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Old 09-16-2009, 10:02 AM   #211
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From the above article:

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These days, when I have a tire problem, it is my habit to remove and reinstall the tire myself. This saves a lot of hassling and potential screw-ups by technicians who (a) don’t know the proper way to jack up an Airstream; (b) will use an air wrench to over-tighten the lug nuts; (c) want to argue with me about using tire pressure sensors (”Just throw those things away, they’re the cause of every stem failure I’ve ever seen.”)
After reading the numerous lifting threads on this forum, I had some anxiety about lifting the trailer for the first time. I just want to report it is trivially easy. I lifted all four off the ground in a few minutes using two bottle jacks on the axle mounting plates. No noises, creaks, groans, load shifts, etc. I'll still carry the ramp, but if possible I'll use the bottle jack to change a tire. It is so easy.

I agree with the quoted paragraph. As long as I'm able to take the wheels off myself, I will. Or at least jack the trailer at the tire shop so they can remove the wheels. On my trailer the axle mounting plate is extremely close to the water tank. A clumsy shift of a floor jack and there's a leak.

I just replaced four Canada Marathons (looked perfect) due to age. Replaced with Maxxis load range D.
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Old 09-16-2009, 11:17 AM   #212
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One other point, IMO the bottle jack is the perfect tool to lift the Airstream. The small pad fits perfectly on the axle plate, I locate it towards the boxed side of the C channel. A floor jack with larger cupped cradle is harder to locate, and the tabs (at least my units have tabs on the cup) make it harder to concentrate the force in the best place. It also appears more likely to slip.
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Old 09-16-2009, 02:04 PM   #213
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I noticed that also. Just out of curiosity, are the new Airstreams coming from the factory with high pressure metal valve stems installed?

Brian
Mine, off the line 7/28/09 has rubber stems.
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Old 09-17-2009, 06:21 AM   #214
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Marathons

What's left unsaid in the note from Airstream is the reason why this "premium" tire is now made in the U.S.

It remains to be seen whether the change will result in better outcomes.
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Old 09-17-2009, 07:51 AM   #215
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I can not understand how Airstream can specifically point out tire valve stem issues as a primary cause of tire failure, and then install low pressure rubber valve stems on new Airstreams. I guess that in these hard times, Airtream really needs to make that extra $4.82 per unit, even though it could compromise safety.

Rubber valve stems are for passenger cars that have tire pressures in the 35 psi range.

Brian
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Old 09-17-2009, 09:26 AM   #216
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Brian, I would agree and may be A/S means not changing the stem wth the tires? Meaning weak stems because they were old.

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Old 09-17-2009, 10:04 AM   #217
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Originally Posted by moosetags View Post
I can not understand how Airstream can specifically point out tire valve stem issues as a primary cause of tire failure, and then install low pressure rubber valve stems on new Airstreams. I guess that in these hard times, Airtream really needs to make that extra $4.82 per unit, even though it could compromise safety.

Rubber valve stems are for passenger cars that have tire pressures in the 35 psi range.

Brian
There was a flood of BAD rubber valve stems imported from China that caused a significant percentage of the tire failures in the last few years.

My daughters trailer lost 2 tires on one trip do to these stems. I can say this because they both broke off in my hand when I put the guage on them to check the pressure. Those stems cost any car or trailer manufacture $.05 each.

An easy test to see if you have these stems is to apply some pressure to move the stem sideways slightly with your finger. If it brakes off in your hand you have them. They tend to brake just outside of the wheel.
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Old 09-17-2009, 10:18 AM   #218
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I guess I had a better stem, because I used a TPMS system with them for several thousand miles before I had metal stems installed. Surely, if you get a TPMS system, change the valve stems as soon as possible. I found it hard to get long enough metal stems for the sensors because of the wheel design, but that may be because I live in a rural (i.e., backward) county.

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Old 09-17-2009, 12:41 PM   #219
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Not all rubber valve stems were bad ,only ones that were virgin rubber. They should have compounds that when added give increased protection from UV rays.Some purchased over seas were made with no UV protection.
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Old 09-17-2009, 03:02 PM   #220
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Originally Posted by moosetags View Post
I can not understand how Airstream can specifically point out tire valve stem issues as a primary cause of tire failure, and then install low pressure rubber valve stems on new Airstreams. I guess that in these hard times, Airtream really needs to make that extra $4.82 per unit, even though it could compromise safety.

Brian
Excellent point, Brian. I have wondered the same for relatively small things like... rusting screws in the clearance lights, vent covers that disintegrate in under 2 years ($11.00 for the replacement part. It was the least expensive vent cover on the market). But the inferior valve stems are a safety issue. The only flat tire I've experienced to date was the valve stem, not the tire (Marathon).

I would expect a little more from Airstream. Even though we shouldn't have to, I'd be more than willing to pay the extra dime for a better/safer component. The irony is that it obviously costs us (the consumer of America's premiere travel trailer) more to correct a deficiency after the fact, than it would to pay a little extra from the start.

End of rant. Thanks for the therapy.
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Old 06-22-2010, 08:21 PM   #221
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Same problem on boat trailers...

Hi folks,

I just registered to pile on and let you know there are other trailer users having the same problems with Goodyear Marathons.

I'm an avid boater, a MasterCraft owner and I frequent the MasterCraft boating forums.

I've had some real problems with the tires that were mounted on my boat trailer when I bought it in 2007. So far four of the five tires have failed.

Anyway, I was Googling problems with Marathons, and one of the first links I found was this thread. The pictures the OP posted showing his failed tire look almost identical to the ones I posted on the MasterCraft site showing mine.

To make a long story longer, I got three replacement tires today, 100% warranty adjusted. A rare positive ending to a serious problem.

I suspect we MasterCraft afficianados are as enthusiastic about our boats as you are about your trailers, and they're not cheap either, so we're as fired-up about this as anyone.

I've attached a link to the thread I started on the MasterCraft forum on this subject. Thanks for letting me barge in! Happy trails! (We don't own an Airstream, but we do have a travel trailer from *another* brand...and love to camp / boat)

Goodyear Marathons ruin our first outing of the summer... - TeamTalk
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Old 06-23-2010, 02:33 PM   #222
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Hrkdrivr, good photos. Many have had the same problems here. Which tires did you switch to?
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Old 06-24-2010, 09:01 PM   #223
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Phoenix, thanks! Bottom line, I got new Marathons that happened to be made in China. They were all that was available in town. I know all five of the tires that came with the trailer, four of which failed, were from New Zealand.

Here's what I posted on the MC site about the resolution of my problem (June 22nd):

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Well, today I went to the tire shop where I've done a good bit of business for my trucks. It's also the place I bought replacements for my first two Marathon blowouts. I took all five tires/wheels and spoke to the manager. This is a family-owned chain in the NC / SC area. Probably 15 stores total, but still personalized service...they remember your name when you walk in.

I explained that of the five OEM tires that came with the trailer, I now had four failures and zero confidence in the safety of the last OEM tire. He said he'd do what he could to work a warranty adjustment on the two failed tires and would check the third to see if it was about to fail. He said the other two newer tires I bought there looked ok, so I kept them.

After work I stopped by to see what the damage was. He was able to cover the three tires 100%...all I had to pay for was balancing and stems...$50.00 for three new skins. I was floored.

Mind you, these tires were made in 2004 and 2005. They had plenty of tread, but I was amazed he was able to cover them 100%.

Like I said in an earlier post, I like Goodyear product and wasn't slamming the company. They had a bad run of tires that unfortunately made their way onto our trailers. Here's a thread on the AirStream trailers forum I found a pic almost exactly like the one I posted:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f438...ion-34105.html

This thread only took me one minute to find on a Google search; this wasn't just a boat-trailer problem.

Anyway, mad props to my local tire dudes and dudettes. They, and Goodyear, took good care of me and I'll be back...good business all around.
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Old 06-25-2010, 10:25 AM   #224
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By the way, here's what's riding on my Marathons...
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