Posted In: Airstream, Tires, Towing, Video

When the time rolled around for new tires, we faced a minor dilemma.

The OEM tires on SEEMORE, our Ford F250 pickup truck, were Continental Contitracs. Our experience with those Continental tires was pretty good. We managed to extract just over 47,000 miles of service from the tires, and that’s after putting those slabs of steel-belted rubber through some of the most intense use imaginable. Hauling a 7500-pound Airstream over the Rocky Mountains isn’t exactly light lifting.

While I wasn’t thrilled with the Contis, nor was I dissatisfied. They did what they were asked to do. But after browsing some online reviews, I began to wonder whether our results were atypical. Maybe we just got lucky with our tires? The Contitrac is consistently one of the lowest reviewed truck tires, and is held in only slightly higher esteem than Kim Jong-un. Some say that Contitracs are best used to start dumpster fires.

So there was my dilemma – SHOULD I STAY (with Contis) or SHOULD I GO (with another brand)? That would make a great song, wouldn’t it?

I did a little more research and found one tire that is better reviewed than Citizen Kane. Apparently the Michelin LTX M/S2 is the best thing to happen to tires since the invention of the wheel. (Tire sales were terrible before the wheel came along.) I’ve owned and enjoyed other Michelins, so I decided we’d give this tire a go.

Yes, Michelins cost a few bucks more than the Contis. However, they also come with a 6-year 70,000-mile warranty. Six years?! We’ll see. That’s TWICE the lifespan that we received from our Continentals. When you do the math, Michelins really don’t cost much more. If we REALLY get six years of usage out of these tires, the set will cost us $166 a year, or less than $14 a month. (You see, all sorts of expensive purchases – from Jet Skis to Ferraris  – can be rationalized when you break them down by the month.)

Next up: where to buy?

Of course I’d take a look at Amazon, mainly because I always check Amazon. is always a good option. You buy the tires online (no sales tax!) for a good price, and have them shipped to a recommended local installer.

But for me, Costco was a BETTER option. Although our local Costco didn’t have these particular Michelins in stock, the tires we wanted were easily ordered. We paid a $60 down payment to place the order, and then the balance of the cost upon installation a few days later. Costco guarantees lifetime FREE balance and rotation, plus a road hazard warranty. And by the way, Costco inflates tires with Nitrogen (smaller molecules than Oxygen, so the tires are less likely to lose pressure).

Since these tires are going on our tow vehicle, I’m particularly interested in the free rotation. If you view our video, you’ll see what happens to rear tires on a tow vehicle that haven’t been rotated often enough. I must admit that SEEMORE’s rear treads were shockingly thin. Don’t let this happen to YOUR rear tires, kids. ROTATE YOUR TOW VEHICLE TIRES!

All’s well that ends well. At 47,000 miles, SEEMORE’s got a new set of shoes.  🙂

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