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Old 05-20-2013, 10:36 AM   #1
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First Weekend out with our newly purchased 1997 285BHS J-co 5W - Blew a tire!

This past weekend was the first time we've towed our newly purchased 1997 285BHS Jayco Eagle 5th wheel to our Emerald Isle Beach spot. Everything was going great until a rear trailer tire suddenly blew out. My tow vehicle is a 2001 Chevy 2500HD 4x4 and the truck handled the 10K+ lbs, loaded out, very well thoughout the tow and even during the blow-out, it kept everything under control. It's the second time I've had to put a spare on to continue a first trip (previous Jayco 18F TT tire blew first trip) and the rest of the tow was tense to say the least. As it was, I was keeping a cautious eye on trans and engine temps and just listening to the truck and RV intently. The second the tire blew I felt the trailer lurch sideways and backward but everything instantly settled down and I gently braked and pulled off to find another blown made in China trailer tire. Luckily, the tire held together and caused no other collateral damage to the trailer (big releif). After spending 45-60 min on a steep shoulder changing the tire halfway in a ditch, we were on the road again and only going 40mph for the next 10 miles. No matter how many times this happens, I'm sure I'll be nervous afterwards...but we made it down to Emerald Isle just fine and 2 days the tow back to Raleigh was peaceful .
In closing, has anyone else experienced the made in China tire blow-out syndrome? To describe the tire failure, (should have taken pictures) it appeared as though the actual tread seperated from the steel belt layer and began peeling off just before the tire blew...and boy did it GO! Looked like a small explosion went off inside the tire and cut the tread and side wall nearly in two. Only the rim bead and a fraction of the side wall held it together long enough to stop. The tire brand was HI RUN...made in Beijing China. Anybody know of a more reliable tire brand, preferably made in North America?
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Old 05-20-2013, 11:59 AM   #2
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I've had one tire failure on a trailer, and didn't even know it until a passing motorist waved at me. I bought a TPMS to monitor tire temperatures and pressures and bought a set of Maxxis tires. I upgraded from load range "D" to "E" and am very satisfied with the Maxxis tires so far. I've got about 5000 miles on them now.
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Old 05-20-2013, 03:21 PM   #3
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Thanks for that response...I've been reading alot since I posted this topic. I too purchased a Maxxis load range E replacement for the China Bomb (internet joke name, but Hi-Run seems to have earned it) and just got lucky with Maxxis. By the summers end, I'll have all the Hi-Run tires removed from my RV. It's not worth the headache and potential collateral damage to the Jayco.
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Old 05-21-2013, 04:25 AM   #4
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I had one GY Marathon blow while sitting in the driveway over a winter, and another with a bulge ready to blow. Put a set of Maxxis E-range on to replace - very happy and no further problems- currently on second season. Maxxis are made in Thailand, but according to the company, the plant there is state of the art to US specifications. Don't think any ST trailer tires are made in US anymore.
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Old 05-21-2013, 09:46 AM   #5
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Yeah, I decided to go to online research school (so to speak) on trailer tires; went to many informational sites, other forums, tires sales sites and called tire stores....I can confirm that it does seem that ST trailer tires are no longer produced in the US, particularly when it comes to 15" rim sizes and maybe altogether. I can also confirm that the Maxxis ST tires DO get VERY GOOD ratings from RVers and trailer haulers in general. On the other hand, any tires made in China, unfortunately seem to be blow-outs or tread/sidewall seperations/failures waiting to happen. My other 3 (ST) HI RUN made in China tires will not be allowed to stay on the 5er much longer...long enough for me to order 3 more Maxxis load Es and get them swapped. So, I'm running through ideas on how to get all of my RV tires changed while we're using the RV....I assume you can't pull your 5th wheel to the tire store and say "here ya go!". I've never had to put an entire set on at once before...I'd like some advice on how to accomplish this. The tire store that has or can order the Maxxis tires and mount them, is near where we will be camping this coming weekend...we will be using the RV as well, so I guess my best bet is to put the RV on jack stands in the campground and take the wheels to the tire store??? Is it just me, or does that sound really Redneck? Any good advice from those of you who have done this or who have more creative/redneck ideas than I do...please chime in.
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Old 05-21-2013, 07:09 PM   #6
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I pulled into a Discount Tire shop and they changed out all 4 tires in less than an hour. Did it in the drive way with 2 floor jacks, one side at a time.
No problem
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Old 05-21-2013, 08:40 PM   #7
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We are fulltimers and replace the tires all at one time at our local Firestone store- They jack up one side at a time to replace the tires- JMHO- DD
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Old 05-22-2013, 07:29 AM   #8
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Thanks for both of the replies about getting the set changed. I called ahead to the tire store (Firestone) and ordered the tires and asked if they could change them at their store. They said yes and just as you guys described...one side at a time with a large floor jack outside. So, the other 3 will be replaced this coming Friday. All the new tires will be Maxxis load range E whereas the current trash tires are load range D. I haven't checked my loaded trailer weight but I'd have to estimate it like this: 9800 lbs-empty/dry, so add roughly 100#s of propane 30# battery, bikes, loaded fridge, chairs, hoses and well all the misc. cargo...I'd say we're hauling 10,500 - 11,000. Going with worst case and not assuming any weight support by the truck hitch (not realistic but worst case), each ST tire needs a load capacity of: 11,000/4= 2,750 lbs. Let's stop right there...the D range tires only had approx. 2600 lbs capacity; either overloaded or too close to max to be safe when you consider the shared hitch weight...right? So, with the E range tires, the max is a more comfortable 2,830 lbs. I'm gonna keep my fingers and toes crossed to tow the 140 miles without a tire failure until they are changed. Do any of you 5ers have an idea of what percentage of the load the TV carries? My 3/4 ton truck rear axle springs barely drop 1.5" when I hitch-up the Eagle. Doesn't seem like much...
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Old 05-22-2013, 07:47 AM   #9
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I did some quick math on the estimated hitch load...should be 18-20% of the loaded trailer or 2000 - 2200 lbs. That sounds like enough weight to really sink the rear axle springs more than 1.5" but not the case...anybody got real scale numbers? That definitely eases my mind about the haul to get new tires...the D range load capacity should be adequate but still going to the Es for new tires. More is better in this case!
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Old 06-06-2013, 08:53 PM   #10
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One thing to be aware of is the date of manufacture on the tires. It is required where ever they are made. We had a Class C motor home that blew an inside rear tire on the state line between Utah and Colorado, also known as middle of nowhere. Then after spending about six hours in the middle of the desert waiting for someone to change out the spare, we stopped in the next town and had to settle for a used tire. That one lasted till Missouri and was also fairly old. This blow out also took out my wheel well and fresh water tank.

After learning a little more about tires, I found that our tires were about 6-7 years old. I will never keep any trailer tires longer than 5 years, even if they only have a few thousand miles on them. The last time I went to buy tires for the motor home, the dealer tried to install tiles that were already a year and a half old. I rejected the tires and they reordered and got tires that were less than six months old. I also went up a couple of grades ranges (C to E). Although the motor home is gone, I still use the 5-year rule and insist on fresh tires and will not use less than D-range.

My brother-in-law pulls an overloaded fifth wheel. Every trip, even if it only a couple of hundred miles, he would blow at least one tire. He upgraded to E-range before a 7K mile trip last summer. Didn't blow a single tire, but did blow up the truck.

Tires rules I live by:

Check the manufacture dates on the tires before they are installed and insist on recent (less than six months old) manufacture. The manufacture date is usually a 4-digit number to the right of the DOT stamp. The first two digits are the week of manufacture and the second two digits the year (0409 means fourth week of 2009), use as high a grade range as possible, D or E, don't roll on tires more than five years old and don't overload.
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