Rant About A “Big O Tire Store”

Beware of Some Tire Dealers​

I pondered writing this rant for a couple of weeks, but in the interest of maybe helping someone else avoid these pitfalls, I decided to tell my story. In a earlier post I told how I bought New tires online for my Motor Home. The problem was getting them installed along with Borg Dually Valves and Balancing Beads. I went to a big O store a couple of miles from where I live. I had used this store in the past to install tires that were bought online. This time when I went there to make a appointment To dismount and mount new tires. Install Dually Valves, Balancing Beads in the rear duals, and spin balance the new front tires. I found that they had a new manager and a completely different crew. Before making the appointment I questioned the salesman and asked if he and the workers had ever installed Dually Valves which require a certain procedure to do it correctly. The procedure needs to be followed to the letter and the same for the balancing beads. I set up an appointment after being assured that they knew how to do everything correctly. I arrived at 7:00 am for my appointment the following Monday and here is what happened.

I removed the wheel covers before leaving home so that they would not damage them trying to use a impact wrench to remove the wheel cover bolts. I have had wheel covers on motor homes damaged by people who did not know how to remove them. (it was a good thing I removed them before hand). I took the new tires in the motor home along with the new Dually Valves and the balancing beads. I also had copied a full set of instructions along with pictures that I took with me just in case. Now the fun begins.

The first problem was they did not know how to jack up the motor home. It took 4 (Tire Monkeys) guys and 3 jacks and an hour later they finally had the rear wheels jacked up. They could brake the Tire beads with their machine, but could not dismount the tires from the rims. I told them you will have to do it manually with tire irons. They tried to do it with a couple of 12 inch tire irons, after 30 minutes I told them to get a couple of 30 inch tire irons. They finally got the tires dismounted. I showed them the instructions and pictures of how to install the dually valves as they have to be centered. Before mounting the tires. One rim on top of the other. This they did not do and they would not listen to what I had to say.

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When installing the dually valves I had to correct them 4 times as they were doing it wrong. I asked one of the guys if they had ever installed dually Valves and he said no. These guys had never installed dually valves nor had they ever dismounted and mounted 19.5 heavy 16 ply tires. I told them to be careful with the tire goop and not to get any inside because of the balancing beads. The inside of the tire has to be clean and free of moisture. Each tire requires 10 OZ packet of balancing beads and a special valve core so my TPMS doesn’t get plugged. The first thing that happened was they opened the packet and spilled beads all over the Rim and Tire bead losing some of the beads. I made them clean the tire bead and watched as they installed the rest of the balancing beads.

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You can see in the picture the special Valve Cores
While they were filling one of the tires I noticed water dripping out of the air chuck and running down the valve stem. What the Hell Don’t they drain their air compressor or filter the air. When I stopped them from filling the tire he called another man over who took the air hose outside and water shot out of the air hose for a couple of minutes. What a lousy deal. I wonder how many customer tires are half full of water. I wonder if all Big O tire stores are the same. The Asst Manager came out and asked me to leave the shop area and stay in the waiting room. I told him no and that these guys did not know what they were doing and they had never installed dually Valves or 19.5 tires. I said who is going to pay if they mess up the valves. They cost $120 – $140 a set. I said if a tire leaks and is ruined because of the valves being installed wrong are you going to pay. He said they guarantee the job. I went to the waiting room and a while later they came and said that they could not balance the front tires because of the rim size their machine could not do it. They sent me to another store 7 miles away to get the front tires balanced. I went there and after an hour was informed they could not do it with their machine. I sad I already paid for this so they sent me to Jacks Tires a commercial tire dealer who did a excellent job in 30 minutes. I told them to bill Big O who had called them. When I finally got home at 3:00 PM All day shot for a 2 hour job Because the people at Big O did not know what they were doing and they lied to me. I found one of the special Valve cores was still in the box and not installed. Never again will I set foot in a Big O Store. or any other store not set up to do commercial tires. I learned a lesson. Most of these kind of stores either don’t know or can’t do the job on a motor home. This is a critical issue and the motoring public safety and peoples lives depend on them doing the job right.

Mel

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New Tires & ACC for Motor Home

I’ve used Samson Tires on the last 2 motor homes that I owned. My present motor home came with Samsons and they are 9 1/2 years old. It is time to get new ones. When checking for tires I found that the Samsons are no longer available in my area and buying them online is to expensive with shipping. So I was in the market for a good set of tires at a reasonable price. I had heard good things about Sailun Tires so I started looking when I found a add from Walmart on the internet for Sailun 245/70R19.5 tires with free shipping. I decided to give them a try. I’ve had good luck buying from Walmart online in the past and have been happy with my purchases. Here are the tires that I bought.

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What a Bargain. 16 Ply 5 Rib all season tires at a great price. Every place that I checked was $40 to $60 Higher and no free shipping. I Ordered the tires on Wednesday and got them today Friday. All 6 of them came via FedX. The date code on all tires was Jan 2019 (0119) first week of 2019
While I was at it I decided to have Borg Dually Valves installed for the rear dual tires so I could use my TPMS (tire pressure monitoring System). The RV shops and stores want $120 to $140 for the kit. I found the kit that I needed on Ebay for $90 including shipping. 

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For the rear tires I also wanted Balancing Beads instead of the lead weights. I have had good luck using them in the past on trailers and motor homes. So I went searching for the same kind that I used the last time. I found them on Ebay, again at a great price for $29.

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I found a tire shop that will mount and dismount the tires and install the dually valves for $25 a tire. So lets see what all of this is costing me.
The price of the tires delivered including Tax.
Tires $1,057.29
Dually Valves $90.00
Balancing Beads $29.00
Labor tire install $150.00
Total cost $1,325.29
Not bad for 6 tires including Dually Valves and Balancing beads. Should have everything installed by next Wednesday.

Update Cup Holder & Equipment Panel

Well I got thinking that the Coffee Cup Holder & Equipment Panel was sitting a bit to high and need Redoing. I also wanted something to Read my chassis Voltage and A couple of USB charging ports and a extra 12 socket. Plenty of room on the Panel so I redesigned it. Below are pictures of the work with explanations.
Mel

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This is the way it looked before I updated. You can see it sets a little bit High and is level with the window.

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This is the way it is now It sets down lower and has a panel added with a 12 V socket, USB Charging Ports, Lighted ON and Off switch, and a Voltage Monitor for the chassis battery.

Continue reading “Update Cup Holder & Equipment Panel”

Cup Holder and Equipment Mount Mod

Here is the problem. I needed a place for my Coffee cup when traveling and a place to mount my GPS and TPMS both which needed a flat smooth surface. So I decided to build my own. I did not want one that goes on the Hump because getting in and out of the drivers or passenger seats you would have coffee cups in the way. I also wanted something that would hold my GPS and TPMS easy to see and a coffee holder easy to reach when driving.

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The Ideal place for me would be to the left of the driver seat and below the window. I did this in another motor home and it worked very well.

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so I started to make a wooden rack out of a piece of pine wood. Measuring and running back and forth between my work shop in the garage and the motor home. Shaping the wood and checking the fit.

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Here is the pine board stained and ready to drill the hole for the cup holder.

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Here is the finished product ready to install. a couple of coats of stain followed by a Clear High gloss finish the hole for the cup holder drilled and the cup holder installed. I added a clear piece of Lexsan (fiberglass) so I could mount my GPS and TPMS by their suction cups.

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Here it is installed. Easy to reach and everything out of the way. Later I will add a LED light under the mount with a switch so I can have a light to see the level controls on the floor. I will probably add a dual cigarette Lighter with USB in the side or maybe the rear of the mount.
Mel

Update to Compartment Door Mod

I don’t know what I was thinking when I did the mod in a previous post. I know better and it was a stupid mistake on my part using D Rings and Bungee Cords when a much better solution would have been to use “Baggage Door Catch/Latch Clips” instead. Now when I remove the D Rings I will have to fill in the holes and paint the fiberglass to match.

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A package of 12 Clips cost $12 on Amazon which is a lot less than D Rings for 5 doors. Glad I only did 2 doors before it dawned on me to use the Baggage door clips instead.

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Baggage Door Clips Installed for all 5 doors. As you can see from the picture above the clips are much less intrusive and look much better.

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You can see how the clips hold up the door after removing the struts with the slide in. I will leave the D Rings under the 2 Windows in the slide. They could be used to Hold down Window awnings if I ever decide to get some. The clips that hold a window awning would go where the present D Rings are.
Live and Learn.
Mel

Storage Compartment Door Mod

I got tired of Getting down on my hands and knees to look in the storage compartments under the slide It made no difference if the slide was in or out the struts on the door would only let the doors come up 90 degrees or half way. I guess they figured that we might open a slide with the compartment door open. What a Pain in the Patootie.

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as you can see even with the slide in it was a real pain to check the house batteries or the oil in the generator or to even put something heavy in a compartment under the slide. The Struts would not allow you to raise the compartment door up more than 90 deg or half way.

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So I removed the struts from the compartment doors to the battery compartment and the generator compartment.

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I then installed a tie down D-Ring to the side of the coach and another to the inside of the door. Using a Bungee cord to hold the door up 180 degrees when the slide is in. Now I can stand up and get in the Generator compartment to check the oil or perform maintenance. Same with the battery compartment. I just have to be sure the compartment doors are closed before extending the slide. I will do the same to the other 2 compartments under the slide.
Mel

Removing Speedometer for repair

While traveling from Yuma Arizona to my home in Utah Somewhere along the way my speedometer quit working. I used the tack to judge how fast I was going and made it home OK. Now it was time to find out what was wrong. All of the instruments in the instrument cluster were working including the Cruse control, the Odometer, and the tack. since they were all working this told me that the Speedometer head MPH which was not working. had to be bad. So it was now time to remove the speedometer and get it repaired. The speedometer is electronic and is part of the instrument cluster so the whole thing had to be removed as a unit. Continue to read to see how it was removed and pictures.

Continue reading “Removing Speedometer for repair”