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Old 04-26-2013, 12:34 AM   #1
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Wheel/tire disaster

Hey all,

First, the rant/story:

Finally, after months of waiting for better weather and more time in which to do things, my little '85 T2100 was uncovered, checked over, and hauled out of winter storage and headed the whole 14 miles from my boss's house to mine. Everything was fine- TOO fine. (My boss and I have a horrible history of running into trouble EVERY SINGLE TIME we attempt to haul any sort of tow vehicle together- the worst disaster involved a fully loaded 6 horse trailer.) My Sunny came out and hit the road no problem, when all of a sudden-BANG!!!!!

The left front tire just went. Out of nowhere, it went, and it was totally un-salvageable. Ok, we think, no problem. We got this. Pull over, change tire (at least I had a spare!!!), throw mangled wreck of old tire and wheel into truck. Pat selves on back for fixing it. Continue.... for two lousy miles.

The idiot in the pickup in front of us swerves around the car in front of him, and a box flies out his open tailgate. Attempt to avoid box, until it splatters all over the highway and we realize that the box was full of DRYWALL SCREWS?!? Cuss words started flying.

Pull into breakdown lane, just before the next exit. Check truck. Truck is OK, thank heavens, but right rear on Sunny caught a screw, and is rapidly deflating. Not to be put off, we go to work. Pull tire, jack up axle, ratchet strap the life outta the thing. Forget getting home (now 9 miles away) and attempt to just get off the highway and take advantage of the first parking lot we see. By now, it's dusk, and I'm angry and exhausted.

We just barely get into the parking lot when something feels even worse. Forget stopping, we just have to get this thing safely off the road and out of everyone's way. We go to survey the damage, and discover that despite our caution, we picked up more screws on the way out of the accident. My poor Sunny- 2 more tires are flat!!!! Grand total loss of 4 out of 5 tires in one short trip.

We apologized to the owner of the shop that we left the trailer in, and he was more than helpful. He let us wash hands in his sink and called the police to report the road hazard and our problem. By now it was dark, and I called my husband for backup. He picked me up, and we went home for the night.

With lack of a better solution, while I was at work today my wonderful husband went and collected the punctured tires and installed tubes in them. It was enough to get the trailer home, but I'm not sure if I trust the tube solution long term. To make matters worse, one of the wheels was damaged beyond repair (the blowout) and needs replacing. Husband says that all of the wheels are showing age and rust, and I ought to think about replacing the whole lot- as in all 5 of them.

Any suggestions on what to do for replacement wheels? I have precious few sources locally (TSC is the only one that carries anything that will fit, and the cost $120 each for the bias ply tire).

Apologies for the long post, and suggestions are appreciated. May this sort of thing NEVER happen again!
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Old 04-26-2013, 10:34 AM   #2
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Ugh, that is terrible luck! Who would carry around a box of drywall screws in an open pickup bed?

You could try an RV dealer or a tire store for wheels and tires too. Tire stores will have more wheel options and you can get some decent tires. Don't go with cheap, off brand trailer tires because they won't last and you'll have problems soon down the road. I think your wheels should have a 5 on 4.5 bolt pattern, but since you have a spare, take it to make sure. Are they 13"?

If they are 13, you might be able to go up to a 14x5" rim with an ST205/75/R14C tire. In that case, I'd get one at TSC, see if it fits (but don't put nuts on to damage paint), and then take it back. You'll know if a 14" will fit then. I think it should, and that gives you many more tire options and of better quality too.

Painted steel trailer wheels are pretty cheap, but that price still sounds fairly accurate. I think the best you might do is around $99.

Even thought they're a distance from you, I like to recommend Tredit Tire & Wheel. They were the OEM supplier to Sunline in recent years and will ship directly to you. They are a wholesaler, so they have decent prices. They can mount them and have them ready to go for you when they are delivered.

Regardless of where you get them, get them balanced. Some say you don't need it, but I think it's best. Can't hurt anything, and it won't add much if any cost to it.
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Old 04-26-2013, 11:59 AM   #3
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I don't have anything to add for advice on tires, but I will say it seems to me you have VERY bad luck and might consider just parking that thing on a seasonal site and stop towing it. I'm kidding of course, but gee, that's a whole lot of bad luck in 14 short miles, and that's not even mentioning the loaded horse trailer story (which sounds pretty bad)!
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Old 04-26-2013, 03:36 PM   #4
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I think I would be talking to the truck drivers insurance co. If the cops showed up there would be a report.
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Old 04-26-2013, 04:21 PM   #5
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Another option is Discount Tire Direct. Home - Discount Tire Direct Last Spring I bought 4 new Maxis tires premounted and balanced on custom rims. They were delivered by UPS. The whole package was about $200 per tire/rim. Not cheap!!!

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Old 04-26-2013, 08:44 PM   #6
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Akhira,

Wow, what a rotten thing to have happen but good that you made it safely home! Good luck with the tire purchase!

(Gene - Those are some good-looking rims!)
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Old 04-26-2013, 09:04 PM   #7
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Thanks all. It was indeed a BAD day for towing. Someone got the license plate off of the truck that spilled the screws all over the highway. The police have the report of the damages, and we'll see what the insurance company says.

Sunline Fan, thanks for the tip about the 14 inch wheels. I just happen to have a set of 14" wheels with what looks to be a similar bolt pattern on an older horse trailer. If it is the same, I'll just use those for the duration of the season. (That horse trailer is from 1978 and has suffered another of our disasters. I was in the process of scrapping the trailer, but I'll check the wheels first.)

Yes, I had quite a bit of bad luck. I think this will be near the top of the list of trailer disasters for me. Hopefully, this is it for bad luck for a while! As a result, I think that I shall add some tire tubes to the tool box. for the $13 each, it is worth it to tote around.

Happy trailering,
Jen
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Old 04-27-2013, 02:55 PM   #8
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Jen, your story reminds me of an old country song, If it wern't for bad luck I'd have no luck at all.

Hope things get better. May all your camping trips be clear skies and cool gentle breezes.
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Old 04-28-2013, 08:25 PM   #9
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Hi Jen,

Wow...glad you made it home OK. That tops my 3 tire failures story from last year....

If your looking for rims, see here Wheel Only Tires and Wheels | etrailer.com I have never bought tires from them, only wheels.

They offer Dexstar and I can say I bought 5 of them and they are good quality rims. At least the 16" were and they were made in USA!

Something to check on the up-sizing tires is wheel well clearance. You really want to have at least 2 1/2" of clearance from top of tire to bottom side of the inner wheel well when the camper is loaded. The standard text book clearance is 3" from Dexter Axle however Sunline set mine up on 2 1/2" from day one. When you get down to 2" is can still work but a bad bump and it may hit. You can test the clearance by pulling up slowly onto a wood block and support the camper with 1 wheel just off the ground. The high well it then at full suspension with no bounce. If you are right on top of almost touching, then sooner or later it will hit.

Hope this helps and good luck.

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Old 04-28-2013, 09:06 PM   #10
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Thanks all for the help. I may have found some much newer wheels, and totally by accident too! I was complaining about my disaster in the local pub while drowning my sorrows in a Shirley Temple yesterday. One of the other patrons heard my horrible story, and then told me of his own camper woes. To make a very long story short, I am now the owner of my friend's 1992? (I sent the VIN to Sunline Fan for verification) Solaris that has been damaged beyond repair.
My friend purchased new wheels and tires for his Sunline last year, and then discovered excessive water damage to his trailer. In short, the camper is well beyond any reasonable repair. I went to survey the trouble, and it is beyond BAD. Not only is the floor in the rear totally destroyed, there is also a leak in the front roof.
Anyway, my friend decided to give me the trailer in exchange for other equipment I had on my farm.

I will take the good brand-new wheels and tires and use them on my T2100.

I will also share the rest of the parts that are salvageable on this form in the very near future.

Please keep an eye on my posts to see what I have to sent out to you all.

Thanks so much for the help! I couldn't be working to restore my Sunny without all of you!

Happy Trails,
Jen
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