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Old 09-05-2015, 07:50 AM   #1
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1979 31' Sovereign
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Tire failure at 13 months

Had my first tire failure at about 55mph after being on the road for about 3 hours. My tires were installed just over a year ago and run at 60 psi (sidewall says max of 65psi). Fortunately a passing auto let me know otherwise I wouldn't have realized it until I slowed down, and no apparent damage to the trailer was done. Pics attached. Any tire experts able to tell what the cause might have been?

Also, when installing my spare I came to the conclusion that my manual pump is about worthless. I need to get one that runs on 12v, but I also like having manual pump [if it works and doesn't fall apart]. Any suggestions on a 12v and solid manual pump?

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Old 09-05-2015, 08:09 AM   #2
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KYAirstream

Here's a good option for a 12v air compressor:

Amazon.com: Q Industries MV50 SuperFlow High-Volume 12-Volt Air Compressor: Automotive

I won't comment on the tires, but I would certainly look at the date of manufacture when you bring them back to the dealer that put them on there.
Given the size of your rig, I would think you would be considering moving up to a
Michelin tire after this incident. You have better things to do than be stuck on the side of the road. I can't make out the brand of tire that was on there, but at least switch to another manufacturer if you are unable to move up to the Michelin's.
Failure after just one year, is un-acceptable for ANY tire.
Sea ya down the road,
Gavin
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Old 09-05-2015, 09:08 AM   #3
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Thanks for the 12v recommendation. Agreed on the LT tire and was planning to do so, but was hoping to wait until next year.

It's a Mastertrack load range D with max load of 2540lbs, so 10,160 lbs for all four and my trailer weighs a MAX of 7500lbs fully loaded with everything imaginable. This trip we were probably at about 7,000lbs. So I thought weight wise I'd be fine with these tires to hold me over until I got new rims and tires next year. For my next set I was planning on going with load range D as well, since there seems to be an adequate margin per the numbers?

Date stamp says 1314, so I assume that's the 13th week of 2014, so around March. I purchased them in July or August 2014.
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Old 09-05-2015, 10:08 AM   #4
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Yup

Load range D is certainly acceptable given your weight ratings. I have no previous dealings with MasterTrack. Never heard of them, to be honest. If you wanted to hold off on getting the Michelins, may I suggest a set of Maxxis tires to get you thru the end of this season at least. They are not that expensive, and are a pretty well made tire. I have had very good luck with this brand as a trailer tire. They also make a light truck series. They sure beat the heck out of a Goodyear Marathon, I can promise you that.

As to the 12v compressor, I purchased that same unit, and it's no speed demon in getting your tires inflated. For the roughly 60 dollar price tag, it works well, and stores easily in it's own bag. Sure helped me out several times on our trip out W this past May.

Good luck in your decision, and I'm sorry your trip was inconvenienced. I certainly would have stopped to help you out.
Sea ya down the road,
Gavin
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Old 09-05-2015, 10:23 AM   #5
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What is the date code on the tire?


Regards,

JD
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Old 09-05-2015, 11:12 AM   #6
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See post 3
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Old 09-05-2015, 11:59 AM   #7
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I've had a lot of luck with a ViAir 90P portable compressor. Regarding tires, I used to under inflate my tires until I had a failure. Was told then that best thing to do it to run them at recommended max pressure - in my case 80lbs. They will run cooler and then are less prone to heat build up and failure. I also started using a tire pressure monitoring system. At $260.00 it is well worth it.
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Old 09-05-2015, 12:00 PM   #8
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We have a couple of tire engineers here on the forums that I hope will comment. I sent them a heads up on this post and hope they will have time to comment.

First thing you likely will hear from both is to run full cold inflation pressure as indicated on the side wall.

Not sure that photos of a tire that was run flat for a distance will help. It is likely that the extensive damage you see occured after it lost air and likely is not indicative how it failed initially but I am no expert. Do you have any other photos the you could share?

From your post, I infer that you do not use a TPMS. What had been your maximum towing speed with these tires? Was this tire on the front or rear axle. Did the tread wear show excessive wear or failure? Was the tire punctured causing loss of air?

Hope our experts can chime in.
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Old 09-05-2015, 12:18 PM   #9
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Vi Air through
Amazon, around $100. Very quick, can use for higher pressures on the larger tires. My former Rv called for 80#, takes forever with the smaller compressors. Tire failure looks like tread separation, prob. Factory defect. Get St rated tires, not Lt. Lt is for light trucks, ride rougher. St is trailer rated, more sidewall flex and smoother ride. I have found Discount Tire to be the best all around retailer, nationwide, been Rving since 1973.
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Old 09-05-2015, 12:23 PM   #10
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Alphonse makes a good point re: TPMS. Saves a lot of worry, worth the money. While I have always inflated to sidewall max., I am changing to factory recommendations on TV and Rv for better ride quality. 1 ton dually 4x4 is rough enough as it is.
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Old 09-05-2015, 12:26 PM   #11
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Here's another 2 cents. Not being familiar with your brand of tire I can't comment on it but a failure for no obvious reason is very odd. You didn't say what type of tire it is. I have been towing a 26' A/S for 27 years and I don't recommend anything less than an ST type tire, whoever the manufacturer is. I personally have run Goodyear Marathon ST's for 14 years now with no problems whatsoever. My fellow club members who run Maxxis have had similar experience. Both are available in load range D. The reason you want to run ST's is that when turning a tandem axle sharply, esp. when backing, large side wall stress occurs. ST's are designed to resist damage from those normal stresses. Last I heard, Michelin does not make an ST.
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Old 09-05-2015, 12:42 PM   #12
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Were the rims from the time of trailer origin? They look in the photo like they have been around for awhile. Check to make sure you don't have a rim split. Had this happen long ago. Leak in the rim, tire goes done and pop! TPS systems are well worth the money I was convinced until recently that tire "blowouts" were mainly caused by running at too low a pressure. Recently I had a truck tire that was three years old (Goodyear- little tread wear and on the passenger side rear) blow out and the consensius of three different "tire experts" was that it shouldn't have happened BUT it was probably over pressured. On the other hand, I had a "tire expert" tell me Goodyear Marathons were a perfectly good tire. Go figure. On my truck tire, nobody could find any evidence of a puncture. (max pressure on the tire was listed as 80 and it was probably running at 87 ish.) Day was one of those 102F days and we were coming out of the New Mexico Mountains onto the west Texas flat land at about 65mph. By the way, the Good Sam guy that rescued us (3/4 ton truck tires are a bitch to change with the trailer connected using the provided toy jack) Checked all the tires, told us they were all too high and said the cold inflation should be about 6 lb. give or take under the max pressure rating. That normally results in the tire ending up running just at the max recommended inflation. Up to now, I've run the trailer tires at the max pressure given on the tire as the cold inflation pressure. Sort of causes a whole series of questions when you start out when it's in the 30's and you end up driving back when it's in the 90's.

I changed the trailer tires to Michelin's and went to 16 in rims a year or so ago. Truck tires will be changed over to Michelins before the late fall travel season. By the way, I have run Maxxis on two different trailers for several years with good luck. Just feel better with the Michelins
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Old 09-05-2015, 01:45 PM   #13
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Looks as if it went flat from a nail or something and was simply destroyed from being run flat . Been there , Done that .
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Old 09-05-2015, 02:02 PM   #14
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Run Low Flex failure

While many of the comments offer interesting observations and ask reasonable questions it is my considered opinion that what you have is a classic example of a "Run Low Flex Failure"
In your case you stopped just before the tire turned into either a two piece or three piece flex failure.
The key evidence is the nice circumferential nature of the damage. If you carefully feel along the edge of the break you will fins that some of the cords are hard and some appear to have simply vanished from the rubber in the sidewall leaving empty holes.
This is what happens to polyester when it gets near its melting point 350F+

I have a number of posts on my blog RVTireSafety showing examples of tires with different degrees of this failure. One was captured from a video made by an AS owner.

At highway speed you can have this type of failure in less than 10 miles depending on the inflation in the tire.

You can loose air for a variety of reasons from the obvious cut or puncture or a leak of the valve core or a failure of the valve to completely seal in the hole of the wheel.

To often people don't change valves when they get new tires. or use a standard passenger tire valve that is only rated for a max of 65 psi when new. I note your valve is missing. Also remember that the rubber in the valve can "age-out" just as the rubber in the tire does.

To avoid this from occurring in the future I suggest that you use bolt in metal valves and get a TPMS that would warn you of a loss in air pressure. While nothing is 100% a TPMS on a metal valve stem is your best defense
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