We had to buy a replacement trailer tire on this trip. The purchasing process set me off on a happy trip (No, I don’t inject, smoke or swallow any happiness enablers). I was thrilled when the service assistance at the tire center turned the screen in my direction to show me a list of tires, along with prices, that would meet my needs. As I scanned down the list, I didn’t see the brand name for the tire I was replacing, but at the bottom of the list I saw two different Goodyear tires; Marathon and Endurance. I asked about the Endurance and was told that it was a replacement for the Marathon Model. The Endurance is a ST (Special Trailer tire) which is “MADE IN THE USA”. My first set of tires on our fifth wheel were Marathons that were made in the USA. After four years of use, the tires looked great and we never had a problem with them. We were getting ready to travel both ways across the country so we decided to replace all the tires with Marathons. After our first “tread separation” (tire did not deflate) we noticed the Marathon tire was manufactured off shore. I later discovered that tread separation with ST tires not made in the USA is well documented on the internet. We lived with that miserable situation for years and attempted to pick the less of two evil brands when selecting a replacement ST tire(s). All that has hopefully gone away, we replaced the four tires with the “Made in the USA” Endurance tires. We still have the original made in the USA Marathon tire as a spare - we have no plans to ever replace that tire unless we have no choice.
I want to finish this article with a little “food for thought”: THINK NATIONWIDE. We are aware of the benefits of purchasing merchandise in your home base local community. But now that you will be traveling to far off places on all points of the compass, it may be a good time to think about how you would get warranty service for that product outside of the home base location. It has been our experience to purchase items, especially tires and batteries, at a nationwide chain with centers scattered about the USA. Nationwide chains stand behind the products they sell and honor the warrantee’s anywhere – a no hassle experience. Extended service warrantees are a good thing for the traveling RV’er. Like any insurance policy, it may seem like an unnecessary expense – until you need it. We get the extended service warranty on tires and came out with a less costly resolution for each ST tire mishap. We received a full purchase price refund for the defective tire yesterday.