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Old 05-28-2019, 03:45 PM   #1
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Default Best Replacement Tires for 2015 Sprinter

We have a Roadtrek SS Agile, model year 2015 on the Mercedes Sprinter platform. The Kuhmo Road Venture LT245/75R16 tires are original with nearly 37K miles on them. We rotated the back tires to the front at 32K and we’re shopping for two new tires to replace the fronts as the tread has worn down quite a bit. Still legal but probably not for too much longer and we’re planning a ~7-8K mile trip later this summer.

What has been your experience with replacement tires for wear, noise, decent price, etc?

Thanks,

Steve
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Old 05-28-2019, 05:09 PM   #2
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We have a Roadtrek SS Agile, model year 2015 on the Mercedes Sprinter platform. The Kuhmo Road Venture LT245/75R16 tires are original with nearly 37K miles on them. We rotated the back tires to the front at 32K and we’re shopping for two new tires to replace the fronts as the tread has worn down quite a bit. Still legal but probably not for too much longer and we’re planning a ~7-8K mile trip later this summer.

What has been your experience with replacement tires for wear, noise, decent price, etc?

Thanks,

Steve
If you can't replace all four, and you like the Kuhmo Road Ventures, you should get two new ones for the rear. That way you don't mix tread patterns which is what tire manufacturers recommend. They also recommend mounting new tires on rear, not the front.
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Old 06-02-2019, 04:57 PM   #3
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Default Easy answer. Costco.

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We have a Roadtrek SS Agile, model year 2015 on the Mercedes Sprinter platform. The Kuhmo Road Venture LT245/75R16 tires are original with nearly 37K miles on them. We rotated the back tires to the front at 32K and we’re shopping for two new tires to replace the fronts as the tread has worn down quite a bit. Still legal but probably not for too much longer and we’re planning a ~7-8K mile trip later this summer.

What has been your experience with replacement tires for wear, noise, decent price, etc?

Thanks,

Steve
Steve, unless you have dual wheels, which I don't think you do, get Michelin Defenders LT tires....I have 20,000 miles on mine and they barely show any signs of wear.

Also, my advice is to always err on the side of caution especially when you're traveling across the USA.

Costco is everywhere... and if you needed anything they would be practically anywhere you are.....

The only thing is....if you have dual wheels.. Costco doesn't do valve extensions...

On another matter...did you upgrade your suspension with new shocks or antisway bar? I found this to be necessary around 40,000 miles...? --
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Old 06-02-2019, 08:50 PM   #4
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Thanks for your input; we just had the brakes replaced and bought the Michelin Defender tires you mentioned. What a difference in road noise! The issue of replacing the shocks and anti-sway bar was not yet on our horizon... is this a common maintenance item for ~40,000 miles or was your replacement due to rough roads / some other factors?

Steve
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Old 06-02-2019, 10:30 PM   #5
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Default Suspension upgrades made a world of difference

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Thanks for your input; we just had the brakes replaced and bought the Michelin Defender tires you mentioned. What a difference in road noise! The issue of replacing the shocks and anti-sway bar was not yet on our horizon... is this a common maintenance item for ~40,000 miles or was your replacement due to rough roads / some other factors?

Steve
Steve,

The Michelin Defender tires are GREAT, no question. On the suspension, I noticed that every time we went into a service station for fuel, speed bumps and uneven surfaces that rig would rock and feel like a small earthquake. Well, I thought, this is just common for RVs? NO, it's not true.

My RV shop where I get service said "you really need new shocks and anti-sway" … they were right. And, they referred me to a place in Grants Pass Oregon via phone …. a place known as Super Steer. Call and talk with Dave, he will explain everything to you. There's no pressure here... none from my RV shop or Super Steer. By the way, Super Steer goes to most of the RV shows in the USA and is also known as Henderson's Lineup.

Here's their number 541-479-2882.

https://www.hendersonslineup.com/supersteer-products

While my rig was in the RV shop another Leisure Travel RV Class B like my 2012 was in there getting the same work done. Here's what I did,

I got 4 new KONI FSD shocks
one Road Master anti-sway bar that replaced the old factory one from Mercedes

And, a special proprietary "track bar" from Super Steer.

The results were spectacular... would I do it again and was it worth the money, YES, definitely. Now, very little side to side motion and smoother turns, it really made a difference.

My rig is the Sprinter 3500 with the dual wheels; I have a lot of weight in the back. I think your is a 2500 model with four wheels. If I were you, I would definitely give Dave a call and he works with many RV shops in the local areas. A lot of people know them in Grants Pass; you don't have to go to Oregon for this.

Here's the thing; when Roadtrek built out are vans, they just got a normal cargo van from Mercedes … and added a bunch of things for constant weight like the generator, water tanks, cabinets, refrigerator, propane tank, etc. All of this takes its toll on the suspension.

Less rocking and twisting means that your cabinets and all of the other stuff won't be jostled around as much.

Some super elite master coach builders like Airstream and Advanced RV offer air suspension... I don't think you need to go that far and besides air suspension is very complex, even more expensive and can fail as well.

But, I would encourage you to have it done and I think you'll be happy especially on the open road traveling across the USA. We've done it once and are planning another trip. Wind and stability are increased with the tighter suspension.

I wouldn't advise you to do this job yourself; installing shocks can be very dangerous if you're not capable of doing this and in order to install the track bar and/or anti-sway bar my RV shop had to remove and reinstall the exhaust on my Sprinter.

Here's a few pictures for you of my rig. Good luck. --- Mark
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Old 06-02-2019, 10:47 PM   #6
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Thanks for your input; we just had the brakes replaced and bought the Michelin Defender tires you mentioned. What a difference in road noise! The issue of replacing the shocks and anti-sway bar was not yet on our horizon... is this a common maintenance item for ~40,000 miles or was your replacement due to rough roads / some other factors?

Steve
Steve,

I just noticed that you had your brakes replaced?


We purchased our van with 26,000 miles and now have just under 46,000 miles.....

My mechanic recently checked my brakes and said we have 95 percent left over ..... I don't know if the previous owner had the brakes done just before we purchased the rig 2 years ago, but, using only 5 percent in two years and 20,000 miles is pretty good.... wouldn't you agree?

I'm a pretty conservative driver especially with the RV...and slow down when I see traffic slowing ahead, plus, the majority of those 20,000 miles were driving across country just coasting along...

If you didn't see my other email on the suspension... shocks and stuff...an ineffective suspension will ruin your tires and probably brakes as well... Just my opinion.

You can get other replies as well on what others think or consult your mechanic.
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Old 06-02-2019, 11:25 PM   #7
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Mark,

Thanks for the additional information; the suspension upgrades you detailed and very interesting. I’m curious whether others have the same experience and have had similar upgrades performed? We do have similar thoughts on the “mushy suspension” that you describe.

It will be interesting with all the Class B’s out there now that lots of us may need to have this upgrade to the shocks and sway bar.

As for the brakes, we felt that with nearly 40K miles on the Roadtrek, we were actually doing pretty well lasting that long! I also drive conservatively and downshift when possible to avoid overusing the brakes. So I am curious what others have seen for brake life?

Thanks,

Steve
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Old 06-03-2019, 12:10 AM   #8
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Mark,

Thanks for the additional information; the suspension upgrades you detailed and very interesting. I’m curious whether others have the same experience and have had similar upgrades performed? We do have similar thoughts on the “mushy suspension” that you describe.

It will be interesting with all the Class B’s out there now that lots of us may need to have this upgrade to the shocks and sway bar.

As for the brakes, we felt that with nearly 40K miles on the Roadtrek, we were actually doing pretty well lasting that long! I also drive conservatively and downshift when possible to avoid overusing the brakes. So I am curious what others have seen for brake life?

Thanks,

Steve
Steve,

I agree with you that 40,000 miles is what I might expect and kudos to you for being pro-active on that. Which is why I have my vehicle checked regularly. I was very pleasantly surprised when my mechanic checked my brakes and found that they had 95 percent life left after 20,000 miles. I guess it all depends on what kind of driving, mountain, stop and go or just humming along on the road.. which has little or no impact whatsoever.

Regarding the "mushy" handling as you described... I mostly noticed this going over speed bumps, into service stations, driveways or any other uneven surface. The entire van would pitch and rock side to side , more side to side motion, but, it was not stable. Now, practically nothing and if it does rock it corrects itself almost immediately.

Here's another thing, that "track bar" really stabilized the rear end a lot. Let me explain, when I was on the road and a large semi truck would pass me and get in front the "down draft" of wind that the truck is pulling like a "wake" would cause a sucking whose of air and I would be kind of sucked in to the downdraft an it would cause instability, a little shuttering if you will.
That can still happen, a little, but, it's much better now, much improved.
I mostly noticed this in the rear end as the front end of the Sprinter is really rock solid suspension with the MacPherson struts... only leaf springs in the back.

By the way, the rear of my Sprinter still has a pretty bumpier ride than the front, but, all of this stuff did help a great deal. You may not have as much with the single wheel arrangement?

Steve, you have the V6 or the V4 twin turbo? I heard that the FOUR is a great engine as well and gets better MPG?

Finally, keep an eye on the DEF consumption. I was using an excessive amount of DEF and complained to Mercedes; they didn't do anything at first, but, my exhaust back pressure sensor failed, had that fixed and then the entire emissions system failed at 39,000 miles. Long story short, Mercedes replaced my entire emissions system right after that at 39,500 miles with everything brand new and updated software. I was extremely grateful to them for that.

I think that the Mercedes diesel engine is good for 250,000 to 500,000 miles on the base engine; it's the emissions system that has me concerned long term.

I noticed that Mercedes frowns on using bio-diesel, but, it's unavoidable when you're on the road. My only suggestion is to get the oil changed every 10,000 miles or once per year. My 2011 Sprinter is supposed to be changed every 10,000 miles anyway... I'm not sure how they determined that it could be expanded to 15,000 and then 20,000 miles. I'm sticking with the 10,000 miles intervals.
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Old 06-03-2019, 12:34 AM   #9
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Thanks, we have the V6 engine and our average miles per gallon so far for 37,000 miles is 18.3 (diesel engine, of course).
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Old 06-03-2019, 12:40 AM   #10
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Thanks, we have the V6 engine and our average miles per gallon so far for 37,000 miles is 18.3 (diesel engine, of course).
Steve, if I go 60 MPH on pretty flat straightaways using cruise control....I've been able to get 20 MPG....rare though because of high winds.... that cuts down on MPG....

One thing I love about the V6; it's very smooth, pretty quiet, has plenty of low end torque and rarely slows down on mountain roads.
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Old 06-03-2019, 01:15 AM   #11
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Check that the Defender tires are LT245/75R16. They might be type P tires, you can tell by looking at the size label. Just glanced at the Michelin site and did not see LT in that size for the Defender LTX. But saw a newer model called Agilis in that size.
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Old 06-03-2019, 04:01 AM   #12
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Check that the Defender tires are LT245/75R16. They might be type P tires, you can tell by looking at the size label. Just glanced at the Michelin site and did not see LT in that size for the Defender LTX. But saw a newer model called Agilis in that size.
That's because they have been discontinued in that size (but only in load range E). The reason I know is I bought a set 2 weeks ago date coded 45/18. So while they can be found, I believe you are correct they have been replaced by the Agilis which is a new offering.

Since I needed a new spare as well, I did not mind ordering a set that I could not replace in the future, since in the rare case I ruined a tire, the spare could just go on in it's place. They are indeed quiet and smooth riding. The Discount Tire salesman speculated that the tread pattern may not have been selling well in the heavy duty rated E range since it wasn't rugged looking enough since more go on trucks than motorhomes. I suspect he might be correct since the Agilis is a more all-terrain looking tread pattern. But a shame none the less.
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Old 06-03-2019, 02:10 PM   #13
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We bought the 2 Michelin LT 245/75R16 tires last week that are load range E; they are stamped Defender LTX and the manufacture dates are the 43rd week of 2018 / 8th week of 2019. Looks like these tires are still being made as of the end of February this year anyway.
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Old 06-06-2019, 08:09 PM   #14
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I got less than 30k miles on my 2013 Sprinter 2500 high roof, ext body, kuhmo tires and replaced them with Michelin (I think LTXMS model) and at 30k miles on these, they show very little wear. I am very pleased with Michelin. In regards to the brakes, our shoes are showing very little wear according to the Sprinter dealer at 60k. 13/32 rear and 12/32 front were the remaining thickness at 60k. This also was after 3 cross country trips from East Coast to CA, Or and WA. Crossed the rockies several times. I am a fanatic about using the downshifting and so is my wife. We are pretty close to the maximum vehicle weight as well. The Michelins ride a lot better than the stock tire, IMO, and handle better on slippery surfaces.
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Old 06-07-2019, 11:00 PM   #15
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Thanks for the information! I think our brakes were somehow damaged by a winter trip in January from upstate NY to FL and back. After that 4,000 mile road trip the Roadtrek sat until spring. I did wash the van upon return, but in reality did not spend extra time washing the brakes off. Road salt? Extra moisture? Any ideas why we could go from brakes in “good condition” at our “B” service in late October, 2018 (32,500 miles) to “needs replacement” at ~37,000 miles? I was surprised when we got the van out on the road in May to feel pulsing when applying the brakes / hearing a grinding noise as well.

Thanks,

Steve
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Old 06-07-2019, 11:55 PM   #16
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Thanks for the information! I think our brakes were somehow damaged by a winter trip in January from upstate NY to FL and back. After that 4,000 mile road trip the Roadtrek sat until spring. I did wash the van upon return, but in reality did not spend extra time washing the brakes off. Road salt? Extra moisture? Any ideas why we could go from brakes in “good condition” at our “B” service in late October, 2018 (32,500 miles) to “needs replacement” at ~37,000 miles? I was surprised when we got the van out on the road in May to feel pulsing when applying the brakes / hearing a grinding noise as well.

Thanks,

Steve
Steve, yes, maybe it was partly road salt, or excess moisture as you said.....

What I find interesting is your comment about the first 32,500 miles... where did most of this come from? And, you've had the vehicle through 3 complete winters in New York previously? All of a sudden 5,000 miles later you need your brakes replaced?

Well, I'd rather have had your problem than my 2012 failure of my generator... That's a lot more expensive than new brakes....

Brakes are super important,,,, like tires, never hurts to make sure they are perfect. Good luck.
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Old 06-08-2019, 01:26 PM   #17
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Hi Steve: I agree with Roadtrek. That is strange since the east coast trip has mostly hills instead of mountains. Was it all of your pads showing wear or just one set? During your Fl trip, were you in stop and go traffic due to the weather for any length of time?

I have seen new brake pads wear out in less than 3 weeks and 4k miles on fully loaded Chevy suburbans; however, they were emergency vehicles and our drivers drove them like they stole them. Lot's of city driving and going 0 to 60 for half a block and then braking for the rest. It was the heat that wore them down; not the salt or moisture.

If you only had one set of pads worn down, I would suspect a hanging caliper which could be due to salt and corrosion on the piston.

The other thought is what did the first inspector mean by "good"? Was it really good or just passing? My sprinter dealer always puts the pad thickness on my annual inspection report. Takes the sujectiveness out of the equation. Makes it easier to track. Next inspection ask them to document the actual thickness on your report if not done. I check my own pads when I rotate my tires.

If you had debris between your pads and rotor, I would suspect damage to your rotor as well.

As a matter of habit, I always do a 360 walk around the vehicle at rest stops. I look for physical damage, tire issues (like a bulging sidewall), and I touch all of my rims. If one is much hotter (like really hot), then I would suspect a hanging caliper. You should be able to smell it as well. Before any major trip, I'll take it out for a 20 mile or so trip to find problems before I depart (with enough time before a trip to fix any issues). This may be a mystery of life that you'll never know the answer to. Good luck and happy travels.
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Old 06-08-2019, 07:34 PM   #18
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Great comments, thanks! We had 8 mm left on the pads in front and 9 mm in the rear last fall. So I guess they were worn down quite a lot. My understanding is you’ll get a brake pad wear alarm at 2 mm, and new pads are (12-14 mm?). Anyway our big trip last fall was 10,000 miles over 5 1/2 weeks and through 18 National Parks. Lots of mountain driving out west. This January trip we made was our exception- normally we park the camper for the winter and avoid the snowy, salty roads. Finally I must admit I should have been more involved with the worn out brakes; our Mercedes Sprinter dealer 100 miles south in Albany, NY told me our brakes wouldn’t pass inspection a couple weeks ago and we went ahead and replaced both front and rear pads and rotors. Perhaps I could have gotten more life and now I wish I had gone into the shop and done a mutual inspection, but in my mind nearly 40K miles with such a heavy van seemed pretty good- but now I’m wondering! Thanks again for your input.

Steve
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Old 06-08-2019, 07:47 PM   #19
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Great comments, thanks! We had 8 mm left on the pads in front and 9 mm in the rear last fall. So I guess they were worn down quite a lot. My understanding is you’ll get a brake pad wear alarm at 2 mm, and new pads are (12-14 mm?). Anyway our big trip last fall was 10,000 miles over 5 1/2 weeks and through 18 National Parks. Lots of mountain driving out west. This January trip we made was our exception- normally we park the camper for the winter and avoid the snowy, salty roads. Finally I must admit I should have been more involved with the worn out brakes; our Mercedes Sprinter dealer 100 miles south in Albany, NY told me our brakes wouldn’t pass inspection a couple weeks ago and we went ahead and replaced both front and rear pads and rotors. Perhaps I could have gotten more life and now I wish I had gone into the shop and done a mutual inspection, but in my mind nearly 40K miles with such a heavy van seemed pretty good- but now I’m wondering! Thanks again for your input.

Steve
Steve, it's better to be safe than sorry... good job.
Yeah, driving mountain roads with badly worn brakes is not good.


----MARK
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Old 06-08-2019, 08:21 PM   #20
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Unless you use your Sprinter as an everyday driver I think you can get way more miles on your brakes than the assumed average. I have now over 200,000 miles on three Sprinter RVs and never had brakes replaced nor felt I needed them replaced. My current Sprinter has 81,000 miles on it and the last service conducted about 7,000 miles ago the Sprinter dealer said the brakes were still good. I kind of maybe feel I am about to replace them. No matter what I said, that is a lot of miles. I have an average of 45 mph on all driving. That indicates I have a lot of miles without using brakes. I do wonder if the transmission will go first as I do a lot of downshifting in mountain driving in order to not ride my brakes. I rarely drive in snow living in Minnesota so road salt hopefully is not a factor. In winter I go south.
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