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Old 03-20-2007, 10:09 PM   #15
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Wow – lots of solidarity here - and fast.

As this thread was running I was searching through the websites of tire manufacturers and large tire dealers to see what they might say on the subject. They pretty much all referenced age as an important factor (from a list of important factors) but were fuzzy on specifics – several provided information on determining the manufacturing date from the tire code that had also been mentioned here in this thread. Michelin was the only one I could find that actually came out and clearly referenced some numbers. Their suggestion was monthly checks after 5 years and replacement after 10 regardless of remaining tire tread. The Michelin guide is located at:

http://www.michelinrvtires.com/michelinrvtires/pdf/RVTireGuide.pdf.

There were a number of other general RV websites that did reference the wisdom of the 5-year “rule”.

The advice here has been good. Clearly there is no question about age being an important factor (out of curiosity I will be check the date code) but the reduced safety margin of the Bambi’s single axle and the challenges of a short wheel-base vehicle win the day for replacing the tires consistent with “the rule”.

I’ll be printing the thread and taking it in to the service centre (Recreation World in Thunder Bay, Ontario). The discussion here doesn’t diminish my faith in them – I’ve never had any reason to complain and they have always gone the extra mile in providing us with good service – and earning our loyalty. I know we will have an entertaining conversation.

On a bit of a side note I read with some interest the recent posts on this forum regarding tire brand – and will be sticking with Goodyear Marathons.

Thanks again to all of you for the advice – this forum has been a significant influence on more than a few of our decisions since buying this Airstream.



Jay
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Old 03-20-2007, 10:14 PM   #16
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odds

Our 8 tired SOB rv had 1/2 dozen blowouts, all on the tag axle except one on the RF. The tag catches almost all of the road debris from the drive axle, gets a hole poked, deflates and explodes. New or old, them's the facts. Ya' never saw it coming (a pressure monitor would have fixed this...). The single other flat was a RF made by BFG (Ben Franklin G?) and popped in a parking lot after a hard turn.

Based on this, the second axle is going to go when ever it catches a nail. An old, cracked, gray sidewalled one is gonna go when IT wants. Use some common sense, keep them inflated, if they look less than new- They Are!
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Old 03-20-2007, 10:31 PM   #17
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No rule of thumb, just opinion.

Hi, I think five years is plenty of time regardless of miles. Actually the tires will be better off being used than sitting. Unfortuneatly, because I still work for a living, my trailer does more sittting than moveing. It has been rumored that the tire manufacturers want to put an expiration date on tires due to the fact that tires can go bad with time as well with mileage. Think of it as with your car's warranty: Three years or thirty six thousand miles. [WHICH EVER COMES FIRST] Maybe tires will need to be replaced at Five years or 2/32". [WHICH EVER COMES FIRST]
Don't take this wrong, but when a customer asks me about tires, I tell them "At 100 MPH that's the only thing between your vehicle and the street". Most of my customers say they don't drive that fast, but understand my point.
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Old 03-20-2007, 10:42 PM   #18
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I don't want anyone to get me wrong concerning my previous post about my Marathons. I would think that 4 year replacement is fine if it makes you feel comfortable but I would feel safe with changing every 5 or so years. I just wanted to state the fact that two of those tires were from 1999. It makes you wonder if the one in 2001 and 2003 replaced an entire set put on sometime in 1999?

I experienced a sidewall/edge of tread blowout with a Carlisle load range D tire on a previously owned '77 Excella 500 31'. All 4 tires were purchased at the same time and were maybe 1 1/2 years old when that occured. No nails or screws were found in the tire to cause a slow leak and eventual failure due to excess heat or flexing of the steel belts. Tire pressures were kept to 62 psi. It just goes to show you that sometimes you experience a tire failure due to unknown reasons even when you have checked tire pressure.
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Old 03-20-2007, 10:59 PM   #19
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hi craig

being aware of tire age is the key issue.

i've never followed an absolute time...

it's progressive, obviously tires age at variable rates...

and past 3 years need more frequent inspections...

travel can be less worrisome and unexpected tire purchases reduced by reqular replacement.

not unlike a lubricant change schedule for the truck...

my concern is that at least one of your times is close to the recall date...

have you checked them for recall?

as bob notes 'time or miles' is already here...

my understanding is the new marathons are in fact warranted for time...

cheers
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Old 03-21-2007, 09:03 AM   #20
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Easy safety

one more thing....

Many of the folks on this thread and forum write about safety inspections. My technicians all carry an infra red temperature sensor both at work and personally. They use it to measure tire temperature, bearing termperature and brake drum termperature among other things. On a recent run to pick up a coach with a friend, we stopped after about 100 miles. One tire was running about 15 degrees hotter than the other three. It was the trailing tire on the street side. Upon checking the tire pressure it was eight pounds lower than the others. Airing it up to the same pressure as the other tires made it run at the same temperature. My techs diagnosed a bad bearing in a trailer they were hauling by "inspecting" them with the termpeature sensor.
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Old 03-21-2007, 09:19 AM   #21
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"Personal" tire protection - don't leave home without it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by flitzwhopper
one more thing....

Many of the folks on this thread and forum write about safety inspections. My technicians all carry an infra red temperature sensor both at work and personally.....
A shot of a "Quick Draw" Laser Temp Mount in my 345 MoHo...


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Old 03-21-2007, 10:36 AM   #22
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One thing we've not talked about and that's the life of the spare. My spare is mounted on a steel wheel and is carried behind the A frame under the trailer. It's never been on the ground, never been exposed to sunlight. Any thoughts on it's reliability after 5 years? This will be my 4th season traveling on my current tires which were manufactured in 2003. My plan was to replace them, spring 2008.

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Old 03-21-2007, 11:14 AM   #23
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how to handle the spare?

what to do with the spare is a unique issue.

a tire that has never been load bearing on the road or parked...

seems this is case by case, weighing time, exposure, inspection and...

how much it will carry when needed....

since i replaced all 6 rolling tires at less than 2 years...

i'm still carrying the original spare and will up to 5 years,

or with the next half dozen replacements.

IF the spare is needed much beforehand, that could change.

in your case with a 30/slide and high load on each tire, i'd be conservative.

clearly an unused tire, properly inflated and protected somewhat from environmental issues,

lasts longer than one on an axle, in the sun, parked and under inflated....

still it seems older tires age quickly once they are in service.

so my approach would be to drop the spare out, inspect it and inflate it...

any signs of decay would suggest replacement, when the others go...

folks who tow only to the nearby state park at slower speeds without traffic in lighter units, might extend the interval.

the new marathons are advertised as having more resistance to uv/ozone and do look more robust...

cheers
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Old 03-21-2007, 07:42 PM   #24
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My Opinion

Hi, my opinion on spare tires, and what I do, is to use it only to replace the flat or damaged tire long enough to get the bad one fixed; And I don't mean months or thousands of miles later. I mean ASAP. I sort-of treat old spare tires like I would the throw-away spares that most cars come with now.
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Old 03-21-2007, 08:02 PM   #25
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Ten Year Tires

A couple of years ago when I aquired my AS the tires looked fine. As they were on there close to ten years. I thought it would be best to replace them. I did not even know the 5 year rule then.

I took the wheels to a dealer to have new tires mounted and balanced. Needless to say I go the "we usually don't balance trailer tires" from the guy at the desk. I did offer to pay for balancing but he said if I realy wanted them balance they would do it...the guy doing the work said it always a good idea.

Anyway....getting back to my original story; when the fellow put the first tire up to break the bead, the tire split right through the side wall and about two thirds the way to the tread. Another one cracked at the bead and into the sidewall maybe an inch or so. The other two popped off like normal tires. To this day I am thankfull that followed my common sense and instincts and did not try to move that trailer before putting new rubber on.

My trailer is kept indoors unless it is in use, which is not often enough and will be seldom this year. I anticipate replacment of tires in 4 years. After seeing a side wall rip like a piece of cardboard all I could think about was a double blow out (probably on the same side!) and/or worse! I recently aquired a spare, I will have to check the age on it, but most likely it will need to be replaced...my thanks to all in this thread for reminding me about it by sending something in....Thanks to all!
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Old 03-21-2007, 08:23 PM   #26
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Amen to this

Quote:
Originally Posted by 87MH

One of the other overlooked items about tires (besides keeping the proper inflation) is the stem....

My opinion is that anything run over 50 lbs requires a screw type stem and not the rubber insert type....
I recently purchased new tires and replaced the AS rims with some aluminum trailer rims. When doing this the guys at Discount Tires urged me to use the steel/aluminum stems since these tires run at a higher pressure. I believe the magic number is anything above 50PSI should have a metal stem versus a rubber stem.

2,000 miles and counting (within the past 12 months). While we're on this subject...don't forget to have your wheel bearing repacked every year.
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Old 03-21-2007, 11:53 PM   #27
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On my 1984 3/4 ton Surb I had a blowout in 1995! It was my spare tire mounted inside the unit!!! The tire guy said he had heard of that a number of times...Nuf said.
John
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Old 03-22-2007, 10:58 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBERTSUNRUS
Hi, my opinion on spare tires, and what I do, is to use it only to replace the flat or damaged tire long enough to get the bad one fixed; And I don't mean months or thousands of miles later. I mean ASAP. I sort-of treat old spare tires like I would the throw-away spares that most cars come with now.
And that's how I would treat the spare also. The other thing is that the Airstream supplied spare tire is not mounted on the pretty aluminum wheel so my vanity would of course, limit the amount of time the ugly steel wheel would be on the ground.

Jack
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