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Old 05-19-2016, 10:16 AM   #1
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Why tires fail ?

Tires fail from two basic causes.

Low air pressure
and/or
Long term degradation of the rubber usually from excess heat.

Low pressure (active leak from puncture or loose valve stem or valve core are most common reasons) can lead to a Sidewall Flex failure or more commonly called a "Blowout". The sidewall cord can melt (polyester) or fatigue (steel). Many TT owners fail to realize that they will never "feel" the results of a tire loosing air till it is too late and they are surprised when the sidewall lets go. The rapid air loss "bang" even when the tire only has about 10 to 20 psi in it, is a big surprise IF they even hear it. HERE is a post on how to know if you have a run low flex failure. A TPMS can provide warning of air loss so is good insurance and can easily pay for itself.

The long term degradation of the rubber at the edges of the belts can lead to a belt and/or tread separation. Even if the tire keeps its air you can have this type of failure so a TPMS will not provide a warning. This degradation comes with age as rubber is always loosing flexibility. Just think of those rubber bands you found in the back of the desk drawer. Even in cool and dark they got brittle. HOWEVER running at or near or above the load capacity of a tire will result in increased heat generation. Increased heat actually can accelerate the aging process with a doubling of the rate each increase on 18F. Running a margin of at least 15% between capacity and measured load is a good first step. Running at higher speed will also generate excess heat.

Realizing that over half of the RVs on the road have one or more tire in overload is one main contributor to the high tire failure rate. Simply thinking that a tire will fail because the tire plant building is painted blue rather than green is not logical.

Buying the lowest cost "no-name" tires is IMO a major contributor to poor results. If the main objective is the lowest cost tire why would anyone be surprised with short tire life.
Just paying more however is no guarantee of better quality. I believe the best tool available is comparing Warranty and service support.

Can you get multi year warranty on the tires? Is it possible to get Road Hazard coverage? Is there a nationwide network of dealers who stock the brand you are considering?
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Old 05-19-2016, 10:20 AM   #2
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Excellent information.

In case you have never said.... What is your No.1 choice for 15" branded tires? I know 16" changes the parameters, so I asked about 15".


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Old 05-19-2016, 03:10 PM   #3
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Excellent information.

In case you have never said.... What is your No.1 choice for 15" branded tires? I know 16" changes the parameters, so I asked about 15".


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Sorry, can't provide a brand name as there are too many variables such as dealer support etc. I might find a brand "Q" tire locally from a dealer who offers 3 year 100% coverage for any failure while in another part of the country you find no dealer for that brand who will offer more than a 7 day satisfaction warranty.

I have three posts on my blog with tag "Best tire" You might find them informative
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Old 06-06-2016, 10:42 AM   #4
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These are real Run Low Flex failures

It is clear that few people use the search function of this forum when asking questions about tire failure as there have been only two views of this thread in three weeks.

I keep reading " I had a Blowout" when many times the failure is not a blowout simply due to high pressure. In fact I do not ever recall seeing any such failure properly identified on this or any other RV forum.

So I keep posting the same pictures of what a real Run Low Flex Failure looks like as seen below





RLOF is caused by driving on a tire that has lost significant air (more than 50%) for a number of miles.
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Old 06-06-2016, 05:16 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tireman9 View Post
It is clear that few people use the search function of this forum when asking questions about tire failure as there have been only two views of this thread in three weeks.

I keep reading " I had a Blowout" when many times the failure is not a blowout simply due to high pressure. In fact I do not ever recall seeing any such failure properly identified on this or any other RV forum.

So I keep posting the same pictures of what a real Run Low Flex Failure looks like as seen below





RLOF is caused by driving on a tire that has lost significant air (more than 50%) for a number of miles.
That's interesting, I had what I would call blowout on my trail Express I didn't drive over an 1/8th of mile to get on the off ramp and it was shredded. The tires where full of nito and I just so happened to look in the mirror and seen a puff of different color air and pulled off immediately at like 5 t0 10 mph. That tire was shredded...
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Old 06-06-2016, 05:24 PM   #6
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great info, thanks for posting it
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Old 06-06-2016, 05:39 PM   #7
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I had just read about this last week, and was over talking Trailers with my friend. He told me about something he never thought possible. He had blown a tire on his last trip home. It just so happened when he started telling me about it I knew in the first sentence what he was about to say. Well he took me in to the garage and the tire looked just like that. Then we looked at the trailer, and wow it really eat the bottom out of it. Point I am making is thanks for sharing all this great information. I passed on the forums name and told him to start reading up.
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Old 06-06-2016, 06:27 PM   #8
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Putting load range "E" tires on this month. They are rated at 2830 pounds. 4 x 2830 is 11320. Specs say the trailer fully loaded is 8400, but on scales about 7800 the way we travel. So that's 3520 margin. Might ride a little rough, but that's OK.

For what it's worth they will be balanced, too. 80 psi and never over 65, which is hard on the F-150 anyway.
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Old 06-06-2016, 09:46 PM   #9
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That's interesting, I had what I would call blowout on my trail Express I didn't drive over an 1/8th of mile to get on the off ramp and it was shredded. The tires where full of nito and I just so happened to look in the mirror and seen a puff of different color air and pulled off immediately at like 5 t0 10 mph. That tire was shredded...
OK What was the reading on your TPMS?
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Old 06-08-2016, 07:28 AM   #10
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File a failure complaint with NHTSA

Recently read about a failure and asked if the person had bothered to file a complaint with NHTSA, He said it was NHTSA's responsibility to be testing the bad tires. I responded...

NHTSA is under budget constraints thanks to Congress, so they have to prioritize and in general all tires are low on the list of items they try and monitor (air bags, seat belts, child seats and any other "safety related item on motor vehicles).
Due to low failure rates of tires and even lower personal injury rates and further down would be fatality rates of less than 1 in 100,000 or fewer complaints.
NHTSA also knows from previous and ongoing data collection that over half of RV owners have one or more tire in overload with most of those due to poor maintenance and low air pressure.
Another issue is that if they only have a few actionable complaints on file how can they justify spending $$ on testing that specific tire. Which one brand and design and size would you advocate spending $30 to $100 thousand on for the battery of tests and how could they justify that expenditure in front of Congressional hearing asking why NHTSA wants a bigger budget?

A couple years ago I some time researching and reviewing complaints on file that might have been from RV owners.
What I found were a lot of "sob stories" but very few facts. Less than half had a proper size i.e. "My 205-15 tire failed".. A smaller percentage had the complete DOT serial. Some said things like "My Firestone Marathon tire exploded while on our trip to visit my mother who was sick". Sorry but trip information is on no value and if the complainant can't be bothered to know the brand and design of the tire how can they trust the rest of the information.

Complaints do not need to be long but they really need one thing it's the COMPLETE DOT serial including date code at end. I have advocated that people collect and write down this information before there is a tire problem and keep that info with the rest of your important RV documents. The DOT serial is also used if/when there is a recall so you would need to know the serial to know if your tires are subject to recall. Yes there have been recalls that involve tires that are on RVs.

I do understand that people want to get back on the road but at a minimum would be to capture a couple pictures of the failed tire (tire filling entire frame is best). NHTSA may or may not ask for the pictures in follow up but if you don't even have a couple of pictures exactly what evidence are tou bringing to the table?
You should also try and carry a trash bag large enough to carry the failed tire back to the dealer if you don't have spare tire rack. In reality the dealer is suppose to file a complaint with his distributor so that information can be sent on to NHTSA but sometimes I wonder if they bother so it really is up to us, the users to file the complaint.
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Old 06-13-2016, 02:14 AM   #11
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Thanks for all the great info, here and on your blog also. How important is it for tire longevity to periodically put some miles on trailer tires. I just got 5 new tires and am thinking that if the spare never gets rotated into the mix it's not aging as well as the other 4 because there is no working of the rubber compounds in that tire. Does that set me up for it to fail if I ever have to use it?
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Old 06-13-2016, 08:04 AM   #12
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Another angle. I posted this in another section of the forum in response to a tire inflation question. I was a Tire Construction Engineer at Dunlop Tire.

Quote:
When I was at Dunlop, I do not remember a single failure of the load test. I do not know about other tire brands, or trailer tires.

What I am saying is, tire failures are probably due to impact (potholes and sharp objects), low pressure, or excessively high speed. Or combinations of those. That is my opinion. YMMV.

I am seriously considering some kind of TPMS for my camper tires. My concern is, if I have a puncture or some other reason for low pressure, I would just keep driving because I would have no way of knowing.
Of course overload would be another cause, but that is pretty easy to control. Hopefully people are choosing the correct tire for the application.
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Old 06-13-2016, 08:19 AM   #13
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Thanks for all the great info, here and on your blog also. How important is it for tire longevity to periodically put some miles on trailer tires. I just got 5 new tires and am thinking that if the spare never gets rotated into the mix it's not aging as well as the other 4 because there is no working of the rubber compounds in that tire. Does that set me up for it to fail if I ever have to use it?

While I have read many posts that suggest that you will get longer life from tires if you "exercise" them I have not seen any actual test data that supports this.

The intent of this thread was to try and summarize what I consider "best practices" for tire life longevity, while at the same time trying to keep the level of activity involving tires to a reasonable low level.

RE Spare.
Here I would want to keep it as cool as possible and out of direct sunlight (UV) and if possible away from excess ozone. Of these three negative conditions staying cool is the biggest bang for the buck.

UV and Ozone attack the exterior of a tire and long term exposure to either of these conditions can result is undesirable cosmetic condition of cracking on the surface of the tire. Sometimes the misnomer "Dry Rot" is used.

Heat however can hurt the structure of a tire and this can lead to actual failure.

Ozone and other forms of air pollution are pretty hard to avoid and unless you can place the spare in a sealed trash bag I don't know of any way to reasonably protect a tire.

UV is a little easier. Keep the tire out of direct sunlight. Again a plastic bag will work. So will tire covers or even a sheet of cardboard or lumber. In other words you can drastically reduce the exposure to UV with almost anything.

Heat is the tire killer. I have written in my blog how temperature accelerates the aging process of tires with the rate doubling with each increase of 18F.
So =+18 = x2
+36 = x4
+54 = x8

Tires run hotter when the inflation is lower. They are being heated by the sun when sitting at a campground in full sunlight and they are BAKED if stored under a a black cover and fried when hung off the back of an RV or SUV.

Here is my blog post on Tire Covers with data to show just how helpful they can be.

Here is what I have done. My spare is mounted inside my large storage bay. I have white covers that I use whenever parked for a day at a campground.

Only time I do not use the white covers is when at home, in the "car port" that provides full shade or when camping in the rain.

I keep the tires clean by washing with the same soap I use on the side of my RV and I only use an old cloth as stiff bristle can leave microscopic scratches on the surface and will remove the "wax" and UV protectants built into all tires.

I see no reason why the spare could not be "rotated" into the mix with the other 4 tires and that might improve the longevity of the set.

I assume of course that you have confirmed that no tire is overloaded.
Be sure to do an annual inspection and to keep the TT tires fully inflated to the pressure on the sidewall.

As Tony suggested the use of TPMS on the ground tires will help with their longevity. I do check the pressure in my spare at least once a season.
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Old 06-13-2016, 09:06 AM   #14
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Tireman; are you aware of any protective coatings that offer uv or ozone protection to tires? The auto parts houses only sell spray tire cleaners. Some car dealers have a "tire black" that makes the tire sidewall shine, but I'm not sure how effective they are.

One woukd think that some company has a product that protects tires from uv.

And by the way, Thank you for the great information you provide on this forum and on your website. Woukd you mind posting the link to your website again? I recently replaced my tablet and lost the url.

Thanks
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Old 06-13-2016, 09:17 AM   #15
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Tireman9: I see no reason why the spare could not be "rotated" into the mix with the other 4 tires and that might improve the longevity of the set. I can see what you are saying here; But I have also read that you do not rotate trailer tires the same way you rotate car or truck tires? You are to only rotate the back to the front on the same side. Is this a false statement that I have read? Thanks for your great info.
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Old 06-13-2016, 09:32 AM   #16
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Tireman9: I see no reason why the spare could not be "rotated" into the mix with the other 4 tires and that might improve the longevity of the set. I can see what you are saying here; But I have also read that you do not rotate trailer tires the same way you rotate car or truck tires? You are to only rotate the back to the front on the same side. Is this a false statement that I have read? Thanks for your great info.
I think the "keep same direction of rotation" is old information from the 70's when radials were new and tire companies were still learning how to make more durable radials.
I would not worry about direction unless you had a tire that had rotation direction indicated on the sidewall and that is usually only for snow or wet performance improvement.
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Old 06-13-2016, 09:48 AM   #17
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I think the "keep same direction of rotation" is old information from the 70's when radials were new and tire companies were still learning how to make more durable radials.
I would not worry about direction unless you had a tire that had rotation direction indicated on the sidewall and that is usually only for snow or wet performance improvement.
Okay thanks I figured you would know, a lot of mis info on the internet. Also you asked what my TST system was at when I had my blow out. I didn't have TST then I never even knew about them 4 years ago. I just checked every morning that I was at 50 lbs PSI as rated. I bought them after from the advice of OC and reading your blog. Saved my bacon last trip, had a leak, without that warning I'm sure I would have shredded that tire to. I'm still a little confused about the correct PSI. I have switched to the "D" rated at 65 PSI from the "C" rated 50 PSI. To me if I run those tires at 50 PSI which is enough for my load, it is really 15 lbs from the CRP of the sidewall, isn't that being under inflated for the tire not the load. This has been debated many times on this forum. So I inflate to the sidewall 65 Lbs. Don't mean to drive you crazy...
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Old 06-13-2016, 01:42 PM   #18
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Tireman; are you aware of any protective coatings that offer uv or ozone protection to tires? The auto parts houses only sell spray tire cleaners. Some car dealers have a "tire black" that makes the tire sidewall shine, but I'm not sure how effective they are.

One woukd think that some company has a product that protects tires from uv.

And by the way, Thank you for the great information you provide on this forum and on your website. Woukd you mind posting the link to your website again? I recently replaced my tablet and lost the url.

Thanks
Link to my blog in in my signature but since you asked nicely
RV Tire Safety

RE spray on stuff.
I realize that almost anyone can mix up some stuff and make claims about protecting tire sidewall but I don't see anyone offering a warranty if you use the product or a side by side comparison on tires on an RV.

UV can damage tires but if you take other precautions such as White covers you get MUCH better UV protection plus heat protection.

The ones pushing UV spray are the ones selling the product.

We tell people not to use petroleum based products on tires but last week at RV show I saw a $450,000 45' unit with very shiny tires. I wiped my finger on the sidewall then put finger in water. Water beaded up immediately indicating what to me appeared to be a petroleum based product being used.
IMO just another example of RV salesmen pushing smoke, lights and mirrors over substance.

I have used "No Touch" brand foaming stuff on my tires but it washes off if/when you drive in rain so many may not like it. Also not as shiny as some want.
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Old 06-20-2016, 06:46 AM   #19
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Had this happen yesterday. Wondering if it is actual tire failure due to low pressure.
Stats. Right inner, Sunseeker
Speed 55. Checked before leaving CG
Click image for larger version

Name:	ImageUploadedByForest River Forums1466423136.396928.jpg
Views:	323
Size:	97.8 KB
ID:	111638Click image for larger version

Name:	ImageUploadedByForest River Forums1466423157.899416.jpg
Views:	318
Size:	94.3 KB
ID:	111639Click image for larger version

Name:	ImageUploadedByForest River Forums1466423181.628853.jpg
Views:	350
Size:	110.8 KB
ID:	111640

Any thoughts?
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Old 06-20-2016, 03:27 PM   #20
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I see a lot of 5th wheelers jumping curbs. Also lots of deep sharp edged pot holes. This can't be good for tires.
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