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Old 10-16-2018, 10:37 PM   #1
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Default Cracking in tire sidewall

I just picked up a 1999 RT 190P. First time RV owner. The tread is fine but I see some small cracks in the sidewall of the tire. The tires are 2015 but have been sitting for about a year.

I took it to the tire shop and didn't quite get the answer I expected as they said it was fine. I'm not entirely sure they even looked at it. I attached a picture and just want to see if I'm am being over cautious or not. Thanks!
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Old 10-17-2018, 12:55 AM   #2
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I'd take it to another tire dealer that sells that brand and try for a warranty claim. No way I'd run on those.

EDIT: Were the tires manufactured in '2015 or sold in '2015? They are the oldest looking 3-yr. old tires I've ever seen. Verify the (WEEK/YEAR) date code on the sidewall.

Good luck, and please keep us informed.
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Old 10-17-2018, 01:08 AM   #3
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Are all of the tires like that, or was one side in the sun that entire year?
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Old 10-17-2018, 10:06 PM   #4
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Michelin tires have or used to have a tendency to develop fine cracking. This happened on our car a few years ago with a top line set of Michelins. I was told by the Michelin dealer that strength was not compromised and was also quite common. The car now has a set of Yokes on it that are now about four years old and about 2/3rds worn that have been excellent.
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Old 10-25-2018, 04:24 PM   #5
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Default Tire detread

My three and half year old Michellins with 47k miles had plenty of tread left but also cracking along the sidewalls. Tire shop told me tires looked good but the cracks bothered me so I was in the process of pricing new ones with plans to replace all five before an upcoming trip to FL. Unfortunately, in the meantime we had a tire detread at 65mph on the interstate. We were not overloaded, the tire pressure was correct, and the road was smooth. All of a sudden noticed a very slight shimmy in the steering wheel that didn't feel right. Within about 10 seconds it sounded like a gun going off in the rear of the RV when the tire detreaded and hit the underside. Fortunately it didn't completely blow and I was able to pull off to the side. Caused quite a bit of damage, but fortunately I was able to repair it myself (I'm sure it would've cost thousands at the dealer). Sent the tire to Michellin (at their expense) for analysis. They informed me they were unable to determine why the tire failed. They ended up paying me for a new tire and the repair materials. Replaced all five (including spare) tires and bought covers for them to protect from UV. Meticulously care for and monitor my tires since the Roadtrek 210's are so close to GVWR.
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Old 10-25-2018, 04:24 PM   #6
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I had same issue when I bought my 2002 RT 190. Michelin tires looked like yours but tire tread looked like new. After having driven the tires less than 500 miles I had a major blowout on the road. I was lucky it happened here in the city no more than 5 miles from my house. If I was you, get rid of them.
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Old 10-25-2018, 04:24 PM   #7
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I would replace them if they were mine. They should be Load Range E also and yours shone are C. One blowout could cost you much more in repairs than 4 new tires, not to mention your safety.
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Old 10-25-2018, 04:38 PM   #8
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There should be a manufacter date code on the tire.
I had a complete tire failure on my 97 RT.
Same deal....tons of tread.
Looked fine, except for the fine side wall cracks.
And it just came apart completly.
Be safe! If in doubt...replace them.
Eddie
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Old 10-25-2018, 08:10 PM   #9
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Default Michelin sidewall check specifications

Even someone who is fairly knowledgable has to make a subjective cost vs risk decision.

Michelin put out a picture guide to acceptable and unacceptable sidewall checking/ cracking that may be available online. Google Michelin tire sidewall crack pictures if you want the factory perspective. This may help you decide.

The DOT date of manufacture code on one side of each tire is read (as an example) DOT 3015, meaning manufactured the 30th month of 2015. That information also may help you decide.

Most of the passenger tire failures that I have had have have been early in the life of the tire. So based on my experience age is not the primary determinant. BUT PERSONAL EXPERIENCE IS NO SUBSTITUTE FOR SERIOUS RESEARCH DATA.

As an aside,
Congress required NHTSA to run accelerated age testing on tires after the Firestone blow out and Ford Explorer roll over debacle. If you read the actual study results you will find that some brands showed no evidence of failures through the entire test sequence while every sample of some brands failed during the early phase of the test when subjected to high heat and high oxygen levels. I dont recall how Michelins scored in those tests. The test results are available on line.

MIchelins have been infamous for early and scary looking sidewall checking.

Michelin, Nevada DOT and the Recreational Vehicle Industry Manufacturers Association put out a remarkable Youtube training video on how to prevent RV tire blow out loss of control accidents. Google it if you decide to continue to use your existing tires.

Most of the Chevy 3500 chassis Roadtrek 190 models since at least 2004 have come with larger 245 or 265 rather than 225 sized tires which you show in your photos. Everything else being equal, larger tires are generally better if approved by the vehicle manufacturer.

Tire failure courses I have attended point to under inflation and overloading as the overwhelming cause of tire failures. Tire pressure monitoring systems (TPMS) were required by regulation to help with underinflation heat and flex issues.
The third cause of failure was manufacturing defects (workmanship and materials) which can show up early or late.

As mentioned, NHTSA age failuer testing gave huge variability based on the tire's manufacturer. (Again. Data available online)

Of course older tires accumulate underinflation, overload, and abuse risks that sometimes even the original owner was oblivious too.

BJ
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Old 10-25-2018, 08:25 PM   #10
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Someone with a Great West B about a mile from me had a blow out that cost thousands.

I had to replace the factory tires (2) at 7 years with tread.

Bud
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Old 10-25-2018, 09:43 PM   #11
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Bud,
Your comment is a critical part of the decision making about replacing tires.
A tire blowout on an RV can result in RV body damage, brake line damage, plumbing/tank damage, loss of controll, accident, injury even death.
The question that each operator has to answer for themselves is how likely are the risks in their circumstances and how does that play into the cost picture.
To offer a thought in terms of risk, in maybe 3 to 4 million miles of driving I can recall experiencing one passenger vehicle tire blowout, which was easy for me to handle and caused no damage. This occured way before FMSS 139 which dramatically improved passenger tire reliability by the way.
I also know that my experience does not represent statistically significant science nor do occasional catastrophic events we hear about constitute good science ( although being human they certainly color our perspectives.)

We all want simple rules to follow for safety. So most of us turn to the tire manufacturer's recommendations knowing there are variables the tire manufacturer can't account for.
Bob
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Old 10-26-2018, 03:49 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fishalert View Post
I would replace them if they were mine. They should be Load Range E also and yours shone are C. One blowout could cost you much more in repairs than 4 new tires, not to mention your safety.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bjones7788 View Post
Most of the Chevy 3500 chassis Roadtrek 190 models since at least 2004 have come with larger 245 or 265 rather than 225 sized tires which you show in your photos. Everything else being equal, larger tires are generally better if approved by the vehicle manufacturer.

BJ
Moab
Good spots Fishalert & Bjones!

Anyone not running proper tires (size and load rating) for their RV has much more potential for problems than just side cracks. The tire sticker on the driver's door should be strictly followed.
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Old 10-26-2018, 01:06 PM   #13
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With used equipment we also do not know how the tires were maintained. How many miles were they run overloaded or low on air?
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Old 10-26-2018, 03:15 PM   #14
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Thinking back over time, even though I can only recal one blowout on a passenger tire in 3 to 4 million miles of driving, I have found delamination bubbles on tires prior to having a flat by carefully inspecting them when I could detect a minor vibration in the steering wheel or vehicle structure such as arm rest at relatively slow speeds which tipped me off to look for a tire problem. Memory brings up maybe 6 times that I have found a tire going bad before it went flat that way so there were probably more. One was within 150 miles of purchasing a new 3/4 ton Suburban, so it was a new tire. I guess the message here is that paying attention might help prevent a blowout. Other than Porsches and Vettes almost everything I have driven a lot has been on a full size passenger truck platform running loads range E or F tires which might help account for absense of blowouts over so many years and miles.
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Old 11-08-2018, 03:32 AM   #15
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Default Thanks for the input.

3 of the tires were from early 2015 and 1 was from 2016. The vehicle sat for a year and you could really tell which side of the tire was down. Being new to the game I just went with the conservative decision and got new tires. I just wanted one less thing to worry about. I kept the 2016 as a spare.

Now I can start cruising with a little piece of mind. Thanks everyone for the input.
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Old 11-08-2018, 01:28 PM   #16
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From all I have studied and been informed is that you need to replace an RV tire at 6 years from manufactory date. Even if the tread looks new, replace. An RV is not like your family car. Lots of damage can happen when the tire blows. I had a HI-LO 24' trailer and the tread separated from the tire but did not lose air. Lots of damage to the floor of the trailer from the tread destroying the metal inside wheel cover, which worked into the wood floor.

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Old 11-08-2018, 07:08 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mypilotlife View Post
3 of the tires were from early 2015 and 1 was from 2016. The vehicle sat for a year and you could really tell which side of the tire was down. Being new to the game I just went with the conservative decision and got new tires. I just wanted one less thing to worry about. I kept the 2016 as a spare.

Now I can start cruising with a little piece of mind. Thanks everyone for the input.
Good move. Now you have peace of mind regarding your tires.

Now familiarize yourself with the rest of your rig, fix or modify to your preference, and give us camping report!

Safe travels.
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