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Friday, November 17, 2017

When to replace tires? Can you drive on one "dual"?

Was reading a magazine aimed at motorhome owners and there was an item about a man that suffered a tire failure. It was one of his rear duals. The RV owner reported that he decided to drive to the nearest tire store where it was suggested that he replace all six tires. The tire dealer had to educate the RV owner about the life of tires in RV service being 10 years or less with many recommending that tires be replaced after six or seven years life.

The magazine did offer a brief explanation on how to "read" a tire DOT serial and learn it's age.

IMO the magazine missed an opportunity to further educate their readers with a warning of the damage that was probably being done to the mate of the tire that failed.

First off there is a good probability that the tire, being over 10 years old, failed from a belt/tread separation. We can't be sure, as the RV owner didn't have a TPMS, so we don't know if he could have avoided the problem of a "Blowout" or Run Low Flex Failure on the Interstate. We do know if there was a slow air loss, the tire that did not fail was being run with ever-increasing overload, for as the companion tire lost its air the load on that end of the axle was being transferred to the fully inflated tire.

In the tire industry, there are tables that provide information on how slow you need to drive as you increase the tire load above its normal load capacity.

Basically, you need to run no faster than 40 mph if you are running 107% of the rated load.
If you want to run 113% you can drive no faster than 30 and the max speed drops to 20 mph if the overload is +21%.

Since our RV owner was running at 200% load I would estimate that maximum speed he could travel without doing damage to the "good" tire to be no faster than 5 mph and even that is questionable as there are also distance limits for those conditions

If you have a tire failure, no matter the reason, you need to change out the failed tire and should not attempt to "limp" home on its companion. If you are concerned for your safety on the side of the road you need to be aware that driving over 5 mph means you need to have the companion tire also replaced. No matter its age. As always when changing tires in a dual position you must also match the pair as covered in THIS post.

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Friday, November 10, 2017

DId your RV company or dealer follow Federal law?

Been reading a number of posts on recalls, violations of federal safety standards in the RV industry and on tire and fire extinguisher recalls.
If you have been a reader of my blog you know that I am a strong proponent of filing complaints on failures of safety-related systems and of tires to NHTSA.

You can read a portion of the Federal Regulations on what RV companies are supposed to do HERE as far as the regulations relate to identifying who owns what tire in case there is a recall.
Obviously, if the S/N ( full DOT serial including the date numbers at the end) of a tire is not recorded when the tire is sold there is no reliable way for a tire company to contact owners of tires that are under a recall order.

Selling dealers have the following responsibility
"The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) requires that tire dealers must provide every tire purchaser with a pre-addressed completed tire registration form OR complete the tire registration process electronically on behalf of the tire purchaser (49 CFR Part 574.8). This is not voluntary, tire dealers must do one or the other"

When a vehicle is sold (car, light truck, or RV) the tires are "sold" with the vehicle. The regulation says "tire dealer" but obviously just because a company sells vehicles and doesn't think of themselves as a "tire dealer" they are in fact selling tires.

However, I have found that few people have received the appropriate forms. Did you receive a form with the purchase of your last set of tires at the tire store, or with the tires that were shipped to you if you bought them online?  How about when you bought a new or used RV?

You say you bought your RV used so you don't think the tire ownership needs to be registered? Well, I know of nothing prohibiting a tire being covered under a recall just because ownership was transferred. The entire reason for this registration is simply to let either NHTSA or the tire company contact the owner of tires covered by a recall. The information is not used for any other purpose.

IMO the odds are that very few of you received the pre-addressed form or if you did you may not have bothered to complete the information.

Well HERE is a website that you can fill in the information and submit it online and don't even need a stamp.

I started this post and mentioned Fire Extinguishers. If you have following the blog you know about the recall and free replacement of potentially defective extinguishers. You may have discovered you have one or more of the covered units. Unlike tires, fire extinguisher ownership is not registered so there will be millions of extinguishers that are not replaced simply because people do not know about the recall and Kiddy company has no way of contacting the owners.

Do yourself a favor and register all your tires RV, Car or truck. Who knows you may just end up with a new set of tires if the ones you have are covered under a recall.