Posts tagged: tires

New Shoes!

By , December 16, 2009 10:50 pm

Note: I’ve gotten a number of mentions from friends and fambly that the previous post was “too much”.  I’m making this one much easier… and it has pretty pictures!   😉

MichelinNew

Our Dutch Star is now sporting a new set of tires… Michelin XZE LRHs.  They’re basically 40 inch tall tractor-trailer tires.  Since the Star is a dually (meaning that it has two tires per side on the rear), that means we had to pony up for six of these monsters.  You might be asking “why?” right about now. Take a look at the old ones…

MichelinOld

All that cracking near the rim is what made us get new tires.  The old ones only had 27,000 miles on them and they had gobs of tread left, but they were old.  It wouldn’t surprise me if they were the originals that came on the RV.  Unfortunately, old tires get brittle and start to crack… especially if they’re bombarded by UV radiation all the time (sunlight).  That’s why a lot of RVers buy tire covers.  The old tires would have failed eventually… probably with a blowout.  Not a risk I want to take!

The new ones are NEW!  Sometimes tires will sit in a warehouse for months or years before they finally make it onto a vehicle.  Even covered or in the dark, tires have a finite lifetime.  I wanted to make sure mine weren’t sitting around for two years, so I had the guy who ordered them check the date code…

IMG_8933

The important bit is the last four numbers…  “4209”.  That means the 42nd week of 2009.  That puts these off the press sometime in October.  From a factory in Canada to my door in under two months. Score! 🙂

Note: Picture of date stamp above replaced with a better one… the small camera doesn’t do a good job with close-ups.  The Canon xTi does much better.

Homeless again…

By , December 7, 2009 12:07 pm

We knew that there would be some minor repairs needed on any used RV we got.  The Dutch Star is living up to expectation and we just dropped it off at the local shop so they can get started on it.

The main thing we’d originally planned on was having the original roof vents replaced with MaxxAir Turbo/Maxx fans (with thermostat), which we got a sweet deal on earlier when we were in the evil rental. 

What we didn’t exactly plan on was fixing a leak.  A day or two after we got the Star, we had torrential rains for two days.  Water was dripping out of the roof vents near the windshield and our dashboard ended up pretty much getting soaked.  I did a little investigating on the roof and suspected that the front roof running/parking lights were the culprit.  The roof itself and all the seals there looked good.  The lights had cracked caulking and backing pads, some of which were broken down enough that I could see into the light assembly.  To be sure I was right, we taped some plastic sheeting over the lights for a couple days.  Last night, we had another good rain and there were no signs of any water inside.  Success!  :)  So, we’re having the lights replaced.  For good measure, I’m getting the rear ones done as well, since they don’t look much better. 

DutchStarPlastic

Here you can see my extremely professional job of taping the plastic sheeting down. ;)  For those who attempt this on their own rigs, here are a few tips…

  • Leave a space with the tape at the bottom of the plastic sheeting.  If any water does manage to get into the sheeting, it need a space to run back out, otherwise you will end up with a water balloon until it gets to the level of your lights.  It’ll then all come into your lights, down your windshield, onto your dashboard, etc.
  • Use painter’s masking tape.  3M makes a 2 inch wide “medium adhesion” masking tape that works perfectly.  If you use packing tape or something like that, you’re likely to either leave “sticky goo” behind when you remove it, or you will take some of your paint off with the tape. 
  • Replace it every three days of rain.  Masking tape will hold when it’s wet, but it’ll eventually fall off or allow the water to soak through.  Pull it off, wipe everything down and dry it well and slap on some new tape.
  • Don’t expect it to hold when you’re driving.  I shouldn’t need to explain that any further. 😛

We’re also having Dave install tire valve extensions on the rear tires so I can check the pressure without crawling around under the RV.  Finally, he’s going to re-tension the awning on our living room slide, as it’s sagging a bit and can get stuck when retracting the slide (that’s generally a bad thing).

After we get the Star back, we’ll have one more big piece of work to do…  new tires. :(  I was expecting this, but hoping I was wrong.  I was about to ask Dave (the repair guy) about the tires, but he beat me to it.  When walking around the RV to check a couple other items, he said “Dude, get those tires replaced”.  When we get it back, I’ll take some pictures of the tires before we head to the shop for new ones and will explain what to look for then.

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