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Old 01-30-2010, 01:06 PM   #1
Tom, the Uber Disney Fan
 
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What Happened?

On our last camping trip we had a flat on the Airstream. I don't think it was a tread separation (I don't know for sure). The tire has a build date of 11/05 and had approximately 30,000 miles on it (all four did as they were original factory issue). We were traveling approximately 60 MPH on a cool fall day.

Anyone know what type of blow-out this was?
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Old 01-30-2010, 01:18 PM   #2
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Usually after the fact it's very difficult to tell unless you noticed a bubble in a side wall, or something is still sticking in your tread. Look at the others for rub marks and or a bubble blister on the side wall on the outside or inside of the other three. I hit a piece of metal on a Goldwing once with only 7500 miles on the tires and all I heard was a chink and an immediate shoosh at 30 mph and the rear tire went flat, that's how quick it happens. Might as well get 4 new tires on the ground to be safe.
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Old 01-30-2010, 01:25 PM   #3
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I lost a tire in a car once that looked like that; the cause was ripping the sidewall out on a piece of metal that I almost missed . Whether or not that's what happened here I have no idea, of course.

The other thing to check is if the tire has crumbled rubber loose inside; when tires are run underinflated the soft rubber lining of the inside of the tire that helps prevent leaks from small punctures starts to come off. Any tire that evidences this has been run low, which causes heat build up and degrades the tire.

Did the tire fail suddenly w/ a bang, or did it lose air over time?

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Old 01-30-2010, 01:53 PM   #4
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The other thing to check is if the tire has crumbled rubber loose inside; when tires are run underinflated the soft rubber lining of the inside of the tire that helps prevent leaks from small punctures starts to come off. Any tire that evidences this has been run low, which causes heat build up and degrades the tire.

Did the tire fail suddenly w/ a bang, or did it lose air over time?

- Bart
I meant to mention that this was a weekend trip about 150 miles from home and we were about half way home. I always check the air pressure in all tires before leaving on a trip. I had topped off all tires that needed it to bring the pressure up to 65 psi. There were no rubber bits inside. I also check the temperature of the side walls and tread area every time we stop for fuel, rest room, or meals. Typically, the sidewall temps are 15-20 degrees less than the side wall temps of the tow vehicle's tires.

I was planning on replacing all four tires in the spring '10 and this was the last trip of the season (Nov.). Like I said, we've put approximately 30,000 miles on these tires in four seasons with no problems what so ever. I am trying to decide whether to replace these tires with the same Marathons or go with a different brand. (Replacement brands are widely discussed in other forums and not really needed in this thread.) I'm just curious as to what type of blow-out this was. I have very little experience with flat tires and even less knowledge about them.

BTW, rapid air loss. A fellow motorist blew her horn and waved us down to let us know about the blow-out. I immediately pulled over to assess situation and slowly pulled off of the interstate at the exit some 100 yards or so away and changed the tire in the parking lot of a strip center immediately adjacent to the off-ramp.

Thanks.
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Old 01-30-2010, 03:04 PM   #5
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Which tire - forward or aft?

The consensus appears that aft tires are more prone to deflation because the forward tire propels road hazards into it.

Which side - street or curb?

I worry about tire trouble on the curb side because neither me nor fellow motorists can see those tires easily.

I assume your Airstream took the event okay.

Tom
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Old 01-30-2010, 04:00 PM   #6
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Tire Failure

Your tire failure is why a tire pressure monitering system is important. Mine (Pressure Pro)< and there are others that work just as well, alarms at 58 PSI or so (it has in the past during a tire failure). I would be interested in knowing if the tire that failed was one of the ones that needed air before you left?
I had never heard about the little rubber balls in the tire as a result of overheating, but it makes sense. What I have seen in low pressure running is scuffed sidewalls and in extreme cases (with no failure) the cord inside had seperated from the body and was laying in place. This was visible when the tire was removed from the wheel to prove to me that the tire was indeed trash.
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Old 01-30-2010, 05:07 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Minnie's Mate View Post
I was planning on replacing all four tires in the spring '10 and this was the last trip of the season (Nov.). Like I said, we've put approximately 30,000 miles on these tires in four seasons with no problems what so ever. I am trying to decide whether to replace these tires with the same Marathons or go with a different brand. (Replacement brands are widely discussed in other forums and not really needed in this thread.) I'm just curious as to what type of blow-out this was. I have very little experience with flat tires and even less knowledge about them.
I believe I'd take it by a few tire stores for an expert opinion. Betcha someone will know exactly what happened.

Carol
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Old 01-30-2010, 05:48 PM   #8
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Road Hazard...

I have had something similar happen to a several truck tires over the years, only once was I able to ID what caused the blow out, in that case it was a small scrap of 1" angle iron that apparently was in the road and I hit it just right.

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Old 01-30-2010, 06:22 PM   #9
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Let me guess. Good Year Marathon?
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Old 01-31-2010, 01:49 AM   #10
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Lots of info on other tire threads. I am sure others will recommend changing ALL tires, especially with the age and mileage you mentioned. And, many will also add "with another brand, other than Marathons".
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Old 01-31-2010, 09:45 AM   #11
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Let me guess. Good Year Marathon?
Blaming Marathons because of the goof up they made many years ago, today, is not a good answer.

Today, the Marathons are one of the best tires for an Airstream. If not, then why does Airstream still use them?

Additionally, all tires can and will blow out, if the running gear is not properly balanced, so that hot spots on the tire can't happen. A hot spot on a tire, can lead to a blow out.

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Old 01-31-2010, 10:16 AM   #12
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From photo #2, it looks like you caught a piece of road debris on the inside sidewall, you traveled less than a couple miles with the flat, or it would have looked a lot worse. And I'm sure everyone knows out of balance running gear causes tires to spontaneously attract road debris. It would probably be a good idea to look into a pressure monitoring system, most of them consist of a gizmo that screws onto the valve stem like an oversized cap, and a receiver inside your tow vehicle. If the passing motorist hadn't let you know, it could have damaged the inner fender well pretty badly.
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Old 01-31-2010, 01:43 PM   #13
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Quote:
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Which tire - forward or aft?
Forward. This was not one of the tires that needed additional air.
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Originally Posted by TomW View Post
Which side - street or curb??
Curb.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TomW View Post

I worry about tire trouble on the curb side because neither me nor fellow motorists can see those tires easily.?
I was in the left lane to go around a slower moving vehicle.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TomW View Post

I assume your Airstream took the event okay.

Tom
No damage to tire well or trailer side.

Quote:
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Let me guess. Good Year Marathon?
Yes, tires were used through four camping seasons and had roughly 30,000 miles on them. I don't think that is bad mileage on any trailer tire that sits more than it rolls.

I'm not afraid of replacing them with Marathons, but am interested in seeing other's experience with other brands.
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Old 01-31-2010, 02:54 PM   #14
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I believe that age, sun and weather, plus under inflation puts a lot more stress on tires that spend a lot of time sitting in one position supporting our trailers. The elements and stress on the sidewalls can cause them to flex or even bust the bead and start to lose air. Followed by a blowout...regardless of brand.
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