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I am looking to purchase tires for my rig, below is from Walmart. Could someone confirm if what I am looking at is the right tires to order for 21 foot Seabreeze. Thank you.

 

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Nexen-Roadian-CT8-HL-185R14C-8-102-100T-Tire/845193737

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Thank you Linda !!

Another tires related question: what kind of Tire Valve Stem are you using on the inside tire.

?? Short stems are so hard to get to. Any photo/ dimensions will be helpful. 

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Linda

You are correct: Walmart would not install tires on any RVs. I checked today.

 

jjrbus

Thank you for TR-544, now I see many possibilities.

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I got the same Nexen Rodian Load D Tires from Simple Tires and was able to have them shipped to my Toyota mechanic who installed them/balanced, etc. Then I went to Les Schwab for the alignment. It was interesting to learn that here locally in the CA Bay Area Sam's Club in Concord and Vacaville and Concord would not install RV tires, and Walmart also told me no, but I can't recall which location I called. Maybe Sam's Club Install RV tires in Oregon. If so, Sam;s Club had crazy low prices on Nexen in August...

In any case, you can also get Les Schwab to order the Nexen tires and do the install, and alignment all together. That may be a less expensive route than what I took because I needed to get tires quickly. Plus, you could get all the perks that come along with Les Schwab tire purchases.

I really liked the Simple Tires experience and while it took two visits to Les Schwab, and I had to learn and then explain to the young guy at Les Schwab how to get the alignment correct, the staff are so genuinely kind and helpful. - and I'm loving my Nexens!

Screen Shot 2021-09-29 at 6.21.35 PM.png

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Les Schwab near me won't do my alignment. They said they can't do duallies. Funny though I met a guy at the grocery store with a massive Ford dually 4x4 with at least a 6 inch lift. Asked him where he goes for alignment and he said Les Schwab did it when they installed his tires. So I guess in my town they only do stuff for tire buyers. Jerks

Linda S

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not likely they would do a good job anyhow.  their people come and go alot

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I have had bad experience with Les Schwab, bunch of crooks. They sold me D rated tires but installed C rated. I was on the road and did not check. When I got home after my long road trip and looked. Les whatever they are, it is the last place i will ever go for tires.

 

It was too much hassle ordering Roadian Tires on line, Walmart sells them for $97.98 but they do not install in any RVs. I am now working with Discount Tires in my area, Gresham, Oregon. Yokohama tires, $104.99/per tire plus the works comes to $892.50 for all 7 tires, Installed. Have not ordered them yet. I asked them to make sure they are not old tires, I will check before they install them. He told me they will come from the factory direct. I need to order couple of TR 544/545 valve stems for the 2 inside tires. Discount tires just carries regular valves. I am not sure of the length yet.

What do you think of Yokohama 185R14 D rated tires ??

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  • 2 months later...
On 10/2/2021 at 2:24 PM, linda s said:

Les Schwab near me won't do my alignment. They said they can't do duallies. Funny though I met a guy at the grocery store with a massive Ford dually 4x4 with at least a 6 inch lift. Asked him where he goes for alignment and he said Les Schwab did it when they installed his tires. So I guess in my town they only do stuff for tire buyers. Jerks

Linda S

 

I mean no offense here Linda, but I feel a need to stand up for my fellow "jerks'!  HAHA!  I am a mechanic/tire guy.  Our Toy homes are almost impossible to align.  "We can't do duallies" is the short "go away" answer.  The problem is most alignment machine heads won't stick out far enough as our dually wheels are recessed underneath the house body.  This is a problem with almost all RV's too.  I haven't even aligned mine yet as the 5-6 different alignment racks I have access to, literally can't read the heads.  My shop just got a new Hunter alignment system 2 weeks ago and I am excited as it came with a special setup for doing dually wheels!  I couldn't find actual pricing online, but I was told it is a $70k setup.  

 

Also in "potential" defense of the technician, most of us get paid by the job and not by the hour.  The average rate is an hour for an alignment, dealers might give a technician 1.5hrs.  Putting a rig on my alignment rack and spending 30 minutes to an hour just trying to just get heads on it, trying to push the truck back and forth BY HAND to get my rollout, most likely having to do this step several times on one of these rigs, and another half hour (if nothing is frozen) aligning it when I have 3-4 simpler alignments waiting I can do in 15-30 minutes each...  I am going to laugh at my service advisor and tell them to go pound sand.  They will politely translate that to you with "We can't do duallies."  

 

Yes, buying your tires online IS a red mark to your cause.  Because if the shop isn't making any money on the tires, and the technician is LOOSING money and gaining a lot of aggravation to align your RV, the service advisor has no reason to convince us to try.  Online tire buyers actually hurt the shops too.  While we make VERY VERY small margins on tires, they are a big ticket item that corporate big wigs push us towards to inflate the overall numbers game.  So when you go online to save $100, or even just because a shop can't get the tires you want, a $100-200 alignment on a problem vehicle, isn't worth it.  Your RV sitting on my rack for 2-3hrs will cost the me money, and cost the shop time it could have made 2-3 more tires sets sold.         

 

This is going to be the case at pretty much any corporate shop.  A mom and pops specialty  truck or RV shop would be the ticket.

 

In fact there is a shop in Springfield Oregon that could do an alignment on an RV, or get tires.  Shmunks Tire and Auto Service Center.  Not sure if they are close enough to Gresham Oregon to be helpful though.      

 

As for the tire valve situation, I would recommend a simpler approach.  Get whatever short screw in stems that fit, and use extenders/adapters on the inside wheels.  I emphasize "that fit" as I came across a nasty surprise and the wheels for mine actually had smaller than standard valve stem holes.  Nothing on the shelf at any of my shops would fit, or at any local parts houses.

 

Remember, if you rotate ties (and you should) then those long stems would be a problem if not on all the wheels.  And they would make the rest even harder to air up, and potentially stick out too far on the fronts.  So use extenders and/or angle adapters with the short stems.  

 

Linda, as for the alignment I will see about filming the whole process.  My coworkers are already mildly annoyed though knowing I am going to bring it in and hog the rack for the duration.  So we will see if I can get away with stealing one of the boys to film it.     

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I do know what's involved in aligning wheels manually. I was prepared to pay extra. I also know some racks can handle dually wheels and campers because I have had it done. My issue was that Les Schwab claimed they couldn't handle my truck but they had no problem with the massive ford dually and he said they did do his on the rack. I am also a repeat Les Schwab customer and it's in the system. 

Linda S

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Not to add fuel to the fire, but... with all the talk about alignments and duallies, etc, I'm curious: what kind of rear wheel alignment can even be done on these rigs??? I've had the rear axle off of mine a time or two before, and the leafs only fit up correctly to the axle one way—there wasn't any kind of adjustment to be done, far as I could see.

 

Front wheel alignment is a very different story of course (my local shop was able to put the rig up on their rack and do the front alignment, no trouble—had that job done after I finished the front end rebuild).

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"Technically" none.  I will get to that in a minute though...  But all modern automotive alignment machines actually do 4 wheel alignments.  If nothing is aligned in the back, the front is automatically aligned to correct any thrust angle issues the back might have.  This would be called a "thrust angle" alignment.  While it is "kinda" still only a 2 wheel alignment, it aligns the front wheels to correct for the back.     

 

So you still have to put 4 heads on to know where the rear end is.  Now this might not be a hard and fast rule.  There used to be "string" alignment machines where you could just put the front heads on.  There might still be some modern camera ones where you can do that too, with the option being buried in some obscure menu nobody has ever looked for before...  But unless it is PERFECTLY STRAIGHT and centered on the rack, it won't be an accurate alignment.  Is this enough for most to notice?  Maybe, maybe not.  Depends on the vehicle and the person.  Smaller rigs with smaller tires will be more sensitive, larger ones with big tires are usually less so.        

 

In summary, the 4 heads are needed to tell the machine, where the front and rear of the car actually is.  On our Toyota RV dually setups the issue is very small wheel wells with small tires partially covered up and deeply recessed back inside.  A big lifted Ford dually won't have coachwork in the way of the heads and block the cameras.  Most racks are not setup to handle this issue.  Most only have the one head attachment option.  

 

While the rear thrust angle isn't "technically" alignable  on our rigs, it doesn't take a lot to have one be off.  Or to correct it.  A good smack to one side of the axle could shift it back or forward.  This will be evident by to being say -0.09 on one side and an identical reverse +0.09 on the other.  I think this number would put the thrust angle off by .045 (please don't hold me to this lol) and really this wouldn't be enough to justify fixing, since a proper 4 wheel thrust angle alignment will correct this error anyways. This could also be the axle only shifted by a small amount.  Again I am guessing at the exact numbers, but that could be just 1/4-1/2".  

 

Okay but how would we fit it if it was out enough to bother?  Well even though there are locating pins, pretty good chance there is a touch of play in them.  So with brakes on and my rear alignment slip plates loose I would loosen up the shackle bolts on both sides.  Then take ratchet straps and tug the axle back and forth to see if I have enough room to correct it.  I have done this maybe 2-3X in the 25yrs I have been wrenching.  It actually corrected the rear toe on all occasions.  On one, the location pin had broken.  I used to work at a shop that actually did big rigs and RVs and this was done pretty regularly by our heavy alignment guy.    

 

This again though is a matter of experience vs reasonable cost to the customer.  

 

Linda, if you come into my shop and ask for an alignment (and actually get past my service advisor and to me directly), I wouldn't be able to reasonably justify charging you $499 to do an alignment.  Especially if we knew we needed to correct a rear tire wear issue like an axle shifted.  Not only could I not justify that, as an automotive and small truck shop, we don't have the practice or equipment setup to do it quickly, and I would know going in that it could very well cost me more time than I am going to make doing it.  As a tech, if I spend more than 30 minutes aligning your vehicle, it is costing me money.  At an hour in, I am usually pretty upset.  Much past that and I am pulling it off the rack and telling my service advisor some unrepeatable things.  The only exception would be if I have just done a full front end jon that paid me several hours and had gotten is done quickly enough to loose some time on the alignment.  

 

And $499 is what alignments were going for on big rigs 15yrs ago when I was in that shop...  So it isn't an outrageous number.  

 

While it sucks for the customer, it is a numbers game.  The problem with the whole automotive industry is "flat rate."  If I spend 4-5hrs working on a vehicle and only get paid a flat rate of 1hr, I am am screwed.  And I can't afford to eat that day.   

 

 -------

 

As for doing it manually and on the ground like Linda suggested  most shops, and ESPECIALLY corporate shops, won't even consider doing that.  If your alignment isn't straight, we have to go through all that again, for free.  If you come back in a week, have to do it all again, for free.   Unless they charge you an exorbitant price any smart person, and most not so smart ones, would laugh and walk out while cursing at the service advisor.

 

I will behave and not go into a long tirade about the industry these days and our complete lack of new techs, and the old and competent ones who actually know how to do an alignment on the ground have either all retired, or are smart and sore enough to pretend they can't do it.  Plus while it isn't anything complex, doing a ground alignment with any precision requires some unusual and specialized tools, or taking the time to make them up.  I have done this before.  I even still have the tools to do it again.  I never ever will, it is THAT MUCH of a pain.  I wouldn't even bother trying to do it on my own Toy home.  

 

We have to remember, or vehicles are now probably all over 30yrs old.  I know very few mechanics still out there wrenching these days who have more than 30yrs experience and remember these vehicles, or doing alignments manually or on the old string machines.  For at least 20yrs all the alignment machines (commonly used) utilize cameras and 4 target heads.  The last time I did an alignment on the ground, was over 30yrs ago before I was wrenching and had access to a proper alignment machine.  Wow, them alignment tools in my attic are vintage LOL!     

 

So yeah, the industry is messed up and I think doing away with flat rate would actually go a VERY LONG way towards fixing it.  I do post some LONG responses especially when it comes to stuff like this because as an industry insider I want you guys to understand what you are up against.  I hope that the time spent writing these posts saves somebody that "$100 bucks, or gives them the courage to tackle a much bigger job themself and save a couple thoudsand even!  

 

I don't ever mean for any of my responses to come across snarky or like I know better.  Heh Linda especially can tell you there are some things here I am COMPLETELY lost on...  OMG like wheel levelers, and I still haven't figiured out how to properly setup my house power grid, or get my stupid AC to stop leaking.  Or, nevermind lol...    

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thewanderlustkin: That explains why the tire shops told me I do not need wheel alignment on my rig.

 

Back on Shopping for Tires issue, It was an experience, however I am not sure if i saved any money. I did end up buying 7 Nexen Roadian tires online from Walmart. Tires shipped from Walmart were made in June 2021. Discount tires had Yokohama tires in D rating. I cancelled that order because these tires were three years old. Installation part was little hectic. I checked with 4 different shops. The installation price ranged from $240 to $350. Finally I took the rig to a tires shop called Industrial Tires, They are on NE Killingsworth St. and 72nd Ave. in Portland, Oregon, some 12 miles from home. He charged me $200 cash he said, for all 7 tires and installed extenders on the inside tire Valve stems. That was couple of months ago so far so good.

 

Cost wise this is what worked out:

7 Tires @ $97.85 = 685

Installation           = 200

--------------------------

                                 $885  works out to be $ 126.40 per tire.

Piece of mind one for all new tires on the rig and they were made this year, hopefully they will be good  few years.

 

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  • 1 year later...

I ordered tires from tire rack, even found whitewalls, but when I took in my rig for its inspection and tire installation, I was told that I had the wrong tire class. The tires I bought, and what was on it were "C" rated, according to the camper repair, that I really trust, told me that I need "D" rated tires. It's really hard to find "D" rated tires in a 14" 195 tire. I've seen some trailer tires, but are they good for the motorhome?

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do not use trailer tires

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Well you don't need a 195 tire. 185 is more readily available and is fine. Never trailer tires which usually have an ST designation.

Have you tried Google. Search 185r14 or if you insist 195r14. No middle aspect ratio. Hundreds of options come up withgreat prices. Almost all online tire stores have free shipping. 

Please tell me the brand and model,exact size to, of what you bought. A C on the tire instead of a D does not make it wrong. Want to know what those tire guys were talking about

Linda S 

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  • 3 weeks later...

My new purchase, an 87 21' conquest came to me with "6 new tires." Unfortunately, they are TowMax 205 75R14, clearly trailer tires. Why can't I leave them on?

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they prob not rated for wieght, and trailer tires are made to by pulled to turn as opposed to having torque applied to them.   not a good thing to have them on anything but a trailer

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