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Old 07-23-2009, 02:43 PM   #1
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Default It may be new tire time......

I've read posts from Ron and marko et al about their experiences with tires and replacing them.
Just wondering where to get some replacements for our '02 RT C190P?
I believe they're LT245 75R16E sized Bridgestones on it right now. They're not too bad, but
will probably need replaced soon.
Can anyone recommend a decent tire/price/place to buy (sorry, in Canada might be nice,
but in the States works too I suppose ). I've seen Michelins mentioned. I've had them in the
past, for other applications and had good experiences.
If Formula One is anything to go by, they say the Michelins are a softer rubber compound
than the Bridgestones. Not sure if this is relevant when talking about RV tires.
I've googled and checked Canadian Tire, but some comments are negative about their stuff.
Maybe I should consider GM for replacements?
I'm also wondering about going to a 17" tire to get better mileage. Anyone ever looked into this?

Comments or suggestions?
ty.
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Old 07-23-2009, 03:54 PM   #2
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Default Re: It may be new tire time......

FWIW, I'd stop debating with myself after mentioning Michelin. I've had them on everything since the '70s when I was first introduced to a set on a company Pontiac Station Wagon that I put a lot of miles on and found them to be indestructable. I have Michelons on my van. Third set now, since buying it in 1995 with Coopers on it that went away quickly. My tires are the factory recommended (and GM dealership endorsed) LTX M/S version. When I had bigger rigs (Class C and A,) they were also outfitted with Michelins and no thought given to tires after that -- other than regular pre-travel air pressure check.

Other's results may vary, but I don't think I'd change my mind after this many years of un-troubled success with them. Price-wise, incidentally, I find that I buy them more than $200 cheaper for a set of four here in the Ozarks than an RVing friend in St. Louis could after shopping around.
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Old 07-24-2009, 12:18 AM   #3
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Default Re: It may be new tire time......

Thanks Vern. I've always had good luck with Michies. They ride smooth and stick like glue.
I think they might be the way to go, but I'm waiting to hear back from the local GM dealer.
Any thoughts on going to a larger rim size (17"), for the mileage? It looks like a 17" or even
an 18" tire/rim would fit in the wheel wells.
I need an automotive engineer for this one i guess.
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Old 07-24-2009, 04:50 AM   #4
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Default Re: It may be new tire time......

FWIW, I read on one of the RT Forums recently about folks recommending tires, etc. One of the folks sent an e-mail direct to Michelin about the tires for his year RT, believe 190P. He posted the response, and in a capsule Michelin recommended their XPS tires. I had seen numerous Trekkers say they had put them on their vehicle and it provided a great ride. While on the subject of tires, there was a lengthy discussion about the "manufactured date" for the tires. Michelin had come in and said the idea that someone would not take a tire manufacturered longer than "x" date; Michelin said they warrant their tires from date of sale, and also that quite possibly that size, series tires have not been manufactured for a while - due to not having a heavy demand. We know they will cost a bundle, so you might also make a query of Michelin. As for where, I have read the "warehouses, Sam's, CosCo, have great deals.
Let us know what your final resolve is, we're all going to face this eventually.
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Old 07-24-2009, 09:16 AM   #5
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Default Re: It may be new tire time......

I don't think I'd change wheel size, Ron. The manufacturer of the chassis spent a lot of bucks on engineering to put the combination together.
To alter the wheel size can't accomplish much in mileage and might accomplish something you wouldn't want, I fear.
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Old 07-24-2009, 03:55 PM   #6
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Default Re: It may be new tire time......

That was me that was wondering about the tire size/gas mileage thing, Vern.
I'm not going to do anything that would compromise safety, and I know
there was some engineering involved in determining the factory shipped
size of the wheels and tires. I'm just curious about it.
Still waiting for the GM guys to get back to me.

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Old 07-24-2009, 05:58 PM   #7
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Default Re: It may be new tire time......

Mike - you're always thinking of something I like that and also that you share your ideas here for open discussion.

I think your speedometer reading would be wrong with larger diameter tires. Maybe it could be adjusted. I don't know if it would be fast or slow.

I always figured I would try to get the same brand and model of tires that were on my RT when it came time to replace them. I was very satisfied with the Bridgestones it came with. Of course if they were too expensive I'd look for an alternative.
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Old 07-24-2009, 10:26 PM   #8
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Default Re: It may be new tire time......

That's such a nice way to dance around using the term "crackpot".

I still haven't heard back from the local GM guys, so I sent the same questions to
the GM dealer I used to deal with when I lived nearer to them. So far, nada from either.

Since you asked, try this little beauty out when you have time.
http://www.1010tires.com/tiresizecalculator.asp

It has a few disclaimers and warnings below the actual data areas, and one refers
to the potential for brake failure by "plus sizing" more than 3%. It also says it's not
absolute in accuracy. But it is cool!!!
After running some numbers, the only way to get any sort of meaningful increase in
gas mileage, would involve increasing the diameter to 18", which would put the gain
in the 6% range, which is double the acceptable amount of recommended modification.
It also gives data regarding speedometer variance, and tire revolutions per mile.
I'll guess the best I could do would be about 3% from an increase to a 17" rim/tire.
So I'd save about $30 in gas for every $1000 spent. Not sure if it's worth it.
Still, I'll wait for the opinions of experts, before tanking this one.

Mike.
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Old 08-13-2009, 02:28 AM   #9
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Default Re: It may be new tire time......

As expected, GM Canada responded with "we only recommend OEM tires and size specs".
So, today when I got the oil changed I asked the service manager and he said he knew
that many people aren't impressed with the OEM original tire size specs and routinely
go larger. He also said he had a customer go to an oversized rim/tire and GM wouldn't
provide a program mod to adjust his odo/speedo computer readings to compensate.
I guess they've got enough to worry about without adding any non-standard tire size liabilities to their list.

The quest continues. I should get one more longish trip out of my current rubber.
After that, I have to decide which way to go. I like Michelins.

Updates to follow (as usual).

btw, I checked the prices of Michelin LTX M/S in the oem size and they're about
C$275 + 13% tax each, installed. Can somebody recommend a better place than
GM to get a set? Canadian Tire also has them for about the same price. I've googled, but
I don't think online tire sales are the way to go. I can't seem to get any real tire dealers.
To my American friends on here, where do you get yours and how much do you pay on average
for them? If I stay in the US for 7 days, I can import $750 duty free, and so can my wife.
So, "buy American" might not just be applicable for you guys.
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Old 08-19-2009, 12:08 AM   #10
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Default Re: It may be new tire time......

Regarding size of tires. I've been corresponding with a gent on RVNet who used to be a parts desk
phone order guy for a parts distributor, and also was a salesman for cars and trucks in a previous incarnation.
He said the better choice if you want to plus size a bit on your tires would be a slightly taller
LT235/85R16E as it fits the stock rim, and won't stress the engine (5.7L) or the brakes.
As for the type, I think BF Goodrich All Season T/A Commercials might be the way to go.
They fit all the technical requirements and are less exoensive than the Michelin LTX M/S.
And, they're made by Michelin (I think?). They're touted as being a bit stiffer with an extra
mm of tread depth than the regular T/A Radials. I'm hoping they won't be noisy at highway
speeds.

As far as where to get them, I'm leaning towards Costco (requires a membership $57.75/annum)
or possibly Walmart. Both companies offer really good pricing and if purchased during a 7 day trip
to the US, they will be importable (set of 4) without duty charges by me alone.
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Old 08-19-2009, 02:43 AM   #11
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Default Re: It may be new tire time......

I have always liked BF Goodrich tires and have used them for years. They are quiet, ride nice reasonable priced and last a long time. I always get at least 50.000 miles out of them on a 4x4 Suburban. Don't like to run tires much longer than that anyway. Not sure what size you can go to but I deal with a custom shop and he knows exactly what will fit where.
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Old 08-22-2009, 06:15 PM   #12
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Default Re: It may be new tire time......

If I might ask, where is your custom shop located?
I'm in the Niagara area of Ontario, Canada.
Might be worth my time to go for a drive sometime.
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Old 08-23-2009, 04:58 AM   #13
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Default Re: It may be new tire time......

Quote:
[He said the better choice if you want to plus size a bit on your tires would be a slightly taller
LT235/85R16E as it fits the stock rim, and won't stress the engine (5.7L) or the brakes.
If it will fit and if you are only looking for an increase in tire diameter that sounds like the way to go. It has the same load capacity and it might even ride better because of the taller sidewall.

Lots of things to look at when you go up in wheel/tire size.
Not only do you have to buy new wheels that fit the tires, but they have to be the right combination of width and offset so they are not going to rub under any conditions.
A 17 or 18 inch tire would have to have a lower sidewall height , 70 or 65, so it is not too tall. Then it will not ride as good.
If it has a higher load carrying capacity it will have stiffer sidewalls and ride even harder unless you run less air pressure. Lower air pressure usually means lower MPG.
If it is wider it will have more drag and also affect MPG's. Same with the maybe extra weight of the tire/wheel combination.
A larger diameter tire/wheel will lower RPM's but too much could make the engine have to work harder also
lowering MPG's.
You can buy a programmer and reprogram the computer to correct the speedometer/odometer and increase the HP and Torque but from what I have seen that increase only comes at WOT, not at cruising speed where it might help mileage.
Just some things to think about if you haven't already.
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Old 08-24-2009, 12:59 AM   #14
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Default Re: It may be new tire time......

Thanks for the input. It all helps. I may just stay with the OEM sizing, but I plan to get a set
in the USA next time we're down there. A set of 4 BF Goodrich Commercial T/A's are C$986
out the door pricing, at Costco in Canada.
I'm sure I can get the same tires cheaper, even with the exchange rate, down south.
Mike.
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Old 08-24-2009, 04:31 AM   #15
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Default Re: It may be new tire time......

Quote:
If I stay in the US for 7 days, I can import $750 duty free, and so can my wife.
I am not suggesting anything but if you drive into the US with four tires on the Van and drive home with four tires on the Van how would anyone know if you bought anything? Just curious how it works.
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Old 08-24-2009, 05:57 AM   #16
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Default Re: It may be new tire time......

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike
If I might ask, where is your custom shop located?
I'm in the Niagara area of Ontario, Canada.
Might be worth my time to go for a drive sometime.
Mike,
The shop I deal with is in Prospect Park just outside of Philadelphia. He does 4x4 trucks and vans. I am sure there are similar shops near you. Usually they are more knowledgeable about these kind of things.
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Old 08-25-2009, 03:05 PM   #17
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Default Re: It may be new tire time......

Thanks Pete, there probably are, I just don't know which ones to trust, after I've run into
some pretty dumb people at some "specialty shops" recently. Sorta puts you off the experts
if you know what I mean.
Still, I'll check around.
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Old 08-25-2009, 03:24 PM   #18
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Default Re: It may be new tire time......

Quote:
Originally Posted by FLSTFI
Quote:
If I stay in the US for 7 days, I can import $750 duty free, and so can my wife.
I am not suggesting anything but if you drive into the US with four tires on the Van and drive home with four tires on the Van how would anyone know if you bought anything? Just curious how it works.
It doesn't work too well if they notice, and ask about your shiny new tires.
I know what you're saying, and it would probably be deemed a fluke if they did stop you and ask,
and then pursue it or challenge you. I believe the burden of proof would be on you to prove you
didn't buy them in the USA. I suppose you could say you forgot, or didn't think they counted because
you needed them to continue your travels, or something like that. It might work.

I don't know how much info they have on anyone visiting the US or Canada, or whether
things like debit or credit card transactions are tracked, or even large cash withdrawls,
because the card is foreign, and the amount is large, but they could be. If VISA or
MASTERCARD know who/what/where/how much, then it's reasonable (although some might
say a bit paranoid) to assume the info is out there somewhere in cyberspace,
and who besides them might have, or require, access to it? Even the IRS might have access,
I don't know.
Bottom line as I see it is, if you ever get caught smuggling (which is the official offense, I believe),
you'll be searched every time you enter or exit forever. That's if they let you back in.
So, as long as the totals don't exceed $750 per adult person, per 7 day stay, you're OK.
I'd rather pay a few dollars in duty, than have to deal with the consequences.
Besides, we already get searched enough because of the "cargo capacity" of our van!!!
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Old 02-08-2010, 05:06 PM   #19
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Default Re: It may be new tire time......

Hi again,
I hate to wake up an old thread but here goes. We're probably heading south (US) again, beginning of March.
We never did replace the tires last summer, as they weren't quite as ready to replace as I first thought,
but now I think we are ready to go with new rubber.

My questions are to anyone who's ever bought replacement tires for their rig in the US of A.
Does anyone have any specific experience with tire purchases at any of the major places you can get better (?)
pricing, like Costco, Walmart, or Discount Tire? Anyone dealt with any of them and had negative experiences
with installations or warranty work? How much lead time do you need to get LT245 75R16E Michelins at a
particular location? We'd be buying them in the USA and paying the duty if applicable on our return.
I guess Discount Tire say they are OK with drive in purchases, but would they carry a good catalog of light
truck tires? We don't want to have to burn a day (or more) of our trip waiting for tires to be delivered if
they don't stock them. Are there any other outlets like Discount Tire that are everywhere down in the US?
Does anyone know much about Costco or Walmart? We're Costco members up here, so I think that's also good in
the States, and I think Walmart would be good for cross border warranty work, if required.

As always, thanks for your help, thoughts, and recommendations,
Mike.
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Old 03-15-2010, 10:42 PM   #20
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Default Re: It may be new tire time......

Well, after doing the usual amount of online research (beating it to death) and sending
emails all over the continent, I'm down to Michelin LTX M/S or LTX A/T 2 tires.
Anyone tried either of these models and what experiences have you gained?
I'm leaning towards the slightly more aggressive tread patterned AT2. I can probably
live with a bit more road noise, and a slightly harder ride, to get a better tire for
slogging through an occasionally mucky or rocky campground or roadway.

Any opinions?

btw,
Discount Tire has an out the door price of US$940 for 4 A/T2 tires in Jacksonville, FL.
Canadian Tire wanted C$1250 for 4 LTX M/S out the door, and KalTire wanted about
the same for 4 of the LTX A/T 2 tires.
I may have to NOT shop local.
Anyone ever dealt with Discount Tire? Pros, cons, warnings, praise?
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