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Old 12-31-2008, 10:00 PM   #15
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In the long term, keeping the tires covered is not a bad thing. It will definately help on the sunny side. Covering them for a weekend is a little obsessive, though, but doesn't hurt.

Another benefit of good tire covers is, it will keep the lug nuts and brakes from getting rusty. This can happen from just weather and dew cycling, but parking near sprinklers and lawnmower blast really accelerates the corrosion. But not during a camping trip.

For long term storage, supporting the trailer by the frame is also good for the tires, not to mention the axles. You have to balance the benefits (hard to quantify, really) against the risk of potential damage due to jack slippage, which can get real expensive.
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Old 01-01-2009, 07:08 AM   #16
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Once upon a time I was the materials engineer for Johnson/Evinrude outboard motors. Among other things, I was responsible for aging tests of their plastics and rubber components of the outboards. We had 2 Florida exposure facilities and also used a facility called "Arizona Sun". Rubber and plastic is degraded by Sun and Ozone exposure. The gas Ozone is high in any part of the country with lots of sunlight. The degradation is also made worse when stress is present. The polymer chains are stretched and more easily broken when the sun or Ozone act on them. The covers should be white to reflect the heat rather than concentrate it. The chemical reaction rate doubles for each 15 degrees F increase in temperature. The covers protect from UV but Ozone gets to the whole tire whether it is covered or not. Parking the trailer concentrates the stress in certain areas of the sidewalls. That is were the buldge is toward the bottom. Long exposure in one position makes matters worse. Having an underinflated tire really makes things bad. I would caution that the rule on how often you change your trailer tires must be customized to reflect the area of the country your trailer recides in and whether you regularly use tire covers. Some sprays are better than others at extending rubber life. Trailer tires contain more antiozonant than regular LT tires.
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Old 01-01-2009, 07:57 AM   #17
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Trailer tires should be replaced every 4-5 years no matter what they look like in terms of checking and/or tread wear. Previous posts on this thread have suggested 7-8 years and one post even suggested 10 years. If you follow that advice, your Airstream dealer will be making an awfully expensive repair to the side of your trailer in time.
Trailers that are used regularly (monthly) where the tires and axles are exercised frequently last much better. Allowing tires or torsion axles to sit for extended periods is very deteriorating to them and considerably shortens their useful life.
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Old 01-01-2009, 08:27 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Ganaraska View Post
I have noticed on old cars the tires may be cracked on the outside but the inside is still uncracked.
.
A more important point is old tires can have significant interior deterioration and still look good on the outside. Because this invisible deterioration is unavoidable ditto replace your tires every 5 years no matter what they look like.

The people who benefit most from tire covers are the people who sell them. Yeah, they help with UV and using them will help a bit. IMHO putting them on for a weekend is just another way of showing off your camping gadgets to your neighbor.
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Old 01-01-2009, 11:00 AM   #19
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Yes, I do use white covers during the season, why not?, they be cheap, BSTS. Plus they help keep the wheels clean during a doon-docking rainstorm.

More important, if not being used during the off season, take 'em off. Sitting for extended periods is just as big a concern.

2 degrees with 8 inches of new snow this morning, that just can't be good for a loaded un-used tire or axle.

IMHO
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