Aug 132016

That’s what somebody told me just last week when he asked my advice about his motorhome’s eight year old tires and I advised him to replace them, even though they had a lot of tread left and looked good. “You may know a lot about fulltime RVing, but you don’t know everything, Nick. These tires have a lot of life left in them. That whole replace them every seven years thing is a myth the tire companies spread to get people to buy new tires even when they don’t need them.”

He had also mentioned that one of his front tires made a decided thumping noise going down the road, along with a vibration. I told him then that I suspected a broken belt inside the tire, but he was sure that I was wrong about that, too, and that it just needed to be balanced.

I call guys like this askholes. They ask for your advice, and if they don’t get the answer they want to hear, it just goes into a black hole and disappears. I learned a long time ago to walk away when I encounter an askhole. Anything else is just a waste of time and effort.

And no, I didn’t say “I told you so” when the man’s wife e-mailed me yesterday to ask if I knew of any good RV repair facilities up in Wisconsin, because they blew that same front tire and did extensive damage to their coach. Fortunately they were not injured, but they are looking at a repair bill of several thousand dollars.

He was right, I don’t know everything. But I know that taking chances with your tires can cost you a lot of money, at the very least, or even get you killed. I had a front tire blowout at a high rate of speed driving across West Texas in our MCI bus conversion. It wasn’t fun at all. I’ve also had a dinghy tire go flat and not know it until it was shredded.

Bus tire blowout 6


That’s why we have a TireTraker tire pressure monitoring system and why we had Redlands Truck & RV Performance Center in Redlands, California install a Safe-T-Plus steering control device on our Winnebago diesel pusher. It’s also why I use an infrared thermometer to check tire temperatures when we make a pit stop. Yes, the TireTraker monitors tire temperature as well as pressure, and I’ve found it to be very accurate, but anybody who was ever a pilot will tell you that there’s nothing wrong with having redundant systems. Besides tires, you can also use an infrared thermometer to detect overheated wheel bearings and such.

My go to guy for RV tire questions is Roger Marble, who publishes the excellent RV Tire Safety blog. So don’t take my word for it. If you have a question about your RV’s tires and don’t like the kind of advice I give you, get a second opinion from his blog. Because no, I don’t know everything. But when it comes to RV tires, he does.

Seriously folks, I’m well aware that RV tires aren’t cheap. Even more so for big motorhomes than for fifth wheels and travel trailers. But taking care of your tires, replacing them when it’s time, and having things like a tire pressure monitoring system, an infrared thermometer, and a steering stabilizer is an investment in safety. How much is your life worth?

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Capitol Offense cover

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  12 Responses to “I Don’t Know Everything”

  1. That guy is more than an askhole, he is an idiot. We replace our tires every 5 years. And even with that we blew a right front tire. And believe me it’s no fun. We did have a Safe T Plus steering system and we are VERY THANKFUL we did. It kept us as steady as possible and we had minimal damage to the fiberglass. Some people just can’t seem to learn from others. I assume he also didn’t apologize to you either.

  2. I started saving for tires about 6 months after I bought my rig. In 2017 I’ll have a new set, even if they look like they could go another 5 years. I can’t imagine much worse than sitting on the side of the highway waiting for a tow truck, unless it’s laying on the highway waiting for the coroner!!

  3. Some people just think they know more than anyone else. In January we had a flat from desert driving at Quartzsite so replaced all our 6-year old motorhome tires. Yes, it wasn’t cheap and they still looked great but if people do any research at all it’s common knowledge they usually ‘age out’ before wear out. Hopefully this gentleman learned a valuable lesson.

  4. I am happy to see that I am not the only one anal about tires. FMCA had an article on Tire Safety. One of the most significant things that I learned was: “tires age more quickly when not used. Tires are designed to roll, heat up, and release anti-weathering chemicals that help to keep the tire supple and resist aging.”

  5. Could you expand on how you use the infrared thermometer when stopped? We will add this to our RV inventory and use it! Thanks!

  6. I like the term: askhole. I’m going to start using it! 🙂

  7. I couldn’t agree with you more. Sad but there are always those that agree it can happen Just not to them. As they say you can’t fix stupid.

  8. We would NEVER be without a tire monitoring system and tires we can TRUST. We bought a NEW (2016) Fiver just 4 months ago. Would not drive it off the lot with the tires it had on it. So, it cost us more than a few bucks but wanted tires we had confidence in. A few years back had two blow-ups within 3 hours. One on the Connecticut TP, the other on a NJ Interstate. On a Saturday afternoon! Luckily both tires on same side so damage was contained there.

    As Gary above says……Can’t fix stupid.

  9. Gail,
    When we make a rest stop I walk around the RV and used the infrared thermometer to read the temperatures on all of my tires. If one tire is hotter than the others by more than a few degrees it’s an indication of a problem. Quite often that might be low-pressure. It’s important to note the tires on the sunny side may be hotter than those on the side that’s in the shade going down the highway. But if, for instance, one of your dual tires is more than 10° hotter than the other, or there is a difference between front and rear tires on the same side, you may have a problem.

  10. Askhole!, I love it, I’ve learned a new word and can’t wait to use it………Thanks for the education Nick..

  11. Really Nick? You don’t know everything?? Well, just meet my hubby’s sister and husband…then you will be told!! HA……we live hours apart…always something to be thankful for!!

  12. Just started using a tire monitoring system a couple of months ago. The passenger side of my towed Jeep tires were always hotter than the drivers side, even when the sun was on the drivers side. The front could be 3 to 7 degrees hotter and the rear 2 to 5 degrees hotter. I was quite concerned and at the recent FMCA rally I discussed it with a vendor who sells tire monitoring systems. He asked if I had a DP which is correct. Effectively, the exhaust at the passenger rear of the coach acts as a perpetual tire warmer, when running down the road. The exhaust is quite hot and only about four feet in front of the front passenger Jeep tire. Mystery solved. Funny, I never read anything like this in any articles or blogs.
    Can we start a club for Askholes and nominate candidates for membership? It might turn out to be a pretty big club.

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