RV Tire Safety
with RV tire expert Roger Marble
Questions: A motorhome owner needs to change his 245/70R19.5 LR-F tires and asked some questions:
- Will the truck “H” rated tire give a much different ride than the recommended “F” or “G” rated tire? [I.e., can I change from LR-F to LR-G or H? (ply range change)]
- Some manufacturers claim UV protection. Does it make a difference?
- Are there any particular brands to steer clear of for RV tires?
- I qualify for veterans/AARP discounts. Are there other good discounts?
- What else should I be looking for/be concerned about?
LR-F versus LR-G versus LR-H: You should never go lower. If you go up the only way you will get increased load capacity is by increasing the inflation. It is unlikely that you will get a different ride if all you change is the marking on the tire sidewall for what the Load Range is. Now if you also change brands then ride can change, and if you change from a ribbed design to traction design then I would expect ride and noise to change.
When you check the load/inflation tables you will note that the capacities for LR-H match the capacity for the LR-G at the LR-G inflations, so it is OK to run an LR-H at less than the max inflation on the side of the tire. Just be sure you know the actual load on each tire position and NEVER run lower inflation than what is needed to support the actual measured load.
Remember: It is the air pressure, not the tire construction, that actually supports the load.
I have a number of posts on my RV tire blog on Inflation as well as other tire topics so you can learn quite a bit there.
Regarding brands: Yes, there are many to choose from. One thing to consider is how many and location of dealers.”Billy-Jo-Bob cheap tire emporium and bait shop” may have the best price but with only one store, how are you gonna get service if you travel?
Many of the “majors” also have alternate lines at lower cost, sometimes even made at the same plant with most of the same materials. For example, the Warren County, TN, Bridgestone truck tire plant also makes Firestone and Dayton brands, which are less expensive. Do some research to see what other brands have.
Does the country of origin make a difference? If “Made-in-Canada” or wherever is important, then be sure to read the tire sidewall as the country of origin is always listed. You can also look up the actual individual plant location by reading the first 2 characters of the DOT serial and checking HERE or HERE for actual plant location.
UV protection: All tires have some level of protection. There is no industry standard so it’s impossible to get a meaningful comparison. Some will claim “more” or “better,” but “more or better than what” isn’t answered. Covering your tires will do a better job of extending tire life than simply depending on advertising.
Discounts: Yes, there are a number out there. Some might even vary depending on location as some large dealers can offer better discounts simply due to their volume.
If the price is a major concern you may be able to do a rolling change over a three year period as I suggested in THIS post.
Read more from Roger Marble on his blog at RVtiresafety.net.