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Old 05-18-2017, 04:58 PM   #43
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Date code on tire is a better start point.
The tires might have aged 1, 2, or 3 years in a warehouse.
Original tires on my truck lasted 7 years.
Second set was date coded 2011 when I bought them in 2014. The tires are 6 years old and are starting to dry rot/crack on the sidewalls.
As far as I can tell tires seem to age about the same whether they are in service on a vehicle or in a warehouse.
The rubber compounds seem to deteriorate at about the same rate regardless whether they sit continuously or roll continuously.
I'm due for tires again this year or next year at the latest- possibly this year before the Texas trip for peace of mind.
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Old 05-19-2017, 10:14 AM   #44
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Originally Posted by PharmGeek View Post
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"

I did "tire autopsies" for decades before retiring. I have even posted pictures on my blog. Best advise I can give is to read the thread on "why tires fail" in this forum. Review the information on my blog. Listen to the only two (to my knowledge) actual tire engineers on RV forums myself and CapriRacer.

"Dry Rot" is a misnomer. Rubber is a long chain polymer. The chemistry is such that the polymeric chain break down over time. The rate the chains break is related to heat and other energy (UV) input. Nothing is actually "drying out" or "rotting".
Sidewall cracking (dry rot) is just a symptom that suggests the internal rubber compounds have probably lost some of their elasticity which increases the potential for cracking which may lead to separation.

There is no single answer to why some people have longer tire life than others except for the fact that some operate their tires at higher temperatures (Load, Speed & inflation plus ambient temperature) than other people.

Any tire can fail with a Low Inflation sidewall flex failure or "Blowout". Radial tires in trailer application are exposed to significantly higher shear forces due to suspension design that the tires on the tow vehicle - See my post on Interply Shear.

While operating a tire can help the AO's migrate to the surface. Simply driving the tire is not IMO an efficient or effective thing to do, especially when we consider that cleaning of the tire sidewall which will remove the AO's can result in more harm that any driving around can prevent.

How many of you have bothered to make to load & inflation adjustments necessary for driving your ST type tires any faster than 65mph?
Do you even know the actual loads on your trailer tires?
How many do an annual "free spin" inspection of your trailer tires?
How many are running TPMS so you get warned when you drop down to the minimum inflation needed to support the measures tire load?
If you feel that checking your pressure with a hand gauge, do you make that check every 10 to 15 minutes of operation? If you have a tire leaking air you can destroy it in just a few miles so the fact you checked the air 4 hours prior to the failure is of no importance.

Sorry for the rant but the FACTS are out there. It just takes a little effort to drastically reduce the potential for premature tire failure. There is no magic snake oil spray that will make your tires last 20 years. There are steps that you can take to get 5+ years life in trailer application and 7+ in motorhome and tow vehicle application.
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Old 05-19-2017, 12:06 PM   #45
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thoughts advice on these tires... ? thx

The annual free spin you mention has caused me to notice tread separations before the tires come apart and destroy the side of the trailer and wheel well and underbelly.
You can see the bulges or lumps or distended or rounded over pooched up tread.
Tread should normally be somewhat level or flat, not rounded like a bike tire.
I have also noticed bad tires as I am walking along the side of the trailer from the truck to hook up water and electric.
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Old 05-19-2017, 11:16 PM   #46
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I have the TST 507 external sensor TPMS system on my AS. Works well and cheap insurance...
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Old 05-21-2017, 09:57 AM   #47
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Originally Posted by m.hony View Post
The annual free spin you mention has caused me to notice tread separations before the tires come apart and destroy the side of the trailer and wheel well and underbelly.
You can see the bulges or lumps or distended or rounded over pooched up tread.
Tread should normally be somewhat level or flat, not rounded like a bike tire.
I have also noticed bad tires as I am walking along the side of the trailer from the truck to hook up water and electric.

That's why I strongly recommend "Free Spin" inspection for all tire inspections as too many simply do a walk around and look at tread depth.
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Old 05-21-2017, 09:58 AM   #48
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Tire condition and tread should be looked though, every time you walk by the tires.
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Old 05-22-2017, 06:25 AM   #49
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Personally, I did a complete inspection of the tires before every major tow. Inflation pressure, lug nut torque, and rubbed my gloved hand over the entire circumference to check for bulges. It was part of my checklist.
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Old 05-22-2017, 10:30 AM   #50
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Originally Posted by Tireman9 View Post
That's why I strongly recommend "Free Spin" inspection for all tire inspections as too many simply do a walk around and look at tread depth.
thanks for that advice, I'll do that next weekend and look for any abnormalities etc .. I drove to Pismo on the same tires, stopped a couple times each way to look over .. (now I'm paranoid ..!) everything seemed good ... a plastic box trailer hauled past me , probably going about 70 ... I passed him later on with a blow out yikes ... also passed an awful motorbike accident on the steep grade out of Pismo, anyone else see that ? It was an "older" female on the ground .. horrible to see. Also saw a load of Airstreams, too many to count, going in both directions.
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Old 05-22-2017, 03:18 PM   #51
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this is not a trailer tire story, but a e-250 extended van with truck mounted carpet cleaning equipment story..

the van a 2000 model with now some 89K miles had 2 of the original tires on them until june of 2015. they were on the back axle and when coming home one day one tire blew. Now this is a 15 yr old tire with dot date of 3499.. there was not a lot of cracking on sidewalls and the tread was about 1/4 left.

we were planning to replace them in the next couple weeks. the weight of all the stuff in van was close to 950 lbs and with water in tanks 1100.. on a van with a gross weight of 8600. we had been running the truck for a couple years like this..
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Old 05-23-2017, 04:39 PM   #52
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Ya got your money's worth out of those tires!!!

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