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Gil

Trailer tire popped!

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I have had a small (single axle) car trailer for about 15+ years and have used it a lot from time to time over the years for moving cars, building materials and furniture. It doesn't have much mileage on it though, and the tires still look like new (at least one does now....). Most of the time, it just sits outside somewhere out of the way. It has ordinary 15" car tires on VW rims.

As I drove past it the other day in my field, it looked like one tire exploded. As I walked over to it, I heard aid rushing out, so it had just happened. I would say that it had a "catastrophic" failure!

It's a really good thing it didn't happen on the road somewhere with something valuable loaded on it, a heavy load or on a highway.

I've never thought about it before, but do tires that sit outside in the sun and weather fail a lot sooner? Would tire covers help? How can you tell if tires that otherwise look to be in good shape, actually aren't? Or do tires have a typical lifespan and should you just replace them say every 10 years or so?

TIA,

Gil

Gil

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First of all get trailer tires rather than car tires. They are about 1.5 times the price but it's for good reason - they have double or more ply. You should have about 8-ply tires for a trailer that carries a car and inflate an average of 10lbs per ply. Car tires aren't built to handle the loads and they only have three to four ply construction so they are a lot thinner.

Yes - just be happy it didn't happen at speed with your 02 strapped on!

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after which they are pretty well 'dead' (and hard as rocks) and will start losing their load rating...

t

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and what dem guys said above. Also, trailer tires have it rough because a trailer suspension usually isn't as good as a car suspension, so the tires do more of the damping. Trailer tires have "ST" (special trailer tire) on the sidewall. There are online places where you can buy them cheap.

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Use wheel covers. It protects the tires from damaging UV rays. That will make the difference between the 5 and the 10 years.

Look at the sidewall from evidence of cracks. That's the sign of age. Tread wear and trailer tires are unrelated. Trailer tires don't wear very fast at the tread, unless they are driven a lot like some commercial trailers. And check tire pressure regularly.

Do not use car tires on a trailer. It's more than just a load rating. Trailer tires need to resist lateral loads but they need to follow the tow vehicle and not track like car tires do. Trailer tires hardly bulge at the bottom. They are not supposed to. Car tires do. They are designed that way.

I strongly recommend a 2 axle trailer for carrying cars. Trailer tires do blow out. Most of them fail catastrophically and just shread instantly. You do not want that to happen on a single axle with a car on the trailer.

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