Tires and safety

Discussion in 'Camper Manufacturers & Manuals' started by Mr. Bill, Sep 23, 2009.

  1. Mr. Bill

    Mr. Bill PUP-2002 Flagstaff 725D TV- 2004 Dodge Ram 1500

    Messages:
    621
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2009
    Location:
    Geneva, OH
    After experiencing 2 blowouts and doing some research, I want to let everyone know of an important safety item.

    Background:
    I purchased my PUP used from a friend. He owned it 7 years prior to selling to me. Never had any problems with the tires, no flats or anything.

    I had 2 blowouts in 2 separate trips. The tires were 7 years old (the spare as well).

    What I learned:

    My PUP is a Flagstaff 725D

    GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) 3,095 lbs.
    Base/Dry Unit Weight 2,581 lbs.
    Base/Dry Hitch Weight 375 lbs.
    Base/Dry Axle Weight 2,206 lbs.
    Cargo Capacity 514 lbs.
    Box Size 12'
    Trailer Size (Closed) - Includes Hitch 17' 11"
    Height (Closed) 61"
    Trailer Length (Open) 23' 6"
    Interior Height (Open) 6' 6'
    Travel Width 85"
    Tire Size 13" R
    Power Converter with Charger 25 AMPS

    The important values are:
    GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) 3,095 lbs.
    Base/Dry Unit Weight 2,581 lbs.
    Base/Dry Hitch Weight 375 lbs.
    Base/Dry Axle Weight 2,206 lbs.

    A gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) is the maximum allowable total weight of a road vehicle or trailer when loaded - i.e including the weight of the vehicle itself plus fuel, passengers, cargo, and trailer tongue weight.

    Dry Weight is the empty weight of the vehicle or trailer. Dry weight may or may not include the weight of appliances, slide outs, etc. In this case, according to the manufacturer, these weights do not include any options such as A/C, HotWater Tank, refer, or heater.

    The manufacturer recommended ST 175/80R-13 tires. And in fact it came with 3 Carlysle tires of this size. These tires have a rating of 1360 meaning that each tire can support up to 1360 pounds for a total weight of 2760.

    If you do the math you will quickly see:
    (Trailer dry weight - tongue weight) / 2
    (2581-375)/2=1103#'s or 81.1% maximum load of the tire. - Acceptable.


    (Trailer GVWR - tongue weight) /2
    (3095-375)/2=1360#'s or 100% of maximum load of the tire. - Unacceptable.

    My trailer as weighed on local scales
    ((trailer weight with accessories and < 300 pounds of cargo. No water in tanks) - tongue weight)/2
    (3380 - 400)/2=1490#'s or 109.5% of maximum load of the tire. - Very Unacceptable.

    After talking with the manufacturer (Flagstaff) after the second blowout and explaining the accessories included on the PUP I was assured that the tire I needed was ST 175/80R-13. I asked about putting a larger tire ST 185/80R-13 on since it had a higher load rating (1710*2=3420 or 87% of capacity) and was told that it may not fit on the slide out side.

    Why am I telling writing this?

    Before you purchase a PUP, you should insist on having the trailer weighed, as is, and include a fair estimate of cargo to ensure that the tires will support the load.

    Don't mean to hit you over the head, but this is a SAFETY issue.
     
  2. Aladin Sane

    Aladin Sane I'd rather be camping

    Messages:
    1,145
    Likes Received:
    170
    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2008
    Location:
    Iowa
    I also had a couple of blowouts when I first purchased my pup. To play it safe, I bought e load range radial tires for it this summer. I have not had any problems since.
     
  3. pianewman

    pianewman Ft. Worth, TX

    Messages:
    603
    Likes Received:
    2
    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2006
    Location:
    Arlington, VA
    Thanks for the analysis, Mr. Bill. This is the sort of info that should be up-front, on a stickie.

    I'm no genius, but the first thing I tried to do on my pup was replace the tires, with the next size larger. Ordered them, had them delivered to a tire shop in Denver, where I was picking up the pup.

    I attempted to change the tires in my Aunt's driveway. They wouldn't fit!! There's a support inside the wheelwell that was in the way of the larger tire.

    So, I just had to hope for the best, and I got lucky. Towed the new-to-me pup 2300 miles on old, scalloped tires, but they didn't blow. Replaced them with Marathon's (New Zealand made), and now, almost 30k miles later, they're still great!
     
  4. screwballl

    screwballl Stimulus Package

    Messages:
    642
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2009
    Location:
    FL
    one thing that was not mentioned is load range ratings (usually C and D for bias ply, or D and E for radial)
     
  5. theseus

    theseus Living the Darkside... Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    3,033
    Likes Received:
    574
    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2007
    Location:
    Centerville, OH
    Screwball is right! If you need a higher weight limits, you move up in load rating. You don't need to get a bigger tire, just a higher rated one. I always run on D rated tires. They are harder to find, but worth it in my opinion.
     
  6. Mr. Bill

    Mr. Bill PUP-2002 Flagstaff 725D TV- 2004 Dodge Ram 1500

    Messages:
    621
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2009
    Location:
    Geneva, OH
    Screwball and theseus Thanks for the input. You are correct and I should have mentioned that I have e-mails from the company that I should be using "C" load range. I even questioned them a couple of times on this. I should also mention that this was before I weighed the trailer.

    Once I weighed it and told them the weight and asked for recommendations again, they have stopped all replies to me.
    I have found a good site for tires that have a good load rating. http://www.northerntool.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/category_6970_124+771067 and . There, I found the tires that I am going to purchase after the winter (spent too much this year already). I am going to sell my tires in the spring) Martin Wheel High Speed 8-Ply Bias Trailer Tire & Assembly — ST175/80D13, White Modular, Model# DM175D3D-5MM for 99.99 but comes with the rim. They have a load rating of 1610. I have been told that Kenda makes a 175/80R-13 with a load rating of 1710, but they are not available in the US.
     
  7. Big_kid

    Big_kid Virginia Beach, VA

    Messages:
    2,210
    Likes Received:
    11
    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2008
    Mine had load range B on when I got it, I bought C just for that extra margin. It won't affect the suspension any, but I'll know the tires aren't the weak link. They also came from Northern Tool, brick and mortar store. The higher load range was only $3 per tire more, I couldn't see any reason to NOT upgrade.

    Thanks for the update & the honesty in your report!
     
  8. Popcycle

    Popcycle I thought you packed the flashlight!

    Messages:
    114
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2009
    Location:
    Modesto, CA
    My Fleetwood Saratoga has Loadstar ST185/80-13's rated at 1660 lbs. My trailers GVWR is 3500 lbs. I questioned the dealer and they stated because of the weight placed on the tongue the tire rating was sufficient. I loaded the trailer with my camping gear, plus 20 gallons of water and weighed the trailer. The trailer weighed in at 3320; 2900 on the axle, and 420 on the tongue. I was surprised by the tongue weight, but it explains the rear end sag on my TV. If you need a higher weight rating maybe this size tire will fit your trailer. I noted in Fleetwood/Coleman brochure that they specify this same tire for all their trailers rated at 3500 lbs.
     
  9. my3kids

    my3kids New Member

    Messages:
    48
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2008
    Just FYI, newer Loadstar tires of that size have slightly higher ratings now. 1710lbs instead of 1660. My current Loadstars on my 2007 Fleetwood Saratoga are rated at 1660lbs. I bought a 2nd spare (to carry in the TV) a few months ago and was surprised to find the increase in load rating.

    (I don't get the TV sag because I have self leveling rear air bags. Was a factory option with the factory tow package, its really nice.)

    (ST185/80-13 tires are not the easiest to locate when you're on a trip so I decided to be extra safe and carry a 2nd mounted spare in the TV. If/when I ever do a spring over then I'll go 14s which have way higher load limits.)

    That's all,
    Ray + lovely wife + our 3 kids
    07 Fleetwood Saratoga
    08 Nissan Armada
     
  10. Popcycle

    Popcycle I thought you packed the flashlight!

    Messages:
    114
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2009
    Location:
    Modesto, CA
    Hi my3kids,

    Did you buy your spare from a local dealer or online? The ones I found online were rated at 1660. Keeping an extra spare is a good idea. I have upgraded my TV with a weight distributing hitch and the sagging is cured. Thanks for the update on the Loadstar tires.
     
  11. turborich

    turborich Active Member

    Messages:
    1,908
    Likes Received:
    6
    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2010
    Location:
    Las Vegas, NV.
    To the original poster, I think the issue may be that your tires were 7 years old!!! Trailer tire manufacturers recommend replacing tires every 3-4 years MAX. I don't understand how people will place blame elsewhere when the truth is that it's there own fault. Your tires were 7 years old & should have been replaced twice! This is clearly a case of improper maintenance. Would you drive your car or truck on 7 year old tires? I sure wouldn't!

    I just checked the DOT date code on my recently purchased Jayco and the tires were from 2003! I instantly had them changed out for new tires. It doesn't matter what a trailer tire looks like, it's only meant to be in service for 3-4 years and about 12,000 miles max.
     

Share This Page