Seeking towing advice

Bikes, trikes, personal mobility and getting to/from the event - this is the place to discuss general transportation issues.
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Captain Goddammit
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Re: Seeking towing advice

Post by Captain Goddammit » Mon Sep 26, 2016 6:13 pm

It's all about load capacity. If the tires you use have enough, they'll work.
Real trailer tires tend to have high capacities.
When I got my 10,000 pound flatbed trailer, someone had put car tires on it and they only added up to about 7200 pounds worth. I put 2500 lb rated tires on. 4 of those = 10,000.
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Re: Seeking towing advice

Post by Meat Hunter » Mon Sep 26, 2016 7:10 pm

I agree with the Captain 100%.

When I brought my new little trailer back to Mississippi from Minnesota, the first thing that I did was take it to a friend who is a professional in the business when it comes to heavy hauling farm trailers and their repair.

He suggested three things to me:
(1) Get rid of those cheap tires that the trailer company put on my trailer and replace them with a higher quality trailer tires -- not truck tires. M _ _ X _ S tires.

(2) Get rid of that cheap coupler that the trailer company installed and replace it with a high grade B _ _ L D _ G coupler.

(3) Run 4 lbs. less air than the max. Less chance of a blow-out.

I followed his recommendations. After two burns and over 10,000 miles across country at highway/Interstate speed, I have not had a tire or a coupler problem.

The final thing that he suggested was to replace the tires every three years - no matter how many or how few miles are on them. The 2017 burn will be my third year and when I return home, I intend to replace the road tires and also the spare. It appears that age has more to do with trailer tire failure than mileage does.

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Token
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Re: Seeking towing advice

Post by Token » Mon Sep 26, 2016 7:39 pm

Trailer tires have different design parameters.

Lateral strength and thermal loading from that lateral motion is different on trailers than on trucks. Heat is the issue.

Would you ever load a tire past the limits to hit a failure as averse to just riding UV degraded trailer tires past the rot point ... eh ... Odds are good we all do the latter.

For me the bigger issue is finding a LT rated tire that would fit my trailer. Can't just up-size on tandem axles.

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Re: Seeking towing advice

Post by ygmir » Mon Sep 26, 2016 8:40 pm

Token wrote:Trailer tires have different design parameters.

Lateral strength and thermal loading from that lateral motion is different on trailers than on trucks. Heat is the issue.

Would you ever load a tire past the limits to hit a failure as averse to just riding UV degraded trailer tires past the rot point ... eh ... Odds are good we all do the latter.

For me the bigger issue is finding a LT rated tire that would fit my trailer. Can't just up-size on tandem axles.
yeah, I built my tandem axle trailer, and spaced the axles enough to allow upsizing if wanted.
But, factory spaces for recommended rims/tires, and so limits you.
Of course, the wider the axle spacing, the more scrub on turns, but I can't see it being enough to make much difference, unless it's feet , not inches.
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Re: Seeking towing advice

Post by Captain Goddammit » Mon Sep 26, 2016 9:18 pm

Well I can tell you there's no way in hell I'm buying new trailer tires every three years!
Tire age-rot has a lot to do with UV. Keep the sun off 'em!
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Re: Seeking towing advice

Post by Meat Hunter » Mon Sep 26, 2016 10:35 pm

Your trailer -- Your tires.

My 4, 500 mile problem free round trips.

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Re: Seeking towing advice

Post by Captain Goddammit » Tue Sep 27, 2016 6:25 am

Your trailer, your money! I have well over 10,000 trouble-free miles on mine.
Do you throw away all your car or truck tires every three years? They're the same thing, and it's a lot more dangerous to blow a tire in your car/truck than just a trailer tire.
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Re: Seeking towing advice

Post by FIGJAM » Tue Sep 27, 2016 6:36 am

I think it may be like changing your oil every 3000 miles.

It only helps the oil companies!!! :roll:
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Re: Seeking towing advice

Post by Token » Tue Sep 27, 2016 7:02 am

UV is a big factor but easy to solve. Cover the tire.

The other enemy is chemistry.

Tires need to heat cycle often to maintain pliability and structure. The whole vulcanizing gizmo.

If you tow as often as you drive your other vehicles, the tires last as long as they have tread.

This is why they recommend 3 years. For most trailer owners not enough miles in regular intervals and the thing degrades chemically.

If you tow weekly you can ride the tires for a long time.

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Re: Seeking towing advice

Post by Captain Goddammit » Tue Sep 27, 2016 7:46 am

The only "they" I know of that says you need new trailer tires every three years are the people selling tires!
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Re: Seeking towing advice

Post by Token » Tue Sep 27, 2016 8:09 am

Fair enough. I'm also inclined that a lobby of sorts was involved when the DOT issued recommendations.

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Re: Seeking towing advice

Post by GreyCoyote » Tue Sep 27, 2016 8:41 am

The UV and ozone aspects are huge drvers of tire life, and they vary a lot from region to region.

Capt Goddammit lives so far north he has polar bears eating his leftovers and the sun doesnt shine for 11 months of the year. Ozone is something the bunnyhuggerz have legislTed out of existence. I can see him getting a decade out of a properly cared-for tire. In his situation it makes no sense to age-out a tire pre-emptively at 3-5 years. Lotsa good use still left.

In contrast, I'm in deep south Texas. We melt solar panels here, the sun never sets, and every day is an "ozone action day". We shoot hippies, yippies and yuppies, along with alligators when they try chasing our kids. Here, trailer tires are good for about five years before they become a hazard.

What is interesting is how different types of tires age within the same region. Small trailer tires seem to be the first ones to go, but I routinely see tires on antique tractors that are 15+ years old and look pretty good. Apparently the rubber chemistry is completely different.
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Re: Seeking towing advice

Post by WileE13 » Mon Oct 03, 2016 10:20 am

Those old real rubber tires last forever it seems. We've got a few trailers with 50 yr old tires on them still holding air. Now I wouldn't take them on the highway or anything, but they work fine at slow speeds around the farm.

New tires don't use natural rubber anymore from what I understand, there are not enough rubber trees to supply the global market.

As to whether or not trailer tires are necessary or if you can get away with auto tires, I'm in agreement with the Captain. It isn't worth the money for nice trailer tires. We go to the tire shop and ask for used pickup/light truck tires, which cost 25 -50 dollars. It should be noted, however, that we have a total of about 30 tires on trailers at any given time, many which only get used a couple times a year. If I had only 1 trailer which I used often, I might consider buying nice new trailer tires, but it isn't worth it for some farm trailer that only travels a few miles at a time.

Another thing to note, our heavy trailers have twin axles, so if one goes out (which has happened on a few occasions) we've still got the other 3 or 7 tires, which is usually enough to make it home. You don't have this luxury on a single axle, two tire trailer.

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Re: Seeking towing advice

Post by Doctor VonBacon » Sun Oct 09, 2016 3:38 pm

I stole this off the BM Reddit, but it does a pretty good job demonstrating the need for proper (forward) loading of trailers.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4jk9H5AB4lM
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Re: Seeking towing advice

Post by AntiM » Tue Oct 11, 2016 6:25 am

One of our trailer tires detreaded on I-80 this year. We were lucky it did not blow, as I was lying down on the back seat, and not belted in. Our tires are 5 or 6 years old, not run often, and we do keep them covered. They came with the trailer when we upgraded from single axle to dual. They do age, so we are looking at getting new ones soon. Maybe after winter, so the trailer doesn't sit on new tires all winter in the snow and ice.
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Re: Seeking towing advice

Post by ygmir » Tue Oct 11, 2016 6:34 am

Doctor VonBacon wrote:I stole this off the BM Reddit, but it does a pretty good job demonstrating the need for proper (forward) loading of trailers.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4jk9H5AB4lM
that video should be required watching!!
perfect example, easy to understand and see.
Thank you.
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Re: Seeking towing advice

Post by Captain Goddammit » Tue Oct 11, 2016 7:42 am

AntiM wrote:One of our trailer tires detreaded on I-80 this year. We were lucky it did not blow, as I was lying down on the back seat, and not belted in. Our tires are 5 or 6 years old, not run often, and we do keep them covered. They came with the trailer when we upgraded from single axle to dual.
Trailers are notorious for coming with shitty cheapo tires. It's fairly common for people to buy new trailers and immediately swap them out.
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Re: Seeking towing advice

Post by dustyfux » Fri Nov 04, 2016 1:02 pm

Seriously, this is the most important thing and will fuck yer plans on any given Sunday.

I bought a 2012 StarCraft trailer, drove it home 100 miles same day. It looked good, it towed good, and I was pleased with my purchase. Next stop is my mechanic to do a safety check. First time he's ever called and asked me to come down immediately. Had to show me in person that not only did the previous owner use an air socket to tighten the lug nuts, but the tires were manufactured in 2003.

Imagine driving inbound 447, tire blows out because its fucking old, then you can't get the lug nuts off with a wrench.

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Re: Seeking towing advice

Post by BoyScoutGirl » Tue Aug 08, 2017 2:05 pm

Resurrecting this venerable thread for a visual reminder to those planning to haul with a trailer:

Image
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Re: Seeking towing advice

Post by spacetime » Tue Aug 08, 2017 3:15 pm

Thanks for the reminder.

I think new information this year is that there is new, peer-reviewed research showing you can save tire tread and reduce load by pulling a vehicle backwards, by the hitch, without a trailer. Key thing is that you lock the front wheels of the vehicle, (such as a van) to achieve the efficiency and save on tread loss.

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Re: Seeking towing advice

Post by Molotov » Wed Aug 09, 2017 10:01 am

Captain Goddammit wrote: Trailers are notorious for coming with shitty cheapo tires. It's fairly common for people to buy new trailers and immediately swap them out.
Absolutely a good idea! I took the factory tires off after 200 miles, sold them on a local trading page, and made enough to pay over half the cost of two new 10 ply, load range E, heavy duty trailer tires.

Burning Man 2017 will be their last trip as they will be 4 1/2 years old even though they will only have 20,000 miles.

I will probably sell them to Bubba down the block to put on his boat trailer then go back and get two more. My spare tire has always had a cover and it's never been on the ground, but I will replace it also just due to age.

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Re: Seeking towing advice

Post by Ratty » Thu Nov 02, 2017 3:15 pm

I was in Harbor Freight today. (Getting my usual disposable gloves and free flashlight.) The clerk was trying to convince a customer he can not buy a trailer. All HF trailers have been recalled for some DOT thing. I didn't look it up cause I don't own one.

Just throwin it out there.
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Re: Seeking towing advice

Post by AntiM » Fri Nov 03, 2017 4:28 am

No rear side marker lights if I am reading the recall correctly.

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