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SUBJECT: # 13523: How often would you replace trailer tires?

Submitted by ZX-Bama14918 from ALABAMA on 3/30/2011 9:12:00 AM

My rig is going on about 5 years old. The trailer tires look fine, but I am a little concerned about the age. Does anyone replace tires after a set time, even if no visible cracking or wear can be seen?


  1. 3/30/2011 9:22:00 AM Submitted by Harumph #11038 from OH says It depends...
    How far do you tow? How fast?

    Check your valve stems very closely. Even if the tred is fine those spots can dry rot and bite ya.

    Are you FULLY prepaired to deal with a tire change/blowout if it occurs? Got a good jack, a good spare? Do you have the key that allows you to remove your hubs and get at the lugs?

    Have you broken your lugs free at any point in the last 5yrs and re-tightened them?

    Now is the time to find these things now. Not when you are laying on your back on pavement/dirt side of the road at 3AM heading to the lake and strip one of the lugs.

    For piece of mind I would have them checked at least. Also have your hubs looked at if they haven't been checked in a while.


  2. 3/30/2011 4:58:00 PM Submitted by Skipper from KY says It really depends
    If I'm using a trailer local (no farther than 20 miles from the house) I'll run them till they are gone. If I'm pulling long distances 3 to 5 years depending on the tire, the load, and wear.

    Generally, a tandem will wear faster than a single axle because when you turn a tandem you have to scoot an axle unlike a single. However, loosing a tire to a blowout is more critical on a single axle than a tandem unless it wraps up the other wheel in the process. Also 50 PSI in those tires + summer heat may build them up to 65 to 70 psi. If they blow, they will tear up a fiberglass fender and whatever else is close. The lighter your tow vehicle v's the weight of the boat also makes a blowout on a trailer tire more dangerous. I popped one last summer on a 100 mile trip and didn't feel it in the truck other than the floorboard started vibrating. Had I been towing with an Equinox or some such it might have well wrecked me. The 3/4 ton truck didn't much feel it.

    Basically, if you are asking about tires, it's probably that time.


  3. 3/30/2011 9:35:00 PM Submitted by Tomcat #11840 from KY says Personal experience.....
    I had Marathons on my trailer towing a 19' bass boat. Even though the tires were several years old, they didn't have many miles on them, looked great, and I even had them taken off the rim and checked before a 200 mile trip to Ky. Lake. Garage kept. About 25 miles out on the interstate I noticed a slight bump, then smoothed out. Then my buddy ahead of me radioed he had to stop for some diesel fuel, so we pulled off into a station. As usual, at a stop, I always check my hubs, etc. I then noticed all the tread on one tire was gone, riding on the steel belt. Fender was mangled. So on with the spare. In doing so, I noticed the wheel wouldn't turn. Surge brakes locked up. So I dismantled the brakes, checked the bearings, and mounted the spare. Ready to go? I checked the other tire, and the tread was ready to separate also. So I mounted my buddy's spare (same size) and headed to nearest town for new tires. Went fishing. Thank God for my buddy needing fuel, or I would have gone down the interstate and a bad probable accident. So two new tires, all new brakes and ruptured brakeline, major fender repair, I'm back in business. Moral is: one too many trips on questionable tires, even if they look OK. Don't take the chance. Like Skipper said, if you're questioning, replace them. (Same goes for bearings). Sorry for the long post, but might save a life.


  4. 4/1/2011 9:54:00 AM Submitted by MikeF from FL says inspect them annually
    I inspect my tires once a year and especially check the valve stems. If they show signs of aging I replace them. The tires can be treated with a UV protector like 303. If you're towing a long way you really should stop after the first fifty miles and recheck the tires.


  5. 4/2/2011 4:20:00 PM Submitted by fishsmart #10374 from TX says Tire Life
    Keep the tires inflated at the mfg specs and check them for tread wear patterns. Uneven tread wear may mean a bent axle or under inflation.

    Charles


  6. 4/2/2011 10:10:00 PM Submitted by Beartrap from GA says if passenger car tires had same failure rate as trailer tires
    people would be lined up suing them and there would be hell to pay.....I've said for years that marathons are a cheap trailer tire...made to minimum specifications required to be labeled a trailer tire and overpriced....had trouble with almost every one i had for several years...uneven tread wear and there would be nothing wrong with my trailer...switched to passenger car tires years ago and haven't any problems...cost 2/3's as much,last longer and you don't have worry about ply separation or tread flying off them when they get 2-3 years old....I can assure you the tires you put on your pick-up are much better than what you are putting on your trailer...put another way,if you had the same problems and tire life with your truck tires-would you buy any more of that brand...

    Beartrap


  7. 4/3/2011 9:32:00 AM Submitted by clayslayer from AL says trailer tires
    most trailer tires (especially on boat trailers) carry near their max rated weight all the time...at least on most single-axle trailers. The vast majority of car/truck tires might be carrying half their capacity so of course there will be a difference in failure rate...of course that's not to say that trailer tire manufacturers shouldn't realize this and come up with a better design! My dad has had a set of marathons on his utility trailer for ~6 years without trouble but they're usually only carrying ~1/2 their capacity, if that. I don't know that I'd put any modern Good Years on any vehicle or trailer I own. I've had two sets in the past ~5 years (one I bought & one that came on a truck I bought) and both performed like crap after ~50% worn to the point they were just downright dangerous in the rain. If only Bridgestone, Michelin/BFG, or Cooper would make trailer tires... I see a lot of people just going to 15"-16" wheels and LT tires...


  8. 4/3/2011 9:57:00 PM Submitted by jbz7 #13144 from MA says Marathons
    Personally i have never had a marathon tire fail that wasn't caused buy some outside influence like a nail or road debris. I have run them on my last 4 trailers and my last set went the entire 8 years i owned the boat without ever being changed. I put some miles on them towing(i do 300+ mile trips three times monthly on average during the fishing season plus local trips all the time) so they get used. I just make sure i keep them inflated properly( as in i check them every trip) and thats it. I guess i'm just lucky.....

    I not sure i would want to run a car tire on a single axle like mine.


  9. 4/4/2011 4:46:00 PM Submitted by Jmac #10965 from AR says I have had the same experience as jbz7, never a problem......
    with the Marathons. I always thought that they had heavier sidewalls. Also, Ranger has always had the reputation of building quality trailers and they have used them for years. I have never heard any complaints except on this board. BTW, I am not saying that they are not valid complaints.


  10. 4/6/2011 1:31:00 PM Submitted by Fish On #15267 from TX says Ozone Deteriation
    Do to ozone deteriation, I wouldn't go more than 5-6 years on a set of tire's that's carrying an expensive boat.

    Fish On


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