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Old 09-20-2020, 08:06 AM   #1
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Forest River Owners Club
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"China Bombs"

I apologize if this has already been addressed, I've searched and not found anything on this subject. Our 2019 Forest River 25FKS came with tires made in China referred to as "China Bombs" on another site. Some have suggested changing and upgrading to a better quality tire as these are blow outs waiting to happen. Probably have around 1,500 to 2,000 miles on them now. Keep them properly inflated and they look fine. Am I taking a chance here? Next trip of any distance is TN to Florida next month.

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Old 09-20-2020, 08:14 AM   #2
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Check the DOT build date on the tires. Your trailer is pretty light by comparison so unleas the dat code is old I would probably run them this winter and replace them in the spring.
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Old 09-20-2020, 08:23 AM   #3
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Sailun tires are some of the best quality made and are produced in China. The old stereotype that all China tires are bad is just not true anymore.
That said, tires are a risk and the more miles you drive, the greater the risk of experiencing tire issues. Do you have insurance that covers a blowout damage or are you a DIYS repair type person? I've had a couple of blow outs on my fifth wheel and changing a tire and repairing a wheel well damage is doable for me.
You can spend a lot of $$ on the best tires and still hit a road hazard and ruin a good expensive tire. Get your loaded trailer weighed and confirm that the tires are not over loaded. Check for nails and tire bulges (broken belts) at every stop. After 5 years of age, tires will degrade at a faster rate.
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Old 09-20-2020, 08:31 AM   #4
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The short answer is yes, you are taking a chance. The problem with these tires is that they seem fine until they aren't. They often fail catastrophically (blow out) without any warning at all.

My 2018 FR Salem Hemisphere came with CastleRock china bombs. I thought I would run them for at least a couple of years until I saw some signs of deterioration. They ran fine for most of 3 years and then I had two blow outs within 200 miles of each other on the same trip.

It wouldn't be so bad if they failed in a graceful way. If they showed signs of separation, bulges, increased temperature, gradual loss of pressure, or other noticeable indicators prior to failure. These Chinese tires typically don't. They appear perfectly normal right up until they self destruct. I believe, at least in my case, the treads began to de-laminate with no visible indications. The two remaining tires showed no indications of any problems from the inside or the outside when I had them replaced.

Unfortunately, they tend to do real damage to the trailer when they fail. Most trailers don't have any real lining in the wheel wells. Most of them are plastic fender skirts on the side and fabric covered luan plywood on top. The plastic skirt is often ripped completely off, the fabric is shredded, and the luan is shredded.

You can see my descriptions and discussions in the following threads:
Current RV Information: 2018 Forrest River Salem Hemisphere 282RK
Previous RVs: 2004 Fleetwood Bounder 32W; 1999 Four Winds Five Thousand 21RB; 1986 Allegro Bay 27'
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Old 09-20-2020, 09:02 AM   #5
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One of the ST tire mfgrs. used to say to replace them every 3 years regardless of condition, and to always inflate to sidewall maximum pressure due to the extreme sidewall stress imposed on tandem axle tires.
It's been years since since we owned a 5er so I don't know if that information is still valid.
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Old 09-20-2020, 09:08 AM   #6
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Folks, if the tires were really that bad, with a huge percentage of blowouts, there would be recalls. I haven't seen any.

The real problem is most manufacturers put on tires that are at max rating when the trailer is at or near GVWR. I went to a tire that support my max trailer weight at less than 89%. My trailer usually is about 11,000 loaded for primative camping. 11,5k with motorcycle.

If your normal trailer load is near max current tire rating, go to a higher rated tire.
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Old 09-20-2020, 11:10 AM   #7
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Here's the opinion of an expert: https://www.rvtiresafety.net/search/label/China
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Old 09-20-2020, 11:29 AM   #8
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"China Bombs"

I agree the problem isnít China , itís tires that are at , or overweight. Trailer manufacturers are always putting just enough tire to get it off the lot .. I always upgrade the tires on my trailers and car hauler at least one grade level with China tires and no problems.
I have had issues in the past with original equipment c or d rated tires. Since then I upgrade sooner than later.and no more issues.
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Old 09-20-2020, 12:11 PM   #9
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I can only speak to my personal experience. Granted, I have not had my trailer on a scale and I should. However, my UVW is 6799 with a CCC of 2701 lbs. If I were at the max, 9500 lbs, or even up to a couple of thousand pounds over, the trailer should be well within the ratings of the original LR D tires. I do realize that the only way to know is to get a per tire weight because the load could be imbalanced.
I've covered it in the other threads, but my trailer is stored in covered storage, I'm meticulous about checking pressure before traveling, and have a TPMS. The tires had been on the road less than 3 years at the time of failure, had late 2017 date codes, and showed no outward signs of failure prior to catastrophic failure. I and the tire shop inspected the two remaining tires from the set after removing them for replacement and found no defects.

Perhaps my new GY Endurance will fail in the same manner in 3 years, but I have found no references to such failures for GY Endurance or Maxxis tires.

Feel free to use "cheap" Chinese tires and run them until they explode. I have no plans to purchase another Chinese trailer tire.
Having said all that, I did opt to go for LR E tires on the replacements because I don't see a down side.
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Old 09-21-2020, 07:53 AM   #10
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Lots of good advice posted above.

I had a folding camper that frequently "blew out" tires. I thought managing temperature and pressure would solve the problem. No joy.

I was able at install larger rims and higher capacity tires. The problem immediately dissapeared.

I now have a 20 foot TT. It has large wheels and tires with excess capacity. We are at 3 years and counting without a blow out.

I agree with above posts. Get your fully loaded TT weighed and compare to tire capacity. Make sure actual weight is well below maximum weight specification. Replace with highest capacity that will fit if necessary.

I wish you good luck and happy trails ahead!
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Old 09-21-2020, 10:58 AM   #11
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I stopped using "trailer tires " on my open car hauler few yrs back, as every brand I used failed, even goodyear, and Carlisle) , typically tread separation, frequently on the 1st or 2nd trip. (even empty) I drive 65mph MAX!
now I use car tires only, and look for UTQG of A A, and higher weight rating .
I know 5th wheel and travel trailers cannot use them due to weight limits,
but for some reason TT are some of the crummiest tires available.
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Old 09-23-2020, 08:24 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by astrnmrtom View Post
Here's the opinion of an expert: https://www.rvtiresafety.net/search/label/China
Agree absolutely. Get your tire questions answered by an expert. Roger Marble is an expert. Most of the opinions I see regarding tires on these forums are just that, opinions. When Roger expresses his thoughts, it's based on solid research, knowledge, and experience. Read his stuff.

He makes one excellent comment: If 90% of the installed RV tires are made in China, why would you be surprised if 90% of RV tire *failures* are tires made in China?

Anyway, read his stuff. He's good.

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Old 09-23-2020, 08:38 AM   #13
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It might help in making a determination if we actually knew what brand tires the OP was referencing instead of calling them "China Bombs".
No one has even asked.
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Old 09-23-2020, 09:29 AM   #14
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People might want to read THIS post on Why Tires Fail.

It's not Magic or evil Spirits.
Retired Design & Quality Tire Eng. 40+ years experience.

I know a lot about tires.
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