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RE: 2023 F550 Order Options

No I will be keeping my Ram 5500. Too much invested in it. My only real complaint with it is it does not track as well as my F450. I will be taking it in for an alignment soon and that should help. I was just curious if Ford finally will have more features for F550's. Being a long time Ford guy switching to Ram has been a bit weird. How does the turning radius feel to you comparing your 2022 5500 Ram to your 2017-2019 Ford F-450? I realize that there are a few small differences in AF, CA, WB, and WCA dimensions between the two trucks, but what I am curious about is how the steering maneuverability differences feel in your hand, now that you have had sufficient experience operating both vehicles. Which vehicle do you prefer turning around in?
BigToe 01/30/23 09:05am Tow Vehicles
RE: Frame Stiffing to reduce Porpoising?

For frame strengthening, I was thinking along the lines of L-stock clamped with U-bolts to the rails. This would prevent the original frame from being drilled or welded. It would be the automotive version of a medical splint or brace. However, I still am not convinced that this is needed. Not only are frame reinforcements not needed, they can cause more harm than good, by creating sudden transitions in stiffness between the reinforced and un-reinforced portions of the frame. It is at these transitions where the frame suddenly encounters additional resistance to flexing due to the reinforcement, so the stress is then concentrated in the areas of the frame just prior to encountering the reinforcement. The engineering of frame reinforcements to minimize transitional stress concentrations is an art and science unto itself... sufficient to challenge even the most competent repair facility, as they lack the means to mathematically model and materially test the outcomes of frame reinforcement schemes that are further hampered by the packaging constraints dictated by retrofitment to an existing frame. Earlier I mentioned that for this same model year (1999), Ford produced L channel frame reinforcements for the Chassis Cab frames. Yet even these reinforcements are not retrofittable after the fact of production, even to identical chassis cabs built without the reinforcements. To achieve a smoother transition between un-reinforced and reinforced sections of the frame, Ford ran the horizontal flanges of the L channel longer than the webs, and Ford tied the attachment of the flanges to the attachment of the crossmember that ties the forward rear leaf spring hangars together laterally across the frame. The web of the reinforcement is then tapered forward, and then tapered and flanged out again on the forward end, intersecting with inverted reinforcement under the back of cab wall at a forward rake angle. The OP talked about adding several hundred more pounds of weight in the form of a front drive axle, new transmission, and transfer case, in order to convert his truck to 4WD. But he then added the twist that he also wants the coil sprung version that Ford offered for 2005 and up, even though his frame is a 1999 that does not have the boxing behind the engine cross member that will keep the frame from cracking, as Ford found when testing the coil spring / long radius arm 4WD suspension when it was being developed in the early aughts. Even that frame reinforcement is designed to minimize sudden stress risers. The web of the boxing is fish mouthed, and the attachment to the crossmember is tabbed. The reach back of the flanges stretches toward the existing service frame splice, spreading the strain throughout the frame, rather than attempting to shore up just the area of demonstrated frame failure from the design change in front suspension. U Bolts not only concentrates stress/strain at attachment points, they also crush the flanges of the frame when torqued properly. Ford strongly recommends that blocks be placed between the upper and lower flanges at every U bolt. The most logical course of action is to determine how much actual weight (by weighing the wet and loaded camper and truck on a physical scale) is being borne by the existing truck. The data derived from this physical weighing can then be entered into the mental weighing of options to solve the porpoising, as well as options to cowboy the truck into doing something more than it was originally designed too do.
BigToe 01/30/23 08:45am Truck Campers
RE: Frame Stiffing to reduce Porpoising?

At issue is that it is impossible to add rigidity to the existing frame design without also adding weight. Ford has reinforced Super Duty chassis cab frames using L reinforcements, which are split, angled along the web, and inversed at the cab to bed junction. Let's pretend that the pickup frame is also conducive in shape to add similar frame reinforcements, and roughly estimate, using a reasonably derived example to demonstrate the added weight of material that frame stiffening reinforcement might impose. And by the way, all of the reasonably derived estimates in my prior post were clearly identified as "EXAMPLE" assumptions, to again, demonstrate a process of estimation where the actual facts are not known. Thanks to your clarification of the Federal Certification Label GVWR (11,200 49 state instead of 11,000 CA) and CAT Scale ticket when the truck was empty (caveat: if weight was for registering the TX truck in CA for purposes of determining fees, then most folks make every effort to make the truck as light as possible for "empty" weighings... ie, little fuel, no tools behind seat, etc), we still do not know what your actual camper weight is, beyond the dry weight of your BigFoot 25C10.6B of 2,734 lbs at manufacture. Does that weight include the jack system? It does not appear to include the rooftop air conditioner shown in your photo, as the BigFoot label states N/A for both the air conditioner and the generator you said you added. The collective experience of truck camper owners culminates into the common understanding that there can be a signficant gap between the as manufactured weights of a camper, versus the as useable in the real world weight of the camper. I think those of us focusing on the rig combination as typically deployed in your actual usage in the real world first, are focused on the porpoising you reported, which you stated was the principle problem you perceived and were trying to solve. One solution you proposed to solve that problem involved a question regarding the use of frame reinforcements. We are looking past that proposed solution first, in order to assess what you surmised was the root problem you were trying to solve with the frame reinforcement proposal. But that proposal adds weight. To estimate that weight, we can use a 3" x 7" rectangular tube of 0.250" steel material thickness, which in mild A36 steel weights about 15.62 lbs per foot, and assuming we can split this tubing twice longitudinally into two L shaped reinforcements that we later split again cross-sectionally in order to invert the L at the cab transition point to retain some frame flexibilty while optimizing the placement of horizontal flange of the L to mitigate where the original frame flange is under the greatest tensile stress on the bottom flange, and the greatest compressive stress on the top flange, we might need to buy about 5 feet of this material to cut up, and hydraulically contour into a conforming shape. So that is almost 80 lbs of added material. Because it might be best to avoid welding on the frame, we would need some hardware to mount the frame reinforcements. Whether we chose Grade 8 bolts and hardened flat washers, or Class 10.9 flange bolts and prevailing torque flange nuts, or better yet, huck bolts that are less likely to loosen over time... all that hardware will add some additional weight, say another 10 lbs. It all adds up. As an example, from Truck Camper Magazine: "Bigfoot 25C10.6: dry weight, 3,180 pounds + 50 gallons fresh, 417 pounds + 6 gallon water heater, 50 pounds + 2x 20-pound full propane tanks, 40 pounds + 2 batteries, 130 pounds + stuff, 500 pounds = 4,317 pounds" Your 2000 model year 25C10.6B may start off with a lower dry weight, but the AC unit, the generator, the camper jacks, perhaps a solar panel, etc, pile the weight right back on again. In the TCMAG reported example, their actual BigFoot camper wet weight exceeded the dry weight rating on the label by 1,137 lbs, which is a 36% increase over the as manufactured dry weight on the label. Without even considering the weights of your added generator, AC unit, and camper jack system, and instead just simply adding 36% of your dry weight to your dry weight to come up with a rough estimate of your wet weight with your pots and pans, yields a result of 3,718 lbs, which is consistent with what you are already sure of... that you are running over the 3,600 lbs capacity that you have determined from the difference between your GVWR and empty scale weight. Now add passengers x 150 lbs each, and a full tank of diesel at an estimated 277 lbs (38 gallons x 7.3 lbs per gallon) Along with 90 lbs of frame reinforcement, added weight that could be the final straw that might exacerbate, say, a driveshaft U joint failure from having already been pushed to a bit over maximum capacity. You have an ideal camper, and a nearly ideal truck to haul it with. You have reported what you perceive to be a porpoising problem, and have proposed a solution. Obtaining the actual facts of the circumstances helps provide proper perspective on the problem, and may lead to a different solution than what was previously proposed. To be solution oriented, it is strongly suggested to have your camper actually weighed as currently equipped with how you travel with it.
BigToe 01/30/23 06:39am Truck Campers
RE: Frame Stiffing to reduce Porpoising?

Executive Summary: Not enough facts were provided by Adamis, despite multiple requests from RV.net members willing to offer their experience and advise. Available Facts: From First Post: I have a 1999 F350 Dually Quad Cab Long Bed. My camper is the Bigfoot 2500 and with everything loaded up is probably in the 4500lb to 5000lb range. From Signature Photo: Clarifies CREW Cab (not "Quad Cab," which is the Ram equivalent to 4 door Extended or Super Cab) Confirmation of Crew cab is important for looking up the correct vehicle references in the 1999 Model Year Consumer Information for Truck Camper Loading for Ford Pickup Trucks. From Second Post: my truck is only two wheel drive. Fine for California From Third Post: the reason I picked a 7.3 is the smog equipment is non existent. and I'm still legal in California. I also have close to $10k in "goodies" in this engine Larger KC Turbo, Larger Injectors, Chipped, Contradiction: By definition, the "larger KC Turbo, larger injectors, chipped" each individually and in combination means that the statement "I'm still legal in California" is false, and not at all a fact. From Fourth Post: It took me a while to find it but Max Payload for the Crew Cab Dually Long Bed 2x4 appears to be 5355 lbs and the 4x4 is 4910lbs. My camper according to the tag on it weighed 2906 and that included 50 gallons of water and 20lbs of propane. Going to a 4x4 conversion that would leave me 2000lbs for people and gear which would be way more than we would ever carry. Questions on Maximum Payload Capacity assumptions: From What resource did you obtain the "5,355 lbs" Maximum Payload Capacity for CREW CAB DUALLY LONG BED 4x2? Did you account for the different Max Payload that applies to the 7.3L diesel? Did you account for the different Max Payload that applies to California? Did you account for the different Max Payload that applies to Model Year? Did you account for the options that you specific truck was built with? More Accurate Information to Consider: It remains unknown what options your truck was built with, the weights of which reduce the maximum payload capacity of your your specific truck. Likewise, the weights of the $10K in goodies that you added is also not known. However, given that it is well established that your truck has the 7.3L diesel, and that are in California, and therefore probable that your truck was built for California, with an 11,000 lbs GVWR... the Maximum Payload capacity for a 7.3L diesel equipped F-350 Super Duty Crew Cab 4x2 172.4" wheelbase (long bed) dual rear wheel pickup is 4410 lbs, before factory options are subtracted. Source: 1999 Ford Source Book, Super Duty F-Series Page 86 (Dealership Hard Copy Print) Questions on Big Foot 2500 Camper Weight determination: How did your camper weight drop from 4,500 to 5,000 lbs down to 2,906 lbs? Have you actually weighed your camper? Have you actually weighed your truck? As other rv.net members have pointed out, getting physical weights is step 1. There is no point in guessing at what you can readily determine with certainty. The Ford Pickup Trucks 1999 Model Year Consumer Information Truck Camper Loading guide sets forth the Minimum Requirements and Maximum Weights of truck campers on 1999 Ford Pickups. 1. The 1999 F-350 Super Duty Crew Cab DRW 172.4" WB 4x2 is only recommended for hauling truck campers if the truck is equiped with the optional CAMPER PACKAGE 532. The CAMPER PACKAGE 532 consists of the following equipment for 7.3L diesel 4x2 applications: A. Front Stabilizer Bar B. Rear Stabilizer Bar C. Auxiliary Rear Springs D. Slide In Camper Certification Question: Does your truck have the foregoing optional equipment A-D? 2. Factory Option Weight distribution between Front and Rear Axles for Base 1999 F-350 4x2 Crew Cab 172.4" Wheelbase DRW 11,000 lbs GVWR Example of Assumed Front Axle additions/subtractions: 7.3L Diesel w/4R100 Automatic: + 604 lbs. California Emissions: + 2 lbs. Front Stabilizer Bar: + 34 lbs. Rear Stabilizer Bar: + 2 lbs. Auxiliary Rear Springs: + 1 lb. Lariat Trim: + 19 lbs. Aluminum Wheels (-22 lbs.) Running Boards: + 46 lbs. Air Conditioning: + 44 lbs. Power Windows/Locks: + 3 lbs. 40/20/40 w/Power Driver seat: + 32 lbs. Trailer Tow Mirrors Electric: + 8 lbs. Chrome Front Bumper: + 7 lbs. Chrome/Painted Rear Bumper: (-17 lbs.) LT235/85R16E A/T Tires: + 26 lbs. LT235/85R16E A/T Spare Tire: (-11 lbs.) AM/FM Stereo CD Player: + 8 lbs. Trailer Tow Hitch: (-11 lbs.) Subtotal of Example Option Weight on Front Axle: 775 lbs. Example of Assumed Rear Axle additions/subtractions: 7.3L Diesel w/4R100 Automatic: 98 lbs. California Emissions: 1 lbs. Front Stabilizer Bar: (-3 lbs.) Rear Stabilizer Bar: + 26 lbs. Auxiliary Rear Springs: + 32 lbs. Lariat Trim: + 20 lbs. Aluminum Wheels: (-22 lbs.) Running Boards: + 29 lbs. Air Conditioning: (-3 lbs.) Power Windows/Locks: + 3 lbs. 40/20/40 w/Power Driver seat: + 21 lbs. Trailer Tow Mirrors Electric: + 3 lbs. Chrome Front Bumper: (-1 lbs.) Chrome/Painted Rear Bumper: + 80 lbs. LT235/85R16E A/T Tires: + 51 lbs. LT235/85R16E A/T Spare Tire: + 101 lbs. AM/FM Stereo CD Player: + 2 lbs Trailer Tow Hitch: + 60 lbs. Subtotal of Example Option Weight on Rear Axle: 478 lbs. Based on the foregoing examples of option weights, the actual cargo carrying capacity for the vehicle as equipped is in the range of 2,961 lbs., as determined on Page 43 of Ford Customer Service Publication FCS-12177-99. The longitudinal center of gravity zone is 60.2" forward of the tailgate at the front edge of the longitudinal CG zone, to 44.7" forward from the tailgate at the aft edge of the longitudinal CG zone. Obviously, the manner in which your specific truck is equipped may vary from the above example factory options selected for demonstration purposes. Equally obvious is the fact that your truck does not have 5355 lbs of cargo capacity, or net carrying capacity, as you previously have cited. It is suggested to review how the truck is engineered, before trying to re-engineer it. The first and most basic step is to weight the truck without the camper, and then weigh the truck with the camper. With each weight, weigh the front and rear axle on separate platforms. This base line data is foundational to any future decision on how to manage camper weight on your truck within the original design limitations. The Federal Certification Label on the door jamb and the Slide In Camper Certification (if equipped) are also essential GAWR and GVWR data sources to compare your actual weights with.
BigToe 01/29/23 06:07pm Truck Campers
RE: Does RV.net have a policy forbidding the discussion of EVs?

I have not been on a forum in many years that didn't have some way of blocking other members. Just block the people you don't want to see what they post. There are lots of people that I have blocked and I'm pretty sure there are lots of people who have blocked me. At least I hope so. I'm pretty sure that there are plenty of other people they can waste their anger on. Some topics really mess with some people (toilet paper, boondocking, overnight parking, working people who live in RVs but don't consider themselves "RVers", old RVs, etc). Those are the topics where I usually end up blocking people. I have blocked a lot of people. What do they say? I don't know as I don't see it, nor do I care. I figure that some people are on meds, some people need to be on meds, some self-medicate and some people are just plain mean. Those people need to be blocked so I don't have that input. Not like I won't eventually find the info that I need or want somewhere else. Figure out how to block people (each forums is slightly different). If it makes you feel better, when you block someone, say "Arrrrgh! Take that you pitiful wretch!" Then finish it off with a world dominating laugh (Bwa-ha-ha-ha!). Blocking members does not stop the stifling of discussion, nor does it prevent the termination of threads and topics, nor does it diminish the discouragement of participation in threads that are devolving, or due to the topic, doomed. What blocking members may do is merely mitigate the feelings of the member who takes advantage of the blocking feature, so that they will not be exposed to being perturbed by other members who bother them. That isn't a concern of mine. My concern is the quality and value of forum discussion, and the opportunities that are lost to learn from others... their experiences, opinions, perspectives, etc. That can't happen on rv.net when threads are closed. And when a high percentage of threads on one particular topic are closed more than other threads on other topics, it is difficult to distinguish closer bias from a conflict triggering topic. An admin has checked into this thread to answer the question of this topic... that there is no policy forbidding the discussion of EV's on RV.net. That is helpful to know, because typically forums are privately owned, where there is no expectation of free speech. Often, forums will forbid the discussion of certain topics, like guns, politics, religion, the birds and the bees, etc. There may be other reasons why EV threads are closed so often on RV.net, and my blocking members will do nothing to prevent those same reasons from recurring. I've never blocked a member, on any forum, ever. My blocking members will not change their behavior. And their behavior cannot trigger me... the childhood adage "sticks and stones will break my bones but names will never hurt me" provides a simple and adequate coping mechanism to let that kind of stuff roll off like water on a seal... without being effected. Blocking members may limit an individual's awareness of other member's bad behavior, yet it does nothing to limit everyone's exposure to the consequences of other member's bad behavior. The consequences remain the same, and even effect the person who blocked the other members. The consequences are: Threads get closed. Topics get derailed. Good discussion gets curtailed. What bad actors say to me is of no consequence. Chances are, I will learn more from folks who disagree with me, even if disagreeably, than I will from an echo in the hall of my choir. I'd much rather have the benefit of seeing all of what those who are more likely to cause me to see things unlike how I currently see them. But threads kinda have to be open in order to engage in a dialogue with those who disagree, in order for that meeting of the minds to happen. If there are members who consistently cause threads to be closed, then suspending the posting privileges of those members is far more effective than me blocking those members, for the reasons stated. I am but one person. My donning a blindfold isn't going to help the thousands upon thousands of rv.net members have a good forum.
BigToe 11/27/22 02:00am Forum Posting Help and Support
RE: Does RV.net have a policy forbidding the discussion of EVs?

The Facebook EV RV camping groups have tens of thousands of active members. Answers to questions are almost instant and the expertise and experience from electric vehicle aspect is superior to anything one would find here whether that be hitches, loading, or accessories or whatever. What’s not as good (yet) is the RV maintenance and repair aspect. On these old RV boards there is still lots of knowledge. But that will fade as well as old members move on. Obviously EV RVer's are not going to join a caustic board like this, but the archives will be available for many years yet. Interesting... and understandable. Therein lies the trouble for many who refuse to join Facebook... or any social media platform that requires a computer science degree to figure out how to stop the platform from tracking and monetizing every other aspect of your life that it can discover before finding the settings to turn such sharing off. The old BBS and USE-NET formats that evolved into forums are somewhat limited in their technical capacity to track users, in large part because people do not typically use sites like RV.net to share personal photos and intimate family news with their relatives. The relative anonymity of a forum format focuses the conversation on the topic, not the personality, by default. Yet it appears that I am not alone in noticing that there are some bad apples that have been allowed to linger in RV.net's barrel, whose prolific posting of personal insults on every thread has poisoned the atmosphere here to such a degree that I stopped participating on this platform. I've likewise noticed that some of the more prominent RV.net members from 15 years ago have also stopped participating in discussions on RV.net, and I know that these members are still alive, because once in a great while we touch bases offline. From reading a few of those I see they turn into off-topic insult contests. That pretty much describes this forum in general as of late. It has become a toxic environment Yah. Huge change from 15 years ago. It is still useful but it is much more a hate centered political forum now. And without embracing new technologies it will just fade away in the years to come. The culture of toxicity that has been allowed to fester here on RV.net seemed to be a separate matter from the observation of how many EV threads were closed, while equally toxic threads not about EVs remained open. I was asking about the EV threads, but it could be that the issue is inextricable from the toxicity in general. Thank you to the community members who responded thus far. It would also be helpful to hear the perspective of RV.net administration.
BigToe 11/23/22 12:21pm Forum Posting Help and Support
Does RV.net have a policy forbidding the discussion of EVs?

Does RV.net have a policy forbidding the discussion of electric vehicles (EVs)? Within just the last 3 months, the following threads on EVs on RV.net's Tow Vehicles forum have been closed: Closed: GMC Sierra EV https://www.rv.net/forum/index.cfm/fuseaction/thread/tid/30366839.cfm Closed: Comical EV article https://www.rv.net/forum/index.cfm/fuseaction/thread/tid/30366296.cfm Closed: EV charging quandary https://www.rv.net/forum/index.cfm/fuseaction/thread/tid/30364774.cfm Closed: How many of you own an EV? https://www.rv.net/forum/index.cfm/fuseaction/thread/tid/30359204.cfm Closed: Ford F150 Lightning (EV) owner review https://www.rv.net/forum/index.cfm/fuseaction/thread/tid/30362846.cfm Closed: This is our RV electric future. It's the future man! https://www.rv.net/forum/index.cfm/fuseaction/thread/tid/30361680.cfm Closed: How many folks want an EV https://www.rv.net/forum/index.cfm/fuseaction/thread/tid/30360733.cfm Closed: California to Ban the Sale of New Gasoline Cars by 2035 https://www.rv.net/forum/index.cfm/fuseaction/thread/tid/30356212.cfm Closed: Cost of EV Batteries https://www.rv.net/forum/index.cfm/fuseaction/thread/tid/30355138.cfm Closed: C&D EV Tow Test https://www.rv.net/forum/index.cfm/fuseaction/thread/tid/30354957.cfm Closed: Camping in an EV... Always charging... https://www.rv.net/forum/index.cfm/fuseaction/thread/tid/30349840.cfm While some bickering between members may be found in some of the threads above, there is no less bickering (typically between the exact same members) found on other threads (discussing gas and diesel powered tow vehicles), and most of those threads remain open. Yet curiously, most of the EV related threads are closed. The seemingly odd coincidence of all these EV thread closures could potentially be interpreted as an administrative bias against the discussion of EVs vehicles, hence the question: Is the discussion of EV's against an RV.net policy? It seems that every OEM vehicle manufacturer, including all truck manufacturers, even medium and heavy truck manufacturers, are either designing, prototyping, or now incorporating electrification in their production vehicles. Laws have been passed in jurisdictions around the globe mandating the adoption of EVs of one type or another. Wouldn't it be a shame for one of the most popular RV forums on the internet to preclude the discussion of what may be a challenge for our generation to adapt to, while the up and coming future generations of RV'ers seek other forums that are more friendly toward what interests them? Rather than closing threads on hot topics, perhaps RV.net might consider closing the membership accounts of the commonly known troublemakers, so that RV.net can return to the richly informative and dynamic discussion board that it once was well over a decade ago, when there was a campfire culture of mutual respect that fostered more member participation, and healthier discussion of tow vehicle related issues. As it currently stands, one cannot blame a person for turning elsewhere if wanting to ask questions about RVing with any of the all electric trucks now introduced by all three of the "Big 3" light truck manufacturers. It appears that such threads are more likely to get closed on RV.net than elsewhere, so folks will probably go elsewhere. And that is too bad, because of the history of RV.net, and its relationship with Good Sam Club and Camping World, two of the most well known businesses serving RVers in the United States.
BigToe 11/23/22 06:00am Forum Posting Help and Support
RE: Tires E-350/450: Stock 225/75? Tall 215/85? Wide 235/85?

Thank you Pianotuna!
BigToe 11/01/22 12:52pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Tires E-350/450: Stock 225/75? Tall 215/85? Wide 235/85?

@bigtow What part of what you quoted makes using a directional tire unsafe or undesirable to use as a spare tire? The difference between the right or wrong direction is literally not getting “optimal” traction. Sort of like a brand new tire vs one that is 50% worn out. Hardly worth the consternation about using one as a spare tire. Neither Michelin nor I said anything about reversing a directional tire being "unsafe." Michelin said that reversing a directional tire within the first 50% of tread life can result in undesirable tire performance, as well as undesirable accelerated treadwear, as detailed in the url linked Product Bulletin posted earlier, where the relevant text was also quoted within the post. On Edit, to address the "consternation" about the spare: For my requirements, there is no difference between the spare tire and any other tire on the rig. All tires, including the spare, are qualified to be run full time. When there is a need to use the spare tire, there is no need to remove the spare tire later to put back the removed rim with a repaired tire. The spare tire becomes the service tire, while the repaired or replaced tire becomes the spare tire. Hence, a spare tire that can be mounted in any position on either side of the vehicle is more desirable to me than a directional tire, which is limited to only half of the available mounting positions. I rotate the spare tire with the steer tires, to keep the wear down of the spare tire the same diameter as the wear down of all other tires. Thus the spare is indistinguishable from a service tire throughout the life cycle of that set of tires. A directional tire would disrupt that preventative maintenance.
BigToe 11/01/22 12:10am Class C Motorhomes
RE: Tires E-350/450: Stock 225/75? Tall 215/85? Wide 235/85?

And to dispell another myth posted by BigToe, there is no harm in using directional tires backwards other than less than “optimal” traction that is provided by the design of the tread. Here is the Product Bulletin Issued by Michelin on April 29, 2019: The C-metric sizes of the MICHELIN Agilis® CrossClimate® tire line utilize a directional tread pattern. These tires have arrows molded into the sidewall of the tire to indicate the intended direction of rotation. To maximize tire performance, it is important that directional tires be mounted correctly on wheels to ensure that the directionality is respected when mounted on the vehicle. Pairs of steer tires and pairs of drive tires should be mounted such that one tire has the arrows pointing clockwise, and one tire has the arrows pointing counter-clockwise. For vehicles equipped with dual rear wheels, two rear tires should have the arrows pointing clockwise and two rear tires should have the arrows pointing counter-clockwise. To optimize wear performance, it is recommended to operate directional tires exclusively in their indicated direction, at least during the first 50% of treadlife. However, once directional tires are worn to greater than 50% of their initial tread depth, there is no negative effect of running them in a direction opposite to the indicated direction of rotation. _________________________________ Not a myth. Simply the straightforward (haha) directions (haha) from the tire manufacturer. 1. Optimizing wear performance sounds like a good idea, because tires to be too expensive to waste by not following the instructions, thus increasing the likelihood of the tires wearing out prematurely. 2. Optimizing tire performance sounds like a good idea, because lives are too important to put at risk by not taking advantage of all the tire wet traction engineering one paid for with the price of the tire from installing them the wrong way. 3. In my RV usage case, the tires will never reach 50% tread wear before the tires age out. Therefore, if I were to buy directional tires, I would be stuck using them directionally for their entire service life, as they will never wear down to the point where directionality no longer matters. 4. The tire manufacturer knows more about the tires that they engineered and built than I do, so I'll follow their instructions. Edited to add URL Link to Michelin's Agilis Cross Climate C-Metric Product Bulletin: Agilis C-Metric Rotation Bulletin pdf
BigToe 10/31/22 10:50am Class C Motorhomes
RE: Tires E-350/450: Stock 225/75? Tall 215/85? Wide 235/85?

And your recommendation was greatly appreciated, Chris! I was unfamiliar with Nexen tire's offerings in this size until you identified it. The CT8 HL that you use is the OEM tire that Stellantis fits to the Ram Pro Master, in the 121/120R load index that you are highlighting. When a tire is produced as original equipment for an OEM vehicle manufacturer, it stands to reason that the CT8 HL has been put through an extra layer of engineering and vetting by the vehicle manufacturer, for the sake of their own liability. That says that while Nexen may not be as well known of a brand as Michelin or Goodyear, that particular CT8 HL Nexen tire has been approved by VW and Stellantis for their new vehicle brands to ride on it. I'm not a tire expert either, so the questions that PNichols asked above are questions that I was curious about as well. Where a given brand of tire produced in two iterations for the same application and usage has the same material weight, why would one tire have a higher weight capacity than the other? What makes the higher rated tire stronger, even while having less material weight? Michelin claims to use over 200 different raw materials to produce a tire. while another tire manufacturer claims to use only 17 different materials. While it can be assumed that Michelin, being the oldest tire company, and having introduced significant innovations to the industry such as radial tires, is more advanced... some of the ingredients introduced into tires today are to make them more environmentally friendly at end of life, and that sophisticated soup of materials may not necessarily translate into tire longevity. RV tire purchases are not routine for the long term RV owner who does not regularly trade in their RV, but rather are a once every 7 to 10 year expense now exceeding $2,000.00 to replace tires that have plenty of tread left but simply aged out. Blow outs are a much bigger deal on an RV than in a car, for reasons which SJ-Chris already mentioned. These factors inspire more questions on the selection of RV tires versus daily driver tires that may see more frequent replacement. Earlier, I failed to mention that Firestone, the manufacture of the Steeltex R4S that used to be Ford's OEM tire on the cutaways 20 years ago, now offers the Transforce CV tire in the 121/120R load rating. Unlike the F-53 Class A motorhome chassis, or any given modern day 1 ton and higher pickup or chassis cab, the Ford E-Series cutaway chassis challenges the limits of the Ford recommended LT225/75R16E tire size. I began this thread asking if any Class C owners have changed tire sizes, whether it be for increased tire capacity margin, increased ride height/ground clearance, increased approach/departure angle, increased tire contact patch, or decreased contact patch to penetrate through light snow to the ground. The relatively recent emergence of the C-Metric tire being offered in the US, with higher load index ratings, have broadened the weight capacity margin... but a tire still has to do other things besides carry weight. Wet traction comes to mind. Not skidding out in the rain. Not spinning wheels and burrowing in on grassy slimy surfaces at unimproved campground. That sort of thing. A tire must still be a tire in all other respects besides carrying weight. It appears that the ETRTO standard calls for Curb Guards (anti abrasion buttresses on tire side walls where they might repeatedly grind against a sidewalk curb in urban parcel delivery applications) in all C-Metric tires, and this is another benefit that is useful when navigating Class C RV's through destination cities. Asking about what tires people use and reciprocating the favor by posting what tire explorations I have made, is part of the process of learning, and I appreciated the opportunities to learn from you.
BigToe 10/31/22 10:12am Class C Motorhomes
RE: Tires E-350/450: Stock 225/75? Tall 215/85? Wide 235/85?

For a given tire size between the two tire types that the C-Metric version is a more rugged/stronger tire? i.e. That the C-Metric version has more plies? If so, if carrying capacity is not an issue ... should one use the C-Metric type tires if they wish for more puncture-proofness - as in occasional offroad travel with their Class C? To me, yes...it means the Commercial rated tire is stronger and thus less likely to have a blowout. Would anyone like to share the downside of getting Commercial rated tires at least on the rear? The cost (in my experience) is minimal. Downsides of a C-Metric tire are brand specific. With the Michelin Agilis Cross Climate tire, a tire which has been vetted, approved, and installed by Ford Motor Company on the E-Series Cutaway motorhome chassis in production as fleet orderable upgrade option, there are some differences between the C-Metric version of this tire, versus the LT Metric version that Ford installs on the E-Series Cutaway. The main downside is that the C-Metric version is DIRECTIONAL. With 6 tires on the ground, and one on the spare tire rack, the spare is only good to replace 3 of the tires without playing musical tires on the side of the road in order to have all tires rolling in the right direction. And unless one carries two spares, fitted with a directional tire facing each direction, there is still a 50% chance that the tire that blows will be a tire which is in the opposite direction of the spare, leaving one with 4 tires in one direction, and 2 tires in the other direction, when one really needs 3 tires in each direction. Not having to worry about which tire faces which direction simplifies a lot of factors with tire procurement, maintenance, rotation, and emergency replacement in a pinch. For a dual rear wheel application, the Michelin Agilis Cross Climate in C-Metric designation having a directional design is a significant disadvantage in convenience, that to my mind outweighs the C-Metric versions overcapacity in weight rating. Now to refer to what Michelin has to say about their two versions of Agilis Cross Climate tire in the 225/75R16 size: Q: What is the difference between the MICHELIN® AGILIS® C-Metric sizes vs. the LT sizes? A: The C-metric convention can be thought of as the European equivalent of the LT-metric. Just as LT-metric describes a tire with a higher load rating and higher pressure than the equivalently sized P-metric tire, C-metric describes a tire with a higher load rating and higher pressure than the equivalently sized European Metric tire. Q: Why is the MICHELIN® AGILIS® CROSSCLIMATE® tire offered in two different tread designs? A: The MICHELIN® AGILIS® CROSSCLIMATE® C-Metric tire was designed in Europe specifically for the European style vans that are also offered in the North American market. The C-Metric is a directional tread pattern. The LT sizes are non-directional and were designed by the North American Research and Development team to best suit ¾- and 1-ton pickups and vans. Both treads offer comparable performance. The PNichols question is whether or not the C-Metric version of the tire is "tougher" traversing unavoidable potholes at speed than the LT Metric version of the same tire. Well, the C-Metric version weighs 37 lbs, while the LT-Metric version weighs 39.9 lbs, making the LT-Metric version 2.9 lbs heavier than the C-Metric version. If this extra weight is due to there being more ingredients in the LT version of this tire, does that make it tougher? If so, then the toughest tires in this size range might be the Michelin XPS Rib, the Bridgestone R238, or the Goodyear Endurance RSA ULT... all weighing in at more than 50 lbs per tire, due to the additional steel belting in these tough commercial tires that traverses the carcass from bead to bead. Heck, the Endurance RSA is over $500 per tire in the LT225/75R16E size, and is retreadable, so it had better be tough. Yet the tread on some of these ribbed all position steer tires is designated as "Summer" only. That's fine for a lot of RV users, but what about those who travel through the rains of the Pacific Northwest, or those whose Chalet branded coaches serve as ad hoc ski chalets in the Sierra? These usage cases need not be blazing through blizzards, but light snow flurries where no 4WD nor chains are required shouldn't send a coach skidding into an embankment for lack of tread traction or sufficient sipes in the tires. So for all season recreational uses, an all season tire would be preferable over a "summer" tire. And for more adventurous RV'rs, an all terrain tire might even be considered. At the very least, a tire with a Three Peak Mountain Snowflake Rating (3PMSF) should be considered as minimum verified threshold of wet and unexpected light snow performance. And the lack of a 3PMSF symbol introduces another potential downside of some C-Metric tires. While both versions of the Agilis Cross Climate have 3PMSF certificaton, neither version of the Nexen CT8 HL are certified 3PMSF. Like Michelin, Nexen offers their commercial CT8 HL tire in both C-Metric and LT-Metric versions, neither of which are 3PMSF rated, but both of which are heavier in weight, at 42.76 lbs, than either version of the Michelin Agilis Cross Climate. Note that both C-Metric and LT-Metric Nexen CT8 HL's weigh exactly the same, at 42.76 lbs. So which tire has more ingredients? Which tire has more belts? Which tire is tougher? And unlike the directional versus non directional tread design difference in the Michelin Agilis Cross Climate, to my understanding, there is no difference in tread between either version of the Nexen CT8 HL. However, Nexen makes 5 commercial tires in the 225/75R16 range (not including their snow tire that receives studs). Other than the two CT8 HL tire versions, the three remaining Nexen light truck tires are 3PMSF certified. Nexen's latest tire, their new ATX, weighs in at 43.50 lbs, which is about a pound heavier than their C-Metric CT8 HL. So which is tougher on the day to day, irrespective of weight rating? I'm not qualified to answer to that question, but will close with one more interesting difference between the two versions of the Michelin Agilis Cross Climate. As previously discussed, the peak weight carrying capacity of a C-Metric tire is rated at 83 psi, which is also the maximum cold inflation pressure rating of the tire. Typically, an LT Metric load range E tire has a maximum cold inflation pressure rating of 80 psi. However, the LT Metric Michelin Agilis Cross Climate has a maximum pressure rating of 90 psi, which is higher than the 83 psi max of C-Metric version of the same tire. Now get this... there is no change in weight carrying capacity rating between 80 psi and 90 psi on the LT Metric version of the Agilis Cross Climate. The tire is simply designed to withstand more internal pressure. One would think that means that the tire is tougher...to be able to hold nearly as much pressure as a steel sidewall load range F tire, at 90 psi. Yet no additional load capacity is stated for when the tire is inflated past 80 psi, and let's not forget that the OEM wheels on this platform are limited to 80 psi cold inflation rating. An advantage that an LT-Metric version of this brand and model of tire may have over a C-Metric version of the same tire, is that in the summer, while traveling for hundreds of miles on hot Arizona roads, with heat expanding the air within the tire while increasing the tire's internal pressure... having a 10 psi margin of allowable pressure build up all fall within the 90 psi rating of the tire, offers some comfort not unlike the comfort felt with having a larger margin in tire weight carrying capacity.
BigToe 10/31/22 02:54am Class C Motorhomes
RE: Tires E-350/450: Stock 225/75? Tall 215/85? Wide 235/85?

That's good data above in your post. However it raises one important question rarely discussed in any of the forums: For a given tire size between the two tire types that the C-Metric version is a more rugged/stronger tire? i.e. That the C-Metric version has more plies? If so, if carrying capacity is not an issue ... should one use the C-Metric type tires if they wish for more puncture-proofness - as in occasional offroad travel with their Class C? To me, yes...it means the Commercial rated tire is stronger and thus less likely to have a blowout. Would anyone like to share the downside of getting Commercial rated tires at least on the rear? The cost (in my experience) is minimal. Chris The potential downsides to getting a C-Metric tire depend on the brand and model of tires being compared. But first, to clarify, the term "C-Metric" is used instead of "Commercial", because there are a plethora of Commercial tires in the LT-Metric size and Load Range E rating that are not C-Metric. To suggest that only C-Metric tires are "Commercial", whereas tires in the same size without the appended "C" after the rim diameter are not, does not properly reflect the long standing tire offerings available in North America for decades prior to the importation of Euro Vans, beginning with the Sprinter, and continuing with the Fiat (Ram Pro Master) and Ford Transit. In Europe, these Euro vans are fitted with tires specified by the European Tyre and Rim Technical Organisation (ETRTO), which developed a Commercial tire standard to distinguish tire characteristics from Passenger car tire standards. We have the same distinction in North America, where we have P-Metric passenger car tires, and LT-Metric light truck tires. "C" is to Europe what "LT" is to the United States. It isn't as if an LT tire is not a commercial tire. And it certainly isn't as if to get a "true" commercial tire in the United States, one must look for, or insist upon, a tire size appended with "C". That is not the case. None of the Commercial tires on Peterbilts, Kenworths, Freightliner Medium and Heavy Duty, Navister International light, medium, heavy, or severe duty trucks use tires that are C-Metric. Does that mean that these trucks are not specified with "Commercial" tires? Of course not. The same holds true for 3500/4500/5500/6500 and 350/450/550/600 trucks from the Big Three domestic pickup and chassis cab manufacturers. These trucks are specified with commercial tires that do not have "C" appended after their rim size. In otherwords, they do not use C-Metric tires. But they do use Commercial tires all the same. Some examples of LT-Metric Commercial tires include, but are not limited to, Americus Commercial LT All Season Tire - LT225/75R16 115Q LRE 10 PLY BFGoodrich Commercial T/A All Season 2 LT225/75R16 115/112R LRE 10 PLY BFGoodrich Commercial T/A Traction LT225/75R16 112Q LRE 10 PLY Bridgestone Duravis R238 Commercial Summer Tire (LRE) LT225/75R16 115R LRE 10 PLY 14/32nds 50.5 lbs. $311 Steel Sidewall Casing Bridgestone Blizzak LT Commercial Winter Tire (LRE) LT225/75R16 115R LRE 10 PLY 17/32nds 36.9 lbs. $204 Bridgestone Blizzak W965 Commercial Winter Tire (LRE) LT225/75R16 115Q LRE 10 PLY 17/32nds 42.5 lbs. $144 Bridgestone Duravix M700 HD Firestone Transforce HT2 Highway Terrain Commercial Light Truck Tire LT225/75R16 115R LRE 10 PLY General Grabber HD Commercial Truck Tire LT225/75R16 115Q LRE 10 PLY In creating the list above, I simply worked my way through the alphabet, and grew "tired" of adding tires to this list by the time I reached letter G in the alphabet. And I didn't even cover all of the tires available by brands beginning with A-F (Falken just came to mind as I type this), but it seems certain that if I made it as far as the letter "G" without mentioning Goodyear, the Goodyear Blimp will probably dump their holding tank over my house next time they go floating by, so let me add the following two tires to the list: Goodyear Endurance RSA ULT 16" LT225/75R16 115Q LRE 10 PLY 50 lbs Goodyear Endurance RSD ULT 16" LT225/75R16 115Q LRE 10 PLY 49 lbs. These Endurance tire casings are so tough, Goodyear states that they are re-treadable. Not that this means a hill of beans to owners who time out their tires before they wear out, but still, the Endurance RSA ULT is in Michelin XPS Rib and Bridgestone R238 territory. Lateral scrub-resistant tread compound Premium enhanced casing Reinforced shoulders and steel-steel belt package. All of the foregoing are Commercial tires, listed for last mile delivery, school bus, emergency services ambulance, urban utility, etc. Hence, to distinguish the Euro Centric designation for the 225/75R16C tire, the "C" shall be referred to as "C-Metric", which is Europe's near equivalent to what in the USA is called LT-Metric. There are no downsides to getting commercial tires, as there exists enough variety among commercial tires available in North America, whether designated as LT Metric or C Metric, that the plethora of alternative choices effectively cancels out any downsides. So to focus only on any downsides of getting "C-Metric" tires, one has to consider the question brand by brand, where a given tire brand may make an 225/75R16 in P-Metric (out of the question), LT-Metric (as specified by Ford, the E-350/450 manufacturer), and C-Metric (as recently applied with tires specified for Euro vans). Some tire brands don't even offer a C-Metric tire in North America. Moving up a letter in the alphabet to "H", consider Hankook. Ford specifies and equips new E-350 and E-450 cutaway motorhome chassis with the Hankook Dynapro HT LT235/75R16E tire as standard equipment. Every year it seems, Ford works with Hankook to tweak the specs on this tire. The details of the changes are propietary, but the evidence that changes have been made are found in the material product code. Currently, the following product codes for this tire might still be available at any given tire distributor: 2021163 (36 lbs) 2020873 (39 lbs) 2020694 (39 lbs) 2001831 (40 lbs) If one were to take delivery of a 2023 Model Year Class C motorhome built on a Ford E-350/450 cutaway chassis today, then the standard tire would be the 2001831 material product code of the Hankook Dynapro HT LT225/75R16E LRE tire. UNLESS... the motorhome manufacturer took advantage of Ford's FIN option to have Michelin Agilis Cross Climate tires fitted instead. Unlike Hankook, Michelin offers the Agilis Cross Climate tire in both LT Metric and C Metric variants. However, Ford will only supply the LT-Metric variant on the E-350/450 cutaway, if the ordering fleet specifies (and pays for) that option. This post is getting long in the tooth, and may soon reach the character limit, so I'll stop here and examine the Michelin Agilis Cross Climate comparison between the LT225/75R16 versus the 225/75R16C in my next post.
BigToe 10/31/22 01:24am Class C Motorhomes
RE: Tires E-350/450: Stock 225/75? Tall 215/85? Wide 235/85?

The Ford E-350 DRW and E-450 DRW E-Series Cutaway Chassis OEM 16" x 6" wheels that were manufactured in Canada by Accuride, identified by eight circular hand holes, are rated to 80 psi. I haven't personally verified the wheel psi rating of the current 4 hand hole 16"x6" OEM wheels made by Maxion in Mexico, but have every indication to believe that they match the original wheel specification of 80 psi Max cold inflation pressure. I have personally verified the OEM wheels made by Accuride in Canada. The interesting, informational, and arguably irrelevant aspect of the higher rating of the European Tyre & Rim Technical Organisation commercial tire standard developed for Euro Vans such as the Sprinter, Transit, Fiat, ProMaster, and VW equivalents marketed under various names depending on country... tires which we in the United States can identify as "C-Metric" tires (as very distinct from "LT-Metric Load Range C" tires... is that the "500 lbs." higher rating per tire in the 225/75R16C size is at 83 psi. The stock wheels are only rated to 80 psi. So the "margin" of weight capacity per tire must be reduced by the C-Metric tires rated capacity at a reduced pressure, which in this case is no higher than 80 psi. Nexen doesn't offer any Load Inflation Tables. I even called Nexen tech support for this information, and spent 30 minutes on the phone with an Andrew at Nexen, who was not able to locate a Load Inflation Table for any of the five offerings that Nexen produces in the LT225/75R16 or 225/75R16C sizes. However, most other tire manufacturers do provide load inflation tables, which let the tire user know the weight capacity of a given tire when inflated to less than the maximum psi that the tire is capable of withstanding. Due to tire industry standards organizations, there is generally consistency from brand to brand in load inflation indices for any given specific tire size. In this case, to determine how much additional weight carrying "margin" a 225/75R16C C-Metric tire has over an LT225/75R16E LT-Metric tire when both types of tires are inflated to the maximum pressure that the OEM steel wheel is rated for when cold (80 psi), I reviewed the Load Inflation Tables of several different brands of C-Metric tires in this size, and all tables from every brand checked were consistent with each other. When inflated to 80 psi, a 225/75R16C tire is rated to support 3,085 lbs in single wheel configuration, as opposed to 3,195 lbs when inflated to 83 psi. In dual rear wheel configuration, the C-Metric 225/75R16C is rated to support 2,975 lbs at 80 psi, as opposed to 3,085 lbs when inflated to 83 psi. By contrast, the LT225/75R16E tire, when inflated to 80 psi, is rated at 2,680 single, 2,470 dual (per each individual tire). So to stack the weight carrying capacity differences up neatly in a row: 3,195 lbs Single / 3,085 lbs Dual - C-Metric at 83 psi 3,085 lbs Single / 2,975 lbs Dual - C-Metric at 80 psi (OEM wheel psi rating) 2,680 lbs Single / 2,470 lbs Dual - LT-Metric at 80 psi On the steer axle, there is a 405 lbs difference between C-Metric and LT-Metric at 80 psi, and on the drive axle, the difference grows to 505 lbs. at 80 psi. Where the point in REDUCING the mental margin afforded to the C-Metric tire by ignoring the tire's maximum weight capacity at any pressure beyond the pressure rating of the wheel is arguably irrelevant, as all of these ratings exceed the weight capacity of the rear axles of all Ford E-350/450 cutaways, which range from 7,800 lbs to 9,600 lbs, depending on model and year. However, it seemed to be an interesting observation to make... keeping the pressure limits of the wheel in mind.
BigToe 10/29/22 02:57pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Tires E-350/450: Stock 225/75? Tall 215/85? Wide 235/85?

Thank you SJ-Chris for your detailed response!
BigToe 10/28/22 01:21pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Tires E-350/450: Stock 225/75? Tall 215/85? Wide 235/85?

Thanks for your responses pnichols.
BigToe 10/25/22 11:08pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Tires E-350/450: Stock 225/75? Tall 215/85? Wide 235/85?

Thanks PNichols. If you have an E-450, then you must have 4.56 gearing? What transmission does your rig have? How many speeds? Did you notice any difference in shift points on grades with the taller tires?
BigToe 10/23/22 11:24pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Tires E-350/450: Stock 225/75? Tall 215/85? Wide 235/85?

Thank you for that suggestion, which did work to reveal more threads than RVnet's internal search engine.
BigToe 10/23/22 11:43am Class C Motorhomes
RE: Tires E-350/450: Stock 225/75? Tall 215/85? Wide 235/85?

In addition to dual spacing clearance between the tires when loaded, changing tire sizes also results in changes to final drive ratio gearing, affecting acceleration, shift points, and gradeability in a given gear. Still, I've read several stories (not sure if they are all from the same member or from several members) over the years on RV.net of Ford Class C owners changing to 215/85R16 (which actually results in more clearance between the duals). Moreover, I've also read of at least one member who upsized to 235/85R16, as that was the tire size that Ford used on their SRW E series vans in the late '80's and early '90's. I think that these owners were looking for a bit more ground clearance. They might have been looking for more weight capacity across the back axle too. I didn't pay much attention to the details when I stumbled across their posts, figuring that a keyword search would always retrieve their reasoning and results, whenever life presented a "need to know" demand. Well, I was shocked at how sparsely few results revealed themselves in search, so I was hoping a fresh topic would unearth the considerations and motivations of E-350 and E-450 based Class C owners who have changed their OEM tire size. Thank you for your words of caution on dually spacing.
BigToe 10/23/22 07:00am Class C Motorhomes
RE: Tires E-350/450: Stock 225/75? Tall 215/85? Wide 235/85?

SJ Chris What are "Commercial rated tires which each have ~500 lbs. more carrying capacity compared to the E-load tires?" Can you please tell us the size, numerical load index, (eg 115/112R), manufacturer brand, and model name/number of the tires that you picked out for your 30' Class C Thors? The term "Commercial" is used to broadly across too many sizes and types of tires for me to find the type of tires that you recommend. Thanks.
BigToe 10/22/22 09:06pm Class C Motorhomes
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