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by Jim Humberd

We have driven six different RVs nearly 87,000 miles in about 30 European countries. All of these vehicles were "used" and had many miles or kilometers on the speedometer, we drove on roads with most every condition imaginable, but the tire problems we had, caused no great problems.

During four different years we were driving a Dodge RV that needed a tire size not used on European vehicles. One year, in Spain, we had them mount the spare tire, to replace one that appeared to be nearing the end of its life. A few days later, in Nice, France, we asked at several tire shops, and finally had two Firestones of one size put on the front, and two Goodyears of another size mounted on the back. Cost, $700.

Another year, while driving a different Dodge, the right front tire was wearing uneven on one side. It was still better than the spare, so we stopped at a tire shop in Yugoslavia to have it reversed, and remounted, before it got even worse.

When we returned to Europe 20 months later, we asked in France, in Luxembourg, then several places in Germany before we found a set of tires that would fit the Dodge Van. We finally arranged to buy four Michelin tires in Losheim, Germany. Michelin is a French company, but tires with this "odd" size, were stamped "Made in the USA."

As we neared Bordeaux, France, on a very busy highway, something flew off a passing truck, hit the Renault, there was a sudden flat tire. Since the blowout was on the left front, Jim had to be in the road to mount the spare. We went to a tire store we had just passed near Bordeaux, and paid about $100.

Just outside Agrínio, Greece, there was a noise we didn't like, so stopped at a gas station in time to see the Renault's left rear tire go flat. Took only a few minutes to put on the spare, then we bought a new tire, a couple of miles down the road. The man "told" Jim the tires on the camper were the wrong ones, and just not strong enough for the weight of the vehicle, so we bought a "better" Goodyear tire ($90) from him.

A couple of months later when we sold the Renault to a RV dealer in Saarbrücken, the German government vehicle inspector said the new (Goodyear) tire was not strong enough for the weight of the vehicle. So they had to replace it with a tire exactly like the one on there in the first place. Who knows!

Check out Jim and Emmy's web site to buy the books. Click here!

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