Saturday, February 25, 2012

And Now, a Word From Our Michelin Sponsor

Today's blog comes from the pen and notes of Nick Boersma, back at Florida Grande. They had another RV chat that we WISH we could have attended but it was back in Webster, FL. Thanks to Nick, we still get to hear what a representative from Michelin had to say. Nick sent us all his notes so we could share them with all of you! Thanks, Nick!

The representative today, was Mike Fowler. He did a great job sharing lots of pertinent information for Michelin tire owners.

1. The last 4 numbers are the most important information in regards to your tires. They are the date of manufacture. Keep this number when it comes time to consider replacement.

2.Best Practices:

Tire covers SHOULD BE USED.

Michelin also recommends that plywood or some other material separate the tires from the ground when sitting for long periods of time, even on concrete.

Small cracks are ok, but a crack that a dime will fit in, means time to change the tire.

Rapid air loss is the biggest issue to be prepared for...When it happens, accelerate, DON'T BRAKE! You accelerate to maintain forward speed and tracking. Do NOT slow down..when tracking is under control, let normal slowing of speed take place. Find a safe spot to pull over.

The best tire dressing is just soap and water.

Tire rotation side to side is ok, but not required.

Tire pressure sensing systems are not a good replacement to checking your tires regularly with a good gauge. There was some discussion about that many tire pressure monitoring systems don't check the air pressure frequently enough to give you much of a warning in the event that a tire is going to blow. (But, most RVers who have them say, something is better than nothing and that's why systems are purchased.) Warnings for low tire pressure or high temps are useful to know on a tow vehicle that you can't see and the same for inside tires on rear duals on the motorhome.)

FYI--The tire representative from Michelin feels that most people are not using accurate gauges. Have the GAUGE checked to see if it is accurate. You should be checking your tire pressure at least once a month or better yet, every two weeks. Even when you are sitting for long periods of time in one place, you should still be checking tire pressure. There is heavy, heavy pressure weighing down those tires when you are just sitting! Also the tire pressure number on the tire is NOT the maximum amount of pressure that should be in the tire, unlike your car tires. Pressure in each tire should be based on THE WEIGHT OF EACH AXLE bearing down on the tire carrying the load.

Tire Replacement guidelines: Michelin does not abide by the "replace every five years" rule of thumb. Have a Michelin certified technician inspect the tires at the 5 year time frame or sooner. If you are seeing warranteed signs of cracking, cupping, and excess wear, get your tires inspected.

Michelin does NOT recommend nitrogen. The rep felt the additional cost doesn't warranty using nitrogen in the tires plus it's difficult to find.

Michelin strongly recommends having INDIVIDUAL tires and axles weighed. Follow the pressure recommendations by weight. ALL tires need to be weighed, not just the rears....Check tire pressures COLD. A driven tire can raise the pressure amount by as much as 10%. Cold tire pressures stated have a safety factor built in.

Michelin does not recommend changing tire size to get better fuel mileage, be able to add more carrying weight to the coach, just isn't worth it...

The Michelin rep talked about the FMCA Advantage Program. Check the FMCA website for more information. If you are not an FMCA member, you can use the owner/operator classification for a slightly less discount. The Advantage program has a number that you can call for assistance on tire issues that many members feel is well worth it.

And that's the word from the Michelin Man, Mike Fowler for today....and thank you, Nick, for sending us some booklets from Michelin! There are some really great charts and great information in them. On a rainy day when we have nothing to say, we'll post some info from the booklets Nick sent us. But first, Sparky has to do her homework and read 'em! Now, go and check your tire pressure, people!


  1. This is a very interesting and informative post. I always worried about tires and pressure, but I probably didn't do much to check them.

  2. Thank you for an informative blog. I recently replaced my Ram 3500 Truck's tires only to get a bolt in the side of one almost immediately.

    Recently, I replaced all four tires on my trailer with Marathon's (Michelin didn't make tires for my trailer). I purchased covers, but will definitely look into getting four pieces of plywood for when it's parked in the driveway.

    Thank you, again, for the information.

  3. Thanks to you (and Nick) for the information. I've shared with Mui as well as friends who have a Phaeton of their own.

  4. Great post to remind people about the tires that so many take for granted. I check our tire pressure everyday before we more, usually every week our two and have found a few issues that need looking into before we have a blowout, mostly leaky valves or valve stems.

  5. Good and informative post. I am amazed by all the people who do not have any kind of on board air system and have to drive for miles to check the air in their tires. How could those tires be considered "cold?"

    There is a good video out on the web somewhere simulating a blowout in a motor home tire. It shows the importance of accelerating a little instead of braking (like I think we'd all want to do)

    We don't use a plywood board for our tires...I guess we should.

  6. Great information. I'm so glad you have such good friends at Florida Grande to send it to you.