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  1. Tires fail from two basic causes. Low air pressure and/or Long term degradation of the rubber usually from excess heat. Low pressure (active leak from puncture or loose valve stem or valve core are most common reasons) can lead to a Sidewall Flex failure or more commonly called a "Blowout". The sidewall cord can melt (polyester) or fatigue (steel). Many TT owners fail to realize that they will never "feel" the results of a tire losing air till it is too late and they are surprised when the sidewall lets go. The rapid air loss "bang", even when the tire only has about 10 to 20 psi in it, is a big surprise IF they even hear it. A TPMS can provide warning of air loss so is good insurance and can easily pay for itself with a single warning of air loss. The long term degradation of the rubber at the edges of the belts can lead to a belt and/or tread separation. Even if the tire keeps its air you can have this type of failure so a TPMS will not provide a warning. This degradation comes with age as rubber is always loosing flexibility. Just think of those rubber bands you found in the back of the desk drawer. Even in cool and dark they got brittle. HOWEVER running at or near or above the load capacity of a tire will result in increased heat generation. Increased heat actually can accelerate the aging process with a doubling of the rate each increase of 18F. Running a margin of at least 15% between capacity and measured load is a good first step. Running at high speed can also generate excess heat. (65mph max for ST type tires and &%mph max for all other RV applications. (Note, there even are a few tires out there with a 62 mph max) Realizing that over half of the RVs on the road have one or more tire or axle in overload is one main contributor to the high rate of tire failures. Simply thinking that a tire will fail because the tire plant building is painted blue rather than green is not logical. Buying the lowest cost "no-name" tires is IMO a major contributor to poor results. If the main objective is the lowest cost tire why would anyone be surprised with short tire life. Just paying more however is no guarantee of better quality. I believe the best tool available is comparing Warranty and service support. Can you get multi year warranty on the tires? Is it possible to get Road Hazard coverage? Is there a nationwide network of dealers who stock the brand & size & type you are considering? If you want to learn more from an actual Tire design Engineer check out one of my tire seminars or read my blog on RV Tire Safety.
  2. Anyone with any suggestion for accessing the DOT date code which is hidden between each set of dual tires? I have an appointment for the smartweigh program and one of the requested bits of information is the DOT date code of the tires. I have the front tires codes - no problems. Both sets of duals are mounted so the code is hidden between the tires. I really don't want to even consider removing the outside two tires but that seems to be the only way I can get the info. I tried putting my phone on a selfie stick and putting it between the tires but the images are just too blurred to even determine where the code is exactly. Any suggestions are appreciated.
  3. For the life of me, I cannot figure out how to read the attached table which I downloaded from the Goodyear website. We did SmartWeigh last summer and came up with 2300 lbs for each of our 4 fifth wheel tires, which are Goodyear G614 RST LT 235/85 R16s. So, going down the left side column of the table we find our tire and configuration (D for dual), which I highlighted in yellow on the table. Now for the confusing part: The minimal weight that corresponds to equal or greater than our 2300 lbs per tire is at a PSI of 65, which sounds absurdly low to me. The tire inflation sticker on the fifth wheel says 80 PSI, but it assumes OEM-installed Load Range E tires. My Goodyears are load range G's, which suggest a PSI on the sidewall of 110 and, in the table, the final column for my tire is bolded and says "G". Does the bolded table cells mean that load range G tires must always be at least 110? We bought our fiver used in a private sale, and the previous owner installed the Goodyears. He said he ran them at 80 PSI as per the inflation sticker on the RV.
  4. It's time for new tires on our motor home. I have Goodyears now, but salesmen are pushing Sumitomos for a hundred or so less per tire. They claim it is a big tire manufacturer, and a good tire. There is no government rating to compare. Does anyone have experience with Sumitomos? Is it a good tire? What about Toyo tires? Also, I am looking at buying at Big O Tires, because there seems to be more of them across the country than any other dealer. See any problem with them? (We are in Phoenix now.) Thanks, John Parker
  5. Ascension Parish-- Earlier this morning, Louisiana State Troopers from Troop A were dispatched to an overturned motorhome on Interstate 10 east of US 61 in Ascension Parish. Crash scene investigators determined the motorhome was westbound on Interstate 10 in the left lane. The motorhome sustained a tire failure and entered the center median, where it then impacted the cable barriers. After impacting the cable barriers, the motorhome overturned and slid on its side across both eastbound lanes. The driver, 69 year old Royce Denmon of Kilgore, Texas and his passenger suffered minor injuries in the crash. A witness to the crash, 30 year old Jonathan Mendel of Metairie, Louisiana was operating an 18 wheeler westbound on Interstate 10 and captured the entire crash sequence with his dashboard camera. Mr. Mendel was also able to safely pull his vehicle onto the right shoulder and call 911. As you watch the video of this crash, please take note of how quickly a crash can occur. Think if you were in the eastbound travel lanes. What evasive maneuvers, if any would you have been able to take? Also, think about the consequences of not wearing a seatbelt or distracted driving. While not a factor in this crash, imagine what would have occurred had all parties been preoccupied with various distractions. Finally, check out the amazing engineering that went into the cable barrier system along the Interstate Systems in Louisiana. While not designed for heavy articulated vehicles like a motorhome, the system was able to redirect a vehicle weighing over 20,000 pounds. I posted the video on my Facebook page. Motor safely my friends. https://www.facebook.com/pages/RV-Road-Riders/1380946298887036
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