Blow out on the freeway - Fiberglass RV

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Old 01-04-2015, 04:31 PM   #1
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MCDenny's Avatar
Name: Denny
Trailer: Lil Snoozy
Posts: 551
Blow out on the freeway

When I bought our Lil Snoozy from Alan we discussed the pros and cons of a spare tire. The pro is obvious, you have it when you need it. The cons, though, carried the day in my mind. No need to store the huge heavy spare tire. I threw a can of fix-a-flat in the tongue box and hoped for the best. I figured if we did have a flat I could leave the trailer on the side of the road and take the tire to a tire shop to be repaired. I haven't had a flat tire on my car in... Geez I don't remember when. Trailer tires should be just as reliable, no? Snoozy came with Trail America load range C (1760#) radial tires.

We had a slow leak two years ago, pumped up the tire (with a manual bike pump!) and drove a couple of miles to a tire store. They pulled out a nail and applied a patch to the inside of the tire. This is the tire that blew yesterday.

Worked perfect until it didn't. We had a blowout driving 65 mph on I10 in Florida. No drama, little traffic, no sway, gentle braking and a wide grassy shoulder to pull off on. Tires were about 3 years old and had maybe 20,000 miles.
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Only place I could find a St205/75-14 replacement on Saturday afternoon was Walmart. $120 and two hour wait for a Goodyear Marathon mounted on my rim or $109 and no wait for a premounted galvanized wheel/St205/75-14 no name bias ply tire. We were on the middle of a 500 mile day so I took the quick option.

I'm careful about tire pressure and had checked them (50 psi) the day before. I don't believe I hit road trash as the car tires would have hit it first. I've weighed the trailer, 2850#, so a reasonable amount of headroom to the 3520# tire limit. I don't exceed 65 very often and had the cruise control on 65 when the tire blew.

I still don't want to carry a spare but I REALLY don't want to have a blow out on the highway again. We were fortunate to have it happen in benign circumstances, had we been in a construction zone with concrete barriers and no shoulders we would have been SOL.

So, what are your thoughts about 1) was I foolish to have the tire patched two years ago? 2) any issue with a radial on one side and bias ply on the other? It towed just fine for the rest of the day - 250 freeway miles.

Thoughts about more a robust tire to fit on 14"wheels?

My car has 30.6" dia 5 x 5 wheel/tire. The trailer has 5 x 4.5 hubs and 26.5" dia tires. It would be slick if I could use the car spare on the trailer. I could replace the fenders with larger ones and I'd like the extra ground clearance but haven't really looked for 5x5 hubs that would take the same bearings as my existing axle.

Denny Wolfe

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Old 01-04-2015, 04:51 PM   #2
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Name: Dave
Trailer: Casita SD17 2006 "Missing Link"
Posts: 3,739
I see no problem with patching a tire. Had a push in plug in the sidewall of the rear tire on the dune buggy for years and thousands of off road miles. A patch on the inside is the way to go though. I wouldn't even dream of not carrying a spare with a TT or tug. As you're sitting on the side of the road with a shreadded tire the small amount of room/weight it uses up will seem an xlnt trade off. I don't think mixing the two are a good idea other than a "get me home" fix.

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Old 01-04-2015, 05:18 PM   #3
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Name: Karalyn
Trailer: Eggless for now but looking. currently own Amerilite 21 ft
Posts: 844
My thoughts are that I would never be without a spare. Even if never using it just peace of mind knowing I have one if needed. Small price to pay for peace of mind for me anyways. Weekends when no stores are open to buy one is when I would have a flat.
Money will buy a fine dog, but only kindness will make him wag his tail.

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Old 01-04-2015, 05:27 PM   #4
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Name: Bob
Trailer: 1973 Hunter Compact II
Posts: 7,912
First, I'd look at the tire you still have and verify the actual age. I have heard that Lil' Snoozy uses an outside builder to provide complete chassis and may have less control over tire age.

Then, look at this search:
It looks like Trail America Tires have had a significant number of recalls for tire failure.

Last: Side to side mismatched bias/radial tires are not only a bad idea, I believe that it's illegal in some states.

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Old 01-04-2015, 05:29 PM   #5
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Name: Donna D
Trailer: Escape 5.0 TA, 2014
Posts: 24,839
I'm really old Skool. Back to the days when my Dad only purchased four tires for the car. Took the best of the four and made that the spare. His philosphy was the spare was only good enough to get you off the road and to the tire shop. I still abide by that. I spend the most I can on the tires that meet the road. Two for the trailer (four for me now!) and whatever spare gets me to a safe place for replacement.

I often think about those that buy all brand new tires (all the way around) for their trailers, NEVER rotate and have a "brand new" spare that ages out... YMMV
Donna D.
Ten Forward - 2014 Escape 5.0 TA
Double Yolk - 1988 16' Scamp Deluxe
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Old 01-04-2015, 05:31 PM   #6
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Name: Norm and Ginny
Trailer: Scamp 16
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Personally I can not imagine Lil Snoozy not providing a spare, makes absolutely no sense to me. If they don't the owner should.

As to repairing tires, we carry a tire plug kit. We have never used it on the trailer but have used it on the tow vehicle a number of times. None of the plugs have ever failed.

We never exceed 65 mph, typically 62 on Interstates, less on quieter roads.
Norm and Ginny

2014 Honda Odyssey
1991 Scamp 16
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Old 01-04-2015, 06:17 PM   #7
Trailer: No Trailer Yet
Posts: 32
"... had we been in a construction zone with concrete barriers and no shoulders we would have been SOL." In that situation having a spare tire on board wouldn't have been much help in getting off the traveled portion of the roadway to a safe place.

I carry a can of Fix-a-flat and a 12vdc inflation pump and tire plug kit. Won't help if the tire is shredded but the only flats I've ever had were punctures that a plug could handle until I get to the tire shop.

I too have thought of how to match the tug spare with the trailer tires for a spare, I'll have to do more research on that idea.
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Old 01-04-2015, 06:25 PM   #8
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Name: Floyd
Trailer: 2004 13 ft Scamp Custom Deluxe
Posts: 7,160
I think you should make the choice, and far be it from me to use this as a reason, but you should know that here in IllAnnoy a spare is required on any trailer, even a small utility trailer.
Don't know (and don't much care) but it may be the same in other states as well and it may matter to you.
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Old 01-04-2015, 06:33 PM   #9
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Name: bob
Trailer: 1984 u-haul ct13; 1996 Casita 17 Spirit Deluxe; 1946 Modernistic teardrop
New York
Posts: 4,841
While I was searching for a spare rim for our vintage teardrop I carried an unmounted tire with me along with a couple tire irons and 12 volt compressor. Never had to use any of it. Finally located the correct rim so now carry a mounted spare. Same problem with the Uhaul camper, they use an odd rim. Finally found an original rim. The nationwide truck leasing company I retired from forbade us to use the push in plugs, we had to dismount the tire, inspect it, and patch the inside.
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Old 01-04-2015, 06:41 PM   #10
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Name: Donna D
Trailer: Escape 5.0 TA, 2014
Posts: 24,839
For those that own a U-Haul, you may want to download this info from the Document Center... I don't know know how valid this information is, just supplying the link: Fiberglass RV - Document Center - Uhaul Wheels
Donna D.
Ten Forward - 2014 Escape 5.0 TA
Double Yolk - 1988 16' Scamp Deluxe
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Old 01-04-2015, 06:51 PM   #11
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Name: Dave & Paula Brown
Trailer: Lil Snoozy
Posts: 2,116
Denny, we never go anywhere without a spare tire, as here out west there are many many lonesome miles between towns, and even then, some of the towns don't have tire shops, so we took the spare tire option from the factory. I had always heard that one should never mix radials & bias ply tires, on cars anyway, but don't know about with trailers.
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Old 01-04-2015, 07:16 PM   #12
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Name: jim
Trailer: 2019 2ndG Escape21 DeJa View pulled by 2014 Dodge Ram Hemi Sport
British Columbia
Posts: 6,504
Buy another bias tire and use your old good snoozy tire as a spare. Also towing with cruise control is not recommended. Does your vehicle have a "tow mode", if so one should use it.
Never in doubt, often wrong
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Old 01-04-2015, 07:34 PM   #13
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Name: Tom
Trailer: Scamp 16
Posts: 860
Denny, I don't have too much to add to this that hasn't been said, but I would always carry a spare. Plugs and patches work, but not on sidewalls, and only on steel belted tires if you remove the tires and prepare the area that will be patched (remove sharp wires, etc.) Never mix radials and bias ply.

The reason so many rear tires get flats was studied by the motor cycle industry years ago. You hardly hear of anyone getting flats on front tires, almost always the rear. They found the front tire would run over sharp objects and flip them up in the air, when the rear tire contacted them, the nail would be standing upright and a puncture would result. I suspect the same thing happens with trailer tires. When I rode a bike, I always attributed it to Murphy's Law, until I read that study. Fixing the rear tire on a Harley is no joke, but probably safer than a catastrophic failure on the front wheel.

Travel safe, Denny!

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Old 01-04-2015, 08:07 PM   #14
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Name: jim
Trailer: Escape 21 Nov.2016
Posts: 274

Denny maybe just get a spare donut tire from a junk yard that way alot smaller for storage Not good idea mixing tire types I know most new small cars dont have spares anymore We have a radial spare but I might take my own advice and put a donut tire for spare easier for storage

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