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Old 04-21-2009, 10:05 AM   #1
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 72
SUN #237
Capt Skup
Grrrrrr! Ding Dang tire sidewall cracking

So much for being a fanatical preventative maintenance do-gooder. Old man time still bit me in the hiney. So I was doing the usual spring get ready for camping routine. Complete wash and wax, interior scrub down, inventory, bearing cleaning/repack, brake adjustment. Well while I was reinstalling the heavy 235/85R-16 Load Range E tires/rims on the Alko-Kober 7,000lb axles I happen to notice sidewall cracking on the tires. Even though I keep the tires clean and protected with Aerospace 303 and covered when the trailer is not moving. Yes indeed, the tires are original to the trailer and yes they are at least 6 years old but.....dang it, I took such good care of them, always inflated to the proper pressure and everything. Well I will be spending about $500 that I did not plan to. I think I will be installing BFGoodrich commercial tires, same size and load range, last time I looked BJ's wholesale carried them for something like $112 a piece, and I can install balance them at the Navy base's auto hobby shop if it is still open. Between wife, three daughters, two golden retrievers, this rv, house, and a boat, I will be penniless forever.

2003 Sunline F281SR(weekend fun)
2008 F-450 Pick-em-up
2006 Teton Scottsdale(home)(Sold to a young couple in Missouri, they are happy fulltime campers)
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Old 04-22-2009, 11:03 AM   #2
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Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Michigan
Posts: 234
SUN #778
Viking is an unknown quantity at this point

Keep an eye on those valve stems too!
A few weeks ago i was going to move the coach out of the storage lot to have the wheel bearings packed. I don't do that myself in my driveway because there is too much slope for my comfort.
Before hooking up and hauling away, I was going to check tire pressures. Had the gauge and air tank with me.
Started to remove the valve cap on the left rear tire, and BIG SURPRISE!
The whole valve stem came off in my hand! Rubber totally rotted!
I was going to put new tires on this year anyway, as the date codes indicated that the tires were on the coach when it left the factory in 1991, but I was only going a short distance. The assumption has to be that the valve stems were most likely as old as the tires. Never gave them much thought, as the tires actually looked pretty darned good.
Not necessarily related, but, there has recently been a recall on a batch of thousands of valve stems made in China that has had premature failures.
So, keep an eye on those valve stems as well!

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Old 04-22-2009, 12:12 PM   #3
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Location: Ohio
Posts: 12,609
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Capt Skup

Yup same problem on my end. I saw it last fall. Mine is a 2004 and have crackes in between the treads. Actually the side walls where OK. And in my case… when I discovered the cracks I also discovered I was burning up one rear tire really bad with wear. I mean really bad. And after more investigation I had 2 more in a level of high wear and only 1 good one wearing even. After a long winter of investigation and correction, I now have 5 new tires and 2 new axles…. But all is good now.

To Viking’s point on the valve stems, yup they are only as good as the tires and need to be changed as well. And to request that you get high pressure stems.

We had a good tire discussion going here in the forum over the last few months and I learned a lot from it on more places to research to. I bought Denman tires that stemed from discussion here on SOC. Denman states in there warranty they will not warrant any tire over 5 years in age regardless of mileage. That 5 year mark is real as proved my many here on SOC that in that time range cracks start showing up

Another key learning is the date codes. Each tire now has the date embedded in the side wall when it was made. And I can tell you from experience, the tire shops have no problem at all selling you never used 3 year old tires for the same price as ones that are 3 months old. I had a heck of a time getting my 5 in less the 1 year old time mark. If you do not request/demand a certain age tire, it will never come up in the tire purchase discussion.

Good luck

Current Sunlines: 2004 T310SR, 2004 T1950, 2004 T2475, 2007 T2499, 2004 T317SR
Prior Sunlines: 2004 T2499 - Fern Blue
2005 Ford F350 Lariat, 6.8L V10 W/ 4.10 rear axle, CC, Short Bed, SRW. Reese HP trunnion bar hitch W/ HP DC

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Old 04-22-2009, 08:59 PM   #4
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Location: Maryland
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Between wife, three daughters, two golden retrievers, this rv, house, and a boat, I will be penniless forever.

Your situation sounds alot like mine-Penniless, but in many ways, very wealthy!
1992 T-2470 (now residing in South Carolina)
Current Sunline-2007 Solaris 2499
2018 Silverado 1500 w/Max Trailering pkg.
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