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Old 08-12-2012, 06:06 PM   #1
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Another Goodyear Marathon Saga

Here is another story regarding the failure of Goodyear Marathon tires. I was taking my wife and daughters to the Washington Coast for a girls getaway. The trip takes about three hours to travel the 135 miles from our house (Ocean Shores area). About half way there (in McCleary) we stopped for a rest break. I felt the tires to see if they were warm; they all felt fine, except one was noticeable warmer than the other three (not hot, just warmer). I didn't think much of it, thought the brake might be rubbing or something. We had been traveling at speeds of 45 to 60 mph for most of the way (hwy 3 and back roads).

We arrived safely at our campground and I was installing the binder chocks that go between the tires. I noticed that one tire (the one that was warmer - right side front) was bulging in the middle of the tread, all the way around (it was very rounded compared to the other tires), and also that the tire had some cracks in the tread. Fortunately for us, the tire held together for the trip! I replaced it with the spare (never used GYM).

These tires are date coded 1404 (14th week in 2004) which seems about right for our 2005 trailer. They were made in Canada.

We dodged the bulet this time, now I have to decide what to replace the tires with.

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Old 08-12-2012, 06:10 PM   #2
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EEK! Glad you made it safely!
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Old 08-12-2012, 06:20 PM   #3
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8+ years on any trailer tire is a bunch. I'd say you must be living right to have them hold up that long. Sure glad it worked out. Now the hard part, deciding what to put back on.

John
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Old 08-12-2012, 06:28 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by sandlapper View Post
8+ years on any trailer tire is a bunch. I'd say you must be living right to have them hold up that long. Sure glad it worked out. Now the hard part, deciding what to put back on.

John

"8+ years is a bunch," aye! We have had the trailer for only a year, the tires looked fine, I thought they might be newer, never checked the date code until a couple of weeks ago and was planning on getting new tires next spring.

Do I stick with 15" or go to the much more desireable 16" wheels??? Decisions, decisions.
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Old 08-12-2012, 06:57 PM   #5
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That's a classic case of tread separation. You are indeed lucky that tire didn't turn into a catastrophic failure. If you had been traveling at Interstate Highway speeds you may not have enjoyed such a happy ending. Keeping trailer tires for eight years is tempting fate.

We also have an 2005 Safari. After the really crumby Marathons, we went with the Maxxis E's. They did better, but weren't great, either. We finally bit the bullet and went to the Michelin LT's and 16" wheels. We are now at 35,000 miles on these with no problems.

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Old 08-12-2012, 07:17 PM   #6
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Yep , it's a tough decision. There is tons of info on here concerning that very thing. Lots of opinions. I would say "good luck" with it but you're already lucky!!

John
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Old 08-12-2012, 09:34 PM   #7
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I'm in the same boat, Wondering how the 16" will fit on a 1968 wheel well? I need to do some measuring. Or just stay with the 15" there are a few tires that will work.
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Old 08-12-2012, 11:34 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by 10Smiles View Post
"8+ years is a bunch," aye! We have had the trailer for only a year, the tires looked fine, I thought they might be newer, never checked the date code until a couple of weeks ago and was planning on getting new tires next spring.

Do I stick with 15" or go to the much more desireable 16" wheels??? Decisions, decisions.
I just bought 16 inch wheels and tires for our Classic 31. My rationale was:
There are lot of reports on here about failures of ST tires of all makes, but predominately GYMs. There have been a lot of 16 inch LT tires put on Airstreams in the last few years. To my knowledge there have not been any failures reported on LT tires.

To start my research, I use the Google search box on the forums Search drop down I searched for "16 wheels" This brought up several threads with a lots of good reading.

Ken
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Old 08-13-2012, 10:11 AM   #9
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This is really beating a dead horse, but the number of GYMs on the road far exceeds the number of any other brand. The result is, that any time there's a tire failure, the odds are that it will be a GYM. This has been pointed out many times before. As for blaming the failure of any 8-year old tire on any particular manufacturer, too many years of experience from all RV owners combined seems to put 5 to 6 years as the maximum reasonable life expectancy for trailer tires. That said, there are many mitigating factors that would serve to reduce that expectancy - but few, if any, that would extend it. There are numerous reported incidents herein of failure of GYMs. To switch tire brands, following an early or inexplainable failure, is sure as heck a reasonable response thereto that no one can question. On the other hand, there are many, many GYM users that have travelled far and wide over the years without ever having experienced a failure.
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Old 08-13-2012, 11:29 AM   #10
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Tread separation is a sign of either a defective tire or one that has been operated under-inflated. If it were my trailer, I'd avoid tires that have lots of people reporting problems.

I worked as a tire changer/shock jockey back in the summer of 1978, when the Firestone 500 debacle was in full bloom. We had cars with several tires showing signs of tread separation, belt migration, etc. drive into the shop. In the summer I worked there, I saw perhaps 20 to 25 bad F 500s... and one bad Michelin that had been clearly run flat a long time.

Our1971 came originally with Michelin LT radials... and that's exactly what I put on it again. Webspinner and I just did a 900 mile day yesterday pulling the Tin Pickle; the Michelin tires ran nice and cool, despite the 100F temps.

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Old 08-13-2012, 11:53 AM   #11
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My trailer has new 'Duro' tires... I'm presuming some off-shore brand that the previous owners had installed when they did the last major service. They seem to be holding out quite well for little tires (14's). My options seem to be even more limited in that size.

I never buy the cheapest tires for my car, but lots of people seem to think a $59 tire on their $80K trailer is a bargain... good tires are cheap insurance...
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