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Old 06-30-2016, 12:19 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Tireman9 View Post
"Blowout" is mis-used catch-all for any tire failure.

I covered tire failure in THIS post.
It is possible to avoid the damage most of the time with proper monitoring of inflation and recurring inspections for separations.
I agree with you now. Had I known what to look for I could have avoided the second and third blowouts. After the third, the Goodyear manager showed me how the remaining fourth tire was deformed while replacing the third blowout. It was pointed in the middle of the tread but had even wear. He explained that was due to tread separation.
I had him replace it then and when he removed it, it was no longer round, but egg-shaped. Sort of oval with a big dimple in the tread at one spot.
I had noticed the weird shape on the others prior to them blowing, but didn't think it of much concern since the tires had little wear and were less than 5000 miles.
I appreciate when you and other experts share your knowledge. Thanks.
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Old 07-01-2016, 07:48 AM   #12
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I had one on the side of I95 in Georgia on our first ever RV trip. It was a bad time to learn that while I did have a spare tire, I had no jack or lug wrench.
I forgot about that one. We were on the way to Taos, NM in Lubbock one night. It was about 11:00 p.m. I was backing into a site and my wife yells out, "you hit something,...ah, um...you gotta flat." To my surprise one of the tires was almost completely gone. No damage to the unit luckily. This was our second 5th wheel. Our previous one had a jack and lug wrench under one of the dining room booths, which I never had to use. I started looking for it on this one, nope. I had a jack, I tried everything I had for a lug wrench. After breaking a socket we headed to a 24 hour Walmart. Got it changed around 2:00 a.m. Settled in, got up at 5:00 a.m. and headed out to Taos.
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Old 07-01-2016, 09:23 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by dcheatwood View Post
I agree with you now. Had I known what to look for I could have avoided the second and third blowouts. After the third, the Goodyear manager showed me how the remaining fourth tire was deformed while replacing the third blowout. It was pointed in the middle of the tread but had even wear. He explained that was due to tread separation.
I had him replace it then and when he removed it, it was no longer round, but egg-shaped. Sort of oval with a big dimple in the tread at one spot.
I had noticed the weird shape on the others prior to them blowing, but didn't think it of much concern since the tires had little wear and were less than 5000 miles.
I appreciate when you and other experts share your knowledge. Thanks.

Well now you know what to look for in your tires. I covered How to inspect tires in a special post on my blog. I would suggest this be done at least once a year or 1,000 miles for multi axle towables.

Only other item is to suggest a complaint be field with NHTSA for each failure not related to leaking air (as a real run low flex failure)
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Old 07-01-2016, 08:50 PM   #14
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Blowout costing $4500. Luckly insurance was good. Now I have Goodyear G rated tires. No problem. Also you may check tire date and not wait five years but change them after three.
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Old 07-01-2016, 09:16 PM   #15
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After the 5th blowout [ tread separation if you must] and over $3,200 total damage to the bottom of the unit, I had a "scatter shield wheel liner" built out of formed-fitted 1/8" steel plate.
The third blowout ripped out a wiring harness, LP gas line, hot and cold water lines, wheel well covers, etc. I inserted risers on both axles to get the tires further away from the main body.
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Old 07-01-2016, 11:41 PM   #16
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After the 5th blowout [ tread separation if you must] and over $3,200 total damage to the bottom of the unit, I had a "scatter shield wheel liner" built out of formed-fitted 1/8" steel plate.
The third blowout ripped out a wiring harness, LP gas line, hot and cold water lines, wheel well covers, etc. I inserted risers on both axles to get the tires further away from the main body.

Sorry to rain on your parade but 1/8" plate will not solve your problem. Here is what we use around tire test cells. (grill on left) and this is all welded to 2" sq tubing.

Your tire can deliver about 25,000 Lbs force when it lets go and while you may not puncture the 1/8" plate I doubt that you have a support structure behind the plate that is strong enough.
Adding sufficient protection and support structure will almost certainly increase the probability of overloading one or more tires which as you know actually increases the probability of having a tire failure.

IMO you would be further ahead in preventing the failure in the first place.
This can be accomplished by using a TPMS that will warn of any air loss. 2nd you do a complete inspection once a year or every 2,000 miles.
Ensure you have at least a 15% load capacity margin for the heaviest loaded tire and run the tires at max sidewall inflation all the time.
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Old 07-02-2016, 08:36 AM   #17
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Tireman9 I wonder if an equivalent sized fiberglass grating would provide the same amount of protection, while being light weight-wise?

I had a tire separation within the first 90 miles of purchasing my 5th wheel. Like then and now, I always physically check the tires for imperfections, tire pressure, lug nuts torqued and now use a TPMS.

The 5'er came with Castle Rock tires and were replaced with less tha 400 miles on them with Maxxis. Seen and read enough horror stories in the FR forums to spook me, but the new tires and TPMS have given me a lot of comfort when I now travel. I still keep an eye on the tires.
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Old 07-02-2016, 12:46 PM   #18
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Tireman9 I wonder if an equivalent sized fiberglass grating would provide the same amount of protection, while being light weight-wise?

I had a tire separation within the first 90 miles of purchasing my 5th wheel. Like then and now, I always physically check the tires for imperfections, tire pressure, lug nuts torqued and now use a TPMS.

The 5'er came with Castle Rock tires and were replaced with less tha 400 miles on them with Maxxis. Seen and read enough horror stories in the FR forums to spook me, but the new tires and TPMS have given me a lot of comfort when I now travel. I still keep an eye on the tires.
Sorry but IMO trying to "build a wall" just is not a reasonable approach. I doubt that you can spare the 500 or more # of steel it would take. Since a failure of a tire can be explosive event a solid wall will not let the force dissipate. You need an open grate.

You need to remember that tires simply do not fail catastrophically without some reason. There is no magic involved.
Starting with a new tire...
1. It can fail in the sidewall if it is run at highway speeds (30+) while significantly under-inflated ( 40 to 80% low). Polyeseter melts. Steel tires do not need the speed but steel fatigues so after maybe a couple thousand cycles you get a "zipper" failure. Properly functioning TPMS can warn of the air loss in the first couple seconds of a loss ( of just a few psi for some brands). If you have a TPMS have you tested it? Can you hear the buzzer over the loud radio?

2. Radials can have a belt/tread separation. This takes many hundreds or even thousands of miles to grow large enough for the tire to come apart. This is where the close inspection in my blog post comes in. As I showed a tire with even significant separation does not have to come apart at once but it does leave visible clues.

The reason for belt separation is a combination of initial tire design and material selection and the long term use. Initial design can not prevent all damage done through excess heat and age but current technology in first class radials should deliver 5-6 years or 30 to 60,000 miles at specified inflation and a max of 80% load, except for multi axle trailers.
Due to trailer suspension design there are unique forces "Interply Shear" placed on TT tires that result is about 24% higher shear forces than seen in motorized vehicles. This means you would need to run very much decreased load ( maybe -25% to -50%) to get the same life on a TT application than the same tire on a TV application.
I do not know of any direct comparison real life testing so can only guess at the above figures other than the 24% that comes from Finite Element computer simulation that is a well developed tool in automotive circles other than the RV industry.

Rubber strength degrades with time and heat with HEAT being an over-riding contributor. Do you cover your tires with white covers? This can result is a very significant lowering of tire temperature. Every hour of full sun exposure can be equivalent to two to 3 hours of use running down the highway at top speed.

Quick example: 8 hours a day 7 days a week for two months each summer can be the equivalent of 10,000 miles use as far as rubber degradation is concerned. So if we assume a tire is good for 40,000 miles and you park it as in the above example after 3 years you may have "consumed the equivalent of 30.000 mile tire life, just while parked.

I suggest you will be much further ahead if you use TPMS and do an annual inspection. You might also review my blog. RV usage of tires is not the same as for your personal car so even though some may have 40 years driving experience that doesn't translate to having a good working knowledge of tire failure and its reasons.

Unless of course you have conducted maybe 500 or more failed tire autopsies.
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Old 07-02-2016, 12:56 PM   #19
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For what it is worth I own 5 trailers, 3 are duel axles, for 30 years and I have never had a tire failure or blowout and travel throughout the mid Atlantic.

The only flat tires have been on passenger vehicles and those have been very few (all road hazard issues).

My tire guy loves me as I buy up to 20 tires per year........ mostly wear or age issues.....
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Old 07-02-2016, 12:56 PM   #20
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I have to somewhat disagree Tireman, your test fixture is designed for repeated failures and a 5er is not.

2 completely different animals.

Even a 16ga. steel liner on a trailer will definitely minimize the damage to components above the tires.
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