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Old 08-08-2012, 01:49 PM   #1
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The LONG (and expensive) way to Buttonwood

We had a heck of a trip to Buttonwood Campground in PA this weekend... I knew the P225/75-15 Mission tires on our 2007 T276SR were 6 yrs old but I always keep them covered and check the pressure when we leave. I was hoping to finish the season with them and get new ones in the spring. But, on the way up, we were taking a 75 minute detour to Stoltfzus RV so I could pick up a couple wheel skirts to replace one that is cracking. About 1/2 way between York and Lancaster on Rt. 30, a guy flagged me down and pointed back at the trailer. I didn't feel any difference in the way the rig felt but I pulled over and found the right front tire was shredded. So I am on a shoulder that is just wide enough for the camper (the left side was right on the white line), and on the right side is a hill with about a 30 deg incline that starts right where the blacktop ends and has 12"+ high weeds. I had to lay in said weeds and just about stand on my head to change the tire while the camper shook from the wind as trucks whizzed by at 60+. I figured we'd just get to the RV dealer which was 30 min away and get a spare. Of course I am worried about the other tire on that side and how long I ran it overloaded. Well, we get there and they don't carry tires... So, they give me the # of Tire Consultants in Ephrata, PA about 10 miles down the road. So I call them, they have one in stock... OK, what's the price and the brand name? $115 and they are Greenball Towmaster which is one of the brands that I thought about buying anyway. Well, to make a long story short, $500 and an hour later we were back on the road with 4 new tires. The trip ended up taking 9 hours for a 4.5 hr drive straight thru from our house. That night with the help of a few adult beverages and a campfire, I was able to put the day behind me. I'm replacing this set after 5 yrs no questions...
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Old 08-08-2012, 06:16 PM   #2
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Hi Greg,

Yup, your story is familiar unfortunately. It sounds like you where lucky enough to not take out a wheel well in the process.

A friendly heads up, check the date on your spare. It might be brand (old) never used with tons of tread on it. But is it 6 years old too? When I change the tires I buy them 5 at a time. If I'm out in the middle of no where with a tire leak, I need a dependable spare. If one does not replace the spare at the same time even if it is 5 or 6 years old, then how many years do you want to trust it is still OK? Wiht these modern day ST tires we are lucky we can get 5 years out of them.

I had 3 tires failures this year, all within 2 months or about 1600 miles of each other. Had steel belt detachment inside. I was lucky, I caught all 3 before the let go. All 1 at a time. And the tires where only 3 1/2 years old. I now have 5 new ones on. Cost some bucks that is for sure, but ya have to have dependable tires on these campers.

Changing a tire on the side of the highway is bad news. Just like you found out, you cannot always find a safe spot to do it in. I'm glad for you it was not the road side.

Question: What tire position failed? Was it the one on the rear of the camper?

The more people I ask the higher the percentages seem to point to the rear positions being the first one to go. Not that the front can't go first as it gets all the road debris first, it just seems maybe the rear position gets more heat from the tandems turning or something.

Glad you made out OK and safe other then burning up a bunch of time.

John

PS. You stated a P225/75R15. I'm assuming you meant ST225/75R15 and a typo on the P.
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Old 08-08-2012, 07:49 PM   #3
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Ours was the right front tire.....all are replaced now!
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Old 08-08-2012, 08:25 PM   #4
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Yup, mine was the right rear and I too had to do it in weeds. I was able to limp it slowly to an exit ramp though so I didn't have to be along the highway. Mine spent its first two years outside, but it's been inside ever since. I don't think the hot summer has helped because the road surfaces are hotter, so the tires heat up even more.
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Old 08-09-2012, 05:55 AM   #5
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They are ST225/75-15 tires and it was the right front one that failed.

Yes, we are very lucky that it didn't do any damage to the trailer. I really don't know what we would have done if a tire on the left side had failed. We were so close to the white line that I had to time breaks in the traffic to open my truck door and then to get into the storage compartment on the left side where I keep the jack and lugwrench. It was a very stressful situation...

My spare is an original Mission brand tire as well but it has always been fully covered and should still be very usable since it has only carried a load for about 20 miles in it's lifetime. We've only got 3 short trips left in our camping season so I'll absorb the financial hit of these 4 tires and replace in the spring.
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Old 08-14-2012, 06:19 PM   #6
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I also had to replace all of my tires this season as the right rear had a cord break which swelled the tire in that spot. All four were five years old plus.
I wonder if it may be the extreme twisting that these tires are subject to in a tight turn. When I back the trailer into my driveway, it's on asphalt and you can see how the angles change between the front and rear tires. That can't be good even though they are trailer tires and supposed to be made for those side forces.
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Old 08-14-2012, 06:59 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vcrt View Post
I also had to replace all of my tires this season as the right rear had a cord break which swelled the tire in that spot. All four were five years old plus.
Quote:
Originally Posted by vcrt View Post
I wonder if it may be the extreme twisting that these tires are subject to in a tight turn. When I back the trailer into my driveway, it's on asphalt and you can see how the angles change between the front and rear tires. That can't be good even though they are trailer tires and supposed to be made for those side forces.
Rich

Rich, I too had 3 belt detachment failures this year. When the lawn is muck I have to 180 turn in my concrete/gravel yard. In my case I would of thought it was the inside turn that sort of did it in. However I had the same failures on both sides.

I have a tire engineer buddy who I asked this same question, did I cause this by turning hard in my driveway? He said no, they are made to take the turns. I need to re-ask him exactly what does cause the steel belts from coming detached inside the tread section. Is it a pure manufacturing bonding problem or what?

John
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Old 08-16-2012, 09:12 PM   #8
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Sadly I am way to familiar with this situation too! We blew a tire on the way to the Sunline meetup at Buttonwood. Blew another one on the way home from Gettysburg 2 weeks ago.

Our first blow out was a complete shred and damage the water spigot and the trim around the wheel well. 2nd the tread came off in one big piece, luckily no other damage that time.

Combine that with blowing a tire on my tow vehicle (though luckily when I wasn't towing) I've had ENOUGH with tire issues this year!
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Old 08-19-2012, 07:30 PM   #9
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Here's a photo I took of our Sunline in a hard left turn. You can see the front wheel tilting in at the top while the rear (closest) is out at the top.

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Old 08-19-2012, 08:36 PM   #10
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Hi Rich,

Yes, that is the flex action of a tandem tire setup. The axle flexes and so does the tire. On most any turn I make past some 15 degrees, I can see black on the road from the tires scuffing going around a turn.

These newer campers with the spread axle set up (large distance between axles) have it even worse in a turn. It will be interesting to see if ST tires failures increase on those campers over time. It may take a few years for them to start showing up. While the spread axle concept helps make a light weight camper tow more straight, it comes with increased hanger flex and tire flex. I have only seen this spread axle setup on lighter weight campers where they are trying to tow long campers as a selling point for a lighter truck. A heavy camper like mine, I know I would not want the spread axle setup.

Thanks for the pic.

John
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