Class A motorhomes are comparable to 18-wheeler trucks. They often have towing capacities worth thousands of pounds, the space for four or more passengers, and huge wheels. They’re bigger than Class C motorhomes, which are often categorized as sizeable in-betweeners. Class A motorhomes also far outweigh Class B motorhomes, which are the slimmest and tiniest motorhome class.
If you own a Class A motorhome, you can’t just use any tires for long trips across the open road. When you’re hefting around thousands of pounds, you’ll need heavy, reliable tires that don’t exactly come cheap.
In addition to discussing the price of Class A motorhome tires in this piece, I also plan on delving into which brands sell these tires, changing and storing tires, and basic tire maintenance.
What Is the Average Cost of Class A Motorhome Tires?
The average cost of Class A motorhome tires is about $300. Of course, there are many factors that may make these prices fluctuate, such as the brand that sells the tires, the website you’re purchasing from, and of course the quality of the tire.
Like many things, you do get what you pay for with Class A motorhome tires. Cheap tires may do in a pinch, but don’t expect these to last for long. They often have weaker tread widths, smaller section widths, less inflation pressure, and a smaller weight.
For instance, Deerstone D902 tires weigh 37 pounds each and cost $86. Compare that to the Yokohama TY303s, which weigh 99 pounds each and cost $313 per tire.
Here are some preferred brands that sell Class A tires. You’ll see there’s a spectrum of prices, but most stick firmly within the $300 camp:
- Yokohama TY303 255/70R22.L 30312 tires: $313
- Deerstone D902 8.75x-16.5 DS1290 tires: $86
- Michelin XRV 225/70R19.5 58916 tires: $306
- Goodyear G670 RV ULT LT225/70R19.5 B tires: $376
- Roadmaster RM253 245/7OR19.5 136M tires: $237
- Hankook AH11 8/R19.5 L tires: $209
- Toyo M154 265/75R22.5 138L tires: $382
- Firestone Transforce HT Highway 235x75R15 104R tires: $125
- Samson Radial GL283A 8/R19.5 124L tires: $138
- Continental ContiTrac 235/70-16 tires: $127
Comparing Class A Motorhome Tires to Class B or Class C Tires
All three classes of RVs have tires that can handle various motorhome weights and sizes. Class A RV tires are meant for vehicles that are 30 to 40 feet and weigh 15,000 to 30,000 pounds. You won’t find bigger tires than these.
Compare those to Class B RV tires. These are smaller and cannot support nearly as much weight. They’re used for motorhomes with a width of 17 to 19 feet that weigh between 6,000 to 8,000 pounds.
If you do need a mid-range option, that would be Class C tires. These can tow 10,000 or 12,000 pounds on vehicles with a width of up to 30 feet.
How Do You Change a Class A Motorhome Tire?
Once you’ve chosen your Class A motorhome tires, it’s a good idea to know how to change them. After all, you’re going to have to take off your current tires for these new ones, so here’s the steps you need to follow. These directions also come in handy for replacing a flat tire:
- Using either a single RV leveler or two RV jacks, grab the first of the two jacks and place it at the front wheel. The second jack should go at the back wheel. If you have an RV leveler instead, position this between the two wheels.
- Check that your jacks are in place securely.
- Now, begin to raise up the vehicle in the back via the jacks or leveler. Stop once the RV frame and the back tire bump each other.
- Repeat the same process for the front. Once the RV frame and the front tire have touched, you should raise the jack three notches further.
- Do the same for the back tire, adding three further pumps to the jack.
- You may have to increase the jack height further at a rate of three pumps each between both the back and front jack. The goal is to lift the tire to the point where it doesn’t touch the ground at all. You should be able to give it a spin without issue.
- Once you have lifted both the front and back tires to the appropriate spot, stop raising the jacks.
- Now, take off the tire you want to replace. Loosen this tire’s lug nuts with a wrench. Do not throw away the lug nuts, as they will come in handy later.
- The tire should now come free. Take it off the RV and set up the new one in its place. Secure the new tire with the lug nuts.
- Lower the vehicle via the back and front jacks until the tire is back on the ground. Remove the jacks or leveler.
It’s that simple. That said, it’s recommended you do this job without getting under the RV. In fact, it’s dangerous to climb under an RV to do any repair work, even if it’s as basic as changing your RV tires. You could be crushed by the weight of the vehicle.
Also, to be on the safe side, only take off RV tires if your emergency brake is set.
Where Can You Store a Spare Class A Tire?
If you look around your motorhome, you may not see much room to stash a spare tire. Depending on the RV manufacturer and model, that may very well be the case. Although it was trendy in the 1980s to make the space for a spare tire, today, many manufacturers focus on interior and exterior amenities over spare tire space.
If you can indeed hold a spare Class A tire in your vehicle, more than likely, it will have be partly deflated and unmounted to fit. If you think about it, that makes sense. Let’s go back to the Yokohama Class A tires I mentioned earlier in this article. One of those weighed nearly 100 pounds. It also has a 37-inch diameter, 11-inch section width, and an eight-inch rim width range.
Not only is this tire weighty, then, but it’s a bit of a space-hog, too. Considering most manufacturers sell Class A tires at the same price as the Yokohama tires, you can expect these will have roughly the same specifications.
Essentially, you’d be giving up the space for a spare bed, a bathroom, or even cooking amenities to stash the fully-inflated tire.
Not only that, but every RV has what’s called a Gross Vehicle Weight or GVW. This refers to the max amount of mass or weight the RV can tow. The GVW accounts for the weight of cargo, all passengers, the driver, accessories, fuel, engine fluids, the engine itself, the body of the vehicle, and the chassis.
It’s an extremely specific measurement, and any extra additions can tip the GVW too far. Yes, that includes a spare tire.
So, in short, if you can stash a spare Class A motorhome tire at all, it’s going to have to be partially deflated for reasons of both space and weight.
What if your RV doesn’t have any room for a spare tire? Don’t worry, as this is very common with today’s motorhome models. You’ll just have to change your tires at home or at an RV park. You won’t be able to do so on-the-go.
If your tire deflates or has any other issues, you may have to get your vehicle towed and the tire replaced by a professional.
Class A Motorhome Tire Maintenance Tips
If you are fortunate enough to have the space to store a Class A spare tire, let’s hope you don’t have to use it in an emergency.
To prevent this, you’ll have to do tire maintenance regularly, just as you do for the rest of your motorhome. This will keep your vehicle’s tires running their best longer. Here are some of my top Class A tire maintenance tips:
- Don’t use the wrong tire type for your vehicle! While you’re shopping around for your RV, be sure to ask a store representative or even the manufacturer whether your motorhome should have Class A, Class B, or Class C tires. There is a difference, as I’ve mentioned above. If your vehicle is bigger and heavier, you’ll need Class A tires. If it’s on the smaller and slimmer side, Class B tires should suffice.
If you have any questions or concerns about your tire choice, you should check the manual that came with your motorhome. This will tell you which class tires are best according to your vehicle’s size, sidewall strength, load rating, and its weight.
- You should clean your tires, especially if these are dirty or muddy. Limit how often you do this to perhaps once or twice a year. Why? Although you can’t see them, your RV tires are coated in a layer of anti-ozone and antioxidant compounds as well as tire dressing (a type of finish that adds shine) that prolong the life of the tires. When you wash the tires, you get rid of the compounds that keep them looking and working well.
- Your tires will naturally wear down over time. This is essentially unavoidable. That said, some spots do start to wear down faster, which is no good. To avoid this, you need to do a tire rotation on all four tires.
- Make sure you’re not driving with old tires, especially if your motorhome is preowned. One of the first things you should do before taking a preowned RV out on the road is check the tires.
All tires that were administered by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or NHTSA and the U.S. Department of Transportation or DOT have Tire Identification Numbers. These are known as DOT numbers. They should be three to 13 digits long, with the first few digits representing the week of manufacture and the rest of the digits representing the year. So if your tires had a DOT number of 0215, for example, production occurred in January 2015.
Now, for some vehicles, your DOT number may not be a four-digit code, but only three digits. This is a pretty big indicator it’s time to change out your tires right away, as tires with three DOT numbers were typically produced in the 1990s. Take, for example, 526 as a DOT number. The production date for these tires was the 52nd week of 1996.
The Family Motor Coach Association says motorhome tires have a lifespan of between five and seven years, so if your tires are older than that, it’s time to replace them.
- Know what can ruin tires. Besides wear and tear on one side and cleaning them too often, prolonged exposure to ozone and UV rays can also reduce how many years you get out of your tires. At the beginning of each RV season, you should always thoroughly look at all four tires, watching out for any cracks. If you see these, tire rotting has likely begun to occur, which necessitates an instant replacement.
- If you have spare tires to store, either in your motorhome or back home in your garage, you can’t just put them anywhere. Again, this can degrade the coatings on the tires as well as expose them to UV light. Cut or buy a slab of wood that matches the size of at least one tire. Put the tire on the wood.
- You should winterize your RV once a year or so. To keep tires in the best condition, be sure to take them off the vehicle before you do this job. Once you’re done, you can put the tires back on.
- To test the air pressure of your tire, you should use an inflation gauge. An angled dual foot pressure gauge is even better, especially for testing multiple tires. Make sure you do a weekly tire pressure reading at least. A daily reading is ideal, though.
- If you do want to test more than one tire at once, extension hoses really come into handy. These come with stainless steel parts. You should change out the inner tires’ rubber valves and install steel ones instead. These are much more compatible with the extension hoses.
- Sometimes one axle gets more weighed down than the other. If this is the case, you may have to release or add some pressure on a tire so it no longer matches the pressure of the others. Alternately, you can rearrange items in the motorhome so the axle weights are more even.
- To prevent straining the axles, make sure to know the Gross Axle Weight Rating or GAWR of your RV. You should weigh the max axle weight with single axle scales, single platform scales, or segmented platform scales.
- If you’re inflating the tires yourself, you need to fill each one all the way. Underinflated tires can get overly hot and explode. They may also wear down more on one side than another.
- Of course, overfilling the tires is just as bad. These may also explode due to the excess air pressure.
- Learn your weights as listed by the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA).
- There’s the Hitch Weight, also known as the Tongue Weight (TW), which accommodates a full trailer with a fifth wheel.
- The Gross Combined Weight (GCWR) is the weight of all things on the motorhome.
- The Cargo Carrying Capacity (CCC) counts all gear, belongings, and other stuff you bring on your RV.
- The Unloaded Vehicle Weight (UVW), oppositely, is the weight of the motorhome without all that extra gear.
To find these weights, find your vehicle’s data plate. You can also check the manufacturer’s website.
Class A motorhome tires are for the biggest and heaviest RV class there is. It’s no wonder then that these tires cost roughly $300 a pop!
Sure, you could find cheaper tires out there, but that doesn’t mean these will last you for very long. Be sure to shop for your tires from well-known brands. If you’re really eager to save money, there are plenty of online retailers out there that might sell RV tires for less. Just make sure these are new and not used!
Although Class A tires are quite sizeable, they’re certainly not indestructible. It’s important to perform routine maintenance on your tires, such as testing inflation, rotating the tires, and ensuring you don’t exceed the recommended weight limits of your vehicle.
You should also know how to change a Class A tire in case of emergency or simply when your current tires are old enough to the point where they need to be replaced.
Now that you know more about Class A tires, you’re ready to get out there and have fun on the road.