Steamboat Geyser Yellowstone National Park Wyoming

Yellowstone Wins

Then we went back to Billings!!!  Why?

Yellowstone wins, in our opinion, the prize for the best National Park. We can’t say that we have been to every National Park, and we can’t even say that we went to every National Park in the West. What we can say is that we loved Yellowstone and will be going back….soon. In fact, we are going back next week. This weekend, we went back to Billings. 

Firehole River Yellowstone National Park Wyoming
Firehole River Yellowstone National Park Wyoming

Billings doesn’t hold lots of attraction for us. It is the biggest city in Montana, is a comfortable size, and seems to be well-stocked with nice folks.  We like it as good as any city and better than many cities, but like almost every city, it is short on the stunning beauty scale. 

Old Faithful Geyser Yellowstone National Park Wyoming
Old Faithful Geyser Yellowstone National Park Wyoming

What Billings has for us is tires.

RV tires are expensive, and we knew we needed at least two tires this year. Montana and Oregon were prime candidates because these two states have no sales tax. What kicked us into gear was the Minot, North Dakota FMCA rally.

At this rally, Michelin had two very nice factory representatives whose primary job was to show Michelin support for RV tires and help Michelin increase RV tire sales.  One of the ways they do that is through tire inspections.  RV tires, unlike similar-size heavy truck tires, are much less likely to wear out. Still, instead, they are more likely to age and deteriorate due to environmental exposure, and Michelin recommends replacement, regardless of wear, every ten years.  For the last five years of life, Michelin recommends annual inspections to ensure the age will not cause a safety issue.  We were in the previous year of our Michelin warranty, and at eight years from the manufactured date, we were well inside the window for inspections.

Hot Spring Yellowstone National Park Wyoming
Hot Spring Yellowstone National Park Wyoming


Our tires were also inspected and declared healthy in Oregon last year. Still, this year’s inspection revealed some non-safety issues, prompting the inspectors to suggest I call Michelin Customer Care and ask for a Warranty Replacement. (pro-rated, of course)  With nothing to lose and everything to gain, I called and they told me to take them to a dealer. We did that two weeks ago and discussions between the dealer and Michelin Customer Care resulted in a 30% discount from Michelin on top of our already low FMCA club price and no sales tax, (thank you — Montana), on all six tires. Michelin Customer Care also paid for mounting and balancing. Our tire budget item was cut by about $1000 (a forty percent discount versus paying for everything out of pocket), and we are now sitting on six brand-new tires. — That’s the reason we went back to Billings.

I would be so ungrateful if I failed to mention Patricia and Leah (my Michelin tire inspectors), who identified the issue and started the warranty process. I had already sent emails to their bosses describing what a great job they did at the rally before Michelin decided I had a valid warranty claim. 

Going Back

Since Yellowstone Wins, we are going back next week. We already spent ten days fishing, camping, and sightseeing in West Yellowstone, and we can’t get enough. Next week is going to be shoulder season. We had expected to depart Yellowstone by the middle of September due to the probability of September snow. It looks like next week, we will probably get snow in Yellowstone as we make our final visit on our way to Idaho.  

Here is a link to the google map for the area.

Link to our 2019 Route

Link to our route Minot North Dakota to Boise

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7 thoughts on “Yellowstone Wins”

  1. Yes, Yellowstone is definitely one Beautiful and stunning place. I first went there at about age 12 or 13 with my parents. Patti and I went there pre-kids and we have also taken the kids there. I’m sure we will return again at some point.

    Next time I need a negotiator I will give you a call. Great deal on the tires.


  2. I’m happy to hear you got such a great deal on new tires. And that you replaced them before there was a problem. It seems that most people wait until there’s an issue before they buy new tires. I’m jealous and wish we could be touring Yellowstone as well. We only got two weeks there two years ago. I feel like we barely scratched the surface.

  3. Pingback: RV Tire Failure while Driving Across West Texas - FoxRVTravel

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