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Old 09-18-2021, 04:16 PM   #1
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Ohio
Tow Vehicle Tires Time Out

Yet another tire thread, but this one is for the tow vehicle. I have a 2014 Ford F250 SRW that I bought new in July 2014. I have used it almost exclusively to tow our 3605 Voltage. The truck has 30,000 miles on it and 20,000 of it was towing the camper. The truck sits inside next to the camper when its not being used. I had the original tires on which had about 50% of the tread left. The rear tires are always inflated to 80 PSI before towing.

On our last trip going from Cincinnati to Pigeon Forge we had 2 blowouts on the rear tires. The first I started feeling a vibration and thought I had a tire going down. No TPMS warnings. I pulled off and when I got below 45 the vibration stopped. The tires were all up and the tire temps were within 10 degrees of each other. So we continued on when I got back on I-75 south above 45, I started feeling the vibration again. I got over to the middle lane thinking maybe it was a pavement issue. Thats when the passenger tire blew. I was able to get over to the side of the interstate and get it changed. Not wanting to go with no spare, we found a used tire that was the right specs at the next exit. We had that mounted and went on. That tire was split in the side wall on both sides like the seam let go. Didn't think much of it when within about 50 miles, just south of Lexington the driver side tire blew. I got a little vibration that I was thinking that feels just like before the other side blew, but not nearly as much warning (about enough time to let off the gas) Same side wall split, except this also took out part of the tread and damaged the truck. See pics. I got the spare on again and found a Tire Discounters that was able to get us the same Michelin tires that came on the truck within a couple of hours, so I got 4 new ones and continued on. The manager and his senior tire tech thought the tires were defective and told me to take the old tire and report the DOT number. The date code is gone from that tire, but we looked that the remaining tires from the front and they were dated coded 45 week of 2013. with about 55% of the tread left. I had rotated the tires once.

So the question is to LT tires time out like trailer tires? Could these tire been defective?

Here are somethings that I learned that might help down the road.
1. Ford trucks have a special key to fit the spare tire carrier to get the tire down. Its an anti theft thing. If you can not find the key like me, (no idea what happened to the key). It can be popped out with some effort with a screw driver and channel locks. 2. Check your spare tire pressure periodically. Fortunately ours was at 76lbs. 3. I guess I'm going to replace the tires on the truck every 5 years unless these prove to be defective.

I'll post the pics when I get a better internet connection
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Old 09-19-2021, 11:54 AM   #2
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If you start feeling a bumping on the tire up and down or vibration
And your tires are over three years old On tow vehicle
itís more than likely your belts
are starting to separate. glad your ok
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Old 09-20-2021, 08:34 PM   #3
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Continued....

We are back from Bristol and have some good internet now. I thought I could edit the first post, but did not see any way to do it.

One thing to add to my list is carry a good bottle jack with you. My 20 ton bottle jack worked great for getting the truck jacked up. Factory jacks are a joke.

Attached are pics of the tire I brought home along with a pic of the truck with the spare on. The first tire had the same split on the side wall, but did not come apart.
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Old 09-21-2021, 03:22 PM   #4
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Tire Chemistry

Almost all tires age similar to trailer tires. You could say trailer tires age just like tow vehicle tires. It is in the chemistry.
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Old 09-22-2021, 09:19 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffwelsh View Post
Yet another tire thread, but this one is for the tow vehicle. I have a 2014 Ford F250 SRW that I bought new in July 2014. I have used it almost exclusively to tow our 3605 Voltage. The truck has 30,000 miles on it and 20,000 of it was towing the camper. The truck sits inside next to the camper when its not being used. I had the original tires on which had about 50% of the tread left. The rear tires are always inflated to 80 PSI before towing.

On our last trip going from Cincinnati to Pigeon Forge we had 2 blowouts on the rear tires. The first I started feeling a vibration and thought I had a tire going down. No TPMS warnings. I pulled off and when I got below 45 the vibration stopped. The tires were all up and the tire temps were within 10 degrees of each other. So we continued on when I got back on I-75 south above 45, I started feeling the vibration again. I got over to the middle lane thinking maybe it was a pavement issue. Thats when the passenger tire blew. I was able to get over to the side of the interstate and get it changed. Not wanting to go with no spare, we found a used tire that was the right specs at the next exit. We had that mounted and went on. That tire was split in the side wall on both sides like the seam let go. Didn't think much of it when within about 50 miles, just south of Lexington the driver side tire blew. I got a little vibration that I was thinking that feels just like before the other side blew, but not nearly as much warning (about enough time to let off the gas) Same side wall split, except this also took out part of the tread and damaged the truck. See pics. I got the spare on again and found a Tire Discounters that was able to get us the same Michelin tires that came on the truck within a couple of hours, so I got 4 new ones and continued on. The manager and his senior tire tech thought the tires were defective and told me to take the old tire and report the DOT number. The date code is gone from that tire, but we looked that the remaining tires from the front and they were dated coded 45 week of 2013. with about 55% of the tread left. I had rotated the tires once.

So the question is to LT tires time out like trailer tires? Could these tire been defective?

Here are somethings that I learned that might help down the road.
1. Ford trucks have a special key to fit the spare tire carrier to get the tire down. Its an anti theft thing. If you can not find the key like me, (no idea what happened to the key). It can be popped out with some effort with a screw driver and channel locks. 2. Check your spare tire pressure periodically. Fortunately ours was at 76lbs. 3. I guess I'm going to replace the tires on the truck every 5 years unless these prove to be defective.

I'll post the pics when I get a better internet connection



Some things you may have learned.
1. Yes all tires can get old and suffer belt separations which many times occur because of pothole impacts.
2. Trailer tires and regular tires if made by a major tire company will have essentially the same rubber throughout the tire except the tread which is changed for traction and wear reasons
3. Multi-axle trailer tires have shorter life because of the Interply Shear forces. (google Interply shear RV tires) to learn more.
4. Recording the DOT and keeping the numbers with other important papers like a picture of the trailer Certification Label can save some grief later on
5. Vibration is an early warning sign of a possible belt separation
6 Some folks like to throw around the word "defect" but every tire I have seen in my 40 years as a tire engineer that had an actual defect came out of service early. Those using the word on a older tire for some reason can never point to and identify just what the defect was.



You didn't say what the scale tire load on the TV rear axle was or the tire size
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Old 09-22-2021, 09:22 PM   #6
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Major manufacturers generally produce quality tires that should not fail; however, there can be defects in the tire introduced during manufacture or misuse that causes a tire to fail prematurely. Tire defects such as delamination or sidewall bulging usually show up pretty early in their use life. As mentioned in a previous post multi-axle tires have additional stresses placed on the tires so expect them to wear faster.

Sounds like you read the max tire pressure on the side wall and inflated the tire to that pressure. That pressure is for a fully maxed out load; if you truck was not maxed out it might be that the tires were over inflated for the load you were carrying and they overheated. If you go on the fire manufacturer website and hunt around you will find charts of each tire model which will provide a chart that shows the correct tire pressure based upon the load placed on the tire.

As an example we pull a smaller 25' TT that weighs 4035 lbs and can carry a max load of 1550 lbs; we seldom carry that much weight - usually around 4700 lbs or 1175 lbs per tire, duel axel. Using the tire pressure chart for our tires it indicates that the correct tire pressure for that load is 57 psi whereas the max tire pressure is 65 psi. At 65 psi only a small section of the tread is on the pavement (center area due to bulging caused by the higher psi) whereas at 57 psi the full width of the tread is on the pavement. You want the full tread width on the pavement as that will reduce stress on the tire, the tire temperature, provide a smoother ride and provides the best traction. I have found that most tire dealers do not know this or know this and don't tell the buyer; they just inflate the tire to the max and send you on your way.

I always check both the TT and truck weight before departing on a trip and make sure the tire pressure is correct for both. I have never in over 30 years of RVing have had a tire fail on me. I do change them out when the tread depth gets to it's minimum.
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Old 09-22-2021, 11:55 PM   #7
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Age. Under inflation. The two most common causes of tire failure. Rarely does a quality tire fail if kept up properly.

Your tires were so old, I wouldn't have gone 2 feet with them. Sorry, but tires age due to the environment... Like UV.

For reference, I change my trailers (boat and RV) every 4 years. With the Arizona sun, I won't take a chance on them. My TV gets new feet every 60 to 70 k miles, which for me is about 4 to 5 years.
FWiW...
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Old 09-23-2021, 12:04 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kjlarson View Post
Major manufacturers generally produce quality tires that should not fail; however, there can be defects in the tire introduced during manufacture or misuse that causes a tire to fail prematurely. Tire defects such as delamination or sidewall bulging usually show up pretty early in their use life. As mentioned in a previous post multi-axle tires have additional stresses placed on the tires so expect them to wear faster.

Sounds like you read the max tire pressure on the side wall and inflated the tire to that pressure. That pressure is for a fully maxed out load; if you truck was not maxed out it might be that the tires were over inflated for the load you were carrying and they overheated. If you go on the fire manufacturer website and hunt around you will find charts of each tire model which will provide a chart that shows the correct tire pressure based upon the load placed on the tire.

As an example we pull a smaller 25' TT that weighs 4035 lbs and can carry a max load of 1550 lbs; we seldom carry that much weight - usually around 4700 lbs or 1175 lbs per tire, duel axel. Using the tire pressure chart for our tires it indicates that the correct tire pressure for that load is 57 psi whereas the max tire pressure is 65 psi. At 65 psi only a small section of the tread is on the pavement (center area due to bulging caused by the higher psi) whereas at 57 psi the full width of the tread is on the pavement. You want the full tread width on the pavement as that will reduce stress on the tire, the tire temperature, provide a smoother ride and provides the best traction. I have found that most tire dealers do not know this or know this and don't tell the buyer; they just inflate the tire to the max and send you on your way.

I always check both the TT and truck weight before departing on a trip and make sure the tire pressure is correct for both. I have never in over 30 years of RVing have had a tire fail on me. I do change them out when the tread depth gets to it's minimum.



Who ever told you that tires will overheat if overinflated is not an informed source. I am an actual tire design engineer and Expert in failed tire inspection.
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Retired Tire Design Engineer (40 years). I write a blog on RV tire applications www.RVTireSafety.NET and give seminars on RV tire application across the US. Serve on Technical Advisory Panel for FMCA. I am scheduled to give seminars on Genealogy and RV Tire Safety in March at Perry.
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Old 09-28-2021, 06:48 PM   #9
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Tire Size Weight

Tires are Michelin LTX AT/2 275/65 R20 Load Range E Max weight is 3525 per tire at 80 lbs. Pin weight on the Toy Hauler is 3000 lbs. I had a motorcycle in the back which weighs 900 lbs, so that might have reduced the pin weight slightly. The tires were inflated to 80 lbs cold checked the day before we left. Vibration indicates a belt or something was giving out. Just thought it was odd the tires gave up within 50 miles of each other. They had been rotated at least once front to back so the 20k of hauling the camper was not all on the rear set. The truck is kept inside, so UV is not an issue. The only time it is outside is when its being driven and with 30k miles, thats not a lot. The manager at tire discounters looked at the tires and said there was no evidence of dry rot or any evidence of overload. The thought the split where the side wall is bonded together. He insisted I take the tire and report it to the NHTSA, which I have done. There are 3 other complaints with that tire pulling 5th wheels. Fortunately there were no one was hurt and the truck can be repaired. I'm waiting on the estimate but looks like the side of the bed and wheel well are going to need to be replaced.

I have looked and really don't see any other tires in my size with a heavier weight rating. If anyone knows of any in my specific size, let me know, I'll put them on my list for next time. Probably about 2026.
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Old 09-28-2021, 09:12 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffwelsh View Post
Tires are Michelin LTX AT/2 275/65 R20 Load Range E Max weight is 3525 per tire at 80 lbs. Pin weight on the Toy Hauler is 3000 lbs. I had a motorcycle in the back which weighs 900 lbs, so that might have reduced the pin weight slightly. The tires were inflated to 80 lbs cold checked the day before we left. Vibration indicates a belt or something was giving out. Just thought it was odd the tires gave up within 50 miles of each other. They had been rotated at least once front to back so the 20k of hauling the camper was not all on the rear set. The truck is kept inside, so UV is not an issue. The only time it is outside is when its being driven and with 30k miles, thats not a lot. The manager at tire discounters looked at the tires and said there was no evidence of dry rot or any evidence of overload. The thought the split where the side wall is bonded together. He insisted I take the tire and report it to the NHTSA, which I have done. There are 3 other complaints with that tire pulling 5th wheels. Fortunately there were no one was hurt and the truck can be repaired. I'm waiting on the estimate but looks like the side of the bed and wheel well are going to need to be replaced.

I have looked and really don't see any other tires in my size with a heavier weight rating. If anyone knows of any in my specific size, let me know, I'll put them on my list for next time. Probably about 2026.

Well it would help if you could provide an actual scale weight with the toyhauler hooked up. Everyone with an RV should know that you need to get actual scale reading for each individual axle with the TT and TV fully loaded at the heaviest you ever expect to be.
The fact that there were other complaints is telling given that almost no one bothers to file complaints with NHTSA, so obviously there would be more tires failing probably due to overload.
What is the GAWR for F & R of the truck?
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