Bias Ply Tire Life? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-07-2014, 04:51 PM   #1
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Bias Ply Tire Life?

Wondering if anyone has any estimates for tire life of bias ply tires on our eggs?

They don't seem to fail with the same violence as radials when they age, but I know "in the old days" 10,000-12,000mi seemed to be their full tread life when used on motor vehicles, but I don't have a reference for their tread life on our trailers.

Since my Casita probably only accumulated 25,000mi over the 8 years I've had it, and will likely accumulate less now that we have a 5th for non-solo use, they may be a good alternative from a safety/cost/age standpoint since I can buy new 205X15" tires (1820lb capacity) mounted on new white-spoke wheels for $75ea after 10% discount.

That's half of what a new Kuhmo 14" costs w/o a wheel.

And yes, they are doubtless Chinese.

Bob.
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Old 03-07-2014, 04:56 PM   #2
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Bob, many of us have found that the estimated tire life of bias ply or radial tires on a trailer is about 4 years - regardless of how many or few miles are on them.
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Old 03-07-2014, 05:11 PM   #3
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I understand, but I was wondering how many MILES bias ply tires will last before their tread is worn down.

I do comprehend years, but my odometer is calibrated in miles.

I am OK changing at whichever comes first, but I won't buy a set until I know the likely numbers for both.

Four years is a useless number if I wear out a set well before that if the cost-per-mile for radials ends up lower over the period in question.

Unfortunately I've had several catastrophic failures of radials (tread shed completely (at about 4 1/2 years and 10% tread wear), costing thousands in damages to my RV). This was on my 5th wheel, but Casitas seem to destroy ST radial tires after 4/5 years as well.

I'm "OK" with flats, bulges, blisters, and even bulges, but when a 4ft tread weighing 15 or 20 pounds flies off, I am not happy, and either is my trailer.

My understanding is that bias ply tires are less likely to fail that way.
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Old 03-07-2014, 05:25 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carol H View Post
Bob, many of us have found that the estimated tire life of bias ply or radial tires on a trailer is about 4 years - regardless of how many or few miles are on them.
Although there are many opinions on tire carcass longevity, the common practice has pretty much settled on tire stores refusing to mount a tire over ten years of age.
There is still no substitute for good tire inspection and tire pressure maintenance.
Just as repacking wheel bearings too often involves it's own set of risks, the same can be said when changing tires.
A material defect in a new tire can result in catastrophic failure,thus changing tires too often can actually increase the risk of tire failure.
Many catastrophic tire failures, attributed to age or tire defect, are actually the result of undetected road hazards(an assertion which, by its very nature, can not be proven).
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Old 03-07-2014, 05:43 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by bobinyelm View Post
I understand, but I was wondering how many MILES bias ply tires will last before their tread is worn down.

I do comprehend years, but my odometer is calibrated in miles.

.

As far as how many actual miles vs time well that is something set by the tire manufacture and not all tires are created equal or warranted milage wise the same. Check the manufacture of the tire you are considering purchasing.

Like all things Bob sometimes its the luck of the draw along with as Floyd suggest a lot to do with good tire maintenance. It seems to me each time the topic of tires comes up as to what type or brand is better, how long will they last, people are very split on the topic due to different experiences. I know i switched to Radials as a result of having had two bias tire failures such as you described with fairly low milage on them & most would suggest they were well maintained.
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Old 03-07-2014, 06:42 PM   #6
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OK.

I understand good maintenance and watchfulness, and I know 4 years is about it for ST tires, and now I know (thanks, Carol) that bias ply tires self destruct just as badly and the same way as the radials based on your experience, which is new information (everyone seemed to say bias tires don't throw complete treads like radials due to the different construction).

I also know that different tire manufacturers' tires last different numbers of miles, etc, but I was hoping someone would pipe up with something like, "My bias tires wore out in 12,000mi flat," just for general information.

I know that road defects can damage tires (and frankly suspect the crappy suspensions on our trailers probably contributes to their destruction), which is why I personally never exceed 60mph, and slow down to silly speeds when transversing any road irregularities. I also know heat is the worst enemy, whether from high temperature conditions (my double failures were in Phoenix at 117 degrees) or from under inflation (carcass flexing builds heat).

The two I had go on my 5th wheel failed after I had new valve stems put in them*, and the tire shop reversed the rotation of two of them (both failed w/in 30mi of each other on a billiard-ball smooth Interstate at 55mph), with the second failing after Discount Tire carefully inspected the remaining 3 after the first failure (noting 90% tread left and zero checking), only to have another fewer than 20mi later.

I am just trying to balance the economics and probable failure rate based on empirical, anecdotal experiences some may here have had on bias vs. radial, since I can buy brand new bias trailer tires for 1/2 the price of new radials, which would allow a lesser cost per mile even if I changed them out at 3 years vs. 4 years for radials, assuming they would wear (miles) 10,000mi or more.

I find it strange that it's said changing tires too frequently can cause more failures.

I would have thought changing tires at 2 years, for instance, would result in fewer failures at 4 years , but I guess Floyd is saying that quality control is so bad that if a tire makes it the first year, it's probably less likely to fail (until its useful life is up) than a new, unproven, tire with a higher probability of internal defect that may explode early-on.

Bob

*I know the valve stems didn't cause loss of pressure, because the second tire shed its tread, but did not lose any air, and I drove on it 2mi to an Interstate rest area at 15mph, where I checked the pressure before changing it. I suspect I didn't slow down fast enough with the first tread separation, allowing the naked carcass to blow well-following the loss of the tread "alligator."

As an aside with age, we have a winter home in AZ, where we keep a low mileage Volvo 740 with 6 year old Yokahama tires that live inside (no UV exposure) and have accumulated only 2000mi in those years. The tires look new (no sidewall checking). We recently picked up a screw in the tread, and Discount refused to fix the tire, saying any tire over 4 years old is considered "expired" and dangerous. They refused to let me air the tire (or my other tires) and the employee followed me out to my car telling me I was endangering other drivers on the road, and begging me to install new tires before entering the roadway. This is new for Discount Tire, so maybe 4 years is being pushed for ALL tires now, regardless to miles. In over a million miles of driving, I must say I've never had a tire failure on a motor vehicle due to anything except punctures.
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Old 03-07-2014, 06:52 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by bobinyelm View Post
OK.

I understand good maintenance and watchfulness, and I know 4 years is about it for ST tires, and now I know (thanks, Carol) that bias ply tires self destruct just as badly and the same way as the radials based on your experience, which is new information (everyone seemed to say bias tires don't throw complete treads like radials due to the different construction).

Oh I didn't say that they will self destruct the "same way" as the radial just that they well and can have a major self destruct with about the same impact as the radial self destruction. Neither is a good thing when towing at 65 mph.
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Old 03-07-2014, 08:12 PM   #8
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Bob
In normal use i dont think you can wear out a trailer tire in normal use tread wise. Time is what gets trailer tires. I run a radial since i think they run cooler, and will replace after 4 years even without any evidence of cracking...
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Old 03-07-2014, 08:17 PM   #9
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Wow Discount pushing 4 years? That one is news to me, last I heard at Discount was something like 7 years.

Not letting you air up the tire or others is just insane. If they are so worried about the other drivers on the road letting you leave with less than proper air pressure seem.... I don't know less safe? Sounds like over the top sales pressure.
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Old 03-07-2014, 08:25 PM   #10
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I got a screw in one of my fairly new snow tires. My guy did the repair, but said he probably shouldn't and that I should keep an eye on it for a few days ( looking for a bulge or other abnormal appearance ). It was because the screw was in the tread, but close to the sidewall.
Repair has held.
His boss was out for lunch and when I asked how much for the repair, he replied, "I don't do money, I just fix things". So, no charge.
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Old 03-07-2014, 09:21 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by bobinyelm View Post
OK.
I also know that different tire manufacturers' tires last different numbers of miles, etc, but I was hoping someone would pipe up with something like, "My bias tires wore out in 12,000mi flat," just for general information.

.
Replaced my last set of Carlisle RH Radials on my Scamp after about 33,000Miles
(& 4+ years)....
Kept one for the spare with about 40% tread left. The carcass is in excellent condition.

Found this at Discount Tire's website...

http://www.discounttire.com/dtcs/infoTireLife.dos
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