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.
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?
Be sure to enter our latest Free Drawing. This week’s prize is an audiobook of Capitol Offense, the second book in my pal George Weir’s Bill Travis mystery series. To enter, all you have to do is click on this Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn Sunday evening.
Thought For The Day – Your worst battle is between what you know and what you feel.