with RV tire expert Roger Marble
A post on an RV forum caught my eye:
“In 2014, when I bought my RV trailer, I immediately went to Discount Tire for 6 Michelin XPS Rib truck tires. I don’t baby them, I barely pay any attention to them, they’ve never been at 80 psi, and they have been wearing fine for 5 years. Been all over the U.S. with no issues. Yet I see new trailers coming into the dealership where I work with blown tires just coming from Indiana. Chinese bombs need to be outlawed.”
It’s unlikely they will be outlawed given the price sensitivity in the RV market. Unfortunately, many folks buy when the quoted price is just a monthly amount that is so low they will always be “underwater” on their purchase. The RV industry seems to only focus on making the sale. As long as it feels it can only make the sale by offering the lowest possible price, the industry will fight tooth and nail to not have to spend an extra $100 on a set of tires that can provide better durability.
In 2000, after the Ford Explorer recall, both passenger and LT-type tires were forced to meet newer, tougher quality and durability standards as required by the “TREAD Act.” But I believe that because of pressure from the RV industry, ST-type tire requirements were excluded from the new requirements as complying would have increased the cost to the RV company a few bucks and they simply didn’t feel they could stay in business if they had to increase their prices.
So, we are stuck with tires built to 1970 quality and durability levels.
IMO, until or unless the RV community in large numbers demands an improvement in the tire quality with an update and upgrade in the performance standards required by DOT, there will only be improvements on a small number of models that offer ST tires with more Reserve Load or offer actual LT tires. How many RV owners have made the minimal effort of filing a complaint on a tire failure to NHTSA? Or written a letter to the Administrator of NHTSA? Here’s the address: U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590.
When was the last time you heard someone not ask about buying tires at the lowest price? Or walking away from a sale if the dealer didn’t provide better tires as original equipment? Or the dealer didn’t offer a multi-year warranty on tires that came on the RV?
A review of some comments on this forum shows the truth in what I am saying. The new Goodyear Endurance seems to be providing a significant improvement in tire durability for ST-type tires, but we see several people stating they are not willing to pay the price.
If you are only willing to pay Harbor Freight prices for your tools, why would you expect SK, Milwaukee, Proto or MATCO quality?
From day one, ST-type tires were introduced as a low-cost option to higher-cost Light Truck-type tires when comparing pounds load capacity per dollar cost. We also had the 55 mph national speed limit, so offering tires with a 65 mph max wasn’t a deal breaker.
Read more from Roger Marble on his blog at RVtiresafety.net.