Truck camper and tire rotation

rubberlegs

back country campers
Joined
May 10, 2018
Messages
603
Location
Everett, WA
I hope this isn’t a controversial topic, as I see it is on truck fora.

For our heavy-on-rear truck campers, how do you rotate tires? I’m stuck in decades old paradigm of swapping front and rear on the same side. Finally looked into it, better late then never, and discover diagonal methods are used. We have 40,000 miles on our tires, so I’ll probably continue the non diagonal rotation until we get new tires.
 
Midway through the life of our last set of tires we changed our rotation pattern to rear to the front same side and front to rear swapping sides. I do not have enough long term data about the effect on tire wear. The tire dealer said crossing patterns are good.
 
I always rotate front to rear and swap left to right when remounting the rears. Having said that I believe a lot of people rotate more often than needed. I rotate/balance tires every15- 20k miles on my vehicles unless I see abnormal wear. and in that case i'll repair what ever is causing that abnormal wear, then rotate. My truck tires will probably only get rotated once or twice since they will "age out" and Discount Tire will refuse to work on them. Note: check tire pressure often, especially after any big temp changes.
 
Beach said:
I always rotate front to rear and swap left to right when remounting the rears. Having said that I believe a lot of people rotate more often than needed. I rotate/balance tires every15- 20k miles on my vehicles unless I see abnormal wear. and in that case i'll repair what ever is causing that abnormal wear, then rotate. My truck tires will probably only get rotated once or twice since they will "age out" and Discount Tire will refuse to work on them. Note: check tire pressure often, especially after any big temp changes.
Bingo on checking tire pressure. It is on the check list before every trip.

We live in mountains and regularly drive mountain roads. Our long time local tire dealer recommends rotation every 3000 to 3500 miles. We rotate every 5000.
 
This is a great discussion. Tires are important AND expensive. Keeping up with tire pressures is easy.

The crux of different exchange patterns ( apart from suspension wear issues etc. ) may be whether or not your tires themselves can change direction of rotation ....We have almost always run Michellins and they do not like to change rotation of the tire itself after the first say 5K miles.

This limits us to front back/back same side pattern.

David Graves
 
DavidGraves said:
This is a great discussion. Tires are important AND expensive. Keeping up with tire pressures is easy.

The crux of different exchange patterns ( apart from suspension wear issues etc. ) may be whether or not your tires themselves can change direction of rotation ....We have almost always run Michellins and they do not like to change rotation of the tire itself after the first say 5K miles.

This limits us to front back/back same side pattern.

David Graves
Thanks for adding this. I was told our Cooper tires can be crossed.
 
Ah, I see that Toyota recommends keeping tires on the same side (front to back only).

We have BF Goodrich KO2 tires, and (at least Canadian) Goodrich recommends crossing, but states:

"However, check your owner's manual to see if there is a recommended rotation scheme."

We do put a lot of weight on the rear tires, but perhaps that's not relevant to tire rotation.
 
Good question.. whatever Ford dealer does? So far it works great.. 20k on BFG KO2 and they look brand new to me... probably rotated more like every 6500 dish miles.. (truck only gets 10k per year, mostly a recreational vehicle at this point)
 
Front to back, same side, every 5k. I definitely notice a difference in “driving feel” after rotation. I’m a believer that tires “take a set” when left in position too long.
 
Mighty Dodge Ram said:
Front to back, same side, every 5k. I definitely notice a difference in “driving feel” after rotation. I’m a believer that tires “take a set” when left in position too long.
Many years ago a tire store told me that steel belted tires after sitting for
a long period will get a "thump"in them and it takes longer for it to go
away then non steel belted tires.
Frank
 
Assuming all tires are same size and load-capacity (heavier in rear on trucks used to be a thing), determine whether the tires are directional or not. These used to be confined to certain performance tires but this design overkill has spread elsewhere. Most have an arrow and the word "Rotation" or "Direction" on sidewall. If you have these, front-to-back rotation is the only cost-effective way to rotate tires, as swapping and remounting them onto opposite wheels and rebalancing would be your expensive alternative.

If your tires are not directional, per several industry association guidances, there are various cross-rotation patterns sometimes preferred that you can use depending on whether vehicle is front wheel drive (FWD), rear wheel drive (RWD), or four wheel drive (4WD or 4x4 in US for part-time systems) assuming you actually use 4WD or 4x4 enough to justify whatever difference it was (I can't recall). Full-time 4WD is often called All Wheel Drive (AWD) in US, especially if a light duty system without a 2-speed transfer case that gives you a low range.

In general, RWD rotation patterns are traditionally fronts cross-rotated to rear, and rear rotated straight to front. FWD is often opposite, with rears cross-rotated to front and fronts rotated straight to rear. 4WD usually follows RWD pattern. Including a spare complicates it (check your manual or industry guides, assuming you have real spare and a matching wheel); I have a small sketch showing rotation with spare I give to Costco or draw it myself on work order for our Wrangler. Original Goodyear MTRs vibrated if not cross-rotated frequently and were worse for a while after one did. Replacement Goodrich KO2s seem more forgiving.
 
Except for most Michelin LT tires....no rotations arrows anymore but they STILL dont like to be reversed...

And this despite the installers at Costco where I have bought Michelins for about 30 years now.
 
DavidGraves said:
Except for most Michelin LT tires....no rotations arrows anymore but they STILL dont like to be reversed...

And this despite the installers at Costco where I have bought Michelins for about 30 years now.
I’m curious. What do they do when reversed?
 
Hi Jon

We have our current set rotated at a Costco in Missouri last fall.

For our Dodge 2500 2 WD truck with Grandby shell, the tires were rotated rears crossed to front and fronts straight back .

We developed an out of balance thumping which worsened mile by mile for the trip home to Oregon.

When I got home I changed the rotation to front to rear same side and rebalanced and ride and steering are fine again.

This is with new LT 265 70 17 Michelin defenders at 6K miles.

My local Costco said the crossing front to rear was per their instructions.

My old time local tire shop said their experience is that Michelins dont like to reverse direction
 
DavidGraves said:
Except for most Michelin LT tires....no rotations arrows anymore but they STILL dont like to be reversed...
And this despite the installers at Costco where I have bought Michelins for about 30 years now.
Agreed! The Defenders in the truck (LR-E) were less effected by this than the p-metrics in the Suburban, which wandered terribly after cross rotation. I keep it simple now with front-to-back.
 
Update: we now have five identical tires and wheels. We've decided to do the five tire cross rotation: spare to right rear, then right front, the left rear, then left front, then to the spare location. I like to do it myself.
 

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