Harsh-Riding Tires

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May 9, 2013

Q: It’s time for us to replace the tires on our 33-foot Itasca Suncruiser, and I have a couple of questions before I make such a major investment. We took a month-long cross-country trip last summer, and some of the roads were so rough they almost bounced the fillings out of our teeth. We have Michelin tires now. Is there another brand or brands that might give a softer ride but are just as safe and reliable? Along the same lines, are there alternate brands you would recommend that might be less expensive?

— Larry Anderson, Vista, California

A: I don’t think changing to a different brand tire will make a difference in ride quality. The Ford chassis can produce a rough ride on some highways. You may be able to improve the ride harshness by adjusting air pressure in the tires, based on loading. To do this properly, you’ll need to load the motorhome as you would for a trip (liquids, supplies, people, etc.) and have the individual wheels weighed. Compare your weights with the tire manufacturer’s loading tables and adjust air pressure accordingly. Without accurate individual wheel weights, all you can do is pressure the tires based on the weight stickers on the coach, which in most cases shows maximum air pressure based on the rating on the tire sidewall.

Stick with name brand motorhome tires that have a proven track record. You’ll want an all-steelbelted tire, and don’t get lured into buying unknown brands (usually out of China) because of lower prices.

If you have a question about your RV, send an email to [email protected] and be sure to include your name and contact information. Whether or not your letter appears in  Highways, you’ll receive a reply. Read more Tech Topics at GoodSamClub.com/techtalk.

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