You May Want To Avoid Goodyear RV Tires, Per Consumer Reports
In a recent report by Consumer Report, it has been found that Goodyear G159 tires – the same tires that have been linked to hundreds of RV crashes over the last 25 years – are still on the market.
This might surprise you. Goodyear is an extremely popular brand of tires. However, over the last 25 years, court records and documents reviewed by Consumer Reports show that at least 95 people have been killed or injured in RV accidents linked to G159 tires. Based on documents from 2017, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that these tires were allegedly not designed for extended use at highway speeds.
What you need to know about these Goodyear RV tires
There’s a lot more to this story, but as an RV owner or if you’re in the market, here’s what you need to know.
The Goodyear G159 tires weren’t designed to be used for extended highway use. For most RVers – especially full-timers – this is exactly the type of travel their RV is experiencing. These tires were actually originally intended to be used on regional delivery trucks. The Goodyear G159s ended up on RVs across the country after the company sold them to motorhome manufacturers. They claimed that the tires were fit for travel at highway speeds (up to 75 mph).
However, at highway speeds, these RV tires would heat to unusually high temperatures which could result in tread separation.
The NHTSA estimates that around 40,000 G159 tires have been installed on RVs. In a letter submitted to NHTSA, it’s stated that 17 motorhome manufacturers installed G159 tires on 39 separate motorhome models between July 1995 and September 2015.
From the numbers above, you can see that there were a lot of Goodyear RV tires installed. So these tires are still out there, especially on older rigs that are coming up for sale. If you’re looking at an older rig to buy, checking the tires is a huge safety concern.
How to check your RV tires
Own an older rig and want to make sure the tires are still good? Luckily, there is an easy way to determine the age of your RV tires. You can read the Department of Transportation (DOT) code printed on the sidewall of the tire.
This “DOT” system certifies that the tire manufacturer’s compliance with the DOT NHTSA tire safety standards. Tires manufactured in the United States – like Goodyear – have the DOT serial number located on the inside sidewall near the rim.
The DOT code system breakdown: the letters “DOT” followed by 8 to thirteen letters and/or numbers identify the location the tire was manufactured, the tire size, the manufacturer’s code, the week, and year the tire was manufactured.
If your tires were made before 2000 then there will be 3 numbers used for the date. The first 2 numbers are for the week and the last number identifies the year. For tires made in the ’90s, a decade system is located at the end of the DOT number.
What to look for
What are you looking for? Two quick things to give you peace of mind (and ensure you and your family’s safety):
- The year of the RV tire manufacturer
- If the tires are Goodyear – specifically G159
For RVers with an older RV or who are in the market for a used rig or used tires, make sure you double-check your RV tire DOT number. In general, most would suggest you replace your RV tires every 5-7 years. The caveat to that timeline is that your RV tires may wear faster depending on travel style or storage.
If you check the tires and they are Goodyear G159, you should set your sights on some new rubber.
While the G159s are no longer being manufactured, there is evidence that the Goodyear RV tires are still on the road. Safety should be of the utmost importance when you’re RVing, so make sure you double-check your RV tires. If you’re looking for ways to keep your RV tires from getting damaged, we have you covered.
RVers can find all the latest RV news and information on forums like iRV2.com and blog sites like RV LIFE, Do It Yourself RV, and Camper Report. You’ll also find brand-specific information on additional forums like Air Forums, Forest River Forums, and Jayco Owners Forum.