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Ask Dave: New-to-us Class A was stored 7 years. Questions about tires and generator

Dear Dave,
We bought this Class A with only 3,000 miles on it. The motorhome was stored in a covered area, but not climate controlled. The tires are not cracking—they look brand-new. Should we replace them? Also the generator will not start. Gas sat in it for 7 years. Do you think we will have to put a new carburetor in it or just have this cleaned? —Carlene, 2015 28′ Winnebago Vista Class A

Dear Carlene,
According to the Winnebago website and brochure, you most likely have a 27N model which is 28’3” and is on the Ford 18,000# GVWR chassis with 19.5” Michelin tires. According to the recent Michelin Owner’s Guide, the tires should be replaced after 10 years regardless of their visual condition. Since your rig is a 2015, it’s most likely your chassis is a 2014 and the tires could even be older than that. There is information stamped on the side of the tire that will indicate the year of your tire.

Check the tires for imperfections

I would suggest inspecting the tires very closely to see if there are any imperfections in the sidewall such as cracking or blistering? If they look good, I believe you should be OK, as they are probably under the 10-year recommendation. However, here is a picture of a 2015 we will be shooting video of next month that is on a 2015 Thor product on a Ford chassis. The tire was manufactured in the 22nd week of the year 2014. There are some slight cracks that I would be leery of.

I’m not too concerned about the slight cracks around the info on the tire. However, there are several in other areas of the tire. Michelin did produce a “weather checking” guide that you can use to verify if the cracks are too severe.

Concerned about generator and fuel in gas tank

As for the generator, I would suspect you have some varnishing that has occurred since the gas sat for several years and it’s either a rebuild or replacement of the carb. I would also be concerned about the fuel in the gas tank as it would have broken down and could have some serious condensation. That would result in not only water/moisture, but rust, as well.

I would recommend having the tank drained and cleaned by a certified fuel technician and replacing the fuel filters in the chassis as well as the generator.

Dave Solberg is a leading expert in the RV industry and author of the “RV Handbook” as well as the Managing Editor of the RV Repair Club.

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TexasScout
4 months ago

The date on the side of the tire is not Month/Year, but WEEK of year/year

Thomas D
4 months ago

You can change the carb? Do it go to Amazon I’ll be less than Onan wants
Dumping what’s in the tank makes sense and new filters for anything that needs it
Before I knew about Amazon I had Cummins onan change the carb
Out of camper and cost me $230 for a few minutes work. (19 years ago) I was dumb

Bill H.
4 months ago

Change ALL fluids (engine oil and coolant, transmission fluid, brake fluid), replace ALL belts and hoses, replace all of the tires, rebuild or replace the genny carburetor, drain as much fuel as possible. As suggested below, the genny fuel line may allow you to drain up to 3/4 of the fuel. (Mine will not allow the genny to draw below 1/4 tank.) Fill with fresh fuel and run it for a few hours (at least 1/4 tank of fuel), then replace the fuel filter(s) and then run it again until it’s down to 1/2 tank then refill with fuel and your potential fuel problems will be minimized. Stay off of the road until ALL of the above are done because you want to be on the safe side. Then fill up with fresh fuel and at that point you can probably take it on the road without fear of some kind of a break down, but I would still only recommend driving it locally for another 1/2 tank of fuel so that IF something happens, you’re a short tow to home or the garage.

Dr. Mike
4 months ago
Reply to  Bill H.

Don’t forget to change out the batteries as well

Gary
4 months ago

Replace the tires, clean the genny carb, see how much gas you can get out of the tank with the genny fuel line. Dump a bunch of Sea Foam type fuel system cleaner, fill it up with fresh gas and drive it. Have some spare fuel filters to replace the old ones.

Spike
4 months ago

Personally I would replace the tires.

While Michelin does recommend a MAX of 10 years, they also recommend tire removal and professional annual inspection at, I believe, 7 years and older. At a minimum, have the tires removed and inspected.

Glenn A
4 months ago

Better to err on the side of safety. Replace the tires and you’re good for years to come.

Bob
4 months ago

The tires may look good on the outside, but may have cracking and checking inside. I had a ’92 F 150 and picked up a small nail. The tire tech showed me the inside of the tire. It had cracks that looked like the ‘reject’ picture. Tires were 6 years old but only had 14k miles on them. All the tires looked the same. They all got replaced.

Primo Rudy's Roadhouse
4 months ago

So one question is: should I replace or just clean the generator? You said yes, replace or clean. Which one? Again, only partially answering the question

STEVE
4 months ago

Dave suggested replacing or cleaning the carburetor. Either one would take care of the gas degradation that will have occurred. Sometimes it’s cheaper/easier to replace than to repair.
RTQ.

Ron
4 months ago

Replace the tires and carburetor. Clean fuel system.

tom
4 months ago

Replace the tires. Clean the entire fuel system. Good luck with the genset.

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