Born Free Leap'n Lions RV Club

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 Post subject: Tire selection
PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2005 11:21 am 
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Joined: Sat Oct 22, 2005 11:06 am
Posts: 17
Location: Lakeland, Florida
I have a 26' RSB 2002 and would like to replace the Firestone Steeltex original tires. We purhased the unit used and have had 2 tires losing air due to faulty rubber valve stems. We have steel extenders that make it easy to check pressure however the rubber valve stems are failing. I am looking at michelin xps rib, michelin ltx m/s or goodyear wrangle ht tires. I also want steel valve stems. Which tires should I purchase that would provide a safe but quiet ride? Thanks

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2002 RSB


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2005 1:20 pm 
The tires that you select are, I think, to a certain extent a matter of individual taste. I prefer Cooper tires myself.

I have been told that extenders should never be put on with rubber valves. If you had the work done for you, I would not go back to that shop!


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 Post subject: Tire selection
PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2005 3:35 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 14, 2005 9:16 pm
Posts: 42
Location: Savannah, GA
As you probably know, Born Free coaches are now being furnished with Michelin LTX tires (or they were when we acquired our 2004 model) and they seem to perform well. If you are replacing all of your tires, you may want to look under "Other Vendors" on this board and select the Borg posting concerning Dually Valves. These are metal valves stems that are bent to shape so you will not need the extension hoses. A number of our members are using them successfully.

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Randy & Fayrene
2004 Born Free 26RB/RSD
2005 Honda CR-V Toad


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 Post subject: Tire selection
PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2005 4:39 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 14, 2005 6:39 am
Posts: 68
Location: Sudbury MA
We have 59k on michelin ltx. No problems, quiet ride, and they still have good tread.

I am not a fan of floppy extenders, even on metal stems. Randy's suggestion is a good one. A low-tech alternative is to just get regular metal valve stems and buy a guage with a straight-on connector and an air chuck with a straight-on connector. They also have a 30-degree connector for the outer duals. A crude picture with the handle on the left is: ------`-

My inner duals have valve caps with a hex head, so it's easy to remove them with a socket and extender and check the pressure with the above guage. It's not quite as convenient as extenders, but it allows rotating the tires.

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Bill Ruh
1991 Rear Door


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 Post subject: Tire Selection
PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2005 5:52 pm 
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Joined: Fri Aug 19, 2005 3:42 pm
Posts: 20
Location: St George, Utah
THKURTZ, I replaced goodyears on my 26' RB with the Michelin XPS Rib and I am very pleased at the improved ride and performance. I also use Borg valve stems on all my wheels and love them.

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Jon Pollei
2003 26' RB


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2005 6:18 pm 
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Joined: Sat Aug 13, 2005 9:21 pm
Posts: 165
Location: Woodinville, WA
IMHO, the solid metal valve stems are the only way to go. I became convinced when I found one of the outer extenders that BF provided was loose and when I went to tighten the inner extender, there wasn't any way to get my hand in there to check/tighten it without removing the outer tire. I talked to Chuck Carvitto aka Tireman and decided to put on his metal stems. He sells a kit over the phone that will do all 6 tires. He actually holds the patent on these and Borg the other provider does so under an agreement with him. They only provide 4 stems in their kit however and I decided to do all 6. Chuck also throws in some "gator caps" which make airing up even easier. It takes me about 5 minutes at the most to check the air in all 6 tires now and most of that is spent hauling the air hose around. As for rotating the tires, the only ones that need to be rotated are the front ones and that isn't a problem with solid stems. The rear should remain together as a pair so that they wear the same amount.
Chuck the Tireman's website is http://www.ridgecrest.ca.us/~tire-man/valve.html

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David and Janice Potter
Zoey the mutt
2005 Born Free Built for Two
2001 VW Cabrio


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 Post subject: Tire Selection
PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2005 6:18 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 15, 2005 5:36 pm
Posts: 143
Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico
Two years ago, we replaced the Firestones on our 2001 24RB with Michelin XPS/Rib tires. After doing our research, we decided that we wanted the steel sidewalls along with the steel belted feature. The Michelins were purchased and installed at a local Costco. Since the BF tire size is not a stock item, the Costco tire department had to special order them. But we had to wait only a week for delivery and installation. Installing the XPS/Ribs did result in a "harder" ride, but we have more peace of mind RE: possible blowouts now that the Firestones are replaced. Many times, we've been driving on a road/highway when the pavement suddenly ends; so we think the XPS/Ribs were the right choice for our Born Free.


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 Post subject: tire selection
PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2005 10:35 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2005 2:39 pm
Posts: 617
Location: North Scituate, RI
When it comes to changing tires, it is very personal with many thoughts and preferences. My own choice is the Michelin LTX M/S. Although the XP rib has steel side walls it is my understanding that they were primarily designed for delivery vans that were subjected on a daily basis to abuse by drivers who were constantly hitting the curbing. As mentioned they do give a more harsh ride than the LTX tire but do have the extra safety margin.

Sam, you may want to consider using EQUAL to balance your tires. This is a sand like material (best way I could think of to describe it) that comes pre-packaged in different weights that is simply placed in the tire when mounting on the wheel. The mfg recommends the 3oz package for the 16" wheels. I have been using this product for many years and never had a problem with balancing.

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Mel & Connie


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 Post subject: tire selection
PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2005 10:41 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2005 2:39 pm
Posts: 617
Location: North Scituate, RI
When it comes to changing tires, it is very personal with many thoughts and preferences. My own choice is the Michelin LTX M/S. Although the XP rib has steel side walls it is my understanding that they were primarily designed for delivery vans that were subjected on a daily basis to abuse by drivers who were constantly hitting the curbing. As mentioned they do give a more harsh ride than the LTX tire but do have the extra safety margin.

Sam, you may want to consider using EQUAL to balance your tires. This is a sand like material (best way I could think of to describe it) that comes pre-packaged in different weights that is simply placed in the tire when mounting on the wheel. The mfg recommends the 3oz package for the 16" wheels. I have been using this product for many years and never had a problem with balancing.

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Mel & Connie


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