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Old 08-26-2016, 12:23 PM   #1
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Catastrophic Tire Failure!

Hi, Members...

I would like to report on an incident and ask for advice...

Two days ago we started out from our home in the Orlando area with our 2012 Surveyor SP 240 for a destination in Great Smokey Mountain National Park. 40 miles into the trip one of our TowMax tires exploded (like a bomb). Sounded like a grenade going off...trailer shook and swayed but fortunately I was able to maintain control and pull off the Florida Turnpike safely. Upon inspection, I was shocked to discover that both tires on one side had failed and that a LARGE hole had been ripped clean through the wheel well, through the floor and into the interior of the trailer itself! Debris all over...smoke...fire alarm going off (but no fire). Damage extending into the outdoor kitchen area. Awning support affected and delamination on the walls resulting, I guess, from the torquing of the TT. I am aware of so called "China bombs" ... but these tires had less than 9000 miles on them, were under 5 years of age, and had been carefully maintained and properly inflated. In my opinion, this TT is now a total loss...structurally compromised, and would probably cost more to repair than it cost to build. We loved our camper and are heartbroken (and angry) over this turn of events. Question:...does anyone have advice as to how to deal with the insurance adjuster? Is anyone aware of any legal action being taken against FR? From what the tow company told us, we were lucky to not have been involved in a roll over! Thanks in advance.
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Old 08-26-2016, 12:31 PM   #2
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Sorry for your catastrophic problem, but the tires were probably over 4 yrs old. Should have been changed out at least a year ago if not sooner.
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Old 08-26-2016, 12:32 PM   #3
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Glad everyone is OK. Guessing one tire failed undetected and then the added stress on the other one caused the catastrophic failure. TPMS system may have prevented damage.

Mileage is usually not a concern on TT tires especially off brand Chinese tires. I never go over 3 years on TT tires no matter what the mileage. Cost of replacing tires much less than cost or repairing damage.
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Old 08-26-2016, 12:48 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flybob View Post
Glad everyone is OK. Guessing one tire failed undetected and then the added stress on the other one caused the catastrophic failure. TPMS system may have prevented damage.

Mileage is usually not a concern on TT tires especially off brand Chinese tires. I never go over 3 years on TT tires no matter what the mileage. Cost of replacing tires much less than cost or repairing damage.
I realize that folks like be very conservative with tires, but a well maintained tire should last at least 5 years. Ours were younger than that.
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Old 08-26-2016, 12:58 PM   #5
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What the SHOULD do and what they DO DO are 2 totally different things....
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Old 08-26-2016, 12:59 PM   #6
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Here's what 'Discount Tires' says about trailer tires:

Click image for larger version

Name:	discount_tires.png
Views:	195
Size:	28.0 KB
ID:	118481

Whether or not this is true, I just plan on following their advice because I'd rather play it safe than sorry. And I am truly sorry about what happened to you and yours, that would be very upsetting. I hope everything is resolved for you soon!
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Old 08-26-2016, 01:27 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slipf18 View Post
Hi, Members...

I would like to report on an incident and ask for advice...

Two days ago we started out from our home in the Orlando area with our 2012 Surveyor SP 240 for a destination in Great Smokey Mountain National Park. 40 miles into the trip one of our TowMax tires exploded (like a bomb). Sounded like a grenade going off...trailer shook and swayed but fortunately I was able to maintain control and pull off the Florida Turnpike safely. Upon inspection, I was shocked to discover that both tires on one side had failed and that a LARGE hole had been ripped clean through the wheel well, through the floor and into the interior of the trailer itself! Debris all over...smoke...fire alarm going off (but no fire). Damage extending into the outdoor kitchen area. Awning support affected and delamination on the walls resulting, I guess, from the torquing of the TT. I am aware of so called "China bombs" ... but these tires had less than 9000 miles on them, were under 5 years of age, and had been carefully maintained and properly inflated. In my opinion, this TT is now a total loss...structurally compromised, and would probably cost more to repair than it cost to build. We loved our camper and are heartbroken (and angry) over this turn of events. Question:...does anyone have advice as to how to deal with the insurance adjuster? Is anyone aware of any legal action being taken against FR? From what the tow company told us, we were lucky to not have been involved in a roll over! Thanks in advance.
As far as free advice goes.

1. Document everything, and take pics....lots and lots of pics. Keep documenting all your correspondence, conversations, etc from anyone from this stage forward.

2. Contact your insurance agent and see/tell how they are going to proceed

3. File a complaint with the NHTSA will all the pertinent facts as you are aware.

https://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/ivoq/complaint.cfm

4. Keep the tires that failed. Do not dispose of them unless you are satisfied with insurance, etc.

5. You may want to contact TowMax customer service eventually, but need to know how your insurance is going to proceed first and foremost.

If there are going to be legal wranglings, this step may be left best to either your insurance company or an attorney. Do not let the failed tires leave your custody (as per step #4) until you are satisfied. No tires, and you may have no recourse should the future dictate some kind of legal justification.

This is really a tricky part though. Towmax may need the tires to do a failure analysis, but once you relinquish control of the tires, then you also could have that bite you, should something get lost, etc. Tireman may can offer better advice at that stage (if it happens) since he has been involved in these kind of situations.

Towmax - Contact

6. Document everything and take many pics. I cannot stress it enough.
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Old 08-26-2016, 01:49 PM   #8
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What a scary situation. I am glad nobody was physically hurt although it may be hard for you to ever tow A TT again with out serious worry.

I hope others resist the need to "pile on" you have been through enough already. I will say it is a story like yours that led me to replace my tires when only 2 years old and around 7K miles.

Since both blew up in such a catastrophic fashion, it almost sounds like a road hazard thing to me.

Anyway... you've been given some good claim filing advice and I wish you well.

BTW... meant to ask you what you mean by "well maintained"?
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Old 08-26-2016, 01:58 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by slipf18 View Post
I realize that folks like be very conservative with tires, but a well maintained tire should last at least 5 years. Ours were younger than that.


People need to understand that most of the ST tires are junk.

There are those that preach the mph, age, etc. Then there are the rest of us that use LT tires and don't sweat it.

The ST tires blow even if you do everything you are supposed to do.

The Pro-ST camp is simply in denial...

To the OP, my comments were directed at everyone, not you specifically.


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Old 08-26-2016, 02:11 PM   #10
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Glad nobody got hurt and you were able to safely pull off the road. What's done is done. If you insurance company is good you should not have any issues in getting everything repaired.

On my old Terry I went thru 2 sets of Maxxis load range E and replaced every 5 years. We towed all over the place and in high temperature Texas and South Florida. Going forward, get some good tires and a TPMS. The cost of the TPMS will be less than your insurance deductible.
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