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Old 02-27-2012, 09:33 AM   #15
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re: "No one is happy with ST tires, deservedly so" -- this may be common wisdom on these forums but not when it comes to reality. One needs to know the primary reason for tire failures and also to check with the DOT reports. There is a blog by a guy in the RV tire business that has some good stuff on this.

re: "Tire temps can vary in as much as .5 inch. And surface temps are not indicative of what's happening within for given accuracy." -- you measure temperatures in inches?

If you actually measure tire temperatures on the road, you'll find that the variances are not that great and do indeed provide good indication of the tire status.

Also watch out for excess accuracy. That's another problem that shows up a lot. If you find your tires running above 140F they are getting too hot and that goes to the basic nature of the tire materials and construction. If the tires run at below 120F, they have a lot of temperature leeway which means the pressure could be reduced somewhat if desired. I'd be interested if those who actually measure tire temperature, in the desert or in the snow, find otherwise when on the road.

re: "Nor do TPMS with valve stem adaptors give "true" temps." -- that is why I qualified my comment as the 'better' ones (anticipating this sort of knee jerk ad minimus thing that seems too common in these forums where finding fault is preferred over finding knowledge, it seems)

Tire weights and all are fine but a scale for that purpose is a lot less available than an IR thermometer, especially on the road. The weight on a particular tire may also change quite a bit and inferring pressure to use from weight is a calculated, secondary, effort whereas temperature is a primary one.

You do what you want but what I have seen is that keeping an eye on temperature helps me keep my tires properly inflated and catching problems early. Putting them at max sidewall PSI (or within a few psi) in the morning works very well for me.
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Old 02-27-2012, 10:30 AM   #16
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Additional note: When inflating "cold" tires to maximum rated pressure (e.g., load range E tire inflated to 80 psi), it is almost a given that the tire pressure while driving will exceed this value, especially during summer months in the southwest desert. If tire pressure is verified cold, excess pressure should NOT be bled out after the tires heat up. It's OK for this pressure to rise during use; and letting air (or nitrogen) out will result in running the tire slightly underinflated. (My personal experience is that hot tire pressure measurements increase around 4-5 degrees from their original cold value.)

With most tires, underinflation is the highest cause of tire failure in the desert southwest. And, in the summer, one must dodge alligators (tire carcasses) on our highways.

Of course, the exceptions are Goodyear Marathons, whose failures do not seem to be limited to extreme summer temperatures.
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Old 02-27-2012, 11:25 AM   #17
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I realize there are several threads on tires here on our Forums but I'll wade into this anyway. After hating the GoodYear Marathons and dealing with tread separation issues I went to the Carlisle E rated tires and have been running the same four since 2009. While the air pressure rating is 80psi I run them only at 65psi per my aluminum wheel rating. I utilize Pressure Pros and Centramatic balancers and the after thousands of miles towing this combo has proven to be the best yet. The tires look great as they approach their fourth year on the trailer. I will most likely change out once they get much past the fourth birthday of their manufacture simply because I don't trust any trailer tire closing in on five years of age. Right or wrong, this combo is working well for us and our heavy 30ft Classic S/O Airstream.
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Old 02-27-2012, 11:50 AM   #18
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ZoominC6, when I bought my first trailer (19' CCD) the previous owner told me he ran the original GM's at around 50 psi for a softer ride. The trailer was 3 years old then and I pumped them up to 65 psi which worked fine for the next year, until one tire started deflating on the Florida Turnpike. No blowout, no nails or cuts. It simply lost the seal on the rim and went dead flat.

Why? Because according to the tire guys, the tire had been run while under inflated for three years which stressed the sidewall to the point it was too soft to hold the bead when the trailer was loaded. After that point, I keep the tires to specified pressure. You may not have experienced any problems yet, but...
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Old 02-27-2012, 12:33 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bryanl View Post
re: "No one is happy with ST tires, deservedly so" -- this may be common wisdom on these forums but not when it comes to reality. One needs to know the primary reason for tire failures and also to check with the DOT reports. There is a blog by a guy in the RV tire business that has some good stuff on this.

re: "Tire temps can vary in as much as .5 inch. And surface temps are not indicative of what's happening within for given accuracy." -- you measure temperatures in inches?

If you actually measure tire temperatures on the road, you'll find that the variances are not that great and do indeed provide good indication of the tire status.

Also watch out for excess accuracy. That's another problem that shows up a lot. If you find your tires running above 140F they are getting too hot and that goes to the basic nature of the tire materials and construction. If the tires run at below 120F, they have a lot of temperature leeway which means the pressure could be reduced somewhat if desired. I'd be interested if those who actually measure tire temperature, in the desert or in the snow, find otherwise when on the road.

re: "Nor do TPMS with valve stem adaptors give "true" temps." -- that is why I qualified my comment as the 'better' ones (anticipating this sort of knee jerk ad minimus thing that seems too common in these forums where finding fault is preferred over finding knowledge, it seems)

Tire weights and all are fine but a scale for that purpose is a lot less available than an IR thermometer, especially on the road. The weight on a particular tire may also change quite a bit and inferring pressure to use from weight is a calculated, secondary, effort whereas temperature is a primary one.

You do what you want but what I have seen is that keeping an eye on temperature helps me keep my tires properly inflated and catching problems early. Putting them at max sidewall PSI (or within a few psi) in the morning works very well for me.
Find us a consensus on any RV board, bubba, about ST tires being acceptable.

The comments I attached about temps, distances, TPMS, etc, were all taken from those made by tire engineers.

If you, or others, need to know how to use a weigh scale to get individual wheel weights (and you don't, but some will) then try asking.


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Old 02-27-2012, 01:45 PM   #20
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Why Use An "ST" Tire

  • "ST" tires feature materials and construction to meet the higher load requirements and demands of trailering.
  • The polyester cords are bigger than they would be for a comparable "P" or "LT" tire.
  • The steel cords have a larger diameter and greater tensile strength to meet the additional load requirements.
  • "ST" tire rubber compounds contain more chemicals to resist weather and ozone cracking.
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Old 02-27-2012, 05:52 PM   #21
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Except that ST's aren't proving out for reliability and are bereft of the latest advances in technology, those "claims" aren't worth much more than advertising copy. They're an inferior choice.
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Old 02-27-2012, 10:25 PM   #22
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I have ST tires on my Argosy 26'. I run with 55# of air in the tires and don't drive over 65 mph. Normally drive 60 mph. 6000 miles, no problems. Tires run cool, trailer rides smooth.
I think if you are running 75+, you had better be looking at a different tire.
I plan to see how these tires hold up, then make a decision as to what type to use in the future.
Were ST tires even around in 1974?
I've used LT tires in the past on my utility trailers hauling heavier loads with good success. But again the 60/65 mph speed is the limit.
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Old 02-27-2012, 10:41 PM   #23
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[QUOTE=You do what you want but what I have seen is that keeping an eye on temperature helps me keep my tires properly inflated and catching problems early. Putting them at max sidewall PSI (or within a few psi) in the morning works very well for me.[/QUOTE]

This works for ST or LT tires, Rednax
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Old 02-28-2012, 12:03 AM   #24
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Has any one tried the valve-stem mounted TMPS systems such as the Tyredog (seems popular on eBay)? Rather than using a thermometer, an increase in pressure should give you some better feedback on temperature increase, no?

They are around $180, but I'm not sure they have the range to go from the trailer to the truck... anyone?
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Old 02-28-2012, 08:02 AM   #25
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Quote:
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This works for ST or LT tires, Rednax
Except for ST failure rate we wouldn't be here.
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Old 02-28-2012, 09:42 AM   #26
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re: "Find us a consensus on any RV board, bubba, about ST tires being acceptable." -- now it's beginning to sound like the climate alarmists :-) (and, as with the alarmists, the points raised - the data - is ignored and denigration of persons used instead of honest discussion)

Quote:
If tire pressure is verified cold, excess pressure should NOT be bled out after the tires heat up.
Good point. The rated PSI is always at ambient and the tires are designed to handle nominal variations due to heat and related factors. if tires get hot, add pressure (or slow down).

As for the desert heat and the sunny side - that can make a difference but not that much - 10F to 15F or so in my experience if the tires are properly inflated after road equilibrium is achieved.

re: "This works for ST or LT tires" -- that's the assumed context and does need qualification that it may not apply to MoHo tires the same way. I tend to put the established context in this thread as Airstream trailers with typical tow vehicles. ST and LT tires are the most common tires used in that context. Similarly, when I say "on the road" I mean travel at highway speed for an hour or more.

re: "Except for ST failure rate we wouldn't be here." -- the thing is that all you have by using forums (or perceived consensus) is a 'selected sample' and that is not good data for drawing valid conclusions of a general nature. The actual rate and the causes of failures are not well described in that sample. Several factors can be used to indicate the bias. For instance, an aggravated failure rate would show up in tire prices, warranties, and offerings - I don't see any anomalies there, do you? If there were aggravated failure rates, why do some folks seem to not have any similar trouble? Also take a careful look at manufacturer recommendations for tire maintenance and usage as that also provides clues about what they found regarding failures.

re: "Rather than using a thermometer, an increase in pressure should give you some better feedback on temperature increase, no?" -- you could use the ideal gas law for this and it'd probably be close enough. The idea has some interesting implications...

I think I'd rather keep to using an IR thermometer during walkarounds every break as a part of a routine rig inspection. That helps prevent DVT as well as providing for some early detection of potential problems. (it is difficult to remind myself to stop for a break every hour or two but I'm not a college kid anymore doing transcontinental nonstops - I'm trying to enjoy the road experience).

TPMS's are now required on many vehicles I think. -- More government nannyism to help keep people from driving with low air pressure and improve fuel efficiency to keep a constituency happy. They usually have an alarm at something like a 5% drop in pressure. Failing to keep tire pressure up is a common cause of tire failure (implicated in the consensus and ST failure perception, too)
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Old 02-28-2012, 11:21 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by REDNAX View Post

No one is happy with ST tires, deservedly so

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Quote:
Originally Posted by REDNAX View Post
Find us a consensus on any RV board, bubba, about ST tires being acceptable.

.
So there we have it. An opinion of tremendous weight.

It seems to me that there is another thread running about types and sizes of tires that originated on Woodalls where a few experts (tire engineers) stated just the opposite.

I own a Toyota and was pointed in this direction after reading lots and lots of stories about how Ford owners were having all sorts of problems with their trucks. After a little reflection I came to realize that, when compared to Toyota, there a so many more Fords on the highways it only goes to show that you would hear of more issues with Fords than Toyotas. It certainly does not mean that Toyotas are better than Fords. I suspect that the SL issue has its roots in the large number of trailers using them compared to those with LTs and how many owners don't really take care or pay much attention to their running gear.

Have there been ST failures? You bet, but I still believe that the vast majority of these are caused by overloading, under inflation and or poor quality of the tire itself.

P.S. I like my ST tires. So I suppose there is at least one of us out there who do.
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Old 10-03-2012, 08:31 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bryanl View Post
check the tire temperature with an IR thermometer when you stop for breaks. If the tires run hot (> 140F), they need air. If they run cool (< 120F) you might get away with reducing air pressure somewhat.

The question being why you are running tires rated for much larger loads than needed while, at the same time, trying to find best ride. These two issues don't complement each other but rather contradict.

65 psi is typical D load range max sidewall rated PSI, 45 is C load range. 80 is typical for E load range.
Bryan, may I ask where you got your specs? I'm not doubting them, but I can't find squat on the net, except for Hoosier race tires which run up to 220*.

I gotta believe ambient temps, road surface temps will make a definitive number difficult.

I started, last weekend, checking mine to find the correct pressure after moving to LT tires. It was 70* and sunny. measuring across the tread (range is across all four tires), I was at 116 - 119* on the edges and 115 - 117* in the centers. This is at 65psi. I measure in between the tread blocks to get the closest to the carcass as possible.

My gut tells me that these are cool readings and I could even lower the pressure a little for a better ride. BUT, the consistently cooler center tells me that I may be slightly underinflated.

OR....does a few degrees tell me anything significant at all? Can anyone point me to a source that is more than opinion? I don't discount any of your input....but I believe in the Ronald Regan approach, "Trust but verify".
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