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Old 11-01-2018, 10:54 PM   #1
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Default Tires, Suspension, Step by Step

I've had my Roadtrek 2015 109P for a month now. We've driven about 3,000 miles. I need new tires, an alignment, and I want to add bilstein shocks at a minimum. I'm NOT mechanically oriented.

So here's the detail questions i have.. If i missed anything, please let me know...

1. FMCA seems like it'll save me about $33 a tire. What DOT date range is reasonable to expect on new MICHELIN 245/75R16 defenders ?

2. Do i get the alignment before, or after i get the tires changed, presuming i don't get the tires done at the same place ?

3. What type of a shop do I look for to do the shocks and alignment (and maybe the tires too) ? My local chevy dealer doesn't handle many RV's..

4. Is there a "special type" of alignment to ask for ?

5. The TPMS sensors are 4 years old now. Do i spring for the larger $$$ to replace them or can i go with external stem sensors ? I'm hoping to find sensors that i can monitor from an onboard android tablet. Any recommendations on apps that could do that would be great..

6. Has anyone gotten tires through the FMCA before ? how does the program work ?

7. Is it worthwhile to also add Sumo Springs at the same time i'm getting the rest of the work ? I don't want to go the airbag route, but i would like to have some add'l clearance..

Thanks...
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Old 11-02-2018, 02:23 AM   #2
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I can recommend a tire/ alignment shop in Lake County in Leesburg. Barnett Tire. They've been in business over 50 years and have an alignment rack that will accept a large van and carry Michelin and other tires. I put on a set of BF Goodrich 245/75x16 load range E tires there, $700 OTD including new high pressure stems and had an alignment there also. They would also be able to install the shocks.

I've also had exhaust work done at Haines Creek Auto Repair in Leesburg, just this week on the Roadtrek. Seems like a squared away honest shop that also does alignments, tires and shocks. They were also doing a tune up on another Roadtrek.
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Old 11-02-2018, 04:12 AM   #3
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Just got a set of Michelin defenders at Costco, good price and dated 32nd week of 2018.
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Old 11-02-2018, 12:15 PM   #4
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$700 OTD is a good price. I replace mine in pairs, and recently paid $200 apiece for Michelin Defenders in greater Houston. Maybe I'll shop around for my next pair.

I used a second shop for alignment (a Mom 'n' Pop), as the tire shop didn't have a high-enough bay.
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Old 11-02-2018, 01:59 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InterBlog View Post
$700 OTD is a good price. I replace mine in pairs, and recently paid $200 apiece for Michelin Defenders in greater Houston. Maybe I'll shop around for my next pair.

I used a second shop for alignment (a Mom 'n' Pop), as the tire shop didn't have a high-enough bay.
My last trip I wound up replacing the tires with Cooper Discovery ht in Minnesota, $727 otd. I do like them better. Quieter and seem to handle decently. They are prone to hold on to small rocks, though, at least with the new deep tread.

I do understand that tire prices have gone up lately.

I used to use Michelin tires exclusively until I had the side crack issues.
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Old 11-04-2018, 05:33 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bwolfsohn View Post
I've had my Roadtrek 2015 109P for a month now. We've driven about 3,000 miles. I need new tires, an alignment, and I want to add bilstein shocks at a minimum. I'm NOT mechanically oriented.

So here's the detail questions i have.. If i missed anything, please let me know...

1. FMCA seems like it'll save me about $33 a tire. What DOT date range is reasonable to expect on new MICHELIN 245/75R16 defenders ? You should expect tire manufacture codes no earlier than 3-6 mos. before your purchase.

2. Do i get the alignment before, or after i get the tires changed, presuming i don't get the tires done at the same place ? Why not wait until after, especially since you're considering a lift.

3. What type of a shop do I look for to do the shocks and alignment (and maybe the tires too) ? My local chevy dealer doesn't handle many RV's. Ask friends and family for recommendations, then call the shops and make sure the have a 10,000 lb. lift and 10 ft. height clearance.

4. Is there a "special type" of alignment to ask for ? You probably just need "front-end". I doubt you need (or that your van can even be) "4-wheel" alignment.

5. The TPMS sensors are 4 years old now. Do i spring for the larger $$$ to replace them or can i go with external stem sensors ? I'm hoping to find sensors that i can monitor from an onboard android tablet. Any recommendations on apps that could do that would be great. Keep the Chevy factory TPMS by just replacing wheel sensors as per your tire installer and factory recommendations.

6. Has anyone gotten tires through the FMCA before ? how does the program work ? I have not.

7. Is it worthwhile to also add Sumo Springs at the same time i'm getting the rest of the work ? I don't want to go the airbag route, but i would like to have some add'l clearance. Check out the posts on this forum by reading some of them here: [B]/search.php?searchid=778468]Class B Forums - Search Results A lot to digest and you're entering expensive & tricky territory doing a lift.

Thanks...

See above. ...........................
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Old 11-04-2018, 06:44 PM   #7
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A couple of comments on the alignment.



Get it after you get the tires on.


Don't bother with the alignment if you are going to lift either end, or both, until all the lifting is done and settled for a couple hundred miles. Lifting either end will change the settings.



4 wheel alignment is a waste of money unless that is all they have for a aligning equipment, so you should get a lower than posted price even if they need to hook up the rear sensors to get the machine to work. There is nothing they can adjust in the rear anyway.


Don't just settle for getting the specs "into the green" of the full range, as there is so much tolerance there it can be quite bad. Pay a bit extra, if needed, to get it aligned to your specs.



We, and others, have found the following to be very good for the Chevies for settings.


Camber 1/8 to 1/4 degree positive both sides. Never positive on one side and negative on the other


Caster as much positive as they can get while staying with the camber above and making sure to have .3-.5 degree more on the right than the left.


Toe set at 1/16" t0 1/8" in, never out. If the front end parts are worn 1/8" to 1/4" in.
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Old 11-04-2018, 08:33 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by booster View Post
A couple of comments on the alignment.



Get it after you get the tires on.
That's the plan..

Don't bother with the alignment if you are going to lift either end, or both, until all the lifting is done and settled for a couple hundred miles. Lifting either end will change the settings.
only going to do shocks now.


4 wheel alignment is a waste of money unless that is all they have for a aligning equipment, so you should get a lower than posted price even if they need to hook up the rear sensors to get the machine to work. There is nothing they can adjust in the rear anyway.
Thank you..

We, and others, have found the following to be very good for the Chevies for settings.

Camber 1/8 to 1/4 degree positive both sides. Never positive on one side and negative on the other

Caster as much positive as they can get while staying with the camber above and making sure to have .3-.5 degree more on the right than the left.

Toe set at 1/16" t0 1/8" in, never out. If the front end parts are worn 1/8" to 1/4" in.

Do these apply to a 2015 190P as well as your older units ?
Thanks so much for all the info...
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Old 11-04-2018, 08:50 PM   #9
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AFAIK, the Chevy Express has not changed anything since about 2004 for the front end stuff.
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Old 11-05-2018, 02:37 AM   #10
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If your vehicle is handling fine now, and current tires are not wearing unevenly, just get the new tires and shocks. They will make the most difference.

My '2011 chassis with 35,000 miles has had no front end work and tires track straight and wear evenly. But I replaced the 6 yr. old OEM shocks with pricy Koni FSD's last year and wow, what a difference! Ride motions are VERY well controlled now. I hear good things about Bilsteins as well.
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