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Old 07-06-2006, 10:50 AM   #1
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1980 31' Excella II
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Marathon and other side-wall failures

We have just bought a 31', 1980 Airstream Excella A, and are needing to buy tires.

Bringing it home we had a tire blow out, did some damage to the rv, tires were the maraton, after reading post here, the only ones I see recommended are Cooper and Tow Master.

Our old tire size is ST225/75R15.

Any assistance would be appreciated.

Alice Crane
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Old 07-06-2006, 12:00 PM   #2
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Alice, there's nothing wrong with Marathons, per se. Trailer tires tend to see more abuse from curbs and other hazards. That abuse tends to cause sidewall separations and other problems. Often, a visual check of the tires, inside and out, will find bulges and other potential problems before they cause a blowout. I have one Marathon on my 34' that has a sidewall bulge. It needs replacing before I take it on any lengthy road trips. The sidewalls on trailer tires are also subject to a greater amount of deterioration from UV exposure as they tend to sit out unused more than car or truck tires. That degredation also causes failures. Many folks recommend replacing your trailer tires every five years regardless of treadwear for those reasons.

Good luck!

Roger
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Old 07-06-2006, 12:11 PM   #3
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Just yet another case where a marathon bit the dust.You need to recognize
that these tires do have some issues with failures ,Looking the other way pretending it isn't happening is unwise .Many marathon failures recorded on many rv websites .Im sure the weight of the coach is a determining factor.
I would take that blown out tire to someone who can inspect the damage to
check for tread separation etc. They cannot handle the weight of larger trailers.Probably ok on a safari or bambi etc. lighter weight .It is a red flag
pay attention theres a real problem here .When was the last time anyone posted that their towmaster or hercules bias tires failed ,or any michelin ??
Never that I have read .I do not see that great of a tire with the marathon .
Its apopular choice by recommendation ,I won't get near them .

Scott
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Old 07-06-2006, 12:35 PM   #4
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my friends with black helicopters and little aluminum hats, who have read voluminous rv threads in regards to marathon tires, are convinced that the tires are a "no buy". our resident expert didn't ask how old the tires were, how long they sat in the sun, and or were they abused by the previous owner(s). what load range were they? who checked the tire pressure B4 the trip home? who inspected the tires B4 the trip home? i have the marathons on my 50k airstream, and when it's time to replace them, i'm not going to be looking at anything else... opps... gotta run, my moonbeam is here...
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Old 07-06-2006, 01:08 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by acrane
We have just bought a 31', 1980 Airstream Excella A, and are needing to buy tires.
Bringing it home we had a tire blow out, did some damage to the rv, tires were the maraton, after reading post here, the only ones I see recommended are Cooper and Tow Master.
Our old tire size is ST225/75R15.
How old are the tires? There's a date code molded into them on the side wall. I'm in the market for tires too so I'd really like to know if they are relatively new or original equipment 1980 tires. Also would like to know how much use the trailer had prior to you buying it. Were the previous owners actively using it or had it sat in one place for some time. The fact that it blew out the first time you used the trailer makes me suspect the tires had been sitting in the same position supporting the weight of the trailer for some time which will cause any tire to fail. And did you check the tire pressures before towing it home? How many PSI were they inflated to?

ST225/75R15 doesn't tell the whole story for trailer tires. You also need to know the load range. They could be C or D. To my knowledge the Marathon does not come in a load range E but other tires this size do. Load Range D Marathons are rated to 2540# but only when inflated to 65psi and only up to 65mph. Metal as opposed to rubber valve stems are recommended for this pressure.

According to their website the Cooper Custom Trailer and Custom Trailer Plus are discontinued:

http://www.coopertire.com/html/produ...m_trailer_plus

Click on "Full specifications". Makes me wonder what will happen in a warantee situation. It's too bad as Cooper is the only manufacturer that I've seen give the Service Description. For the load range D tire it's 113S ( 113 = 2561pounds, S = speed rated to 112 mph). This is the way Passenger tires (P) and Light Truck (LT) are rated. I haven't seen any LT tires that come close to this rating so I think you're only choice are the Special Trailer (ST) type tires.

Tow Master is the "Brand Name" that the Greenball Company uses for it's trailer tires. Originally these were made for them by the Cheng Shin Rubber Company in Tiawan. Then for a while the Tow Master was made by Goodyear. So for some time the "good reputation" was built around the exact same product as the Marathon. Now days Greenball uses a laundry list of supplies located in; China, Taiwan, Indonesia, Thailand, and India.

http://www.greenball.com/company.htm

There actually is a way to determine what plant the tires are made it. Every plant in the world has a unique two letter code which gets molded into the sidewall. This is how they can control recalls. The problem is most tire stores need to special order trailer tires so you can't just go to the rack and look at them. If anyone has bought a set of Tow Masters recently I'd be very interested to know where they were made. I'd have no problem if they've gone back to Cheng Shin in China.

-Bernie
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Old 07-06-2006, 03:58 PM   #6
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I have been running Marathons on our 34' for a long time and never have had any problems (knock on wood). I also keep them treated with UV protectorant and keep them covered when at an RV park. I also change them after about 5 years even if they look good. I have bought my tires from www.tirerack.com. They have always been freshly dated, great prices and have never had any complaints, even Goodyear recommends them as a source to buy form.
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Old 07-06-2006, 07:05 PM   #7
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I had two 2-year-old Cooper Travel-Tracs fail within minutes of each other on our previous coach. You can get bad tires from any manufacturer, regardless of price or age. Our current Marathons are holding up just fine at 14 months of use, so far. If I have any problems with them, y'all will be the first to know, after us.
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Old 07-06-2006, 08:06 PM   #8
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The marathon radial made by greenball is the same as there own radial .The other tires such as the bias towmaster are good tires and are not marathon related ,I suggest some research into the greenball website as they make tons of different tires.Say what you all want about marathon tires ,they last am million miles even when balled and they can perform miracles and such
nothing in the world can touch them .But you cannot deny the chronic problem related to them no matter what the claims .Some have good luck
many do not .I have recently read about sob fifth wheeler tri axle ,new coach
4 marathons blew out on the trip home ,tore up some of the trailer ,the plumbing underneath ,the dealer wanted nothing to do with it because
thay did not make the tires ,so these problems are a reality ,and pretending
they do not happen does not make sense to me .The article and others like it
are in the rv magazines under the readers columns.The tires i mentioned were not 5 years old.

Scott
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Old 07-06-2006, 08:46 PM   #9
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Thought I would make my first post on tires. I have a 28 foot CCD 2004. When it was about 6 months old I had a marathon blow and was always suspicious that is was a bad tire and not a road hazzard. My trailer is in central Louisiana ,but before it comes home to California I'll have it fitted with Maxxis tires.
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Old 07-06-2006, 09:54 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scottanlily
Some have good luck
many do not .I have recently read about sob fifth wheeler tri axle ,new coach
4 marathons blew out on the trip home ,tore up some of the trailer ,the plumbing underneath ,the dealer wanted nothing to do with it because
thay did not make the tires ,so these problems are a reality ,and pretending
they do not happen does not make sense to me .The article and others like it
are in the rv magazines under the readers columns.The tires i mentioned were not 5 years old.

Scott
Before we throw the baby out with the bath water, if this is the Trailer Life story I think that I read, it ended up that the fellow was overloaded. I think the empty weight of that 5th wheel was right at the edge of the tires capacity. The manufacturer really didn't do their job in equipping the trailer with the proper sized tires. The owner loaded up his stuff and put himself over the tire's capacities.

There are lots of stories regarding motorhomes and failed front tires. RVSELF, does seminars on this. The problem? Axles which weighed as a whole are within specs. Weigh each wheel separately on that front axle, and many are overloaded on one wheel.

I think there are enough of us out there that if the Marathon's were as bad as you say, these forums would be burning up with the reports. I'm on my third trailer with Marathon's. I've had no problems....and if you go back for 14 years prior to those three trailers, I had multiple brands of tires on my SOB. I never had one fail and I continue to note that I kept them inflated, didn't overload them, kept them protected from excessive UV, and replaced them every 3 to 4 years.

I think to continue the campaign that Marathon's are bad is very unfair to the manufacturer and doesn't reflect the number of these tires in use and the percentage of failures. Yes you will hear of more problems but that's because there is a heck of a lot more of them out there. It just stands to reason.

BTW, I have no financial interest or friends or family working for Goodyear. I just don't believe we are being responsible if we don't post all the issues here.

Jack
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Old 07-06-2006, 10:51 PM   #11
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well jack you have a right to your opinion ,and I believe I read the marathon
was being phased out .My small input could not possibly affect goodyear .I read all of your personal opinions as well as others touting this tire as the best thing ever ,frankly its tiring .I am stating factual information that has been posted here and on other rv sights.I will say that the overloading issue is a real problem and the marathon cannot tolerate it .I have said in past posts that the weight issue was a weakness . why can't then you support
towmaster or carliles or bfgoodrich or michelin or sears or cooper or maxxis
or bridgstone or uniroyal or toyo or yokahama etc?You are incorrect that
that the failures are small ,go to RV .net or Google marathon tire failures
before claiming that really I am making false statements.My comments are
expressed only as I have looked over many tire /rv sites for extended amount
of hours to research tires .I was really surprised by the findings.If everyone wants marathons primarily because others use them ,thats ok ,It should be
fine for me to share my knowledge and state it here .You state your position
as someone that thinks they are great. Further you do not have any
evidence to support your conclusion that failures are not common.Did you read darrell roots post before yours on his 6 month old marathon failure?It
was only 6 months old he said when his blew out .You may work for goodyear
who knows? But I see that everyone IS posting all the issues .I think that
the pros and cons of anything can be shared on a forum such as this.I don't think my few statements are any campaign .The point is this .Why should we be having any tires blowing out in the first place .I agree that airstreams
have not shown as many troubles with the goodyear.My airstream as well as
most all coaches up thru the 70s to possibly 80s had 700-15 bias tires for
strength and heavy duty service .NOT marathons ,however radials improved and airstream said lets use them .Ok ,I would like to see some options on
available tires that work ! Not a campaign always that it is better than any
other tire for these trailers . So if I point out that problems exist,and then ,
Im hurting goodyear ,well I don't want people having blowouts ripping up their trailers ,theres no excuse for that .One other thing about trailer life ,the tires
could not handle the weight even empty ,and he had just bought it and was bringing it home ,how could he have it overloaded?As for goodyear ,they better get it together and build a better trailer tire.enough said.

Scott
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Old 07-06-2006, 11:37 PM   #12
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Clarification on earlier post. Trailer was not overloaded. Tire pressure 65psi one hour Prior blow out. Goodyear dealer with a 5 second exam and sounding rehearsed gave me the road hazzard rap. I'm giving Goodyear the lost a customer rap. Did I mention minor damage I was lucky enough to repair myself. Respectfully Darrell
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Old 07-06-2006, 11:45 PM   #13
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hey Darell Root,

the last post of mine was not in mention of any overloading with your airstream .I agree also the tire was no good ,the discussion previuose involved some other fifth wheel trailer.

Scott
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Old 07-06-2006, 11:52 PM   #14
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1960 24' Tradewind
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TO THE GOODYEAR TIRE COMPANY,

IF you are reading this post .The goodyear workhorse bias ply tire and many
goodyear tires from LT tires to high performance and street automobile tire
to your racing tires have been excellent in quality and have performed well.
I have been a tire adjuster for many years previouse to my current proffesion
and have found your tires to be one of the best in quality.I wanted to make clear that my tire failure observations have been with the marathon trailer tire only.

Regards

Scott
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