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Old 01-15-2013, 05:00 PM   #1
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Life of tires

Looking for opinions on when to change tires. I have a 2009 Rockwood 8306 signature ultra lite and maybe have 10 k on them. The current tires are Carlisle ST225/75R15 ( C range )and have plenty of tread left and no signs of dry rot.
Planning a long hot trip this summer and just trying to get ahead of Murphy so I don't have any issues.
Local RV dealer sells a brand Towmax and can get 4 installed for around $550. and they are "D" range. $550 seems like cheap insurance plus I upgrade to a higher load range.
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Old 01-15-2013, 05:13 PM   #2
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I've seen too much damage to trailers just because people do not change out tires. Im sure it depends on the amount of miles you put on a trailer .. but i change mine out, just doing local trips ... say 2K or so miles a year, every 5 years.
Now that i have the Aframe, it gets alot more miles, and tires/bearings get much more attention .. and will most likely be getting changed out early next year.
I find that tread separation is a big thing with trailer tires .. rather than wear and rot. This is just my experience with Bias-ply tires .... i have not had enough experience with radials ... which are on the newer trailers ...

d-mo
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Old 01-15-2013, 05:44 PM   #3
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When I saw the word "Towmax" I cringed. Towmax cost me my entire RV. Tires wre original equipment on a new RV and where only two years old with not many miles on them. Travelling down the interstate about 65 MPH all the tread shredded off the drivers side rear tire and destroyed my floor, sidewall, electrical, and anything in that area. The camper was declared a total loss. I have a claim in with the company but have been waiting on the answer for over a month but was told a decision would be made in two weeks. Funny thing the tire did not even go flat, just all the tread came off and became shaprnel that destroyed everything it hit. I hope the company accepts responsibility for their defective tire which would make me feel better but I would not put Towmax on my vehicle. JT
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Old 01-15-2013, 05:56 PM   #4
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I have to agree, if you are going to change tires, but decent ones. They might cost a bit more up front, but the alternatives are far more costly.
I believe someone said Goodyear is making Marathons in the US again, and Maxxis has a very good reputation.
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Old 01-15-2013, 06:20 PM   #5
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I would never go more than 2 to 3 years without replacement. Tires just are not made like they use to be you can find some that are 4 years old and dry cracking real bad.

The official life span is 5 years, but I would never use one that long unless it was going on a hay rake or disc or something like that.

Ps. I've heard good things about maxis and kumho
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Old 01-15-2013, 06:27 PM   #6
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I would never go more than 2 to 3 years without replacement.
Of course it all depends on how they are stored, and the original quality.
Our camper stays in a climate-controlled shop, out of the sun. I expect the tires to last 10 years under those conditions.
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Old 01-15-2013, 06:28 PM   #7
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Obviously mileage is one way to tell, but age also matters.

There are "lubricants" put into tire rubber that are volatile. These lubricants are required to keep rubber soft and not harden like Bakelite. As tires age, the lubricant evaporates at the surface of the rubber. Evaporation at the surface leads to drying out of the surface of the rubber (AKA "rot") and "check and crack" when not rotated to temperature regularly. Running them till they get warm flexes the tires, circulating the rubber lubricants and bringing fresh lubricant to the surface.

Regular car (P) and truck (LT) tires have a predetermined amount of lubricant made into the rubber to keep the tires supple when used regularly. (thus the expression "Take it out to rotate the tires") They tend to wear out well before they "age out."

Because trailer tires spend a large part of their life in storage; then run at high speeds for a short period of time before going right back in storage; manufacturers have developed a special kind of tire for the loads, speeds, and storage conditions for optimum performance. It is called the ST trailer tire.

They have belts and side walls designed for severe twisting when pivoting the trailer (something a car or truck tire will never see), but the BIG difference is the amount or rubber lubricant in the rubber composition. ST tires are designed to have three (or more!) times the lubricant added to the rubber during formulation. Though some overseas "no name" brands have skimped on the amounts added to call their tires ST, ALL have more than P or LT tires.

Why is this important?

The date code looks like (2510) molded into the tire. 2510 means the tire was made in the 25th week of 2010. If the last 2 digits are not 0 or 1 something, they are too old to put on the road.

If your tires are old (over 7 years for ones used regularly and stored for no more than 3 months between uses) or have been sitting more than camping (less than say 30 days a year on the road) they will age out at the 5 year point or so. If you bought a used trailer and have no idea how it was used, or has sat a long time; check the date code and is not 08 or higher, get new ones REGARDLESS of tread.

Cracking can occur BETWEEN the treads and not be seen until the tire is deflated when dismounted (or it explodes).

The bottom 2 photos were mine - Carlisle C range tires that lasted 13 months from delivery. Date code at delivery was 2 YEARS old on a brand new camper.
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Old 01-15-2013, 07:35 PM   #8
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I just say 2-3 years because I consider my 5er & boat trailer high risk -aka I don't want any tire issues it would tear up something. So 2-3 years and they get rotated to an equipment trailer that doesn't matter as much if there is a failure. Just real cheap insurance!

And I had 3 out of 6 tires fail on a equipment trailer that were 2.5 years old and G rated in one 120 mile trip. Just threw the gator backs, and got home and a 4th was about to shed its skin. Needless to say 6 new tires are on there now

Ps. 60 months is tire manuf. Max, my dealerships discard tires if they reach this age- even if they just sit on the shelf.
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Old 01-15-2013, 09:09 PM   #9
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I just say 2-3 years because I consider my 5er & boat trailer high risk -aka I don't want any tire issues it would tear up something. So 2-3 years and they get rotated to an equipment trailer that doesn't matter as much if there is a failure. Just real cheap insurance!

And I had 3 out of 6 tires fail on a equipment trailer that were 2.5 years old and G rated in one 120 mile trip. Just threw the gator backs, and got home and a 4th was about to shed its skin. Needless to say 6 new tires are on there now

Ps. 60 months is tire manuf. Max, my dealerships discard tires if they reach this age- even if they just sit on the shelf.
Man, I totally agree. One major blowout is plenty for me.

Tire warehouses store those tires wrapped in black tar paper in cold storage for a reason. Most local garages store them in the attic. That does them a whole lot of good. I would NEVER buy tires from a garage. They could be "brand new" and over age junk. ALWAYS check the date code before they mount them. ASK TO SEE THEM before they mount your tires (cars too).

They always sell the oldest tires first. If you ask, they will give you newer tires, but no one ever asks.
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Old 01-15-2013, 10:00 PM   #10
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A few other things I look for....Date codes, On my new 2006 FR the tires were two years old, they were made in 2004.....Have your camper tires balanced, it will make a difference and don't forget the spare....keep tires at the proper pressure.....check and make eure that the tires are correct for your camper and they should be at least 6 ply tires and one other thing I check when travel a long distance is the temperature of the wheels (Not Tires) if the wheels get too hot this can effect your tires, and the cause of wheels being too hot is a wheel bearing going bad and or brakes out of adjustment, shoes may be dragging on the drums, or if the wheels too cool there may be a changes that the shoes are not touching the drums at all and the other side of the brakes are doing all of the work.

Three years is about average but if you do all the right things and not run into curbs and pot holes you can get five years out of them but after that I change them.
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