Blue_5280

Member
Apr 5, 2020
29
Colorado
I was driving our 2013 Starcraft Starflyer 8 through Leadville Colorado the other day when our passenger side tire on the camper exploded and was smoking riding on the rim. I checked the pressure before heading to go camping. We did some lite offroading the day before with it. The whole sidewall was shredded. The tire shows you need 80 PSI cold at 1045 lbs load.

Could it have been a rock a while back before turning onto the paved road? I should have felt it or heard it way before we go to speed...

upload_2020-7-26_8-51-57.png upload_2020-7-26_8-52-19.png
 

Anthony Hitchings

Super Active Member
Silver Supporting Member
Mar 2, 2019
3,947
Oakland, California
well, here we go again - there are more opinions on the causes of blowouts than fleas on a stray dog.

IMO - it falls in the "s_t happens" category.

On a side note - I once slammed my Miata front end into a curb while doing a U-turn - there was a heck of a bang from the front end - I thought that I had bust the AC system and lost pressure. Nope - I burst the tire's sidewall.
 

kitphantom

Super Active Member
Platinum Supporting Member
Dec 26, 2009
13,934
Albuquerque, NM
How old? Brand? have you kept to the speed limit on the tires? How much did you do after the unpaved road before it went? (Friends had a flat on their vehicle years ago, on the road from Chaco, they didn't notice until they got to pavement. Could be more harder to notice on the trailer.)
 

kcsa75

Super Active Member
Gold Supporting Member
Sep 9, 2013
5,931
Kansas City
How old are the tires? How fast were you going?

On a couple other RV forums I follow, tires are a popular topic. The prevailing opinion is that any tire not made is the USA (China bombs) are complete junk and should be replaced no matter condition.

I tend to think that the most important things with tires is making sure they are proper inflation and keeping speed down. While there are exceptions, most trailer tires are rated for 65MPH max. Yet you still see people towing trailers 75 or 80 MPH. Just because you can doesn't make it a good idea.

Having said that trailer tires tend to rot before they wear out. The general rule is that the life of a trailer tires is about five years, regardless of remaining tread.
 

Blue_5280

Member
Apr 5, 2020
29
Colorado
How old? Brand? have you kept to the speed limit on the tires? How much did you do after the unpaved road before it went? (Friends had a flat on their vehicle years ago, on the road from Chaco, they didn't notice until they got to pavement. Could be more harder to notice on the trailer.)
I don't know the brand, just says h188. original tires from the trailer I assume - since the last owners never used it more than a few times. I drive an outback at high altitude so I was for sure going the speed limit or below. We did about 20 miles of off-roading the day before, we have done way more before and never had an issue. Not sure if its something to do with the weather, I saw about 3 - 5 other RVs and cars with blowouts between Leadville and Idaho Springs. We had a Low-Pressure system just sitting over the mountains with lots of rain and low settling clouds at 10,000 ft.
 

Sneezer

Super Active Member
Aug 8, 2015
3,076
DFW, TX
If they were original they are really too old and should have been replaced. I think the industry says 10 years but reality is closer to 5. Sidewalls decay with age due to UV and just sitting there. If you have the trailer overloaded they fail. If you drive too fast they fail. If you don’t have the correct pressure they fail. If you loook at them funny they fail.

I have had a number of blowouts on mine. The first were because I was stupid, 2nd trip after I got it and I didn’t bother putting new tires on it or checking the date, just took the PO word for it. Blew one out on the way to camp, blew the other on the way back. Screwed up when I bought replacements and accidentally got bias ply tires. One of them developed a bubble, so I had another tire change on the side of the road the following year. Put radials on and will see how well they do. I have been meaning to get a low pressure/temp monitoring system as well, hopefully that will give me some early warning signs.
 

SteveP

Super Active Member
May 21, 2015
2,648
Both times I've had blowouts I pulled out of the driveway saying "I should get new tires when we get back." I figure the tires were overly sensitive, started sulking about rejection and just let it roll around until they blew it. That's the problem with tires, you keep them around too long and they start feeling entitled and likely to blow up at the least perceived slight.
 

Sjm9911

Super Active Member
May 31, 2018
12,454
Nj
How old are the tires? How fast were you going?

On a couple other RV forums I follow, tires are a popular topic. The prevailing opinion is that any tire not made is the USA (China bombs) are complete junk and should be replaced no matter condition.

I tend to think that the most important things with tires is making sure they are proper inflation and keeping speed down. While there are exceptions, most trailer tires are rated for 65MPH max. Yet you still see people towing trailers 75 or 80 MPH. Just because you can doesn't make it a good idea.

Having said that trailer tires tend to rot before they wear out. The general rule is that the life of a trailer tires is about five years, regardless of remaining tread.
On the pup tires , there are not any made in the USA in the smaller sizes. I looked, that could have changed, but if it did maybe one brand.

Ok , so it could be underinflayed, age, small leak, bearings, grease, speed etc. Really who knows. I do know this, last trip i picked up a screw at the campsite. Tire was low on air, but i would have never been able to tell by eye. If i didnt see the screw sticking out of it i would have drove it home that way. Then it would have heated up because of the lack or air. And then it would have went boom. So , many reasons, as was said chaulk it up to crap happens and chwck you tires, age, pressure, keep the speed below the rating, and make sure the hubs are lubed. This is to make sure the crap that happens isnt your fault!
 

bupkis

Howdy!
Mar 3, 2006
7,954
N. TX
the waxes in the rubber do little when the tire is sitting still. Trailers sit still and weather leading to side wall cracking.
 

xxxapache

Super Active Member
Jul 30, 2008
4,558
I have had a blowout on a year old old trailer tire, right after checking the pressure and less than 10 minutes on the road. My last blowout was with a tire 15 years old....Sometimes, it just happens.

The best peace of mind TT towing money I have spent is trailer TPMS.
 

durhamcamper

Super Active Member
Apr 21, 2010
755
Pickering, Ontario
If they were original they are really too old and should have been replaced. I think the industry says 10 years but reality is closer to 5. Sidewalls decay with age due to UV and just sitting there. If you have the trailer overloaded they fail. If you drive too fast they fail. If you don’t have the correct pressure they fail. If you loook at them funny they fail.

I have had a number of blowouts on mine. The first were because I was stupid, 2nd trip after I got it and I didn’t bother putting new tires on it or checking the date, just took the PO word for it. Blew one out on the way to camp, blew the other on the way back. Screwed up when I bought replacements and accidentally got bias ply tires. One of them developed a bubble, so I had another tire change on the side of the road the following year. Put radials on and will see how well they do. I have been meaning to get a low pressure/temp monitoring system as well, hopefully that will give me some early warning signs.

This is something that I have often wondered about. Lots of info about bias ply vs radials for trailering and I see good and bad in either choice. My trailer came from the factory with bias ply so I stick with bias ply. I even replace them with the same brand of tire. (Fleetwood/Coleman came with Kenda 185/80D13 bias plys and never had a problem. I check pressures and such regularly).
My previous Dutchmen pup had 12" tires and I always used Carlisle bias plys with great success. Once again, I never have had a blowout with either trailer. (hope I didn't just jinx myself lol)
 

tenttrailer

Art & Joyce - Columbus, O
Jul 18, 2013
3,790
Thornville, OH
Your second photo shows a wear spot on the sidewall down to the core. I'm thinking your tire air was low. Maybe it deflated in your drive, but I would expect you wore the sidewall down until blew out???
 

Blue_5280

Member
Apr 5, 2020
29
Colorado
Is there anything that would fit for a 5.30 x 12 C suitable for lite off-road driving and various weather around Colorado? No snow driving, just rocks, and forest roads.
 

Woodfaerie

Member
Oct 28, 2018
21
Green hills of CT
Am I embarrassed to ask this? yup. I am a non mechanically gifted 60 year old lady who loves her 87 Starcraft popup. My BAL leveler seem to be pinching my tires which are 12". I would rather not have to jimmy rig one more thing by putting some wood there. I would like to get 14" tires. Can I move up in size if the camper came with 12 tires?
 

Sjm9911

Super Active Member
May 31, 2018
12,454
Nj
Bias tires are better for unpaved roads, but they may also get hotter on paved roads and not track as straight. Look up bias vs radial tires.
 

WrkrBee

Super Active Member
May 23, 2018
6,544
South Carolina
Am I embarrassed to ask this? yup. I am a non mechanically gifted 60 year old lady who loves her 87 Starcraft popup. My BAL leveler seem to be pinching my tires which are 12". I would rather not have to jimmy rig one more thing by putting some wood there. I would like to get 14" tires. Can I move up in size if the camper came with 12 tires?
Depends on if you have enough room in the wheel well for the larger tire and can find 14" rims with the same bolt pattern as the 12" rim.
 




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