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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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1 comment:

  1. Have a Coachmen Prism 24G that stored for 2 months this coldwinter and had the dailies on plastic leveling blocks.They left at normal nameplate pressure of 61psi. I discovered that the 2 outside dualies dropped to 27 and 35 while the insides were at 55psi.Root cause of 2 low ones was the TPMS sensors. Found that the last time I removed them apparently the valve stem valve had backed out as well causing slow leak.I know know to check tightness every time.My real question is did I do damage to the sidewalls of the 2 that went low? Hate to replace them as all tires are less than 4yrs old and original always kept rv stored indoors in heated garage so they look great.


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