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Old 02-12-2019, 02:41 PM   #1
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Realistic tire advice wanted

Hey guys! I'm posting here 'cause I trust y'all's advice more than others.
I gave my Westlake ST205/75R14 (load range C) tires a good look-see today. They were made in March of 2013. I keep them properly inflated, covered and parked on boards while in storage. They show zero signs of unusual tread wear due to balance, load or alignment issues. All four tires look identical with nary a blemish, crack or bulge.
It's killing me to think about replacing these tires because of age. And it's not the money (really, they're in the budget). As an old-school auto mechanic, I have a strong "if it ain't broke..." point of view. Plus the shop where my trailers have been serviced closed and I haven't been able to find a tech who owns a torque wrench yet.
I'm a victim of paralysis by analysis.

Help a brutha out,
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Old 02-12-2019, 03:15 PM   #2
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What I would do is have a good look inside of the tread usually the tread is the last thing to wear out if there is any cracking between the treads replace them. I tend to agree with you on the age thing but any cracking is a good reason to replace them.
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Old 02-12-2019, 05:06 PM   #3
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I am in the same boat. Based on age, I should have replaced I believe in 2017.
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Old 02-12-2019, 06:14 PM   #4
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Hi Teach,

You have been good about the tire pressure, keeping them covered and stored up on boards, those are all excellent things to do.

And I know you have been around mechanical things a good long time. But we are talking about ST trailer tires here, not a older well kept auto.

There are some things you did not mention that may help you make this decision like,

How many miles are on the tires? Not a direct part of the answer, but we all camp differently and do not know how far away your trips are.

How long are you common camping trips? 5 miles, 50, 150 miles? When you get towards the 50 mile mark, the tires heat up and then things can happen if the tire is starting to degrade inside.

Have you weighed the camper and know the "loaded" ready to camp weight of the heaviest wheel?

Do you know the weights of the front axle loaded with the WD hitch engaged? The WD hitch adds extra weight to the front axle above the weight of the camper.

Do you have 20% extra rated tire capacity above the weight of the heaviest wheel location ever since the tires were new? This helps deter interply shear inside the tire trying to tear it apart when turning on tandem axles.

Assuming some of the above items may not be known right now, have you done a spin test of each tire? This is a prudent test to do as the tires age, ideally every year since new but for sure come year 3 and on. See this reply on the tire failures I had last spring. It talks about the interply shear and how to do the spin test.
Tire Failure, Tire Investigation and Camper Damage Repair

If I had done a spin test before I headed out in the spring of last year, I could of avoided my saga. I can guarantee you, I will never miss another one. Unless you have a lot of excess capacity in the tire since they are new, at the 20% and above the rating, the interply shear forces are there and acting on the tire on every turn. This does not matter if the tire has no cracks in the treads or side walls. They only aggravate the problem worse. The rubber is breaking down inside the tire.

Bottom line: Come this March your tires will be 6 years old. That is a year past the 5 year mark. As a fellow camper, to put this simply, it's great you made it 6 years, but consider it good fortune you made it that long. It's time to change them before you head out this spring.

Hope this helps

John
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Old 02-13-2019, 06:37 AM   #5
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Good Year does not specify age. Some do some don't some even say 3 years (they most likely want to sell tires)!
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Old 02-14-2019, 08:19 PM   #6
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Simply looking at your tires will not give you the info you need. You need to do a "Free Spin" inspection to check for any Out of Round or side to side wobble. I cover this in my RV Tire Blog with a video and show the results of an actual autopsy of a tire that has been through this type of an inspection.
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Old 02-16-2019, 06:46 AM   #7
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What about mileage on tires. Single axel trailer, never hit anything, travel 65 mph usually less, never driven far on a super hot day, pass the spin test. BUT they now have ~17,000 miles on them, and our next trip will be another 6,000 miles. Trying to decide whether to replace them.
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Old 02-17-2019, 07:45 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tweety View Post
What about mileage on tires. Single axel trailer, never hit anything, travel 65 mph usually less, never driven far on a super hot day, pass the spin test. BUT they now have ~17,000 miles on them, and our next trip will be another 6,000 miles. Trying to decide whether to replace them.
Pam/Steve,

You have a great question as we have many single axle Sunline campers on the forum.

Hoping Tireman9 will chime in on this one, but some things to help the cause.

Being 17,000 miles, is the tread depth still enough? Meaning not at the wear bars on the tread. How much tread is left? 3/16", 1/8", 1/16"?

What are the DOT date codes on the side of the trailer? Trying to sort out how old they are.

Did you check/keep air pressure up to max sidewall pressure all the time before towing?

Checked for cracks in the side walls and treads this year when you did the spin test?

Have you weighed the camper axle and what is the camper weight on the axle compared to the max load of tires? Ideally a left and right wheel is taken too as the camper is bound to be heavier on one side.


The good news, being single axle you do not have the tire scrubbing, internal shearing forces in the tread area turning issues of tandem and triple axles campers. However being single axle, a tire failure on a single axle trailer may have higher odds a trailer control issues pending the conditions at the time of the failure. A tandem failure can beat up the camper real bad, but the other wheel on that side helps the trailer run straight when the failed tire is running the rim. A single axle running on the rim, at speed, is not good.

Hope this helps.

John
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Old 02-18-2019, 01:44 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tweety View Post
What about mileage on tires. Single axel trailer, never hit anything, travel 65 mph usually less, never driven far on a super hot day, pass the spin test. BUT they now have ~17,000 miles on them, and our next trip will be another 6,000 miles. Trying to decide whether to replace them.
Pam/Steve,

From experience, if you decide not to replace your tires before your trip, plan that you may need to replace the tires during your trip.

Again, from experience, If you do have a blow out, get the tire fixed (or replace both tires at that time). Don't think you can make it thru the rest of the day's drive without a spare.

On one of our 6,000+ mile trips we had 2 blowouts on the same day. Fortunately, (i.e., thanks to Mary), we got a new tire after the 1st blowout (I was of mind to make the rest of the day's trip without a spare and get it fixed when we stopped for the night - boy was I wrong ). If I hadn't listened to Mary we would have been, as they say, up the creek without a paddle after the 2nd blowout. The next day we got 3 new tires.

Something else to think about if you don't replace your tires - how common are the size of tires you have on the trailer. If you need to replace them, will a tire dealer have them in stock.

Again from experience, we were fortunate, when we needed 3 new tires, the local tire dealer where we had stopped for the night had only 3 tires in stock in the size we needed.

Just food for thought.

Hey, you're retired, if you have to stay in one place for a few days waiting for a tire - no big deal, right.

Personally, if I were in your position, I would replace the tires. Just for peace of mind. Don't need the headache or worry during the trip.
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Old 02-18-2019, 05:05 PM   #10
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A single axle trailer is a lot easier on tire than a two axle.
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Old 02-19-2019, 05:54 PM   #11
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Hoping Tireman9 will chime in on this one, but some things to help the cause.

Being 17,000 miles, is the tread depth still enough? Meaning not at the wear bars on the tread. How much tread is left? 3/16", 1/8", 1/16"?
Plenty of tread left
What are the DOT date codes on the side of the trailer? Trying to sort out how old they are.
Fairly recent 2616
Did you check/keep air pressure up to max sidewall pressure all the time before towing?
yep
Checked for cracks in the side walls and treads this year when you did the spin test?
no cracks
Have you weighed the camper axle and what is the camper weight on the axle compared to the max load of tires? Ideally a left and right wheel is taken too as the camper is bound to be heavier on one side.
No, but we keep it light and are very aware of loading evenly
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Old 02-19-2019, 06:07 PM   #12
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I sure dont want to live your story! Now I’m thinking it seems silly to NOT to replace the tires. We have reservations, so really can’t sit around waiting for tires. Not to mention the possibility of damage to the trailer from a blow out. And with a single axel we’re only talking about the cost of 2 tires. Steve is tire shopping online as I type this LOL
Thanks for the reality check!
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Old 02-19-2019, 10:11 PM   #13
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Quote:
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Hutch
I sure dont want to live your story! Now Iím thinking it seems silly to NOT to replace the tires. We have reservations, so really canít sit around waiting for tires. Not to mention the possibility of damage to the trailer from a blow out. And with a single axel weíre only talking about the cost of 2 tires. Steve is tire shopping online as I type this LOL
Thanks for the reality check!
Something to think about- considering the age and wear (or lack of in both cases), you could keep the old tires and either carry them in the truck as spares, or you could sell them locally. People seem to love buying used trailer tires, and I'm sure with all the farms around you, someone probably would love to buy them for a farm implement or trailer.
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Old 02-21-2019, 10:33 AM   #14
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Something to think about- considering the age and wear (or lack of in both cases), you could keep the old tires and either carry them in the truck as spares, or you could sell them locally. People seem to love buying used trailer tires, and I'm sure with all the farms around you, someone probably would love to buy them for a farm implement or trailer.
I agree wholeheartedly with everyone here. NEVER EVER play with the slight thought of something wrong with your tires (and/or Bearings)
Yes, if the tires sort of look good definitely sell or give away to a farmer.

Seriously I don't understand why they make TT tires so inferior. Sadly too many come in from China and more sadly some of those brand name tires are made in China

OFF TOPIC: we had a friend that bought 4 brand new tires for their 5th wheel. They left Ontario headed for Florida and one of the new tires blew on the highway. They were not driving fast. They even said they were not cheap tires...just sayin
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