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Thread: Trailer tires

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    Jshyp2232's Avatar
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    Trailer tires

    On my 2012 seadoo move trailer my tires are bald in the middle but still have plenty of tread on the sides. Is a person able to re-align the axle or am I using to much air? I have 40 psi in each and it says max is 60psi. Or do I need to buy new tires every 6 years. I put on between 700 and 1000 miles each summer.Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2
    Click avatar for tech links/info K447's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jshyp2232 View Post
    On my 2012 seadoo move trailer my tires are bald in the middle but still have plenty of tread on the sides. Is a person able to re-align the axle or am I using to much air? I have 40 psi in each and it says max is 60psi. Or do I need to buy new tires every 6 years. I put on between 700 and 1000 miles each summer.
    From a safety perspective replacing your trailer tires after six years is a good thing. The absolute maximum lifespan for ST trailer tires is seven years, based on the sidewall date code. This is per the RV and trailer tire industry, as most trailer tires degrade from age and exposure rather than tire wear.

    By the time a trailer tire is near 7 years old the rubber has typically dried out and the entire tire is more fragile.

    I replace my own trailer tires after five years.

    Note: The spare tire is the most at risk of age and exposure degradation since it is never rolling down the road. When the tire is in use and the tire rotation is flexing the rubber, that helps distribute the oils inside the rubber material and maintain some pliability. When the spare tire is just sitting, the layers of rubber dry out more quickly than the road tires.

    So a spare that 'looks new' can actually be rather brittle inside the rubber layers. I blew out a spare tire at speed after moving it to a road position. It had been a spare for five years and I thought I should 'get some use out of it' before buying all new tires. Lasted maybe 500 miles before coming apart in seconds, at highway speed.

    If you have a spare tire, buy three new tires, discard the old tires and carry on. Your tire wear pattern looks normal enough for six years of use (assuming the other tire looks similar). Not seeing a reason to suspect alignment or bent axle.

    I would not be reducing tire presure in an attempt to 'even out' the tread wear. Trailer tires need air pressure to resist damage on potholes, curb strikes and other road abuse. The air pressure also limits the heat generated at speed.

    The general rule is to inflate to the tire sidewall rated maximum air pressure. UNLESS the trailer manufacturer recommends a different air pressure for your tire size on that model trailer.

    I towed about 4000 miles last summer.

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    It does look like an alignment issue, but K447 is right, they are worn out and too old, replace them now. While middle wear is usually indicative of overinflation, I don't think that is the case here, underinflation combined with poor alignment or camber can cause scrub wear.

    The trailer for my Malibu tournament ski boat came new with Carlisle brand tires. When the boat was 4 years old, I moved from San Diego to Indiana, and crossed Arizona in the middle of summer with the boat. One of the 4 tires came apart, and when I stopped to change it, I was horrified to discover that the other 3 tires were coming apart as well. (they only had maybe 1,000 miles on them and looked almost new) Luckily, when I pulled over, right in front of me was a billboard with a tire dealer at the next exit only a half mile down the road. I pulled into the dealer, walked in and said I needed 4 new trailer tires, guy looks up, grins and says "must have Carlisle tires on that trailer!" He had a huge inventory of that size trailer tire, says he replaces them every day. Of course, it was like 115 degrees out, but that is no excuse. As I was waiting, I walked down to an Arbys, and when I was standing on the corner waiting to cross the road, I realized where I was and called my wife. She says "where are you?" and I happily told her I was "standing on a corner in Winslow Arizona".

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    Click avatar for tech links/info K447's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sea Dood View Post
    It does look like an alignment issue, but K447 is right, they are worn out and too old, replace them now. While middle wear is usually indicative of overinflation, I don't think that is the case here, underinflation combined with poor alignment or camber can cause scrub wear.

    ...
    Looking at the tire photo more closely, the tread wear does seem to be more to the inside than centered. That could be indicative of an axle camber problem, but since the tires were under inflated at 40 PSI rather than the max 60 on the side wall, it is hard to say.

    My suggestion is to install new tires, inflate them to the sidewall rated pressure of 60 PSI (make sure the new tire load rating meets the trailer model and weight requirements).

    Then monitor the tread wear pattern over the next summer. If the tire is wearing evenly across the center area of the tread then it is probably fine, especially if both tires are showing the same center wear pattern.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sea Dood View Post
    As I was waiting, I walked down to an Arbys, and when I was standing on the corner waiting to cross the road, I realized where I was and called my wife. She says "where are you?" and I happily told her I was "standing on a corner in Winslow Arizona".
    Ha! That's a good one!

    Jshyp2232, I think your tires were over-inflated. I always run my tires at max pressure, but in your case I think one of two things happened. Either your gauge is reading significantly low, or your SeaDoo is light weight for the tires and nowhere near the load rating for the tires. Have you considered trying radial tires?

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    Click avatar for tech links/info K447's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by steve45 View Post
    ...

    Jshyp2232, I think your tires were over-inflated. ... or your SeaDoo is light weight for the tires and nowhere near the load rating for the tires...
    It is OK for a trailer to run with much less than rated load, or even empty. There is no recommendation to reduce trailer tire air pressure when the trailer is running with less weight.

    Those worn tires are six years old and were persistently run significantly under inflated, presuming the OPís tire pressure gauge is anywhere close to accurate.

    What has not been mentioned is what speeds the trailer was towed at. Low air pressure combined with highway speeds can create heat which exacerbates tire aging and perhaps wear.

    My recommendation is to install good quality new tires of the correct weight rating, properly inflated, and then monitor the wear pattern going forward. If there is a problem with trailer axle alignment or camber it can be addressed as soon as the tires wear provides a clear indication.

    If there is no unusual wear on the new tires then just carry on.

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    Camber won't cause wear in the center of the tread. Overinflation causes that.

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    Click avatar for tech links/info K447's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by steve45 View Post
    Camber won't cause wear in the center of the tread.

    Overinflation causes that.
    The tread wear shown in the photo is not quite centered. The wear seems biased towards the inside, at least a little.

    Trailer tires are different from car/truck tires. One of the differences is that some trailer tires have a mild dome shape to the tire casing and tread. The tread in the center is higher. When rolling down the road the center wears a little more than the outside, even when properly inflated and loaded.

    In this case the tire was not properly inflated and may or may not have been carrying near full rated load (for the tire). I do not know what kind of tread shape it had when the tire was new, but if it was domed then the wear pattern it has now seems reasonable.

    Questions for OP: What brand, model and load rate specification are the worn out tires?

    Do you know if they were original to the trailer?


    https://www.lesschwab.com/article/tr...questions.html

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    Jshyp2232's Avatar
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    Yes they are orginal tires. I am unable to tell what brand they are it looks like wd on the wall. They are a 4.80x12 h188. Max load is 780lbs at 60 psi and they are load range b. They did have a dome shape to them, it's noticeable on my spare.

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    I sell tires for a living guys. Yes too much air, the max of 60PSI is for the tire but it may not actually need that much to carry your load. The trailer should have a recommendation for air pressure, i’d put a few extra psi (2-3PSI) in it because more is better then less. Yes new every 7 years is about right, they will crack from Ozone exposure, keep them out of the sun and that will help.

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