Originally Posted by 41ford
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.