Florida to New York aka check those tires

Discussion in 'Let me tell you about my trip' started by mtmdc2, Sep 12, 2015.

  1. mtmdc2

    mtmdc2 New Member

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    We took our first long distance PUP trip last week to spend Labor Day weekend at Letchworth State Park outside of Geneseo, NY. It was a two fold trip, my wife's family was having a family reunion Saturday September 5th and we were going to camp while visiting. It was about a 1200 mile trip each way. We thought we were ready. We'd done a short trip before. We had checked wheel bearings and the tires on our 2008 Flagstaff 228D looked brand new hardly any wear on them. Oh how I wished I knew as much then about trailer tires as I do now....

    We left Seminole on Wedesday night. We made it as far as Ocala before we had our first blowout around midnight. The tire literally exploded. We were on the rim by the time I could get over to the right DOT lane. We had a spare and changed it. We laughed and thought this was our one problem for the trip. We stopped at Walmart and picked up a new spare. Thank God Walmart is open 24 hours! Even better they sell trailer tires on the rim and ready to go. Our 175/80R13 tires were $95.

    By the time we made the outskirts of Jacksonville the PUP was bouncing up and down causing one hell of a bumping in our vehicle. We stopped and found the spare we had put on to replace the blown tire was out of round. It had a hernia! We put the Walmart replacement spare on and removed the herniated tire. We needed another Walmart and found one ASAP. We knew the tires that came with our used PUP had gone bad.

    We made it into South Carolina before the last of the original tires blew out. Another Walmart later and we had 3 new trailer tires.

    Let all PUP owners learn from our painful experience.... Trailer tires (bias ply trailer tires) are good for 3-5 years MAX! They may look perfect but on the inside they are falling apart after 3-5 years. Oxidation and UV light break the tires down. They ply's (plies?) separate and the tire tears apart at speed. Also, those tires are only good for 65mph MAX! Our tires were probably original to the trailer so they were probably manufactured in 2007. Always check those production date codes on the tires when you buy a used PUP.

    The rest of our trip went fine. No other issues.

    I think we'll stick with these tires for 3 years and then we're changing to radial trailer tires.
     
  2. generok

    generok Well-Known Member

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    On the bright side, you got 100% use out of the old tires. You didn't throw any usable miles in the dump.

    Two blowouts in one trip and yet you and those around you lived to tell the tale... kudos for your level headed handling of this issue. Inconvenient and frustrating, to be sure, but glad to see you still pressed on and got the mission completed.

    Your tale reminds me that I want to get a better spare for my rig before next summer.
     
  3. mtmdc2

    mtmdc2 New Member

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    I just wanted to share my hard lesson so others can learn from it!

    I am actually considering buying a second spare for the PUP just in case.... Probably overkill but once burned, twice shy.
     
  4. Ductape

    Ductape Well-Known Member

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    Honestly, I would have two spares for a trip that far. Cheap insurance.
     
  5. Snow

    Snow Well-Known Member

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    Also make sure to check your tire pressure before starting each trip and keep them topped up to the max pressure listed on the tires sidewall ..
     
  6. mtmdc2

    mtmdc2 New Member

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    I had checked the tire pressure and they were properly inflated before departure.

    A second spare would be cheap insurance especially on a long trip like that one. We have no plans for such a long trip in the future yet but if we go farther than North Carolina, I'll have a 2nd spare on board.

    I will stick with these current bias ply trailer tires (STR 175/80R13 Carlisle) I got from Walmart for 3 years but after that I will upgrade to radials. All the research I've done convinces me radials are the way to go. Their advantages way out do the bias ply tire advanages!

    I still want to say great things about Walmart. People love to talk a lot of smack about Walmart but they do carry mounted trailer tires already on the rim inflated and ready to go. That was a lifesaver for me and my family and may help someone else out in the future too. We would've been stuck on I-75 or US 301 at 0100 waiting for some tire store to open in the morning so we could get replacement tires. Thanks to Walmart we could continue the trip with minimal interrruption.
     
  7. Snow

    Snow Well-Known Member

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    Not saying don't get radials nor getting into which is best, but radials only have a life of the same 3-5 years ..
     
  8. mtmdc2

    mtmdc2 New Member

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    From what I've read they're good for 6+ years and are way less likely to suffer the oxidation and UV breakdown that cause the bias ply tires to have such a short lifespan. Additionally, people in posts I've read seem to prefer the ride characteristics of radials on their PUP. They mentioned less bouncing, less "porpoising" and less sway with radials vs bias ply. So I'm gonna try radials next time and see if they are right.
     

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