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Old 09-24-2020, 04:48 AM   #15
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I replaced my Westlake tires on Day One of owning my trailer--with 16" Bridgestone Duravis R250's. They're LT/E rated and a tire often found on 1 ton trucks with utility beds and small cranes.

You wouldn't believe the difference between the two tires--with the Westlakes very lightweight and generally lacking beef.

The bad reputation of Chinese tires is earned, and there are millions of such tires on RV's, horse trailers, utility trailers, etc. endangering the public.

You should replace them prior to making any long trips.

Note: I put a Sailun pair of tires on my tow vehicle--at half the price of Michelins. They're doing okay, but they're just a couple of months old.
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Old 09-24-2020, 06:41 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tireman9 View Post
People might want to read THIS post on Why Tires Fail.


It's not Magic or evil Spirits.

I agree a lot of tire failures are caused by poor maintenance and/or age, but not all.


As stated in my previous postings, I have been meticulous about pressure since day 1. The first "accessory" I bought when we got the trailer was a TPMS. In addition, I regularly check the pressures with a gauge before travel.



The tires were less than 3 years old and the trailer is stored in covered storage. I certainly don't claim to be a tire expert, but there were no obvious signs of impending tire failure for either tire.



I do still need to put my trailer on the scales to get the distribution of weights on each tire.



I don't believe its magic or evil spirits, but I would like to know what I could have done to predict the imminent failure before hand... I would much rather replace the tire before it goes than repair the damage after...
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Old 09-24-2020, 07:23 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bamaman View Post


Note: I put a Sailun pair of tires on my tow vehicle--at half the price of Michelins. They're doing okay, but they're just a couple of months old.

Sounds like you are skeptical about Sailun (or any make) tires. These tires are good, but keep in mind they are still just tires and all of them will fail eventually. Tires by design are to be sacrificed and wear down for eventual replacement. They are not designed to last forever trouble free.
The more miles you drive the higher risk is that you will experience tire failures. Make sure you have a plan to handle a tire emergency and practice it. Even if your plan is to rely on a tow service, practice calling a random service and ask them how they would handle your rig and the expected response time.
Discovering how a system works during an actual emergency is not the best time to learn!
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Old 09-25-2020, 09:13 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by happy2rv View Post
I agree a lot of tire failures are caused by poor maintenance and/or age, but not all.

As stated in my previous postings, I have been meticulous about pressure since day 1. The first "accessory" I bought when we got the trailer was a TPMS. In addition, I regularly check the pressures with a gauge before travel.

The tires were less than 3 years old and the trailer is stored in covered storage. I certainly don't claim to be a tire expert, but there were no obvious signs of impending tire failure for either tire.

I do still need to put my trailer on the scales to get the distribution of weights on each tire.

I don't believe its magic or evil spirits, but I would like to know what I could have done to predict the imminent failure before hand... I would much rather replace the tire before it goes than repair the damage after...

Yes there are things you can do to possibly discover a tire problem before it becomes a belt separation.


Back in August 12, 2014 I wrote on my RVTire Blog: How do I inspect my tires?


Got an email the other day asking about inspecting tires. This blog and many others will tell you that you should do a thorough inspection annually and doing the inspection becomes more important as times goes on.

The problem is, few know even the basics of proper tire inspection. For some it's only looking at the tread to be sure there is some tread pattern available. Others will bend at the waist and look at one sidewall to inspect for large cracks.

Well, sorry to say that doing a proper tire inspection is a lot more involved. You will need to get down on the ground, you will get your hands dirty and you will need a good bright work light. A dim, old style flash light doesn't provide either enough light or uniform lighting to allow a good visual examination. So lets start with the tools you will need. I suggest a rug or old blanket so you can lay down and even scoot part way under your RV to see the back side of the tire. For lighting a work light with at least 75 watt rating. As a low cost alternative if you don't already have a work light is the inexpensive LED light similar to THIS one or even THIS one. Note the low costs for these lights. For a few more bucks you can get the light I use. A pair of thin gloves. You need to be able to feel bumps and bulges on the tire so thick leather work gloves like these


will not do.I know that many have disposable thin, Latex or Nitrilegloves they use when handling their holding tank hose and that type or similar will work fine to help keeping your hands cleaner as tires are very dirty and rubbing your fingers across the sidewall will transfer oils, waxes, dust and dirt to your fingers.
Finally don't forget safety glasses. Dirt can drop from under the RV onto your face or when you are removing objects from the tread they can pop out and hit you.

We need to be consistent and thorough in our inspection as we need to cover 100% of both sidewalls and 100% of the tread. This also means that after you have inspected all your tires you will need to move the RV a couple of feet so the portion of the tread that was on the ground can be seen. Depending on your RV, there may also be areas on the inside sidewall where the tire is too close to the frame or other component which prevents a clear view of that part of the tire and this may require a couple of small moves. When going under your RV be sure the engine is off, the transmission is in Park and you have blocked the wheels from moving either direction.

The following applies to all tires. If you have a trailer or toad there are some extra steps you NEED to do and we will cover them later.

On to the INSPECTION


1. Tread. You are looking for nails, screws and other items lodged in the tire. Sometimes you will find rocks wedged in parts of the tread pattern. It doesn't hurt to remove them using a screwdriver as sometimes stones can "drill" into a tire causing damage. I would not use a knife or other sharp tool. If you find a nail or screw in the tread, it is possible that the object goes all they way into the air chamber and if removed may cause an air loss. If for example you find a screw you might start to remove it but if you get more than 1/4 to 1/2" loose and the screw is still in the tire I would screw it back in and seek service as you don't want to lose air by completely removing the screw if you are not a a location where your tire can be easily be changed. Making this decision takes some thought to avoid making the problem worse.
While looking at the tread see if the pattern looks uniformly worn both across the tread and around the tire. Non-uniform wear may be a sign of an alignment issue and in some cases are an early sign of a structural problem internal to the tire like THIS,

or it may not be serious and is just cosmetic.

If you see some localized wear and want it looked at by a tire dealer it helps if you make a notation using the letters and numbers on the sidewall for reference. An example might be "Local wear on Right Front, inside shoulder of tread, starting at number 3 clockwise to letter G". Giving a dealer this guidance will do two things. One it will save them time in locating the area of concern and two it will let them know you have done a thorough job of inspecting tires so they are less likely to ignore you and more likely to treat you as a knowledgeable customer that knows something about tires. This is a lot better than telling the dealer "The tread on the front tire looks strange".
While we are still looking at the tread we also want to note for more detailed inspection any cuts that are deeper than 1/16" in the grooves.

2. Sidewalls: This applies to both inner and outer sidewall. First do a general inspection for cuts or punctures. Punctures in the edge of the tread and down to the wheel should NOT BE REPAIRED. Some people may claim to have done a satisfactory sidewall repair but there is just too much flexing for a repair to last. There are published GUIDES that show the only location (in the tread) where a repair is acceptable. This applies to ALL BRANDS of tires. Any cut where the body cord is visible means the tire is scrap and should not be used. Next we want to find bulges. You want to feel for bumps and bulges using your fingertips and gently slide around the complete surface of both sidewalls of the tire. If the frame prevents this then you need to identify where you could not feel the sidewall so you can finish that part of the sidewall after moving the RV. Bulges can be a sign of broken body cord. I recently did a POST on broken body cord on one of my wife's tires.
Depressions however are probably OK as for tires with multiple ply such as most LT and ST type tires this is just a small overlap where extra material is located. if in question just note the location as mentioned above
and ask a dealer to confirm.

Trailers: Tires on towables seem to have a much shorter life than tires on motorized RVs like Class-A, B or C. Part of the reason for this is the unique and higher structural loading placed on these tires during any turning. The sharper the turn the higher the stress is on the tire ply. This loading is working to tear the tire apart. These forces can lead to separations which ultimately can lead to tread and belts being thrown off the
carcass and in extreme cases a rapid loss of air when the belt separates. TPMS will not provide warning of a tread separation so the only tool available to RV owners is a thorough visual inspection.

The good news is that many times these separations can be discovered by doing a "free spin" inspection as seen in video. At the beginning, you see that the wheel is round and shows no side to side movement. Then we see the tire as it wobbles side to side and even is out of round. This tire has failed and must be replaced at once. Here you can see when I did an "autopsy"

we discovered the belts are almost completely separated on this tire. To do a "free spin" you must get the tire up in the air so it rotates freely. Thus can be done with a jack or even one of the ramps that will raise one side of the trailer high enough as seen in video. This is just one example.
As you can see there is some work involved but doing a thorough inspection may prevent serious problems later on down the road. You will also find that after doing a few tires you will become more knowledgeable about this important safety item on your RV. your tires
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Old 09-25-2020, 10:30 AM   #19
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Good information. I will have to do a "freespin" inspection on my new tires as a reference point and keep an on them in the future. I had done a fairly thorough inspection just weeks before the two blow outs, but I've never done quite that thorough of a free spin inspection. There were no obvious issues, and the two remaining tires were thoroughly visually inspected inside and out by me and the tire shop with no indications of any issues. The other parts of the inspection were done. Lots of good, even, tread. No visible sidewall damage of any kind. No signs of bulging on the sidewall or treads.



I suspect the culprit here is tread separation. I also suspect the observation about "scrubbing" during tight turns plays into it a lot, but I'm not sure what if anything could be done about that. Why don't motor homes with tag axles suffer the same failures?
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Old 09-25-2020, 10:55 PM   #20
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my 2 cents

as I do alot of car transport. on a open trailer, I take what "reasonable" precautions I can, but all the precautions in the world will not help crummy tires, as I said, I WILL NOT. use trailer tires, on my trailer,
I carry 2 spares, I check tire pressure each morning, and I carry a HF lazer temp gun. at every stop, I take the temps of every tire on the trailer and truck,
in AZ, I commonly see tread temps of over 140 degrees, with no problems,
the truck tires actually are hotter than the trailer, but there alot bigger ( 215 vs 285)
ALSO , I check the bearing cap and hub temps,
this lets me know how everything is doing,
typical bear cap temps are 100 to 110, but I think thats radiant heat from the tires.
since I stopped using "trailer " tires, I've had NO tire problems,
I average 25-30k mi per yr, towing.
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