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Old 05-20-2017, 12:53 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by exbrit View Post
I had go go back and re-read the original post. Tires are not like milk,they don't spoil! They don't deteriorate under normal storage conditions.
If you were to buy a new car would you expect the dealer to change out the tires of the car had been sitting on the lot for a long time?
Dealers keep a good supply of tired in stock for a good reason and that is availability. Supposing you blew a tire on your trailer or your car? Would you want to wait up to 2 weeks for the dealer to order a tire through the distributor who in turn, would order it from the factory.? No of course not.
The tire will be on the trailer many years. They will either wear out or finally start deteriorating from exposure to the sun and ultra violet rays.
The dealer is to be commended for giving you the discount.
Please take this response as an explanation not a criticism. I have had a lot of experience in supply chain management.
Above all please remember a tire is not like a perishable food item or a product that has an expiry date
Have fun camping
This isn't the consensus or conclusion that has been talked about now for a long time. It is generally agreed that ST tires time out before they wear out, and that time period is somewhere around four years. Stored out in the sun, maybe less. Stored inside with no weight on them, maybe more. There have been so many problems with trailer tires that folks have come up with ways to reduce the chance of blowouts. These include running at full rated pressure all the time, limiting speed and changing them early.

You used the example of car tires. Again, not a good example because we are talking about ST (trailer) tires, not car tires or LT tires. I've been advocating the use of LT tires on trailers, but there does seem to be a couple of excellent brands of ST tires now on the market.

I don't want to open this can of worms again, as this has been talked about a lot here.
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Old 05-20-2017, 01:10 PM   #22
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Tires deteriorate from the inside out, the compounds as noted by others break down. Heat is a huge factor in how long a tire remains trustworthy.
How is it that tires deteriorate from the inside out? UV attacks them on the outside, the sun's heat hits them form the outside and they evaporate compounds to the atmosphere from the outside. They get exposed to road chemicals, water, salts, various spills and scuffing on the outside.

Eventually, they become gray and cracked on the outside, which will expose the cord to the elements but the inner membrane is still pliable and they still hold air. Seems like they deteriorate from the outside in. Am I missing something?
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Old 05-21-2017, 03:50 PM   #23
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How is it that tires deteriorate from the inside out? UV attacks them on the outside, the sun's heat hits them form the outside and they evaporate compounds to the atmosphere from the outside. They get exposed to road chemicals, water, salts, various spills and scuffing on the outside.

Eventually, they become gray and cracked on the outside, which will expose the cord to the elements but the inner membrane is still pliable and they still hold air. Seems like they deteriorate from the outside in. Am I missing something?
You are not missing anything, you got it about right.
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Old 05-21-2017, 04:32 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
Tom, I appreciate your reminder to take a deep breath and count what really matters. My wife is with her sister, who has late stage terminal cancer. We'll be camping nearby, and probably saying goodbye to a wonderful person. Seven months ago she was perfectly healthy. I am the same age as my sister-in-law. Every day, every trip, is a precious gift.

I just got off the phone with Discount. I found out they are in the process of switching to a different in-stock brand, so all their current stock of this particular tire is older. They graciously offered to refund the installation charge, roughly equivalent to a 25% discount on the tire price, and I accepted the offer. It reminds me of why I continue to do business with them.

This purchase caught me off-guard because the last set of tires I bought for my utility trailer were only about 3 months old.

All is well, and I appreciate the input from this seasoned community.

Now to mount the wheels and pack the trailer!!!
Hi Jon,

Nothing substantive to add to this thread other than to say I always appreciate your threads, posts, and your attitude. Sorry to hear about your sister-in-law.

Take care, Safe Travels, and Happy Camping,

Dean
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Old 05-21-2017, 05:16 PM   #25
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Tires are not like milk,they don't spoil! They don't deteriorate under normal storage conditions.
This is comment is very misleading and not really true.

Tires have a shelf life and a tire over 4 years old is not really roadworthy. If its stored out of the sun in cool conditions and unloaded it will probably last longer. 4 years is a conservative limit for the worst case scenario and is a good guideline.

I worked for a major airline (I was wheel tire and brake engineer for several years) and tires were stored in a room that was air conditioned at about 65 degrees and out of the sunlight. Tires were tracked by serial number and used long before their expiration date. UV light and heat degrade the chemical bonds. Why was this done ... to prevent blow outs! Tires dry rot. Look at an old tire, the surface will be covered in cracks. Cracks let the structural part of the tire be exposed to the elements and UV, etc and the end result degrades the tire. If you run old tires they will be fine until they blow out. I've had one blow out in 40 years of car ownership in a tire that the tire dealer gave me a "great deal" on. After the blow out I checked the date code and it was nearly 4 years old when he sold it to me.

The same principles apply to all tires. Run old tires and you're running a risk.
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Old 05-21-2017, 06:31 PM   #26
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No, milk and tires aren't the same.

Milk and tires was an analogy. Part of the reason I chose to use milk as an analogy was to push back a little without being as offensive. The message was yes, dates matter some.
But as they say, "Every day spent fishing is a good day." Situations vary, but for many here RV time is like going fishing, or being on vacation. I was pleased that most here got that message.
Tires? As others have said of course they rot/spoil. Yes it is slow, but UV in sunshine, Oxygen, and Ozone contribute to tire rot. Others say low pressure, inactivity and excessive heat contribute. To witness tire rot, go to an auto museum.
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Old 05-21-2017, 08:09 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by John_M_1 View Post
This is comment is very misleading and not really true.

Tires have a shelf life and a tire over 4 years old is not really roadworthy. If its stored out of the sun in cool conditions and unloaded it will probably last longer. 4 years is a conservative limit for the worst case scenario and is a good guideline.

I worked for a major airline (I was wheel tire and brake engineer for several years) and tires were stored in a room that was air conditioned at about 65 degrees and out of the sunlight. Tires were tracked by serial number and used long before their expiration date. UV light and heat degrade the chemical bonds. Why was this done ... to prevent blow outs! Tires dry rot. Look at an old tire, the surface will be covered in cracks. Cracks let the structural part of the tire be exposed to the elements and UV, etc and the end result degrades the tire. If you run old tires they will be fine until they blow out. I've had one blow out in 40 years of car ownership in a tire that the tire dealer gave me a "great deal" on. After the blow out I checked the date code and it was nearly 4 years old when he sold it to me.

The same principles apply to all tires. Run old tires and you're running a risk.
All that, and airplane tires are still not road worthy.

Your comment, while likely applicable to landing gear tires, is very misleading and not really true when applied to street tires.

No RV TRAILER weighs 400,000 pounds ,nor is it expected to strike the ground at 200MPH then stop in under a mile, in one piece, without blowing a tire.

As a fleet mechanic I would have been laughed out of the shop if I tried to order new tires for a piece of equipment simply because the old ones were 4 years old. Any reputable tire dealer will mount a street tire up until 10 years old and a good part of that is CYA. There is more to tire inspection than reading a date stamp.
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Old 05-21-2017, 08:13 PM   #28
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If you are missing anything it is that the tire has an inner liner which acts like an inner tube and also isolates the body of the tire form the inside. You got it about right.
Isn't that exactly what I said?

"the inner membrane is still pliable and they still hold air."
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Old 05-21-2017, 08:38 PM   #29
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Isn't that exactly what I said?

"the inner membrane is still pliable and they still hold air."
Yup! it sure is... you simply responded while I caught my error and was editing my comment. I beg your pardon, and please reread my edited remark. (Post#23)
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Old 05-21-2017, 09:43 PM   #30
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Yup! it sure is... you simply responded while I caught my error and was editing my comment. I beg your pardon, and please reread my edited remark. (Post#23)
Thank you for being so thoughtful and accurate with your reasoned responses based on experience and common sense.
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Old 05-22-2017, 05:56 AM   #31
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I have friends with old Willys jeeps running their original 60-70 year old tires. Yes, I know these are old style "analog" tires, but you see my point.
Wow! That makes their tires 420-490 years old.....in dog years.
Were rubber tires even being manufactured that long ago?

Sorry, couldn't resist!
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Old 05-22-2017, 06:56 AM   #32
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Your comment, while likely applicable to landing gear tires, is very misleading and not really true when applied to street tires.
I agree that aircraft tires are an extreme example because they have an extreme service environment but they are made of rubber like any other tire. Auto and trailer tires are also made of rubber compounds. Degrading takes place over time and the rubber doesn't care what sort of tire its in. The speed of it depends on how the tire was treated during its life and it starts as soon as the tire comes out of the mold. Degradation accelerates as the tire gets older. UV, heat, under inflated, etc all accelerate that.

Running old tires is your choice. There is no mandatory expiration date so you're not breaking any laws. You can also eat expired food, use expired medicine, etc. Nobody is stopping you - your choice. There may or may not be consequences.

Here is what people thoroughly knowledgeable about the subject say. As I indicated yesterday, 4 years is a conservative guideline - these people say tires should expire in 6 years. You can be cynical and say that they're just trying to sell more tires. But they could have campaigned for 4 years or 2 or 1 just as easily.

Tires Expire in Six Years - Tire Safety Group

I agree with the OP that buying an old tire should come with some sort of discount since some part of the serviceable life has been wasted. I buy from places with large sales volume to ensure I get newer tires. If I get one that is only 4 months old I figure I've done well. 6 months or older annoys me. Over a year old, I ask for a discount.
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Old 05-22-2017, 08:03 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
Tom, I appreciate your reminder to take a deep breath and count what really matters. My wife is with her sister, who has late stage terminal cancer. We'll be camping nearby, and probably saying goodbye to a wonderful person. Seven months ago she was perfectly healthy. I am the same age as my sister-in-law. Every day, every trip, is a precious gift.

I just got off the phone with Discount. I found out they are in the process of switching to a different in-stock brand, so all their current stock of this particular tire is older. They graciously offered to refund the installation charge, roughly equivalent to a 25% discount on the tire price, and I accepted the offer. It reminds me of why I continue to do business with them.

This purchase caught me off-guard because the last set of tires I bought for my utility trailer were only about 3 months old.

All is well, and I appreciate the input from this seasoned community.

Now to mount the wheels and pack the trailer!!!
I'm glad Discount Tire came through for you. I've given them my business for many years and they have always treated me very well.

I'm so sorry to hear about your sister-in-law. Have a safe trip.
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Old 05-22-2017, 09:36 AM   #34
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Wow! That makes their tires 420-490 years old.....in dog years.
Were rubber tires even being manufactured that long ago?

Sorry, couldn't resist!
I'm sure you jest, but actually they were making rubber tires back then, but thanks to the advent of nylon and polyester, they became completely obsolete by the late sixties (too late for Viet Nam).
If you've seen the white tires on very early cars, they are rubber in their natural color.
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Old 05-22-2017, 09:54 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by John_M_1 View Post
I agree that aircraft tires are an extreme example because they have an extreme service environment but they are made of rubber like any other tire. Auto and trailer tires are also made of rubber compounds. Degrading takes place over time and the rubber doesn't care what sort of tire its in. The speed of it depends on how the tire was treated during its life and it starts as soon as the tire comes out of the mold. Degradation accelerates as the tire gets older. UV, heat, under inflated, etc all accelerate that.

Running old tires is your choice. There is no mandatory expiration date so you're not breaking any laws. You can also eat expired food, use expired medicine, etc. Nobody is stopping you - your choice. There may or may not be consequences.

Here is what people thoroughly knowledgeable about the subject say. As I indicated yesterday, 4 years is a conservative guideline - these people say tires should expire in 6 years. You can be cynical and say that they're just trying to sell more tires. But they could have campaigned for 4 years or 2 or 1 just as easily.

Tires Expire in Six Years - Tire Safety Group

I agree with the OP that buying an old tire should come with some sort of discount since some part of the serviceable life has been wasted. I buy from places with large sales volume to ensure I get newer tires. If I get one that is only 4 months old I figure I've done well. 6 months or older annoys me. Over a year old, I ask for a discount.
I'm sure that only those with whom you agree are "thoroughly knowledgeable". The rest of the population are delirious on spoiled medicine, driving down the road on rotten tires in August, while eating a week old Big Mac found between the driver's seat and the console!

Is it not "cynical" to advocate a 4 year expiration date while claiming that the number is arbitrary? Whether "they" advise 1,2,4 or even 10 years...
it is incumbent on each of us to educate ourselves at least well enough to make a reasonable judgement, on what we consume and in whom to place our trust.
Your input is of course part of that process!
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Old 05-22-2017, 04:32 PM   #36
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I'm sure that only those with whom you agree are "thoroughly knowledgeable". The rest of the population are delirious on spoiled medicine, driving down the road on rotten tires in August, while eating a week old Big Mac found between the driver's seat and the console!

Is it not "cynical" to advocate a 4 year expiration date while claiming that the number is arbitrary? Whether "they" advise 1,2,4 or even 10 years...
it is incumbent on each of us to educate ourselves at least well enough to make a reasonable judgement, on what we consume and in whom to place our trust.
Your input is of course part of that process!
Thanks Floyd. I'll change my tires when I think its necessary. You can change yours whenever you'd like and we'll both be happy. Others can make their own choice. Drive on, my friend.
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Old 05-23-2017, 08:32 AM   #37
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How Old Is Too Old (For a New Tire)

Here's a data point...

On my 4x8 utility trailer I bought inexpensive tires and just let it sit outside. Every time I thought "I really should get new tires," I ended up putting it off. It sits most of the time and gets used a few times a year for short runs near home. I checked pressure before each use, but no other care or maintenance.

They expired in 15 years. One blew out. Bought two new inexpensive tires...

I have no intention of trying this experiment with my Scamp.
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Old 05-23-2017, 10:31 AM   #38
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I seldom wait until I think it is necessary to change tires, I aim for optimum service using competent inspection.
Wear, tread depth, carcass condition and time are of course all factors. Another is the fragile nature of my precious Scamp's wheel wells. I have used good Scamp take offs for the utility trailer with great confidence, since even a blow out won't hurt it.
All factors are not equal. I disposed of a defective tire on my Scamp which was only 18 months old, giving more weight to condition rather than time.

I ain't afraid of no Kevorkian Michelin Man!
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Old 05-23-2017, 10:50 AM   #39
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Excellent! I seldom wait until I think it is necessary, I aim for optimum service using competent inspection.
Wear, tread depth, carcass condition and time are of course all factors. Another is the fragile nature of my precious Scamp's wheel wells. I have used good Scamp take offs for the utility trailer with great confidence, since even a blow out won't hurt it.
All factors are not equal. I disposed of a defective tire on my Scamp which was only 18 months old, giving more weight to condition rather than time.
This is the right way to do it and the way all of us should be making at least a cursory evaluation. Simply going by a recommended number of years, with no other factors included, doesn't make a lot of sense. I also factor in what the next trip will be. For instance, if I'm going to Death Valley in the summer, with long highway stretches and then rough back roads, I want the best and the newest I can get. If I'm going for a weekend just a few miles away, I'm much more casual and just make sure they are aired up.
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Old 05-23-2017, 01:58 PM   #40
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Just for laughs; I have a 1946 Bantam trailer (civilian version of the WW2 Jeep trailer) and it has the original tires and they still hold air. It no longer gets used on the highway, but was up until about 1970. Should I replace those tires or see if I can get a few more years out of them as they have plenty of tread left on them.
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