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Old 09-21-2016, 08:56 AM   #1
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Why tires fail

Tires fail from two basic causes.

Low air pressure
and/or
Long term degradation of the rubber usually from excess heat.

Low pressure (active leak from puncture or loose valve stem or valve core are most common reasons) can lead to a Sidewall Flex failure or more commonly called a "Blowout". The sidewall cord can melt (polyester) or fatigue (steel). Many TT owners fail to realize that they will never "feel" the results of a tire loosing air till it is too late and they are surprised when the sidewall lets go. The rapid air loss "bang" even when the tire only has about 10 to 20 psi in it, is a big surprise IF they even hear it. [moderator edit] A TPMS can provide warning of air loss so is good insurance and can easily pay for itself.

The long term degradation of the rubber at the edges of the belts can lead to a belt and/or tread separation. Even if the tire keeps its air you can have this type of failure so a TPMS will not provide a warning. This degradation comes with age as rubber is always loosing flexibility. Just think of those rubber bands you found in the back of the desk drawer. Even in cool and dark they got brittle. HOWEVER running at or near or above the load capacity of a tire will result in increased heat generation. Increased heat actually can accelerate the aging process with a doubling of the rate each increase on 18F. Running a margin of at least 15% between capacity and measured load is a good first step. Running at higher speed will also generate excess heat.

Realizing that over half of the RVs on the road have one or more tire in overload is one main contributor to the high tire failure rate. Simply thinking that a tire will fail because the tire plant building is painted blue rather than green is not logical.

Buying the lowest cost "no-name" tires is IMO a major contributor to poor results. If the main objective is the lowest cost tire why would anyone be surprised with short tire life.
Just paying more however is no guarantee of better quality. I believe the best tool available is comparing Warranty and service support.

Can you get multi year warranty on the tires? Is it possible to get Road Hazard coverage? Is there a nationwide network of dealers who stock the brand you are considering?
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Old 09-21-2016, 09:09 AM   #2
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I keep reading " I had a Blowout" when many times the failure is not a blowout simply due to high pressure. In fact I do not ever recall seeing any such failure properly identified on this or any other RV forum.

So I keep posting the same pictures of what a real Run Low Flex Failure or Run Low Flex Blowout looks like as seen below


This image has been resized. Click this bar to view the full image. The original image is sized %1%2.
This image has been resized. Click this bar to view the full image. The original image is sized %1%2.

RLOF is caused by driving on a tire that has lost significant air (more than 50%) for a number of miles.
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Old 09-21-2016, 10:22 AM   #3
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Really good info, should be a sticky.
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Old 09-21-2016, 10:38 AM   #4
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nice Tireman. Good Post.

What about speed? Speed generates more heat, right? I see some of these big rigs pass me like I am standing still. Most tables I look at list 75 as the max speed.

What happens to the tire for sustained speeds of 80-85??
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Old 09-21-2016, 11:30 AM   #5
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Tireman I know what your saying about "blowout" but I think people generally refer to this as a blow out because it probably made a loud noise when it went, weather it was from high pressure or not, it's just a term that in your eyes is used incorrectly. Sort of like the person who comes home and finds stuff missing from their house and exclaims "I've been robbed," no you were a victim of theft or burglary, in most areas robbery is a face to face encounter which one or more people forcibly take property from its rightful owner.
A "blowout" can be a scary event, whether it happens from high pressure "blowing" out your tire or the tire just coming apart.
But thanks for the informative article, hopefully it will prevent people from having a "flat" tire.
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Old 09-22-2016, 08:55 AM   #6
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Why tires fail

This thread by Tireman9 says a lot, including failure via low pressure and the value of TPMS
Perhaps a cause of this event?
Blowout close call on I-26
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Old 09-22-2016, 09:22 AM   #7
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Tireman I know what your saying about "blowout" but I think people generally refer to this as a blow out because it probably made a loud noise when it went, weather it was from high pressure or not, it's just a term that in your eyes is used incorrectly. Sort of like the person who comes home and finds stuff missing from their house and exclaims "I've been robbed," no you were a victim of theft or burglary, in most areas robbery is a face to face encounter which one or more people forcibly take property from its rightful owner.
A "blowout" can be a scary event, whether it happens from high pressure "blowing" out your tire or the tire just coming apart.
But thanks for the informative article, hopefully it will prevent people from having a "flat" tire.
I am not trying to be argumentative or confrontational, however, Tireman has ~40 years of experience as a tire engineer and you want to correct the semantics of his post. If we could all use Tireman's language as to what actually happened maybe we could learn enough to avoid some of the issues RV'ers have had with tires. Having a run low flex failure is completely different than a blowout and to not recognize the difference is to, almost certainly, allow it to continue to happen. Nomenclature matters and it is imperative that we all be on the same page in order to learn.
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Old 09-22-2016, 09:45 AM   #8
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Great information, Tireman! This should be mandatory in "RV 101" instructions, if there were such a thing.

Also...something I see many times with many RVs, and especially trailers...are scuffed sidewalls on tires. The driver cuts corners too closely/short at times, and 'curbs' the tire. Or, they drop off of the curb when turning/pulling out of a gas station, driveway, etc. Surely, that is very hard on the sidewall of the tire as well. I try to avoid doing that at all times.
I often see this same situation with the 'toad' vehicles behind motorhomes also. They just drag the toad right up over the curb, trying to make a sharp turn. Makes me cringe every time I see someone do that.
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Old 09-22-2016, 10:42 AM   #9
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Another scenario I have witnessed greater incident of blowout is the following .Super hot summer day the big rig has been on the HI way all day, the tires are very hot then a sudden cold rain downpour. The excess heat in the tire plus sudden cooling and contraction of tire lead to sidewall failure .
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Old 09-22-2016, 11:21 AM   #10
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I am not trying to be argumentative or confrontational, however, Tireman has ~40 years of experience as a tire engineer and you want to correct the semantics of his post.
RichH
Don't get your panties in a wad I didn't correct him. Just stated the fact that most people use the word "Blow out" when they have a flat regardless if its a high pressure blow out or a sidewall failure due to low pressure or extensive heat.
Just sayin.
I will correct you if you call a magazine a clip though.
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Old 09-22-2016, 12:27 PM   #11
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I will correct you if you call a magazine a clip though.
X2!
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Old 09-22-2016, 12:40 PM   #12
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Don't get your panties in a wad I didn't correct him.
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Old 09-22-2016, 02:25 PM   #13
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Oh Funhaus - Avoid my threads, as you will use up all of your available bandwidth attempting to correct I, I mean, me.

I find the auto spell checkers to be a PITA sometimes. And buzzwords and slang are sometimes not the proper usage of wording too....

And the few times I attempt to post on droid phone, well - let's just say I think my lifetime text count is still under 100!

Best to you, and all,
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Old 09-22-2016, 02:31 PM   #14
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Tireman9 - Thanks for the post.

I refer many family members, and fellow RV'ers, to his site on RV tire safety... (Link in his signature thread.). I recommend this be a bookmark, as a valuable too in our RV'ing safety tool box...

I really appreciated Tireman9's help when I had two pothole damaged tire, he had me send him pictures, and helped me diagnose the tire condition. (Broken cord in one, and slipping cord in the other. And upon removal at TCI Tire Center, yep to both of his opinions.).

Best to Tireman9 - thanks again for sharing our knowledge with us...
Smitty
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