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Old 05-06-2012, 07:46 PM   #1
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Double check those tires...

On my way home from work Friday, I came up on a fifth wheel along I-81. I pulled over and offered some assistance. It was an elderly couple, that was heading to upstate New York for the summer. The man was on the phone with AAA and his wife told me they had been waiting for several hours already. I asked if they had a jack and they said no. Since I was driving our dually, I had our bottle jack, boards and a 4-way lug wrench. I got everything together and tried loosening the lug nuts. I ended up bending a steel 4-way lug wrench!

I came home and got my impact socket set and a breaker bar, then headed back. When I got there, the AAA ERS guy was there and trying to get the lug nuts off with an electric impact wrench. It was not working. Luckily, the breaker bar worked.

The tire that disintegrated, was a GY Marathon ST. The man's spare was also a Marathon. When we put the spare on, I double checked the pressure. It was 10PSI low, so we topped it off. The man said that they were all checked, before they left Texas. He asked me if there were any RV stores nearby and I told him about the Camping World, which was 20 miles in the wrong direction. He was looking to get another tire/wheel, so he would have a spare. I had CW's phone number, in my phone's contacts. I called them and asked if they had any tires/wheels. They told me that they have people buy tires and wheels somewhere else and then put them on.

The man was none too happy, going all the way to New York without a spare. He said that he was on his fourth complete set of Marathons already. His camper was a 2009/2010? Montana. I had a spare wheel, with a brand new LT tire on it (Both gotten for free) and offered to loan it to him. He offered to buy it from me, but I didn't want to sell something I didn't have to pay for. We got it mounted under his camper and they were finally on their way.

I checked the date on his other tires and they were made the second week of April, 2008! Here's what his trailer looked like, after we got the spare on:




What was left of the tire and wheel.. The wheel is destroyed.



Two years ago, my tow vehicle broke down on our way to a rally of other Sunline owners. We were 75 miles from the CG and someone was kind enough to tow our fifth wheel the rest of the way for us. I hope helping these nice people was a good way of "Paying it forward"
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Old 05-06-2012, 07:55 PM   #2
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Old 05-06-2012, 08:08 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by sdennislee
You're a good man. We need more people like you.
X 2. I am a great believer of pay it forward. I had a neighbor pull in the other day at a CG that had 80 psi on the fresh water. His water regulator had a hole in it and was unusable. I recently bought a watts 265a regulator so I had a spare $15.00 regulator. I gave it to him ( no big deal ) and he was overly appreciative , so I told him to pay it forward.
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Old 05-07-2012, 07:38 AM   #4
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Good on you!!! Its reassuring to know there are still people out there who will offer help for no reward other than a good deed well done.

BTW I can't believe the guy was on his FOURTH set of Marathons. I had one blow in northwest NM when our rig, a 2010 Montana, was on its first long trip. Made it to Farmington and put a set of Michelin LT's on and have never looked back.
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Old 05-07-2012, 08:13 AM   #5
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Old 05-07-2012, 08:36 AM   #6
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You're a good man. We need more people like you.

Pay it forward is another term for Karma... I'm a strong believer in karma, and what I've seen from the RV communitee is that we have lots of the good side of it.

And yes, good man, and thanks...
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Old 05-07-2012, 08:40 AM   #7
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I got everything together and tried loosening the lug nuts. I ended up bending a steel 4-way lug wrench!
Yep, I learned years ago to never trust the tire jockeys wheel mounting skills. For trailers I always have a torque wrench with me. If I have to have someone else mount a wheel, then before I leave that shop I loosen the lug nuts and re-tighten them to the correct torque. On most trailers it's about 100 lb/ft. On my Ford diesel pickup, the correct torque was 165 lb/ft. Ignorant tire jockies don't know the difference, so their usual error is to under-torque the lugnuts on SuperDuty pickups.

But I screwed up recently. I bought 4 new tires for our Corolla from Sam's Club. I didn't check the torque before I left, and that cost me several hours of frustration later.

Darling Wife had a flat 30 miles from home, so I drove to the rescue. One of the lugnuts was torqued about right. Three others were really tight, but I managed to break them loose. But that fifth lugnut was not going to come loose. I had custom wheels from Direct Tire, with a silly "key" to fit over each lugnut. I destroyed the key, trying to get that nut loose with a lugwrench. So I went to Direct Tire and they gave me another key. I destroyed that one too. With the third key, I decided that the lugwrench wouldn't stay perfectly aligned with the key and nut with me standing on the end of the lugwrench, and that was what was destroying the keys, so I drove back home, 30 miles, and got the generator, air compressor, and impact wrench. But my cheap air compressor only goes up to about 120 PSI, and that wasn't enough to break that lugnut loose. So I aired up the tire and drove the car to Sam's Club.

I fussed at the service manager about his untrained tire jockeys and explained exactly how they should use a torque wrench to check the torque after they have installed the tires with an air gun and the correct torque stick. I wanted not only the flat tire repaired, but loosen all the lugnuts for the other three tires and then use a torque wrench to do it right. He agreed. They did it right this time, with my eagle eye watching them. I (and the service manager) noticed four of the lugnuts came off quickly. But that fifth one required their air gun to click for several seconds before the lugnut finally came loose. At least the lugnut key didn't tear up again before they got that lugnut loose.

Lesson learned? Whether trailer or car or tow vehicle, when someone else messes with your lugnuts, double check the torque before you leave their premises.
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Old 05-07-2012, 08:43 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by EMD_Driver View Post
He said that he was on his fourth complete set of Marathons already. His camper was a 2009/2010? Montana.
This is precisely the reason why some of us try to warn our fellow RVers about these types of tires and why we recommend upgrading.

Oh, and I also commend your thoughtfulness and generosity. I hope they eventually made it home and get their RV repaired and tires/wheels upgraded.

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Old 05-07-2012, 08:53 AM   #9
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I'm in the process of getting all tires replaced. Some good info on checking the torque on them.

Where would an owner find the best information on proper torque settings?

I have Alcoa rims. Being aluminum, do they need to be rechecked at some point after they are installed?

I recall on my cars that it was highly recommended that after about 100 miles I take them back to the tire shop to check torque. Sounds like I might need ANOTHER tool. LOL
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Old 05-07-2012, 10:04 AM   #10
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Where would an owner find the best information on proper torque settings?
For my 2012 F-150, it's on page 346 of the Owner's Guide - under "tire changing" which is in the Roadside Emergencies section. 150 lb/ft. For my 2010 Corolla it's on page 400 of the Owner's Guide, under tire changing procedures. 76 lb/ft. For trailer wheels, it should also be in the Owner's Guide for that trailer. My dealer didn't give me the Owner's Guide for my new trailer, but he says it's 90 to 120 lb/ft.

Quote:
I have Alcoa rims. Being aluminum, do they need to be rechecked at some point after they are installed?
Yes. My F-150 Owner's Guide says, "Retighten the lug nuts to the specified torque within 100 miles (160 km) after any wheel disturbance (rotation, flat tire, wheel removal, etc." Then double check every 1,000 miles or so, including before any long trips on a high-speed expressway. The aftermarket alloy wheels on my Corolla said to check them after 50 and 100 miles.

Quote:
Sounds like I might need ANOTHER tool. LOL
Yep, you need a torque wrench that goes up to the highest torque for any of your vehicles. And sockets to fit any of your different lugnuts. Plus I often also need a 6" extension to reach the lugnuts inside the wheels. Because my SuperDuty required 165 lb/ft, I had to buy one with more oomph than 165, so I couldn't get by with the El Cheapos that only go up to 150 lb/ft or so. Here's mine:
1/2 in. Drive Torque Wrench-39104T at The Home Depot
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Old 05-07-2012, 10:31 AM   #11
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EMD_Driver, you get a big "atta boy."

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Old 05-07-2012, 04:55 PM   #12
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This is precisely the reason why some of us try to warn our fellow RVers about these types of tires and why we recommend upgrading.

Oh, and I also commend your thoughtfulness and generosity. I hope they eventually made it home and get their RV repaired and tires/wheels upgraded.

Rusty
The man said that he was going to get a new rim and tire, when they got settled in New York. They actually live in Texas, but reverse-snowbird and live in the 5'er during the summer. The spare I loaned him, was a "Made in USA" Goodyear LT. I suggested to him that he be very specific, and get new "Made in USA" LT tires.
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