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Old 12-19-2009, 10:42 PM   #1
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Tire Storage - Vapor Barriers

My rig is stored on packed dirt mixed with some gravel. I want to put some form of vapor barrier between the tires and the earth.

(The tires are covered for UV and I'll cover the entire RV once I get this worked out.)

Any suggestions? Thanks.
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Old 12-19-2009, 10:52 PM   #2
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Steve, I just read an article about this somewhere, can't remember if it was the FMCA magazine or GoodSam's magazine but a similar question was asked along these lines. Basically the author for the mag. contacted an expert at one of the major tire companies and asked him. He said it wasn't a real big issue to worry about parking on dirt or gravel for long periods of time. I used to keep our old rig on gravel all the time with no issues.
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Old 12-20-2009, 08:50 AM   #3
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Interesting.. Packed earth might be a good barrier in itself. I'll do some more reading.

Thanks!
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Old 12-20-2009, 08:09 PM   #4
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I believe that unless you somehow vacuum seal the tires, that they will eventually succumb to cracking and such from atmosphere anyway. Of course, keeping ths sunlight off will help, but other than that, probably a waste of effort.
Isnt it recommended to replace rv tires every 4 years?
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Old 12-20-2009, 08:31 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edman87k5 View Post
Isnt it recommended to replace rv tires every 4 years?
General rule of thumb is not more than 7 years. In England they actually have official government guidelines that state every 6 years but it's a guideline and not a law. Our government doesn't want to step in on the subject.

I believe that Dateline NBC or 20/20 (one of those news shows) that we watched one night did a great piece on tire age. The experts they talked to recommended that you be very careful with tires 7 years old or older. They also pointed out how to read the DOT code so that you can decipher the manufacture date on the sidewall and that many low volume tire outlets are actually selling "new" tires that are 5 or more years older. Very interesting stuff.

4 years would really be a bit soon though. I agree that keeping the sun (UV) off of them is a very good idea but they won't breakdown due to extended contact with the ground within 7 years.
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Old 12-20-2009, 11:54 PM   #6
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Steve, you've got me thinking now about tires. So I did some research. Unfortunately the information that I can find stops just short of really giving definitive answers. If you read between the lines you can actually see the lawyers behind the scenes telling the writers to be careful.

Both Goodyear and Michelin state that prolonged storage on "some storage surfaces may cause tires to age prematurely" However they won't tell you what those surfaces are. One site did say not to store on asphalt or highly reflective surfaces like sand or snow because of the concentrated UV exposure. They both recommend placing something like cardboard, plywood or a plastic card under the tires for prolonged storage.

The do both recommend that storage inside a garage is the best place to store (well duh!)

Of particular interest to me was that they said to reduce the load on the tire while in storage by unloading the RV and or placing the RV on blocks to remove the weight from the tires. This would tend to be a good reason to take weight off your suspension by storing the rig with the hydraulic levelers down, something we always do so that we can open and close the slides as we need to for interior access.

The other interesting thing is that they won't give a guideline for replacement of tires other than with RVs it is more dependant on age rather than mileage, again for most of us here that is a big "no duh!" Only a few sources said that RV tires should easily last 4 to 5 years depending on their treatment and exposure to UV or pollution and stating that they can last much longer under good conditions. However those numbers seem really low to me unless you live in Yuma, AZ and your rig is parked in the direct sunlight on sand.

Here is a link to a PDF file by Michelin with a lot of good information.
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