One of the things that our house requires as regular maintenance that stick-and-brick homeowners never have to worry about is tires. Much like the foundation below most peoples’ houses, our tires are the cornerstone holding everything else up, and they’re pretty much forgotten most of the time. You just assume they’re there, doing what they do, and that’s that. That works fine up until something becomes noticeably wrong.

Ours became a worry back in Austin earlier in the year, as you can read about in one of our earlier blog posts. Doing a post-mortem on the tire and looking at the others for damage, the issue of tire age on the overall vehicle became clear. Given certain variables at the time, we tossed this in the ‘soon-but-not-right-now’ category. Well, we finally got to a point where it’s going to be a bigger risk with upcoming travel than I’d like to take.

The RV was put in for service a week or two ago while we took a road trip back south to Houston. One of the things they didn’t get around to before I picked it up was cleaning it off from some of the rains while we were gone. That made the tire issue stand out even more starkly.

Like a dried out desert

Like a dried out desert

This was definitely an attention-grabber and brought a great point to mind that actually applies to my Jeep’s tires as well – tread surface isn’t all you need! Sidewalls are very important. Most notably, it can’t be repaired. If you blow out the side of the tire then replacement is your only option, and you won’t be able to drive on it to get one.

The time had come to bite the expensive bullet and swap out some tires. The trick with getting the tires of a house changed is finding a place that can fit the RV onto their lot. Most tire places are made for cars to drive in, lift up, head back out. A 32′ RV weighing in at about 6 tons is a different story. It’s also why I can’t ever find a Ford dealer willing to do even an oil change for me. Luckily, given the size of tires we need, we fall into the mid to heavy truck category and that opens up a few other options. The other side of the sword is that the prices on tires can go up quite a bit when labeled for truck use, but we’ll focus on the benefits right now and bury the cost deep in the back of our minds only to be discovered with plenty of therapy further in the future.

The biggest and almost necessary bonus is that truck tire shops will come to you. They’re geared up to help trucks on the sides of the highway that have had blowouts and are stuck, which means they can do service calls just about anywhere you need. It comes at an extra fee but I figured it was well worth it rather than packing everything up in the house and securing it, bringing the slides in, disconnecting all of the plumbing, and working my way through the small town IF they could fit me on their property for the 4 hours it would most likely take. Doing dishes alone was something I was not interested in tackling that afternoon. You would have made the exact same decision at twice the price, don’t lie.

In the middle of getting new rubber

Not just a car up on blocks in the yard, but the entire house.

It turns out that Schields Tire in Port Jervis was able to send a couple pros over and get the job done in about 2 hours, which included taking my tires and rims back to the shop for the actual installs. Before I knew it, I had all new Firestone Transforce HT’s on the house, and we’re ready to safely take on the next few months of driving!

Cracks not included!

Cracks not included!

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