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Author Topic: Four-year-old tire failure after 14,000 miles  (Read 1639 times)
Bruce and Sharon
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« on: May 01, 2017, 01:23:11 am »

Last week one of our original four-year-old Michelin tires failed after only 14,000 miles since we purchased our 2552 new from the factory in 2013.  The tire cap (tread) tore away from the rest of the tire.  The Good Sam Roadside Assistance driver told us he has seen many of these failures recently.  The tire is a LT 225/75 R16.  Michelin issued a recall on this type of tire just about the time that we took delivery of our coach, but based on the date of manufacture our tires were not included in that recall.

Here is what happened:
We were traveling on the very busy Highway 101 in Southern California at about 55 mph when we heard a loud banging sound come from below the coach.  To me (the driver) it first felt like we had run over something on the road.  I quickly slowed down and realized that we had a tire failure.  Fortunately the surrounding traffic recognized that we had a problem and slowed to allow us to move to the wide shoulder.  There was no problem steering the coach and we continued to move forward slowly to a nearby highway exit.  Luckily we found an empty parking lot just off the exit that we were able to enter towing our Honda CR-V.

We were shocked to see that the left rear outside dual wheel tire was completely bald.  The separated tread caused the loud banging that we heard.  We could immediately see some damage to the coach body on both sides of the wheel well and to the Sanicon compartment door.  Inside of the compartment we could see there is major damage to the switches and wires controlling the tank valves and the macerator pump.

A call to Good Sam Roadside Assistance got a tire service truck to us within 45 minutes.  The very helpful roadside assistant person replaced the bad tire and wheel with the onboard spare.  After tucking away some loose coach body and Sanicon parts, we were back on the road for another 150 miles to our desired campground for our scheduled four-day stay.

Once at our campsite we realized that all of the Sanicon and holding tank electric valve switches were gone or broken.  We cant even use the 3 emergency dump valve without serious work opening the individual tank valves manually.  So, weve been very careful in the amount of water that goes into the tanks until we can get the coach into a repair facility.  Fortunately the tanks were each below 1/3 full before this event.

Were grateful that no one was hurt and we could continue the trip with only a couple hours of delay.  Tomorrow well be driving the final 150 miles of this trip and will begin the adventure of getting our coach back in shape.

Bruce and Sharon
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« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2017, 06:56:49 am »

Good to here you are ok. Nice job driving.

If you haven't considered it you may get your PC four wheel weighed to see what weight is on that tire and the other tires. Also a careful inspection on the other tires is order. IF they are all the same lot that may be of concern. Maybe have reputable tire dealer call Michelin to discuss problem.

Ron
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ron.dittmer
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« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2017, 09:16:00 am »

Bruce and Sharon,

It is unfortunate that your PC got damaged by the failed tire.  I have a few questions about your particular situation.  Maybe you had previously disclosed the information in other threads, but I don't recall.  Here's my list of questions.

1) Do you have a TPMS system installed? (tire pressure monitoring system)
2) Do you have stainless steel braided rear tire valve extensions?
3) Have you weighed your rear axle during a typical trip?  If so, what was it?
4) What tire pressure do you maintain in the rear tires?
5) The bad tire that lost it's thread, is it still pressurized? If so, how much air is in there?

If you can rule out that you had everything in good order at the time of the incident, then you can surely say that it is the fault of the tire.  I wonder if you could hold the tire manufacture accountable, having them cover the cost of your repairs.  I never heard of anyone trying it before, but who knows.

Good luck with your repairs and replacement tire.  I hope to read how it's going for you.

One other thing.  Since you were driving a while on one rear tire, you might want a professional examine that tire.  Not just the outside, but also for inside for cord damage from being over-loaded and driven on like that.

Ron
« Last Edit: May 01, 2017, 07:02:21 pm by ron.dittmer » Logged

Ron & Irene Dittmer, 2007 Model 2350, Ordered Without A Slideout
Bruce and Sharon
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« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2017, 05:58:23 pm »

Weve made it back to our home in Pacific Grove, CA without any more trouble.  We have a May 17th appointment with an RV service and repair center that was recommended to us by friends who have dealt with that center for years.  That appointment is just for them to do an inspection in order to make an estimate of the cost to restore the Sanicon system plus some motorhome body damage. 

In the meantime well be contacting a reputable tire dealer about replacing the failed tire or all of the existing tires.

Ron, youve asked some good questions, so Ill do my best to answer them here:

1.  We have a Pressure Pro TPMS that includes all six of the RV tires and the four on our tow-car (toad).  I always pay close attention to it and read the tire pressure before every leg of our trips.  That system has consistently given us accurate readings during the life of our 2552.  When we heard the loud bang on the bottom of the coach last week there was no immediate response from the TPMS.  Once we were quickly off of the highway and started moving at about 5 mph along the shoulder of the road, the TPMS monitor began to alert us to the tire failure.  We continued to roll forward for about 300 yards before we could safely pull into the abandoned parking lot just off of the highway.

2.  We do have the stainless steel braided rear tire valve extensions that came with the rig when we purchased it new.  I dont think a failure in the extension was a cause of this tire failure.  The tire tread failure did break the extension off of the valve, but the TPMS did not signal any loss in pressure until after the loud bang occurred.  But, Im considering replacing all of those extensions with solid steel or brass extensions as has been discussed on this forum recently.

3 & 4.  During our first big trip with our 2552 in 2014 both the RV and toad were fully loaded up as much as ever.  We stopped in Grants Pass, Oregon to have Hendersons Line-Up perform their Road Performance Assessment that included weighing all four corners to determine proper weight distribution.  Our 2552 easily passed that test and they recommend 70 psi on the front tires and 80 psi on the rears (and weve continued to follow that advice).  I dont have the exact weights measured on that assessment, but we were comfortably within all of the limits.

5.  We didnt measure the pressure on the bad tire after it lost its tread, but a lot of air came out when the Good Sam service truck driver removed the core in the valve stemit was not nearly empty.

Well post again on this topic as we discover more.

Bruce
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« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2017, 06:34:31 pm »

Wow,  80 in the rear? Man that seems high.  I weighed my rig last summer after loading it heavier than we normally do and it came in at 8560 on the drive axle. Using Michelins chart      http://www.michelinrvtires.com/reference-materials/load-and-inflation-tables/#/  I would be at roughly 65 psi on my duals . How heavy are you loaded ? To be at 80 psi you would be pretty close to 10,000 lbs on your rear axle. Or am I reading the chart incorrectly.


I've never had a tire delaminate on a cage but I have had  it happen a couple times on a rear motorcycle tire. In both circumstances they delaminated due to heat build up or so I was told.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2017, 07:00:10 pm by Joseph » Logged
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« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2017, 05:43:21 am »

Our 2552 loaded has 8700 back there, which should be about 70 psi.

   - Mike
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ron.dittmer
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« Reply #6 on: May 04, 2017, 08:57:05 am »

Bruce,

It sure looks like you did everything right and had the right safe guards in place too.  I guess this one is simply "Bad Luck".  I like your idea of replacing all the tires.

One thing I would try is to inform Michelin of the tire failure.  If you get lucky, they might want what is left of the tire and give you a new one or maybe a new set of 7 tires.  Sometimes these matters are handled on a case-by-case basis as if it was under a recall.

If you get stuck paying the bill on your own and are good with internet sales, you should be able to sell the 6 remaining "good" tires (4 years and 14,000 miles) on Craigslist, recovering the cost of purchasing one replacement tire.  Depending on your area, used RV tires can sell well.  The local landscapers in my area run around with tired 6-wheel pickup trucks and bald tires.  Six new-ish tires at the price of one is a gold-find to them.

---------------------------

With all this talk, I looked again at the rear axle stats with our 2007 2350.  Here they are for the curious.

2007 E350-SD 158 DRW
2007 PC2350 with no slideout
Actual weight taken on truck scales.

6760 - rear axle with rig empty, carrying no water, but having a full tank of gas & propane
8220 - rear axle max load condition during a multi-week trip including a full tank of fresh water, gas, tow vehicle, etc.
7800 - rear axle max load rating stated in the 2007 Ford chassis specs

In my case, the rear axle is the weakest link, not the tires.  Someone had mentioned to me that the suspension work I had done when the rig was new, may have increased the rear axle rating.  I wouldn't know and really can't do much more about it so I don't sweat it.  That 440 overage would explain the slight rear end sag I have when on trips.  Adding one more leaf spring might make it right, but I'm just living with it.  If I traveled without water, I'd be in good shape, but I won't do that.

Ron Dittmer
« Last Edit: May 04, 2017, 09:00:43 am by ron.dittmer » Logged

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Bruce and Sharon
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« Reply #7 on: May 04, 2017, 10:19:57 am »

Thanks for all the replies on this topic.  Looks like the previous advice I received re 80 psi on the rear duals was too high.  The 70 psi is likely a more appropriate level.
--Bruce
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« Reply #8 on: May 04, 2017, 10:42:34 pm »

Bruce,
I had my rig weighed and used the Michelin chart to set the pressure.  It worked out to 70 front and 70 rear for my rig.  I drove home from the factory using 80psi on the rear and I can say the ride is much better at 70psi. 

According to the Michelin chart 80psi will handle 5,360 on the front or 9,880 on the rear.  Both in excess of of the GAWR of 5,000 front and 9,600 rear.

My last weigh showed 4,800 front and 8,450 rear.  That works out to 70psi front and 65psi rear.  I run 70 on both giving me a little extra in case we add weight during a trip.
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« Reply #9 on: May 05, 2017, 05:40:41 pm »

Overinflating tires,as long as you are at or below mfgr max cold inflation... 80 psi when cold in this case will NOT cause the tread to separate.  Overinflation will actually cause the tire to run cooler since it is sidewall flex that causes the most heat in a tire. Overinflation will give you a harsher ride and wear the tread more in the center than on the edges.

Tread separation is caused by one of two things, overheat due to low inflation (which is the same effect as overloading the tire) or a manufacturing defect.   Based on the original and subsequent posts, this *appears* to be a manufacturing defect and should be reported to both Michelin and the NTSB. http://www.ntsb.gov

« Last Edit: May 05, 2017, 05:42:59 pm by donc13 » Logged

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Don and Patti
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« Reply #10 on: May 05, 2017, 07:13:13 pm »

Don,
Thanks for your post on this.  The trusted owner of a local tire shop here told me the exact same thing this morning.  He has not yet seen the bad tire, so there may be more to this story after I bring it to him.

He told me that the most common cause of tire separation on motorhome tires in his experience is low tire pressure caused by failure of a valve stem extender.  He refuses to install them any more as it reflects badly on him when one fails even after he warns the customer against it.

--Bruce
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« Reply #11 on: May 05, 2017, 07:23:02 pm »

I also think Don is on target in his comment above.  By the way, besides monitoring the pressure I carry a thermometer like this:

https://www.amazon.com/Best-Sellers-Kitchen-Dining-Infrared-Thermometers/zgbs/kitchen/9931459011

and I check the temperature of each tire when we pull over to rest stops, buy gas, etc.  Particularly in hot weather this is important in my view.  What I am looking for is not the temperature itself so much as a difference in temperature among the six tires.   Air pressure can be constant and appear to be just fine but if a tire is failing it will get hotter than normal.   It only takes a few seconds per tire and I also check the pressure every few hundred miles because I don't have one of the wireless pressure monitoring system although I probably should have one. 

I am also very sensitive when traveling in hot areas of the country in the summer season to the fact that hot roads can heat tires and cause pressure to raise significantly.  70 psi in the rear four becomes 75-78 pretty darn easily when the July temperature is 100+.

Paul
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« Reply #12 on: May 13, 2017, 09:23:21 am »

I ran across this link in another RV Forum and thought it provided some useful insight as to reasons for catastrophic tire failure.  I don't know that it provides much new information but it supports the most common reason as stated previously for tire failure as being under inflation or overloading.  The article also provides interesting video links.

After looking at several tire failure articles it is interesting to note I have not run across any stating over inflation as a reason for tire failure.  By over inflation I would take that to mean pressure greater the maximum inflation pressure stated on the tire sidewalk before starting the days drive.  In the case of the tires on my PC that would be 80 psi cold.  I run 80 psi cold (confirmed everyday prior to driving) in the rears and after driving for awhile I typically see 90-94 psi on my TST tpms readout.  The tpms gauge shows temperatures generally 10 - 20 degrees above ambient or higher depending on pavement temperature.  I look for significant differences in tire temperatures between the six tires rather than absolute temperature as an indicator of a potential tire problem.

http://www.crashforensics.com/tirefailures.cfm
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« Reply #13 on: May 13, 2017, 10:09:51 am »

One thing I noticed is how tire gauges and TPMS monitors differ.  Two different good quality gauges new out of the package can differ 3 or 4 pounds at high pressure.  When I set the 4 tires on my 2014 Altima to the exact same pressure using my favorite consistent dial gauge, at 30 psi the TPMS reading varies by as much as 2psi between tires.

Keep that in mind when working at the limit of of 80psi in your PC tires.  You might think you are at 80psi, but maybe you are more.  Maybe you are less.  I wish I knew which gauge that reads beyond 80 psi, to recommend.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2017, 10:13:42 am by ron.dittmer » Logged

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« Reply #14 on: May 13, 2017, 11:11:52 am »

Ron,
This link appears to have a lot of tire info including a recommended pressure gauge as you inquired about which coincidentally is the same gauge I use.  I am not a tire expert so I cannot attest to the info on the site but it appears to have been compiled by someone with considerable experience in tire construction and failure analysis.

http://www.rvtiresafety.net/search/label/Gauge

This is an Amazon link to the pressure gauge.

https://www.amazon.com/Accutire-MS-4021B-Digital-Pressure-Gauge/dp/B00080QHMM/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1494687316&sr=8-1&keywords=accutire+digital+tire+gauge


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