Why Are There So Many Tire Failures

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butchiiii

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Sep 8, 2014
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Hi Folks,
I am wondering why I see so many stories of tire blow outs on TT and 5ers. Many
of the people state that they have under a year on the tires and less than 2000 miles.
Is this because the Mfg are putting the bare minimum tires on their products to pass
Fed safety requirements or are these just crappy tires?  I'm going to be getting a unit
in the near future and am wondering if I should just go ahead and change the tires
when I get it? All information is welcome.
Thanks
 
Some manufacturers do put on crappy tires, but I think much of the issue steams from overloading the unit and/or too much speed. A lot of units have a very low capacity once loaded with propane and water, and people still stuff them full of stuff then drive 75 mph. Not a good combination. Your best bet is to add an aftermarket a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) and weigh your unit regularly.
 
Don't discount the ability of the internet to blow just about anything out of proportion.  People that don't have tire problems are mostly silent, while those that do shout from the roof tops.  In my travels I haven't seen too many trailers with blown tires.  One would almost think it would be a routine sighting based on internet chatter.  When you couple that with (as mentioned) speed, over loading, and poorly matched tire to trailer load ratings, things will happen.
 
Crappy quality, Most manufacturers want to spend as little as possible on components and shop price
Near load limit.
Sit long time.
Some tires are speed rated for 55 MPH, Some for 65 but in Texas I regularly see people traveling 85 MPH on the interstate.
I recently got taken when I bought a utility trailer for my 4 wheeler. Checked the DOT date but forgot the speed rating. tires rated for 55 mPH. I changed them out right away.
 
Lack of proper tire pressure is a huge contributor in my opinion.  The more that the tire is under-inflated, the more it flexes as you travel.  The more it flexes, the more heat is generated in the tire.  The more heat generated in the tire, the more the pressure goes up and the tire is stressed and finally....BOOM!  Every tire made has a load rating stamped on the sidewall.  That load rating is achieved by having the tire inflated to the pressure that is listed on the sidewall.  Anything less, and the tire will start to flex more.  Obviously if you have a tire that has let's say a 3560 lb load rating at 80 psi and that tire is only carrying 2700 lbs, it will not flex as much as if it is carrying 3400 lbs.  Speed ratings being exceeded also contribute to tire problems, but I do believe that improper tire pressure is the most prevalent cause of tires failing.  Unfortunately, many folks do not check tire pressure nearly as often as they should. 
 
Goodyear Marathons are a tire with a very checkered past and are known to fail alarmingly without notice causing damage to tire, rim and rig. The Endurance model has been released to replace Marathon.
I agree with thoughts about the tires being used way above their rating. We have a fairly small trailer with Marathons and I feel the Marathons are fine for it but nothing heavier. They are rated for 65 mph so I do my best to keep the speed just under 65 most of the time. I use a TPMS that monitors pressure and temperature of those tires. I also keep the tires clean and treated with something to keep the sidewalls as supple as possible. Aerospace 303 or Armor All are what I usually have around.
Too many variables to pinpoint "A" cause, but I do tend to agree with excessive speed being a prime contributor.
 
All of the above.
For new campers, cheap tires with bare minimum capacity.
For all tires:
Driving too fast,
Improper inflation,
Insufficient Load Rating,
Too old,
Overloaded camper leading to insufficient load rating

TPMS solves some of these issues and warns of some imminent failures.
 
I was in Discount Tire the other day getting a tire repaired on my Jeep.  I noticed a poster in the waiting room warning of a 6 year lifespan for *any* tires, not just motor home tires. 
Looked at the spare on my Jeep just for the heck of it(the 4  on the ground I know are less than a year old), and it's a brand new tire, never been on the ground until I used it, built in '03.  It'll be replaced next week.
 
We had three tire failures on our 2008 Keystone Outback.  The trailer came with 14" Chinese tires.  These were barely adequate with no room for excess weight.  Had one fail within a year and replaced all with a larger 15" tire.  New rims and what we were told were the best trailer tires.  We still had two tire failures over the next couple years.  We parked our trailer along side our driveway and it was not a straight shot in.  It required a fair amount of maneuvering and I suspect the lateral push on the tires may have contributed to premature failure.  Of course we were new and I probably didn't pay enough attention to tire pressure and speed.  It was a light trailer, 7,000 loaded, and we were pulling it with an F250 diesel.  While I didn't normally speed, from time to time, I caught myself going 80 mph down the freeway.  I believe the tires are rated for maybe 65 mph.     
 
Old_Crow said:
I was in Discount Tire the other day getting a tire repaired on my Jeep.  I noticed a poster in the waiting room warning of a 6 year lifespan for *any* tires, not just motor home tires. 

True, but most vehicles are driven enough that tires wear out before they age out.

We spend thousands of dollars replacing tires on our fire apparatus every 7 years, even though there is very little tread wear.
 
Contributing factors
1: Quality of tire. A few years back a company in china made what we quickly called "CHina Bombs" tires that blew so fast it was incredible.

2: Over load tires or under inflated tires.. There is a sticker on every vehicle suggesting a tire pressure but it is all but guaranteed this is the WRONG pressure. Likewise the pressure molded into the firewall is likely the WRONG pressure.  The only way to find the RIGHT pressure is to put the tire on a scale, loaded for travel and visit the manufacturer's web site for the proper pressure.

3: Speed too fast. this is a factor on Small Trailers more than motor homes and large trailers.
As the tire spins (Way faster than a larger tire would) bearings overheat and the tire itself can not shed heat fast enough either. BANG.

4; Potholes... What can I say. blame those who refuse to fix the roads.

Road hazards are also an issue but not that common. we know why that tire went BANG.

I recall one pot hole I hit with my wife's Tracer.. Not only did it pop a tire. it tripped to blasted Fuel Cutoff.. Thankfully I knew about the fuel cutoff so was able to fix
 
John From Detroit said:
Contributing factors
1: Quality of tire. A few years back a company in china made what we quickly called "CHina Bombs" tires that blew so fast it was incredible.

2: Over load tires or under inflated tires.. There is a sticker on every vehicle suggesting a tire pressure but it is all but guaranteed this is the WRONG pressure. Likewise the pressure molded into the firewall is likely the WRONG pressure.  The only way to find the RIGHT pressure is to put the tire on a scale, loaded for travel and visit the manufacturer's web site for the proper pressure.

3: Speed too fast. this is a factor on Small Trailers more than motor homes and large trailers.
As the tire spins (Way faster than a larger tire would) bearings overheat and the tire itself can not shed heat fast enough either. BANG.

4; Potholes... What can I say. blame those who refuse to fix the roads.

Road hazards are also an issue but not that common. we know why that tire went BANG.

I recall one pot hole I hit with my wife's Tracer.. Not only did it pop a tire. it tripped to blasted Fuel Cutoff.. Thankfully I knew about the fuel cutoff so was able to fix

I totally disagree with the "Bolded" statement you have above.  The vehicle sticker's suggested tire pressure is based on the maximum weight the vehicle is allow to be.....The GVWR.  The air pressure on the sidewall of the tire is the pressure that you need to achieve the maximum load carrying capacity of the tire.  Nothing wrong with either of those two items.
 
When I was over the road trucking our company had an excessive amount of tire failures despite the drivers *checking* the pressures before each trip. We arraigned with the commercial shop where we bought our tires for each truck to go by the shop for a pressure check before their trip. We cut our tire losses by more than 50% by this simple procedure. I really believe under inflation coupled with excessive speed is the culprit in tire failures. 
 
Gotta agree that under-inflation and excessive speed are the #1 causes among RV tire issues.  The root causes are lack of education/awareness by RV owners and skimpy tire choices by the RV makers.  A typical car comes with tires that are comfortably sized for their task and owners can get away with ignorance and neglect, but the same lack of care for typical RV tires results in numerous failures.
 
And for what it's worth, I agree with welmack and Gary. Sure most RV tires are made in China, but so are most things we buy these days (including stuff from "American" companies) and they still have to meet U.S. federal standards to be sold here... i.e. incorrect tire pressure and unsafe speed are likely the main factors for RV tire failure, plus tires beyond 5-7 year mark. Despite our constant chatter about RV tires on this forum, the average RV owner pays little attention to the topic (and its importance with heavy RV's) and rarely/never checks their pressures or pays attention to speed ratings or tire age.

People are so accustomed to ignoring their daily-driver vehicle tires that they do the same with RV's too often. It's like comparing red apples to green apples... both apples, but different in many ways too. Vehicle tires are generally much more maintained by default; they are driven more often (which circulates rubber chemicals and extends life), changed more often (miles rack up a lot faster), carry far less weight (with a lot more "headroom" to their max capacity), and psi is checked more often (oil changes or other service appointments). Plus most cars made in the last 10-15 years have factory-installed pressure monitors that warn you a lot sooner if air is leaking. RV tires may have none of those characteristics, so all those steps must be done routinely and deliberately by the owner to keep the rubber in good shape.
 

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