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Old 11-20-2011, 06:20 PM   #1
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Spare Tire - Life Expectancy

Our spare tire has never been used. But I'm concerned about whether it should be replaced at frequent intervals just like all of the tires should be replaced at frequent intervals. Because it has never been used the tread looks good ... but knowing that these things can experience dry rot and be rendered useless ... I'm wondering if I should have purchased a new spare a few months ago when I purchased 4 new tires? About to head out on a long trip and the last thing I want is to be limping along in west Texas. Thanks in advance for the advice.
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Old 11-20-2011, 06:37 PM   #2
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Our spare is on a steel wheel and does not match the aluminum ones on the trailer.
Our spare is used to get to the next tire store. With that kind of use, I would not replace the spare particularly since it is under the trailer and protected from the sun.
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Old 11-20-2011, 06:40 PM   #3
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If you notice the spare loking kind of rough, or if you just want to add replacing the spare into the maintenance cycle, you can replace it with the best tire off the trailer when you replace the ones the trailer is rolling on. At least then you will know you have a tire that's within a certain date range.
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Old 11-20-2011, 07:12 PM   #4
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When we had a blowout recently and had to use the spare for the 2nd time, I realized it was the original spare ... which meant it had been with the trailer since birth. We have an '06...so it was at least 5 years old if not older. When we got home from that trip I decided to inspect the spare and found a few suspect places on it so we went ahead and replaced it so that we now have new tires of the same age. For me the peace of mind was worth the cost. If these tires last long enough to be replaced due to age I will inspect the spare again and decide then whether to replace the spare too. In our climate a tire's tread wear is not the only issue to consider...we've had to replace tires on cars here before the tread was worn to a point of replacement...
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Old 11-20-2011, 07:25 PM   #5
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The tire manufacturers say the tire life is six years. Six years after the date code on the tire they claim no liability. I have looked up all the major brands I can think of & they all take that position. Thusly at the fire department I work at we replace all tires at that time regardless of tread wear. Adios, John
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Old 11-20-2011, 07:29 PM   #6
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because flats are so rare you have to use common sense. on my trailer, the spare was so old that the guy who owns the tire store couldn't tell me how old it was because it pre-dated the system they use to tell what year it was made. he didn't remember how long they have been using the system, but it has been a very long time. it was an unused michelin, and once it was a very good tire. but it was time for it to go. it was so hard they had a time removing it from the rim. wasn't something i would trust. if you are worried, get a new one. you can buy a pretty good used tire that size for about 20 bucks around here if you aren't getting new ones to keep the best old one for a spare.
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Old 11-20-2011, 07:31 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diesel1
The tire manufacturers say the tire life is six years. Six years after the date code on the tire they claim no liability. I have looked up all the major brands I can think of & they all take that position. Thusly at the fire department I work at we replace all tires at that time regardless of tread wear. Adios, John
I don't disagree, except....no one can limit their liability. It's "cradle to grave" for every manufacturer...of anything. Legally, at least.
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Old 11-20-2011, 09:09 PM   #8
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When I replace a set of tires, and I always replace them in sets, I take the best one of the old set, and keep it as the spare, then discard the old spare. That way my spare is never too awfully old, and hopefully good enough to get me to the next town/tire shop.

That's my plan, but honestly, and knock on wood, I've never had to change a trailer tire on the side of the road, with the exception of one boat trailer tire.
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Old 11-21-2011, 12:56 PM   #9
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I don't think it's financially prudent to replace a spare every six years.

Like others, when it's time to replace tires, I tend to have the best of the old tires mounted as a spare. When I've had vehicles with five identical tires I've included the spare in the rotation, but at present my Airstream and both TVs have aluminum rims for the tires in actual use and a steel rim for the spare.
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Old 11-21-2011, 01:04 PM   #10
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We changed all our tires last year when they hit five years old - I felt it worth the extra to do the same with the spare and did so strictly based on age, as the spare had not been used.

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Old 11-21-2011, 07:42 PM   #11
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When we removed the 4 existing tires (to mount the 4 new tires), 3 of the 4 were experiencing tread separation. In fact they were so bad I was surprised we had completed a 2 hour drive (from where we were camping to the Discount Tire) with no blowout. All of the 4 tires were the originals on the Airstream so they were approximately 4 years old. I was concerned that the 4th tire probably had issues that could not be seen so they all went in the trash. I'm thinking I better go purchase a new spare. Thanks all for the input and advice.
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Old 11-21-2011, 07:45 PM   #12
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Wow! Good move! You will travel with easier minds now... I know we do...
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Old 11-21-2011, 07:52 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank&Mike View Post
When we removed the 4 existing tires (to mount the 4 new tires), 3 of the 4 were experiencing tread separation. In fact they were so bad I was surprised we had completed a 2 hour drive (from where we were camping to the Discount Tire) with no blowout. All of the 4 tires were the originals on the Airstream so they were approximately 4 years old. I was concerned that the 4th tire probably had issues that could not be seen so they all went in the trash. I'm thinking I better go purchase a new spare. Thanks all for the input and advice.
Glad you got them changed without having one come apart on the road. However, this is not an untypical story, and can we assume they were Goodyear Marathon tires?
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Old 11-21-2011, 08:00 PM   #14
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I buy them in sets of five. Period.
It's worth the $150.00 ($50.00 per year, which is $1.00 per week.).
I ain't Rockefeller, but if I need a spare, I need a spare, and I don't carry a "spare" spare, so it'd better do the job when I really need it!
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