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Old 02-15-2011, 06:18 PM   #1
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Tire Life

The oft-quoted workable life span estimate of 5 to 6 years for trailer tires, disregarding wear, is, without doubt, based on a wealth of experience. My question, at a time when all of us are trying to stretch the almighty budget, is whether or not the geographical location of tires affects their life??? The basis for this query is the fact that one of the best known preservatives for virtually anything is cold or freezing temperatures. i.e. - my Airstream stays in Maine year-around, and for the better part of four months the tires are in a virtual deep freeze. Further, I'm a former Florida native and, as such, I'm as familiar as most with the deteriorating effects of high temperatures. That said, is it reasonable to assume that, if the life expectancy for Southern tires is no more than 5 years, the 6-year life
(---the "upper" end of the estimate) should be applicable to tires in the far northern latitudes? My shameful excuse for addressing this issue is that my tires passed the 5-year mark this past September and I'm contemplating another summer season's use before I replace them.
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Old 02-15-2011, 06:26 PM   #2
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I'd go with what the truckers do.. get one of those nightstick things and bang on the tires and see what they sound like.
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Old 02-15-2011, 06:29 PM   #3
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cold=less air pressure...

less air pressure=side wall deformation, cracking, tread and belt issues, all bad things.

based on your known history of UNDER inflation, adding cold only makes this more worser.

IF the tires were OFF the stream, warped in breathable acid free paper and stored in a temperature/humidity/uv controlled enviro'...

sure they can last longer, i've got car tires that are 20+ years old and still good...

but they aren't on rims, ON the car or outside, and would only be used for parade driving.

can u get 6 years or 7 or more, sure there are 1000s of gyms past age 10 still in use...

check out some of the boat or rv storage lots and used trailer lots.

really depends a bit on how often and far and fast u plan to tow...

but using cold weather to construct ideal conditions is blissfully frigid wishful thinkin'

sink the stream in 100 ft of clean mountain lake water...

those tires will still be good in 50 years

Tire Tech Information - Storing Tires

http://www.yokohamatire.com/pdf/tsb-112102.pdf

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cheers
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Old 02-15-2011, 06:31 PM   #4
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I do not think it is normal temperatures that deteriorate and dry rot tires. It is ultra violate light and ozone exposure that gives tires a limited shelf life. So, if you protect them they last longer.
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Old 02-15-2011, 06:37 PM   #5
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Here is a good article that explains it. Tire sidewall deterioration -- a tire's silent killer
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Old 02-15-2011, 07:07 PM   #6
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Lets take inflation out of the scenario. I personally maintain the correct pressure in my tires throughout the winter. The article A. W. Warn listed in Post #5 actually says that the best way to store tires would be off the vehicle in a cool, dark environment. Since my tires are protected from the sun I'm close to that environment - although they still bear the weight of the trailer. That tends to reinforce my thinking that the lower temperatures up North might extend tire life.
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Old 02-15-2011, 07:08 PM   #7
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One way to tell for sure. Work them over with a billy club.
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Old 02-15-2011, 08:15 PM   #8
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Ok i give....

What kind of sound are we looking for with the billy club?
ie can someone record good or - especially bad - sounds?

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Old 02-15-2011, 08:23 PM   #9
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When your changing a tire beside the road, the new ones you could have got dont seem so expensive!
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Old 02-15-2011, 08:41 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sav'h Steve View Post
What kind of sound are we looking for with the billy club?
ie can someone record good or - especially bad - sounds?

TIA
Steve
I wasn't exactly sure, but this is from Jim the Trucker:

It is a quick and easy but lazy way to check tire pressure. If there is air in the tire the bat or stick or club will bounce easily and if the tire is flat (no air) it will not bounce much and will give a sound like a thud when it is smacked.
Since the duel tires ride side by side, one tire can be flat and still on the wheel or rim and will not appear flat since the tire right next to it will hold it off the ground.
The tires need to be at 90 PSI to be safe and to get the maximum miles per gallon but there are smaller newer tires that hold up to 150 PSI and are even more susceptable to low tire pressure and will fall apart faster and look low or flat when low on air.
The most common casue for tire failure on any vehicle is low tire pressure. The heat builds as the steel belt and polyester cords rub against each other and the rubber falls apart and tire failure will occur faster the lower the pressure is from the maximum or recommended pressure for any particular tire.
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Old 02-15-2011, 08:58 PM   #11
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thanks Daniel..

I did know about the difference in sound with low air pressure (thud), I guess the implication was one could tell a aging 'going bad' tire with 70lb pressure may sound different than the thud like sound of a low pressure tire.

Maybe I was reading more into it than it was....

Steve
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Old 02-15-2011, 09:08 PM   #12
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My dad was a truck driver for more than 50 years. I remember when I was a kid, he had a steel tool with which he banged on the tires as a quick check for inflation. A hollow ringing sound for pressurized. A dull thud for a flat.

My opinion is if the rubber is not checked on the sidewalls, the tires have no visible cuts lumps or bumps, and the tread is good, then age of the tire is not an issue. I've been towing for more than 40 years without a flat on a trailer, and only a few on my TV.
(OK, now that I wrote this I know I'll have a flat tomorrow. My TT needs new shoes)
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Old 02-15-2011, 09:21 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Sav'h Steve View Post
I did know about the difference in sound with low air pressure (thud), I guess the implication was one could tell a aging 'going bad' tire with 70lb pressure may sound different than the thud like sound of a low pressure tire.

Maybe I was reading more into it than it was....

Steve
I just had this picture in my head of some old dude out wailing on his trailer tires with a billy club.
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Old 02-16-2011, 07:01 AM   #14
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A tire thumper is a small billy club, wood, plastic or metal. A multi-purpose tool. The dual tire arrangement on big trucks -- and the very high tire sidewall stiffness -- make spotting leaking or flat tires a problem. The tire thumper produces one sound on a tire with decent air pressure and another sound with next-to-none or flat.

It isn't a substitute for a pressure gauge, but a fast way to check tires when, say, at a rest area. (It's nothing for a truck driver to "check" tires 5-6 times per day).
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