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Old 07-25-2010, 04:17 PM   #1
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Tire Failure - Trailer Did Fine

We blew out a tire at 62 MPH and the trailer did fine. The tire was the original 14 inch Marathon installed in March 2006 and had no visible damage or sidewall cracking prior to starting the trip. The pressure was 48 PSI and the trailer was lightly loaded with about 2/3rd fresh water and empty waste tanks. The air temperature was 110 and we had been driving for five hours since leaving and an hour after stopping for gas in Las Vegas. The passenger side tire failed.

The trailer stayed true and didn't swerve at all. I thought at first that I was dragging a bike or the entire bike rack because the trailer was not exhibiting any dynamic oscillations, just spitting out tire debris.

It was hotter than heck on the shoulder of the freeway but I didn't want to wait for Good Sams to arrive so I changed it without any problem. My Seqouia has a stock 4 way lug wrench and it's jack worked fine. I replaced the driver's side tire when we got to Mesquite even though it had no visible sign of distress; if one blew I figured the other might also.

The trailer showed great stability with a blown tire and except for the hot weather it wasn't that bad. The wheel well has a lot of rubber smeared on it, and maybe a little damage, but I'll inspect after I get it cleaned up. I'll let you know what I find.

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Old 07-25-2010, 05:41 PM   #2
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Re: Tire Failure - Trailer Did Fine

Glad to hear everything's ok.. We had that happen on our AS and it caused a significant damage. It also makes you think about how lucky you are, cuz you never know what could happen in that situation. Good to know the trailer held up and was true to form!

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Old 07-25-2010, 07:40 PM   #3
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Re: Tire Failure - Trailer Did Fine

Glad you are okay. We blew a Marathon on our old Casita at about 65 mph and it was a non-dramatic event. I suspect the anti-sway bar and WDH contributed to the lack of trauma.

There are some interesting tire reports on the Casita club forum:

http://www.casitaclub.com/forums/index.php?showforum=31

The "Tire Reports" forum has lots of good information and a lot of anecdotal *stuff* as well. I swapped Marathons for Kuhmos on our old Casita and liked them very much...but apparently, they *POP* as well. Tire reliability seems more dependent on the care you lavish on the tires than the brand.

Dave
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Old 07-25-2010, 09:13 PM   #4
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Re: Tire Failure - Trailer Did Fine

Dave

I recall reading the lengthy thread at the Casita forum, at the time it was bashing Goodyear Marathon trailer tires. It has been a good year since I last checked so I am not up to date on the latest. I am however concerned about tires and the unpredictable failures. Thane had three factors contributing to the failure.

The first was probably the high temperatures, not much you can do about that. However if you are likely to encounter those conditions or have encountered them I would contend your tire life is shortened. A second factor was drive time, five hours will build up even more heat, and again I am not sure what you can do about that. Third is the age of your tires, without looking at the "born on date", conveniently located on the inside side wall and frequently in code we can only guess as to age. We do know at least four years of age.

You never know how long a tire sat on a distributor’s shelf. Nor do you know if proper stock rotation was carried out on inventory. Check your spare Thane, if it was from the same batch you may get a “born on date”. It would be best to have the date for the failed tire, if possible.

I think four years is the maximum you can expect out of these tires and I have always replaced all tires around such a date. The four years is subject to a lot of variables, one is heat. If you drive at highway speed in 90 degree plus temperatures for numerous days I contend you need to take a year off tire life.

Another factor I have an opinion about, but no proof, is storage. Tires subject to sunlight are going to deteriorate faster and I am of the opinion that tires stored on cold garage floors in freezing climates are going to throw tread sooner.

It is common to hear that failed tires are showing no cracks and still have good tread. Unfortunately those are the least reliable methods of judging tire life. I am not sure brands make much difference, more important is the need to change our thinking about tires, we cannot apply what we know about our motor vehicle to trailer tires.
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Old 07-30-2010, 08:49 PM   #5
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Re: Tire Failure - Trailer Did Fine

Fudge - very well thought out - great post!
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Old 07-31-2010, 02:44 PM   #6
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Re: Tire Failure - Trailer Did Fine

Hi Fudge: So what would you think of installing Michelin Light Truck tires on an Escape? I have used Michelin tires on my vehicles since I was young (long time!!) and have never even had a flat in all those years. I know they claim to be the very best tires in the world, but you seem to be saying that the brand name doesn't have much to do with the safety or longevity of the tire. What do you think?
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Old 07-31-2010, 04:29 PM   #7
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Re: Tire Failure - Trailer Did Fine

Quote:
Originally Posted by gabe
Hi Fudge: So what would you think of installing Michelin Light Truck tires on an Escape? I have used Michelin tires on my vehicles since I was young (long time!!) and have never even had a flat in all those years. I know they claim to be the very best tires in the world, but you seem to be saying that the brand name doesn't have much to do with the safety or longevity of the tire. What do you think?
gabe
Hi Gabe

Trailer tires are made with stiffer sidewalls than vehicle tires, this helps with sway control while traveling.
I would check out good quality trailer tires if I were you.
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Old 07-31-2010, 04:30 PM   #8
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Re: Tire Failure - Trailer Did Fine

I would stick to a trailer tire on my Escape. Here are some reasons.

Truck tires are used on front wheels and as a result must handle turns and changes in direction; trailer tires are designed as followers.

Trailer tires have a different side wall to support weight bearing loads and backing up and turning. Backing up and doing tight turns put a great deal of stress on tires. I have heard of trailers, such as my Escape 19 with dual axle, actually pulling the tire off the rim if turned to tight.

Truck tires do not have that sidewall so they will squirm and cause more trailer swaying. When loaded down the truck tires will look under inflated and will heat up too much in hot towing conditions.

I believe most trailer tires use a Bias ply because they flex more, a feature that is desirable on a trailer.

You are correct in assuming the brand is not a major factor in purchasing trailer tires. I have not yet had to replace an Escape tire but I would think I would stick to what it came with. There was some logic or reasoning behind their choice of that tire in the first place.

I would ignore comments about this brand or that brand being prone to failure; they are not scientific observations and have no validity. Only the tire manufacturers can give you accurate failure rates and they are not sharing.

I believe very strongly that trailer tires should be replaced every four years, more often if you drive in hot conditions or if you drive fast (over 65 mph). Trailer tires are designed to be driven at 60 mph; you shorten their life span with fast driving.

Finally, it does not matter how many miles you have on the tires, you need to change them if your trailer sat in your garage for four years. This is where our automobile mindset on tires says "I only take it up to the lake three times a year, its 195 miles one way, these tires will last me 8,000 miles."

Wrong ! ! !

We do not measure trailer tires in miles, we measure trailer tires in years of use and then consider what sort of use that might shorten their life.


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Old 07-31-2010, 05:23 PM   #9
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Re: Tire Failure - Trailer Did Fine

Thank you very much, Fudge, for that information on tires. Now that we are on the topic of moving parapernalia, can I ask you if you adjust your own brakes, and what method do you use? It doesn't seem to be a very exact science as you have to guage the amount of friction on each wheel after you back off from the lock up position. And you cannot rely on the number of clicks of the adjuster as for example 8 clicks back off on one side might require 9 or 10 clicks back off on the other side. Do you have any tricks of the trade that could help me? Thanks again.
Gabe
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Old 07-31-2010, 06:08 PM   #10
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Re: Tire Failure - Trailer Did Fine

Cannot help you on brakes but would be most interested in your answer. Anyone else out there to chime in on brake adjustment?
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