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> Square Tires, Story of our start into the world of RV's
SteveE
post Sep 12 2011, 11:46 AM
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Greetings all.

I am new to this group, but after lurking for a few days, I concluded that the information presented here was valuable enough for me to join in and contribute. So I reviewed a few campgrounds and then decided to post this story of our entry into the world of RV'ing last fall. While the story is a bit long, I hope that it might help others who may be having similar issues.

Last fall (2010), we purchased a brand new (2011) travel trailer and shortly afterward took it for a "shakedown" trip close to home. And what a shakedown it was!
When we opened the trailer door at our destination, about 50 miles from home (5 of which were on a well graded gravel road), we found; the microwave on the floor (it had destroyed both the bathroom door and trailer floor on it's journey there), the toilet seat halfway across the trailer, the monitor (idiot light) panel and thermostat dangling by their respective wires and other misc. damage not worthy of even mentioning.
Even though we had never had a RV before (other than sleeping in my large homemade canopy on our truck), we felt this was not what we should expect. Yes, we had been on a gravel road for a few miles, however we were driving slow (I am a slow driver) .... as well as following friends who were also pulling a travel trailer.
Upon returning from this trip, we took the trailer to the manufacture (about 150 miles away) and left it for repair. When we picked up the repaired trailer a couple weeks later, we were told by the manufactures service manager that "no travel trailers are designed to go off paved roads", which is exactly what we wanted to do with the trailer. (I am not talking about 4x4 roads, just cautious travel on dirt or gravel roads). So, with my wife in tears, I immediately drove to the dealer (located in the same general area as the manufacture) whom we had purchased the trailer from and said that "if what the manufacture had told us was true, then we were done with RV's and we wanted our money back". The dealer laughed and said that what the manufactures service manager had said was "incorrect", that we "could indeed take the trailer on gravel/dirt roads", and convinced us to give it a another chance. We agreed as we really wanted this to be the case.
After returning from the manufacture and dealer (all, good surface, paved roads); the toilet seat was again off the toilet, the screws for the microwave were partly backed out, two of the range/oven mounting screws were out, the range hood was "almost" disconnected from the cabinet, and the thermostat was again a-dangling. More phone calls to the dealer!!!!!
During one of these phone calls, the dealer happened to mention that I try getting the tires balanced. So I took the trailer to a local tire shop (large Northwest tire dealer) where they attempted to balance the tires .... with no success. All of the tires (including the never used spare) were too out of round to balance. The tire dealer said that the tires were so far out of round (or square) that, "if they were on a passenger vehicle, the ride would be so rough as to make the vehicle difficult to control" and that this was "most defiantly contributing to our woes". The tire dealer further said that "tires like this were common on RV's as the manufactures frequently put on low cost (aka; "cheap") tires". Knowing that crying to the trailer dealer and/or manufacture would take time, and wanting to go on another trip soon, I bought all new tires (including the spare).
Since replacing the tires, I have not had any "significant" problems in the past 5000 miles (I fixed the microwave and range screws so they would never back out on their own) and we are now very happy with our trailer .... after having done numerous modifications, but that's a topic for a different posting.
Moral of the story, if you are having these types of issues, consider having your tires balanced or replaced.

The purpose of this posting was not to bash the manufacture or dealer (neither one of whom I have named in this posting). And, in all fairness, the manufacture reimbursed us for the new tires and the dealer did try to help. However, it sure would have eliminated a lot of frustration had both the dealer and manufacture (both of whom having a lot more experience with RV's than us) recognized this as a possible cause much earlier on and addressed it then. O-well.
Rather, my hope is to help others out there who may be struggling with similar issues .... and perhaps give the more experienced members something to smile about.

Now, does anyone want to buy five, nearly new, square tires? (-:

Steve
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dog bone
post Sep 13 2011, 10:06 AM
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Save them and when you trade it for a new one, put them back on. Just kidding. wink.gif


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Bob and Deb Allwood
Diesel, the black lab
2003 ford f 350 6.0 crew cab
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KentuckyCampin
post Sep 13 2011, 07:36 PM
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Now that is a story like none I have ever heard!!!! I have owned 2 brand new travel trailers and have only had your minor issues. Nothing like this!!!! I bet your frustration level was through the roof!! It is always good to hear that situations like yours turn out for the better!!! Hope you have many more great camping miles and welcome to the wold of RV's (even though it was a rough start, so to speak!! LOL)!!!


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The Bakers
2011 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD
2011 Jayco Jayflight swift 264BH

Camping, its not a hobby, its a way of life!!
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BriBri
post Sep 14 2011, 04:16 PM
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WOW! I guess with some of the cheaper/no-name tires, the construction quality could be so poor as to have a "square" tire. Truly amazing though. At least you eventually discovered the issue and got it fixed (i.e. with new tires). Too bad you had to go through that headache.


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Tom
post Sep 16 2011, 05:55 AM
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I wonder how old your "new" tires really are? Some new tires are a lot older than people realize.


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2008 F-250 5.4L CrewCab
2004 21' Forest River Surveyor TT
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SteveE
post Sep 16 2011, 12:40 PM
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I have no idea how old the "new tires" were. I do know that they were never used and I also know that the trailer was brand new as we saw it under construction during a factory tour, just a week or two prior to deciding to purchase this unit.

I really just think that the tires (cheap to begin with) were part of a bad batch. And I am grateful that the manufacture compensated me for the replacement tires. Only wish they had figured it out sooner.

Yes, it was a fustrating experience, especially as it was our first time buying an RV of any type. However, that pain is now behind me and, so far, the trailer is working really well smile.gif

My only hope now is to possibly help others by sharing my story. Since I was five for five in the bad tire score, I just know there are other similar tires out there.
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Tom
post Sep 16 2011, 12:58 PM
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lol, if you want some discussion about tires, check out Open Roads Forums. The issue of camper tires is BIG, and constantly discussed. That is where I learned about figuring out the true date of manufacture of tires -- there is a number code on the tire, I would have to look up again how to figure it out.

I found out my TT tires (Goodyear Marathons) are the same age as the trailer. I also found out the tires on my then-new 2008 F250 were actually already two years old, being made in 1986.

Both OpenRoads and RVParkreviews provide excellent information about all aspects of camping.


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2004 21' Forest River Surveyor TT
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SteveE
post Sep 16 2011, 02:41 PM
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I sure like this forum as there is so much I can learn.

Never knew anything about tire date codes. So I Goggled it, chose a site and studied.

My junk tires (at least the one I just looked at) were made in the 24th month (June) of 2010.

Sure doesn't seem like that would be old enough to cause any problems to me. So I still suspect a bad batch of cheap tires was the culprit.

Yes, lots of good information about RV camping on this website. I also spend a lot of time backpacking, rafting, and kayaking/canoeing; where "camping" is a little bit "different"....... and not quite as comfortable smile.gif
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