Podcast Episodes

Jeff Bown, with MotorhomeTires.com, talks tire maintenance, safety and selection on Episode 088

We have a great show today in that we’re going to talk to an expert on motorhome tires. While some of the things he describes impacts just motorhomes, others apply to towables as well. It’s going to be a really educational episode.

Jeff Bown technically started Motorhome Tires out of his garage 35 years ago. Today, his company is a massive network of more than 4,000 certified installers nationwide. Together, they complete nearly a thousand mobile tire installations every year.

The installations can take place anywhere, even, as Jeff noted, on National Forest land. That’s a huge benefit to motorhome owners because they don’t have to first find a facility that can install tires on big rigs, then hope the firm stocks tires specifically for motorhomes and, third, that the company has time in the schedule to complete the installation.

Not only will the firm install tires, but the technicians can also replace valve stems, balance the tires and add a product that can help maintain control of the RV in the event of a blowout.

Jeff explains why his firm uses balancing beads compared to traditional spin balancing, where the little lead devices pushed into the rims can fall out resulting in a tire losing balance.

Jeff explains why it is so important to monitor tires based on age and not just how many miles they’ve been used. In fact, he recommends people check the date codes on tires before signing any paperwork, especially for a new RV.

He also describes why monitoring air pressure is critically important to ensure that tires are not inflated to the maximum pressure listed on the tire. The pressure inside the tires varies greatly when the tires are cold compared to after they have been traveling for a number of hours.

Jeff explains why it is so important to keep tires covered when not in use, like when an RV is stored or parked at a campsite for an extended period of time. Because Workampers are parked at one location for an entire season, Jeff says it’s a really good idea to keep the tires covered when the RV is not in use.

He also recommends a specific brand of tires, and explains why he came to that conclusion.  Plus, he strongly recommends adding Tyron to the front tires because it works to keep a tire on the wheel so the driver can maintain control the rig if one of the steering tires blows out.

It’s wonderful that in the 35 years Motorhome Tires has been in business selling more than 40,000 tires that the company has never experienced a catastrophic tire failure, or blowout, on any tire the firm has installed.

However, it is important that motorhome owners really pay close attention to the tire dates. If the tires are more than seven years old, they need to be replaced even if there is a lot of good tread on them just because the tire belts simply wear out from holding up so much weight for so long.

It’s not the rubber that wears out, it’s the belts that hold back more than 100 pounds of pressure 24 hours a day for many years.

Jeff shared a scary experience about a customer who experienced a tire blowout while on the phone with him ordering new tires. The customer was fortunate he did not wind up veering off the road at more than 50 miles per hour. He’s also lucky he didn’t hit that concrete embankment.

I was also surprised at Jeff’s recommendation to not use any type of tire dressing because that degrades the rubber material. The dressing soaks into the tire and results in premature aging of the tire material. So, while tire dressing may help tires look nice, it will reduce the tire life – and motorhome tires are very expensive to replace.

I appreciated Jeff’s observation that replacing tires on a motorhome before it is sold can often increase the RV’s value more than the cost of the tires.

Jeff closed the interview by mentioning an encounter he had recently with a Navy SEAL that he considered to be life-changing. It was a good message to keep in mind today because all of us seem to be convinced our way is the best way to do anything.

For business leaders, it is essential that they put trust in their staff to try things that may be a different way of doing something than the owner or manager may do. That trust empowers employees to take more responsibility and develop their own leadership skills. I just loved that message.

If you’d like more information about Jeff’s company, visit www.motorhometires.com. If you own a motorhome, he’ll set you up with some great tires at very competitive prices – and his installers will come to you. Saving money and saving time is a great combination.

This episode was sponsored by the National RV Training Academy in Athens, Texas. The academy’s one-week live training or home study course will teach you everything you need to know to fix about 80 percent of the problems people experience with their RVs.

You can also sign up for additional training to become an RV inspector, campground technician or to provide mobile RV service. For more information, visit www.nrvta.com.

Remember, Workamper News is a magazine and online publication that connects RVers to full- and part-time jobs around the country. Whether it is running a business from your RV or working short-term jobs for a variety of employers, Workamper News can give you information to help plan a course to live your own dream and get you on the road faster than you thought possible.

For more information about opportunities to live, work and play in your RV, visit www.workampernews.com.

Greg Gerber

Greg Gerber is a former journalist who covered the recreation vehicle industry since 2009. He started podcasting in 2014 and enjoys interviewing people about ways to live, work and play in their RVs.

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