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Old 05-10-2012, 08:13 PM   #1
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Tire Failure Causes

I see a lot of people posting about "non-name brand" tires being junk and dangerous.......in most cases, I have found the following things:

1-Improper air pressure, too much is as bad as too little. REALLY most people don't check it, they kick the tire and if it kicks okay, they assume it is okay. This method keeps them from getting dirty.
2-Wrong tire for the wrong application; nothing is more important to the life of the tire than it being the :correct" tire. Most people feel if it will fit, it is the right fit.
3-Improper tire load; this translates to a balanced and level load while towing. I have seen trailers going down the highway that are "nose up" and "nose down"."nose up" will put several hundred pounds of extra load pressure on the back axle, and "nose down" loads the front axle in like manner. This condition also promotes swaying and handling issues at highway speeds.
4-If it is in my path, I MUST run over it! Running over debris can and will do damage to your tire; it may be internal in the core construction, but this "bruise" can soon escalate into a weak spot as tire temps increase.
5-NEVER hit the road with cold tires; we always collect about 5 or 6 miles of local driving before getting the tires up to highway speeds. This is a good way to spot potential issues at low speed.
6-Just because you can go 400 miles non stop does not mean it is good for your rig; stop every couple of hundred miles and let the tires cool down.

I have said all of that to say this......I use a brand called "HI RUN" that was recommended by my long time tire dealer; they have been in the 115 degree heat of Texas Canyons, across the deserts, and we have put a little over 5000 miles on them so far with no problems what so ever..........just sayin' All non American tires are not junk; just like someone who likes Michelin may say "only Michelin" makes a good tire, everything else is junk. Remember this, it does not make any difference who makes a replacement part for a vehicle, that part must pass OEM and DOT specs or it cannot be put on the market for sale.


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Old 05-10-2012, 09:51 PM   #2
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The Good Sam club did a tire survey that was statistically significant, my memory 15,000 plus, better than 30% had failures. In talking with a former Goodyear exec he indicated that tires tires made in China were "junk". I know of three individuals that have had catastrophic tire failures on teardrop trailers which are grossly underloaded. Goodyear Marathon are made in China. I have not been able to find ST tires not made in China!
In talking to the individual repairing our trailer he indicates he sees and repairs damage from tire failures with too great regularity.
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Old 05-10-2012, 09:53 PM   #3
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RV Trailer Tires

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Old 05-10-2012, 10:12 PM   #4
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I have not been able to find ST tires not made in China!
Maxxis tires are made in Thailand (for whatever that's worth, as country of manufacture alone is not a certain indicator of anything) and have a good reputation.


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6-Just because you can go 400 miles non stop does not mean it is good for your rig; stop every couple of hundred miles and let the tires cool down.
Where in the world did this come from? A properly made tire in the correct application should be able to dissipate enough heat on a continuous basis such that there should be no particular time or distance limit on operation.
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Old 05-10-2012, 10:48 PM   #5
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THANKS FOR THE VALUABLE INFORMATION; In all my years as an ASE Master Mechanic on Class 8 Trucks, almost all the time I ran into reliability issues, it was tracked back to owner/operator mistakes and or negligence. Some of it was out of "simply not knowing" and some of it was from "trying to cut corners" to save a dollar.
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Old 05-10-2012, 10:53 PM   #6
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Under correct conditions, you may be right.............but the reason we are having this discussion is that so few run under correct conditions; frequent stops also do much more than let your tire cool down; it gives you a break, lets engine and transmission fluids cool, gives you a chance for a mid trip inspection, etc.

Just because a tire can run and dissipate heat well, does not mean that you should ignore the possibility of any other problems that could arise........you can;t inspect your rig while it's running 65 MPH down the highway.

And please notice, I did not say a tire couldn't, I said it is not necessarily the best thing for it....................
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Old 05-10-2012, 11:07 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by scgator View Post
THANKS FOR THE VALUABLE INFORMATION; In all my years as an ASE Master Mechanic on Class 8 Trucks, almost all the time I ran into reliability issues, it was tracked back to owner/operator mistakes and or negligence. Some of it was out of "simply not knowing" and some of it was from "trying to cut corners" to save a dollar.
I agree!! I see SO MANY people here saying they ignore the manufacturers load recommendations because "my sisters brother in law said...." Then they blame the tire manufacturer.
I some 50 years of driving I have had one blowout, a GoodYear and only two flats with Michelins (tires had over 60,000 miles and picked up some screws). But I'm pretty "religious" about load and tire pressures too. I check pressures every day before we leave and feel the tires for temp every time we stop. My tire gauges are checked against a certified gauge also.
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Old 05-10-2012, 11:12 PM   #8
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Well there's no reason to let the engine fluids cool either, in fact in an ideal environment (for engine longevity at least) would be if the engine never cooled.

But those misconceptions aside, yeah, inspections are a good thing and can reveal problems before they become dangerous. But normal fueling stops should be frequent enough for that I would think.
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Old 05-11-2012, 05:29 AM   #9
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As many of you have figured out I am a bit obsessive about information and with reported problems with trailer tires and about a 30% failure rate including a couple of folks on this forum who have had catastrophic failures.

Portion of a post by Mike Mitchell, NuWa (HitchHiker) CEO in a discussion regarding trailer tires on the NuWa Owner's Forum.

As we banter about regarding tire types and loading, I believe that we are finally starting to understand a few important things.
I have asked many times for someone to explain how a ST tire can be rated to carry more weight than a LT tire in a similar size, without a good answer.
The answer lies in what is called reserve capacity. To quote from Trailer Parts Superstore and this same statement exist on just about every tire site:

HEAVY DUTY 'LT' TRUCK / TRAILER TIRES
'LT' signifies the tire is a "Light Truck/Trailer" series that can be used on trailers that are capable of carrying heavy cargo such as equipment trailers.

If a tire size begins with 'LT' it signifies the tire is a "Light Truck-metric" size that was designed to be used on trailers that are capable of carrying heavy cargo or tow vehicles. Tires branded with the "LT" designation are designed to provide substantial reserve capacity to accept the additional stresses of carrying heavy cargo.

So what is reserve capacity? It is capacity beyond the rating of the tire, capacity that is held in reserve. This reserve capacity comes from the heavy-duty sidewall of the LT type tires. LT's rank at the top of the list when we look at P, ST and LT tires.

Now I finally have an answer to how a ST tire can be rated to carry more weight than a LT tire of similar size.

The ratings of ST tires infringe into the reserve capacity of the tire. This is double bad, because the design of the ST gives us a tire with less reserve capacity to start with as it has a lighter sidewall to start with as most ST tires are much lighter than their LT counterparts.

To quote one tire site:
"Put a different way, the load carrying capacity of an ST tire is 20% greater than an LT tire. Since durability is strictly a long term issue - and the results of a tire failure on a trailer are much less life threatening than on a truck - the folks that set up these load / inflation pressure relationships allow a greater......ah......let's call it load intensity."

There it is in print to be read. They make a calculated decision to give the ST tire a higher load rating because a failure is less life threatening.

I have on a number of occasions pointed out the weight difference between the different tires and have been told that does not matter. Well it does matter. The rubber in the average tire only makes up around 40 some percent of its weight, the rest is in the steel belts, gum strips, steel beads, and the carcass plies. The remaining 60 or so percent of the stuff in a tire is what builds in the reserve capacity.

So to review again, here are some weights:
1. Michelin XPS RIB LT235/85R16 LRE (rated to 3042lbs) Weight 55.41
2. Goodyear G614 LT235/85R16 LRG (rated to 3750lbs) Weight 57.5
3. Bridgestone Duravis R250 LT235/85R16 LRE(rated to 3042lbs) Weight 60
4. BFG Commercial TA LT235/85R16 LRE(rated to 3042lbs) Weight 44.44
5. Uniroyal Laredo HD/H LT235/85R16 LRE(rated to 3042lbs) Weight 44.44
6. GY Marathon ST235/80R16 LRE(rated to 3420lbs) Weight 35.4

So which tires on the list have the most reserve capacity? Well that is not a completely simple answer, as one of the tires is a G rate 110 lb tire and the rest are LRE at 80lb inflation. So if we disregard the G614, then the Michelin XPS RIB and the Bridgestone Duravis R250 due to their all-steel ply construction will have the most reserve capacity inherent in their construction. The twin Commercial TA and Laredo will be next and the Marathon would have little or no reserve capacity available because it was used up in its higher load rating, AND because of it's much lighter construction it had much less inherent reserve capacity to start with.

So what have we learn from this?

I think that the first thing that we learned was that a LT tire can be used at or near it max rated loading without having issues, as they built with "substantial reserve capacity to accept the additional stresses of carrying heavy cargo".

The second thing we may have learned is why ST tires are failing on mid to larger 5th wheels, in that they do not have inherent reserve capacity beyond that rated max loading. Again this is because they have less reserve capacity to start with and their greater "load intensity" used up any reserve capacity that might have been available.

Now, here is an interesting bit of information. I just called Maxxis Tech Line and asked the weights for two tires.

ST235/80R16 LRD 3000 lb rating at 65 lbs of air weights 38.58
ST235/80R16 LRE 3420 lb rating at 80 lbs of air weights 43.43

What??? The Maxxis load range E tire weights almost the same as the Commercial TA?? This is a ST tire that has heavier construction than the GY Marathon at 35.4 lbs. So it has more inherent reserve capacity due to its heavier construction.

Those that claimed its virtues maybe did not know why it was a better ST tire than some of the others, but there it is! It is a heavier built tire with more reserve capacity.

So as one chooses a replacement tire or is asking for an upgrade on a new trailer please get educated on where the reserve capacity exist. Is it inherent in the tire you choose or do you have to factor it into the weight rating of the tire you choose.

The thread Tire blow out - cause unknown
and the survey http://blog.goodsamclub.com/wp-conte...ireSurvey4.pdf
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Old 05-11-2012, 10:02 AM   #10
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Being new to RVs (just over 2 years), I'm amazed that there are few good tire choices. I've seen the Maxxis brand bantered as a good choice. I have 2 TTs right now. Both have "off brand" tires. My smaller Shadow Cruiser 185BFS has about 4K miles of towing on it and the tries are already looking worn, but not unevenly. My new Surveyor SV-264 was towed from the factory to Texas. Dealer said tires have about 900 miles on them. They look OK for now. However, at gross, they are rated within 15% of the max. They are ST205-14R with a max loading of 1760 lbs. each (if memory serves... I'm old ). This gives me pause... However, I just shelled out some sizeable dollars for this and don't really want to upgrade until it's time to replace them. When I do replace them, I'll probably go to the ST215-14Rs that have about 100# or so of extra load capacity. I just hope I don't lose one of the factory cheepies in the meantime...

It seems to me that those in the tire business is missing the boat. I'd rather pay a premium for a known-good tire, with a higher load rating, than scrimp at replacement time... just a peace-of-mind thing... However, it appears that TT owners have fewer choices than others.
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Old 05-11-2012, 02:14 PM   #11
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"But I'm pretty "religious" about load and tire pressures too. I check pressures every day before we leave and feel the tires for temp every time we stop."

Here is a picture I took today of the tires on our TV; They are Firestone Transforce HT's; this is a legitimate truck tire; I have always believed that a truck should run a truck tire. These tires currently have 56K miles on them and have been on the truck since August 2009. There is a lot to be said for proper maintenance according to manufacturer' specs and also having the right tire for the right application.

I spent a career in manufacturing and spent many hours on RCA committees (Root Cause Analysis); In other words, when you have a failure, you begin to "peel back" the layers of symptoms until you arrive at the actual event or issue that FIRST started the demise. I take this same attitude in RV'ing. Many times you will hear someone bashing or downgrading a product............and while some products are indeed inferior it is completely out of sorts to "publicly brand" a product simply because you don't like it. Imagine if you had spent untold millions of dollars to mass produce a product to sell to the public, and just because some people chose to use it improperly, they begin to slander and downgrade your image all over the internet.......YOU would not like it, yet some do this anyway.
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Old 05-11-2012, 03:41 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Shadowcatche View Post
As many of you have figured out I am a bit obsessive about information and with reported problems with trailer tires and about a 30% failure rate including a couple of folks on this forum who have had catastrophic failures.

Portion of a post by Mike Mitchell, NuWa (HitchHiker) CEO in a discussion regarding trailer tires on the NuWa Owner's Forum.

As we banter about regarding tire types and loading, I believe that we are finally starting to understand a few important things.
I have asked many times for someone to explain how a ST tire can be rated to carry more weight than a LT tire in a similar size, without a good answer.
The answer lies in what is called reserve capacity. To quote from Trailer Parts Superstore and this same statement exist on just about every tire site:

HEAVY DUTY 'LT' TRUCK / TRAILER TIRES
'LT' signifies the tire is a "Light Truck/Trailer" series that can be used on trailers that are capable of carrying heavy cargo such as equipment trailers.

If a tire size begins with 'LT' it signifies the tire is a "Light Truck-metric" size that was designed to be used on trailers that are capable of carrying heavy cargo or tow vehicles. Tires branded with the "LT" designation are designed to provide substantial reserve capacity to accept the additional stresses of carrying heavy cargo.

So what is reserve capacity? It is capacity beyond the rating of the tire, capacity that is held in reserve. This reserve capacity comes from the heavy-duty sidewall of the LT type tires. LT's rank at the top of the list when we look at P, ST and LT tires.

Now I finally have an answer to how a ST tire can be rated to carry more weight than a LT tire of similar size.

The ratings of ST tires infringe into the reserve capacity of the tire. This is double bad, because the design of the ST gives us a tire with less reserve capacity to start with as it has a lighter sidewall to start with as most ST tires are much lighter than their LT counterparts.

To quote one tire site:
"Put a different way, the load carrying capacity of an ST tire is 20% greater than an LT tire. Since durability is strictly a long term issue - and the results of a tire failure on a trailer are much less life threatening than on a truck - the folks that set up these load / inflation pressure relationships allow a greater......ah......let's call it load intensity."

There it is in print to be read. They make a calculated decision to give the ST tire a higher load rating because a failure is less life threatening.

I have on a number of occasions pointed out the weight difference between the different tires and have been told that does not matter. Well it does matter. The rubber in the average tire only makes up around 40 some percent of its weight, the rest is in the steel belts, gum strips, steel beads, and the carcass plies. The remaining 60 or so percent of the stuff in a tire is what builds in the reserve capacity.

So to review again, here are some weights:
1. Michelin XPS RIB LT235/85R16 LRE (rated to 3042lbs) Weight 55.41
2. Goodyear G614 LT235/85R16 LRG (rated to 3750lbs) Weight 57.5
3. Bridgestone Duravis R250 LT235/85R16 LRE(rated to 3042lbs) Weight 60
4. BFG Commercial TA LT235/85R16 LRE(rated to 3042lbs) Weight 44.44
5. Uniroyal Laredo HD/H LT235/85R16 LRE(rated to 3042lbs) Weight 44.44
6. GY Marathon ST235/80R16 LRE(rated to 3420lbs) Weight 35.4

So which tires on the list have the most reserve capacity? Well that is not a completely simple answer, as one of the tires is a G rate 110 lb tire and the rest are LRE at 80lb inflation. So if we disregard the G614, then the Michelin XPS RIB and the Bridgestone Duravis R250 due to their all-steel ply construction will have the most reserve capacity inherent in their construction. The twin Commercial TA and Laredo will be next and the Marathon would have little or no reserve capacity available because it was used up in its higher load rating, AND because of it's much lighter construction it had much less inherent reserve capacity to start with.

So what have we learn from this?

I think that the first thing that we learned was that a LT tire can be used at or near it max rated loading without having issues, as they built with "substantial reserve capacity to accept the additional stresses of carrying heavy cargo".

The second thing we may have learned is why ST tires are failing on mid to larger 5th wheels, in that they do not have inherent reserve capacity beyond that rated max loading. Again this is because they have less reserve capacity to start with and their greater "load intensity" used up any reserve capacity that might have been available.

Now, here is an interesting bit of information. I just called Maxxis Tech Line and asked the weights for two tires.

ST235/80R16 LRD 3000 lb rating at 65 lbs of air weights 38.58
ST235/80R16 LRE 3420 lb rating at 80 lbs of air weights 43.43

What??? The Maxxis load range E tire weights almost the same as the Commercial TA?? This is a ST tire that has heavier construction than the GY Marathon at 35.4 lbs. So it has more inherent reserve capacity due to its heavier construction.

Those that claimed its virtues maybe did not know why it was a better ST tire than some of the others, but there it is! It is a heavier built tire with more reserve capacity.

So as one chooses a replacement tire or is asking for an upgrade on a new trailer please get educated on where the reserve capacity exist. Is it inherent in the tire you choose or do you have to factor it into the weight rating of the tire you choose.

The thread Tire blow out - cause unknown
and the survey http://blog.goodsamclub.com/wp-conte...ireSurvey4.pdf
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There is zero tire load capacity reserves beyond what is depicted on the tire’s sidewall. Nothing beyond that can be advertised or touted by tire manufacturers. Barry Smith ( Barry's Tire Tech ) wrote much of what you have taken from the NuWa posting. He is an tire engineer and spouts a lot of insider information. You would have to ask him directly to post a reference. Good luck.

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Old 05-11-2012, 04:09 PM   #13
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Barry Smith ( Barry's Tire Tech[SIZE=4][SIZE=2] ) wrote much of what you have taken from the NuWa posting.
I don't see where Barry says much of anything that appears in the NuWa posting(?) The only items on his ST tire page are instructions on proper weighing of a unit and a cross-reference of ST to acceptable LT sizes for those who wish to use an alternate, but none of the editorializing usually seen in these threads (to his credit.)

Which is a good thing, because one of the core premises in the NuWa posting is wrong:

"'LT' signifies the tire is a "Light Truck/Trailer" series that can be used on trailers that are capable of carrying heavy cargo such as equipment trailers. If a tire size begins with 'LT' it signifies the tire is a "Light Truck-metric" size that was designed to be used on trailers that are capable of carrying heavy cargo or tow vehicles."

LT means 'Light Truck', it does not mean "Light Truck/Trailer". An 'LT' designation alone does not mean that a tire was designed to be used in heavy trailer applications. Some LT tires are, and these are identified by the manufacturer as being approved for trailer use or as 'all position' truck tires. But it is not correct to say that any tire with an LT stamped on the side has been approved or intended by its manufacturer for trailer use. That usually applies to their commercial or truck tire lines, and again, when a tire has been approved for heavy-duty trailer or all-position use then the manufacturer's specifications for that model will state as much. If it does not you should check with the manufacturer to see if the specific model you are considering is intended for heavy trailer use. Odds are that they will tell you it is not.
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Old 05-11-2012, 10:15 PM   #14
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I don't see where Barry says much of anything that appears in the NuWa posting(?) The only items on his ST tire page are instructions on proper weighing of a unit and a cross-reference of ST to acceptable LT sizes for those who wish to use an alternate, but none of the editorializing usually seen in these threads (to his credit.)
The original article was written by Barry Smith on “all experts” where he has an ongoing Q&A site.

The article has been rewritten by a number of people that have put their own twist on it such as adding tire weights and other misleading information. To read the original you can search it out on the site provided below.

Barry Smith - Tires - Auto Parts - Autos

Because Light Truck tires are designed for the riggers of drive and steer axles the term “all position” would have nothing to do with trailer axles. There are exceptions such as the GY G614 which is a hybrid LT tire actually designed for the trailer axles.

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