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Old 11-05-2019, 09:57 AM   #1
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China "Time Bombs" Experience

I had heard the stories about China Bomb tires, I just did not realize the precision with which these tires were made so that, in my case, they were actually China "Time Bombs". We own a 2017 Tracer Air 248 that we purchased in May, 2016. We have traveled about 13,000 miles on the original Power King Tow Max tires (205 75R/14, Load Range C). Our plan was to replace them after the fall camping season. Two weeks ago, we departed on our last trip of the season. About 40 minutes into the trip, a trailer tire blew (front, passenger side) on I-85 north, just south of Atlanta. Traffic was heavy so I called Good Sam to change the tire. Ninety minutes later we were back on the road and decided to go back home and get our other spare tire (Goodyear Endurance). We traveled about 300 miles to our campsite and spent the week. On the way back, on I-85 south outside of Atlanta (50 miles from home), another tire blew (back, driver side). Was able to pull off at start of exit with lots of room so I changed this tire. About 10 miles from home, a third tire blew (front, passenger side), which was the first spare put on and was an original tire that had never been used. I was out of spare tires but called a friend who was able to bring me his trailer spare of the same size. I was able to change the tire and get home. As always, all tires had been checked for proper inflation before the trip. I have attached pictures of the tires, one of which shows all three and the point of failure which appears to be in a similar location (distance from tire centerline and on same side) on all three. Plan to replace all original tires with Goodyear Endurance tires.
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Old 11-05-2019, 10:06 AM   #2
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When I purchase a new or used camper I have the tires replaced with Goodyear G614 tires before I buy.
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Old 11-05-2019, 10:14 AM   #3
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Report it online to NHTSA. Hopefully it will force a recall..someday.
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Old 11-06-2019, 01:05 AM   #4
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Its a real shame the RV industry is so cheap and money hungry they are willing to put their customers lives at risk. This has been going on for years and nothing is being done about it. One can only conclude, they just don't care.
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Old 11-06-2019, 06:26 AM   #5
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I am curious what is the date code on the failed tires? Tires on a trailer bought in May 2016 are probably manufactured in 2015? So they are probably almost aged out as well.

Two things come to mind the tires have 13,000 miles, so previous unseen damage could have occurred and when the first failed (or before) the others could have been damaged or overloaded.

There are a lot of unknown variables.

I am not defending the tires, just knowing that they are minimal quality at best.

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Old 11-06-2019, 07:45 AM   #6
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Just replaced all four tires on my toy hauler with Goodyear endurance. Looks like a real strong tire.
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Old 11-06-2019, 07:51 AM   #7
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Realistically....isn't every tire a ticking Time Bomb ???
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Old 11-06-2019, 08:09 AM   #8
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Just to mention. We not to long ago went shopping for a 5'r. One thing I was looking for was what tires they had on them. To my surprise I only saw one TT with Castle Rocks. We looked at a lot of them.
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Old 11-06-2019, 08:31 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by TheWolfPaq82 View Post
Realistically....isn't every tire a ticking Time Bomb ???
You are right Wolf.. they are.
Hopefully some of them will 'tick' longer than others.

I'm not defending the tire(s) either (and would like to know the date code as well) as 4-5 years and 13,000 miles is really better than average for a ST tire from China.

Even more disappointing stories (for me) are those who blow tires on the first trip or two and/or while sitting in the driveway.

I'm sorry the OP had issues and was glad to hear they got all the tire changing done without incident. Stories like this are a testament how vulnerable one can be sitting along the road as a result of a product we really need to be able to have more faith in.
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Old 11-06-2019, 08:40 AM   #10
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Threads like these are making me nervous with my new TT. I know I'm going to be maxing out the trailers GVWR (3920lbs) based on the weight it came in at when I did go to the scale (3500lbs w/o water or generator). I think the tires are going to be my weakest link when pushing the weight, so I'm already looking at the endurance; the load rating is significantly higher, unfortunately they don't make my size (235/75R15). They do make 235/80R16's, but I'll have to find wheels I like with my lug pattern (5 bolt) as I don't mind the extra 1" of ground clearance. Can anyone think of any downside to increasing the tire size or expecting to push the GVWR a little beyond the max (with the better tires of course)?
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Old 11-06-2019, 08:43 AM   #11
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Plan to replace all original tires with Goodyear Endurance tires.
think also about going to load range D from your current C range tires for added load capacity (safety factor)
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Old 11-06-2019, 08:58 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Oaklevel View Post
I am curious what is the date code on the failed tires? Tires on a trailer bought in May 2016 are probably manufactured in 2015? So they are probably almost aged out as well.
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Maybe even 2014. That trailer was likely made in 2015 and the wheel/ tire combos are on the chassis or in storage long before that. My buddy bought a 2018 TH, which was built nearly a year prior. The tires date code was 2216- over 2 years old before he bought it! I'm convinced that is why factory tires get a bad rap. Sitting for so long, probably underinflated, rarely moved (if at all).
To the OP, you are not the first one I have seen experience this. I swear if my tires are 3y/o or more and one pops they will all get replaced.
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Old 11-06-2019, 09:12 AM   #13
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I've towed RV trailers and 5er's tens of thousands of miles over the last 15 years with "china bombs" and have never ever had a tire failure. All day tows in 95 degree heat. Over rocky, rutted National Forest Service roads. Never a failure.
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Old 11-06-2019, 09:45 AM   #14
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Are those steel belts poking through the tire tread? Or are the belts (or tire cord) some sort of fabric?
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Old 11-06-2019, 01:57 PM   #15
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Only half...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mrprovy View Post
Threads like these are making me nervous with my new TT. I know I'm going to be maxing out the trailers GVWR (3920lbs) based on the weight it came in at when I did go to the scale (3500lbs w/o water or generator). I think the tires are going to be my weakest link when pushing the weight, so I'm already looking at the endurance; the load rating is significantly higher, unfortunately they don't make my size (235/75R15). They do make 235/80R16's, but I'll have to find wheels I like with my lug pattern (5 bolt) as I don't mind the extra 1" of ground clearance. Can anyone think of any downside to increasing the tire size or expecting to push the GVWR a little beyond the max (with the better tires of course)?
Only 1/2" extra. 16" is the wheel diameter, not radius.
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Old 11-06-2019, 02:16 PM   #16
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Mrprovy, a down-side on going to the taller tire is it may not fit the wheel well when the springs load going down the road.
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Old 11-06-2019, 02:20 PM   #17
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Our Micro Lite has ST205/75r14's, too. And our trailer is MUCH lighter than yours, if I read the specs right... ours:4900 yours: 7000. Why would a manufacturer use 14 inch wheels on such a trailer??


I wish OURS had 15's. I prefer to have WAY more load capacity in the tires/wheels than the axle rating calls for. If I remember right, they even have Load Range E tires in 15 inch...
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Old 11-06-2019, 02:40 PM   #18
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Only 1/2" extra. 16" is the wheel diameter, not radius.
But the tire diameter is the reason it is an inch difference. Stockers are a bit over 28" and the others are about 30.5"
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Old 11-06-2019, 03:46 PM   #19
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Response to questions on China "Time Bombs"

Two of the tires were dated 0816 and one was 0916, which as I understand it, means they were manufactured in the 8th and 9th week of 2016. The Tracer Air 248 has a dry weight of 5000 lbs and a cargo weight of 2600 lbs. I have not weighed it, but I estimate we may travel with 1500 lbs of cargo or less on average and as much as 2000 lbs. We usually camp for 7-10 days, but have been out for 2 months on one trip. Roundtrip mileage ranges from 120 miles to as much as 5000 miles for one trip, but most trips are under 600 miles round trip. The material you see sticking out of the tires is the steel belt. The Goodyear Endurance tire I have as my other spare is Load Range D and I plan to replace the five original tires with the same.
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Old 11-06-2019, 04:13 PM   #20
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When I read that you had "205 75R/14, Load Range C" tires, my first thought brought me back to the problems that I had with this tire size on my prior TT. It was obviously not an adequate tire for my TT, and I converted to 15" tires.

My new TT has 15" tires, with load range "Ds". And yes, it came with barely adequate load range "Cs" and I changed to the "D size.
I think you can't go wrong with buying a D or E load range tire.
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