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Old 05-16-2017, 07:02 AM   #29
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Where did the mantra "Tires rot from the inside." come from? It may be true, but it is counter-intuitive. Most of the factors that affect the life of a tire (UV light, ozone, etc.) are external to the tire. It is my understanding that certain chemicals that counter these factors are compounded with the rubber and that flexing the tires keeps those compounds moving toward the outside, where they are effective. That would account for the fact that we get greater longevity of tow vehicle tires, as our trailers are inactive for most of their "lives". It would follow that keeping the trailer indoors, away from UV and tire-ageing air pollutants could prolong the effective use of the tires.
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Old 05-16-2017, 07:14 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by Gneiss Guy View Post
Where did the mantra "Tires rot from the inside." come from? It may be true, but it is counter-intuitive. Most of the factors that affect the life of a tire (UV light, ozone, etc.) are external to the tire. It is my understanding that certain chemicals that counter these factors are compounded with the rubber and that flexing the tires keeps those compounds moving toward the outside, where they are effective. That would account for the fact that we get greater longevity of tow vehicle tires, as our trailers are inactive for most of their "lives". It would follow that keeping the trailer indoors, away from UV and tire-ageing air pollutants could prolong the effective use of the tires.
My understanding is that there seems to be an understanding or a known orthodoxy that despite external appearances, the inside could rot out and that tires that appear all fine and dandy on the outside, after that long are not on the inside?

I believe the only "proof of concept" is common anecdotal experience:

People have owned tires that appear fine that are "old yet all seems fine", and they experience unanticipated tread separation and such....several anecdotes to the point of it being a "common wisdom" best I can tell.

Beyond that, I have not seen a "more objective" verification of this...in my mind, after the death of such an "old yet otherwise in good shape and used properly" tire, an autopsy of that tire could show evidence of this "rotting from the inside"....I am not sure anyone has posted details about what that would look like (beside unexplained otherwise tread separation)?

Absence of such "more objective review", I am very very inclined to accept the common wisdom or orthodoxy on this matter until clearly proven otherwise as the cost of being wrong is potentially massive comparatively!!!!!!!!! Many many posts on this site have expressed huge regret about pushing past such "widely accepted advice"
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Old 05-16-2017, 11:13 AM   #31
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I'm thinking the deterioration of a tire is from the outside in...
What on the inside would rot the tire? Air? Moisture?
Maybe as a tire ages the entire thing is decaying/rotting/deteriorating all the way through and through at the same rate.
Rubber compounds and petroleum may dry over time? The moisture leaves them possibly? The flexibility/pliability leaves along with the moisture?
The same principle under which I am getting crepey skin and a double chin... Time, age, and gravity...
Tire dressing seems to help only slightly. The tire dressing continues to dry out or run off and has to be continually applied.
I think 7 years is a reasonable top end limit for replacing tires. 6, 5, or 4 years might even be better and safer.
There's a reason why there are new tires being manufactured at factories and sold at tire stores every day.
Other things may also affect it- less true rubber, more synthetic compounds- Who knows?
One thing I do know: Nothing lasts forever... Everything has to be replaced from time to time...
All I really did by getting LT tires vs. ST tires is increase my known 3 year life on ST tires to a known 7 year life on LT tires... Buying a little time... Buying a little peace of mind... Have had several tread separations on ST tires... Not a single tread separation on LT tires. Don't recall ever having a blowout on LT tires, either- have had blowouts on P-rated tires but not in the last 17 years...
All of this is still anecdotal and not scientific, but anecdotal- especially when based upon personal experience- works for me...
My truck 'n' trailer are worth more than the few bucks I might save by purchasing lesser quality tires. My life is certainly worth more than the few bucks I might save...
It actually costs less to buy one set of LT tires vs. 3 sets of ST tires in the long run. So money or finances isn't even an issue. Just the same way it costs less to buy 1 Airstream trailer vs. buying 3 sob trailers in a lifetime... Or it costs less to buy 1 John Deere mower than 3 Murray (or whatever box store brand) mowers...
And... We are all still free will agents. We can buy whatever truck, trailer, tires, batteries, converter/charger we choose based on how much money is in our hip pocket...
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Old 05-17-2017, 09:17 AM   #32
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The "rot from the inside" is more of a "it can be cracking on the inside where you can't see it" issue.

The rubber tends to dry out faster in tires when they're not used often enough to squish or move the polymers in the rubber compounds around in the tire body to keep the rubber pliable, then it cracks. Not too unlike when the vinyl seats or dashboards eventually "dry out" & shrink then crack.

Tire Rack has a good Tech section with some informative articles about this & other stuff.

And BTW for M.Hony - the ST Tire life is NOT 3 years, while LT is 5 years. Any P, LT, ST, Classic/Bias, etc. tire can age out with cracks far earlier than the tire mfgrs.' recommended life of 8 or 10 years (vary by mfgr. - read up on the subject at Tire Rack Tech), whereas the recommended change interval for STs tends to be 5 years due to their sitting unused on a trailer for much of every year, but many go far longer too.

The P & LT also can & will age out at 2-3 years too with little use to move the polymers (?term?) in the rubber around in the tires to keep them from cracking, as I posted above herein & before elsewhere on these forums. I know personally.

In fact, the ST tires are designed to be sitting more than on driven vehicles, so it is just possible that the LT may start cracking before STs if given a side-by-side long term test on 2 identical trailers driven occasionally, without changing over a long term of several years.

Safe Travels!
Tom
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Old 05-17-2017, 11:18 AM   #33
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I've never gotten over 3 years from an ST tire.
We use our trailer 25 times per year.
ST tires are not high mileage or long life tires by any stretch.
Rumor is that the Chinese made ST tires leave out some ingredient that P or LT tires have.
I'll never have another ST tire as long as I live.
Although still anecdotal and not scientific, personal experience tells me all I need to know.
I'll never convince you.
You'll never convince me.
Agree to disagree.
Move along.
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Old 05-17-2017, 11:19 AM   #34
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"rot from the inside"? I would never replace good, protected and cared for tires at 6 years on this advice.

I just replaced the 12 year old original tires (Continental) on our VW Jetta TDI, not entirely worn out tread, as nice as new sidewalls in and out, never lose air. The car is always garaged except when driving it.
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Old 05-18-2017, 06:51 AM   #35
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Some insight into the " tires rot from the inside":

It's the oxygen in the pressurized gas mixture that is the issue. That pressure is driving the oxygen through the tire.

So one would think that using a non-reactive gas, such as nitrogen, would eliminate the issue - EXCEPT - there is oxygen in the atmosphere and it would be driven INTO the tire according to the Law of Partial Pressure of Gases. (This has been demonstrated)

Also, the inside of the tire has a layer of rubber designed to contain the air - and it is usually a halobutyl type of rubber and they don't crack. What's important is the internal rubber - and you can't see that, nor judge its condition. The best you can do is look at the sidewall, and if the tire manufacturer uses the same type of rubber on the sidewall as it does internally (some don't!), then cracking on the outside is an indicator.

One might ask why don't tire manufacturers use types of rubber that don't deteriorate over time?

1) There aren't any.
2) The types of rubber that don't crack don't do well for endurance.
3) The ones that do well for endurance are subject to deterioration over time.

So the best strategy for a tire manufacturer is to use high endurance rubber, and add antioxidants (AO's) to the mix to slow down the deterioration. That's why exercising the tire results in better life. The AO's get used up at the surface, and exercising the tire allows unused AO's to migrate to the surface.
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Old 05-18-2017, 07:08 AM   #36
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For us weekend warriors that do 2-3 weeks per year max and 7-8 weekend trips - is there any good advice for exercising the tires?
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Old 05-18-2017, 07:16 AM   #37
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Go camping more often?
I think we use our trailer often enough that tire decay is not really an issue.
The only month I haven't camped is February.
If I was off Presidents Day like my wife we would camp in February...
Every weekend/every other weekend at the closest state park, corps of engineers campground, or forest service campground will exercise the tires.
You live fairly close to Smith Lake...
Maybe work schedule and kids in school prevents camping all the time?
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Old 05-18-2017, 07:25 AM   #38
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Yeah - my wife works every other weekend and on our free weekends other crap gets in the way - small children's b-day parties, other responsibilities, etc

I think in 2015 we used it enough to avoid this concern but in 2016 we had a death in the family and just wacky schedules and less leave from work and the AS sat for quite a bit relatively
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Old 05-18-2017, 10:23 AM   #39
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Life happening-
Weddings, funerals, graduations...
Sickness, health, medical...
Money- or lack thereof...
We would camp even more, but...
We are camping a little less this year than ever before to clear up some debt- hospital bills and a new car I still owe 34 payments/$18,000 on...
Maybe in a year or 2 or 3 we can get back at it like we used to do...
By then, I will have 1 more week of vacation along with no car note...
I can't wait...
Chompin' at the bit-
Rarin' to go-
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Old 05-18-2017, 04:21 PM   #40
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local tire shop says, "official line" is to replace after 6-7 yrs , but if tire sat in a warehouse with no sun exposure, that wouldn't necessarily apply ... implying it's more about time on the trailer exposed to the elements than an absolute from date of production.

Correct BUT
Some tire companies start the warranty clock on date of sale others on date code on tire.

If date of sale you would need tire bill of sale to establish

Whatever it needs to be in writing.
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Old 05-18-2017, 04:26 PM   #41
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it would interesting to see a thread dedicated to any incidents and see how in reality tires fail. Why, when, age, road conditions, speed, storage conditions etc etc.
We live in a highly litigious society with the most bizarre warning labels on everything "don't hold this iron to your face, it could result in a serious burn" type silliness. My curious mind wonders how much of a safety overkill "sell by" factor is built into the 6yr swap out recommendation.

In all my 35+ yrs of driving, never ever had a blow out or even a flat ... but you see someone every week on the roadside, so it happens! Better to be safe than sorry ...

Did you do a search on "fail"

Info you need is there.
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Old 05-18-2017, 04:37 PM   #42
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Folks. The area of concern fro tire age is at the belt edges. You cannot "Inspect this location without cutting the tire up. That was my job for decades.

UV is external and results in itself in a cosmetic condition.

Belt separations are a structural condition. As I have covered in my blog rubber ages in an accelerated manner with increased heat.

Car tires are normally only loaded to 50% to maybe 70% of their rated load. RVs tend to load their tires to 90% to 110% of their rated load capacity

Trailer application puts belt edge forces up to 24% higher than seen in tow vehicle tires which is a major reason for shorter life.

I simply can't re-post dozens of articles on tire life and special considerations for trailer application. Please spend a couple evening reading my blog to learn more about tires.
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