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Tuesday, April 3, 2018

MOTORHOME MODIFICATIONS - *T* is for Tires, also Steve's Dad's Motorhome for Sale

I am going to start off the new year with posting some of our motorhome modifications, a few at a time. I will post repairs, modifications, or neato things we have found for RVing.  I have lots of pics in my files so I will do them in alphabetical order.

Underneath that stuff, I will post my regular daily stuff..... kinda sorta fun, eh?

So here it goes, we are up to the letter T now!


THIS PROJECT WAS DONE DURING THE YEAR OF 2013- and we are due to replace ours again next year. 

After 6-7 years the tires on a motorhome need replacing, no matter how few miles are on them or how much tread is left.  We are told because they are not run daily like a car, the rubber is not flexed enough to allow the natural oils to move throughout the rubber substance.   They "age out" long before they wear out on most RV's.

We learned the hard way about reading the date codes on tires on our last motorhome, an older Coachman. We didn't know it then, but those great looking tires were really 13, yes, THIRTEEN years old!!! We had two of them blow out all over the interstate, one after another, 50 miles apart... we then learned about reading the date codes on tires.  Never again will we run with old tires, I tell ya!

Date codes are read like this:  0613 means made the 6th week of 2013.   Or 1417 means the 14th week of 2017.  You get the idea.  The first two digits are the week, and the last two digits are the year.

In 2013, we needed new tires on our rig, the previous ones were new in late 2006. Like I said, we are due to get new ones again in 2019 or so. But this post is from when we had them changed in 2013. 

Steve had called around and compared prices at various places, but decided to do business with Ray's Tire in Appleton.  Not only did he have the best price after he was able to locate the ones we wanted, but he also allowed us to be "present" while the tires were being swapped over under our supervision.

Horror stories abound of uneducated tire workers twisting frames, or jacking up from underneath and bursting into a holding tank.  Or like our friend Mel: the workers leaving his rig standing on three spindly little mounted leveling jacks while all six tires were taken somewhere else off site to be spin balanced!   It was hours before they returned to his rig to put them back on.  Just imagine if one of those little hydraulic leveling jacks gave way and his motorhome crashed to the ground????  Those jacks are for leveling purposes or a quick tire change, and not made to wholly support an entire 25,000 pound motorhome.  ACK!  That is about twelve and a half TONS on three tiny hydraulic jacks?

That is why it was important for us to be present and watch the process.  We don't want to risk the damage or be tied up in litigation for a repair.  Better to be safe than sorry.

Also, I wanted to take PICS for you guys ... so I told them in advance that I write an RVing blog and would be spreading word about their wonderful service across the whole USA. 

We went to:

Ray's Tire

1121 N. Bluemound Dr.
Appleton, WI 54914
 (920) 739-8124

We arrived 10 minutes early for our appointment, and verified the date codes on our pre-ordered tires.  We wanted them to be made within the current year, nothing older than that.  

The workmen were happy and agreeable to us for letting us use our leveling jacks and helping to raise each of the tires just so they cleared the ground, working on each section at a time as they worked their way around the rig.  We blocked the front tires because the parking/emergency brake unit on our motorhome only locks up the drive shaft and rear tires, not the fronts. 

They do not have a bay large enough for the motorhome to fit into, so we were situated across their parking area in front of the bay doors.  That was fine with us, the weather was in the 40's and no rain, so we were happy.

We ordered six Toyo tires, the same brand we have had on there for the last six years.  The M120 are no longer made, so we changed to the M122 model.  Same specs, just their newer model.  The size of our tires are Toyo 255-70-22.5      

We started with the rear passenger dual wheels.  They took off both the tires on that side and two guys worked as a team to get the old tires off the rims and the new ones on, spin balanced and new metal valve stems (NOT braided)  for each tire.

The tire guys spun each tire and added balancing weights where needed; all digitally balanced with a machine they have on site.  We do not use the internal balancing beads or the powder equalizer stuff because we have individual tire pressure monitor sensors that go on each valve stem.  Sometimes those beads or powders will jam up inside of the stems and goof up the readings or even damage the sensors.  So spin-balanced tires were the way to go for us.

We watched each tire get inflated to our requested pressures (110 psi back tires and 100 psi front tires) due to our calibrated rig and axle weights from a truck scale when fully loaded. Every motorhome has different specs, be sure to read your manual and tire inflation chart after axle weighing on a scale. 

They put the new tires back on, torquing the lug nuts to the requested foot pounds for our rig (500).

Steveio even got to "assist" with rolling around the tires after the guy inside was done balancing and ready to get on the next tire.   I just took pics and made myself stay outta the way.

The very observant service tech guy noticed a leak on our back driver's side axle!  It's not too bad to keep us from driving on it to get home, but we made an appointment to get it repaired at our favorite heavy duty commercial truck place: 

B & C Repair
3339 Brodtke Rd. 
Reedsville, WI 54230

They have done a few other repairs for us in the past, and we trust them.  Thank you for the heads-up from the tire guy------  probably saved us a HUGE repair bill down the road.  Or even worse, broken down on the side of the road?

Back to the Tire Replacement- 

Soon we were down to the last tire!   It only took 1 hour and 20 minutes from start to finish.

We had them save one tire of our original six to keep as a spare. The original spare was not a very good tire, bought used, but was on there just to use in a pinch if needed. This way we have a more reliable one in case of a problem on the road. I hope not! The spare rides up on the front rack, and we have a vinyl grey cover that goes over it. 

Now... it was time to go inside and pay... ouch! 

$450 a tire, mounted, balanced, new stem and taxes.... 

but then they kindly bought five of our original tires for $50 each to resell to possible haulers, agricultural farming folks or whatever as the tread was only 1/4 of the way worn.

So our bill to get out the door was

Like I said.... OUCH! 


and now.... 
time for a little helpful blurb: 

FOR SALE - 2011 Rexhall RexAir 37ft 

Steve's dad is looking to sell his motorhome. It is located in Door County, Wisconsin (northeast of Green Bay)  It is listed on Craigslist at this link below: 

Here are a few pics and the wording from the ad.  All inquiries go to him, and the phone number is included below. 

It has two full wall slides that make it big enough
to hold a barn dance inside! 

Big beautiful large kitchen area,

 complete with a double door fridge,
and even a dishwasher!

Queen bed with lots of cabinets
 and closet space in the bedroom

Full bathroom across the back 

Here are the details:

2011 Rexhall RexAir 37ft 2 full wall slides
37,555 miles

Model GT-375-SS

GM Vortec 8100 L18 V8 gas rear engine 340 HP

Allison 2000 Series 6sp with 2 overdrive gears electronically controlled transmission

New Michelin tires in 2017

6.5K Gas Generator

37 ft long - 12'8" high

Elegant motorhome with two large full wall slides make for ample room interior with top of the line features. 

50 amp electric service
front entry door with dead bolt
enclosed insulated holding tanks
dual holding tank flush system
galvanized metal storage compartments
flush mount electric awning
power entry step
5,000 lb trailer hitch
HWH 1 touch hydraulic jacks
dual pane windows
pass through basement storage

custom dash panel 
electric sun visors
cruise control
tilt and telescoping steering wheel
dash air conditioning
flush mount color backup camera
Sony am fm radio cd player stereo
power drivers seat

retractable screen door
LED accent lights w/dimmer
fluorescent ceiling lights
DVD Home Theater System with surround sound
Dome satellite system
Booth Dinette (converts to bed)
2 couches (convert to beds)
Vent fan with thermostat
32" LCD tv in livingroom
12 cu ft Norcold side by side stainless refrigerator with ice maker
On Demand LP water heater
LP 3 burner cooktop
Whirlpool Microwave with G2 Technology
Duo Therm Multizone thermostat
35000 BTU forced air LP furnace
Two roof air conditioners
solid surface countertops
extra large duo bowl sinks
drawer dishwasher unit
tile flooring
queen bed
one piece molded shower
glass bowl floating vanity sink
mirrored closet doors
26" LCD tv in bedroom

fresh water 86 gal
waste water 60 gal
grey water 54 gal

built in LP tank 29 gal
fuel tank 100 gal

Original owner.
Non smoker, but yes, dog friendly.


Serious Inquiries Only. 

No Scammers need to try, too savy for that. Don't bother. 

Telephone calls ONLY... no emails, no texts.


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