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Thursday, September 18, 2014

Do you want to change your RV's wheels?


by Roger Marble

Here are some things to consider regarding changing the wheels on an RV.

For most RV owners, the wheels that came with the RV when new should work just fine. If you are running the original size tire and have confirmed you do not need to increase the Load Range of your tires to carry more load with a higher inflation, there is no reason to change your wheels, unless you have damaged one.

Now, if you want to change the look of your unit and switch to special chrome or aluminum wheels, then there are a number of things you need to consider:

What is the maximum load capacity of the new wheels?

What is the rated inflation of the new wheels?

Are they the same width and flange contour? This means the official size is identical, such as 16x7J. Note the letter is the shape of the area that contacts the tire. You should not change letters such as changing from a J to a K. One is not better than the other, but tires are designed for a specific flange shape.

Finally, if you run duals, then the "offset" dimension is very important. If you go smaller, your tires may rub, which could cause a problem.

All of the dimensions and ratings need to be stamped into the wheel or in writing from the manufacturer. I strongly urge you not to just take the word of the person selling the wheels.

If you think you need to change the wheels because you are changing tire size or rating to carry more load, you need to work closely with the supplier to be sure you are not overloading the axle, springs or other suspension components, the dimensions of the new wheels will properly fit the hub and bolts, and the offset will not allow the tires to rub.

Tires intended for dual application have specified clearance called "Dual Spacing," so be sure to confirm that dimension from the tire manufacturer before you go wheel shopping.



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Thursday, August 28, 2014

Strange wear on front of Class-A

Jim said:  "I attended one of your programs at the (FMCA) Redmond rally.  It was most interesting, and it convinced me that you may be the one person who has the background to identify the cause of my issue.  I’ve shown the photos to about 4 different dealers of Goodyear RV tire dealers and I’ve gotten 4 different answers.  I’ve also sketched the phenomena for the service manager at Josam alignment in Orlando, and he says it’s just typical of Goodyear tires, with no way to correct the situation.  It’s also been identified as “rivering,” which has been the subject of numerous posts on RV forums.
My coach is a 2011 34’ Newmar Ventana, on a Freightliner chassis.  I have had the coach weighed and, based on weight plus a safety factory, run them at about 85 PSI cold.  The deeper wear groove at the first groove happens on both the inside and the outside of both front tires, but not on the rear duals.
If you would be so kind as to respond with your thoughts it would be most appreciated.
 Jim S,
 Summerfield, FL (but currently on the road)"
 
Here are the pictures Jim Sent

 First I have to say, I wish everyone sending pictures of a tire condition took as good pictures as Jim did.
Well lit and close enough to clearly see the condition in question.
Anyway, here was  my reply:
" Jim,  Glad you enjoyed the seminar. Yes that is classical "Rivering". This is not something that only happens to Goodyear tires but is also seen on other brands. Its also not seen on all Goodyears either. It is a combination of tread pattern (design) and the selection of components and materials for the tire specification and the suspension characteristics of the vehicle. We design engineers do work at avoiding it but it is something that doesn't normally show up in our accelerated testing early in the design process so sometimes we can not "fix" it.

In my opinion, it is not a safety concern, but just a wear issue.
The best thing you could do is to swap out the two fronts for one of the set of duals. Now you do need to confirm the OD of the two tires going on as a set of duals is within 1/4".  The best way to confirm that is to measure the Outside Circumference while fully inflated and confirm the OC is within 3/4" of each other. Do the measurement before any tire dismounting is done to save $.
I don't know what wheels you have and sometimes you need to swap wheels sometimes not when moving from front to back.
I did a post or two on my blog and even a YouTube video on RVTravel channel on the topic and importance of matching duals. Just select from the list of "labels" displayed on the right side of my blog page for all the posts concerning DUALS.
Normally "Big Rigs" do not need tire rotation but this is one of the few times it is the correct course of action.

Hope this helps."


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