RV Tire Safety
with RV tire expert Roger Marble
I occasionally see people complaining about the lack of meaningful tire comparisons. I guess they think someone should be doing comparison testing. I covered the topic of the cost of testing tires in May 2016 and even offered to run a test if there was some financial support. FYI – After the offer, I received the grand total of $0.00, so I can only guess people want someone else to do the work and spend the money.
Even with the cost aside, I’m not exactly sure what people would want or expect in an unbiased comparison.
Cost: This is difficult, as there are many different outlets for tires and without some detailed research how would you establish the value of buying from a neighborhood tire store vs. buying the tires mail-order. If you had a problem, how would you like to have to pay to ship the problem tire back to the sales outlet vs. just taking the tire to the local dealer?
Different outlets also have sales of specific sizes or type tire so a comparison of brand Q vs. brand U could be very misleading if the identical size wasn’t involved. And how would you compare a tire that is on sale in California vs. one not on sale but with a free 1-year warranty in Ohio?
Wear: Now we are back to the cost associated with doing the testing, and we have already seen that apparently, no one is willing to finance this type of testing.
Durability: Again, controlled testing is expensive. Even if tires were donated and you found some RV owners willing to do the testing, how do you compare the durability of a set of tires driven in Pennsylvania and New York vs. tires on a different RV driven in Texas and Arizona? Would you be willing to sign up to do the driving if you had your route specified to be a 200-mile back-and-forth trip across Iowa on U.S. Route 30 with the requirement to complete 1200 miles a week for ten weeks, with you paying the cost of fuel, etc.?
If a reader has some specific questions or requests on what information they would expect to gain from such a comparison, my offer of setting up and overseeing the testing still stands. But someone else still needs to come up with the money to buy the tires and pay for the testing.
So, yes, it still comes down to cost and who is willing to pay. One other thing to consider is that there is always the potential of setting up and running an expensive test only to have one of the tires being evaluated dropped from production just as you complete the evaluation.
Just think if we had somehow started a test that included the Goodyear Marathon ST tire in the fall of 2016 and it was finished a year later, only to learn the Marathon was being replaced by the Goodyear Endurance?
Read more from Roger Marble on his blog at RVtiresafety.net.