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Old 06-18-2012, 12:03 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by idroba View Post
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If you go to the 16" wheels and tires you probably will be better off in the long run, but realize that the twisting forces on the tires will still be there in your back in situation, and no brand of tire is totally immune to failure given stresses it was not designed to take. If it might be heat related, is there any possibility you could cool the tires down with a hose prior to your back in?
It's an interesting option but not always doable since I'm on a cul de sac and we normally get the trailer off the street ASAP since it won't fit at a parking spot on the circle due to other parked cars. Funny though I've had 3 tandem axle trailers prior to the Classic but none quite as heavy and in my last two prior (one a 30' SOB, and a 27' Safari) to the Classic, I traded them in before their tires got past age two. I've had the Classic almost 8 years and the first tire failure (Marathon) came on the final trip of the year as the tires were finishing their 4 travel year. The Maxxis tires have failed now in their 4th year and the first trip of the year.

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Old 06-18-2012, 01:08 PM   #16
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Tires inflated to 80 lbs will run only warm to the touch. If they are running hot I would check the brakes for drag or separation of the tread. Separated tread will run very hot as that is what causes the blowouts.

I do a 90 degree tight turn on pavement in and out of my drive on every trip. The Michelins 16 LTs show almost no wear after 5 years. I can't see any systems of turns in normal driving that would cause notisable tire wear.

I can't see why a HaHa would cause the pivot point to move forward of the center axle on a try axle. While turning I can clearly see opposing deflection in the front and rear axle tires while the center axle is running true.
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Old 06-18-2012, 01:12 PM   #17
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A word on tire pressures

Quote:
Originally Posted by Friday View Post
There is a common misconception about max tire pressure... which isn't helped by a lot of RV dealers I've been to. My last trip to the AS dealer, they didn't even check my tires and one was low... I asked for them to fill it up to 40psi for me (max is 50 for my tire) and they said 'We fill everything up to 50'.

Why? They didn't know - they were just told to do it. My 22' tires are rated for 1870lbs at 50psi. My trailer weights < 5000lbs loaded... so I have 2500lbs of excess tire capacity. I've experimented with handling vs. psi and found 40psi gives me a good combination of ride, sway, and I get about a 2psi rise 'hot' vs. 'cold'. Perfect.

Anyway... if they are still round, it's unlikely a belt has cracked or something is separated... those will usually shake themselves to death. It's possible the high inflation and an increase in temperature caused your problem...

Another possibility is when you were parked the axles were not equally loaded, and your one axle was over weight and stressed the tires. Again, if your tires aren't blown up like balloons, it will give the tires a chance to deform (properly) and share the load with the other axle.

When I take my work truck to GM, they always want to load the tires to 80psi... It's a 3/4 ton, yes, but it's empty most of the time... so I run 50 with no problems and a much nicer ride. My coworker who has a Suburban lets them jack his to 80psi... same tires... his truck rides like crap and the front end has been rebuilt once already...

If you have excess load capacity in your tires, I'd try a bit less air... You can check temperature, but psi is a direct relation to temperature... as long as you aren't getting more than a 10% rise cold to hot, you're gold.
In support of Friday's comments, really.

My Airstream was purchased and set up by a well known towing fellow in London, Ontario. He was present when we were doing the handover and the mechanic in the shop was checking the tires. The mechanic said that the tires were at 55 psi but should be 65 psi, the maximum shown on the tire. My towing experting interrupted and said no, 55 psi was correct for normal running. I've subsequently heard him in his talks saying that you shouldn't inflate to the maximum, even when running in very hot weather.

I'm aware that overly flexible side walls can cause overheating but this 10 psi below seems to be an optimum setting, keeping the side walls stiff enough but the tire still flexible enough to absorb some of the lumps and bumps in the road without causing a bounce. Our trip to Florida last year seemed to prove the point as I did monitor the tires' temperature (in a very unscientific manner I will admit) but they were certainly not overheating.
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Old 06-18-2012, 02:01 PM   #18
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There are lots of conflicting opinions regarding proper pressure for trailer tires. Please see below, before deciding for yourself:

Discount Tire: Trailer Tire Facts - Discount Tire

Extracts from above link:

* Underinflation is the number one cause of trailer tire failure.

* Always inflate trailer tires to the maximum inflation indicated on the sidewall.

Costco recommendation is identical.


On our single axle, 19-foot Bambi, we run 80 psi in Michelin XPS Ribs (225/75x16 LT, load range E).

We had Goodyear Marathons (ST, load range D) and Maxxis (ST, load range E) tires both fail (blowouts and tread separation) before switching to Michelins about 1.5 years ago. Absolutely, no problems since then, in about 3-4,000 miles.
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Old 06-18-2012, 02:09 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by jcanavera View Post
Howie, thanks for the comments. From what I understand, while I am inflating more than the 65 psi that D rated tire chart shows, my inflation is well within the manufacturers ratings for E rated tires. One of the reason of going with E rated tires was to provide an addition margin of load capacity in regards to my fully loaded trailer and the capacities of the D rated tires. Based on my loads, my old D rated tires had about 10% or so left in reserve. The 30' or 31' Classic slide outs were the heaviest trailers built by Airstream on a tandem axle. Your 34' unit has an additional axle and the load per axle is less.

Even if I am inflated for a higher load than what I'm carrying, the offset should not be tread separation if I'm within the tire manufacturers inflation specs.

Jack
Not sure what you said here. Are you inflating a D rated tire to E pressures? If so Lord knows what problems you could be getting into. If that trailer weighs enough for an E rated tire that is what should be on it. Airstream has a tendency to skate as close to the edge as possible on tires. The bean counters rule.

The recommended tire pressures on the manufactures chart is the tire pressure that will provide the best ride quality and tire wear for that load. Over inflating will result in center tread wear under inflating will result in both edges wearing and if too low blowouts as a result of tread separation .

Tire separations while often a result of under inflation can develop from any number of additional manufacturing flaws.
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Old 06-18-2012, 02:14 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phoenix View Post
There are lots of conflicting opinions regarding proper pressure for trailer tires. Please see below, before deciding for yourself:

Discount Tire: Trailer Tire Facts - Discount Tire

Extracts from above link:

* Underinflation is the number one cause of trailer tire failure.

* Always inflate trailer tires to the maximum inflation indicated on the sidewall.

Costco recommendation is identical.


On our single axle, 19-foot Bambi, we run 80 psi in Michelin XPS Ribs (225/75x16 LT, load range E).

We had Goodyear Marathons (ST, load range D) and Maxxis (ST, load range E) tires both fail (blowouts and tread separation) before switching to Michelins about 1.5 years ago. Absolutely, no problems since then, in about 3-4,000 miles.
I would hope NO ONE would consider following these recommendation. Looks like American Discount Tire had their lawyer write this. I again suggest using the manufactures inflation charts. If you don't want to do that at least go up to Ontario Canada and have Andy inflate your tires to the right pressure.

It is a shame that Michelin took their inflation chart off the web but if you call them they will give you the recommendations for you load. But as noted above the chart is the same for a given tire type across the board.
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Old 06-18-2012, 04:01 PM   #21
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Jack has "E" rated tires, with the upgraded Classic rims, and is inflating them to the recommended and proper 80 psi.

I have "D" rated Maxxis tires and I inflate to the recommended 65psi. Now I could inflate to 60psi and still be well within load capacity, but what is the point? Then I would be by the book under inflated, even after the tires warmed up slightly during use.

If a manufacturer states inflate to 80psi, I doubt very seriously that they haven't taken into consideration on any tire put into service that it may increase a lb or two in pressure during use. Additionally, I would find it hard to understand how a tire manufacturer would state fill to a specific psi, and particularly on a trailer tire not understand the physics involved with the tires in pivoting turns.

As far as I am concerned, Jack has followed best practice in the inflation to 80psi. I would NOT recommend inflating much less than the psi he has been filling, mainly because his slide is gonna be close to 10k lbs in trailer weight and inflating to say 75lbs is gonna cut it really close. See attached Maxxis chart.

Now I do agree that since this is the second failure on the same axle, only this time both tires on the axle (and a different tire brand than the first failure), that perhaps the axle and/or hub(s) are having issues (out of alignment, etc) and that as the tire ages, the stresses become too much for them.

BTW Jack, I checked and Maxxis has a 5 year warranty on the tires FWIW.

I think that the 16" rim with the LT tires are not a bad move, but remember that you will prob need 5 rims and 5 tires since you have to get a spare....and as has been pointed out, any tire subjected to high stresses will eventually fail, possibly even the 16" LT tires.

My suggestion would be to make sure the hubs and axles are properly aligned and possibly add some centramatics to the mix. Either way though, sounds to me like new rubber across the board is unfortunately in your near future.
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Old 06-18-2012, 04:14 PM   #22
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What size tire and how many does he have? What is the running weight of the trailer? Really can't determine the correct pressure till we have that information.
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Old 06-18-2012, 05:40 PM   #23
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Looking at the chart I provided, he has ST225/75R15s like many of the wide body Airstream models have installed (up until recently-- I heard Airstream is putting 16"LT tires on trailers now---NOT VERIFIED).

Additionally, since its not a 19' Bambi or smaller and that he does not have a tri-axle 34 footer, we can safely say he has two axles, meaning 4 tires.

Looking at the Airstream site, his trailer has a wet weight of approx 9100lbs.

Filling his tires to 75PSI will give him 445lbs per tire extra capacity (1750lbs for all 4) beyond what he carries wet. @ the 80lbs he inflates to, he has 555lbs per tire extra (2200 for all 4).

Now keep in mind that many of the wide bodies starting after mid 2005 came with upgraded axles, and the 30' slide was then rated at 10,000lbs GVWR, which at 75lbs of pressure would leave only 333lbs of extra capacity per tire.

Now one could argue will a customer load a trailer utilizing every pound of the NCC?! Odds are probably not, but I know for a fact that the old numbers were somewhat conservative. For example, my hitch weight was higher that the specs, and my NCC being a 2004 was woefully low and very easily exceeded prior to Airstream upping the axles from 6000 to 7000, thereby increasing the GVWR from 6300 to 7300lbs. I would suspect other wide body Airstreams would be in a similar position of having a low NCC prior to the mid 2005 axle upgrades on all wide body trailers (including the 30' slide up until it was discontinued).

Bottom line, my vote would be to stay as close to 80psi as possible...79psi if it made folks less excited. If Jack didn't have the slide out, one of the heaviest Airstream trailers built, I might have different feelings on the subject, but he did mention he was fully loaded, so my guess is that he was at or maybe even slightly beyond the stated 9100lb GVWR. If he had a tri-axle 34 footer my thoughts might also be different since there are 6 tires, but he has two axles and a slide....a very heavy combo.

My vote is beside needing new tires at this point, that he have the axle checked for being within spec and possibly adding centramatics as well. I firmly do not believe his issue is with tire pressure as he has followed the manufacturers instructions on both sets of tires, and the only issue he seems to continue to have is on the one axle.
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Old 06-18-2012, 07:59 PM   #24
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The tire pressure wars are engaged.

When you buy a car or truck the recommended pressures are on a sticker and they are always less than the maximum pressure on the tire. Maximum means maximum, not the proper pressure for the load.

Certainly low pressure is worse than high pressure, but every vehicle has a proper pressure for the load. I suggest using the tire tables and call the tire manufacturer and ask them what they think. Michelin does not recommend maximum pressure, but the pressure for the vehicle and load. Part of this can be a little guesswork too.

Tire stores and Airstream will put maximum pressure in if the tire is not the standard tire for the vehicle and they have no easy guidance from a sticker. Maybe it is because they don't have to look it up and time is money to them. Maybe they think it will avoid liability. When I had tires installed at JC, they put the maximum pressure in and then I let the excess out.

For our trailer I ran 68 lbs. in the Michelins, but found the edges were wearing a little faster and that indicates I needed more air, so I increased it to 72. These are for Load Range E tires.

For your Classic, Jack, you may need pretty close to maximum.

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Old 06-19-2012, 08:55 AM   #25
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While I haven't weighed my Classic SO, I do have a pretty good handle on the weight of my camping gear, since I weighed my 27' Safari back in 2002. At that time it looked like we carried about 500 lbs. of camping gear, clothing, food etc. The trailer did not have any water in any of the holding tanks.

Fast forward to my Classic which was built before the higher capacity frames were implemented by Airstream. My maximum weight based on Airstream's ratings is 9,100 lbs. Based on the CCC rating which is on the label which takes into account water, propane and other options, I only have 555 lbs. of net cargo weight. I dare say I probably was pushing close to 9,100 lbs of weight. This is exactly why I upgraded to E rated tires which have a rating of 2,830 lbs at 80 psi. I feel fairly confident that I in no way exceeded the weight capacity of the tires. Technically the D's that were originally on the Classic still should have been able to carry the weight. The E's give me some reserve capacity over 2,540 which gave me some comfort level over the D's ratings.

Bottom line it looks a lot like the ST tires when dealing with high loads seem to break down faster than their LT counterparts. Failure of a Marathon D rated at the end of its 4 year life and now failure of the Maxxis E at the beginning of year 4. And to top this all off, I only carry this type of load once a year for about 220 miles. The return trip is always minus 60 gallons of water. I watch tire pressures like a hawk and my trailer is stored indoors. No UV issues here.
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Old 06-19-2012, 10:50 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phoenix View Post
There are lots of conflicting opinions regarding proper pressure for trailer tires. Please see below, before deciding for yourself:

Discount Tire: Trailer Tire Facts - Discount Tire

Extracts from above link:

* Underinflation is the number one cause of trailer tire failure.

* Always inflate trailer tires to the maximum inflation indicated on the sidewall.

Costco recommendation is identical.


On our single axle, 19-foot Bambi, we run 80 psi in Michelin XPS Ribs (225/75x16 LT, load range E).

We had Goodyear Marathons (ST, load range D) and Maxxis (ST, load range E) tires both fail (blowouts and tread separation) before switching to Michelins about 1.5 years ago. Absolutely, no problems since then, in about 3-4,000 miles.
Are you replacing your tires every 5,000 to 12,000 miles? NEVER going above 65 mph? Replacing every 3-4 years?

I don't know anyone that follows those 'rules', so you can't just pick out the 'inflate to maximum' all the time as gospel.

Inflating to maximum makes no sense unless that happens to be where the capacity of your trailer meets the capacity of the tire. In your case, you've got a GVWR in the range of 4,500lbs, and tires with a load rating in the 5,400lb range together.

Every tire/trailer combination is going to have a different percentage of capacity... so it would make sense that there is room to compensate with air pressure.

My Sequoia tires are stamped 65psi max. Toyota recommends 30psi in the front and 34psi in the back... It weighs 2000lbs more than my trailer...

Anyway... my Marathons have around 10,000km on them running 40psi... they gain 2-4psi hot. I'm good with that, but if you get more security from another spec, then do it... my trailer is also very light for a tandem axle... which is one of the reasons I really like the 22'
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Old 06-19-2012, 11:21 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by Silvertwinkie View Post
Looking at the chart I provided, he has ST225/75R15s like many of the wide body Airstream models have installed (up until recently-- I heard Airstream is putting 16"LT tires on trailers now---NOT VERIFIED).

Additionally, since its not a 19' Bambi or smaller and that he does not have a tri-axle 34 footer, we can safely say he has two axles, meaning 4 tires.

Looking at the Airstream site, his trailer has a wet weight of approx 9100lbs.

Filling his tires to 75PSI will give him 445lbs per tire extra capacity (1750lbs for all 4) beyond what he carries wet. @ the 80lbs he inflates to, he has 555lbs per tire extra (2200 for all 4).

Now keep in mind that many of the wide bodies starting after mid 2005 came with upgraded axles, and the 30' slide was then rated at 10,000lbs GVWR, which at 75lbs of pressure would leave only 333lbs of extra capacity per tire.

Now one could argue will a customer load a trailer utilizing every pound of the NCC?! Odds are probably not, but I know for a fact that the old numbers were somewhat conservative. For example, my hitch weight was higher that the specs, and my NCC being a 2004 was woefully low and very easily exceeded prior to Airstream upping the axles from 6000 to 7000, thereby increasing the GVWR from 6300 to 7300lbs. I would suspect other wide body Airstreams would be in a similar position of having a low NCC prior to the mid 2005 axle upgrades on all wide body trailers (including the 30' slide up until it was discontinued).

Bottom line, my vote would be to stay as close to 80psi as possible...79psi if it made folks less excited. If Jack didn't have the slide out, one of the heaviest Airstream trailers built, I might have different feelings on the subject, but he did mention he was fully loaded, so my guess is that he was at or maybe even slightly beyond the stated 9100lb GVWR. If he had a tri-axle 34 footer my thoughts might also be different since there are 6 tires, but he has two axles and a slide....a very heavy combo.

My vote is beside needing new tires at this point, that he have the axle checked for being within spec and possibly adding centramatics as well. I firmly do not believe his issue is with tire pressure as he has followed the manufacturers instructions on both sets of tires, and the only issue he seems to continue to have is on the one axle.
I just went out and walked the lot, and the only Airstream on the lot with Michelins is the Eddie Bauer. It has 16" load range E tires, and the pressure on the placard is 80psi.
The other Airstreams all had Marathons, and the recommended pressureis 65 for all load range D tires, and 50 for load range C tires. Yes, some of the smaller double axle Airstreams have 14" load range C tires. All specify the maximum for the load range.
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Old 06-19-2012, 12:04 PM   #28
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I'm getting some tire quotes at this point for the Michelin LTX M/S 225/75R 16 E rated tires. Looks like the best I have found on the Internet is $792 plus $95 shipping. Michelin is offering a $70 rebate on the purchase of 4. Local Sams Club is selling for $229.88 each.

The Tredit site shows the T02 wheel with an offset of 0 degrees. Looks like I need the 16" wheel with the 6-5.5 bolt pattern. T02

Airstream is selling a wheel/tire package that can be shipped from their store. They are working me up a price and shipping cost at this time.

I'm looking at local pricing too. Local and state sales taxes run between 6.5 to 8.5%. It may cheaper to pay the taxes than the shipping.

Jack
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