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RV Tire Safety: Which brand tire should I buy?

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“Which brand tire should I buy?” This reasonable question was asked recently. I thought I might share my answer as maybe some readers of RV Travel have similar thoughts.

I know this has likely been discussed to DEATH, but here goes. My Class A is due for new tires, as the old ones just hit 6 Y.O. and they are starting to show sidewall cracking. I have 245/70/19.5 on it now. Without going stupid lowball, like the $190 cheap Chinese I saw, or $600+ for Michelins or Goodyear tires, what could I buy that will be on the cheaper side of $300ish and still get a good tire? I’m sort of eyeballing Coopers, but they are about $330 each, and so are the Sumitomo’s that are on it right now.

Well, you all know that I prefer to keep my tire comments “company neutral” and stick to facts and data. But I do believe that many readers probably have similar questions even if the size or details are different. But … here goes.

I would take a different approach as there is no data available that provides a direct performance comparison of the 6+ brands that quickly come to mind.

Country of origin does not denote quality or lack thereof for a tire brand

A number of “name brand” tire companies have products made in a number of different countries, including Vietnam, China, Taiwan, India, Turkey, Mexico, and many others around the world. The issue is, does the company with its name on the sidewall specify the level of quality and detail material performance and dimensional tolerances that goes into the tire?

I have personally tested tires for a top tire company that was investigating having a new line made in China, but made to the same standards as tires made in Japan and the USA. All the China-made tires passed all the qualification testing that would be required of US-made products.

IMO, the Chinese can make quality tires if they are told what level of quality rather than go for “lowest cost.” I think the problem of “China-bombs” comes from the off-brand or no-name brands of ST tires that are bought based on low cost for application on RV trailers.

As a tire design engineer:

1. I would start with a list of all the brands you might consider.

2. Look to find locations of dealers in your area that sell, install and offer warranty service. If you need service, you do not want to have to travel hundreds of miles for it.

3. Find out who, if anyone, offers a “Road Hazard Warranty” and at what cost? I purchase a Road Hazard Warranty for my cars and my Class C RV. While there may be a manufacturer warranty, it is difficult to know the real reason for a tire failure. But if it isn’t manufacturing, then it should fall under the Road Hazard category.

4 Finally, consider pricing.

I hope this helps.

Have a tire question? Ask Roger on his new RV Tires Forum here. It’s hosted by RVtravel.com and moderated by Roger. He’ll be happy to help you.

Read more from Roger Marble on his blog at RVtiresafety.net or on RVtravel.com.

 ##RVT1078

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Keith Goldsmith
24 days ago

Speed is an issue also. Most factory installed trailer tires are not rated for the speeds we see daily. 80 mph is not uncommon, more like the norm.

Keith Goldsmith
24 days ago

Sailun tires seem to be very good.

Charles Howard
25 days ago

I “discovered” that Michelin XPS and Bridgestone Duravis are much heavier (dead weight) and expensive tires than most (in my tire size) and that’s all I run now. I’ve only lost one Michelin XPS tire to a big nail (at a toll booth ramp!). I replace them every 8-9 years.

Tom M
25 days ago

While watching campers unload what seems like a houseful of items out of their trailers I wonder how much of the “China Bomb” problems are overloading more than tire quality.

Roger Marble
22 days ago
Reply to  Tom M

Tom, the data from RV Safety Education Foundation, based on tens of thousands of scale measurements on individual tire positions, has shown that a MAJORITY of RVs have one or more tires or axles in overload. So your “wondering” is spot on.

Crowman
25 days ago

One thing I will not try to find the cheapest is Tires and Brake parts. Good tires keep you on the road and good brakes keep you from plowing into someone or something. You can put cheap China made garbage elsewhere in your RV that doesn’t matter if it breaks but not the components that keep me alive on the road.

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