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Old 08-06-2015, 03:17 PM   #21
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It is my experience with RVs that the rating on the tires as well as the GVWR of the RV are borderline. If the RV is loaded beyond the rating of the tires, they can overheat causing failure. If traveling at higher than normal speeds, the tire can overheat. If low tire pressure is present the tire can overheat. if the tire picks up a nail or object it can deflate with out the driver knowing and shred the tire. All four of these conditions can cause failure and I have experienced most of these. Last year I purchased a tire monitoring system which constantly monitors pressure and temperature. On our trip this year I had one puncture which the system caught before it totally deflated and ruined the tire and two tires that developed low pressure. Without the system, all three of the tires would have eventually failed and been destroyed and possibly damaged the RV. While the tire manufacturer may be somewhat at fault and the RV factory could have installed better rated tires. Ultimately the owner should understand the limits that these tires will stand and either upgrade their tires or stay within the limits and monitor the tires. I highly recommend a monitoring system.
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Originally Posted by Tireguy397 View Post
I spent many years working for a major tire company and I have seen my share of failures. There are many inferior tire manufactures mostly from the Middle East and Asia. However trailer owners are still sometimes their own worst enemy when it comes to tires. This past weekend I was parked next to a humongous 5th wheeler with 3 axles. I watched him as he packed up and noticed one of his tires looked very low in air. I told him about it and with a bit of attitude he told me he had checked them before leaving home a few days before. I asked if we could check them and he agreed. I broke out my trusty tire gauge. The first thing I did was gave the valve stem a field test. That involves spitting on your finger and wiping it on the end. His mouth dropped as he watched the bubbles come out. Tire had less than 10 lbs of pressure. The core had stuck open a little when he checked the pressure. I always keep some spare valve cores and a tool for such occasions and a portable compressor. I made a new best friend after that. Moral is don't take things for granted when it comes to your tires.
I totally agree that there is some ownership responsibility here, but there are millions of people driving around with low/underinflated/bald/etc. . . passenger car tires too. You just don't have as many issues with those tires blowing out because they are higher quality and more closely watched. I have been on truck threads for years. The only tire blowouts I see posted on a regular basis are trailer tires. Yes, those tires may be less monitored by the owners but that doesn't mean we shouldn't report the problems in hopes of making a better tire in the future.
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Old 08-06-2015, 03:31 PM   #22
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I find it somewhat "funny" (both in "HaHa" and "Satirical" and "Sad" connotations) that the RV Community would be so interested in Government or Industry Regulation - even over something as Fundamental as Tire Performance.
The RV Community has a general reputation of being one of the groups whose Politics lean toward "Less" not "More" Government Regulation in their Lives - to the point of seeing Camping or Boondocking as ways to gain at least Temporary Respite from the Work-a-Day World and City-Life.

There is some amount of Government Regulation that plays directly upon RV Manufacture and RV Safety. Departments such as the NHTSA have responsibility for the Safety of Vehicles traveling the Roads of the USA, and the Dept of Commerce and the Treasury Dept have some oversight of the Corporations which build our RVs. But the latter are generally limited to "standard" Corporate Business Activities, and the former is most concerned about the Vehicles which carry Passengers and the conditions and situations which could most affect their Safety.
Motorhomes get a great deal of Scrutiny during Manufacture because these are Fulltime Passenger-carrying Vehicles. Travel Trailers see significantly less Scrutiny simply because they generally Do Not / Cannot carry Passengers whilst travelling the Roadway. As well, while Trailers can cause Significant Issues for the Towing Vehicle when the Trailer has an Issue, when those Accidents lead to Passenger Injuries in the Towing Vehicle there are already copious Regulations that address the same Passenger Safety Issues in the case of Generic Accidents.
This may be a callous interpretation of the bulk of NHTSA Regulations, but...

The Depth and Scope of these Regulations are set forth by Federal Law as crafted in a few specific Legislative Committees - meaning your Reps and Senators (or usually those from States with Large RV Manufacturers). Then the actual Regulations are written as part of the function of the Executive Branch (the Bureaucratic part that is rather unaffected by who sits in the Oval Office), but again under the Scrutiny of the Legislative Branch Committees (influenced by same Lobbyists as above). Beyond Lobbyist Influences, most Federal-level Elected Officials think of "Lear Jet" when one mentions "RV" and wouldn't be Caught Dead in a CampingWorld / WalMart / KOA, unless it was Primary Season and Indiana was next-up to the Polls.

Looking at the dearth of Regulations another way: There are slightly more than 250M Cars (and Light Trucks/SUV/CUV/Motorcycles) Registered in the USA. There are 15M Commercial Trucks, of which 3M are Long-Haul Semis. Against this, there are a total of 8.5M RV Owners. Those numbers would readily show why so many Regulations, so much Scrutiny, and so many Recalls are posted for the Passenger Vehicle Industry. It would seem that RVs might expect the level of Scrutiny of Commercial Trucks, but remember that most Commercial Trucks are on the Road 10-14hrs-a-Day as they don't make Money when Standing Still - while most of us RV Owners didn't buy our rigs (big or small) in order to have them Logging Miles every Day. As well, Trucks are more heavily Regulated because they are Commercial Vehicles, not Private Property.

So, RVs simply Don't Get (probably Shouldn't Get - definitely Not Desired by some) the same level of Regulatory Scrutiny. And it would be questionable whether NHTSA oversight would cover much more than Axles / Tires / Hitch, yet outside the Tire Threads most Serious Manufacturer-related Concerns are for Structural and Design Elements unrelated to Driving / Towing and therefore would fall under some other Regulatory Agency (probably one with even less insight into our Usage and Desires).

So,what do Level of Regulation we Really Want??
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Old 08-06-2015, 03:41 PM   #23
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I maintain a RV trailer tire blog under another user name. The following post was written in 2011. I've not changed a word.

RV Trailer Tire Failures

There is no clear answer, only speculation. Anecdotal information drives speculations into name calling and negative design confidence.

As everyday tire users we are spoiled. We don't suffer tire failures with our everyday vehicles. When we do they can almost always be accounted for. Most of us will go for many years without a single tire failure. Then we get an RV trailer and POP goes the tires.

The tires on our everyday vehicles are - in most cases - specifically designed for the vehicle they are on. They are quality graded for all sorts of conditions with tread designs to match the grading. Their load capacity has been derived from the maximum loaded vehicle with a 6% reserve left over which will seldom, if ever, be used. They are constantly in use so the built-in chemical compounds stay in action and degrading is held at the bare minimum. Most of them will wear out long before they will ever get old enough to be effected by degradation or age or both.

On the other hand the RV trailer also has tires specifically designed for their position. And that's where almost all of the similarity ends. Seldom has a tire design been scrutinized as often and with such detail as the ST tire. Almost all of the American manufacturers have given up on the trailer tire or have sent it to their off shore plants in faraway places like China, Vietnam, Korea, Taiwan or Thailand etc.

Most users that have had a ST tire failure or numerous ones are not going to like or agree with many of my analogies on this subject. The overwhelming evidence will support my stance but there are no official statistical findings to support what I say. But, logic always has a strong influence on many outcomes in the absence of other evidence.

In the absence of numerous recalls for the ST tire one must assume the design is sound and cannot, by itself, have caused the many failures reported against it.

Once the design is ruled out of the failure scenario the cause must lie elsewhere. So, is there a single cause or a combination of causes? I like multiple causes over the single one. Of course any highly abused single cause can also be the culprit.

Here are my accusations. We overload our trailers. We speed with our trailers. We take a somewhat lackadaisical attitude about our trailer's tire pressures. We store our trailers for long periods of time - six months or more - with no regard for the tire's condition or pressures. The trailer may not even be level which causes tires on the low side to become overloaded for their entire time in storage. We don't balance or rotate the trailer tires. Sometimes the spare is exposed to the elements for so long it explodes.


Here is a link where you can look at reports on your particular tire brand.

http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/owners/SearchSafetyIssues

A footnote: Because of the current tire fitment regulations for RV trailer axles many trailer manufacturers will use "bare minimum" load capacity tires. Most owners buying such trailers are unaware that the life expectancy of their original equipment tires is a year or less.
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Old 08-06-2015, 03:42 PM   #24
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We've owned four campers, PUP, two TT's and our new TH. PUP was fine with tires. First TT blew a tire but it was an axle issue, they were out of alignment and scrubbing the tires bad. Second TT I had two blowouts. First one was the factory tire with 1000 miles on it. Second was a Maxxis which is regarded as among the better ST tires. I think the problem is nailed on the head earlier in this thread. The tires were borderline in load rating. They were within the specs of the camper and tire but just barely. I had maybe 50-75# per tire in extra capacity if that much. I finally swapped them out to larger LT tires and never had a single issue over several thousand miles.
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Old 08-06-2015, 03:44 PM   #25
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A footnote: Because of the current tire fitment regulations for RV trailer axles many trailer manufacturers will use "bare minimum" load capacity tires. Most owners buying such trailers are unaware that the life expectancy of their original equipment tires is a year or less.
Where did you see this info and why would an OEM tire only be good for one year?
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Old 08-06-2015, 03:46 PM   #26
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So,what do Level of Regulation we Really Want??
I agree with much of what you wrote except the first paragraph as I have seen a wide variety of RV owners over the years. I just wouldn't paint with that big of a paintbrush, and some of this really doesn't matter as there is an agency responsible for safety on the highways and they should be doing that. Whether they are doing a good job of it is certainly subject to debate, but there could be a thread on that subject separate from this discussion.

As to your question, the level of regulation is already in place. NHSTA does force recalls. My point is simply that they likely do not recall enough tires because we (the RV owners) never report blowouts, but we do complain about them on forums. . .
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Old 08-06-2015, 03:54 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by CHD Dad View Post
Where did you see this info and why would an OEM tire only be good for one year?

The regulation for tires fitted to the trailer manufacturers GAWR does not have to provide any reserve - via inflation pressures - above the axle requirement.

It has been widely advertised that ST tires can degrade as much or even more than 10% per year. With minimum requirement tires installed on a trailer that is loaded heavy but not over GVWR a year is a guess. But I bet it's in the ballpark.
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Old 08-06-2015, 04:14 PM   #28
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Seldom has a tire design been scrutinized as often and with such detail as the ST tire.
Regulatory Scrutiny? By the NHTSA or other? Or simply by Anecdotal Customer Complaints?

Even searches performed of the NHTSA database via the link in your Post couldn't back the "highly scrutinized" claim.

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Originally Posted by Airdale View Post
In the absence of numerous recalls for the ST tire one must assume the design is sound and cannot, by itself, have caused the many failures reported against it.
Again, is there any direct evidence that ST Tires (or any Non-Commercial Trailer Tire Use) falls under similar levels of Scrutiny as Passenger Tires??
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Old 08-06-2015, 04:28 PM   #29
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Regulatory Scrutiny? By the NHTSA or other? Or simply by Anecdotal Customer Complaints?

Even searches performed of the NHTSA database via the link in your Post couldn't back the "highly scrutinized" claim.



Again, is there any direct evidence that ST Tires (or any Non-Commercial Trailer Tire Use) falls under similar levels of Scrutiny as Passenger Tires??
That the whole point. Report failures so there will be.
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Old 08-06-2015, 04:35 PM   #30
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That the whole point. Report failures so there will be.
The NHTSA Regulatory Power is circumscribed by it's Regulatory Mandate and by the Regulations that are on the books. It's not driven by Anecdotal Reporting of Mishaps.

I searched the Online NHTSA Database, both for Reports of Failures (a goodly number of those are returned) and Regulatory Findings / Recalls (few Recalls related to ST Tires but numerous Petitions for "Findings of Inconsequential Noncompliance").
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