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Old 09-18-2016, 04:25 PM   #1
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My China Bomb Story....

I had a total separation of about 60% of the tread on one of the Castle Rock specials on my Flagstaff this afternoon on our way home from the lake. Lots of data on this to share if anyone cares. There were some signs there was something amiss, but I didn't catch them in a timely enough manner.

First, I'm running a Tireminder A1A on the trailer as I cut a tire a few months ago and just happened to notice it in the mirror before it became a problem, so I know the pressures and temps of the failed tire were, and had been fine when it failed.

Second, since I purchased the trailer in June, I have used UltraFab super grip X-chocks as they are the narrowest and the Flagstaff has very little room between the tires. The chock for the ODS wheels fits snugly but it fits. The chock on the DS wheels has always been much more difficult to install. As if the axles are slightly cocked. (This piece of data will become more important as the story progresses.)

I just last Thursday, upgraded the shocks on our TV to Bilstein 5100s and that stabilized the combo so that it is easy to drive at 65mph. Prior to the new shocks I generally limited the speed to 60mph for best ride.

We made our 110 mile trip to the lake with no issues on Friday. I did notice that this time while setting up, the DS chock, that is usually difficult to insert between the tires would not fit at all. I didn't think much of it, as I had done some sharp backing and thought that maybe the sidewalls were tweaked because of that.

This morning, as we were leaving the lake, all the tires were at proper pressure and temps. I did notice the slightest vibration, that I didn't think was normal, but it went away as we get up to speed so I figured that maybe the tire had flatspotted because of how I parked.

Over the first 80 miles or so on the way home, everything seemed to be OK. No alarms from the TPMS, although the truck seemed to be laboring just a tad more than usual. We stopped for a bathroom break at a gas station about 30 miles from the house. I walked around the trailer and felt all the wheels. Nothing was out of place. The tire that ended up failing was at proper pressure and it was maybe 8 degrees warmer than the rest, but not out of the range I'm used to seeing from the tires down here when it is 90F outside.

When we left the station, I noticed the same vibration that I had felt earlier. But again, it went away. Something was gnawing at me so I kept the speed to 60.

Five miles later, the tread separated from the tire, it vibrated for about 2 seconds as I was slowing down and then went off like a grenade.

Less than one second after the boom, the TPMS started screaming that I had a problem. (No kidding.)

I changed to the spare, threw the mess in the bed and walked back the quarter mile to get the tread that had separated. More for investigative purposes, but why litter, right?

Upon investigating the remains after getting home, I can see a significant percentage of the tire that was not internally bonded properly. There is evidence that there was relative movement between a set of the inner plys. (Which strangely are laid on the bias. (?))

Minor damage to the trailer, as it was the front right tire it just beat on the step enclosure a bit and gakked up the wheel well a bit. No structural damage and it won't be too hard to repair.

As you can see, there were lots of little flags that could have caused me to look for something wrong with a tire on the right side. None of them individually were really obvious, but putting them together in hindsight, this tire was junk at least from shortly after we got the trailer. The chock not fitting was an indication that it had a ply separation issue, rather than an axle alignment issue. (With the spare on now, the chock fits just like the other side does.) Add to that the odd little vibration and the ever so slightly elevated temperature and the result was not really surprising.

The trailer came with D rated tires so I just ordered a full set of Maxxis E's and dynabeads. Hopefully they last a little while.

I'll post some pics next.
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Old 09-18-2016, 04:35 PM   #2
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Thanks for posting this, and the "little" things that although in hindsight were a pretermit to the tire tread peeling.

I encounter this in my business, that the customer noticed a shaking but kept on driving on a separated tire until catastrophic failure.

Hopefully other members reading this will notice these warning signs you mentioned, and take action early not later as this is as much applicable to their tow vehicles and/or daily drivers as much as it is to their RV's.
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Old 09-18-2016, 04:42 PM   #3
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First is the spare, showing the little bit of damage and the chock that now fits properly.



Next are a few photos of the carcass after the failure. The smooth sections I believe show that there was relative movement between two of the plys which produced the wear shown by the smooth texture of the remains.





The next shot shows the rough surface where the plys were still bonded that tore when the failure occurred.



A couple wider shots showing the extent of the separation.





The gator that I went back and retrieved. Notice the bias plys. This I don't understand.



And a view of the hole that opened up when the thin crappy internal plys hit the pavement at 50 mph.

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Old 09-18-2016, 04:50 PM   #4
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Brand

What brand are the tires?
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Old 09-18-2016, 04:55 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Davidceder View Post
What brand are the tires?
Castle Rock 225-75 R 15's. Load Range D. Build tag 2415 which would put them being constructed in June 2015. The trailer was built in August 2015, so they were certainly not sitting around long prior to OEM installation.
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Old 09-18-2016, 04:56 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2Evil4U View Post
I had a total separation of about 60% of the tread on one of the Castle Rock specials
Quote:
Originally Posted by Davidceder View Post
What brand are the tires?
The OP indicated it was a Castle Rock, which Lionshead distributes.


Castle Rock Radial Tire
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Old 09-19-2016, 12:23 AM   #7
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One good pothole or heat and/or a defect can do it.
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Old 09-19-2016, 12:31 PM   #8
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wow glad no one got hurt.
I switched out original tires on the SOB bunk house to MAXXIS 8008's

Maxxis ST Radial Trailer Tires | Maxxis Tires USA

no regrets here for sure.
i pick up our new TT toy hauler in 2 weeks and they have loadstars on them... fingers crossed
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Old 09-19-2016, 12:53 PM   #9
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Make Lionshead warranty the tire.
Even if you're not going to use it on your camper. And report it.
I got 2 replacements for my blown Castle Rocks. Which I plan to use on a utility trailer.
Need to make these 'cheap' tires as expensive as possible for them.
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Old 09-19-2016, 01:17 PM   #10
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I'm hoping wmtire chimes in on this. Great pictures for him to see and lend his thoughts on.
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