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Toyhauler Time bombs

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Posting up some info I came by through some hard knocks and until it happened to me, I wouldn't have thought this thread of any value to read.  If you are towing a heavy toy hauler or a trailer at high speed or both, remember this thread and come back to it before you buy more time bombs.  Been down this road with a car hauler, my toy hauler and a skid steer trailer, all with either "D" rated and/or then "E" load rated tires.  Brands ranging from Goodyear to the cheaper brands.  All on 16" HD wheels/tire combos and none of them even close to their max rated load rating.  Without going through all of the backdrop I'll just say that the trailer tire industry is not evolving to the higher loads and speeds we are legally able to be at.  If there are those who think this isn't an issue, jump on some of the RV industry's manufacturers forums.

 

One way to avoid the shrapnel is by looking at the sidewall and then looking at the tread when you inspect your current rubber before you head out.  The sidewall should be smooth and the tread should be fairly flat across the width of tire.  You really can't tell in the photo very well, but the tread adjacent to the sidewall grooves is not flat and the diameter at that point on the tread is actually greater that fore and aft of that point.  So it's no longer a round tire and at Interstate speed, the tire gets unhappy real fast.

 

Second pick is really not of much value but what you are looking at is a 60# tire weighing almost three times what a Goodyear Marathon weighs because it's full of steel belts.  Dang thing is heavy to put on, but that's okay because that is one tough tire.  It's regrooveable as well for those who are so inclined. It won't develop flat spots from sitting 99% of the time as it's belts overlap unlike ST tires whose belts are seamed.  When that seam gives, you get the "pull" of the adjacent sidewall belt as shown. 

 

Bottom line is I was introduced to the Bridgestone Duravis R250 PASSENGER Commercial Truck tire and it's a stud for heavy trailers running at speed - it's rated at 100mph at full capacity.  No, I am not a tire salesman, don't represent anyone, just trying to save others from what I've been through.  When my last time bomb went off, the shrapnel sheared through the trailers passenger side rear axle's spring at 65mph.  I'm in the middle of nowhere, the rear axle has rolled forward under weight and when I installed the spare, both tires were in contact with each other.  Had I not been in an absolute thunderous downpour, I would have been stranded.  Given this was my 4th blowout, I was pissed and I literally dragged the entire mess to the nearest town and only the lubrication of the rain allowed me to do that.  That was not the first time and this round cost $2500.  A friend of mine experienced the same thing and it took out his middle axle as well as his pumping station and gas tank.  This isn't limited to just heavy toyhaulers, same thing happended on our Bobcat trailer lightly loaded with our Austrian friends.  High speed and pavement temps just kill these Chinese built trailer tires.

 

Trailer pulling time can't come soon enough, I'm ready to ride and thought I would get this out there for those of us raring to get prepped to grab some good weather riding.  Check your rubber!

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You're right, as I understand it trailer tires are only rated for 60-65 mph. Well below the legal speed limit on many highways. As you said it's kind of a time bomb, and you need to check the sidewalls and tread regularly.

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From what I understand, it's due to the sidewall. Goodyear also makes a stud tire called the G614 RST and it is about $320.00, and in comparison to the Duravis R250's 99mph rating, the GY has a 106mph rating for 65% more coin. Can't see paying that for a non-passenger engineered tire over the R250. Just my $.02

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Remember the ford explorer Firestone tire fiasco? Was around 2001 if I recall. Hmmmm, disturbing.

China is a monstrous industrial power. Unfortunately for a variety of reasons, not entirely chinas fault, goods manufactured over there sometimes are dangerous, toxic, etc. USA has been a bit too eager to bring goods over without health or safety inspections.

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It's been my experience and ALL "trailer" and RV tires (except for tires over "E" rating, like commercial or semi tires) should be replaced every 5 years, no matter how much tread is left.  The treads separate around 7-8 years and cause way more damage than the cost of all new tires.  

Just my 2 pennies.

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In my stable of trailers, I've never been able to keep a trailer tire alive for half that length of time.  Haven't replaced a tire one since moving over to the Bridgestone.  A point worth making is that this tire doesn't have the sidewall flex that, for example, an E rated HD pickup tire has.  My Duramax has E's on it and the sidewalls absolutely demonstrate the sidewall flex that is a dangerous trait if you put them on a tall trailer.  I forgot to mention in my original post that the tire engineers suggest an additional 10 PSI if one is going to drive over the stamped speed rating of the ST tire.

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In my stable of trailers, I've never been able to keep a trailer tire alive for half that length of time.  Haven't replaced a tire one since moving over to the Bridgestone.  A point worth making is that this tire doesn't have the sidewall flex that, for example, an E rated HD pickup tire has.  My Duramax has E's on it and the sidewalls absolutely demonstrate the sidewall flex that is a dangerous trait if you put them on a tall trailer.  I forgot to mention in my original post that the tire engineers suggest an additional 10 PSI if one is going to drive over the stamped speed rating of the ST tire.

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I have seen plenty of broken toy hauler springs but never seen a tire blowout break one. Don't think it is possible.

Toy haulers are usually run at max weight or over it. I think overloading and lack of maintainance are usually the cause of most people's 'tire problems'. Proper loading, correct tire AND rim for the load and proper inflation go a long way towards reliability. New high quality tires (Maxxis M8008 ST Radial) every 4 years, proper ply rating for the ACTUAL TRAILER WEIGHT, new springs and shackles every 6 years and a tire pressure monitoring system will fix your tire problems.

And working in the testing/repair side of the transportation industry I have never seen an engineering recommendation to overinflate a tire for any reason....even when I was involved in tire durability testing. Set the pressure to the load or the maximum pressure stamped on the sidewall and you will be fine.....assuming you have the proper tire load rating for the weight on the tire.

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I have seen plenty of broken toy hauler springs but never seen a tire blowout break one. Don't think it is possible.

Toy haulers are usually run at max weight or over it. I think overloading and lack of maintainance are usually the cause of most people's 'tire problems'. Proper loading, correct tire AND rim for the load and proper inflation go a long way towards reliability. New high quality tires (Maxxis M8008 ST Radial) every 4 years, proper ply rating for the ACTUAL TRAILER WEIGHT, new springs and shackles every 6 years and a tire pressure monitoring system will fix your tire problems.

And working in the testing/repair side of the transportation industry I have never seen an engineering recommendation to overinflate a tire for any reason....even when I was involved in tire durability testing. Set the pressure to the load or the maximum pressure stamped on the sidewall and you will be fine.....assuming you have the proper tire load rating for the weight on the tire.

Good points. For some reason many Americans with eight grade educations think they know more than the engineers that designed the product. Kinda like guys that mix different oils to produce some "super brew". Just have to laugh.

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I have seen plenty of broken toy hauler springs but never seen a tire blowout break one. Don't think it is possible.

Toy haulers are usually run at max weight or over it. I think overloading and lack of maintainance are usually the cause of most people's 'tire problems'. Proper loading, correct tire AND rim for the load and proper inflation go a long way towards reliability. New high quality tires (Maxxis M8008 ST Radial) every 4 years, proper ply rating for the ACTUAL TRAILER WEIGHT, new springs and shackles every 6 years and a tire pressure monitoring system will fix your tire problems.

And working in the testing/repair side of the transportation industry I have never seen an engineering recommendation to overinflate a tire for any reason....even when I was involved in tire durability testing. Set the pressure to the load or the maximum pressure stamped on the sidewall and you will be fine.....assuming you have the proper tire load rating for the weight on the tire.

 

 

Interesting.  Never heard of a tire ripping out the under carraige of a trailer before, huh?  Trailer UVW 8130#'s as specified by Forest River.  Cargo Capacity is 3170#'s as specified.  Four Goodyear Marathons 14 months old with just under 800 miles of towing each rated at 3420#'s (which is more than the trailer was shod with when purchased new) on a three year old trailer.   Call me a cynic but I bet ya the engineers at NASA never saw a space shuttle blow up until one did. 

All I can say is I, and several of my pals who all have pulled more than a three bike trailer, to the last family, have had the same problems with the same ole' tires.  The funny thing is, not one trailer of mine personally was remotely close to the stated capacity of either the trailer or the tires.  I was carrying a KDX 220 and a Husaberg 570 which equal less than 500#'s the last time.  Two gear bags, no water in the clear water tank, maybe 15gals fuel in the generator tank.  Go figure.  I must be mistaken in my data somewhere.

You weren't testing tires at Firestone were you?

 

 

Good points. For some reason many Americans with eight grade educations think they know more than the engineers that designed the product. Kinda like guys that mix different oils to produce some "super brew". Just have to laugh.

 

I always chuckle when my 15 year old starts telling me how stupid I am.  I love that bumper sticker that says to hire my teenager to run your company while he still knows everything.  Recall the 99mpg carbs?  Ever heard that eggs are bad for you and now they're good for you?  Ever seen a recall in any industry?  Ever un-kinked the "kink proof" water hose? Safe travels pal on your zero defect tires.

Edited by Captn Kirk
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Nope not for Firestone but if you analyze the data that recall was more of a PR thing and not solely based on scientific data. I have worked with failure data acquisition for HD truck tire failure and never once saw damage to undercarriage or steel wheel assemblies.

I think if you analyzed the failed suspension components you would have seen evidence of fatigue/cracking/corrosion that led to its failure and the subsequent failure of your tires. If the component failures were in a straight sheer or at a weld effected zone that would further my belief that the tire failure was secondary. Twisted and ripped metal is what I would expect from an explosion i.e. Blowout. And if it sheared your spring pack I would expect large scale catastrophic damage to the 'soft' components of your trailer (siding, fender wells etc) because these softer materials are less resistant to damage than the spring steel.

Just a note here. When you upgrade tire load range you have to make sure your rim is rated for the higher air pressure if you plan on running the max tire pressure to increase the load carrying capability. Have yet to do a load range upgrade that didn't also require new rims rated for the higher pressure.

Is that 14 months in service or 14 months from the date of manufacture? The DOM is the last 4 numbers of the DOT number and is in the week/year format. I never buy tires that are older than 6 months.

Have you ever weighed your trailer?. Do you know the weight carried by each tire or at least each axle? And do you know how the weights change for each possible load configuration? If not then you are just guessing/hoping your tires are adequate. Can't blame the tires if you are overloading them. Don't believe what the trailer manufacturer claims the weight to be.

Do you use a tire pressure monitoring system on your trailer? Many blowouts are caused by a tire having to carry too much load because a companion tire is under inflated......leading to 2 tire failures at the same time. You will never know when a trailer tire goes down until the remaining good tires fail.

I run my toy hauler at near max GVWR nearly every trip. I know this because I weighed it with a scale at each tire and one under the tongue jack. The trailer is 12 yrs old and will have 100k miles on it by summer. It sees on and off road operation in 10-110 degree heat. I just put my 5th set of tires on it and it will get new springs this summer. I have had 3 tires go down but my tire pressure monitoring system alerted me to it before catastrophic failure. Never had a blow out with any of my ST tires.....even on the other 2 trailers I own for that matter.

Follow my advice above, including the tire brand, and I believe your 'tire' problems will end. It works for me and many of the other trailers I have serviced.

Edited by ghostbuster2

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Nope not for Firestone but if you analyze the data that recall was more of a PR thing and not solely based on scientific data. I have worked with failure data acquisition for HD truck tire failure and never once saw damage to undercarriage or steel wheel assemblies.

I think if you analyzed the failed suspension components you would have seen evidence of fatigue/cracking/corrosion that led to its failure and the subsequent failure of your tires. If the component failures were in a straight sheer or at a weld effected zone that would further my belief that the tire failure was secondary. Twisted and ripped metal is what I would expect from an explosion i.e. Blowout. And if it sheared your spring pack I would expect large scale catastrophic damage to the 'soft' components of your trailer (siding, fender wells etc) because these softer materials are less resistant to damage than the spring steel.

Just a note here. When you upgrade tire load range you have to make sure your rim is rated for the higher air pressure if you plan on running the max tire pressure to increase the load carrying capability. Have yet to do a load range upgrade that didn't also require new rims rated for the higher pressure.

Is that 14 months in service or 14 months from the date of manufacture? The DOM is the last 4 numbers of the DOT number and is in the week/year format. I never buy tires that are older than 6 months.

Have you ever weighed your trailer?. Do you know the weight carried by each tire or at least each axle? And do you know how the weights change for each possible load configuration? If not then you are just guessing/hoping your tires are adequate. Can't blame the tires if you are overloading them. Don't believe what the trailer manufacturer claims the weight to be.

Do you use a tire pressure monitoring system on your trailer? Many blowouts are caused by a tire having to carry too much load because a companion tire is under inflated......leading to 2 tire failures at the same time. You will never know when a trailer tire goes down until the remaining good tires fail.

I run my toy hauler at near max GVWR nearly every trip. I know this because I weighed it with a scale at each tire and one under the tongue jack. The trailer is 12 yrs old and will have 100k miles on it by summer. It sees on and off road operation in 10-110 degree heat. I just put my 5th set of tires on it and it will get new springs this summer. I have had 3 tires go down but my tire pressure monitoring system alerted me to it before catastrophic failure. Never had a blow out with any of my ST tires.....even on the other 2 trailers I own for that matter.

Follow my advice above, including the tire brand, and I believe your 'tire' problems will end. It works for me and many of the other trailers I have serviced.quote]

Edited by ghostbuster2

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Nope not for Firestone but if you analyze the data that recall was more of a PR thing and not solely based on scientific data. I have worked with failure data acquisition for HD truck tire failure and never once saw damage to undercarriage or steel wheel assemblies.

I think if you analyzed the failed suspension components you would have seen evidence of fatigue/cracking/corrosion that led to its failure and the subsequent failure of your tires. If the component failures were in a straight sheer or at a weld effected zone that would further my belief that the tire failure was secondary. Twisted and ripped metal is what I would expect from an explosion i.e. Blowout. And if it sheared your spring pack I would expect large scale catastrophic damage to the 'soft' components of your trailer (siding, fender wells etc) because these softer materials are less resistant to damage than the spring steel.

Just a note here. When you upgrade tire load range you have to make sure your rim is rated for the higher air pressure if you plan on running the max tire pressure to increase the load carrying capability. Have yet to do a load range upgrade that didn't also require new rims rated for the higher pressure.

Is that 14 months in service or 14 months from the date of manufacture? The DOM is the last 4 numbers of the DOT number and is in the week/year format. I never buy tires that are older than 6 months.

Have you ever weighed your trailer?. Do you know the weight carried by each tire or at least each axle? And do you know how the weights change for each possible load configuration? If not then you are just guessing/hoping your tires are adequate. Can't blame the tires if you are overloading them. Don't believe what the trailer manufacturer claims the weight to be.

Do you use a tire pressure monitoring system on your trailer? Many blowouts are caused by a tire having to carry too much load because a companion tire is under inflated......leading to 2 tire failures at the same time. You will never know when a trailer tire goes down until the remaining good tires fail.

I run my toy hauler at near max GVWR nearly every trip. I know this because I weighed it with a scale at each tire and one under the tongue jack. The trailer is 12 yrs old and will have 100k miles on it by summer. It sees on and off road operation in 10-110 degree heat. I just put my 5th set of tires on it and it will get new springs this summer. I have had 3 tires go down but my tire pressure monitoring system alerted me to it before catastrophic failure. Never had a blow out with any of my ST tires.....even on the other 2 trailers I own for that matter.

Follow my advice above, including the tire brand, and I believe your 'tire' problems will end. It works for me and many of the other trailers I have serviced.

I did weigh my trailer on a CAT scale and I'd have to pull the paperwork as I don't recall the exact weight.  I was fully loaded with 4 bikes, gear, gas and tools and the combined weight I do recall because I thought it odd that I was nearly to the pound a dead even 19,000#'s with the truck which had a full tank (60 gal Titan) of fuel.  Just top of the head rough math I figure the truck was 8K#'s so the trailer was at max capacity for sure.  I guess my point is I don;t think the trailer is over weight empty compared to the manufacturer spec's.  I guess it makes sense I grab it out of storage and go to a scale with it empty and the new GMC and do some weight testing.  My comment about Firestone was more sarcasm than anything - my wife says I think I am funny when I'm not.  Anyway, we did spend quite a bit of time looking closely at the spring itself with the insurance adjuster and the break was fresh.  Not an expert at anything for sure, but do have some time under my belt running an industrial machine shop back in the day and it you can tell with a break in general if some of the metal is a fresh break and the rest is old.  The spring broke dead center of the given plank of steel.  Maybe it was a bad leaf, maybe like you said there were other causes.  You might be right, it might have given up and then caused the flat.  There was plenty of ancillary damage to the underside other than the leaf.

 

The wheels are aluminum 16" eight lug for what that says if anything.  I did not see a need to upgrade the wheels when all I was doing was increasing one level of tire rating and not expecting anything more than the stated capacity of the trailer as it was built.  But to the point there isn't anyone holding these manufacturers to the standards of passenger carrying vehicles, one can't really trust the mfr ratings I guess.

 

As far as the tire age, you have me there.  They were 14 months old from a purchase standpoint.  They are all gone now so I am not sure how old from time of manufacture.  As a consumer, I'd like to think I can buy a tire that is not a risk from shelf life.  That was part of my implied point in my original post.

Where would I buy a scale that I can use for this?  Also, what tire pressure monitoring system have you found that is reliable.  I went on the hunt for one immediately afterwards and I haven't found one that when owners were queried, they felt they were accurate, reliable or could be trusted.  I completely get the point that a failing tire can be avoided before it blows. 

 

Appreciate your input.

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CAT scale will work. Weigh each axle then unhitched and weigh truck and do the math.

Had access to wheel scales at a previous employer. I maintain a toy hauler for a commercial enforcement officer so when I need to weigh a trailer at each tire I make a phone call. Otherwise I use the CAT scale or the scale at a local packing plant.

Doran RV360 is what I use for tire pressure monitoring.

Rims are weight and tire pressure rated and it should be stamped inside the rim and visible when you remove the tire. A lot of trailer manufacturers use Carlisle rims. I prefer Greenball.

Edited by ghostbuster2

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