New shoes for Ike


After about 12 months of researching and searching, we finally located a tire dealer (Conlan Tire, Mulberry, FL) to purchase our 6ea Continental Conti Coach HA3 (L) tires. After much debate, we decided to purchase the HA3s to replace our aging Michelin XZA 1s that were original equipment.

Why Conlan? Conlan had reasonably fresh stock of our size (315/80R22.5) tires with a great price ($399 ea. +FET), they were participants in the FMCA tire program which is how I found them initially and most importantly they had a willingness to mount and dismount our front two tires with Tyron Bands.

If you’ve never heard of Tyron Bands, they were installed on Ike by the previous owners and we believe they are a valuable safety item for us. Here is a short video explaining the concept from Tyron. Basically, the Tyron Bands are an attempt to mitigate the type of incident shown in this video.  Unfortunately, as we contacted tire dealers, many were unwilling to dismount and mount on a wheel with the Tyron Bands installed, even though I had purchased the Tyron emergency tool kit (Part # -ENfKT19-22S) which simplifies the process. Honestly, I have no idea why 90% of the tire dealers were so unwilling to deal with the bands, as the process was really very simple and straight forward. Below is a picture with my Tyron Emergency installation kit ($189.00 shipped directly from Tyron, call Chuck Thatcher @ 813-620-0364) mounted on the wheel and the band reinstalled. The service manager, Mike, at Conlan was very easy to deal with they did an excellent job.

New tire with Tyron tool in place.

I thought I had kept a close eye on the condition of my tires, so I was very surprised when they removed this tire from the driver’s side tag axle. No idea when this happened, but glad it held together till we replaced it.

Old Michelin tire off the rear tag axle.

When we decided to replace our aging tires I had heard good things about Centramatic Wheel Balancers. I called them directly, received a very nice military discount ($179 each pair, shipped from Texas) and ordered 3 pairs, one pair for each axle. Conlan installed them for me with no problems.

New Conti Coach HA3s installed with the Centramatic Wheel Balancers.

We left Conlan with our new tires and wheel balancers installed and headed to Coach Glass to have our cracked windshield replaced.

I must say I thought that Ike rode and drove nicely when we purchased him in Septemeber 2014, but since installing the new tires and particularly the Centramatic Wheel balancers, it rides and drives much better. Previously, we had what I thought were the normal rattles and squeaks when we rolled down the highway, since installing the wheel balancers on all the axles, those are virtually gone. And we saved about $2k on the six tires over the Michelin XZA2s. So far after a few hundred miles, they have performed equal or better than our old Michelins.   We love the difference it made. YMMV.