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Author Topic: Samson 8R19.5 Tire Question  (Read 11155 times)

Offline ClydesdaleKevin

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Samson 8R19.5 Tire Question
« on: September 05, 2012, 07:25 AM »
Okay, so I was out yesterday getting Eternabond tape at the RV store and noticed they had some tires in the back...they didn't have any 8R19.5s, but they did refer me to a truck tire place down the road that they said their customers were very happy with called Cherry Tire.

My plan was to replace my blown tire and my spare with Michelin XZAs, and the one place I found that could do them was 1200.00 for two tires, mounted and balanced!

I walk into Cherry Tire to ask how much they could do the Michelins for.  The owner, a former Navy Seal and Vietnam vet, suggested I go with Samson tires.  He said they have been using them for years in the trucking industry with no problems, and that they were a good steering tire as well.

He chuckled and said it was my money to blow, but if I'd rather spend 1200.00 bucks for 2 tires than 380.00 for two Samson tires, mounted and balanced, it was my choice.

I got home and jumped online and pulled up the specs for the Samson tire, 8R19.5 AP GL283A, and compared it to the specs of the Michelin XZA 8R19.5, and they were virtually identical in every way, right down to load range, PSI, construction, etc.

Anyone ever hear of Samson tires?  Apparently they are distributed out of Ohio, but from what I've read they are a Chinese tire.  But all the reviews I've read on them from both RVers and long haul truckers is that they are a fine tire, and no one ever had a problem with them.

Its a HUGE savings of cash to go with the Samsons over the Michelins.  And way more convenient for us...Cherry Tire is half the drive...about 30 miles away...than the tire place that can do the Michelins, the owner seemed honest and was trying to get me to save money (they've been in business for years and have used these tires for years), and I don't have to pay him upfront like the other place and wait a week for the tires to come in.  All I have to do is call him and he can have the tires waiting for me the next day, and he'll mount and balance them on the spot as soon as I bring him the rims and old tires.

I'm really leaning towards the Samson tires, but want to hear what you guys think about it, or know about the brand.

Kev


Kev and Patti, the furry kids, and The Nautilus, our 1989 Holiday Rambler Imperial 35 Anniversary Edition.

Offline tiinytina

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Re: Samson 8R19.5 Tire Question
« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2012, 09:40 AM »
I've never heard of Samson tires... I was going to go with Goodyears 8r19.5 when we put on new ones... which since ours are 2004 vintage needs to happen sooner rather than later although have zero side checking and wear is dead even all the way around...   I do know that for smaller, as in wheelbarrow size, my local Southern States folks, sell chinese made tires, but once I talked with a service tech said he'd never buy anything made of chinese rubber as there is a quality issue... but like I said that was for a much smaller tire.

Tina

Hi from Gone to the Dawgs! 1987 Tiffin Allegro in Deale MD. CW Rocks!!!

Offline gadgetman

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Re: Samson 8R19.5 Tire Question
« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2012, 06:27 PM »
You could get 2 Bridgestones for about 650. I would not want a low cost tire on mine.

Offline HandyDan

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Re: Samson 8R19.5 Tire Question
« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2012, 08:12 PM »
I have Dyna-Trac on mine.  I had no idea what they were when I bought them since I did it over the phone.  The tire guy said this was what they were putting on all the motorhomes and that they had a proven track record with the trucking industry.  I have since learned they are a division of Double Coin of China.  That being said, I have had no trouble with them and they seem to be holding up as well as any other tire.  They are on their third year with me.  Granted I don't go very far with them but I have nothing bad to say except for one very annoying thing.  They give off an odor. 
 
The first time we went to the lake I thought our campsite must have had some dead animal close by.  It smelled just like that.  The next year we camped in the same spot and notice the same odor.  Before we went to the lake this year, I loaded two of the tires in my car to have them balanced.  All the way to the tire store I smelled the odor.  After getting back I went around the motorhome and smelled each tire and the odor was prevalent. It isn't real strong but if your lawn chair is right next to the drive wheels and tag axle, you will definitely smell it.  Might be the China rubber. 
1984 Holiday Rambler

Offline Froggy1936

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Re: Samson 8R19.5 Tire Question
« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2012, 08:58 PM »
I purchased 6 Firestone Transforce HT 10 ply in 7/2005 I was hopeing to make them last till after travel season this year (wich would have been the 7 th year ) But the started showing small sidewall  cracks a year ago wich enlarged to where i was afraid to make the run to Ohio and back to N Wales for fear of a sidewall rupture I wanted to have time to go to 16 in instead of the16.5 oddball size but time forced me into replaceing all 6 again Wile shopping for 16 in wheels i looked at japanese tires that were 20 yrs old with no sidewall cracks I will start shopping for wheels now wile i have some time and i will not buy USA  made tires next time with tere built in obsolesence
The Journey is the REWARD !

Offline ClydesdaleKevin

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Re: Samson 8R19.5 Tire Question
« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2012, 08:57 AM »
So after doing some more research on Samson tires, their distributor company is out of Ohio, Great Lakes Tire Company.  Advance Tire is also made by Samson, or vice versa.  The tires are made to stringent quality control...and by the way, they are ultimately owned by Michelin...go figure...who also owns Uniroyal, etc.  Turns out that Advance Tires and Samson tires used to be made in Isreal.  Now they are made in China.

Other sources online compare their quality and longevity to Cooper tires, also made in China for the most part, but to American standards via Goodyear.

Turns out a lot of what we thought were American made brands are being made in China since its cheaper to have them made over there...but to the company standards.  Michelin...a French company...Goodyear, Firestone, BF Goodrich, Bridgestone...a lot of the tires carrying their labels are made in China now. 

The long haul truckers like the Samson and Advance tires because they last as long as the major brands, and end up being as cheap or cheaper than retreads for their rigs.  And semi truck tires are very expensive, especially when buying 18 of them!

The only negative feedback on the Samson tires I've read, on RV forums and on truck forums, was that they were made in China.  People that have them and have used them for years like them, with no negative experiences, while the naysayers about them have never used them, but say to avoid them because they are made in China.

I'm all about buying American, but if the American tire manufacturers would make a reasonably priced tire in 8R19.5 I'd definitely go for those over a foreign tire.  Sadly, as stated above, a lot of tires carrying the American label are made in China now...but at the same high price as when they were made in America.  Doing a quick search of country of origin of Michelin XZA 8r19.5 tires seems to indicate that they are made in China as well, but its not conclusive.

I'm pretty much decided that I'm going to go for the Samson tires, and I'll let you all know how they hold up.  At less than one third the cost, and with all the good reviews of them by folks that use them for the long haul, I think they'll be fine.  Even the folks with vintage buses and bus conversion lean towards them, since they make a lot of odd and off size tires, and they have used them for years and many many miles.

So yep...I think we'll go with the Samsons, unless someone comes up with a very good reason not to by Monday...lol!

Kev
Kev and Patti, the furry kids, and The Nautilus, our 1989 Holiday Rambler Imperial 35 Anniversary Edition.

Offline Elandan2

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Re: Samson 8R19.5 Tire Question
« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2012, 10:46 AM »
You should have suggested a "test" project.  Have everyone chip in a little for the tires and you report back to us... ;)   Good luck with the new skins.  Rick
Treatzall Waste tank sanitizer, lighting, and other RV related products!
Rick Ellerbeck, 1977 Elandan II

Offline ClydesdaleKevin

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Re: Samson 8R19.5 Tire Question
« Reply #7 on: December 16, 2012, 07:28 PM »
So far so good!  Road tests with the Samson tires prove them to be a VERY nice steering tire...better than the Michelins that were on here, but then again, they were pretty worn before the changeover. 

No unusual treadwear after around 2000 miles.

They do seem to make a lot more road noise than the Michelins...but then again, I changed the fan clutch the same time as the tires to a super duty fan clutch which stays on a little bit all of the time (you can hear it when it really revs up, but it never goes away completely) and the sound is very similar to a revved up fan...could be the tires, could be the fan, but its not super loud and in the background.


So far that is my only complaint.  They also seem to hold air better than the older Michelins, but that could be because the Michelins are nearly 7 years old.  Last time I checked tire pressures, the fronts, the Samsons, were perfect at 90psi, while the backs were in the mid 80s and I had to top them off.

Even most of the new tire molding nubs are still on the front tires.

So far so good!  Road evaluation seems to make them appear to be a very good tire at a great price compared to the Michelin. 

Only time will tell though.  After a full year I'll post another review, which will also determine whether or not I replace the last six tires with Samsons in NY next year, which is the tentative plan.  I'll keep the spare as a Michelin, since the Michelin isn't directional, and can fill in the gap on any wheel.





Kev


Kev and Patti, the furry kids, and The Nautilus, our 1989 Holiday Rambler Imperial 35 Anniversary Edition.

Offline HandyDan

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Re: Samson 8R19.5 Tire Question
« Reply #8 on: December 16, 2012, 10:51 PM »
How did you have them balanced.  You might have already answered this somewhere else but I can't find it.  I have a hard time finding someone with equipment that can handle a 19.5 tire.  The truck stops all tell me they are too small and the regular tire shops tell me they're too big.  I would like to try the Dyna-Beads ceramic pellets but the local tire shop only uses Equal and I'm not sure I want to go that route.  What did you use?
1984 Holiday Rambler

Offline ClydesdaleKevin

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Re: Samson 8R19.5 Tire Question
« Reply #9 on: December 17, 2012, 12:17 PM »
Cherry Tire used plain old fashioned lead tire weights on the rims, big ones!


Kev
Kev and Patti, the furry kids, and The Nautilus, our 1989 Holiday Rambler Imperial 35 Anniversary Edition.

Offline bluebird5750

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Re: Samson 8R19.5 Tire Question
« Reply #10 on: December 18, 2012, 12:03 AM »
I just did a 8r19.5  tire comparison. There are so many made in china, some good, some not so good. I decided on bridgestones as they are made in japan. The Michelins that were on my coach had severe cracking going on. I'd never buy another set. I bought a pair of Bridgestones used, for the front a couple years ago, they had a date code of 02 but I bought them anyways. they still looked very good but I replaced all 6 about a month ago. Several shops I called could sell me and install this size tire but couldn't balance them. The only 2 shops that could balance, sold Michelins, but one also sold the Bridgestones. The Michelins at one shop was $3686.80 + mount and balance. The Bridgestones were $1663.00 out the door, but I took them off and hauled them to them loose. No way I'd put $4000.00 in tires on a coach only worth 10,000, cause it's still only worth 10,000. By the way my Michelins were made in France, not sure you can buy a tire this size made in the states, I couldn't find any around here.

Offline ibdilbert01

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Re: Samson 8R19.5 Tire Question
« Reply #11 on: December 18, 2012, 12:54 AM »
I prefer tires made over here.    I feel it helps our economy and keeps jobs.   Cooper still makes some of their tires in Ohio.
Constipated People Don't Give a crap!

Offline ClydesdaleKevin

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Re: Samson 8R19.5 Tire Question
« Reply #12 on: December 18, 2012, 08:27 AM »
Pretty sure Bluebird is right...I don't think you can find an 8R-19.5 tire made in the USA anymore.  Specialty Tires of America used to make a radial 8R-19.5...its what we bought for the Itasca...and they are made in the USA.  But they only make bias ply tires now.  BTW, they still make the bias tires in all the old Dodge sizes, like 17.5.

So Michelins are made in France with some in China, Bridgestones are made in Japan with some in China, and Samson is made in China.
 Hm? 

I'll let you all know how they work out after a year...we put on a lot of miles each year!

Kev
Kev and Patti, the furry kids, and The Nautilus, our 1989 Holiday Rambler Imperial 35 Anniversary Edition.

Offline Oz

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Re: Samson 8R19.5 Tire Question
« Reply #13 on: December 18, 2012, 01:57 PM »
It is tough to get anything that is truly made in America anymore.  What a shocker to see how many tire companies have at least some of their tires made in China too.  I'd at least like to believe it's their lowest cost ones and that the higher price ones reflect higher quality, American made ones.  But these days, who knows?  It's sad. 
 
 N:(
Previously enjoyed our '74 - D24 Indian & '74 - D24 Indian Custom

Offline bluebird5750

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Re: Samson 8R19.5 Tire Question
« Reply #14 on: December 18, 2012, 08:42 PM »
When you're trying to buy things made in the usa it's tuff. I have to admit I really didn't pay much attention to where stuff was made till the last 2 or 3 years. I absolutely hate buying stuff made in china or korea, but sometimes we don't have a lot of choise. Things made in japan 40 years ago was in the same boat china is now. Some good some bad, but most things made in japan anymore is pretty good, thanks to us americans. I just hope we don't wait too long to do something about it. I just bought brake pads for my coach, 2 choises in stock at my local O'Reillys. Mexico or china, or 2 day wait and almost triple the cost for usa made pads. The counter guy said they don't stock the usa made pads anymore here because they don't sell any.

Offline JDxeper

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Re: Samson 8R19.5 Tire Question
« Reply #15 on: December 18, 2012, 10:12 PM »
Here is a list of USA products
 
http://americansworking.com/
Tumble Bug "Rollin in MO" (JD)

Offline ClydesdaleKevin

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Re: Samson 8R19.5 Tire Question
« Reply #16 on: December 19, 2012, 11:18 AM »
Sadly, JD, not a single tire is listed...although I'm sure there are omissions on their website list.  There is a Rickson wheel company though that might interest some of the dodge folks, as they make custom replacement wheels for the oddball 16's to replace them with 17.5s and 19.5s in the proper bolt patterns without adapters...made in Maryland.


http://ricksontruckwheels.com/

Kev
Kev and Patti, the furry kids, and The Nautilus, our 1989 Holiday Rambler Imperial 35 Anniversary Edition.

Offline Oz

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Re: Samson 8R19.5 Tire Question
« Reply #17 on: March 17, 2013, 01:56 PM »
What's the mileage on the tires now, Kevin?  Could you bookmark this topic and give us an eval after every 10k miles?  I know that's a lot to ask but, you're the proof-in-the-pudding for us on this and it would be muchly appreciated!
Previously enjoyed our '74 - D24 Indian & '74 - D24 Indian Custom

Offline ClydesdaleKevin

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Re: Samson 8R19.5 Tire Question
« Reply #18 on: March 19, 2013, 11:22 PM »
Less than 5k so far,  but holding up well, with no wear.  I'll keep you updated!  They look as new as the day we got them, nubs and all...no uneven wear or checkering...but we keep them covered when parked.

Kev
Kev and Patti, the furry kids, and The Nautilus, our 1989 Holiday Rambler Imperial 35 Anniversary Edition.

Offline ClydesdaleKevin

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Re: Samson 8R19.5 Tire Question
« Reply #19 on: September 04, 2013, 07:42 AM »
One year later and nearly 10K miles, the Samson tires are holding up very well, and still ride extremely well!

In fact, I'm so satisfied with their performance that I went ahead and got another 6 Samson tires and installed them on my rims, for a total of 8 tires now.  I kept the best Michelin as a spare since its not directional.

I also rotated the front tires I bought last year to the trailing axle, so we once again have brand new tires in the front.

Cherry Tire switched over to the Equal brand of beanbag type balancing...they said it ended up balancing wheels better than the weights, especially once you start adding on hub caps and braided steel valve extensions after balancing.

We'll see how the Equal works!  Cherry Tire swears by it now, so I'll let you all know after our first road trip with them down to North Carolina.

So far so good on the Samsons...I'm sold!

Kev
Kev and Patti, the furry kids, and The Nautilus, our 1989 Holiday Rambler Imperial 35 Anniversary Edition.

Offline ClydesdaleKevin

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Re: Samson 8R19.5 Tire Question
« Reply #20 on: December 28, 2013, 11:57 AM »
Many miles later...from New York, to North Carolina, to Georgia, to Florida, then all the way out to Tombstone, Arizona.

The Samson tires are amazing, still look new in the tread with no unusual wear, and the ride is GREAT!

The Equal balancing works amazingly well...its even in the front tires and they seem to be perfectly balances while driving.

I've gotta give the Samson tires a great big thumbs up!!!

Kev
Kev and Patti, the furry kids, and The Nautilus, our 1989 Holiday Rambler Imperial 35 Anniversary Edition.

Offline suemoosue1

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Re: Samson 8R19.5 Tire Question
« Reply #21 on: March 07, 2014, 05:09 PM »
 :)clap Thank you so much for the info on these tires. I have to replace all 6 on my old girl and of course am looking for the best deal. I Googled these tires and ran on to your blog and love the group. I joined yesterday! Anyway about the tires, I have checked them out through some old teamster buddies that are still trucking. They have been around for a long time and are a commercial tire and they make Ag tires also. Everyone I talked to says they are a good dependable tire at an affordable price. I am getting mine next week. Thanks again!

Offline Stripe

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Re: Samson 8R19.5 Tire Question
« Reply #22 on: March 07, 2014, 11:03 PM »
You're welcome and Welcome to the Club!
Fredric,
Captain of the Ground Ship "Aluminum Goose"
28' Holiday Rambler Imperial 28

Offline TAWmson3

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Re: Samson 8R19.5 Tire Question
« Reply #23 on: August 09, 2014, 01:38 PM »
Hi Kev,

I agree with previous reply, thank you :)clap !  I just bought a 1989 HR Imperial "31" with tag axle.  I was nervous driving it ~70 miles home on Akuret tires, some without any mfg date code that I could tell, and one with a date code older than the coach!  I also have a 1977 AVCO Grand Lodge II  and put Michelin XZA on it after I bought it.  Unhappy with sidewall checks/cracks after 4 years.  Mich has just got silly on their pricing though, so I'm looking to repeat your experience with the HR (including tag axle!) and Samson. 
Thanks in advance Kev!

Ted

Offline eXodus

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Re: Samson 8R19.5 Tire Question
« Reply #24 on: August 09, 2014, 02:34 PM »
Got Samson 8R19.5  arround 1200$ for all 6 last week

The 8 year old Goodyear 225/70R19.5 which I replaced had problems holding pressure.
Also the coach has now noticeable more clearance.

The first short rides (only a around 100 miles) is so far so good. Comfortable and nice to drive.

Will post when I got more miles on the tires.

Sebastian

 

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