMS also?
No, but Chuck strongly suggested I install a TPMS.......as a newbie (plus having los of other stuff going on), I was overly focused on step one - valves. Looking back, I had read a few threads about TPMS and could have selected one & had done all at the same time.

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