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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

How to get your tire questions answered correctly

I have offered to answer specific tire questions on this Blog. I respond to questions on four different RV web sites that have forums where tires seem to be a hot topic. One things is a constant with many who ask questions is that they seldom provide enough information with their question such that I am not forced to ask for more information or guess.
I and the other tire experts on the web have a request.

When asking about specific loads, inflation, alternate size, or specific tire problems it would really help if basic information was provided.

While I and the others are more than willing to consult the standards books or provide an opinion we really can't spend hours trying to first solve the problem of knowing what tire we are being asked about. One thread I am following has over 275 posts but at least 25 - 40% are replies that show the need for more accurate information is needed from the poster.

Please provide the "Complete" size. That would include the Service Description part that comes after the rim diameter as well as the type tire which is the letters up front if any.

235-15 isn't correct but many times that is what we get.
Technically an LT235/75R15 107/110Q Load Range D
is a different tire than a LT235/75R15 Load Range D.

Also concerning the load on the tires. As a minimum you should have a real scale measurement of the total load on all the tires. While you may feel you know a lot about your "Death Valley Special" RV not all of us know if it has one, two or three axles.
Ideally you should have at least once had your RV weighed with certified scales where you can get the individual loads on each tire.
Almost ALL trailers are out of balance axle to axle in addition to side to side with a good portion (usually the ones with tire problems) discovering that they are at least 5% off and sometimes as much as 15% out of balance.
So in addition to the complete tire size how about:
"I guess the 4 tires on my trailer carry 10,000 pounds"
"The tires on my front axle carry 5500 and the rear axle 4500"
or best of all
"RF 3300 LF 2200 LR 2700 RR 1800"

Motorized RVs are a little better but still have some out of balance.

Finally if you really want to do a First Class job then the tire brand and design as molded on the tire, the max load at what inflation as molded on the tire and picture -in focus please- of the placard would be of great help.

I know that if given the choice of who to answer first I would answer the person that supplies the most information first.

OK I am stepping down off my soap box now.

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