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Old 06-08-2013, 08:20 PM   #1
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Tire Help

Hello All,

In calling on your infinite wisdom about tires. I have trail express tires that came on my Coachmen travel trailer that is a 2012 that I purchased in Feb of 2012. The tires have a date code of 15/11 and are of the Trail Express variety. They have somewhere between 7/9k miles on them and we plan to put another 3k or so miles on them in the next month and a half. Having read all the stories about them I have become concerned after seeing the bulge shown below directly over the letter "T". Is the small bulge indicative of a forth coming tire failure?

Thanks in advance for your help!
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Old 06-08-2013, 08:30 PM   #2
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I'm having a hard time seeing the bulge- but I certainly wouldn't continue driving on it once finding a defect.
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Old 06-08-2013, 08:44 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Kf4mnc View Post
Hello All,

Is the small bulge indicative of a forth coming tire failure?

Thanks in advance for your help!
If it is a bulge, then it has broke cords, and will fail with an eventual blowout at that spot. Replace it.

It's hard to see from the pic if it is an actual bulge or possibly an indentation. If it's an indentation in the center, then it's what we call undulation in the tire business. Undulation is in simple terms where the body cords overlap each other. Because of overlapping cords, the area is actually stronger than other places in the tire. You may see undulation in one place on the sidewall or several.

The easiest way to tell the difference between broke cords or undulation on a radial tire....is to feel in the exact same place on the opposite sidewall of the tire. If you have another indentation, then it's undulation...and nothing to worry about.

HOWEVER, if there is nothing like it on the opposite sidewall (which would be the inner sidewall, from your pic), and it's a bulge, then it's a broke cord......and you need to get it off ASAP. All you have holding the tire together at that point now is the rubber, which will succumb to the air pressure and load. It can blow apart just sitting there.
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Old 06-08-2013, 08:45 PM   #4
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A lot of tires will have a slight depression in the sidewalls, but there is definitely a bulge in this one. If it were me I would replace all of them before starting on any trip other than to a tire shop. I would strongly suggest either GY Marathons the next higher load range or a Maxxis. IMO, you are taking a big gamble by leaving them on. If one blows, you will not doubt sustain damage to the trailer and still have to buy new tires. Ask me how I know. $1800 damage + $600+ for tires on the road.
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Old 06-08-2013, 08:45 PM   #5
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If I found that on my tire it would not be on the road it's an appointment with disaster but it's your call.
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Old 06-08-2013, 08:53 PM   #6
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I'm having a hard time seeing the bulge- but I certainly wouldn't continue driving on it once finding a defect.
I was afraid of that . . . It is where the dirt mark is directly above the "T" in tubeless.

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Originally Posted by wmtire View Post
If it is a bulge, then it has broke cords, and will fail with an eventual blowout at that spot. Replace it.

It's hard to see from the pic if it is an actual bulge or possibly an indentation. If it's an indentation in the center, then it's what we call undulation in the tire business. Undulation is in simple terms where the body cords overlap each other, Because of overlapping cords, then area is actually stronger than other places in the tire. You may see undulation in one place on the sidewall or several.

The easiest way to tell the difference between broke cords or undulation on a radial tire....is to feel in the exact same place on the opposite sidewall of the tire. If you have another indentation, then it's undulation...and nothing to worry about.

HOWEVER, it there is nothing like it on the opposite sidewall (which would be the inner sidewall, from your pic), and it's a bulge, then it's a broke cord......and you need to get it off ASAP.
Thanks for the detailed response. I just checked the other side and had my wife check too. There is a indentation on the back side and a bulge on the front at about the same location. So this is good news??
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Old 06-08-2013, 09:02 PM   #7
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Thanks for the detailed response. I just checked the other side and had my wife check too. There is a indentation on the back side and a bulge on the front at about the same location. So this is good news??
Not sure, both sides should feel the same. You will notice a slight bulge on each side (left and right) of the indentation..............with the indentation in the middle.

Can you possible take others pic from other angle.......cause it sure appears to be broke cords, but that's what makes it difficult to judge from a computer....and why I suggested it could be undulation....as we have many customers a week who come in thinking it's a broke cord.

I don't want to give you a false sense of security, without being sure it's undulation
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Old 06-08-2013, 09:04 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by OldCoot View Post
A lot of tires will have a slight depression in the sidewalls, but there is definitely a bulge in this one. If it were me I would replace all of them before starting on any trip other than to a tire shop. I would strongly suggest either GY Marathons the next higher load range or a Maxxis. IMO, you are taking a big gamble by leaving them on. If one blows, you will not doubt sustain damage to the trailer and still have to buy new tires. Ask me how I know. $1800 damage + $600+ for tires on the road.

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If I found that on my tire it would not be on the road it's an appointment with disaster but it's your call.
Thank You both for your responses.

I guess I should mention that I am currently on the road. I didn't notice the bulge till a couple days ago after arriving at our current location. We are leaving tomorrow for another destination for a few days and then well be working our way back home for a brief break. Then hit the road again for several weeks.

At this point I plan on calling around at my upcoming destination to see what we can find, but ideally would like to make it home and have it taken care of, but that's another 600 or so miles.

Look forward to hearing what Wmtire says to my response above.
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Old 06-08-2013, 09:07 PM   #9
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but that's another 600 or so miles.

Look forward to hearing what Wmtire says to my response above.
I answered as you were probably typing. Here are a few more articles with pics that may help;

http://us.coopertire.com/CooperTires...ulletin_54.pdf

tire sidewall undulation | tires-easy-blog
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Old 06-08-2013, 09:10 PM   #10
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Not sure, both sides should feel the same. You will notice a slight bulge on each side (left and right) of the indentation..............with the indentation in the middle.

Can you possible take others pic from other angle.......cause it sure appears to be broke cords, but that's what makes it difficult to judge from a computer....and why I suggested it could be undulation....as we have many customers a week who come in thinking it's a broke cord.

I don't want to give you a false sense of security, without being sure it's undulation
It is dark now so no go on the pictures . . . I guess I should mention that I am currently on the road. I didn't notice the bulge till a couple days ago after arriving at our current location. We are leaving tomorrow for another destination for a few days and then well be working our way back home for a brief break. Then hit the road again for several weeks.



To my hands it feels like a indentation on the back side and a bulge on the outside.


I was hoping I could make it to my upcoming destination to see what we can find, but ideally would like to make it home and have it taken care of, but that's another 600 or so miles.
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