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Friday, November 8, 2019

Should ST tires be outlawed?

A post on an RV forum caught my eye
"In 2014, when I bought my RV Trailer, I immediately went to Discount Tire for 6 Michelin XPS Rib truck tires. I don't baby them, I barely pay any attention to them, they've never been at 80 psi, and they have been wearing fine for 5 years. Been all over the US with no issues. Yet I see new trailers coming into the dealership where I work with blown tires just coming from Indiana. Chinese bombs need to be outlawed."

It's unlikely they will be outlawed given the price sensitivity in the RV market. With so many folks buying when the quoted price is just a monthly amount that is so low they will always be "underwater" on their purchase. The RV industry seems to only focus on making the sale and as long as it feels it can only make the sale by offering the lowest possible price the industry will fight tooth and nail to not have to spend an extra $100 on a set of tires that can provide better durability.
In 2000 after the Ford Explorer recall both Passenger and LT type tires were forced to meet newer, tougher quality & durability standards as required by the "TREAD Act" but I believe that because of pressure from the RV industry, ST type tire requirements were excluded from the new requirements as complying would have increased the cost to the RV company a few bucks and they simply didn't feel they could stay in business if they had to increase their prices.
So we are stuck with tires built to 1970 quality and durability levels.

IMO Until or unless the RV community in large numbers, demands an improvement in the tire quality with an update & upgrade in the performance standards required by DOT there will only be improvements on a small number of models that offer ST tires with more Reserve Load or offer actual LT tires. How many RV owners have made the minimal effort of filing a complaint on a tire failure to NHTSA? Or written a letter to the  Administrator of NHTSA?     U.S. Department of Transportation,    1200 New Jersey Avenue SE.  Washington, DC 20590

When was the last time you heard someone not ask about buying tires at the lowest price? Or walking away from a sale if the dealer didn't provide better tires OE?  or the dealer didn't offer a multi-year warranty on tires that came on the RV?

A review of some comments on this forum shows the truth in what I am saying. The new Goodyear Endurance seems to be providing a significant improvement in tire durability for ST type tires but we see several people stating they are not willing to pay the price.

If you are only willing to pay Harbor Freight prices for your tools why would you expect SK, Milwaukee, Proto, or MATCO quality?

From day one ST type tires were introduced as a low-cost option to higher cost Light Truck type tires when comparing Pounds load capacity per dollar cost. We also had the 55 mph National Speed limit so offering tires with a 65 mph max wasn't a deal breaker


  1. Great article Roger. I want to point out that i feel the RV industry bears a lot of resposibility here. For years they have sold vehicles with tires that were loaded right to the limit, when one size larger would have solved this. They also install tires with an "L" speed rating (75 mph), which is insufficient for today's highway speeds. I recently replaced the tires on my 5th wheel with a tire that is loaded only to 80%, with an "N" speed rating (87mph). This enabled me to inflate to less than max, and the ride is incredible. Three must do's here for rv owners here: 1-get your rig weighed so you know where you are. 2- buy tires large enough to have a load reserve and inflate per tire manufacturer's load table for that tire for the weighed load that you have. If you have to inflate to the max per the table, then your tire is probably too small. In some cases you will have to upgrade the wheel as well. 3- buy at least an M or N speed rated tire. The Goodyear Endurance Roger mentions is an N speed rating.

  2. In actual not all ST tires are the same. There are a multitude of manufacturers and the old adage you get what you pay for should be carefully locked at before you purchase new trailer tires. I am currently running Dynamax tires on my travel trailer and getting superior ware and I run them at 80psi

    1. Don't see where I said "all ST tires are the same" What is "the same" is the test requirements from DOT for ST type tires. All ST tires must be able to pass the same test.


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