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Old 06-19-2015, 09:08 PM   #15
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One on of my blowouts, I had just checked the pressure and had only gone about 5 miles. The tire was less than a year old, too.
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Old 06-20-2015, 10:08 AM   #16
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I think automobile manufacturers are more sensitive to the risk of losing control if a tire blows and destroys the front suspension (and ensuing lawsuits) so they probably design for that. The rear side panels of an airstream are aluminum and a flying tire or tread will likely do proportionately more damage if the pieces kick up into the body panels. I have seen a complete rear quarter panel missing on a 34' after a rear wheel tore of the studs, and yet the owner was completely unaware of the missing wheel for over an hour of travel.

Andy Thompson once told me I would not know if I had a flat on my '89 25 ft unit. I watch the trailer level compared to my rear window in the truck cap. A low tire will show up by the trailer leaning to one side.

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Old 06-21-2015, 01:51 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by ericpeltier View Post
And maybe use a can of Slime on it, too, for re-sealing magic.
The use of "Slime" or other "Fix-A-Flat" type materials can clog TPM sensors making them useless. It can also make doing a proper repair more difficult or even impossible.

Not a great idea.
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Old 06-21-2015, 01:56 PM   #18
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One on of my blowouts, I had just checked the pressure and had only gone about 5 miles. The tire was less than a year old, too.

A true "Blowout" is more correctly called a Run Low Flex Failure"


It is always possible that the valve core stuck partially open when you checked the air and was the source of the leak that caused the flex failure.
With a TPMS you don't need to be checking the air pressure 3 to 5 times a day and you should get an immediate warning once the tire looses just a few psi which is well before the flex failure occurs.
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Old 06-21-2015, 01:57 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by carver 1 View Post
One of the Tire Pressure Management Systems unit would probably ease your mind a little.

>>ron<<

Definitely a better solution.
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Old 06-22-2015, 11:08 AM   #20
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I see a couple posts in this thread that make me think others are making the same mistake I did. We had two blowouts in one day on our recent road trip, and both caused damage to the trailer. Note: We knew immediately when the tires blew, and pulled over immediately, and there was still damage to the trailer both times (the tires were on opposite sides). In other words, it's not a matter of "the tire went flat and I didn't notice and it caused damage"; the actual blowout caused damage immediately.

Note, the tires were 4 years old and 3 years old, so reasonably under the usual 5-6 years recommended replacement. No dry rot; we use the trailer too often for that. I had them inflated to 60 PSI (max 65). I didn't do anything different in prepping for this trip than I usually do. After the first tire blew and we put on the spare, we stopped for gas and I checked sidewall temperatures; all were in the 115-120 F range. After the second tire blew, I found it was much hotter; about 150 degrees (a couple minutes after we stopped). I almost burned my hand the first time I touched it. The brake drums were a normal temperature, not hot at all, which I think means it was strictly a tire failure and not heat from bad bearings or dragging brakes.

So, now I'm wondering about TPMS. I see the advantage of having a leak and catching it before it goes completely flat, but my problem seems to be more about blowouts. It appears some systems do detect overpressure and over temperature situations. Would one of those give enough warning to let you know there's a problem before the tire explodes?
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Old 06-22-2015, 12:00 PM   #21
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So fAr as I can tell from reading around in the past few years there are no guarantees that a TPMS will catch a blowout before it happens. But it is pretty good about leaks, fairly fast and slow. The aftermarket ones have their problems, so read for details to which to attend before buying
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Old 06-22-2015, 01:57 PM   #22
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So fAr as I can tell from reading around in the past few years there are no guarantees that a TPMS will catch a blowout before it happens.
Of course, nothing is guaranteed, and who knows how fast the tire heats up before it explodes - if it's really fast, you might get the warning too late to help anyway.

Theoretically, if I could set one to alert at, say, 140 degrees, and I know that 120 is the normal max, that would probably be good enough, assuming that the heat buildup happens before it explodes and not after. Or, an increase in pressure (as a result of the heat, above a normal warm-up period) should indicate a problem, too.

Quote:
The aftermarket ones have their problems, so read for details to which to attend before buying
Yeah, this is one of the reasons I haven't yet purchased one - mixed reviews for some models. When we got the set of tires that exploded, I had them put on metal valve stems in case I did find a TPMS that I wanted, but I've been hesitating since.

Given that we're looking at probably several hundred dollars in repairs, plus the expensive service call to an Ohio rest area, a TPMS that would have warned us with enough time to pull off could easily save its cost.
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Old 06-22-2015, 03:30 PM   #23
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I have the Dill TPMS. They are not valve cap senders, they install inside the tire like OEM units and have a metal stem. The receiver gives pressure and temperature alarms and you can set the alarm point.

Fortunately I haven't had to put it to a real test, but it certainly gives me peace of mind.
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Old 06-22-2015, 09:31 PM   #24
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OK looks like we need a better understanding of tire failure.

The term "blowout" is used by laymen to describe what is really a Run Low Flex Failure. The sequence is...
1. The tire starts to loose air (puncture, cut leaking valve etc)
2. The driver continues at highway speed not knowing the tire was leaking.
3. The tire leaks down to below 50% and continues to leak
4. The excess sidewall flexing creates enough heat to actually melt the body cord (ie greater than 400F)
5 Polyester & Nylon body cord loose their strength as the material approaches melting point
6. The sidewall fails when there is no body cord in the sidewall since it has melted and flexed tot he point that there is not enough strength to retain the inflation.
Here is the physical evidence of melted body cord from a "Blowout"


The cord melts and gets hard just as the end of Nylon or Polyester rope does when you melt the cut end with a match.

The issue how the body gets so hot. It can't if it is inflated properly but once the air leaks out it can only take minutes of flex at highway speed to generate sufficient heat.

Yes TPM can give high temp warning but if that is what you are waiting ofr it is probabaly too late to avoid tire failure and RV damage.
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Old 06-22-2015, 10:45 PM   #25
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It is the damage that frequently occurs even when TPMS are installed that has led me to stop using them when the TPMS batteries expired (new senders at $50 each times four). I think they are a clunky makeshift solution that needs development, not worth the money. That's not a recommendation, just what we do and why.

Instead we spent the money towards 16" Michelin LTX tires to replace original GYM's. Much, much better reliability record. I have not seen a "blowout" reported on these.
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Old 06-23-2015, 06:51 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by dkottum View Post
It is the damage that frequently occurs even when TPMS are installed that has led me to stop using them when the TPMS batteries expired (new senders at $50 each times four). I think they are a clunky makeshift solution that needs development, not worth the money. That's not a recommendation, just what we do and why.
Thanks. That's what I was wondering - if there was someone here that had an active TPMS and still had problems, and what the result of it was.

Of course, it's possible the system you had didn't work well and another one would work better. Unfortunately, most of the reviews online are written by people who got it and haven't actually USED it (i.e., had a failure/leak/etc.), so you get "the display is awesome and I'm so much safer!!!", when in reality they don't know how it'll do when they actually have a problem. It reminds me of this.

Tireman, thanks for the explanation. My only concern with the sequence of events you described, in my case, is that I had two tires fail on opposite sides of the trailer, and they were the rear tires, and I have metal valve stems. So I can't figure out how the two tires would have developed the original leak in that sequence of events - it seems extremely unlikely to have hit something that would cause them to lose air, but not the front tires; the valve stems were fine and in fact were reused on the new tires; etc. When the shop unmounted the old front tires, they both looked fine inside and out, and were still holding 60 PSI, so we replaced our dry-rotted spare with one of those.

If I followed your description, though, theoretically a low tire pressure warning would have alerted us to a problem before the blowout.

For what it's worth, I saw at least two SOB campers, and two or three cars with shredded tires on our way back home Sunday. Hot day, in the high 80s. Apparently, it's that time of year!

(Sorry to the OP for derailing the thread. It was a rough day for us, and I really just wanted to convey that the blowout - sorry, Tireman - is the part that can damage the trailer, not just running on a flat tire.)
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Old 06-23-2015, 11:17 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by dkottum View Post
It is the damage that frequently occurs even when TPMS are installed that has led me to stop using them when the TPMS batteries expired (new senders at $50 each times four). I think they are a clunky makeshift solution that needs development, not worth the money. That's not a recommendation, just what we do and why.

Instead we spent the money towards 16" Michelin LTX tires to replace original GYM's. Much, much better reliability record. I have not seen a "blowout" reported on these.

TPMS will not actively prevent a tire failure any more than an oil pressure gauge will prevent a damaged engine. Their intent is to monitor pressure and warn the driver when there is a loss. Some wait till you have lost a lot of pressure and others will warn if you loose as little as 3 psi.

You might consider a system that has user replaceable batteries. I did a post on my blog (check my bio for a lik) on "Best TPMS" with a list of features to consider when shopping.
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Old 06-23-2015, 11:35 AM   #28
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From my reading on this forum and experience with high performance cars a great way to have peace of mind is to upgrade to 16" wheels and Michelins. Excepting running over something in the road you will be almost blow-out proof.

I have 15" wheels with lousy ST Marathons that were new when I bought my trailer that are still on there because I can't stand to waste things. But I'm eagerly waiting for them to wear out so I replace them with the 16"/Michelin combination.

Cheers,
John
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