: Replacing tires based on age.
02-03-2009, 01:26 PM
I only put a couple of thousand miles on my trailer every year.
The tires are many years old, but still have lots of tread.
The boat/trailer is in a garage when the boat is not in the water, so sitting in the sun is not an issue.
The boat is a Lund 1650 Explorer SS with a 70 HP Honda and the trailer is a 2400 pound Shorelandr, so I don't think I am overloading the trailer.
After how many years should I replace the tires even when they look fine?
02-03-2009, 05:04 PM
The "tire makers" recommend every 6 years, but I think that is excessive. But I think by 8 years its time. From what I have read, the material just breaks down. The tire looks good, but is weak and likely to fail.
02-03-2009, 07:20 PM
The age should be established from the tires manufactured date on the sidewall, not from the time they were put into service on the trailer.
02-04-2009, 07:19 AM
The answer is "How lucky do you feel?". I had a rowboat trailer with 25 year-old tires that I towed 3500 miles to Canada and back 4 years ago without incident. The original tires on my big boat trailer were 15 years-old when I replaced them. Both trailers are stored indoors when not in use, most of my towing is short trips at moderate speeds, the tires are loaded to less than 85% of capacity and the tires still looked good with no weather-checking. I've been lucky, but now that I've heard many stories about failures of old tires that looked perfectly good, I'm changing my behavior.
I got nervous on the big trailer and put on new radials and will probably replace them every 6 years to be on the safe side. The consequences of a tire failure at freeway speeds outweigh the cost of replacing tires. If the small trailer ever goes on a trip again, it also gets new tires.
02-07-2009, 09:32 AM
If your tires have been covered they will last for many years. If they have weather checking around the beads or on the sidewalls then they are likely to give you problems.
02-07-2009, 04:25 PM
I have probably had more blow-outs than most on this site but I've been trailering 200+ miles one way for 30 years now, until I started replacing my tires every 5 years. Years ago I had money for beer but not tires and beer. It's not any fun replacing a tire on the interstate at 2 in the morning.
The best rule of thumb is to replace the tires 6 years after the date of manufacture.
It doesn't make any difference if they have been covered, if their is weather checking, if there is one mile of use on the tires.
Replace them every 6 years and you will likely be trouble free on the roads.
Go longer and you are rolling the dice - on your chances of getting to your destination and back without issue.
I wasn't a believer in this idea until I had three tires blow out on a trip with my motor home on tires that were 8 years old, but had 90% tread on them and no signs of checking or other issues.
It seems that the compunds in rubber simply break down over time - whether visible or not and thus weaken the tires.
I would suggest that if you have tires on your trailer that have a 100% safety factor - for example a tire that is carrying 2000 lbs with a 4000 lb rating, you are likely to go much longer without issue.
I suspect that the most problems are going to be with tires that are running at or near their max load rating as was the case with my motor home.
If you do blow a tire at 70 mph - on a trailer, vehicle or other - and expecially if the tire is a steel belted radial - I assure you that the long steel belt flapping around for a few seconds at 70 mph - causes a huge amount of damage.
i.e. ripping up fenders, ripping up undercarriage, ripping up anything that comes in contact with the high speed heavy long steel belt flying around under the vehicle or trailer.
Do yourself a favor to check on tire loads.
Put everthing that you normally put in your trailer for any of your typical trips. If you don't put anything in the trailer, fine. If you do as most folks do and load the trailer up pretty good - do so.
Then, take the trailer over to a vehicle scale and weigh the vehicle by axle and also weigh the trailer by axle.
You can easily find scales at freeway weigh stations, some truck stops, garbage transfer stations, recycling centers, etc. etc.
Once you have weighed the vehicle and trailer by axle - divide that number by the number of tires on that particular axle.
Record all of these numbers for future reference.
Then, compare each of these numbers to the max load numbers that are printed on the sides of the tires.
Then, and only then you will know with certainity - what safety margin, if any you have on your vehicle and trailer tires.
It is a very very very common thing to have trailer tires carrying a load that is a little or much greater than the max load rating that is imprinted on the side of the tire.
If you find this to be true, replace the tires with tires having a larger load rating, or change the trailer to a larger trailer with larger tires, better able to carry the load.
My guess is - as is yours - that you are fine. Your description of your rig sounds like you are likely just fine with the loading. However, it is certainly a good idea to check, just to be sure on the loading.
02-14-2009, 08:51 PM
Timely topic. I was just trying to figure out the load thing today after I was bored and checked the inflation on my tires. Ironically, they looked fine from the outside, but they were really low. I have a dual axle Eagle with marathons...205/75R14.
My Lund IFS weighs (according to the Lund webpage) at approximately 1875 pounds. The tires are rated at approximately 1760 pounds.
REW, roughly, and I mean roughly, where do I sit with four tires (2 axles)? How much does that take off or compensate for the load?
At full pressure, add up the ratings. That would be your total load capacity of the trailer with 4 tires.
Prov, is that dry weight? You need to factor the weight of motors, fuel, full live wells, gear and the trailer. Next time you pass a truck stop with certified scales weigh your rig on the trailer. My guess would be over 3500#