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Competition BBQ *On Topic Only* Discussion regarding all aspects of Competition BBQ. Experiences competing or visiting, questions, getting started, Equipment, announcements of events, Results, Reviews, Planning, etc. Questions here will be responded to with competition BBQ in mind.


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Old 09-16-2014, 09:20 AM   #1
Podge
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Default Advice for those traveling with comp. trailers.

On the way to the Sam's regionals, I had 3, yes, 3, blowouts. Being hot, tired, overheated, I finally had enough sense to google the cause of the blowouts after the 3rd one. It was due to low tire pressure. I had 60 psi on the last good one, and it should have been 80. Heat builds up in the sidewalls, and constant wobbling low pressure causes, causes the walls to become weak and give out. Here are some more things you may or may not have known:

These are the things I didn’t know.
  • All "ST" tires have a maximum speed rating of 65 mph.
  • As heat builds up, the tire's structure starts to disintegrate and weaken.
  • The load carrying capacity gradually decreases as the heat and stresses generated by higher speed increases.
Time
  • Time and the elements weaken a trailer tire.
  • In approximately three years, roughly one-third of the tire's strength is gone.
  • Three to five years is the projected life of a normal trailer tire.
  • It is suggested that trailer tires be replaced after three to four years of service regardless of tread depth or tire appearance.
Mileage
  • Trailer tires are not designed to wear out.
  • The life of a trailer tire is limited by time and duty cycles.
  • The mileage expectation of a trailer tire is 5,000 to 12,000 miles.
so, please take 5 minutes and check your tires and tire pressure before you leave.
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Old 09-16-2014, 09:28 AM   #2
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Thanks for the head's up. I had no idea!
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Old 09-16-2014, 10:14 AM   #3
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After a couple of tire failures I picked up a remote Tire Pressure Monitor System (TPMS) that monitors tire pressure and temperature in real time. On a tandem axle trailer a failure of one tire quickly leads to the other tire on that side failing (cascade failure). A TPMS system can help avoid this be alerting you to a low pressure or loss of pressure situation in one tire before the second tire fails.
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Old 09-16-2014, 10:14 AM   #4
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Great post. On my first set of trailer tires, they wore out on the outside and had full tread in the middle. We ran 65lbs in them thinking 80lbs seemed high. After talking with the tire shop, they told me the same thing, so now we are running 80lbs!
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Old 09-16-2014, 10:23 AM   #5
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Consider going to LT tires.
For ST tires get the highest load range you can find and run the max pressure stated on the tire. Reduced tire pressure from the max stated on the tire also reduce the load capacity.
Weigh the trailer. Most failures are from overloaded trailers with under inflated tires.
A TPSM is a great idea.
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Old 09-16-2014, 10:24 AM   #6
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I will add too, that it pays to be fully prepared for a quick tire change too.. You can get those tire changing ramps for tandem axle trailers. pull up one wheel and the other wheel will be off the ground to change.. unless you have leaf springs like me that let your bad tire still touch, then a small bottle jack is all you need to lift that wheel up a couple of more inches. A 4 way wrench is slow going for 8 lug nuts, when you're chaging a flat on the driver's side, and semi's are barreling down the road at 70 MPH, 3 feet from your body, and making your trailer sway... So I bought me a 20v rechargeable impact wrench that works on lug nuts.
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Old 09-16-2014, 10:26 AM   #7
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Also, in doing research, nitrogen filled tires are nice... but don't think they won't run out of air on you.. they loose air at about 25% slower than normal. not much, but will still loose it.
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Old 09-16-2014, 11:41 AM   #8
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Good advice/info. Thanks!

I learned this weekend to look where your brake wiring runs. The manufacturer had run the brake wires (and zip tied) on top of the axle right where the frame is located above. I hit a massive pothole coming down Vail pass on I70 (steep downgrades for miles). The trailer axle bottomed out to the frame and cut the brake wires. That got interesting.

I am rerouting the wires to the sides of the axle (not on top) to avoid this.
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Old 09-16-2014, 11:44 AM   #9
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Took your advice and took my trailer to mechanic shop this morning. My tires say 65psi but both on right side had 26#s and on left side 28 and 30#s. I have a comp this weekend so your advice was very timely. Thanks Podge.
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Old 09-16-2014, 12:10 PM   #10
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My mechanic said to lower the tire pressure when traveling in hot months. The tires expand from the air pressure when they get hot. Being inflated to maximum amount, they blow. And the add heat from the road. Nitrogen will help, still have to check pressure though. Driving at 65 is the key, I believe.
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Old 09-16-2014, 12:47 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scottie View Post
My mechanic said to lower the tire pressure when traveling in hot months. The tires expand from the air pressure when they get hot. Being inflated to maximum amount, they blow. And the add heat from the road. Nitrogen will help, still have to check pressure though. Driving at 65 is the key, I believe.
I can definitely see that!!.. it was mid 90's the day I drove down there. From what I've read, tire pressure only goes up a few PSI, but I don't really believe that though. I think it could be more... My tires were rated for 80, and with the last good tire, hot, was 60.. .no telling what it'd be cold.

I think being inflated to the max. amount, and driving 65 mph, I would hope that with these conditions, the tires should hold up since that's the standard they are designed to.
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Old 09-16-2014, 12:50 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scottie View Post
My mechanic said to lower the tire pressure when traveling in hot months. The tires expand from the air pressure when they get hot. Being inflated to maximum amount, they blow. And the add heat from the road. Nitrogen will help, still have to check pressure though. Driving at 65 is the key, I believe.
My TPMS only shows a 1-3 lb change in tire pressure as the tires heat up (depending on ambient temperature and sun exposure) The max inflation pressure on the side wall is a cold inflation pressure not the maximum pressure the tire can withstand.

More information on tire pressure vs temperature
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Old 09-16-2014, 02:23 PM   #13
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He said it would be more in the 8-10 range. But all I know is I have them at 70 psi, filled with nitrogen and drive around 65 and so far so good. I should also have said that my mechanic actually worked at a rental company. Besides the standard rental equipment, they also rented trailers and trucks. He worked on the box trucks. He knows more than me, so he is the expert in my eyes.
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Old 09-16-2014, 03:09 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scottie View Post
He said it would be more in the 8-10 range. But all I know is I have them at 70 psi, filled with nitrogen and drive around 65 and so far so good. I should also have said that my mechanic actually worked at a rental company. Besides the standard rental equipment, they also rented trailers and trucks. He worked on the box trucks. He knows more than me, so he is the expert in my eyes.
The rule of thumb is 1 psi for every 10 degree change in temperature, but it's dependent on many variables; weight of your trailer, brand and type of tire, weather, type of road surface, etc.
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Old 09-16-2014, 03:16 PM   #15
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The best thing that I have done was to measure the pressure in all four trailer tires before I travel a good distance (100 or so miles), then measure them again when I stop, say for gas. I know the tires are good and hot by then.

All of my travel trailers, bbq comp trailer and vehicles have only increased pressure by about 4-5 lbs when hot.

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