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Old 06-23-2009, 01:49 AM   #1
1 Rivet Member
1975 31' Sovereign
Las Vegas , Nevada
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 7
Question Tires heating up on 75 sovereign ?

Hello All,
I just towed my new-to-me 75 sovereign from az to nv. We stopped every hour or so to check things and found that both of the two front tires on the trailer heated up quite a bit- too hot to touch. The back two were cool to the touch. The electric brakes were non functional and the trailer was empty, no appliances. Also the tires were properly inflated and the bearings and all wheels were cool to the touch even after that many miles in the nv heat.

Has anyone seen this problem before?
Many thanks to all in advance

///airstreams, all the fun of sports cars with less posturing and more partying

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Old 06-23-2009, 04:21 AM   #2
The handy accountant
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1976 27' Overlander
Scarborough , Ontario
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 165
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Is it possible your trailer is putting too much weight on the front two tires, and isn't balanced front to back? I think that would indicate a hitch height that is too low.

Kevin and Leah
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Old 06-23-2009, 06:45 AM   #3
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2004 25' Safari
. , Illinois
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 10,326
Could be any number of things.... hubs way out of balance, wheel bearings are shot-- need replacement or have to be repacked, tires are out of round, etc.

If it is new to you did the previous owner do any of the required maint or tell you what they did or did not do?
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Old 06-23-2009, 07:16 AM   #4
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1984 31' Excella
Norfolk , Virginia
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 666
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Hot tires

The causes have been listed.
You will just have to go through and check everything.
Here they are again.
1. First check the trailer when connected to make sure its close to level.
as stated before if the hitch is too low it will load the front axle. You will have to make adjustments to the ball mount/weight distribution bars to correct this.
2. If the tread area is still flat on the tire (except where it is on the ground of course) put on a glove and with your finger tips at one sholder of the tire and the heel of your hand at the other sholder, rub your hand around the tire on the tread. If you snag on something investigate the snag. If not remove the glove and rub your hand around the tire again in both directions. Is the tread smooth in one direction and "grabby" on your hand in the other direction. If so you have an alignment problem. If it the same in both directions you are good. If the tread area is lumpy the belts have slipped and the tire is dieing rapidly. Replace it.
2. Just because you didn.t have functional brakes dosent mean that they were not dragging. Check that. You can check the prices but it is cheaper to replace the backing plate assembly than it is to piecemeal replace parts (except springs only). While you have the brake drums off, balance them, the manufacturer dosen't.
3. Remove both bearing cages from each brake drum (inner and outer), clean and inspect carefully for discolorations or pits on the rollers and races (both races for each bearing). Discolorations (dark spots) are either rust or annealed spots and the bearing should be replaced or just replace them all and don'other with cleaning.
4. Have the tires balanced and if you like install the Centramatics or balancing sand or beads etc. This will not hurt. Balancing the tire takes care of the out of balance up til the sand or Centramatics become effective.
Have fun, We have all done this.
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Old 06-23-2009, 07:32 AM   #5
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Corona , California
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hot tires

If the front axle was replaced, then it would carry far more weight than the rear axle.

Torsion axles, because of the rubber rods, can settle in time. Sometimes one can settle faster than the other, depending on several factors.

Generally speaking, when an axle has to be replaced on an older trailer that has two or three axles, they all must be replaced at the same time, in order for each one to carry it's intended design weight.

If the front of the trailer was much lower than the rear of the trailer, the front tires would also have a much higher temperature.

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Old 06-23-2009, 08:24 PM   #6
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1975 31' Sovereign
Las Vegas , Nevada
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 7
Good info- thanks guys

The trailer was almost perfectly level front to back during the trip- just a slight tilt to the front. I'll check the bearings and check the tires too. I forgot to mention that the two front tires in question we rated to be inflated to 60 psi, the other two were rated to be inflated to 35 psi.
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Old 06-23-2009, 09:49 PM   #7
Site Team
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I wouldn't bother doing any of the fixes listed in post #4 until you get tires the same size and load capacity on all the axles.

I sounds like you have passenger car tires on one axle and LT or ST tires on the other. They could easily be an inch or more different in diameter, to say nothing of the difference in loaded radius due to the different inflations pressures.

You are probably carrying most of the load on one axle. and it could be over the tire rated capacity.
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Old 06-23-2009, 11:48 PM   #8
1 Rivet Member
1975 31' Sovereign
Las Vegas , Nevada
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 7
Will do Mark. Thanks again.
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Old 06-29-2009, 10:42 PM   #9
Rivet Master
1984 31' Excella
Norfolk , Virginia
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Hot tires

I agree with post#7. All four tires must be of the same size, aload range and preferably the same manufacturer.
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Old 07-26-2009, 10:07 PM   #10
2 Rivet Member
1976 31' Sovereign
Dallas , Texas
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 33
I've pulled lots of cars, pickups on car hauler trailers. I find that tire inflation is very important as well as proper trailer balance.
Your tries should be 6 or 8 Ply load range D or E about 60 PSI is close but the inflation information on the sidewall is what you want to adhre to.
I've not had any problems with my Airstream but I'll be adding an Infared No-Touch Thermometer to my tire maintenance kit.
It seems prudent in Texas with ambient air temps at around 100 degrees and asphalt highways much hotter.

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