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Author Topic: Tire wear on 2009 Fleetwood tent trailer  (Read 7131 times)

gman100

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Tire wear on 2009 Fleetwood tent trailer
« on: May 31, 2011, 02:51:58 PM »
I have a 2009 highwall Fleetwood tent trailer.  The sticker on the camper says 50psi for the tires.  The tires say max 50psi.  I religously keep the tires at 50psi.  The tread is wearing a lot more on the inside and outside of the tires.  The middle of the tire has a lot more tread than the sides.  Both the right and left tire are have the same uneven wear pattern.  It's odd because this kind of wear is usually due to under inflation but I am keeping them at 50psi as instructed.  Very odd.  I am towing with a 2010 Ram 1500.  any ideas?

Ned

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Re: Tire wear on 2009 Fleetwood tent trailer
« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2011, 03:36:39 PM »
I would suspect the tires are overloaded.  Have you weighed the trailer and compared to the tire ratings?
-- Ned -- Fulltimer 1997-2013
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SargeW

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Re: Tire wear on 2009 Fleetwood tent trailer
« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2011, 04:55:17 PM »
Way back when I was a new RV'er and just bought my new 26' travel trailer, I jacked it up for some reason and lifted it by the axle instead of the frame. I slightly bent the axle and quickly burned up a set of tires. It was never right until I took it to a "Bear" alignment shop and they straighten the axle back to what it was supposed to be. If your tires are all inflated and you are not carrying excessive weight I would have the alignment checked at a good frame shop. Otherwise it may never be right. 

Sarge
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gman100

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Re: Tire wear on 2009 Fleetwood tent trailer
« Reply #3 on: May 31, 2011, 08:54:40 PM »
I'm guessing I am overweight.  It doesn't seem like I have too much in there but I guess it's possible.  Will those weight stations on the side of the freeway for the big rigs weight my camper?  Also is there anything I can do to handle the extra weight, like better tires?

Ned

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Re: Tire wear on 2009 Fleetwood tent trailer
« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2011, 07:41:04 AM »
No, you can't use the commercial truck weigh stations, but you can go to any truck stop with certified scales and get weighed for a small cost.  Also, check with local quarries or grain elevators for scales.  If you're over the gross vehicle weight of the trailer, you have to reduce the load.  You're possibly damaging more than the tires.
-- Ned -- Fulltimer 1997-2013
1997 Holiday Rambler Endeavor LE
2007 GMC Canyon

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Tire wear on 2009 Fleetwood tent trailer
« Reply #5 on: June 01, 2011, 11:59:37 AM »
Wear on the inner and outer edges simultaneously could not come from any alignment problem I know of. Tire overload is the only thing i can think of that has that symptom.

Assuming a weigh-in bears this theory out, you can put larger tires on to get more load  capacity, but I suspect the axle is overloaded as well. It should not be too expensive to get a heavier duty axle, but it's a whole bunch cheaper to just remove some weight.
Gary
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gman100

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Re: Tire wear on 2009 Fleetwood tent trailer
« Reply #6 on: June 14, 2011, 05:05:51 PM »
So I am home from my trip and brought my camper by the tire store. Here is what I found out.  There are 3 things that could have lead to my problem. 

1. The tires were not balanced.  The tire guy said some trailer companies just put the tires on the trailer and don't balance them to save time and cost.  There were no balance weights on either of the tires and it was highly unlikely that they were naturally balanced.

2. The tire guy also said they could wear the way they were by the trailer bouncing around and swaying left to right also but he thought it was more due to them being unbalanced.

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Tire wear on 2009 Fleetwood tent trailer
« Reply #7 on: June 14, 2011, 06:41:26 PM »
I cannot agree with the tire store guy.  Few people ever balance trailer tires, especially in the smaller sizes. Trailer tires bounce a lot anyway, especially on smaller, lighter trailers. They don't have shock absorbers and the springs are usually loaded near max, so they bounce over any pothole or bump in the road. Balancing a trailer tire is a waste of effort & $$, in my opinion.This bouncing does produce wear, but the wear evens out over the miles because the road surface has no set pattern.

Nor does balance bouncing explain the symptoms you described. It doesn't bounce to the right and left, wearing the edges. It bounces up and down, causing the tire to lose road contact and then regain it. A severely unbalanced tire would bounce up and down but the pattern is constant and therefore the wear appears in one or two spots on the tire, not equally distributed around the circumference. Tire cupping is a sign off a balance problem.
Gary
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SargeW

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Re: Tire wear on 2009 Fleetwood tent trailer
« Reply #8 on: June 14, 2011, 07:10:55 PM »
Gary's right, the tire guy is blowing smoke at you. Even the 13,000 pound 5ver that I used to have didn't have the tires balanced. Side tire wear is from overload, bad wheel bearings, or bent axle.  Not being balanced is just silly. 
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COMer

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Re: Tire wear on 2009 Fleetwood tent trailer
« Reply #9 on: June 14, 2011, 10:03:11 PM »
Unbalanced tires would not cause your problem and there aren't many pop-ups on the road with balanced tires.  In our area, the local waste management facility will weigh for you.  There is also a local truck stop that can weight anything and does rigs like yours for about $10.  I would try to find somebody and get it weighed.  I bet it is heavy and is putting extra stress on the axle.
John & Darla
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gman100

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Re: Tire wear on 2009 Fleetwood tent trailer
« Reply #10 on: June 15, 2011, 03:10:22 PM »
Thanks for the comments.  I don't think it can be overweight because the weight of the trailer is around 3,000 lbs and the gawr is 3,500 and gvwr is 3,950.  I calculated all my cargo and at most it's 500 lbs.  But I will weight it next time I head out to make sure. 

If the there are bad wheel bearings, or bent axle I wouldn't expect  both tires to wear poorly exactly the same.  Is that an incorrect expectation?

COMer

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Re: Tire wear on 2009 Fleetwood tent trailer
« Reply #11 on: June 15, 2011, 04:10:00 PM »
The one figure you don't have, and need, is what the tires are rated for.  If your trailer gross is about 3950, are the tires rates to carry that much?  That should be a consideration.

My guess would be as yours about a mechanical problem causing one wheel to wear differently than the other.  It still looks like you might be surprised when you weigh the trailer.  Many of us have been.
John & Darla
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Spend half the year with Campers on Mission

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Tire wear on 2009 Fleetwood tent trailer
« Reply #12 on: June 15, 2011, 07:38:44 PM »
You have a GAWR of 3500 lbs and probably tires that are rated to match, since few Rv manufacturers ever buy more tire than the minimum needed. You say the trailer weighs 3000 lbs and you have maybe 500 lbs of gear. That puts you right on the edge of overloading the axle and tires. And most everybody is shocked to find out how much their gear really weighs, so it would not surprise me if you have 3700-3800 lbs on that axle. Enough to overload it and cause odd tire wear.
Gary
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