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Old 11-26-2012, 10:23 AM   #1
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What is it like when a tire blows out

I only had one tire failure on a single axle boat trailer and that tire went slowly over 40 miles. I tried to limp it home by taking back roads and reducing speed to 25 - 30 mph but came up 10 miles short. There was no loss of control ever. I imagine it is different with a 15,000 lb. 5th wheel. So can only 1 tire get you home if you can slow down. What damage does the blown tire cause. How likely is a blown tire to happen? I would like to understand how to avoid it and what to expect if/when it happens. Also - is it less likely to happen on a cold day vs a hot day.

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Old 11-26-2012, 10:29 AM   #2
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Interested in the replys. We have had a gooseneck trailer tire go down and it was a pain. We had no real loss of control.

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Old 11-26-2012, 12:14 PM   #3
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We have lost a few tires on our old fiver, the first one blew apart and I never felt it. The wife was following in another car and called me to tell me she was dodging tread chunks lol. The second tire we felt it go. It felt like the trannies slipped for a second at speed, kinda a small lurch. We actually stopped to check the trannie fluid thinking we had a problem there and discovered the blown tire. Third tire went down real slow and a passing motorist alerted us. Come to find out that when the tires were changed, the shop didn't use high pressure valve stems, and the regular valve stems were failing. Two popped clean out of the rim (the blowouts), and the third one split at the rim. Never felt like looking control at all.
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Old 11-26-2012, 12:42 PM   #4
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I had a blow out on my 5er doing about 60MPH on the interstate last year. Tire had only 500 miles on it when it failed, nice new Chinese tire. The tire sound like a shot gun going off, my wife turn to me and said what was that? I look out the LH side driverís door mirror and saw rubber flying around the rim. I was able to pull off the road in less than 2 minís had about $3,000 in damage to camper and for a replacement tire cost. Insurance covered the damage to the camper less deducible.
The worst part about this was I had just checked the air pressure (80psi) in the tire and lug nut torque before leaving the camp ground 20 minís earlier.
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Old 11-26-2012, 01:12 PM   #5
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The tire sound like a shot gun going off, my wife turn to me and said what was that?

We live one mile as the crow flies from Interstate 64. About once a week we can hear a truck tire blow, and it is loud enough to wake the dead! Depending on the tire and how it blows, it could just be a minor control problem or a lot of damage from the tire gator eating the side of the RV. Fortunately, all of my "on the road flats" have been minor, and I was able to change the tire out.
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Old 11-26-2012, 01:27 PM   #6
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We've had 3 tire failures at speed with our various 5th wheels over the years. We've always towed with 1-ton duallies, so that will have some bearing on the stability issue. I had no trouble telling that a tire had failed - in each case, I heard a loud bang as the tread separated and hit the underbody of the 5th wheel. Other than that, there was no indication insofar as swerving or any loss of control; the truck and 5th wheel remained stable as I pulled over onto the shoulder of the road and stopped.

In all 3 cases, we had complete tread separations. 2 of those resulted in over $2,500 damage to the 5th wheels; on the third, we were lucky - the tread just wrapped around the axle.

If absolutely necessary for safety considerations, one might limp to the next exit at a crawl on the remaining tire, but that tire has been severely overloaded in doing so. As far as the remaining tire is concerned, if possible, one is better off just calling his/her roadside assistance service and letting them change the failed tire on the spot.

What can one do to avoid failures, other than proper inflation and reasonable speeds? First, recognize that all too many RV manufacturers will skimp on the running gear (tires, axles, etc.) to put the money in the visible "glitz" that sells the RVs. Because of this, it's not untypical for tires on 5th wheels to operate at 90% to 95% or more of their load ratings. Because of this, I always put the best tires available for the size and weight ratings required on the trailer, ideally with additional reserve load capacity. I've used the LT235/85R-16E all-steel construction Michelin XPS Ribs on a previous 5th wheel and the 215/75R-17.5 load range J Michelin XTAs on our current 5th wheel as upgraded replacements and have never had a tire problem with either. The OEM Goodyear Marathons and G614 RST tires with which we experienced failures subsequently developed well-deserved reputations as bad actors, as have many of the China Bombs.

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Old 11-26-2012, 01:36 PM   #7
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Here is a good youtube video by Michelin that covers it:

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Old 11-26-2012, 06:21 PM   #8
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I've only had one. and the tire didn't blow, just the tread came off, but the tire held air. Drove at near 70 for a while and it was fine.
it felt like a bump and that was about it.
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Old 11-26-2012, 06:48 PM   #9
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I have only really had one tire issue with my rig, although it was in two parts. I blew the right forward tire on the rig at about 62 MPH going up the interstate. I heard the pop, and saw the rubber and cheese flying in the side mirror. Thankfully, there were no steering or stability problems, and I was able to get to the side of the road, and called assistance, who eventually showed up and swapped them out for me.
The next day, as I stopped for the night, I noticed the right rear tire had delaminated, and while it was holding air, there was nothing there but the carcass.
Next morning the nice fellow from the Goodyear store came to me and replaced all six tires on the rig. (ouch)
A few lessons learnt... never leave out without a TPMS, roadside service, and a cell phone. Oh, and a pocket full of cash...
Bob; thanks for the video, it was very instructional.
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Old 11-26-2012, 07:25 PM   #10
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The clicky is a motor home having a flat tire. Not germane to a flat tire on a trailer.

I had many flat tires on trailers ranging from single axle trailers to tandem and tri axle trailers up to 20k lbs. Like many folks say if I didn't hear the blowout the tire probably went down slowly till it came apart at speed. Many times a passing motorist gave me a warning of a problem "back there". The size of the tow vehicle made no difference.
If you hear the blowout simply slow down for a safe place to get off the road. Please do not stop on the highway as some RV folks are prone to do.

One tire will not get you home. The tire that is flat is still carrying weight. It will in time wear down to and including the rim after a few miles at speed.

A blown tire at speed shreds and can cause thousands of dollars in damage to the RV.

If your trailer has ST tires your chances are increased for having a flat tire or a tire issue. Upgrading to a LT eliminates ST tire issues. A google on ST vs LT has hundreds of pages of input on the subject from trailering forums of all types (not just RVs).

I've had flat tires on trailers in zero temps at 2am in the morning and 115 degree temps in west TX/NM/OK in day time.

Best plan for eliminating tire issues on any trailer is go with a quality LT tire. Some folks use ST tires on heavy trailers but go with a TPMS system. A TPMS system warns of a hot or low tire but only goes off after the tire explodes. IMO a must have if you plan on using ST tires on any trailer.
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Old 11-26-2012, 07:44 PM   #11
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I had many. ST tire falures on trailers and 2 LT flats on my TV. On the trailer I never noticed any drive problems. On the truck rear it was like a rear end gear failure and coasted to safety. Never apply brakes. One time I had to use front traction to move the unit.
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Old 12-04-2012, 10:59 AM   #12
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As many have related a tire failure, for whatever reason, may not be detected by the driver of the tow vehicle so significant $$$$ damage can be done before you get flagged over. Therefore I strongly recommend you do the following:

First - Confirm you are not part of the 57% of trailer owners with an overloaded tire or axle, get the trailer weighed and calculate the actual tire loads for each tire.
Second - you should get a TPMS so you get a warning as soon as possible of an air loss
Third - inflate your trailer tires to the inflation molded on the tire sidewall.
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Old 12-04-2012, 12:06 PM   #13
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A friend with a 5-er blew lots of tires. He was about 2500 overweight.
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Old 12-04-2012, 12:19 PM   #14
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trailer tires tend to get "ignored" worse than vehicle tires. A smart fella suggested to me ALWAYS equip your trailer with LT or better tires. Also pay close attention to the pressures as it is very important.
Also cover them when not in use
Store them on wood/plastic where they will not leech or degrade.

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