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Old 07-30-2009, 10:34 AM   #1
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Changing tires on my 2005? So many decisions.

After reading the various threads about tire life, I am thinking that I should seriouslyt consider putting new tires on my 2005 trailer - bought used last Fall.

Although they look fine, I don't want to take a chance on them delaminating.

Although my trailer is registered as a 2005, I think that it was built in late 2004, and I guess the tires could be somewhat older than that.

Next time I bring the trailer to the house, I will look for the date stamp on them and if approaching 6 years old, I think I will swap them out now. If younger, I may leave them on for one more long winter trip then change.

On our last trailer (non-AS), I had the misfortune of having three Marathons pretty much simultaneously delaminate half way across Texas!

It was my own stupid fault. I had not read much about tire age and went only by regular examination of tread wear and looking at sidewall condition - obviously not enough! One tire threw a chunk of tread over a foot long by the full width of the tire, I found it lodged up in the wheel well. When I examined the others, two other tires were just starting to show signs of the tread separating. Sidewalls looked fine.

They were Goodyear Marathons, but I am not blaming the make, those tires were on the trailer when I bought it and likely at least ten years old!

I had no option but to replace them with some strange brand of chinese tire unless I was prepared to wait a few days in this small Texas town.

My AS has the original Marathons on, but based on what I read, I think I may well try the Maxxis tires that seem to be highly recommended. I have checked and see there are a few dealers near my home.

I wonder what one should expect in terms of the age of the tire when purchased?

If they are older than six months, I was thinking to ask if they could special order me newer ones since they will most likely be scrapped based on age in future.

I think it will be wort it for peace of mind to do what I can to improve safety and reduce chances of costly damage.

I am hoping that the tire shops will be able to dynamically balance the tires. Even so, I presume they do that on a machine off the trailer so that any out of balance condition of the drums would not be compensated.

Even though I am still a bit skeptical becasue it sounds a bit like smoke and mirrors to me, from what I have read on the forum, I am tempted to order a set of Centramatics to put on at the same time as I change the tires.

If I do that, I am assuming that I should have the tires balanced as normal without the Centramatics in place, then remove the wheels and install them.


Appreciate any advise or comments as I am new to all this!


Brian
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Old 08-01-2009, 08:46 PM   #2
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There are lots of varying opinions on tires and balancing on this site, but it isn't rocket science. Like many others, I had two Marathons fail on our 2005, 19-foot Bambi. After searching and reading all the strings on Marathon failures, I decided to buy Maxxis tires; because unlike the Marathons, which have a long list of complaints, I was unable to find more than just a couple of Maxxis failures. I guess the next three to four years will tell whether that was a wise decision; but so far, so good (after about a year and 4,000 miles).

The tire dealer balanced the tires on the same balancer that they use for cars and trucks, and they only took one very small weight on each wheel. And, they seem to run smoothly on the highway with no noticable vibration. So, I'm not convinced that Centramatics are needed on the relatively small wheel/tire combination we have on our trailer (225/75x15), although they may be justified on larger motorhomes, etc.

Regarding the date code on the Maxxis tires, we got ours at Discount Tire; and they had to ship them in from the Maxxis tire distribution center (not sure, but I think there are only one or two in the US). So, I am guessing that they are reasonably "fresh", since they weren't gathering dust on a back shelf at the tire shop.

I don't usually buy Discount's extended warranty; but since we had the two Marathon failures, it seemed like good insurance on the new ones.

I just wish Michelin made XPS Ribs (all steel construction) in 225/75x15. I'd buy those in a heartbeat...
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Old 08-01-2009, 09:39 PM   #3
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I also had terrible experiences with Lucy's OEM Marathons. Three on the road catastrophic failures within 12,000 miles. I replaced them with Maxxis E's. We got 27,000+ miles from these Maxxis before I started to experience tread separation, but no catastrophic failures. I recently replaced Lucy's tires with a whole new set of Maxxis E's.

My tires were spin balanced when installed and I do not rotate them.

Brian
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Old 08-01-2009, 11:44 PM   #4
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Hi, I still have all Marathons on my trailer although I replaced two of them because of slight side wall bumps or bubbles. Vibrations small or large, can and will destroy anything in a matter of time and trailer drums are not totally machined or balanced. Look at any car or truck brake drum and you will see either a welded on balancing weight, drilled or ground areas for removing excess weight, or now on big rigs, fully machined drums. This leaves us with about three choices: (1.) Have the wheels spin balanced on the trailer. (2.) Have the drums balanced. (3.) Or use Centramatics or something similar. If you are willing to ride inside of your trailer at 65 MPH + or - 5 MPH, you will have a better idea on wheel balance on your trailer since the most common speed for checking wheel balance is 65 MPH. Unless you have done this you will never know if your trailer has wheel vibrations. I chose and installed Centramatics on my trailer; not smoke and mirrors.
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Old 08-02-2009, 07:56 AM   #5
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Thanks to all for the comments!

I think I've made a couple of decisions!

I brought our trailer to the house last Thursday to check the wheel bearings and while I was at it looked for the date info on the tires. (We bought the trailer used last Fall.)

Since the trailer is 2005, and I believe from the info I have, it was actually built in late 2004, I fully expected the tires would be made in 2004 or maybe even 2003.

To my surprise the tire date info I found was:

0706
0706
0706
0606

If my understanding is correct, this means the tires were made during the sixth and seventh weeks of 2006.

Seems a bit strange. I don't know the history of the trailer, I bought it from an Airstream dealer in Ohio.

It doesn't seem likely that the previous owner would already have changed tires, but I can't think it is likely that a trailer built in late 04 would leave Jackson Center with 2006 tires - guess I'll never know!

My tires are Goodyear Marathons and look fine to me. Given that they appear to be only about 3 1/2 years old, I think I will leave them on until after our next long trip - next winter - then put on new tires.

At that time, given the reports I have read here, I think I will go with Maxxis. I believe they are 10 ply and the speed rating is higher than the Marathons (not certain on this.)

I will talk with the dealer when ready to buy, to see what the cost difference would be to go to an E rated tire which I think is available in my size, and if it is considered worthwhile.

In the meanwhile, although I'm not sure how badly I may need them, it seems like it might be a wise investment to buy a set of Centramatics right now, and I plan to do that. Couldn't hurt (I hope)!

Thanks for the input! ............. Brian.
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Old 08-02-2009, 09:36 AM   #6
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Brian,
That's good news for you..I, like you, am puzzled by the newest of the tires. Not that it's bad but, makes one wonder just what went on to cause a tire change so soon. Maybe the PO didn't like the brand on the trailer when he bought it or, like some, had a major tire failure and, replaced them all at once for good measures.
Have a nice trip~
ciao
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Old 08-02-2009, 10:20 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by 53flyingcloud View Post
Brian,
That's good news for you..I, like you, am puzzled by the newest of the tires. Not that it's bad but, makes one wonder just what went on to cause a tire change so soon. Maybe the PO didn't like the brand on the trailer when he bought it or, like some, had a major tire failure and, replaced them all at once for good measures.
Have a nice trip~
ciao
53FC
Yep it is hard to figure out what may have happened.

I'm sure the trailer would have been initially equipped with Marathons - the same make on the trailer when I bought it.

Seems to me I did read about some early failures of Marathons although I don't know what the production period of the bad tires would be. Perhaps as you say the PO had serious tire problems soon after purchase and they gave him a new set?

Can't imagine he could have worn the tires out in such a short time!

Cheers ...... Brian.
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Old 08-02-2009, 05:03 PM   #8
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"I'm sure the trailer would have been initially equipped with Marathons - the same make on the trailer when I bought it."

My 2005 was equipped with Marathons and as of earlier this week, Airstream is still putting them on their new trailers. My originals were made in Canada, and still looked great when I replaced them, so I kept them for spares for my enclosed utility trailer.
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Old 08-10-2009, 07:36 AM   #9
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I replaced the original marathons last fall, with new marthons. So far no issues with them ever. I must say however my wife thinks I am a bit paranoid, checking them daily. I told her to to read some of these threads and she would be out looking as well. The last run across the country in June was in very hot weather all 90 degrees and I was always over 70 mph, so it was a good test. I must say marathons in-over 22k miles of towing in just under 2 years have been good to me. The new ones are from China, so I am nervous to say the least.

One way to help get some bucks back is to list the old tires in your local craigs list. I sold all 4 that looked almost new for 200.00. We on the forum do serious analysis on these subjects, boat trailer guys think a 4 year old tire is just getting broken in.
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Old 08-10-2009, 08:29 AM   #10
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For what its worth !

I have a 2001 classic w/slide and changed my wheels and tires out for 16"x8" MickeyThompson aluminum wheels [looks great!] and Michelin LTS 225 75 16.
Everything fit great with no mods needed. America's tire did it all.
I had no problem with the marathons but was taking a 3000 mile trip thru july and needed more peace of mind. Now back from the trip and had no problems and totally satisfied with the set up and yes I installed Centramatics and have them on my 06 dodge diesel TV.
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Old 08-10-2009, 08:34 AM   #11
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That's no surprise that the OEM Marathons would have been replaced in 2006. We had to replace our OEM Marathons within the first year of buying our brand new 2005 25FB. Within 12,000 miles of new, we experienced three catastrophic Marathon failures.

The Maxxis 10 ply that we replaced the Marathons with lasted 27,000+ miles when I noticed tread separation. I did not experience any blowouts with the Maxxis as I had with the Marathons I recently replaced them with a new set of Maxxis 10 plys in May of this year.

I also seriously considered going to 16" wheels and using Michelin LT tires which would probably get 40,000+ miles. When I crunched the numbers, though, it was not really a good deal. I would have to buy 4 new wheels ($500), the LT tires cost nearly twice what the Maxxis ST's cost.

The bottom line is that I have decided to stick with the Maxxis ST's and replace them every couple of years as I am averaging 15,000 miles per year on the trailer. As long as I continue to use Lucy at this rate, the tire date of manufacture is a non-issue.

Brian
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Old 08-10-2009, 09:25 AM   #12
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One of the big potential causes of tire failures (blow out, etc) may be if they have ever been run with the tire pressures too low - that can help set the stage for a blow out, even tho' the TPs have been corrected later on. This condition could already be in place for a brand-new trailer sitting on the dealer's lot - since most trailers seem to be towed from Ohio to the dealer (vs. being transported on a flat-bed trailer, etc). Just depends on whether the trailer has ever been towed with low TPs.

If you're the kind to worry about your tires - and you're going to replace them in the near future anyway - why not go ahead and take care of it now and reduce the risk & worry, etc? New tires are much lower cost, than new tires + emergency road side service + repair body damage, etc. Another option is to have a 'pro' dismount the tire and inspect it - evidently they are supposed to be able to 'tell' if the tire has been damaged by how it looks from the inside (but I've never seen any inspection criteria published for this exam).
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Old 08-10-2009, 11:03 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wingeezer View Post
At that time, given the reports I have read here, I think I will go with Maxxis. I believe they are 10 ply and the speed rating is higher than the Marathons (not certain on this.)



Thanks for the input! ............. Brian.
Brian, the tires you speak of are ST rated which means 65 mph. I have a set on my Classic which will be starting their 3rd year of service beginning in November. No issues on them at this point.

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Old 08-10-2009, 11:59 AM   #14
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Are Maxxis tires made in USA or Canada? I have seen the name Maxxis in ads but could not find out about the company that makes them.
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