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Old 04-09-2011, 01:03 PM   #1
Air Mobile
2005 25' International CCD
Newport News , Virginia
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Is 6 yrs old time to replace?

I have a 2005 25' Intl with original Marathon Radial ST225/75R15. I bought the unit last year at this time and love it (1st Airstream and 1st Travel Trailer). Took it out for the first trip of the season last weekend and one of the tires blew out after a couple miles. Glad the spare was in good shape, had never tested it prior; dumb, but lucky. My question for the group is should I replace all 5 tires now, the remaining ones all have decent tread wear left, but I figured with them sitting each winter and being 6 years old perhaps they become susceptible (sic) to blowouts.

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Old 04-09-2011, 01:06 PM   #2
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Yes you should replace. Tread wear is not the indicator of the shape of your tires. Most folks replace in the 4-5 year range.


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Old 04-09-2011, 01:25 PM   #3
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Trailer tires typically need replacement due to dry rot and not wear. The rule of thumb is to replace no later than every 7 years though a lot of folks will replace earlier. The length of service life can be affected by how the tires have been stored when not used and how often the trailer has been used, the more often the better. You can extend the life of the tires by keeping them covered when not in use and parking the trailer on a well drained surface, preferably concrete that has a moisture barrier between the concrete and the underlying soil. Some people will put the trailer on jack stands. Not the stabilizer jacks but automotive stands that are placed under the frame at or near the points where the axles are attached. This takes pressure off the tires and the axles. Overall the best storage location for a trailer is inside a shed or garage. This will keep the sun and elements off the trailer allowing it to maintain a new appearance longer, including tires, plastic parts (especially on the roof), and sealing materials.
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Old 04-09-2011, 01:29 PM   #4
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I would highly recommend replacing all five tires right now. The one blowout that you have already had is simply a prelude of things to come with six year old trailer tires. Even though these tires may look great, they are dangerous on the highway. This is especially true with the hot weather coming.

Read some of the tire threads here are the forums before getting new tires.

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Old 04-09-2011, 04:26 PM   #5
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I agree with the opinions posted. Out of curiosity, did you check the tire pressures with a guage before the first tow of the year or was there just a visual inspection?

I ask because sometimes dual axle units can have one tire a bit lower in pressure and it's not obvious when you look at it visually. Underinflation is an almost sure way to have a blowout - regardless of the age of the tire.
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Old 04-09-2011, 08:39 PM   #6
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Also the tire next to it may have been underinflated, putting most of the load on the tire that blew out. The trailer must also sit level when hooked up for towing, or the front or rear tires may be carrying more load than the others. Check for these conditions before scrapping the tires, as well as a thorough inspection of the tires.

I don't see the danger in using tires if in excellent condition, but then I try not to throw money away. If a trailer tire blowout is dangerous, should we be towing?

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Old 04-10-2011, 07:01 AM   #7
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As you work thru this question, please review the plethora of GYM threads, both good and bad GYM reviews. Please consider a TPMS as a great piece of mind and watching what you cant see while towing. NOTE: TPMS doesn't mean you don't perform normal air checks and tire inspections. I found my soon to fail original GYM's by outward bulges in the tread and then later with the new GYM's outward sidewall bulges. GYM's are now all gone.

Good luck.

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Old 04-10-2011, 06:24 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by kevin242 View Post
I agree with the opinions posted. Out of curiosity, did you check the tire pressures with a guage before the first tow of the year or was there just a visual inspection?

I ask because sometimes dual axle units can have one tire a bit lower in pressure and it's not obvious when you look at it visually. Underinflation is an almost sure way to have a blowout - regardless of the age of the tire.
I took all four tires to 60PSI before we pulled out of the driveway.
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Old 04-11-2011, 12:22 AM   #9
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Hi, I believe in the seven year rule, but this is only if the tires are wearing evenly, don't have bubbles or bruises, and no signs of cracking anywhere on the tire. You may have towed with an underinflated tire or one that was already starting to separate. If one blew out, [not just a flat] you should probably replace them all now. As for the seven year rule, that is by the DOT code date, or actual manufacture date of the tire, not the year of the trailer.

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Old 04-11-2011, 06:25 AM   #10
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I had always read and been told 7 years....but after some thorough reading here...5 years may be a good idea. I have TPMS, inflate properly and examine tires and wheel/hubs at every fuel stop. I even hit the hubs and tire sidewall with an IR thermometer. I just don't ever want to see my shiney aluminum rolled back like a sardine can!
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Old 04-11-2011, 06:26 AM   #11
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A visual inspection, even by a tire pro, won't tell you enough about the tires. If you want a better test, spend a few dollars on a road force balance. Ask your dealer if he'll discount the test if new tires are required. And have the new ones road force balanced, too.
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Old 04-11-2011, 09:07 AM   #12
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I remain unconvinced that a tire in its 7th year of life is categorically at greater risk of failure than the average risk over the first six years. As far as I can tell the 6/7 year replacement "rules" came from the tire industry as a strategy for controlling product liability expenses. I haven't seen any studies or any science behind this "rule."

Most manufacturing defects show up in the early years/miles so early replacement increases that risk.

Heat and underinflation are the two things that destroy tires internally so I make my decisions on tire replacement based on these questions:
- Has the tire been run underinflated?
- Has the tire been run in unusually hot conditions?
- Has the tire been exposed, during storage, to a combination of heat and sunlight that could lead to heat-related damage?
- Inspecting the tire, is there anything to suggest that it may fail, such as weather checking, cracks, visible bulging or damage?
- Has the tire been repaired?
- Is the treadwear excessive or uneven?
- Has the tire gone for long periods (more than a year) without being driven?

I think in my situation where the trailer is stored indoors in an unheated shed during the long Minnesota winter that the tires will last more than 7 years.

Safety is a balancing act. I believe that I can get a bigger safety improvement for the dollar spent with the Propride hitch and the Maxbrake controller than through frequent tire replacement.
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Old 04-11-2011, 09:33 AM   #13
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To me an important factor is, the cost of THE WHOLE SET of tires can be cheaper than repairing panels on a trailer. It's something to think about.
Kevin with Baity the Lab/Pointer
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Old 04-11-2011, 10:20 AM   #14
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The current recomendation is to replace tires every 6 years. It used to be every 7 years but the standard has now changed. No inspection can tell if the tire is failing. The part that fails is the bonding between the belts and the tire body. The most common point of failure is at the edge of the belt. When this goes, the tire will heat up and blow out with almost no warning.
Get new tires.

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