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I am now a member of the Blowmax Club......


oscarvan

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I posted this on the Heartland Cyclone forum. As background information, Cyclones come out of the factory with 16" wheels with 3500# Towmax tires. The GVWR is 18,000# There are many, many stories of these tires failing. But, as we all know it's mostly the tales of woe that make it to the internet, while there are thousands of happy owners out there. And, some if not all problems are due to neglect or abuse, or so I thought as I happily approached 10,000 miles on my tires without a problem........ So here goes.

 

 

As we parked on the campground in Mississippi my wife commented that the 4 and 6 tire (Right Center and Right Rear) were awfully close together. I explained about the special Dexter spring linkage and that they are normally close, and sometimes after backing in with braking they can get very close.

Sometimes I should pay closer attention to what my wife says.

On the way back to PA we were on the road for 25 or so miles when we got the dreaded passing car with people hanging out the window pointing somewhere back there. "Thank You". Pull over, and 4 and 6 are rubbing together grooving each other up with some smoke for extra ambiance.

Fortunately the next exit was less than a mile. We get off and find a nice empty church parking lot. I get under there and it appears that the shackles involved are a little closer than on the other side, so that is the direction I start digging. We left winter and thus salt country, and there was quite a bit of surface corrosion, so I figured they were hanging up. I never go anywhere without at least one can of PB-blaster, so I hosed them down. Proceeded to put chocks on the wheels in question, and rocked the rig back and forth a bit to get things moving. After about five minutes of this I had about 1/4" clearance and figured things were working their way loose, and all would be well.

Very proud of myself we get back on the road. 25 miles later someone fired a 105mm Howitzer back there. Seconds later the TPMS starts screaming. Duh. Pull over and, you guessed it, 6 has cratered. Fortunately damage to the surrounding area is minimal, and once again we are less than a mile from an exit. Right off it we find a truck stop, fire up the genny, grab a snack and sit down to think. (It's Sunday). So, the plan is to very carefully find an RV repair shop in the morning to take a look at Dexter. Meanwhile I decide to get a head start and put on the spare.

This is where it gets interesting. I take off the old wheel, and inspect the damage. The rubbing (which had obviously continued after I thought it was getting better) had grooved the tire to the point where it failed. But, as I rolled it away I suddenly noticed that 180º opposite the failed area THERE WAS NO GROOVING.......NOTHING. The tire looked fine...... As I'm scratching my head it starts to dawn on me. And, after I put on the spare I confirm there was nothing wrong with Dexter. The tire had developed a bulge, probably as a result of an internal failure. With the spare on the gap was back to normal. I had the wife drive the rig slowly forward and the gap was fine, and constant.

This also explained why the #4 was grooved, but a lot less and all around. It was being rubbed randomly all around, whereas #6 was continuously hitting in the same spot, where it wore through. This also explained why my horsing around in the church parking lot opened up the gap. I simply moved enough inches to get the bulge somewhat out of the way.

So, with renewed morale we head back on the road, hoping that #4 would hold up the remaining 800 miles and that we wouldn't have the need for another spare. Well, the next day around 7pm in Carlysle PA, 100m from the house the TPMS starts screaming. Slow leak in #4. Darn. Once again though (yes that's three in a row) we are right at an exit and there are three, yes three large truck stops right there, including one with a fleet service garage open till 11pm. The leak in #4 was a hole, and I'm not sure it had anything to do with the grooving, but could well have been a nail or something like that. I wanted them to plug it, as all I wanted was to get home with minimal expense, to fix it all right later. Well, he took one look at the tire and said....."No, ain't plugging that". Fair enough. Fortunately he had the right size tire and tread in stock, yes, a genuine Blowmax!. I back inside in bay # 7, they pulled the wheel, mounted the new tire, put the wheel back on and torqued it down properly. Less than 45 minutes after getting off the road we were back on, all for $150

I have a TPMS, and I watch it like a hawk. I keep my pressures where they need to be and these tires have never overheated. I am not seriously overloaded. So, I now believe that the tires these units come with are not enough and/or of inferior quality. I have decided that there are 6 new 17" wheels and 4500# tires in my future.

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.............. I am not seriously overloaded.

Do you mean that you are overloaded? While no doubt the tires are questionable......................

 

This brings the additional question, what tire brand for trailers is good?

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It is a sad thing that trailer manufacturers will save a few bucks by installing E+ rated off brand tires. They save some by using 85 psi rims.

 

The right thing is to use standard size tires with the appropriate load rating for the trailer GVWR. Using standard tires means the owner can have choices of brand when tire replacement time comes.

 

For reasons of safety margin, we divide the GVWR of the trailer by the number of tires and chose a size/rating that has that load capacity or greater. Skimping manufacturers deduct the pin weight and find the least tire capacity tires.

 

In the big picture, 17.5" 125 psi rims for H rated tires cost little more than 16" 85 psi and no more than 16" 110 psi rims for G rated tires. 17.5" tires cost less than good quality G rated tires as they come from a greater volume market of commercial truck trailers.

 

Many have preferences for trailer tires for a variety of reasons. Goodyear is our favorite as nobody stands behind their products better than Goodyear.

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Do you mean that you are overloaded? While no doubt the tires are questionable......................

 

This brings the additional question, what tire brand for trailers is good?

I tired of blowing/failing 16" cheap ST tire grief. I bought a set of Sailun 16" 235/85R16, load range G tires and eliminated all tire issues on our 5er, without having to buy all new larger rims. My present 16" aluminum rims were rated for 120psi.

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...what tire brand for trailers is good?...

In my experience the answer will vary depending on what size tires you are talking about and what options there may or may not be for changing tire or rim size without making substantial modifications to the wheel wells, moving axles or jacking up the trailer to create more room for substantially larger tires. The answer is not always as simple as switch from ST to LT tires as there are no LT tires in some sizes that have more weight capacity than the STs that they are to replace. If you are asking this in relation to tires for your Sportsman travel trailer, this thread may give you some options to think about.

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Important point...... The 16" rims with tires are 31.x " diameter...... the 17" rims with tires are 30.x" diameter. It's a lower aspect ratio tire. So, a larger (higher psi) rim does NOT necessarily mean a larger diameter as the end result.....

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Rims should have either a psi rating or a load rating stamped into the metal. It is usually on the back side and on occasion the tire will need to be removed to see the stamped rating. Often is is on the flatter part of the backside of the rim making it hard to read. A flashlight and a small mirror can help.

Valve stems also have ratings.

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