RV Tire Safety
with RV tire expert Roger Marble
Confused about who makes which RV tires and where they’re made? This info should help.
Here’s a quote from an RV owner on a forum:
“I called the tire place (they do commercial truck tires) last week to order the Sumitomo tires, but I then asked him about Firestone FS561 tires. He said he’s been selling a lot of Dayton D520S for RVs and that they are a Firestone/Bridgestone-owned company. I told him I’d do some research but I am just more confused the more I look at tires.”
Roger says: I’m not sure about the confusion on where a tire is made or by which company. A quick Google search such as “who owns Sumitomo tire” can get you background information, as found HERE.
The “where it is made” question can be answered by reading the first two characters of the DOT serial and then checking HERE.
Michelin. Bridgestone and Goodyear (The BIG 3) all own a number of brand names. This is similar to GM owning Chevy, Cadillac, GMC, etc. The engineers that design one brand may have designed a different brand last year but generally have the same or similar list of rubber compounds to choose from. Many times a single plant may make two or more brands using the same equipment. Part of the difference is brand positioning or image in the focus (longer wear or softer ride or better mud traction).
Do you think Chevy uses different bolts than Cadillac when they put a car together? They probably even have the same suppliers making similar components such as tires or power steering pumps. Cadillac has an “image” of a better ride so may choose more expensive and better-performing shocks, but the Chevy Corvette engineers would select firmer shocks. Does this make one “brand” better than another? No, they have different target markets.
Same for tires. Bridgestone wants “high-tech” and premium image for tires with the Bridgestone name on the sidewall. Firestone brand is aimed at mid-America with solid performance at a reasonable cost; while Dayton is aimed at a “value” image. The expected wear is slightly different for the three brands, and so is the price.
I see no reason to not consider the Dayton brand if you were considering the Firestone brand. The same would apply if you were considering Fulda vs. Dunlop, as both brands are owned by Goodyear. Michelin owns BFGoodrich brand.
Read more from Roger Marble on his blog at RVtiresafety.net.