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Old 07-22-2013, 01:03 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by PharmGeek View Post

In case andy missed your description...

Problem with all post marketing research is the same we see in the drug industry.....it relies on reporting of events in some manner.

Are all failures reported? Are all successes reported?

Its reasonable to assume that GYM tire failures are on some standard "uncommon" if we had truly good data...

no doubt there would be failures...but at what rate?

There would have to be an accepted gold standard "base rate" for failure by which if you are below that rate, you are doing good...above that rate, by that magnitude you are dooing not as good.

Question is: "what is the rate of failure"...

I presume we have really have no want to know this. if 50 people in airforums reported GYM failures (im not sure how many have reported failures on this forum, made that number up) - we then would wonder how many were due to user error...surely some of them would be...it appears all those that report here deny user error or neglect....this creates an unfalsifiable claim.

Having said all that...the anecdotes I find compelling enough in the void of hard data.

My question is this: how many anecdotes or how often does michellin failures similar reach the web in the same manner? It would appear based on my gleaning of this site, much fewer.

Perhaps this is a selection bias though...perhaps the owners of michellins who invest in higher cost tires are by that virtue possibly statistically more likely to check their pressures, temps, drive more cautious, etc.?

One could speculate forever to no good end.

But I think going on the best data that we have (which arguably, is not per se "high quality") - concern about GYM tires is at least reasonable...or at least I think so....
Here's a story to chew on.

I've followed these GYM threads out of curiosity for a while now. My father put me on how the GYM are NOT favorably looked on in the TT world, and I find it interesting. I work for a company with three cargo trailers, one 14'x7' dual axle (our main install trailer), one 12'x6' dual axle, and one is a 5'x8' single axle. All run GYMs exclusively. I personally have driven five vans pulling our install trailer most of the time, and we retire the vans after we put about 100,000 miles on them. So it's safe to say these trailers have many many miles on them, and I've had one trailer tire blowout in 13 years. (Three van tire failures with wranglers)

Are we diligent with our maintenance/inflation? Barely, most of the time we only check pressures when they look low. (Ashamedly)
Do we drive in optimum conditions with proper load? Probably not, especially if they are 65mph rated tires.

My dad and I have sat around and contemplated this and the best we can figure is maybe they get used so often and replaced so much (they never make it near the three of four year replacement I saw someone post) they never really get old enough to matter. We run hundreds of miles every week pretty much fifty or so weeks a year, it adds up.

I may start a logbook on trailer use....
Then again I might have all four blowout tomorrow on the way to little rock.
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Old 07-22-2013, 01:36 PM   #30
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I started this thread to show my experience with my GYM blowout and the damage it did. I wasn't trying to get everyone into another argument about tires. It hasn't really gone this way yet but I don't want it to go that way since there are plenty of other threads on the tire subject.

I've always been very attentive to my tires and hubs when I tow. Before, after, and at every fuel stop on every trip I check my tires and hubs. Both tires and hubs were good at the prior fuel check. I grew up in an Airstream family that took a lot of trips, I've been towing trailers since I got my license and also have a boat/trailer that I take long trips with as well. Overall I'd say I have through my 18 years of driving at least 180,000 miles behind the wheel towing trailers up to 10,000 lbs so I have a little experience.

I have had other trailer tires blow out on different trailers but this was my first GYM blowout. I will also be my last one since I'm upgrading to the 16" tires and rims. No tire can be perfect or immune to a blowout, but the large accounts of GYM blowouts here on Airfourms and my own experience has convinced me to change brands and sizes. I believe in overkill and a good safety margin which is why I'm upgrading. Maybe if I got another set of GYM I wouldn't have a blowout but I'm not taking that chance.

Thanks for the support so far on my experience and will keep everyone updated.
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Old 07-22-2013, 02:14 PM   #31
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FYI In #11, "USAA only insures through the Hartford". May I also add that AARP also insures through the Hartford. I have my house, car, truck and Airstream with them and very good rate. I insured for a whole year for less than brand X for 6 months.
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Old 07-22-2013, 09:25 PM   #32
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Thanks for sharing!
Mt GYMs are 7 years old, but only 8,000 miles, and i am going to change to 16 inch now!

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Old 07-23-2013, 07:53 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by FLMarine View Post
I have all my vehicles through USAA, I just called up them up before I got the trailer and asked that they put my Airstream on my policy. I have another cargo trailer and my truck insured through them. I also financed my Airstream through them too. Took all of a twenty minute call to get a check mailed to the dealer I bought the trailer through. Granted I have excellent credit, but its always a pleasure dealing with USAA.

Absolutely no pushback from them when I called up to file a claim. Actually I called them up and filed a claim before I changed the blown out tire, only took about 20 minutes to get the initial claim started. They said I could use any repair facility I wanted and even covered a tow using a low boy tractor trailer to the nearest dealer 120 miles away. A couple of days later the adjuster had visited the dealer, agreed with the dealer's quote, and sent a check to the dealer. From the day of the blowout to the check being mailed was five days.

The tread looked fine and I had checked it two hours prior to the incident when I refueled. Overall the tires were in good shape though I was planning on switching over to the 16" rims and tires, but this just sealed the deal for that. Ill keep everyone updated on the repair progress and wheel upgrade.

USAA and amica are top notch companies unlike some of the other Allstate, state farm etc ones.. I run a chimney service company and after the big hurricane Fran in 1999 I was busy for a year doing repairs.. As a matter of conversation you ask about insurance coverage.. People with USAA, Amica, or Chub no problem, no push back on repair est. However get to some one with Allstate, Nationwide or esp State farm major push back on repair cost.

at one customers house they had just gone through a major remodel just a couple months before the BIG BLOW.. a tree came down right through the center of the house causing major roof damage. The house was a single story with half basement out the back. water damages the main floor and down into the basement as well.. new hardwood floor in both levels that got wet, real wet..

The original contractor was called within hours of the storm passing and was back on site to tarp and assess damage.. he came up with a 50K to repair almost the same stuff he had just done plus the roof damage.. they fought with Statefarm for over a year, staying in a hotel for 6 months and finally came to the same cost est..

bad part was because of the delay in getting the adjuster to agree on what was needed and cost the contractor had to move on to other clients and the construction got pushed back as they only wanted him to do the work..

I cost the ins company more for the stalling in having to pay living expenses for 6 + months than if they would have gone with the first cost and start working on the damage..

Just another example of misguided ins companies trying to screw customers instead of doing the right thing first. It cost less in the long run.

sorry for the off post rant... just showing how great a company like USAA is.. and glad they treat service, former service and service member family with the respect they deserve.
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Old 07-27-2013, 08:41 AM   #34
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There are always two sides to every story--
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Old 07-28-2013, 01:44 PM   #35
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There are always two sides to every story--
not quite sure how that make sense here.. the insurance company was trying to get over on the client and lost. happens all the time.. just watch the TV ads for attorney that help people in wrecks..

that happened to my brother was well. lady hit him, they (ins company) wanted to give him half the value of his car and no money for medical. his attorney was able to get more for car and money to help in medical cost as well.


that's both sides..
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Old 08-02-2013, 10:08 PM   #36
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OK folks lets start by getting our terms straight. Without accurate statement of the tire condition we can easily mislead ourselves. If we don't know, or at least have high probability of knowing the real cause of a failure we can't be sure of how to fix the problem.

First the OP did not appear to have a "blowout". It appears from the pictures the tire still had air. Based on the pictures I would cal this condition a "Tread Detachment". I also note that a visual inspection of the subject tire anytime in the 1,000 - 2,000 miles before the failure would have discovered a problem.
In this picture I outlined an area on the tread that was significantly more worn that the rest of the tire. This is a sign that probably indicates the belts had already come apart internally.



The tire below is what many call a "blowout" but more accurately is a "Run Low Flex failure.




Here is a blog post with a detailed analysis of a Run Low Flex failure on an Airstream. You might find it educational and informative.

Bottom Line
The Run Low Flex might have been prevented if the owner had been warned by a TPMS that the tire had lost air.

The Tread Detachment damage might have been avoided if the tire had received a close, complete visual inspection at least once a year or every 1,000 miles. If you see a bulge like this


or an area of localized wear as in the top picture in my examples you might have had the tire replaced and saved yourself a lot of grief and some expense.
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Old 08-03-2013, 02:02 PM   #37
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Tireman, you're right it technically wasn't a blowout but a tread separation. Either way it still sucks and i wish it wouldn't have happened. There was still some pressure in the tire after the tread separation. As mentioned in the above threads I checked the tire condition before my trip and at every gas stop along the way. In fact three hours before the tread separated I had stopped for fuel and checked the hubs and a quick check of the tires and they looked fine. Before the trip I checked the pressures and they were at 65 psi and a thorough inspection of the tread did not reveal anything abnormal.

I wish I would have had a pressure sensing device on my tires and now in the near future I will be getting such a device. Hindsight is 20/20 and experience is gained through either mistakes or situations like this, at least that's how I became a better helicopter pilot in the Marines.

The trailer is about a week or two from being fixed and my new 16" sendel T03 rims and LT tires have arrived so hopefully I won't have to deal with this again.
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Old 08-03-2013, 02:10 PM   #38
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I forgot to add about tireman's comment and circle on the picture of my tire. That area that is circled and wore down is most likely from the tread getting wedged in the wheel well liner and causing the tire to stop rotating and causing the tire to drag as I slowed down. There was a long black skid mark on the road after I pulled off and there was a distinct smell of burning rubber in the trailer. In fact there was so much smoke that it caused the smoke detector in the trailer to go off.

I'm not disagreeing that I might have lost tire pressure but just wanted to give my personal experience of what happened.
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Old 08-03-2013, 03:29 PM   #39
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I forgot to add about tireman's comment and circle on the picture of my tire. That area that is circled and wore down is most likely from the tread getting wedged in the wheel well liner and causing the tire to stop rotating and causing the tire to drag as I slowed down. There was a long black skid mark on the road after I pulled off and there was a distinct smell of burning rubber in the trailer. In fact there was so much smoke that it caused the smoke detector in the trailer to go off.

I'm not disagreeing that I might have lost tire pressure but just wanted to give my personal experience of what happened.
If you still have the tire we can learn if the worn area is due to skidding to a stop or from long term wear due to running for hundreds of miles with a detachment which grew over time.

If you look closely at the tread surface of a tire you will see the worn surface is rather smooth like this tire. Now lets look at a "brake flat spot", where the brakes were locked and the tire actually wore flat over an area that was in contact with the road.
The smooth surface
results from many hundreds of miles running down the road. The craters in the flat spot come from higher heat than you get with simple black spots on the road and gray smoke. The localized "spot wear" is due to the tread and belt already being detached which allows the tread to move against the road surface a lot more with every revolution. This movement is like fine sandpaper wearing away the tread rubber at a much faster rate than on the rest of the tire where the tread and belts were still attached.

HERE is a blog post showing a tire with a detachment that had not broken out. In this case the owner discovered the problem when doing a thorough examination of tire run-out. In this case I obtained the tire and did an autopsy and you can clearly see the detachment of the belts.

A thorough tire inspection cannot be done with a simple walk around or check of one sidewall, tread depth in one spot and a pressure check. When it comes to trailer application the high sideloads I have previously talked about cause a different type of failure than normal.
In this VIDEO you can clearly see the wheel is round but the tire has a serious "wobble". This is from the save trailer as the tire detachment blog post above.

Hope this helps everyone understand the situation a bit better.

Roger
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Old 08-03-2013, 03:34 PM   #40
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Another GYM blowout? According to this poll Airstream Forums - View Poll Results there were 79 ST blowouts and 3 LT blowouts.

It's nice to have actual evidence of a problem. If you get a chance, add to the poll data.
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Old 08-03-2013, 05:17 PM   #41
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There is more than anecdotal info on GYMs. I had my new 2012 for less than 60 days before I put on the 16" wheels and Michelin LT's. After 15,000 miles of safe trailering, they have been perfect. Agree with USAA. I've been with them for 46 years. They handled my claim for being rear-ended 2 weeks ago with their usual professionalism. Trailer is at the dealer waiting for a couple of parts to arrive from JC. Just glad no injuries. Stuff can be fixed, it's tougher on humans...!
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Old 08-03-2013, 09:24 PM   #42
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Suggested amendment to Mstephens post #41, above

Regarding the three LT tire failures on the tire failure poll, referenced in Mstephens post #41, above:

* "...two responses that indicate 16-inch tires failed seem to imply that LT tires may also have problems on Airstreams. However, if you track the individual responses by User ID, those two failures were actually 15-inch GYMs."

* The third tire was a Michelin that was over seven years old. If I recall correctly, the member I exchanged messages with said that it was about 10 years old and very weather checked at the time of failure.

So, Mstephens statement could be amended to "... and one Michelin LT blowout involving a tire that was 10 years old."
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