Three companies market tires especially for motorhome use, and more competitors may be entering the marketplace in the months to come.
By Jim Brightly, F358406, Technical Editor
Although several international tire companies reportedly are toying with the idea of marketing motorhome tires in the United States, only Goodyear (C9158), Michelin (C5502), and Bridgestone currently offer motorhome-specific tires. Other companies, such as Yokohama, Kuhmo, and Toyo, produce heavy-duty high-mileage delivery truck tires (as do the three mentioned above) that fit and can be used on motorhomes, but these tires may not give you the ride you’re expecting, and delivery truck tires’ stiff sidewalls may rattle the pots, pans, and dishes.
Motorhome-specific tires, on the other hand, are designed more with passenger comfort in mind rather than mileage (motorhome tires are known to “age out” long before they “mileage out”), so comfort is far more important in their designs, materials, and manufacturing procedures than making them last for miles and miles.
The Bridgestone R250F is available in sizes to fit a variety of type A motorhomes. The tire features an all-steel casing and is suited for all wheel positions. It has five ribs with four wide, straight grooves for improved handling and traction, as well as a tough tread cap compound and solid shoulder ribs that help resist maneuvering scrub. Protector ribs on both sidewalls fight damage from curbing, cuts, and abrasions.
Available for both 19.5-inch and 22.5-inch rims, with recommended rim widths of 6 inches to 9 inches, the R250F tire is offered in load ranges of F, G, H, and J; in 225, 245, 255, 265, 275,and 295 sizes; in 32.2-inch to 43.4-inch overall diameters; and in 8.5-inch to 11.7-inch overall widths. Look for a complete listing of sizes and load ratings at www.trucktires.com.
Goodyear’s Unisteel G670 RV radial tire is said to incorporate technology to help guard itself against the effects of ozone and UV rays. The G670 RV tire’s protection is so effective against weather checking, it is backed by a four-year warranty. Its tread pattern, according to Goodyear officials, produces lower heat and reduces squirm for enhanced handling, and its fuel-efficient casing helps to increase a coach’s fuel economy.
Available for both 19.5-inch and 22.5-inch rims, with recommended rim widths of 6 inches to 9 inches, the G670 RV tire is offered in load ranges of F, G, H, and L; in 225, 245, 255, 265, 275, 295, and 315 sizes; in 32-inch to 42.3-inch overall diameters; and in 8.9-inch to 12.3-inch overall widths. Look for a complete listing of sizes, load ratings, and inflation tables at www.goodyear.com/rv/.
The XRV is the motorhome-specific offering from Michelin. It’s an all-position radial designed specifically for improved performance on motorhomes. Exhibiting a wide, see-through groove design, the XRV is said to promote drainage efficiency, which helps to improve traction on wet surfaces. The tire’s enlarged sidewall printing makes load and air pressure information easier to read, improving the proper use and maintenance of the tire throughout its life. The XRV is designed to have a stable tread and is made with a cool-running compound that is engineered to reduce squirm and lower heat for improved handling and durability.
Available for both 19.5-inch and 22.5-inch rims, with recommended rim widths of 6 inches to 9 inches, the XRV tire is offered in load ranges of F, G, and L; in 225, 235, 245, 255, and 305 sizes; in 32-inch to 39.1-inch overall diameters; and in 8.7-inch to 12.3-inch overall widths. Look for a complete listing of sizes, load ratings, and inflation tables at www.michelinrvtires.com.
The Michelin X One XRV tire was introduced at FMCA’s 78th International Convention in Redmond, Oregon, in August 2007. This wide-base single drive tire was specifically engineered to replace dual-wheel applications in motorhomes. Used with an Alcoa aluminum rim, the tire boasts an estimated 230-pound weight savings per axle while delivering exceptional handling and performance. The single-tire configuration is said to dramatically improve the vehicle’s turning radius, enabling tighter turns and better maneuverability while improving highway fuel economy by as much as 4 percent. Although the wide-base single tire is expected to be offered on the drive axles of new motorhomes in the near future, they can be used to replace 275/80R22.5, 255/80R22.5, or 305/70R22.5 sizes in dual configurations. Converting your motorhome from a dual-wheel to a single-wheel configuration requires just the new tire and rim assembly without other modifications to the vehicle. (Please consult your Michelin tire dealer for more information).
Goodyear, Michelin, and Bridgestone also offer tires in smaller sizes designed for pickups and type C motorhomes, but we haven’t the space to go into all of them here. Statistics indicate that the average life of an RV tire is five to seven years. After five years, the tires should be inspected annually by a tire specialist, and the maximum time before replacement in any case should be 10 years regardless of mileage.