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Old 10-14-2020, 10:49 AM   #1
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2007 19' Bambi
La Jolla , California
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Audi TV blown tires—what did I do wrong?

Friends:

I’m driving cross country and having issues. 2000 miles in, both rear tires on my TV are shot! Photo:


Here’s my rig:
- 2007 19’ Bambi (GVWR of 3500). It’s loaded with typical stuff for a family trip, nothing that would completely blow out the weight of it.
- 2013 Audi Q7 (towing capacity of 6600 with weight distribution hitch)
- EAZ-lift weight distribution hitch with sway bar



Man, I put so much time and effort into configuring this and avoiding this very issue. Chose a TV that has a capacity that far exceeds that of the trailer. Chose a WDH and configured it under the guidance of Andy at CanAm, the grand Pooh-Bah of trailers.

And yet here I am, both rear tires shot, and the service tech at Audi (who is swapping in new tires now) is telling me I’m towing too much weight for the car.

I’m in NY and need to get back cross country again soon, so what are my options? I don’t want to have to sell this TV and get another (though I will if I have to). Figured I’d ask you all, the experts.

Is this an issue with these performance 21” tires on the Audi? Should I get something “sturdier”?

Or did I have the WDH configured wrong, thereby putting maybe too much weight on the rear tires?

Or did I have the trailer loaded wrong maybe putting too much weight on the tongue (thereby forcing down the rear of the TV too much)?

I’d love some theories so I know where to troubleshoot this problem. Right now I’m buying new tires, but I don’t want to have this issue again when I start to drive the 2500 miles west in a couple weeks...

Thanks!
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Old 10-14-2020, 11:05 AM   #2
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First I'd show the tow rating of the Audi to the service tech.

But my suggestion/theory is that the TV might be rated for such weight but the tires....nope. They are performance tires not for weight towing. The TV rating I'm sure is for the vehicle frame/engine capacity with proper tires.

That's just a WAG. Check with the tire manufacturer.
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Old 10-14-2020, 11:07 AM   #3
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Looked up your specs. Payload is 1279 pounds in your car with the base model. So subtracting the tongue weight, wdh weight, you, gear in vehicle what is left? A tongue weight gauge is a nice safety item to have. 150$ ish dollars for peace of mind.
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Old 10-14-2020, 11:11 AM   #4
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First things first, I'd get that on a CAT scale and do the 3-weigh process and see what all of your actual weights are. As previously mentioned, once you know the axle weight, see if that coincides with the rear tire specifications.
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Old 10-14-2020, 11:18 AM   #5
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Looking at the photo you provided, you have too much weight on the rear of the car. You will need to adjust the WD so it transfers more weight to the front axle.
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Old 10-14-2020, 11:31 AM   #6
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I don't see any bend in the WD bars. What are they rated at?
Trailer is not level. You have adjustment on your hitch, drop it down and tension the bars to level. Measure the wheelhouse and get to the CAT scale

Plus 295/35R21 is a hi perf handling tire not the ideal choice for towing loads. (China)

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Old 10-14-2020, 11:40 AM   #7
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Lionshead tires?
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Old 10-14-2020, 11:58 AM   #8
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If the photo of your hitched car and trailer is how you have it set up then it's surely not done right, simply by looking at the difference in height from fender rim to top of tire.

Way too much weight on rear.

Could be you're overweight for the tow vehicle's payload. Could be you're hitch isn't setup correctly. Could be improper type tires. I suspect a combination of all three. However, the weight distribution appears to be the main culprit from the photo.

All opinion on my part.
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Old 10-14-2020, 11:59 AM   #9
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Never seen or heard of those tires nor are they the right tire. You need smaller rims, taller side profile. Audi dealer probably isn’t the right place for this unless you have a Amex Black�� Other suggestions above are correct, setup needs to be addressed besides the correct wheels. Low profile tires on a SUV are for looks not towing.
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Old 10-14-2020, 12:03 PM   #10
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As was mentioned, the photo indicates a hefty load on the rear axle, but if the tires have sufficient load capacity it will not be an issue. The primary determinate is rear axle load balanced by the actual pressure in the rear tires. From the photos, I show the tires to have 2149 lb load at 49psi max. Tell us what pressure you were running.

those tires have good capacity for your setup so this should not have happened unless there is an undisclosed issue. I think low pressure is the most likely.
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Old 10-14-2020, 12:23 PM   #11
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My dealer installed my WDH. I suspected something was wrong because the rear tires heated up more than the front causing bigger pressure gain in the back when driving. Did the three weigh thing at a Cat scale and figured out that the rear axle was at its limit lightly loaded. I was not set up with enough WD. Once corrected, I was 400 lbs under rear axle limit and the truck drove much better.

I could see overloading rear tires causing them to fail as others have suggested. I would use max psi in the new rears, get to a scale and do the three weighs, get the WD adjusted, and weigh again.
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Old 10-14-2020, 01:02 PM   #12
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X3 in adjusting WD so rear tires are not overloaded.
I made the same mistake even with a Hensley hitch and a 1 ton TV. My TV was squatting pulling AS 27FB on the way to Colorado. I sent Hensley customer support photos and they suggested to adjust the spring bars for better WD. It also leveled my AS for the rest of the trip for a smoother ride.
Your tires are too sporty for towing btw.
Good luck and safe travels

Marvin
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Old 10-14-2020, 01:18 PM   #13
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Trailer looks fairly level in comparison to the tow vehicle. Use caution on putting more weight on the front end of the tow vehicle and not allow your trailer to be in a nose high position. Also I didn't note what pressure you kept in your tires vs the max inflation number on the side wall. Keep in mind that improper inflation can cause those tires to heat up. Also note that speed is also a factor in heat generation. I'm not sure what your towing speeds are.

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Old 10-14-2020, 01:24 PM   #14
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Lionhart tires are about the worst & cheapest tires there are. Surprised you made it 2000 miles towing.

Also, from the pictures it looks like your weight distribution is not shifting enough weight to the front. Less links on between the bars and then hooks until you can get on a scale..
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Old 10-14-2020, 01:29 PM   #15
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I searched online for reports of consumer experience. The Lionheart LH-Five seems to get good marks for wear and ride quality......
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Old 10-14-2020, 01:39 PM   #16
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Zooming in on the tire picture, I see two things:

1) Made in China (not always a great sign)
2) 975kg rated (about 2,149lbs).

Hitch weight is roughly 10% tow rating and I think the 19' Bambi dry should be **around** 500lbs. Load the front, fill the tanks, and put in batteries and you could be closer to 700lbs as Airstream hitch weights are notoriously low per the specs vs real world in use weighing. Putting about 3k of weight per axle hitched +/-.

These tires, though by the numbers **should** be able to handle the load, I cannot tell how much cargo, if any is in the back of the car due to tint. Car should weigh 5300 to 5600lbs empty, then add passengers and cargo plus hitch weight and you can tell if the back axle is being over taxed.

My guess is, bad tires, but also these appear to be low profile performance like tires, not really a good choice for towing....sort of kin to having a Corvette vs a sedan tire. I don't recall that brand being the OEM brand tires installed on that particular vehicle. JCanavera is also correct, speed and correct tire pressures are key. Pressure test must be done before departure and pressure should be at the max rating if weight requires max pressure to achieve the 2149lb carrying capacity. Speeds should never really go higher than 70 and IIRC, the trailer tires are only rated to about 65 if load range D.

My concern is that you blew both back tires? Shifting weight up front if the tires are not up to snuff could cause a front blow out which is harder to overcome. Additionally when folks rate performance tires with good feedback, rarely are performance tires put through the effects of towing, so good marks for this brand tire, based on the intended application, doesn't resonate much with me.
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Old 10-14-2020, 01:46 PM   #17
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Agree with Brian, start with tire pressures (cold). Everything else comes after that. Scales, WD, etc.
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Old 10-14-2020, 02:18 PM   #18
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You also might want to look up the max trailer weight. The 3500 you list is not GVWR. That’s the empty weight providing it did not have any options or anything added since 2007 when it was built. The GVWR is about 4500. Your off by a 1000 pounds. What’s a “typical “ family trip? How many people are in your family?
The tow capacity for your vehicle sounds fine. Your payload capacity is in question as well as the high performance tires. You might want to head to a cat scale. You might be surprised.
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Old 10-14-2020, 02:45 PM   #19
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I had the same thing happen on my Touareg. Both rear tires blew on a trip to Canada. It was my fault- 600 to 700 lbs hitch weight, no wd system, tires were at end of life. Wore out inside tread. Now I have a super dialed in wd hitch and the vehicle rides almost level. No more crazy wear pattern. I have thought about getting an alignment with a bunch of weight in the back before a big trip.
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Old 10-14-2020, 02:53 PM   #20
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Put on better tires. Adjust the hitch. Go across a set off CAT scales both hitched and unhitched. Then check for the rear axle load while hitched and compare that with the car specs and the tire specs. Maybe you already have CAT readings? My guess is that new tires will fix the problem. I am not sure just which tires for an Audi. I run Michelins on my truck. I have seen Audi's towing trailers a lot larger and heavier than that one successfully. 27 foot trailers. Do not know the difference in Audi models. But the tires and the rear axle load seem to be the culprit. Tongue weight is generally a good thing so I would not try to lighten it beyond factory specs. The picture is dark with shadows but it does look as if the car is hunkered down too much at the rear. Is there a chance the hitch became unadjusted?

The Audi must have a TP monitor. What did it say about inflation? Did the tires blow or just loose a lot of air? Is vandalism a possibility? I think you need a TP monitor for both the TV and the trailer if you do not have that.

I have not doubt that the Audi will pull that trailer just fine if you get good tires and get it set up correctly. I liked Discount Tire when I was there.
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