April 13, 2010.
The day started off cloudy and threatening rain. We got some drizzle type rain throughout the day. I was out the door by 7:30 taking Maggie and Rico out for a long walk around the park.
After walking the dogs, I headed over to the pavilion to check out the continental breakfast provided by the Texas Travel Club Rally. I grabbed a couple of pastries, one each for Joyce and I and took them back to our rig. A large group from the rally were preparing for their excursion to a local ranch. Joyce was just getting out of bed when I got back! There wasn’t anything on the rally agenda that I wanted to attend today and there wasn't much scheduled due to the ranch excursion.
Since we’ve been here at the rally, I’ve been cruising the rows of Carriage fifth wheels admiring them and paying particular attention to their tires. You see, my Cameo has Duro Tires and in fact the standard OEM tire on Cameo’s is the Duro Tires load range E rated for 3520 lbs. each at 80 p.s.i. The two axles on my Cameo are 7K lbs. each. So in theory the two Duro Tires (per axle) are only rated at a combined 40 lbs above the axle rating. Moreover, the Duro Tires are ST tires which means they are only speed rated for 65 mph. I’ve been babying the tires since I’ve had the rig making sure the tire pressure is at their max 80 p.s.i. before every move and driving at a speed of no more than 60 mph.
I’ve read several posts on a couple of Carriage forums that some folks have experienced catastrophic failures, blow-outs and tread separation on the Duro Tires. Couple that with the knowledge that these tires are at their limit on a trailer that including the pin weight potentially weighs as much as 15000 lbs. (I gotta get it weighed.) These concerns have made me very uncomfortable with the Duro tires feeling that I’m riding on borrowed time.
Subsequently in studying the tires on the Carriage fifth wheels here at the rally, I’m convinced that the majority are running the Goodyear G614 RST LT 235/85R16 which are load range G rated LT tires rated for a max load of 3750 lbs. per tire and are speed rated to at least 75 mph. (Not that I would tow at that speed, but it’s nice to have that extra margin of safety.) I did still see some original equipment Duro Tires on a few new (less than a year old) Cameos like mine.
I did see one set of H rated Goodyear G114 LHT 17.5 inch tires on a new Carriage Royals. I had considered these tires and wheels however, it would require changing my wheels along with the tires at a cost approaching $3k for 5. However, after conducting my informal study here in at the rally, I’m convinced that the H rated tire, would possible be over-kill (if there is such a thing) for my rig. The Goodyear G114 LHT is rated at over 4800 lbs. per tire. The other concern is that this is a 125 p.s.i. tire.
So after careful consideration, I decided to upgrade my tires to the Goodyear G614 RST which is a high pressure tire with a max pressure of 110 lbs. I already learned my current wheels will support the pressure rating. I called a local tire service store about a mile from the rv park, A & A Tire Service for a price on the tires. I was quoted a price of $325 per tire including mounting and balancing. The assistant manager, Mike agreed to allow me to order the tires over the internet from Trailer Tire and Wheel Supermarket and have the tires shipped to them for installation. So I contacted Trailer Tire and Wheel Supermarket and ordered 5 tires at a price of $255 each including shipping for a total of $1275. I'll still have to pay for the mounting and balancing etc. The tires are expected to arrive later this week at which time I’m to be contacted by A & A Tire Service upon their arrival.
So stand by for the tire saga as it continues.
Later in the afternoon, Joyce and I took a ride around Kerrville, Tx not wanting to venture too far due to the iffy weather. After getting back we attended the ice cream social put on by the Carriage Travel Club before calling it a night. We’ve met a lot of interesting people at the rally to include a number of folks that, like us are just getting started in the full time RV lifestyle.