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Old 05-05-2008, 09:50 PM   #253
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I expect to have a Marathon failure!

Hi, I expect to have a Marathon failure, but hope I don't. Last time out as I squeezed out of my driveway, I used a few blocks of wood to stair-step my way off of the curb. Previously I just rolled my tires very slowly off of the curb. Now after comeing home and squeezeing my trailer back into it's spot, as I was backing up into my driveway, I noticed that I missed the blocks. In my mirror I could see that one of my tires was up against the corner of one of the wooden blocks. It didn't look like any pressure was pushed into my sidewall, but my wife and I didn't like what we saw and what was going to happen if I forced it. I pulled foreward a bit, my wife moved the blocks for me and I continued to back in. I don't see any marks on my tires, but you never know. [So if this tire pops, I'll blame Goodyear] [NOT REALLY] So if this tire pops I'll know why; And if it doesn't, then I stopped in time.
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Old 05-05-2008, 10:56 PM   #254
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcanavera
I've run the E's at 75 psi. That's only 5 psi below max inflation and since I normally travel at about 60 mph, it's well in my comfort zone and in my initial unofficial tire checks on my trip to Fl and back last year, the tires tend to run cool.

I think your big success with your Marathon's really is due to the fact that the tires don't sit long. With this entire controversy is the question of whether certain tires are more subject to failures due to lack of use. My Marathon that failed at 7,500 mile of use in season 4, got pretty good treatment regarding air pressure, towing speed, and protection from UV when parked. But at 7,500 miles you can see I'm not a frequent traveler. I sometimes wonder if that is the magic thread that ties many of the failures together?

Jack
No doubt other issues contribute, like not inflating the tire to required pressure, but I think that you are on to something; infrequent use, what ever that means, is probably a significant contributor to tire failure.

Goodyear's Rick Read stated that compounds in the rubber, if the tire is not frequently used might have a negative effective on the life of the tire.

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Old 05-05-2008, 11:51 PM   #255
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2airishuman
there are millions of millions of st trailer tires on the road and only a SMALL fraction are other brands...

so ALMOST NOTHING is known about the issues or failure rates on ANY of the other brands...
2air'
Do you have some info on market share? I couldn't find anything. Marathons may be the single largest brand on the road but I really doubt they vastly out number all others combined. What bothers me is the large number of people who seem to be ultra careful in choosing and maintaining equipment who have reported failures of relatively new tires. None of these people seem to report similar failures of tires on the tow vehicle. Could it be that ST tires are just poorly constructed in order to save money?
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Old 05-06-2008, 12:11 AM   #256
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bhayden
Do you have some info on market share? I couldn't find anything. Marathons may be the single largest brand on the road but I really doubt they vastly out number all others combined. What bothers me is the large number of people who seem to be ultra careful in choosing and maintaining equipment who have reported failures of relatively new tires. None of these people seem to report similar failures of tires on the tow vehicle. Could it be that ST tires are just poorly constructed in order to save money?
Or, could it be the side wall twisting that takes place in tight turns?

Andy
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Old 05-06-2008, 01:12 AM   #257
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bhayden
Do you have some info on market share? I couldn't find anything...
no i don't have the market share data...

that comment was written in my best carl sagan voice...

i've read that there are 2-2.2 million new oem rv tires used each year by the builders...

but that includes mohos and 5ers...

on the aftermarket/replacement tire side there is another big chunk...

since walmart no longer stocks st tires (they used to carry carlisle i think) they've got no sales figures either...

passenger car tires average about 44k miles (going down) and 3 years duty.

while many boat trailer, campers, pop ups and 'streams sit idle in lots, backyards and storage sheds.

then after months (or years) of NO attention, they roll out onto the roadways, lumpy underinflated and at risk...

i've yet to read ANY failure/separation reports on the 2006 and beyond chinese gyms, have you?

stiill your comment about 'poorly constucted' might be valid.

many think trailer tires have reached commodity status, i've read that some asian tire companies sell them by the pound...

certainly g-balls and carlisle and the other misc brands of ST tires have failures too...

maxxis is a relatively new player (for the st market) so let them pile up some sales...

or better yet become oem on some major trailer brand...

for now and for us ('streamers) the gym still has 100% of the original equipment share...

and the tread to try LTs as replacements is a very very very small number...

cheers
2air'
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Old 05-06-2008, 08:38 AM   #258
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My 2 cents worth...

I have been using Marathons since the early 1980's. Never a problem with them. Just lucky? Maybe. Then again maybe not...
1) Have you weighed the fully loaded trailer at each individual tire to make sure that the individual tire is not overloaded? The weight on the front axle can differ from the weight on the rear. Weight may also differ from side to side.
2) Are your tires always properly inflated?
3) Do you exceed 65 mph? The Marathons (and presumably the others) are only speed rated for 65.
4) Is the trailer on the road regularly? Ours makes one major trip a year and several local weekend trips. Winters it is in storage with covers over the tires.
5) When on the road be in the habit of touching the tires at stops. Our trailer tires run cooler than our tow vehicle tires.
6) Make sure your valve stems are rated for truck use (higher psi).
7) Are the shocks in good shape?
8) Is your tire and/or wheel assembly balanced?
9) Know the age (in years) of your tires. I am leary of anything over 5 years old (date of manufacture).
10) Visually inspect the tires before each trip for cuts, bruises, and sidewall cracks (dry rotting).

Will these steps prevent tire problems? Maybe not, but in the 25+ years that I have towed my Airstream the only tire related problem I can recall was a slow leak due to a cut in a valve stem.

Scott
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Old 05-06-2008, 08:53 AM   #259
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You may find the following information helpful. It is taken from a 2003 Tire and Rim Association standards chart for ST 225/75 15 tires (either R or D). The first number is the tire inflation, the second is the maxumum weight limit for the tire.

25 psi, 1430#
30 psi, 1600#
35 psi, 1760# (max for load range B)
40 psi, 1880#
45 psi, 2020#
50 psi, 2150# (max for load range C)
55 psi, 2270#
60 psi, 2380#
65 psi, 2540# (max for load range D)
70 psi, 2620#
75 psi, 2720#
80 psi, 2830# (max for load range E)


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Old 05-06-2008, 09:19 AM   #260
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott S
My 2 cents worth...

I have been using Marathons since the early 1980's. Never a problem with them. Just lucky? Maybe. Then again maybe not...

4) Is the trailer on the road regularly? Ours makes one major trip a year and several local weekend trips. Winters it is in storage with covers over the tires.

Will these steps prevent tire problems? Maybe not, but in the 25+ years that I have towed my Airstream the only tire related problem I can recall was a slow leak due to a cut in a valve stem.

Scott
1960 Overlander, single axle.
Scott, I can honestly answer yes to every one of your questions except #4, which is whether the trailer is on the road regularly. I've owned 3 trailers over the past 10 years that came equipped with Marathons. The last trailer, my Classic is the first to have a failure. What's interesting is that my last 2 Airstreams have spent a significant portion of their life in inside storage, and when stored outside have had their tires covered. For the life of me I have no idea why my tread separated on one of the tires. The only saving grace for me was that the portion of the tread which flew off, did so in the last 60 miles of a trip home, (I had checked the tires at the last rest stop) with the belts holding the tire together until I pivoted backing into my driveway at home.

Bottom line I really feel that lack of use may be the smoking gun. By my standards after season 4 of use I was planning to replace the tires anyway. I've always operated by those standards. In my case the second last trip of the year in season 4 was the one that did me in. Thankfully the deflation occurred at backup speed.

Jack
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Old 05-06-2008, 09:34 AM   #261
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBERTSUNRUS
Hi, You're exactly correct; ST tires "compliment the application" for trailers. Trailer tires are supposed to have extra UV protection for sitting in the sun.
And they do......the problem is the fact that those compounds are only distributed in the tire when it rolls. So a tire sitting with sun exposure on the tires, will leach out the UV componds on the sun exposed sides. That's not a problem if the tire has some regular use since the compounds will redistribute with the flexing of the tire. That's why you cover them if you are going to have long exposure periods.

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Old 05-06-2008, 10:51 AM   #262
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bhayden
What bothers me is the large number of people who seem to be ultra careful in choosing and maintaining equipment who have reported failures of relatively new tires. None of these people seem to report similar failures of tires on the tow vehicle. Could it be that ST tires are just poorly constructed in order to save money?
I thought bhayden was onto something—people who do everything right still have problems—but then I found out letting the tires sit was the problem, or maybe covering them cured the problem, or maybe towing the trailer several times (or more, or less) a year would cure the problem. I've also learned the tires were "capped" several (or more) years ago to prevent tread separation. Many many posts ago I discovered the Canadian Goodyears were better than the Chinese ones, but more recently I learned the tires haven't been made in Canada for quite a while, or maybe not for so long a while.

I have also learned there are so few problems that it doesn't matter (unless it's my trailer), but maybe bhayden is right and trailer tires are garbage.

I'm confident that people who take proper care of their tires will get better service, but I'm confused what kind of care is significant and what isn't. Shall I tow my trailer around the block (out here, that's about 2 miles) every few weeks?

A lot of smart people with considerable experience have posted here and it feels like it's mostly guesswork, good guesswork perhaps, maybe even correct guesswork, but I still don't know for certain (1) how often tire tread separates, (2) information about different brands, (3) effect of proper care and just what proper care really means, and (4) do people who are "ultra careful" have the same or different results?.

I do know that in 50 years of driving, I've gotten better service on cars and trucks from Michelin tires than any other brand. I bought the Doran 360 TPMS (better design than the Pressure Pro) because it made sense to me to monitor trailer tire pressure. I'm not sure tread separation would give adequate warning though—would that be a blowout situation? I think all these posts provide a lot of valuable information (and some, less us say, not so valuable information) and, yet, I can't be sure just what to believe. So I'll cover the tires, maybe not as often as I should, watch pressure and look for damage, drive no faster than 65 (usually), try not to overload the tires, make sure the TPMS works and when the Marathons are too old (is that 3, 4, 5, or 7 years—I've seen all those recommended), I'll look for Michelins.

Gene
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Old 05-06-2008, 11:07 AM   #263
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hey gene, let's make a monitor that alarms with excessive vibration!
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Old 05-06-2008, 11:22 AM   #264
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Has anyone found a Michelin trailer tire for sale in the US?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CrawfordGene
I'll look for Michelins.

Gene
Unfortunately, the last time I looked, Michelin did not sell a trailer-specific
tire in the US anymore.
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Old 05-06-2008, 12:07 PM   #265
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Michelin Trailer Tire

No Michelin does not have a specific trailer tire, however, if you go to their web site and email customer service they will recommend you use the XPS Rib. My only problem with that was that it came in Load Range E only.
Thats why I went with the B. F. Goodrich LT 225/75R16 Load Range D Commercial T/A and new 16 inch wheels in the spring of 2006.
After candid talks with several tire dealers and distributors in the area (after a friend in the industry greased the skids so that they would not lawyer up), if you follow the inflation/load chart Michelin has on the internet (or that they will mail you free of charge), you will be just fine.
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Old 05-06-2008, 01:13 PM   #266
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcanavera
...In my case the second last trip of the year in season 4 was the one that did me in...
and it happen after camping in a park with some of the nastiest gravel i've parked on.

when i pulled into compton ridge, by first thought (after noticing the ridge) was look at this gravel.

it was large, it was sharp, it was unevenly groomed, with lots of ozark bedrock exposed...

did i mention it was sharp!

i walked the loop and considered NOT pulling through because of the gravel and bedrock.

the main campground has MUCH different surfaces.

so when i read about your tire issue at home, my though was you cut a tire, which did not lose air for 200 miles or so?

is that a failure or is that inevitable if traveling on gnarly stuff ?

i have friends that live in the flint hills, and the country roads are ground flint.

typically they go though 2-3 sets of tires every year on the trucks, cars, hummer-1...

and get 1-2 seasons from heavy equipment tires...

so they have otherwise good carcasses retread whenever possible...

all of their tire issues are related to surface cutting and abrasion.

having not seen jack's problematic tire, this is only a guess but cut treads do happen and will peel...

almost ALL the gym reports i've read related to BELT SEPARATION, not tread peeling, with a few 'total catastrophic failures...

still driving on a slow leak or under inflated tire can lead to tread peeling (separation) or belt movement...

using a tpm system might help in that regard,

because drivers are often UNAWARE of low or flat tires on multi axle trailers....

until the tread flies away and the entire tires fails badly, which is what we often see in the pictures...

cheers
2air'
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