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I have an Eagle Trailer under a 20 foot Grady White. The entire rig weighs about 4,600 lbs. The trailer and boat were purchased new in February of 2001. The trailer is equipped with tandem torsion axles. The front of the trailer is about 1 inch higher than the back of the trailer when it is attached to the tow vehicle hitch, so it is fairly level. The problem is as follows: The trailer came equipped with Carlisle tires (205/75 R14 load range C). This spring when repacking the bearings I noticed the left front axle tire had a deformed tread area. The local trailer shop said it was belt separation. On the way up to Canada (about 7 hours into a 10 our drive) the right front axle tire (Carlisle) had what appeared to be a serious belt failure because the tire disintegrated where the tread meets the sided wall. Upon return home after the trip, I inspected all the tires. I noticed the left tire (Carlisle) on the front axle (only about 25 hours of road time - spare that replaced the first tire problem) was showing belt separation also. The Goodyear tire that replaced the tire that failed in transit was fine. The two original tires on the rear axle are Carlisle and are fine. What is causing the tire failures on the front axle? M. Manion, Cleveland, OH
Answered on: 6/2005
GEORGE: It sounds like an issue of tire pressure to me. Those tires have an inflation level of 50 psi and if that's too low, the belt is going to separate because heat builds up. I see this with trailers that sit around for half a year, then are put into use without regard to tire pressure and bingo" the belt separates. MIKE: A. I would start with the alignment of the front axle. Since you experienced problems with both tires that may be the answer. Bent axles will also cause abnormal wear. You may also want to make sure that your load is properly centered over the axles and that there is not a greater amount of the load being put on the front tires. I am assuming that you check your tire pressure religeously prior to starting any trip. If the Goodyear replacement does not show abnormal wear, you may want to switch the other side to Goodyear also.
the Trailer Boat Expert: Mike and George