Question Rettroband - are they worth it?

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2017 Chevy Colorado
Reading another thread here on Rettroband reminded me I wanted to discuss this topic. The question is are Rettrobands worth the cost. Here is why I would say NO.

From what I hear the cost of Retrobands are around $3500 to $4500 per set according to the link below. Obviously this is for the steer tires (front axle) on a Class A Motorhome. Let's call this $2,000 per tire to keep the math easy.

I'd say motorhome drivers keep their steer tires for 7 years from the DOT date. Some maybe shorter or longer, I don't know. Feel free to share your opinion on when you are going to (or do) change your steer tires. What is the cost of a tire and feel free to consider a tire discount program such as FMCA. I believe the price of my Michelin XRV 305/70R22.5 is going to be around $650, I really don't know as that's only what I've heard but some googling on the web for online prices it's around $850.

The question is how often can you put brand new tires on and run on new tires up front instead of using Rettrobands at the same value? It seems to me you could replace your front tires every 2-3 years with that same money?? The counter to that is this is an upfront investment if you do get Rettrobands assuming they will last through several tire changes at 7 years per tire?

Help me with the economics of something this expensive that could be spent the same on new tires instead.



 
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I will not install them. I think a lot of their reasoning is scare tactics. Wonder how many of the millions of long haul truckers have them. Ask DSD what he thinks.
Of course, this is just my humble opinion. I feel very confident in my ability to control my coach with a Serious front tire problem.
 
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The RV industry loves to market on fear and tapping into retirement money.
 
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Well I agree they are expensive. However I see the economics more as a form of insurance rather than tire / maintenance cost. I don't have any statistics or other data on steer tire blow outs on Class A RV's. I suppose some are age related, probably many inflation related, maybe a manufacture defect every now and then, and yet a few more related to the tire impacting something. My opinion is if I'm the unlucky one that has a steer blow out I'm interested in doing what I can to help ensure at the end of the event my wife and I are still around to tell the story and hopefully no serious injuries to us or anyone else. To me the Retrobands appear to provide a reasonable approach to improve the performance of the coach in the event of a steer blow out. So in my view, like insurance you are paying to transfer some of the risk. If a person feels there is insufficient risk to justify the cost, or perhaps has concerns regarding if the product would perform as intended, then they likely won't be a buyer. In my case I'm about a year away from new tires. My current plan is to go with Toyo's and take the savings between the Toyo's and Michelins and put it toward a set of Retrobands.
 
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It’s all about risk management and being as safe as possible. 3400 is not cheap where the other side can be tragic with horrible consequences. I have seen too many bad outcomes (not RV’s) through my DW’s profession as a forensic engineer investigating 100’s of automobile trauma and death causation cases so I am probably more risk averse than most. I think of rettroband as reasonable insurance to avoid the really bad outcome and possibly save our lives and lives of others. Another thing to think about this topic is the high center of gravity of these vehicles. The NHTS does a fair amount of studies about this. I lifted an excerpt from a paper regarding rollovers due to high center of gravity resulting In loss of stability.


Investigation of the Influence of the Centre of Gravity Position on the Course of Vehicle Rollover

Rollover crashes belong to the most danger type of road accidents. Admittedly accidents of this type constitute only 3% of all accidents; fatalities of these accidents constitute is as many as 33% of all fatalities [3] . It is the reason why the problem of rollover accidents is discussed in many papers, e.g.: [10], [5], [11], [6]. Particularly vehicles with high situated centre of gravity are exposed to this type of accidents. Most dangerous are accidents with buses, especially with double-decker and high-floor buses [4].
In the vehicle dynamics the rolling over is treated as the case of loss of stability, which is one of the most important problems of lateral vehicle dynamics. The loss of stability consists on a rapid, uncontrolled by the driver, increase of vehicle deviance from its assumed trajectory. The loss of stability is a great danger, because it can cause departure of the car from the road, rollover or collision with other vehicle. The loss of lateral stability can happen mostly by cornering with great velocity or by avoiding an obstacle.


Just a different point of view and there no absolutes here. You do what you are comfortable with in managing your own risk appetite.
 
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I'll throw in one more economic variable. Per NIRVC they told me the average length of coach ownership is 4.3 years. With that said if you're a new coach owner, you'll never be near tire aging concerns. If a used coach is purchased it would be money well spent to put at least new steer tires on at that point or wait for 7 years from the DOT date but if I was buying used and the tires were 5 or more years old I'd just replace them with my new to me purchase.
 
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In my opinion, if you purchase name brand tires, watchout for old build dates when purchasing tires, manage your tire pressure, use a TPMS, monitor the tire condition, replace aged tires 5-7 years from date of mfg., and watch you tire temps, you should never be surprised by a blowout. Just in case, you should be familiar with blow out driving recovery procedures. With all that said, odds are very slim that you will suffer a blow out.
The caveat is if you hit road debri.

The Blowout problem is that if you do suffer a blowout at speed, and recover smoothly, if the tire comes apart, (i.e. wheel has cut through the sidewall allowing tire to shred (the tire shredding event would be avoid with a wheel retro band, etc) there will most likely will be significant body damage and possibly undercarriage damage. Potentially a trip ending event.

Not worth the price if you follow reasonable precautions, again IMHO.
 
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The FMCA price for my front tire (Michelin XRV 305/70R22.5) is $687.
 
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Here is an explanation of Blowout recovery in layman's terms. The opening scene is a graphic reminder of what "can" happen. A good explanation in my opinion.

 
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I would be for Rettrobands at half the current cost. As mentioned, I can replace my front tires about every other year at that price point and have fresh tires for safety, a complete waste of course. I haven't watched the video yet Joe posted.
 
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I agree about keeping your tires new-ish and proper inflation, but brand new tires can blow out, too. I put new tires on my old Mini Cooper (not run-flats). Two months later, I was on my way home from work, highway speeds, when a piece of metal came flying off a truck a few cars ahead of me. No way to avoid it, as there were other cars around me. Blew out my front passenger tire. I was able to control my car and got safely off the road. Lots of damage to the undercarriage of my car. I don’t think anyone could properly control a motorhome in that situation. I installed Rettrobands for just this reason,
 
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I would be for Rettrobands at half the current cost. As mentioned, I can replace my front tires about every other year at that price point and have fresh tires for safety, a complete waste of course.
Warm up that 3D printer, buddy.
 
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Warm up that 3D printer, buddy.
Printing tires as we speak :)

I swear, when I got into RVing my biggest fear was this and that I survived combat in an A-10 would a RV do me in??
 
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With retro bands, do you still inflate to the same PSI? I would think so, you’d just need less air to reach the same pressure as there’s less volume for the air to fill within the tire since it’s now mostly retroband, and so I think the pressure would climb faster when filling?
 
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What I was told is yes. Same pressures based on tire and four corner weights.
 
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Newmar Owners Group on Facebook shows a video posted today where the retroband failed in the tire causing the tire to fail. There was no blowout, this was a 100% retroband failure within the tire.

 
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@Neal I am not on FB is it possible to copy the excerpt of the incident from FB?
 
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Here is the video: click here

Here is the pic posted of the retroband failure:

rbandfailure.png
 
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As ugly as it was, at least it wasn't catastrophic. Looks like the driver easily maintained control while bringing the coach to a safe stop. That said, I am not a particular fan of Retrobands.

TJ
 
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