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Old 05-22-2011, 11:39 PM   #1
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How to preserve your tires when not on the road

I was talking to a veteran 5th wheeler the other day. I told him I was new and that I needed tips on owning and traveling in a 5th wheel. The first thing he told me that he learned the hard way was plan on replacing the tires on your trailer every two years. I was shocked to hear this. Apparently the weight of the trailers does the radials in after a while and when the trailer is being stored the tires continue to bear all the laden weight. In other words the tires never get a break, and thus in time the sidewalls weaken and they can blow out if not replaced within specified time ratios. Even if the tread looks good, and the tires appear sound, they could have a tendency to blow. This man told he had two different blow outs and both times the steal belts ripped the under tow of the trailer to shreds. A very expensive fix for him. Thus his advice.

Now tell me forum, how often have any of you changed your trailer tires and is it really a two year interval like this man is telling me? I have nothing to compare it to so I ask you for your opinion.

The other tip the man gave me was don't discard the tires that are being changed. When I go to store my 5th Wheel take the new tires off and put the old ones on just for storage if for a long period. Only run the new ones when on the road. Sounds like allot of work, but at the tune of $600 plus to swap out the tires it may be worth it. What do all of you think?

Open for your input and advice
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Old 05-23-2011, 12:28 AM   #2
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ms,

Coat your tires with a tire dressing and get new tires every 5-6 years unless you see sidewalls craizing before then.
If possible, drive your fiver on a monthly basis to keep the tires from getting flat spots.


Steve
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Old 05-23-2011, 04:03 AM   #3
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What do all of you think?
I think you've been talking to someone who doesn't have a clue what he's talking about. Put tires on your trailer that are heavy enough they not running at or near their load carrying capacity. I prefer light truck tires to trailer tires, but they're more expensive. My current trailer has a loading of about 1600 pounds per tire, and my tires are rated about 2300 pounds; loaded weight 6300 on the axles and 9200 capacity of the tires. I NEVER have tire issues and they are never more than warm to the touch.

Keep them properly inflated. Underinflated tires produce tremendous amounts of heat and lead to catastrophic failure. Protect them from UV when not in use. When they get old, replace them. The figures that get thrown around range from 7 to 10 years. Take your pick. But 2 years is ridiculous.

In more than 30 years, and thousands of miles, towing I have experienced one catastrophic tire failure, and that was on a trailer someone had equipped with passenger car tires that were running just barely over their rated capacity and inflated to max pressure.

JP
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Old 05-23-2011, 05:44 AM   #4
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Also check the age of tires before you buy them. Tires in general have an eight year tire life limit and they are toast and if they come from tire dealers back room and have been sitting around for six...
Tire Tech Information - Determining the Age of a Tire
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Old 05-23-2011, 07:52 AM   #5
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I think you've been talking to someone who doesn't have a clue what he's talking about. Put tires on your trailer that are heavy enough they not running at or near their load carrying capacity.
Good on both counts.

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Old 05-23-2011, 10:17 AM   #6
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Joe,

You don't know how much I want to thank you for your opposing view of the advice I was given. I thought it quite strange that this man was replacing his trailer tires so often and I just cannot imagine the cost at such short intervals.

Thank you for presenting a much more realistic explanation and view regarding the lifespan of the tires. I will investigate the load when I do go to replace the tires I have and I will take your advice regarding the truck tires.

In addition to the information you supplied, should I store the trailer on the old tires like the other gentlemen suggested? I can swap them out myself as I have all the hydraulic equipment to jack the trailer up and switch the tires with ease. In other words does the trailer sitting on the tires during non road trip intervals really put stress on the tires as well? The flat spots are a given, but what do you think about that. Would that be an anal hyper thing to do, or should I just do the tire dressing and keep them covered?

Thanks again,

Much appreciated :O)
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Old 05-23-2011, 10:20 AM   #7
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Thanks Steve, Jim and Joe for your advice. I meant to mention each of your names in my last reply. :O)
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Old 05-23-2011, 11:16 AM   #8
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Hey ms5thwheel,

Use some 303 Protectant on the tires and cover them while in storage also. Keep the tire pressure correct!

Regards, Hamshog
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Old 05-23-2011, 11:28 AM   #9
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If I have the trailer parked for a long time, I like to use jack stands to take the weight off of the tires and the suspension.
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Old 05-23-2011, 08:54 PM   #10
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ms5thwheel,
I have been towing an RV trailer of one kind or another since 1979 and have never given any special care to the tires EXCEPT to keep them inflated to the sidewall pressure and watch them for abnormal wear patterns. I have never blown out a trailer tire, and maybe have had 7-8 flats over that span. Lucky, yes, but I usually upgrade tires to a higher load range if I need to replace a set.
Keep them inflated to the listed sidewall pressure and check them often. An infrared temp gun is a handy item to check for heat buildup on both the tires and hubs--if ever there is excessive or rapid heat buildup, there is a problem that needs to be addressed quickly.
I also never do anything special for the tires when not using the trailer--that used to be 7-9 months at a time before I retired. Putting a 2nd set on for storage is a lot of extra effort with little return that I can see, and sets the stage for forgetting to torque them properly when changing the sets.
By the way, you should know or find out what your trailer actually weighs and check for load capacity on the current tires.
Happy camping!
Joe
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Old 05-24-2011, 12:02 AM   #11
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Very good information !!!!! I LIKE IT. Especially the infrared gun to check tire temp.

Thanks for the adivice. Being new at this I find you older veterans are a wealth of knowledge and information.

:O)
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Old 05-24-2011, 12:29 AM   #12
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ms,

Coat your tires with a tire dressing and get new tires every 5-6 years unless you see sidewalls craizing before then.
If possible, drive your fiver on a monthly basis to keep the tires from getting flat spots.


Steve
According to Michelin NEVER coat your tires with anything that contains petroleum distillates, and most of them do!! The only thing Michelin used to allow was 303, now they have their own coating that appears to be nothing but relabeled 303 and theirs all they allow now.

I've got new bottles of dressings at home and they all say they contain petroleum distillates. On another forum someone posted pictures of his PU tires, after 4 years they were completely rotted out. He was proud of the fact that he used a lot of tire dressing on the tires!
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Old 05-24-2011, 01:27 AM   #13
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According to Michelin NEVER coat your tires with anything that contains petroleum distillates, and most of them do!! The only thing Michelin used to allow was 303, now they have their own coating that appears to be nothing but relabeled 303 and theirs all they allow now.

I've got new bottles of dressings at home and they all say they contain petroleum distillates. On another forum someone posted pictures of his PU tires, after 4 years they were completely rotted out. He was proud of the fact that he used a lot of tire dressing on the tires!

Hello Mr D,

I have used silicone grease, for many years, keeping my tire sidewalls shiny, free from UV deterioration, non cracking and not effecting the rubber chemical structure at all. It's not a petrolium product.
Silicone grease - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


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Old 05-24-2011, 06:27 AM   #14
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According to Michelin NEVER coat your tires with anything that contains petroleum distillates, and most of them do!! The only thing Michelin used to allow was 303, now they have their own coating that appears to be nothing but relabeled 303 and theirs all they allow now.

I've got new bottles of dressings at home and they all say they contain petroleum distillates. On another forum someone posted pictures of his PU tires, after 4 years they were completely rotted out. He was proud of the fact that he used a lot of tire dressing on the tires!
Goodyear says the same thing. Petroleum distillates (including silicone) will speed up the sidewall deterioration. I'm not familiar with silicone grease so I can't comment on that product but it sure "sounds" like a petroleum product.
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