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Old 04-04-2006, 10:47 PM   #127
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Tire Failures!!!!!

I personally did not read all nine pages about tire failures, but i will donate my two cents worth. no body wants to look in the mirror. everyone expects everything to be 100% fool proof; and for this maybe car, truck, and trailer tires should be made of solid rubber. [foam filled] and mandated to be replaced every three years and inspected by the highway patrol or dmv every six months. to protect you from haveing to maintain proper tire pressure, and from running badly worn tires, and from grossly overloaded vehicles, and hopeing there are no signs of damage caused by something you ran over. probably the four most common reasons for tire failure.
oh, and yes there are some defects made, but the percentage is very low, considering the liability and law suits from todays consumers.
i have been driveing all sorts of vehicles for about 45 years and never had a tire failure or flat that wasn't from something i picked up on the road and / or ran over.
bicycles, motorcycles, motor scooters, cars, trucks, commercial trucks, trailers, suv's, dirt trikes etc.
if anyone out there thinks they can make a better tire than what's on the market. go for it!!!!

BOB
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Old 04-04-2006, 11:07 PM   #128
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Ticki2
I have my thick moments. Please explain. All I am trying to accomplish is trouble free trips? According to all the hoopla, the Marathon and others were not delivering this level of reliability, I had two failures that sent me down this path of research.

Jim
Jim there were some reported problems with Marathon's which resulted in some Goodyear authorized replacements but those issues really preceeded 2001. I've now owned 3 trailers, 2 Airstream's and 1 SOB, with no problems with the Marathon's that were on all three.

As we have talked about in many threads, you need to minimize UV exposure when parked, keep the pressures up to proper levels, avoid excessive speeds, and consider replacement sometime in the 4th or 5th year of use. I also avoid use of any tire dressings which contain petroleum compounds which can accelerate the aging process.

If you consider that the Marathon is probably the most popular trailer tire provided on all new Airstream's and many SOB's, the number of failures reported will be higher than the replacement market tires, but as an overall percentage of the tires sold will probably be in line.

Personally, I wouldn't have any problems putting a Marathon on as a replacement tire. Just check the manufacture date to verify that the tire is new and hasn't been sitting in a warehouse for years.

Jack
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Old 04-06-2006, 06:23 AM   #129
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Tires....Tires....Tires

Frank S
Congradulations on your troublefree years of streaming. I do have a question though, I cannot find a bias 7:00/15 Kelly Springfield tire on the internet. Dosen't mean that they don't it anymore, just means that I cannot locate it. What I am really interested in is does the tire have a speed rating on the side wall?
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Old 04-06-2006, 12:36 PM   #130
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Hi Jim--Can't tell you if my Kelly Springfield's have a speed rating on the sidewall, as my A/S is in IL, and I'm in MN till next month. The tires are 1998, and I am planning to replace them this year (didn't do any A/Sing the last 2-yrs). Goodyear makes a LT 7:00/15 C & I believe D bias ply. Since bias ply aren't very popular be sure to check the date code on the tire to insure it hasn't been in storage a long time. If I remember correctly the date code is on the inner side wall at the end of the DOT code with the week and year of manufacture (1406 would indicate made this week). I have run as high as 70 MPH, but usually run interstate at 62, which I find a max speed requiring minimum passing. Kind of curious as to why you are interested in the speed rating. How fast are you planning to tow your A/S?--Frank S
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Old 04-06-2006, 01:00 PM   #131
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Tires....Tires....Tires

Frank S
Not interested in speed, Frank, just safety margin. Would you rather be blowing down the Interstate at 60 MPH on tires whose max speed is 65 MPH(92% of rated speed/8% safety margin) or tires whose max speed is 99 MPH (60% of rated speed/40% safety margin).
Over the last few years the tires running at 92% of their rated speed havent been faring too well.
Just an observation.

Jim
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Old 04-06-2006, 01:24 PM   #132
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Not sure if bias ply tires have a speed rating. The only speed ratings for bias ply that I have found was for motorcycles.

http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tirete....jsp?techid=35

And I wouldn't want to have high speed rated tires on my trailer or my car. The ride is just to hard.

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Old 04-06-2006, 06:35 PM   #133
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Safety, to most of us, should "always" be the # 1 issue.

If due consideration is given to the possible personal as well as financial losses, that "could" happen, should we have a tire blow out, then there really isn't much thought that needs to be expended as to what kind of tire should I buy.

Airstream has done the research, at a huge cost.

Why some folks try to reinvent the wheel, I am sorry, I will never understand.

If we can afford the Airstream, the tow vehicle, and especially todays gasoline prices, then how can much thought be given to "saving" a few bucks on cheaper tires?

Doesn't compute.

Saving money, is always nice, "BUT NEVER" when safety is compromised.

Andy
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Old 04-06-2006, 07:57 PM   #134
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Hi Andy, It seems to me that even Airstream doesn't subscribe to your logic. If they truly believed that one shouldn't occasionally re-invent the wheel, then there wouldn't be model changes from year to year. They would design one series of trailers in the different lengths and those designs wouldn't change over the decades. Seems to me they re-invent the wheel every couple of years.

I also have trouble believeing Airstream spent a huge amount of money to come up with the Marathon tire selection especially when it took me just a few days to come up with a much better solution. It seems to me, the Marathons were offered by Goodyear, Airstream believed the specs matched the stated needs and Goodyear was a respected American company, Airstream took them at their word and then it became Goodyear's responsibility to produce tires meeting their claims. Usually the courts base liability on what a reasonable and prudent person would do. Many towables were using the Goodyears so it would be hard to blame Airstream for failures, relieving them of liability.

I personally believe that re-inventing the wheel every so often is absolutely necessary. If Ford truly believed the Model "T" was America's car solution and never needed re-inventing we'd all be driving Model "T"s. That's the absurdity of never re-inventing the wheel.

For me, I would never ever go back to Marathons. The BFG's are so superior for about the same money that I would have to be crazy to ever consider Marathons again. It is one of the most safety driven and best decisions I've made with regard to our Airstream.

I have a deep respect for your knowledge of Airstreams, but in this case I'd have to respectfully disagree.
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Old 04-06-2006, 08:05 PM   #135
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If Ford truly believed the Model "T" was America's car solution and never needed re-inventing we'd all be driving Model "T"s.
Yes, and they'd still be available in whatever color you wanted - so long as it was black.
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Old 04-06-2006, 08:47 PM   #136
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Y'all do what y'all wanna do, but I'm gonna put truck tires on my truck and trailer tires on my trailer.
I'm sure not gonna put 16" tires in wheel wells that were designed to accomodate 15" tires. I'll trust 75 years of experience over 1 year of experimenting any ol day.
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Old 04-06-2006, 10:06 PM   #137
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Tires....Tires....Tires

In all fairness to the tire industry and Airstream/Thor:

Back when the Marathon came out and Michelin still made the XCA 7:00/15, tires were made differently, more slowly, utilizing materials not used today.

Somewhere between the Environmental Protection Agency(EPA), the corporate beancounters and the American Bar Association(ABA) things changed.

The EPA probally outlawed chemicals that were tried and true and the industry had to move on to other chemical processes to make tires or quit making tires. These "new" processes we have come to realize were not nearly as good as before. Tires failed, equipment was damaged and people died.

The corporate beancounters were screaming at the engineers to make the processes less expensive so we can pay our stockholders more dividends. As we have come to know, in the corporate world the beancounter is GOD.

Enter the ABA. When a manufacturer makes a change after mishaps occur, their brethern organize huge groups of people whos equipment was damaged by the failing whatever and sue the devil out of the manufacturer. This is done because the manufacturer should have known that the part that failed was initially designed faulty, there the company should be sued, even for honest errors not driven by cost cutting efforts. It got so bad that Cessna quit building private aircraft for a while because of these lawsuits. They were afraid to change the design on any part of the airplace because of the lawsuits that would erupt: well of course the part was bad, you changed it.

Ford Motor Company and their drop in gastank in the original Mustang taught us that it was far cheaper to pay off the survivors than fix the problem, which would have initiated a bunch of class action suits.

So, where does that leave us?

The Marathon was probally a very good, durable tire when it came out. It probally offered a softer ride, used less fuel than the bias tires and lasted longer. Then things changed as spelled out above and Airstream/Thor are probally afraid to withdraw their blanket endorsment of the GoodYear Marathon because of the lawsuits that WILL follow.

So are we reinventing the wheel? No I dont think so. I think we are reacting to conditions beyond our control because the icons (Airstream/Thor/Goodyear) are afraid to do anything for fear of going broke due to lawsuits. As long as the wheel is adjusted with caution, paying very close attention to the specifications of the other products (tires/wheels) available then, then a safe, durable and reliable answer will be arrived at. In the mean time, the corporations better learn and learn quick that when you play it tough too long and the buying public realizes why the company is refusing to change, the company looses all credability.

Sorry for being so long.

Jim
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Old 04-06-2006, 10:43 PM   #138
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Hi Andy--I don't think any of the comments in this thread point to saving money. Some are talking about changing wheel size , which is more costly than using the originial wheels. Some have had some serious problems with tires, most probably the result of tire age, over load, and under inflation. All of us are looking for greater durability, reliability, and confidence in the tires we use in the future.--Frank S
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Old 04-07-2006, 11:01 AM   #139
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Bob Thompson.

Changing bthe design of the Airstream trailers, has nothing to do with tire "safety".

Safety is the sole issue.

Safety is something, that all to many people, sell short.

How many lives would be saved, if we "all" put safety "FIRST"?

If it's just one, the the price was cheap.

Life is all too precious. Why gamble when you don't have to?

But as they say in the south, "to each his own", yall.

Andy
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Old 04-07-2006, 09:53 PM   #140
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Tires....Tires....Tires

I still have the two Nankangs that suffered belt shifts(heat related according to Goodyear and others). One set off my tire pressure monitoring system (Pressure Pro) as it slowly started loosing air. Five minutes previous to the alarm I had my wife check all four tires with the monitor at the Highway check station where the state employee verifies that your propane bottles are turned off, and they each showed to 68 to 70 lbs pressure on the monitor(pressure rise due to heating of tires having been run, it was a hot day).
I had checked all four tires prior to leaving the campground with a hand held tire gage that I had just purchased the week before and all were 63 to 65 PSI.
Alarm went off, I made it to the side of I64 in time to watch the tire go flat.
THE TIRE WAS NOT UNDER INFLATED WHEN I LEFT THE CAMPGORUND. THE TIRE WAS NOT UNDERINFLATED 100 YARDS PRIOR TO GOING ON THE HAMPTON ROADS BRIDGE TUNNEL AS MY WIFE CHECKED THE TIRE PRESSURE MONITOR BEFORE WE LEFT THE SAFETY STATION. BETWEEN THE LITTLE CREEK ROAD AND TIDEWATER DRIVE OVERPASSES THE ALARM SOUNDED. I PULLED OFF AND WATCHED THE NOW FATALY DAMAGED TIRE GO FLAT. THE TIRE COMPANIES CLAIM THAT THE REASON FOR THE BELT SEPERATIONS IS UNDER INFLATED TIRES. THIS TIRE WAS NOT UNDERFLATED, PERIOD.
THE SECOND NANKANG I FOUND THAT THE BELTS HAD SHIFTED WHEN PREPARING TO LEAVE THE WILLIAMSBURG CAMPGROUND WHILE CHECKING THE FORWARD TIRE, WHICH WAS A MARATHON. IT HAD LOST 30 LBS OF PRESSURE OVER THE WEEKEND. PREPARING TO LEAVE I PLUGGED IN THE MONITOR TO THE LIGHTER SOCKET ON THE DASH THEN HEARD IT SOUNDING OFF ALERTING ME TO THE HALF FLAT MARATHON. WHEN I CHECKED THE MARATHON WITH A PRESSURE GAGE, SURE ENOUGH IT WAS DOWN TO LESS THAN 35 LBS. HOWEVER I NOTICED THE IRREGULAR TREAD PATTERN ON THE REAR NANKANG. I RUBBED MY HAND OVER THE TREAD AREA AND THE TREAD IRREGULARITY WAS PRONOUNCED. THE PRESSURE IN THAT REAR NANKANG WITH THE SHIFTED BELT WAS 65 PSI. I REPLACED IT WITH THE BRAND NEW MARATHON I HAD JUST PURCHASED THE WEEK BEFORE.
1. BOTH TIRES FAILED DUE TO THE BELTS SHIFTING.
2. BOTH TIRES WERE NOT UNDER INFLATED, PERIOD.
3. THE GOODYEAR MARATHON, NANKANG AND ALL THE OTHER ST TIRES THAT I FOUND ON THE INTERNET ARE NOT DESIGNED AND TESTED TO RUN OVER 65 MPH WITH THE EXCEPTION OF THE COOPER CUSTOM TRAILER PLUS. IF ANY ONE IS INTERESTED IN THE COMPANIES THAT I EMAILED, JUST ASK.
4. WITH THE AVALIBILITY OF TIRE PRESSURE MONITERING SYSTEMS, WE THE BUYING PUBLIC ARE SLOWLY COMMING TO THE REALIZATION THAT THE TIRE MANUFACTURERS ARE BLAMING US FOR THEIR NOW INADEQUATELY CONSTRUCTED TIRES. THE PROBLEM IS THAT SOME OF US ARE MORE SLOW TO RECOGNIZE FAILURE TRENDS THAN OTHERS.
Any questions about my ability to track and recognize failure trends, determine Mean Time Between Failure satistics and develop Relibility Centered Maintenance Lifecycle periods, just ask.
I chose Beginner because this is my first Airstream.
Remember, the longer the companies and icons hang tough, the more credibility they loose.

Jim
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