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Old 12-28-2006, 09:13 PM   #85
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Trailer Tire Failures

Hi, I like to look from a different angle sometimes; Actually a lot. It would not be too far fetched to say you could very easily pick up a nail in one of your perfectly maintained tires. As you are driveing down the highway, enjoying life, your tire is slowly loseing pressure and at the same time increasing in temperature. Then at some point starts comeing apart. As your tire is self destructing, you don't hear or feel a thing, until someone flags you down or someone at a rest stop says "Hey do you know you lost a trailer tire?"
One reason I suggest this is because on my last time out with my trailer I was at a rest stop when an old couple [probably my age] pulled into the rest stop near the dog walk where I was. I noticed that they had totally destroyed the right rear tire on their SOB trailer. I asked the lady who was the first person to get out of their truck, "Do you know you have a flat tire?" Or should I refrase that, "you vertually don't have any tire left." The couple thanked me for telling them the bad news, she said, "we had no idea that we lost a tire, we were just stopping here for lunch."
I'm sure if you were loseing a tire on your tow vehicle, you would notice it real quick; But on your trailer, I'm not too sure you will notice it before it totally destroys it's self.


Bob
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Old 12-28-2006, 09:58 PM   #86
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Tire Failure

Tire Failures are not all of a sudden. They are a progression of events that lead to the tire coming apart. Gun Powder, Black Powder, dynamite, TNT and Nitro Glycerin and all “explosives” do not explode, they burn very fast. To verify this just as a Battle Ship Ordinance Man or reloader.
This sequence I was allowed to witness through the use of a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS).
One of the major problems of steel belted tires was getting the rubber to stick to the steel wire that the belts are made of. Heat greatly aggravates this problem.

The progression towards tire failures that we are experiencing is as follows:

1. Tire overheats: This is caused by driving the tire at a speed faster than its Speed Rating, out of balance tire, out of balance brake drum (running gear) both of which will cause the tire to “bounce” down the road causing the sidewalls at the heavy spot to flex much more than the rest of the sidewall area causing heat to build up at that spot much faster than the rest of the tire, and running the tire under inflated.

2. The rubber reaches its failure temperature: At this point the rubber starts to release the steel belt from its grip allowing it to slip.

3. The belt slips: As the belt slips at some point it tears inner bladder and causes a leak. This leak causes a decrease in the air pressure in the tire. This causes the sidewalls to start to flex more severely causing heat to build up faster.

4. At some point the temperature of the tire gets high enough to cause the rubber to release completely and the tire starts to come apart.

What can we do?

Slow down to 55 MPH or buy better tires.

We do not need tires that will carry a thousand pounds more than what we have, that only beats up our trailers, we need tires that will stand the heat of our driving habits.

According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration engineer that I talked to the Speed Rating is a very good gauging rating to use. The higher the Speed Rating the better.

I emailed the RV Safety & Education Foundation about a recommendation in one of their safety booklets recommendations that we run along with traffic. I pointed out that the tires that were being recommended were only speed rated for 65 MPH but on the Interstate System the posted speed limit often exceeds that.The person that answered me acknowledged the discrepancy and took it as an item to address. He also said “Just as a side note his is one of the reasons we see many towable manufacturers going to LT rated tires.”Some of us have taken the time to search out suitable durable replacements for the ST tires and have stopped having troubles. Some have emailed me stating that they have only used LT tires on the Airstreams and have never had problems. http://www.airforums.com/forums/f40/carlisle-tire-failures-28806-2.html
Post #17 states that he changed his Commercial T/As only after figuring out that they were 18 years old, and they were P metric.
The answer is simple folks,
Slow down to 55 or buy better tires.
Beginner
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Old 12-28-2006, 10:58 PM   #87
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I have questions that I can't answer still. My recommendation is to listen to these testimonials and go with your gut, not a vendor that sells tire or recommends a brand, including myself. Unless one claims to be a rubber expert and has hard data to back it, it becomes consensus. I'm leaning toward LT for my own use but that has no merit other than my gut feeling. Is that fair?
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Old 12-29-2006, 01:22 AM   #88
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Only Three Choices

Hi, this tire discussion reminds me of the 60's. People had three choices:

1. Dig a big hole in your back yard and install a bomb shelter.
Some place to hide if and when the bombs hit.

2. Dig a big hole in your back yard and install a swimming pool.
Have a lot of fun, hope no one drowns.

3. Dig a small hole in your back yard and plant a fruit or shade tree.
Save that money for later, maybe an Airstream for retirement.

Every time some one pops a tire this forum lights up like Las Vegas. I think they will find a cure for cancer before they make indesructable trailer tires.


Bob
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Old 12-29-2006, 07:43 AM   #89
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Bad dealer. I have never had anything but good luck with Goodyears. I have had the one several cars and now my Classic.
I am not sure how workers on strike has any affect on the quality of a tire. they are made by machines.
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Old 01-14-2007, 01:16 PM   #90
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Our 79 Excella needs new tires. What is the opinion of the readers of this forum for the best tires to purchase for this trailer. Is it best to have an Airstream Dealer do this or can any good tire shop do it. I'm not sure about the Torque issue.
Thanks
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Old 01-14-2007, 03:45 PM   #91
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Hi FL,
You can read through this thread and a few others and form your gut feeling opinion on Goodyear versus something else and ST versus LT but I would not drive too far to have an Airstream dealer mount them whatever you decide. If fact, they don't specialize in tires so I might even steer toward a reputable tire shop instead. I forget the torque, 100 maybe but do re-torqure after a 100 miles or so.
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Old 01-16-2007, 05:01 PM   #92
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FL Excella
Our 79 Excella needs new tires. What is the opinion of the readers of this forum for the best tires to purchase for this trailer. Is it best to have an Airstream Dealer do this or can any good tire shop do it. I'm not sure about the Torque issue.
Thanks
If I were having a tire dealer do it, I'd stay with the trailer and supervise the jacking up of the trailer and the torquing of the wheel nuts. Technically the Airstream dealer is going to take the wheels off the trailer and most likely run them over to the local Goodyear outlet.

The other thought is to do it yourself and use the ramp method to raise two wheels, remove them yourself and take them to a local Goodyear outlet. That way you remount the wheels on the trailer and can do the torque yourself and won't damage the trailer by raising it incorrectly.

Jack
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Old 03-09-2007, 03:22 PM   #93
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Sidewall blowout

I had my first Marathon failure last week; however, I had made a turnaround through some rough surfaces a few miles earlier and I may well have damaged the sidewall then. I had just checked the tires with my IR thermometer 10 miles before the blowout and all were running cool and consistent.

I heard the blowout and stopped immediately. The tire was undamaged except at the spot it blew out. There were some gouges in the rubber that indicated to me that it was probably damaged when I turned around.

Along with many of my friends here, I replaced the blown tire with an E-rated Maxxis light truck tire inflated to 65# to match the Marathons. As I need tires in the future, I intend to migrate to the Maxxis. A lot of folks have made the change to Maxxis due to Marathon sidewall failures (there were about 10 Marathon failures among those who went to Salem last year). Since making the change to Maxxis, no one here has experienced a tire failure. My trailer is stored under roof and I don't need the extra UV resistance that the ST tires offer.
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Old 03-09-2007, 03:41 PM   #94
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That's NOT the way it has ALWAYS been done.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pahaska
... As I need tires in the future, I intend to migrate to the Maxxis. ...


Moving away from Marathons? Doncha know that Marathons & Airstreams are like peanut butter & jelly? Oreos & milk?!?

I say more power to you. Everything I have read indicates Maxxis makes a good tire. And Maxxis is certainly interested in being associated with Airstream:



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Old 03-09-2007, 03:42 PM   #95
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Pahaska. Thanks for the update. As somebody who experienced a much more damaging blow-out, I'm most definitely interested in hearing what others have to say. I was really amazed by your statement that 10 other people experienced failures at just that one rally. This really indicates to me that there is a big problem with this tire. What I'm wondering is what it takes to get some deeper investigation into the matter--a la the Firestone recall of 2000. It's much too dangerous an issue to just let go. In my case the tire shreded and took out a big chunk of the wheel wheel and burned the plywood subfloor filling the trailer with smoke so thick you couldn't even see into the trailer. Fortunately, with a tandem axel there was no danger of loss of control, but what about the single axel owners? That's my concern. It seems like people have to start dying before somebody takes notice. It would be wonderful to have somebody take notice and there be a recall of the Marathons before somebody dies or is seriously injured.
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Old 03-09-2007, 03:44 PM   #96
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I was really amazed by your statement that 10 other people experienced failures at just that one rally.
Actually, a total of about 10 tires failed. Several people had multiple failures. One rig had 3 failures during the entire summer of travel.
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Old 03-09-2007, 03:55 PM   #97
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Ok, I went to the Maxxis site and found a ton of tires. Which specific one should I be looking for? I'm going into my 4th season and am considering doing this now, rather than later.
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Old 03-09-2007, 04:02 PM   #98
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silvertwinkie
Ok, I went to the Maxxis site and found a ton of tires. Which specific one should I be looking for? I'm going into my 4th season and am considering doing this now, rather than later.
My trailer is at storage and I can't check the model on the tire, but Maxxis makes a LT 225/75R15 E-rated tire that is a perfect match for the Marathon, but with a lot stronger carcass. Discount Tire stocks them here in Austin. They had 10 in stock when I bought mine and that was a day after a friend bought 4 of them at the same place.

BTW, my friend, after blowing 2 less than a year old Marathons, now is switching to 4 Maxxis.

If inflated to 65# like the Marathons, the Maxxis will mix and match just fine.
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