View Poll Results: Note: This poll must be completed in one session.
Has a tire failed on your Airstream in the past 5 years – Yes. 144 50.17%
Has a tire failed on your Airstream in the past 5 years – No. 145 50.52%
Reason for tire failure: Valve stem leak/failure. 6 2.09%
Reason for tire failure: Bubble in sidewall. 17 5.92%
Reason for tire failure: Bubble in tread area. 9 3.14%
Reason for tire failure: Belt/tread slipped, but still relatively intact. 16 5.57%
Reason for tire failure: Tread separated, but still partially attached to tire body. 28 9.76%
Reason for tire failure: Tread completely separated, but tire body still inflated. 12 4.18%
Reason for tire failure: Blowout, sidewall. 16 5.57%
Reason for tire failure: Blowout, with tread separation. 57 19.86%
Reason for tire failure: Other reason(s), not stated above. 18 6.27%
Ambient/outdoor temperature when tire failure occurred or was noticed: Subfreezing to freezing temperatures. Note: Please, select only one “ambient/outdoor temperature”. 1 0.35%
Ambient/outdoor temperature: Freezing to 70-degrees Fahrenheit. 24 8.36%
Ambient/outdoor temperature: 70 to 90-degrees Fahrenheit. 80 27.87%
Ambient/outdoor temperature: 90 to 110-degrees Fahrenheit. 37 12.89%
Ambient/outdoor temperature: 110+ degrees Fahrenheit. 1 0.35%
The tire failed: Before driving. Note: Please, select only one “tire failure time”. 10 3.48%
The tire failed: While driving. 111 38.68%
The tire failed: After driving. 18 6.27%
Number of axles on your Airstream: 1. Note: Please, select only one “number of axles” response. 45 15.68%
Number of axles on your Airstream: 2. 157 54.70%
Number of axles on your Airstream: 3. 11 3.83%
Position of tire that failed: Axle #1 (front or single axle), left side. Note: Please, select all “failed tire positions” that apply. 48 16.72%
Position of tire that failed: Axle #1 (front or single axle), right side. 64 22.30%
Position of tire that failed: Axle #2, left side. 31 10.80%
Position of tire that failed: Axle #2, right side. 39 13.59%
Position of tire that failed: Axle #3, left side. 4 1.39%
Position of tire that failed: Axle #3, right side. 5 1.74%
Did a road hazard, hitch failure or vehicle accident cause or contribute to the tire failure: Yes. 10 3.48%
Did a road hazard, hitch failure or vehicle accident cause or contribute to the tire failure: No. 113 39.37%
Did the tire failure cause or contribute to a vehicle accident: Yes. 0 0%
Did the tire failure cause or contribute to a vehicle accident: No. 131 45.64%
Number of tires that failed during the original incident: 1. Note: Please, select only one “number of tires that failed during original incident” response. 119 41.46%
Number of tires that failed during the original incident: 2. 15 5.23%
Number of tires that failed during the original incident: 3. 5 1.74%
Number of tires that failed during the original incident: 4 or more. 3 1.05%
Number of additional tires that failed within 30 days or 1,000 miles of the original incident: 1. Note: Please, select only one “number of additional tires, within 30 days or 1,000 miles” response. 20 6.97%
Number of additional tires that failed within 30 days or 1,000 miles: 2. 4 1.39%
Number of additional tires that failed within 30 days or 1,000 miles: 3. 1 0.35%
Number of additional tires that failed within 30 days or 1,000 miles: 4 or more. 0 0%
Number of additional tires that failed within 12 months or 12,000 miles of the original incident: 1. Note: Please, select only one “number of additional tires, within 12 months or 12,000 miles” response. 11 3.83%
Number of additional tires that failed within 12 months or 12,000 miles: 2. 3 1.05%
Number of additional tires that failed within 12 months or 12,000 miles: 3. 4 1.39%
Number of additional tires that failed within 12 months or 12,000 miles: 4 or more. 2 0.70%
Type of tire that failed: ST. Note: Please, select only one “type of tire that failed” response. 112 39.02%
Type of tire that failed: LT. 4 1.39%
Type of tire that failed: Other/unknown. 8 2.79%
Tire size of failed tire: 215/75. Note: Please, select only one “tire size”. 13 4.53%
Tire size: 225/75. 109 37.98%
Tire size: 235/75. 16 5.57%
Tire size: Other. 4 1.39%
Wheel size of failed tire: 14 inch. Note: Please, select only one “wheel size”. 16 5.57%
Wheel size: 15 inch. 136 47.39%
Wheel size: 16 inch. 8 2.79%
Wheel size: Other. 0 0%
Load range of tire that failed: C. Note: Please, select only one “load range”. 15 5.23%
Load range: D. 90 31.36%
Load range: E. 32 11.15%
Load range: Other. 3 1.05%
Normal tire pressure for tire that failed: 36 psi or less. Note: Please, select only one “normal tire pressure” response. 0 0%
Normal tire pressure: 36-44 psi. 4 1.39%
Normal tire pressure: 50 psi. 26 9.06%
Normal tire pressure: 55-60 psi. 25 8.71%
Normal tire pressure: 65 psi. 87 30.31%
Normal tire pressure: 72 psi. 5 1.74%
Normal tire pressure: 80 psi. 15 5.23%
Normal tire pressure: 80+ psi. 0 0%
Tire was inflated to “normal tire pressure” above, at time of failure. 111 38.68%
Tire was inflated to a lower pressure. 6 2.09%
Tire was inflated to a higher pressure. 1 0.35%
Tire pressure was unknown at time of failure. 5 1.74%
Manufacturer of failed tire: BG Goodrich. Note: Please, select only one “manufacturer of failed tire” response. 6 2.09%
Manufacturer of failed tire: Carlisle. 21 7.32%
Manufacturer of failed tire: Goodyear Marathon. 100 34.84%
Manufacturer of failed tire: Goodyear (other than Marathon). 0 0%
Manufacturer of failed tire: Greenball. 2 0.70%
Manufacturer of failed tire: Maxxis. 4 1.39%
Manufacturer of failed tire: Michelin. 2 0.70%
Manufacturer of failed tire: Towmax. 8 2.79%
Manufacturer of failed tire: Other. 13 4.53%
Manufacturing country of failed tire: Canada. Note: Please, select only one “manufacturing country” response. 11 3.83%
Manufacturing country: China. 50 17.42%
Manufacturing country: Europe. 0 0%
Manufacturing country: Mexico. 1 0.35%
Manufacturing country: Other Far Eastern Countries (e.g., Japan, Taiwan, Korea, Malaysia, etc.). 3 1.05%
Manufacturing country: USA. 14 4.88%
Manufacturing country: Other/unknown. 51 17.77%
Tire age at failure: Less than 1 year. Note: Please, select only one “tire age” response. 9 3.14%
Tire age: 1-2 years. 29 10.10%
Tire age: 2-3 years. 39 13.59%
Tire age: 3-4 years. 42 14.63%
Tire age: 4-5 years. 13 4.53%
Tire age: 5-6 years. 8 2.79%
Tire age: 6-7 years. 10 3.48%
Tire age: More than 7 years. 7 2.44%
Tire age: Unknown. 1 0.35%
Tire mileage at failure: Less than 1,000 miles. Note: Please, select only one “tire mileage” response. 2 0.70%
Tire mileage: 1,000-5,000 miles. 38 13.24%
Tire mileage: 5,000-10,000 miles. 56 19.51%
Tire mileage: 10,000-15,000 miles. 22 7.67%
Tire mileage: 15,000-20,000 miles. 2 0.70%
Tire mileage: More than 20,000 miles. 13 4.53%
Tire mileage: Unknown. 20 6.97%
Was the failed tire balanced by the tire installer: Yes. 102 35.54%
Was the failed tire balanced by the tire installer: No (or unknown). 29 10.10%
Did the tire that failed use a dynamic balancing device (Centramatic or similar): Yes. 25 8.71%
Did the tire that failed use a dynamic balancing device: No. 80 27.87%
Parking surface for failed tire during extended storage (longer than 30 days): Concrete. Note: Please, select only one “parking surface” response. 42 14.63%
Parking surface: Asphalt. 24 8.36%
Parking surface: Gravel or dirt. 57 19.86%
Parking surface: Wood. 8 2.79%
Parking surface: Synthetic material (rubber, plastic, etc.). 1 0.35%
Parking surface: Other. 9 3.14%
Cost of roadside assistance, towing, etc. due to tire failure: $0 Note: Please, include costs reimbursed by insurance. However, do not include tires, wheels, etc. Also, please select only one “cost of roadside assistance...” response. 79 27.53%
Cost of roadside assistance, towing, etc.: Up to $100. 19 6.62%
Cost of roadside assistance, towing, etc.: $100 - $500. 16 5.57%
Cost of roadside assistance, towing, etc.: $500 - $1,000. 1 0.35%
Cost of roadside assistance, towing, etc.: $1,000 - $5000. 2 0.70%
Cost of roadside assistance, towing, etc.: More than $5,000. 0 0%
Cost of replacement tire, wheel, shipping, ext warranty, mount/balance, etc. due to tire failure: $0 Note: Please include cost reimbursed by insurance. Also, please select only one “cost of replacement tire, wheel, etc.” response. 13 4.53%
Cost of replacement tire, wheel, shipping, etc.: Up to $250. 86 29.97%
Cost of replacement tire, wheel, shipping, etc.: $250 - $500. 16 5.57%
Cost of replacement tire, wheel, shipping, etc.: $500 - $1,000. 8 2.79%
Cost of replacement tire, wheel, shipping, etc.: $1,000 - $2,000. 3 1.05%
Cost of replacement tire, wheel, shipping, etc.: $2,000-$3,000. 1 0.35%
Cost of replacement tire, wheel, shipping, etc.: More than $3,000. 1 0.35%
Additional damage to your Airstream, if any: None. 81 28.22%
Additional damage to your Airstream: Minor cosmetic damage, not repaired. 20 6.97%
Additional damage to your Airstream: Functional damage to other tires, wheels, suspension parts, etc., repaired/replaced. 8 2.79%
Additional damage to your Airstream: Functional damage affecting safety, including brake lines/parts, electrical wiring, propane lines, etc., repaired/replaced. 5 1.74%
Additional damage to your Airstream: Major damage to exterior or interior of Airstream, including body panels, rock guards, hot water heater, refrigerator, etc. 19 6.62%
Additional damage: Damage to tow or other vehicles. 0 0%
Additional damage: Personal injury, property or other damage not usually associated with tire failure. 0 0%
Cost of additional damage to Airstream: $0 (no damage). Note: Please, select only one “cost of additional damage to Airstream” response. 61 21.25%
Cost of additional damage to Airstream: Up to $100 (estimate, if not repaired). 8 2.79%
Cost of additional damage to Airstream: $100 - $500 (estimate, if not repaired). 9 3.14%
Cost of additional damage to Airstream: $500 - $1,000 (estimate, if not repaired). 7 2.44%
Cost of additional damage to Airstream: $1,000 - $5000 (estimate, if not repaired). 13 4.53%
Cost of additional damage to Airstream: $5000 - $10,000 (estimate, if not repaired). 2 0.70%
Cost of additional damage to Airstream: More than $10,000 (estimate, if not repaired). 1 0.35%
Cost of personal injury, property, tow vehicle or other damage associated with tire failure: $0 (no other damage). Note: Please, select only one “cost of other damage” response. 68 23.69%
Cost of other damage: Up to $100. 2 0.70%
Cost of other damage: $100 - $500. 0 0%
Cost of other damage: $500 - $1,000. 0 0%
Cost of other damage: $1,000 - $5000. 0 0%
Cost of other damage: $5000 - $10,000. 0 0%
Cost of other damage: More than $10,000. 0 0%
Did your tow vehicle also experience TIRE damage in conjunction with the tire failure on your Airstream: Yes. 1 0.35%
Did your tow vehicle also experience TIRE damage in conjunction with the tire failure on your Airstream: No. 130 45.30%
My Airstream is towed on: Interstate and multilane highways. 178 62.02%
My Airstream is towed on: State and other improved two-lane highways, with shoulders. 161 56.10%
My Airstream is towed on: Mostly paved and well-maintained lesser-used "backroads". 88 30.66%
My Airstream is towed on: Poorly/minimally maintained backroads and offroad. 27 9.41%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 287. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 03-05-2015, 08:40 AM   #99
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Quote:
Originally Posted by r carl View Post
I think people either look in their owners manual or on the nameplate on the trailer for the GVWR. Wouldn't most people?
Yes, and in the past, that information wasn't always accurate. Things are better now, but I do wonder how much better.
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Old 03-05-2015, 09:39 AM   #100
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If I read the data correctly in this poll, out of the 98 ST type tires that failed, 91 of them were GYM's, leaving only 7 non-Goodyear ST tires that failed. With E load rated tires representing 25% of the tires that failed, that leaves slightly less than 2 Non-Goodyear E rated tires that blew. One of those was mine. I was running it under inflated (65 PSI, for a softer ride...) with my weight distribution hitch over sprung, and the front end of the trailer sitting low, because I didn't have my ball height adjusted correctly... Driving between 65 and 70 MPH on a hot summers day on a FL interstate, coming home from Disney... after the tires had sat out in the sun for approximately four years while this trailer sat dormant (I was still considering it a brand new tire when I put it on the road, at an approximated four years of age). I know exactly why my tire blew. It was my fault. Or should I say "faults"... I've corrected all of this since, thanks to this forum and the great info you guys provide.

So, all that to say, that leaves only 1 Non-Goodyear, Load Range E ST tire that has blown for unknown reasons... which makes the Non-Goodyear ST Load Range E tire better than the average LT tire, which had 3 tires blow-out, and the equivalent of the Michelin at 1 tire blow-out...

Like we learned in statistics, figures lie, and liars figure...

-Red, crunching the numbers, and liking what he sees...
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Old 03-05-2015, 10:33 AM   #101
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Really???? More excuses? I don't think one person here has put on tires not rated to carry the load. They normally go up a load rating thinking they will get more reliability in a st tire.

Ever wonder why Michelin doesn't offer a st tire? Well they don't want anything to do with such poorly engineered tires!
You may also note that Bridgestone/Firestone also does not offer ST type tires and does not market to RV owners. They do however provide safety info on proper care and how to weigh an RV on their truck tire web site.

I believe that the numbers from RVSEF are the primary for these major companies not being the RV market is the fact that RV owners as a group do not take care of their tires (over half have one or more tires in overload condition when measured on certified scales).

How interested would you be in placing your product in service knowing that half the owners are abusing your product? and as a result generating negative perception of the quality of all your product lines?
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Old 03-06-2015, 05:00 AM   #102
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Airstream Tire Failure Poll

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tireman9 View Post
You may also note that Bridgestone/Firestone also does not offer ST type tires and does not market to RV owners. They do however provide safety info on proper care and how to weigh an RV on their truck tire web site.

I believe that the numbers from RVSEF are the primary for these major companies not being the RV market is the fact that RV owners as a group do not take care of their tires (over half have one or more tires in overload condition when measured on certified scales).

How interested would you be in placing your product in service knowing that half the owners are abusing your product? and as a result generating negative perception of the quality of all your product lines?

Well said. Even in this RV subgroup --which may have greater education and income than the norm -- it likely is no better in setting up a WD hitch thus exacerbating tire load problems on both vehicles when in combination.
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Old 03-06-2015, 08:13 AM   #103
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Originally Posted by Tireman9 View Post
You may also note that Bridgestone/Firestone also does not offer ST type tires and does not market to RV owners. They do however provide safety info on proper care and how to weigh an RV on their truck tire web site.

I believe that the numbers from RVSEF are the primary for these major companies not being the RV market is the fact that RV owners as a group do not take care of their tires (over half have one or more tires in overload condition when measured on certified scales).

How interested would you be in placing your product in service knowing that half the owners are abusing your product? and as a result generating negative perception of the quality of all your product lines?
Well I have abused my LT tires and they keep asking for more.
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Old 03-06-2015, 11:42 AM   #104
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I think people either look in their owners manual or on the nameplate on the trailer for the GVWR. Wouldn't most people?
You are correct. They might look at the placard but that doesn't mean they know the actual load on the tires or the inflation on the tire when running down the road.

With over 30,000 RVs having been measured, the facts are that over 50% have one or more tires or axles in an overload condition. So either owners are deliberately putting undersize tires and or axles on their RVs or are not keeping sufficient air in the tires for the actual load or have no idea what the tire loading is.
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Old 03-06-2015, 11:55 AM   #105
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Originally Posted by Tireman9 View Post
You are correct. They might look at the placard but that doesn't mean they know the actual load on the tires or the inflation on the tire when running down the road.

With over 30,000 RVs having been measured, the facts are that over 50% have one or more tires or axles in an overload condition. So either owners are deliberately putting undersize tires and or axles on their RVs or are not keeping sufficient air in the tires for the actual load or have no idea what the tire loading is.
Its hard for me to believe over 50% of RV's have their tires overloaded because I wouldn't do such a thing. So does that mean over 50% of LT tires on RV's are overloaded?
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Old 03-06-2015, 06:46 PM   #106
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Its hard for me to believe over 50% of RV's have their tires overloaded because I wouldn't do such a thing. So does that mean over 50% of LT tires on RV's are overloaded?

RVSEF - RV Weighing & Safety Education
"It may shock readers to note that the data actually reveals that over 50% of existing RVs exceed at least one safety rating, typically due to owner overload and mishandling of their stowed cargo."

If you attend one of their seminars they go into much more detail.
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Old 03-06-2015, 06:56 PM   #107
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I'd believe it. How many folks over load their their trucks. I mean you'll see that on any given summer weekend. This is why I have my entire argument about one manufacture providing greater margin of safety than another in their axle ratings compared to payload ratings.
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Old 03-06-2015, 08:59 PM   #108
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I see your logic and agree that some RV'ers overload TVs, trailers and tires. However, that doesn't adequately explain ST tire failures on my Bambi.

In the first six years after our 19' Bambi was purchased new in 2005, it had six ST tires on it; three of which failed:
  • 3 GYM's (OEM, load range D, 65 psi) -- Two failed.

  • 1 Carlisle ST (load range E, 80 psi) -- No problems.

  • 2 Maxxis ST (load range E, 80 psi) -- One failed.

In 2011, I switched to 16" wheels and Michelin XPS Ribs (load range E, 80 psi); and I have had absolutely no tire problems in the four years since then.

Nothing has changed on our Bambi regarding overall weight, loading, etc.; and the only difference was switching from ST to LT tires.

(In full disclosure, Centramatics were added during the switch. However, it's unlikely that Centramatics alone are the reason for increased tire reliability; because all ST tires were balanced, and I rode in our Bambi at highway speeds and would have noticed any significant out-of-balance condition.)

How does "overloading" explain a 50% tire failure rate that suddenly drops to zero, when no weight changes were made? I don't think it does. -- The reason has to be LT tires.


Note: All tires were inflated to the maximum pressure printed on the sidewalls, and they were checked regularly to insure that this pressure was maintained.
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Old 03-06-2015, 09:28 PM   #109
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Frankly I don't like that ST tires are designed to wear out so quick.

When mine prematurely wear out, (it wont be long), I will be putting a set of Yokahama LT tires on.

I like my old stock 15" wheels and hub caps so I wont go to 16" wheels.

That said, I haven't blown an ST yet...

On the thing about Goodyear having the most blowouts on the poll, while it may be true that they are no good, the fact is this poll will be skewed because most (all?) new Airstreams come stock with these tires. This will skew the results.


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Old 03-07-2015, 05:10 AM   #110
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In trying to make sense of the poll, I think most folks would struggle with the math called *Statistics* . Here's the problem in a nutshell:

In a population, if you don't know what the distribution of the various elements of that population, you aren't going to be able to tell what the differences. are. In our case, we don't know what percent of the population Brand X is. We do know what percent is in the poll, but unless the differences are really dramatic, then it is going to be hard to tell anything about what the poll is trying to measure.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying the poll is not of no value. I am saying be careful about the conclusions you draw from it.

A couple of other tidbits of interest:

First is that tires fail for a variety of reasons - some of which are not assignable to the tire brand. I divide tire failures into 4 categories: a) Failures in design and manufacturing (assigned to the tire manufacturer), b) Failures to properly equip a vehicle (assigned to the vehicle manufacturer), c) Failure to follow proper use and maintenance procedures (assigned to the end user), and d) Failures do to service conditions (road hazards and related)

It's this last one I want to talk about. No matter what any of the other three groups do, that last category is never going to be eliminated. There will always be objects on the road to hit and damage tires. There is always be nails and other sharp objects to puncture the tires. One of the things both Roger and I did for our employers was to examine failed tires so we could inform our employers about the OTHER categories, and in particular, eliminate that 4th category from the statistics.

While people can be trained to examine failed tires, it isn't something that people will pick up by osmosis. It takes looking at hundreds of tires to get good at it - and let's face it: The average poll taker just doesn't have the time to devote to this task.

Ergo, the poll is going to include failed tires that are obscuring the important data. Unfortunate, but a fact of life.

Then there is the issue of trying to draw conclusions based on a small sample size. For example, If the probability is 10% that something will happen - and you are one of those 10%, the odds of it happening a second time is still only 10%. One might draw the conclusion that if it doesn't happen the second time, the problem has been solved - and while that could be true, it is also possible that statistics are still playing the role they play in data collection.

I hope Phoenix will understand I am not trying to pick on him, but his post shows the problem in detail. I'm going to truncate the post to focus on the important details:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phoenix View Post
........In the first six years after our 19' Bambi was purchased new in 2005, it had six ST tires on it; three of which failed:
  • 3 GYM's (OEM, load range D, 65 psi) -- Two failed.
  • 1 Carlisle ST (load range E, 80 psi) -- No problems.
  • 2 Maxxis ST (load range E, 80 psi) -- One failed
In 2011, I switched to 16" wheels and Michelin XPS Ribs (load range E, 80 psi); and I have had absolutely no tire problems in the four years since then.

Nothing has changed on our Bambi regarding overall weight, loading, etc.; and the only difference was switching from ST to LT tires..........
2 problems: First is that we are dealing with unsorted tire failures - that is, included could be failures we could assign to that 4th category. If 1 or 2 of those failures were of that type, the conclusions would be quite different.

Second is that there were 2 changes made: LT tires and a larger load carrying capacity. Clearly a larger load carrying capacity would reduce tire durability failures. (and I don't even want to discuss the fact that the brands changed.)

But what I really want to point out is the statistics:

If the probability of a single tire failure is 1%, then the probability of a single failure in that population of 6 is 6% - and the probability of 2 failures is 0.36% (6% X 6%), - and the probability of 3 failures is 0.0216%. Now that sounds like a pretty small number (and it is), but in a population of 10,000 vehicles (how many travel trailers are there in the US?), the statistics say there will be 2 where that has occurred.


- AND -

If there were no changes at all - that the probability of not getting another failure is 94%.

So it is very easy to get fooled if you happen to be the guy on the short end of a statistic.
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Old 03-07-2015, 05:42 AM   #111
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And one last thought:

I think Phoenix made the right move. Going to a larger tire was the right direction.
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Old 03-07-2015, 08:56 AM   #112
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Since folks reading this thread are typically Airstream owners who had no choice in the selection of the original tires installed by Airstream, then the initial tire issues are all assigned to that brand and type tire which is currently GoodYear Marathon ST tires. Only the recent Eddie Bauer models had the option for 16" wheels and 16" Michelins. These are also now standard on the 2015 31' Classic.

The data to date has not reflected issues with the 16" Michelins.

Since I have an Airstream, I am not concerned about any other brand of trailer and their factory installed tires. When I started my Airstream adventure, the tire threads on on this forum were very explicit on tire issues and the consensus was go with Michelin for piece of mind. I have used Michelins on all my vehicles for nearly 50 years and have never had a blow out or tread separation. Thus, I switched the 25FB to 15" Michelins as soon as I got it home and switched the Classic to 16" Michelins as soon as I got it to the storage area. Both trailers had Centramatic wheel balancers installed at the time of the tire switch.

I check pressures with a precise digital gage and look for obvious road damage before getting underway. I use a Dill TPMS to monitor the tires on the trailer when underway.

The Michelins have worked on my Airstreams just fine, thank you!
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WBCCI Life Member 5123, AIR 70341, 4CU, WD9EMC

TV - 2012 Dodge 2500 4x4 Cummins HO, automatic, Centramatics, Kelderman level ride airbag suspension, bed shell

2014 31' Classic model 30 twin beds, 50 amp service, 900 watt solar system, Centramatics, Dill TPMS, disc brakes, 16" tires & wheels
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