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Trailer Tires Trouble


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#1 tedinkc

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Posted 25 September 2010 - 07:01 PM

Over the last several weeks I have learned some lessons about tires. 3 weeks ago we were heading East from Kansas City to the Johnson City, Tn area to see our daughter and son in law. We had a tire come apart on I-70 at the 142 mile marker, I always check my tire pressure before a trip. We got some help and change the tire and were back on the road in about 45 minutes. I bought a new tire in the morning at Wally World in Granite City, Il. I would have bought a set but Wally World wouldn't mount them on the trailer. I left the spare on (which was unused until this happened) and continued on our trip with no more problems. Friday I check all the tires again and headed out to see our other 2 kids, daughter in law and granddaughter, we made it 30 miles from home and the spare came apart, west bound on I-70. An hour later we were on our way again. Today I bought another new tire and late this afternoon my son put it on in place of the one that was left, I figured it would be next. My son work in the shop at Sears in Hutchinson, Ks. He showed me how uneven the wear is on that last tire, which indicates that the cords have separated. Depending on ware you look, the tire looks good on one side and is uneven to nearly bald on the inside tread. I will be buying another tire on Monday. I will get some pictures of the tire before I replace it and post them here.

The guy that sold me the new tire today said trailer tires are only good for 3 to 4 years. The one they replaced was made on the 50th week of 03. The remaining tire was made the 30 week of 05. Lesson learned, no damages to us, the trailer or anyone else. WDH and sway bar in place and we tracked straight and true.

Ted

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#2 PRTexas

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Posted 25 September 2010 - 07:19 PM

Glad you folks are OK. Seems like 3 years is the magic number for the tires. Considering all that I've read, we may be replacing ours at 3 years regardless of the apparent wear. I'm sure Paul will want new tires before we head to Alaska in 2012 anyway.

Reine


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#3 mike712

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Posted 26 September 2010 - 07:32 AM

Sorry you had so much tire trouble. You are lucky you were traveling where new right-size tires were available. The tire news in recent years has been that trailer tires are not long-lived. I suspect some of the deterioration depends on location, storage (inside or in-the-sun) and travel speed. Isn't the official recommendation for trailer tires: Replace after five years? I replaced our Casita tires in the midst of the fifth season (I had never had one moment of tire trouble with the original Marathons). Our Casita had "lived" most of its life near the Iowa-Minnesota border inside our large storage building on a concrete floor. I towed it at about 60 mph and traveled primarily north of its home latitude. I suspect a trailer stored outside in Texas and regularly towed at 70 mph or more would be prone to more tire trouble. The good news is that the recent move to 15-inch tires will likely reduce tire problems with these great trailers. Mike
Mike & Sally
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#4 Bobinyelm

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Posted 26 September 2010 - 01:33 PM


I suspect this is why so many Casita owners have switched to Commercial Tires in a higher load rating than the OEM "ST" tires in Load Rating C that come with Casitas unless otherwise specified.

There HAVE been failures with these as well, though FAR fewer.

Bob

#5 schatzie

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Posted 26 September 2010 - 06:48 PM

There are several "Rules of Thumb" which should be strictly adhered to regarding trailer tires.
1. Have tires balanced when mounted.
2. Always inflate tires to maximum pressure as shown on sidewall.
3. Never tow faster than 60-65mph.
4. Replace tires every 3 years (including spare) regardless of remaining tread.
5. Visually check tires before each trip. (especially for cracks in sidewall and between treads)

Trailer tires serve a different purpose than car or truck tires and usually wear out from fatigue on the inside long before the tread wears out.
Additionally, be very careful not to overload the tire's capacity rating. If tires are wearing unevenly, you may want to have your axle alignment checked.
I believe trailer tires should be replaced every 3 years. Car and truck tires should be replaced every 5 years.

Bob

Edited by schatzie, 26 September 2010 - 06:53 PM.

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#6 LSChilders

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Posted 26 September 2010 - 10:35 PM

I stopped buying those "ST" trailer tires. Couldn't get 'em to hold up.

Switch to a load range "D" Radial truck tire (still 14") and have no more problems. I use Kuhmo.
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#7 tedinkc

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Posted 27 September 2010 - 05:40 AM

Ok, here is the tire. One show nothing and as you can see the tire is worn in spots and very uneven. My son works in the shop at Sears in Hutchinson and said this is what happens when the tread and the belts separate. We got this one off before it failed, there wasn't enough left of the other 2 to see why they failed. I always check my tires and keep them filled but this was just a case of them never being turned the right way to see the bad spots. From now on I will check the pressure, the tire surface and then move the trailer and check them again. Kevin at Cooper Tire in McPherson, Ks told me to put some plastic between the tire and the concrete driveway because moisture comes up through the concrete, through the rubber and gets into the belts and rusts them, I'm going to give that a try too, can't hurt. Thanks for all the input.

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Ted & Cindy 04 17ft FD (Dragon Egg)
2011 Red Mercedes Sprinter 2500 (Dimpled Dragon)
IMG_2969.jpg

 


#8 Luckyman

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Posted 27 September 2010 - 06:37 AM

QUOTE (schatzie @ Sep 26 2010, 08:48 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
There are several "Rules of Thumb" which should be strictly adhered to regarding trailer tires.
1. Have tires balanced when mounted.

If you ask 10 tire "experts", you'll get five on each side of this issue. Balancing definitely can't hurt, so I agree with this.

2. Always inflate tires to maximum pressure as shown on sidewall.

Absolutely not. Over inflation will cause premature wear and a harsh ride. Tires should be inflated to the proper pressure for the load they are bearing.


3. Never tow faster than 60-65mph.

Totally agree, and there would be much fewer trailer tire failures if this were adhered to.

4. Replace tires every 3 years (including spare) regardless of remaining tread.

If your trailer sits up 11 months per year and goes on vacation once a year, I agree with you. Otherwise, can I have your old tires? Regularly used trailer tires hold up very well for five years.

5. Visually check tires before each trip. (especially for cracks in sidewall and between treads)

Agree. Also, check pressures daily while traveling and visually inspect at each fuel stop.

Bob

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#9 d_wildemann

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Posted 27 September 2010 - 03:26 PM

Both my one year old Kuhmo 14 (STs) had tread separtions on interstates. I don't think Kuhmos are good tires.

Donw

#10 LSChilders

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Posted 06 October 2010 - 12:20 PM

Both my one year old Kuhmo 14 (STs) had tread separtions on interstates. I don't think Kuhmos are good tires.

Donw


I think it's not the Kuhmo part that was bad, ....... but the "ST" part.

I've come to believe that the "ST" tires are a waste of good money, I don't buy them anymore, and my Kuhmo load range "D" truck tires are doing just fine.

Edited by LSChilders, 06 October 2010 - 12:20 PM.

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#11 Indy-hp

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Posted 06 October 2010 - 01:47 PM

The Goodyear Marathons on our 2003 17' SD were made in the 39th and 41st weeks of 2002, is that bad? :)
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#12 tedinkc

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Posted 06 October 2010 - 02:37 PM

The Goodyear Marathons on our 2003 17' SD were made in the 39th and 41st weeks of 2002, is that bad? :)



I would say yes. The one that gave out on me 2 weeks ago was made in 03, don't remember the week. It had been the spare on my 04 Casita, always covered and at proper air pressure. We drove with it on from Columbia, Mo to NE Tennessee to the Smoky Mountains and back to Kansas City, never over 65 mph. Then 30 miles from home half the tread came off. If they were on my trailer, I would buy new ones. It was a Goodyear Marathon.

Ted

Edited by tedinkc, 06 October 2010 - 02:38 PM.

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#13 Bobinyelm

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Posted 06 October 2010 - 06:48 PM

ST Tires: Never buy 'em. You don't need them with a single axle trailer. Buy ANYTHING else that gives you at least a 25% margin above the 1750 max a 17ft Casita will see. BTW, any tire that ends in "C" is a Commercial tire, and not an ST tire. Kuhmo and MAxxis may be designated "ST," since on certain models, the manufacturers do not wish to submit their tires for testing as vehicle tires die to low sales volume in the USA.

Speed. Opinions vary, but in MY opinion, anyway, anyone who tows greater than 65 mph is an idiot, regardless of what tires he may have on his trailer. Sorry if I offend, but as long as you are sharing a highway with me, I have to stick with that one. I spent much of my life flying aircraft at insane speeds, but when it comes to towing a trailer on the public highways, if you think you can handle ANY emergency at 100+ feet per second safely (just over 65mph, you deserve my scientific mental designation. If you are willing to die if something bad happens, and you are ALONE in your vehicle, with no other innocents around you on the highway, have at it. I just prefer not to share the highway with anyone with a premature death wish, because your course may intersect mine and my family's on your way to meet your maker.

Pressure. Goodyear publishes an excellent RV Manual for Tires that lists the ideal pressures for various tire loads. Google to download it. If you think you are smarter than Goodyear, then run whatever pressure you want. If not, then you might consider listening to them. I know, Marathons in Load Range C SUCK, but their inflation charts don't, and they apply to any tire available, regardless of Load Range.

I have 25k on my Kuhmos. So far, so good. They HAVE had failures I understand, but they trump Marathon Load C tires, and mine are paid for. It seems people are having excellent luck with Maxxis tires (NOT "ST" Maxxis, however)these days. They will probably be my NEXT tires. I plan to drive no faster than 60mph on them as I have, and monitor tire pressures and heat (via a non-contact Infrared Pyrometer), as well as visually inspect them each two hours (which is as long as my 60-something bladder prefers these days, anyway) regardless of tires, since at this speed, I am unaware of any accidents from resultant tire failures. Even with a 7000 pound 4-door 1-ton dually pick-up as tow vehicle, I ALWAYS use an anti-sway device, which adds to the safety margin that reasonable speeds provide, since blow-outs CAN induce sway and instability.

Of course, as always, I have no strong opinions on this matter.

Bob

Edited by Bobinyelm, 06 October 2010 - 06:52 PM.


#14 Dutchman

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Posted 06 October 2010 - 06:57 PM

Bob forgot to mention that he sucks up the gear after take-off, then puts all those miles on the machine without the tires touching the concrete. If only Casitas could do that, we too could drive at eight miles a minute.

:lol:

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#15 JudyinWis

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Posted 09 October 2010 - 10:18 PM

ST Tires: Never buy 'em...

Pressure. Goodyear publishes an excellent RV Manual for Tires that lists the ideal pressures for various tire loads. Google to download it... Marathons in Load Range C SUCK, but their inflation charts don't, and they apply to any tire available, regardless of Load Range...

Bob


Bob,

I'm just double checking here: The charts in that Goodyear pamphlet appear to be for ST tires, so i checked the chart for Maxxis, and that also is for STs. I have the Maxxis UE-168 load D tires for light trucks that you previously recommended, size 205 R14 with a maximum psi of 65.

On their chart for STs Maxxis lists a 205 R15 with a 65 psi maximum, but for the R14 the maximum is 50. Based on the one time we weighed the trailer and the data given in another thread on what others have weighed at Blue Bonnet i'd guess we're running 3000-3200 pounds for the most part. On the chart the 205 R14 is supposed to have 40 psi inflation with a 1530# load, and the 205 R15 is to have that same 40 with a 1610# load. That suggests to me that we should be ballparking around 40 psi, instead of the 65 gradually dwindling down to 55 that we've been using. However, given that these are not STs, and the maximum on the tires i have is 65, not 50, even though they are R14s, leaves me a bit uncertain.

And given that i'm less than thrilled with our gas mileage with what now appears to be overinflated tires, i'm not happy about the idea of letting some air out of them. But i'll believe you if you say that for handling safety and tire longevity we should keep them at 40.

Judy