Two flats in 1/2 hour! - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-21-2014, 01:34 PM   #1
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Name: Myke
Trailer: Trail Mite
Washington
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Two flats in 1/2 hour!

The new axle+brakes came into the shop, so I was towing my '72 Trail Mite. Double-checked the tires and hitch before getting on the freeway. 1 mile later I noticed it tilting to one side. Pulled over on the side of I-90 and, sure enough, it was flat and destroyed. Jacked it up with my Subaru's scissor jack and put the spare on (which I had checked out and patched a couple weeks ago). 35 miles later, it's tilting again. Sure enough the spare was shredded.

At this point, I was out of tires and the Trail Mite was on an offramp median on I-5. It was 8am and most tire shops were closed. No towing company would attempt to tow it on a flatbed. I left the camper and drove about 6 miles to a Les Schwab. I was able to get a passenger tire for $60. Not ideal, but cheaper than towing and it would get me the 4 more miles to the shop.

Got it to the shop. They're replacing the axle, installing brakes and a brake controller on the Subaru. The rims are pretty darn rusted and the tires questionable, so I'm getting two new rims and tires as well. I'm going to get one more spare rim and put the passenger tire on that. Again, not ideal, but hopefully it would only be needed to get me to a tire shop in the event that I get another flat.

Luckily, I've held off on doing too much work on the cosmetic stuff until I can get this thing roadworthy. Planning a two week roadtrip in June/July and would rather get the flats near civilization rather than in the middle of Wyoming.

Below is the spare rim and shredded tire.
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2014-04-21 09.41.18.jpg  
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Old 04-21-2014, 01:48 PM   #2
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Name: Jon
Trailer: Burro
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Was the axle bent causing a serious toe in/out issue and build up of heat?
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Old 04-21-2014, 03:04 PM   #3
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Name: Bob
Trailer: 1973 Hunter Compact II
California
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And the dates codes on the failed tires said what?
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Old 04-21-2014, 05:22 PM   #4
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Name: RogerDat
Trailer: 77 Scamp 13
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Originally Posted by Bob Miller View Post
And the dates codes on the failed tires said what?
Good point. Tires deteriorate internally from age, and can do so without any outward signs of damage. At highway speeds they just fail. I would say beyond 5 years is getting "iffy". At around 7 years or so some tire stores won't even mount them to avoid liability.

A small independent shop might mount an older tire but the chain stores won't. Had a member post not that long ago that a chain tire store would not even put air in his tires because they were too old.
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Old 04-22-2014, 03:50 PM   #5
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Name: Myke
Trailer: Trail Mite
Washington
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The axle wasn't bent, but I was taking it into the shop to replace the axle anyway.

I didn't check the date codes on the tires. They were passanger tires which may have been part of the problem. The previous owner said they were a few years old. The rims were full of rust and needed to be replaced anyway so I just had them ordered with new tires.
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Old 04-22-2014, 04:19 PM   #6
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Name: RogerDat
Trailer: 77 Scamp 13
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That rim rust can be a problem, allows for slow leaks or lost pressure from hitting bumps. At speed tire can fail pretty fast from being under pressure.

Glad no one was hurt and no major damage, major hassle sounds like but at least trailer is OK. And on its way to being better, stronger, faster and more bionic too :-)
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Old 04-22-2014, 08:59 PM   #7
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Name: Wayne
Trailer: Nest fan, Airstream Sold
Ontario
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If you look closely you can see the tire is old. It is also a 82T which means it is rated for a speed of 118MPH and 1,050lbs when used on a car, slightly less if used on a trailer. What is the weight of your trailer?
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Old 04-24-2014, 10:36 AM   #8
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Name: Myke
Trailer: Trail Mite
Washington
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I'm not sure what the actual weight of the trailer is since I've never weighed it, but the previous owner said around 900lbs.

The rims and tires are all replaced. I've also got a new axle, brakes, brake controller and a much lighter wallet. Hopefully, I won't have to worry about many towing issues for a while
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Old 04-24-2014, 07:27 PM   #9
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Sounds like you are good to go.
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