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Old 07-16-2015, 09:18 AM   #1
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Purchasing tires at WalMart...

I had my first ever OEM (Trail Express Load Range C) tire blowout on my Windjammer last week. The blowout occurred along a divided highway about 80 miles into a 290 mile trip. My TireTraker TPMS did not register any tire pressure or temperature issues in advance of the blowout, which was a sudden catastrophic sidewall failure. In fact, the sudden failure actually destroyed the sensor on the tire, and the folks in customer service at TireTraker promptly replaced that one for me when I called. Fortunately, a fellow traveler pulled alongside to waive us over before the tire could actually come apart and damage the TT. I had a spare with air and Good Sam Roadside Assistance took prompt action when called, and we were back on the road in an hour with no damage.

I'm happy to have been able to get 3 1/2 summers and about 7100 miles out of my OEM tires. I picked up a Goodyear Marathon Load Range D replacement for the blown tire at a WalMart while on the road, and made it back home with the four remaining OEM tires. Now I am arranging to get those four tires replaced before my next trip. A local WalMart has the Marathons in stock. Here's my question...

The tire shop at WalMart indicates it has the capacity (overhead door and bay size) to accommodate my TT and change the tires. I like that idea, as I expected I'd have to change them a tire or two at a time at home and carry them to WalMart for purchase and mounting of the replacements. I can do this safely at home using a simple TrailerAid with a board under it. My only concern is whether the tire shop at WalMart would have the appropriate means of jacking up my rig (and be possessed of the understanding required to take care to not mess up either my torsion axles or the TT frame, etc.). Does anyone have thoughts or advice about letting the tire shop do the work? I was planning to do it myself, but if I'm just being overprotective or anal about the risk of a tire shop damaging my TT, I would be just as happy letting WalMart do it.
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Old 07-16-2015, 09:30 AM   #2
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I had to order the tires I wanted, so I talked to the tire shop first. Told them it had torsion axles and they needed to jack it on the frame. No problem - they used a bottle jack to fit the tight spot between the axles. I also asked if they normally balance trailer tires - answer was no. So I asked if they would balance mine and they said no problem. Also asked for metal bolt in stems, and they also said no problem. Once I was satisfied they would do everything I wanted, I had them order the tires.


So, I think if you just verify ahead of time that they will do what you want and then you "remind" the tech who is actually doing the work when you take it down, it should be fine whether its Wal-Mart or a tire shop.
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Old 07-16-2015, 09:31 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vern View Post
I had my first ever OEM (Trail Express Load Range C) tire blowout on my Windjammer last week. The blowout occurred along a divided highway about 80 miles into a 290 mile trip. My TireTraker TPMS did not register any tire pressure or temperature issues in advance of the blowout, which was a sudden catastrophic sidewall failure. In fact, the sudden failure actually destroyed the sensor on the tire, and the folks in customer service at TireTraker promptly replaced that one for me when I called. Fortunately, a fellow traveler pulled alongside to waive us over before the tire could actually come apart and damage the TT. I had a spare with air and Good Sam Roadside Assistance took prompt action when called, and we were back on the road in an hour with no damage.

I'm happy to have been able to get 3 1/2 summers and about 7100 miles out of my OEM tires. I picked up a Goodyear Marathon Load Range D replacement for the blown tire at a WalMart while on the road, and made it back home with the four remaining OEM tires. Now I am arranging to get those four tires replaced before my next trip. A local WalMart has the Marathons in stock. Here's my question...

The tire shop at WalMart indicates it has the capacity (overhead door and bay size) to accommodate my TT and change the tires. I like that idea, as I expected I'd have to change them a tire or two at a time at home and carry them to WalMart for purchase and mounting of the replacements. I can do this safely at home using a simple TrailerAid with a board under it. My only concern is whether the tire shop at WalMart would have the appropriate means of jacking up my rig (and be possessed of the understanding required to take care to not mess up either my torsion axles or the TT frame, etc.). Does anyone have thoughts or advice about letting the tire shop do the work? I was planning to do it myself, but if I'm just being overprotective or anal about the risk of a tire shop damaging my TT, I would be just as happy letting WalMart do it.
Lee, did Wal-Mart tell you they would expressly change the tires out on your travel trailer? The reason I'm asking, is back when I had a service contract with our local stores years ago, they wouldn't. You had to bring the tire/wheels into them already off the trailer...... as they wouldn't jack up TT's. I am also familiar with the bays on seven of our local stores, none of which would easily accommodate a TT going in them, as it would have to be backed in (no pull thru unless in the oil change part and would be an extreme liability issue backing something in). Things are always changing, so this may no longer be the case.
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Old 07-16-2015, 09:41 AM   #4
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I would look up the jacking recommendations for your unit and ensure that Walmart knows where to jack up the unit correctly. When told were to jack the unit I would think that Walmart would be able to change the tires with no problem. On my unit the owners manual gives no guidance on where to jack the unit nor does the manual for the Dextel axle. The LCI manual says to jack the frame but with a wood box being placed on the frame between the jack and the unit. I have never seen anyone jack a trailer in that manner but that is what LCI recommends.
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Old 07-16-2015, 09:47 AM   #5
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have a conversation with tire mgr at Walmart, and then stick around to keep an eye on things... I have found that Walmart actually does a pretty good job changing tires and has strict rules about what they will and will not do
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Old 07-16-2015, 10:02 AM   #6
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Purchasing tires at Wal Mart

I think you answered your own question. If I had any concerns about Walmart doing this procedure and could do it myself at home, I'd do it. Period.

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Old 07-16-2015, 10:20 AM   #7
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wmtire - I know, that's exactly what I thought, too, and expected to be required to do this shuttling tires from home. However, they specifically stated they could do it...I will just have to visit first to look it over and talk to the Tire Mgr. Believe me, I'm not for backing it their bays for sure (nor would I let them). If no pull thru or otherwise uncomfortable with the facility, I will just hand deliver my rims two at a time. Thanks for the comment.
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Old 07-16-2015, 10:22 AM   #8
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kdot - Not really. I don't have any reason to doubt WalMart, but simply wanted the feedback from those on the forum. What we do here is try to learn from each other's mistakes and experiences as we make the smartest decisions we can, knowing nothing is ever really certain.
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Old 07-16-2015, 10:28 AM   #9
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kmp44, clr and rsdata - your comments are right on...there is some supervision required on my end to avoid something getting goofed up...the question becomes whether it is worth it...I'm leaning toward just removing the wheels here at my own pace and then taking them down to the store for purchase and mounting two at a time

Thanks everybody!
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Old 07-16-2015, 10:35 AM   #10
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Do you know someone you could borrow some jack stands from so you could put the trailer on them and take all the tires at once?
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