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Old 12-30-2009, 06:15 AM   #1
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Used/Old Tire Information - PLEASE READ!

I posted this to one of the Unit forums but feel that it is important enough for everyone to have the opportunity to read it too as everyone has tires on their trailers.

I would be very wary of installing used tires on any of my vehicles even if they have plenty of tread and appear to be good. Tires that are more than six years old should not be used for anything except perhaps to make back yard swings or dock bumpers.

Before buying any tires, even new ones, always check the date code. Here's how to do it: Look at the sidewall for a string of numbers. The last four digits reveal the week and year of manufacture and are usually set apart from the rest of the string. Example: 2607 were made the last week of June 2007. Tires made the first week of 2010 would show a code of 0110.

This may be a good time to check the date codes on all your tires. It can be a challenge sometimes because the numbers may only appear on one sidewall and that may be the inner side so you will have to crawl under the vehicle with a flashlight in order to see them. If the last numbers are 05 or lower seriously consider replacing them now even if they look good. If you only see three digits you are in big trouble - these codes were used in the 1990s and only the last number indicates the year which means they're at least 10 years old. 127 means the 12th week of 1997. Replace them immediately. 1207 would indicate the 12th week of 2007 which are okay. While we're at check the tire's air pressure too.

Here's a video report from ABC that will elaborate on this:

http://abcnews.go.com/Video/playerIndex?id=4826897

Scary isn't it? Is it worth risking your life and those you love? Only use quality brand name tires that are less than five years old and replace them at six.

Happy New Year!
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Old 12-30-2009, 08:30 AM   #2
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Good Info., Mike. This is good to know especially when buying new tires. Besides the safety factor, our MH has eight tires on the ground which adds up $$$ fast when it's time to replace em.
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Old 12-30-2009, 08:43 AM   #3
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The complete cost of a set of tires for your trailer or motor home "could" be less expensive than repairing a damaged wheel well and side panel of your coach. I am not willing to chance damaging my trailer with old tires.
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Old 12-30-2009, 08:54 AM   #4
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Even though this has been brought up before, it's good to keep in mind. Many of us replace the tires after 5 years, because the failure rate increases dramatically during year 6. Another forums member and I are currently discussing installing bias tires on his trailer because of the "belt separation" problems radials have. The older the tire gets, the more prone they are to fail, in many ways.

When you get new tires, make sure the valve stems are replaced. I sent 4 wheels to the tire store to get new tires installed, and they came back with new tires, all right--and the 35-year-old leaky valve stems still being used. There was a brief one-sided conversation after I found this out, and the stems were hastily replaced.

Speaking of leaky valve stems, that's another area where tire failure can occur. Thousands of almost-new valve stems were recalled because they would fail within months of installation.
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Old 12-30-2009, 09:32 AM   #5
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Good and important info, thanx.

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Old 12-30-2009, 11:34 AM   #6
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Thanks for the Reminder

The tires on our trailers typically age out well before they wear out. Its very easy to lose sight of just how old our tires are and not realize or remember until a failure occurs.

My Dad had this happen to him last Summer. His response was "But they still had plenty of tread left on them". He was lucky there wasn't much damage but (IMHO) the inconvenience and danger associated with a "roadside tire change" simply isn't worth saving a few hundred dollars over.

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Old 12-30-2009, 11:59 AM   #7
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While age is one factor, I take the 5-6 year advice with a grain of salt. A tire baking in the Arizona sun will likely weathercheck and fail in less than five years, and a well cared for tire may last several years longer.

The most common reasons a tire fails are:

1. Underinflation (the #1 killer!).
2. Road debris puncturing tire.
3. Poor tire/wheel maintenance (includes not rotating properly, letting a tire sit for long periods of time in one place causing flat-spotting, valve stem failure, UV deterioration, etc.).

Maintain them well and check them often. First sign of weather cracks or sidewall bulges - replace them, regardless of age.
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Old 12-30-2009, 12:14 PM   #8
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I also question the 6 year number.. It seemed to appear a few years ago when Firestone and others started having the tire recalls.
Not calling it bad advise but I would like to know where the number originally came from. There are too many variables involved for a flat statement.
Sounds like one of those "they said " things like what fork to eat with.

That being said, one of my tires is 6 years and 4 months old and hasn't failed yet Others have failed much sooner
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Old 12-30-2009, 01:00 PM   #9
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Good advice, often stated on many threads here. But bringing it up again is good for more newbies may see it, especially those buying used trailers with good looking but old tires.

I add: when you buy tires, ask them how old they are. They may have been displayed outside for a year baking away. Make sure they understand you want new tires. Check the dates before you leave the tire store—afterwards is too late (do you really want to go back to the store and argue with them about the date?). As soon as you leave they are used tires and they may not want to take them back. Metal valve stems are less likely to fail, but many have rubber seals (perhaps all of them inside where you can't see them) and rubber does what rubber does—crack and leak.

When I was getting new tires for the trailer, I thought about how many miles I would be putting on them in the coming years. I didn't want to buy a very expensive tire that would still have a lot of tread on it after 3 to 5 years. For ex., some Michelin tires come with a 70,000 mile warranty—too many miles for some people. Selecting the right tire for your purpose can be brain damage, but careful analysis is a good thing. You have to look at load ratings, type (ST or LT), tread type, tread depth, size, brand reviews, wear ratings, traction ratings, heat ratings, speed limits, age, and price.

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Old 12-30-2009, 08:04 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RickDavis View Post
I also question the 6 year number.. It seemed to appear a few years ago when Firestone and others started having the tire recalls.
Not calling it bad advise but I would like to know where the number originally came from. There are too many variables involved for a flat statement.
Sounds like one of those "they said " things like what fork to eat with.
USATODAY.com - Consumer group worries about tire age

Goodyear RV Tires - Tire Care: Tire and Sidewall Weathering

Car Tires: Appearances Can Be Deceiving | MILEPOSTS Garage
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Old 12-30-2009, 08:18 PM   #11
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Terry,

Interesting links

Thanks
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Old 12-30-2009, 08:23 PM   #12
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I am glad to see that my posting has evoked such discussion and attention. I want to clarify a point that was brought up about the possible origin of the so-called "six year" lifespan.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kevin242 View Post
While age is one factor, I take the 5-6 year advice with a grain of salt.
Quote:
Originally Posted by RickDavis View Post
I also question the 6 year number..
It's a fair question. In addition to the ABC report giving a six year lifespan to tires I have also heard that six year timeframe expressed elsewhere. I recall years ago there was an article in CONSUMERS REPORTS that said six years was old for a tire.

Additionally, I habitually attend our state police annual vehicle auction because my daily driver is a Ford Police Interceptor and this is where I get them. The fleet manager, with whom I am acquainted, told me that they routinely replace tires after five years service and also after any "panic stop" situation as well. The thought is the stress such a panic stop may place on the tire's various components can compromise structural integrity and thus cannot be trusted to perform to specs. You think trailer tires are expensive - just try pricing out a set of H or V speed-rated police tires like Goodyear Eagles and you'll be shocked.

If you want some interesting reading Google "MSP Tests" and see what you find. The Michigan State Police (MSP) conducts annual testing sessions on vehicles offered to the law enforcement community as service vehicles as well as testing components such as brake pads and tires. Fleet managers from all major law enforcement agencies are invited to attend these testing sessions. There are a lot of the MSP report documents floating around the Net freely available and should prove interesting to many. The law enforcement fleet administrators take these test results and information very seriously because part of their duties is purchasing vehicles and spare parts. Police and other public safety vehicles cannot compromise or scrimp especially on anything because of what is at stake.

It all boils down to what you are personally comfortable with in regards to when to replace tires due to aging. However in order to make this determination you must be informed. Here in NNE tires are exposed to less UV than in other parts of the country. I am confortable with the six year limit. If I lived in the southwest where the road surface temperatures in summer are hot enough to cook on I'd probably downgrade the six years for that reason alone.
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Old 12-30-2009, 08:38 PM   #13
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The only vehicle (if you want to call it that) we have used tires on is the tractor, and then only in the front!

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Old 12-30-2009, 08:52 PM   #14
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There are two factors that do bother me about trailer tires. One is since you don't ride in the trailer you can't feel any signs of impending problems. I deliver new trailers and have experienced both wheel loss and blowouts (new tire) and not even known it until someone passed me and waved me over.

The other point is that the quality of trailer (ST) tires seems to be questionable and inconsistent pretty much regardless of brand.. I have had failures with most of them and I watch them closely.

Mike- sorry your hamfest is so far away, do you make it to Dayton??. Nice avatar also
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