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Old 11-23-2014, 09:16 AM   #15
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Coming from a single axle Bambi II to a duel axle Safari 23 I find the larger trailer more comfortable to tow and much easier to back up.
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Old 11-23-2014, 11:09 AM   #16
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We run a TPMS (temperature and pressure monitoring system) on our 23D tandem axle trailer. Alarms sound if a tire's pressure is low or blown. Gives advance warning of pressure loss or immediate feedback for catastrophic failure.
Believe me when I tell you when the TPMS alarms after the blowout, the damage to the trailer is already done. Been there, done that, to the tune of about $2500, and it could have easily been lots more.

The TPMS will only save you with a slow leak of air pressure and probably in that instance prevent a blowout. When we had our blowout last June, we both heard the noise (Booom!), and then a few seconds later, beep, beep, beep. Too late, the damage was already done.

The moral of this story is, inspect your trailer tires for any damage or bulging on the thread at your every opportunity. Radial tires almost always fail after a thread separation.
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Old 11-23-2014, 11:46 AM   #17
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Believe me when I tell you when the TPMS alarms after the blowout, the damage to the trailer is already done. Been there, done that, to the tune of about $2500, and it could have easily been lots more.

The TPMS will only save you with a slow leak of air pressure and probably in that instance prevent a blowout. When we had our blowout last June, we both heard the noise (Booom!), and then a few seconds later, beep, beep, beep. Too late, the damage was already done.

The moral of this story is, inspect your trailer tires for any damage or bulging on the thread at your every opportunity. Radial tires almost always fail after a thread separation.
Steve hit it on the head.

Today's technology provides many gadgets and gizmo's to make pulling a travel trailer much safer.

BUT, the gizmo we all have is our eyes.

A walk around check, of the trailer or motorhome, should really be mandatory, for safety reasons as well as others, prior to getting behind the steering wheel.

Many problems, especially tires, usually give a little notice before becoming a huge problem.

Five years is the typical life of tires, in part depending on the climate they are exposed to, hot weather being the culprit, then perhaps changing them every 4 to 4 1/2 years, is a better way to do it.

Safety has it's costs.

Unsafe and/or assuming,most always, has far greater costs and inconveniences.

Have a blowout on a trip, and you instantly, almost always say, "damn I should have...........".

Fixing potential problems before hand is always far cheaper than when they happen. Not to even mention the stresses that go with it. And of course, the comments from MAMA, most often, are not printable.

Andy
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Old 11-23-2014, 12:41 PM   #18
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I can add this fact,, Tandem axles a person is more apt to pick up a nail or hardware kicked up from the front tire into the rear one.

Farming with single axle semis tractors and trailers,, we seldom would we have a flat due to a nail but now with full sized 18 wheeler semis with tandems,, we have to keep our speed below 40mph while driving on dirt roads.. Keeping the speed down cuts down flats 10 fold. Sodbust.
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Old 11-23-2014, 12:56 PM   #19
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Believe me when I tell you when the TPMS alarms after the blowout, the damage to the trailer is already done. Been there, done that, to the tune of about $2500, and it could have easily been lots more.

The TPMS will only save you with a slow leak of air pressure and probably in that instance prevent a blowout. When we had our blowout last June, we both heard the noise (Booom!), and then a few seconds later, beep, beep, beep. Too late, the damage was already done.

The moral of this story is, inspect your trailer tires for any damage or bulging on the thread at your every opportunity. Radial tires almost always fail after a thread separation.
Agreed that would be so with a sudden blowout. But it seems to me I have often read that most blowouts result from tires that have developed leaks and heat up because people keep running on them unaware that they are seriously below the correct pressure.

That is the kind of situation that I was hoping a TPMS might help me to avoid.

I do fully agree with your suggestion to closely examine all wheels/tires before and after each trip an also whenever you make a stop en route whether you have a TPMS or not. Something I do pretty religiously!


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Old 11-23-2014, 01:15 PM   #20
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Agreed that would be so with a sudden blowout. But it seems to me I have often read that most blowouts result from tires that have developed leaks and heat up because people keep running on them unaware that they are seriously below the correct pressure.

Brian.
Brian, obviously this can and does happen, but it has been my observation from my experiences, experiences of friends, and talks with tire retailers that see the bad tires come in for replacement, the vast majority of radial tire failures are due to separation of the belt from the carcass.

At least, this is what happens in this hot country we live in down here. How they fail in the environment you live and drive in may be a different story.

Once the separation is advanced, the carcass blows, and the tread departs the carcass, (almost simultaneously) which is what does the majority of the damage to our light built, and fragile aluminum trailers.
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Old 11-23-2014, 02:06 PM   #21
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My single-axle experience was pretty traumatic. We bought a '71 Caravel 18 back in the 90's - the trailer was over 20 years old. It had the original wheels, which were not airtight, so the bias-ply tires had to run with tubes. Once we were on the road and had our first flat, I discovered that the wheels were very rusty inside, and the rust was chafing holes in the tubes. After a couple of flats, and unable to find replacement wheels while on the road, I had both tires dismounted and spent about two hours in a tire shop somewhere in west Texas grinding all the rust off the wheels. That helped me get on with our trip, but when we were back on the west coast, we had another flat while sitting in a campground - didn't notice it until we retracted the leveling jacks.

I jacked the trailer up and pulled the wheel, and headed into town to get it fixed. The kid at the service station took the wheel into the shop and came back about five minutes later with the wheel and said "all fixed." I said, "Boy, you can sure fix a tube-type tire in a hurry!" He gave me a deer-in-the-headlights look, and said, "Tube?" Hoo boy. So back he went, and this time the wheel came back with a new tube.

Then, a month or so later, we were headed east over the mountains on I-8 east of San Diego when that tire went to pieces. It was on the curb side, and it blew completely apart, and the trailer came down on the rim, and we headed for the ditch. I managed to stop OK - a truly brown shorts moment - and found all the banana wrap behind the wheel torn to sh8t. Once again, I jacked the trailer up, mounted the spare, cut away the shredded aluminum that was hanging in the road, and limped into El Centro, where I finally found a pair of junkyard wheels that would fit the trailer and take tubeless tires. It took me another month to get all the sheet aluminum, fasteners and tools together to fix the damage, and I did the repair in the Buckskin Mountain campground on the Colorado River.

I always suspected that the complete failure of that tire was a result of that kid putting a plug meant for a tubeless tire into the tube-type tire, and then inflating the damaged tube, which could have forced some air into the casing, which eventually caused the tread to separate from the casing all at once.

After the repeated headaches around that trailer, I swore I'd never tow a single again. I feel a lot better with our FC27 behind me, running on two axles.

When I drove a 10-yard dump truck back in my college days, there was always a 4-pound sledgehammer under the seat, and it was a daily routine to go around and bang all 10 tires with the hammer. Once you get the feel of how a properly inflated tire deflects the hammer, you can feel a low one when you thump it. I still see 18-wheel drivers doing this routine in rest areas. But there's not really room on the AS to swing a hammer without the risk of putting a bash in the sheet metal, so there's probably a TPMS in my future. The truck has it, and so should the trailer.

So, I'll ask here: what brand of TPMS do you all have on your trailers? I agree, it might not warn in time when a tire blows up, but it would alert me of a low tire before it gets so flat it will flop around and overheat.
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Old 11-23-2014, 02:07 PM   #22
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I don't see TPMS on the trailer as great protection from blowout damage and no longer use the gadgets. Rather we bought the reliable 16" Michelin tires and monitor them at each fuel stop, in warm weather with a infrared thermometer.
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Old 11-23-2014, 02:13 PM   #23
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I don't see TPMS on the trailer as great protection from blowout damage and no longer use the gadgets. Rather we bought the reliable 16" Michelin tires and monitor them at each fuel stop, in warm weather with a infrared thermometer.
I do all of those - plus the TPMS! Not much more I could do I suppose - other than maybe drive more slowly and carry less "stuff" in the trailer!

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Old 11-23-2014, 03:22 PM   #24
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Single vs Double Axle

I have had both and find the double axle much easier to tow and far, far easier to back up. This has been my experience.
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Old 11-23-2014, 03:41 PM   #25
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Catastrophic tire failure on a single axle trailer is likely to cause a dangerous loss of control and can be very expensive.

Catastrophic tire failure on a tandem axle trailer can be costly but rarely causes a loss of control.
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Old 11-23-2014, 03:48 PM   #26
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I had planed on buying a TPMS set up at Fallaluminum. Unfortunately my tongue jack took that opportunity to self destruct. There went the funds for the TPMS. As soon as I am able I will be outfitting my trailer with a new set. I think they are a very prudent and intelligent purchase. I check my tires before, multiple times during and after every trip.
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Old 11-23-2014, 04:09 PM   #27
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Started with a tandem 25FB and within six months went to a tandem 31' Classic. The longer trailer is easier to back up.

The original tow vehicle, my 2007 Mercedes ML 320 CDI diesel, had the power and was legal weight wise with the new empty trailer when I brought it home (hitch customized by CanAm in London, Ontario). Once loaded for camping and no gear in the car, we were overloaded on the front axle and there was no more payload to put even an overnight bag in the car.

We migrated to our 2012 Dodge Ram 2500HD with Cummins diesel engine. We then had the power and load capacity for the 25FB and it is more than adequate for the 31' Classic.

Do some serious research at several dealerships sitting in, lyong on beds, sitting on the throne, just to get the feel of the trailer. Really look at that bed arrangement as the reality of two sleeping and one needing to get up for a bathroom trek can be interesting. Sit at the table and visualize the television location viewing angle for several hours. Sit on the bench dinette seats and see if they are comfortable.

Do a lot of forum reading on the various models to see what other owners think of their units after some ownership time.

Enjoy the homework. It is all fun and games until you sign the purchase order dotted line and your check.

Good luck with your research.
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Old 11-23-2014, 10:14 PM   #28
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We have a 19' Bambi which is a single-axle rig ... and have had a blowout. It is not fun, and you stop pretty fast ... because you have no other tires to roll on. We did have some wheel well damage but no outer skin damage.

Luckily we were able to change the tire wihtout too much trouble and get back on the road fairly quickly... We lived through it, but I sure don't look forwrad to another edisode.

Previous posters are correct that when you have a blowout a TPMSystem does not help...it screams at you of course, but not until the deed is done. On the other hand, if you have a slow leak and find out about it in time, it can save you from a complete failure. We have had this happen as well ... so I am a proponent of TPMSystems in general. All that much more "help" to keep you safe on the road.

Backing up is an acquired skill. At first I had a heck of a time with the single axle because of the very short pivot point ... but with practice you learn the tricks. Now I can pretty much put it anywhere I need to within a few tries if not on the first try. I do believe backing up a dual axle trailer is easier, so if we ever get a larger trailer we will have it made!
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