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Old 07-10-2019, 06:49 AM   #1
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Jacks, Castle Rock, ETC.......

Read bolg highlighted in this months newsletter about Castle Rock tires. Its enough to scare the crap out of you. We have 13" Castle Rocks on our new T12RBST. I know we Aframers are not hauling anywhere near the weight of others - How have these tires held up for you??? Whats with the "Nitrogen" filled deal??? Do I put air in them if they're low? What manufacturer would you recommend changing to for 13inchers.......
When we camp or store the unit do we jack it up so the tires are off the ground or just run the jacks down until the unit feels stabilized and level???
How do you change a tire on the Aframe??? Do you need to carry another jack and put it under the axel, or can you use the stabilizer jacks??
Unit tows down the road very stable and even, actually feels very good......do I really need to lose sleep over this????
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Old 07-10-2019, 07:29 AM   #2
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Nitrogen is just marketing, air is mostly nitrogen anyway.

For the castle rock tires you need to decide yourself, some wouldn't do anything before replacing, some run them till they age or wear out. I kept mine one season. In my opinion your risk of a catastrophic failure is lower on a single axle trailer as a flat should be noticeable immediately.

On most (probably almost 100%) TTs the "jacks" are just stabilizers and should never be used to lift the TT. So unless you know yours are leveling jacks assume they are just stabilizers.
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Old 07-10-2019, 07:58 AM   #3
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Blogs are supposed to be informational and not meant to be a scare tactic that you lose sleep over so take that for what it is worth.

A search of this forum will bring up hundreds of posts on your questions.

As mentioned some of the CRs have held up for a while and some haven't. Mine were fine until they weren't. I bought a TPMS (tire pressure monitoring system) and watched them like a hawk. I was lucky and caught mine separating while still in our driveway. No damage other than to my wallet.

Nitrogen is a scam in trailer tires because of the cost which most places charge for it. Regular old air is 78% nitrogen so if a tire is low it is perfectly fine to add air. Nitrogen has its place in tires in the aviation industry and NASCAR but not for everyday use unless you can find it for free. There are a ton of posts on this subject as well so do another search and you will find days worth of opinions.

The consensus I believe on trailer tires are Goodyear Endurance, Maxxis M8008 and Carlisle HD with Goodyear G614 and Sailun for heavier trailers. (in no particular order)

Jacks do not come with R/Vs so you'll need to carry one and the appropriate lug wrench to remove the lug nuts. Get these items and test them before your first trip. The jack has to fit at the jacking point when the tire is FLAT so take that into consideration.

As mentioned, stabilizer jacks are just that, stabilizers and not intended to lift the entire weight of the trailer. Auto leveling systems are different but you don't have that system on an A frame.

Oh... and a pet peeve of mine... it is axle not axel.

Best of luck and enjoy the journey.
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Old 07-10-2019, 08:46 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nautipelican View Post
Read bolg highlighted in this months newsletter about Castle Rock tires. Its enough to scare the crap out of you. We have 13" Castle Rocks on our new T12RBST. I know we Aframers are not hauling anywhere near the weight of others - How have these tires held up for you??? Whats with the "Nitrogen" filled deal??? Do I put air in them if they're low? What manufacturer would you recommend changing to for 13inchers.......
When we camp or store the unit do we jack it up so the tires are off the ground or just run the jacks down until the unit feels stabilized and level???
How do you change a tire on the Aframe??? Do you need to carry another jack and put it under the axel, or can you use the stabilizer jacks??
Unit tows down the road very stable and even, actually feels very good......do I really need to lose sleep over this????
Make a decision and live with it. Don't lose sleep, and don't second guess yourself.

My 2014 Rockwood A122 came with Trail Express 13" tires, another Chinese importer. I ran those for 4 years, 9500 miles with absolutely no issues. After a year, I had the tires balanced. They needed little weight to balance. I never used the spare, and sold the A-frame with the original tires on it.

My 2019 Flagstaff T21TBHW came with Castle Rock 14" tires. A month ago, I pulled the wheels, hand repacked the bearings (not needed, all was in good shape) and had the tires balanced. Again, my tire guy saw no issues and reasonable weight to balance. In a year, we have done 9 trips and about 2,700 miles. I'm going to push for 5 years unless I see evidence of a tire failing.

I do keep the tires at 65-68 PSI; exact amount depends on temp when I measure and whether the campsite is lower or higher in altitude than my home (going significantly lower and/or colder means 68PSI). They started out nitrogen filled, they are now at at least 78% nitrogen. I have a home air compressor, so I check and fill before each trip.

On my next-to-last trip, I found one of the Schrader valves a little loose, and would lose a little air occasionally. Bought a valve key, tightened the valve, and no loss on that tire since. That was a valve stem (I still have rubber valve stems) problem, not a tire problem.

I do think single axles are much easier on trailer tires than tandem axles. There's next to no scrubbing or tire twisting going around corners like the tandem axle trailers have. The other good point about single axles is that you should feel a tire blowout very quickly.

That said, if you run your tires after they partially disintegrate, you are likely to do some significant damage to your A-frame. A tire rotating with tread separation is going to take out the plastic wheel well liner, and probably some of the wiring just inside the wheel well.

If you need to spend close to $300 (including the spare) for peace of mind, Carlisle makes a nice radial ST tire in the 13" LRD sizes that FR uses on the A-frames. If I get to 5 years, that's the tire I would get.

The tires and wheels carry the load at all times. Stabilizers are there to stabilize, nothing more. Stabilizers should just kiss the ground, or you run the risk of bending the frame or stabilizer mount. I don't put the stabilizers down until after I put the roof and sides up because if I put the stabilizer down a little hard, it will push the sidewalls out of alignment with the roof.

My minivan has a scissors jack that can lift the A-frame. I make sure I have a long torque wrench and the right size socket to get the lug nuts off. I will probably replace the lug nuts with solid versions at some point - the stock lug nuts have a decorative cap that can deform and slip under the 100lbs torque required.

just my experiences
Fred W
2019 Flagstaff T21TBHW A-frame
prev 2014 Rockwood A122 A-frame
2008 Hyundai Entourage minivan
camping Colorado and adjacent states one weekend at a time
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Old 07-11-2019, 06:57 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by pgandw View Post
Make a decision and live with it. Don't lose sleep, and don't second guess yourself.

My 2014 Rockwood A122 came with Trail Express 13" tires, another Chinese importer. I ran those for 4 years, 9500 miles with absolutely no issues. After a year, I had the tires balanced. They needed little weight to balance. I never used the spare, and sold the A-frame with the original tires on it.

My 2019 Flagstaff T21TBHW came with Castle Rock 14" tires. A month ago, I pulled the wheels, hand repacked the bearings (not needed, all was in good shape) and had the tires balanced. Again, my tire guy saw no issues and reasonable weight to balance. In a year, we have done 9 trips and about 2,700 miles. I'm going to push for 5 years unless I see evidence of a tire failing.

I do keep the tires at 65-68 PSI; exact amount depends on temp when I measure and whether the campsite is lower or higher in altitude than my home (going significantly lower and/or colder means 68PSI). They started out nitrogen filled, they are now at at least 78% nitrogen. I have a home air compressor, so I check and fill before each trip.

On my next-to-last trip, I found one of the Schrader valves a little loose, and would lose a little air occasionally. Bought a valve key, tightened the valve, and no loss on that tire since. That was a valve stem (I still have rubber valve stems) problem, not a tire problem.

I do think single axles are much easier on trailer tires than tandem axles. There's next to no scrubbing or tire twisting going around corners like the tandem axle trailers have. The other good point about single axles is that you should feel a tire blowout very quickly.

That said, if you run your tires after they partially disintegrate, you are likely to do some significant damage to your A-frame. A tire rotating with tread separation is going to take out the plastic wheel well liner, and probably some of the wiring just inside the wheel well.

If you need to spend close to $300 (including the spare) for peace of mind, Carlisle makes a nice radial ST tire in the 13" LRD sizes that FR uses on the A-frames. If I get to 5 years, that's the tire I would get.

The tires and wheels carry the load at all times. Stabilizers are there to stabilize, nothing more. Stabilizers should just kiss the ground, or you run the risk of bending the frame or stabilizer mount. I don't put the stabilizers down until after I put the roof and sides up because if I put the stabilizer down a little hard, it will push the sidewalls out of alignment with the roof.

My minivan has a scissors jack that can lift the A-frame. I make sure I have a long torque wrench and the right size socket to get the lug nuts off. I will probably replace the lug nuts with solid versions at some point - the stock lug nuts have a decorative cap that can deform and slip under the 100lbs torque required.

just my experiences
Fred W
2019 Flagstaff T21TBHW A-frame
prev 2014 Rockwood A122 A-frame
2008 Hyundai Entourage minivan
camping Colorado and adjacent states one weekend at a time
Well stated and we'll informed. Thank you
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Old 07-11-2019, 07:23 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nautipelican View Post
.... How have these tires held up for you???

Whats with the "Nitrogen" filled deal??? Do I put air in them if they're low?

When we camp or store the unit do we jack it up so the tires are off the ground or just run the jacks down until the unit feels stabilized and level???
......do I really need to lose sleep over this????
I had/have Castle Rocks on my previous and current camper.
Current one is 9000lbs loaded.
Besides the fact I wanted to see American made tires on my campers, I need to confess that I already put more than 20K miles (combined) on castle rocks and I never had a problem.



That being said, I do the following:
1 - don't drive above 65mph
2 - always inflate the tires (with air) 5lbs below the max stated of 65lbs
3 - Never overload the camper
4 - Never allow them to be "twisted" when in storage (tandem axles)

I believe these 3 are the reasons I never had a problem.


Responding to your questions:
1 - Tires have held up very well
2 - "Nitrogen Filled" tires (at least for Campers) is BS - Regular air is 80% Nitrogen so changing only 20% of it will not make any difference if you are not talking about racing where any 0.10s of seconds count.
3 - Yes, I adjust the tire pressure with regular air, again, regular air is 80% nitrogen already.
4 - I don't know about A frames but on my campers I never had the jacks down when in storage.
5 - No you don't need to lose slip over this if you don't go above 90% of the tire speed limit, load capacity and/or max pressure.
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Old 07-11-2019, 08:44 AM   #7
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Also make sure to check that you have a socket/wrench to remove the spare tire. I discovered that it was a different size than the two wheels.
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Old 07-11-2019, 09:07 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Moosure View Post
Also make sure to check that you have a socket/wrench to remove the spare tire. I discovered that it was a different size than the two wheels.
Why does this not surprise me?
OP are you using a jack to raise the trailer in storage? If yes bring it with you when traveling.
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Old 07-11-2019, 03:31 PM   #9
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Make the decision, live with it, get some sleep. Keep in mind that all tire brands do and can experience failures. That is fact. We don't have accurate data tracking tire incidents with brands on towed private vehicles. We see and hear allot of China Bomb reports, and you'd expect the majority of issues on a tire brand coming when a manufacturer sends on almost 100% of their rigs using those tires. On this forum there have been other reports involving other brands. Maybe there is some sort of quality issue with material or manufacturing process coming out of China... but there isn't the data to take to court or to the manf to prove it.
One study I read somewhere that the majority of tire issues or failures that had been analyzed and investigated were found to be user induced from improper inflation too high or too low, over loading... many times when the user didn't even know they were out of spec or thought they were within the recommended limits.

Our industry and even vehicles just aren't tracked and data collected that way. When a NASCAR, Indy and Formula race tire has issue or an aircraft tire has issue they are analyzed as to why, what and how.
I always check before every trip in the morning, I always monitor temperature as a way for tell tale brake drag or bearing problems, I always have inflation at the max load pressure because I want to have the tire weight limit available. I stay under the weight carrying limit of my tires, my axles and rig... whichever is lowest is what I use.
My unit came with Castle Rocks and I never had a problem using the above. I put 1500 miles on them and then changed to Goodyear Endurance. The GY seem to ride and roll easier, but that may be me. The GY look more uniform. The Castle Rocks always looked like they were from far different batch runs, whereas the GY all look like they were made same time. I did it for peace of mind.
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Old 07-13-2019, 10:20 AM   #10
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I ran the Chinese tires that came with my 213hw for 3 years and about 10k miles. This year, I decided to replace them with the Goodyears. Very happy with the tire so far. I am 2 trips and 3k miles in. My thought was $300 for new tires was a lot better than having a blow out on our family vacation in somewhere without cell reception.
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