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AndyShane

Fighting The Chinese Menace... Where Rubber Meets Road

11 posts in this topic

I'm currently processing claims paperwork for Carlisle tires, having joined the ranks of owners who've suffered blowouts running on Carlisles (they came with my 2011 Roadmaster 2000-1 dolly). We had two blowouts in six months, perfectly-maintained new Carlisle tires that were kept indoors. Along with contacting the dolly and tire manufacturers, I've filed a complaint against Carlisle with the NHTSA. Evidence suggests it is an unsafe tire, my experience affirms that conclusion.

A friend is doing research for tire replacement on their trailer, sent me the following excellent link that explains DOT codes and lists American-made tires.

http://www.americanmadetires.com/where-tires-are-made.html

Our independent searching has come to the same conclusion: Goodyear Marathon. But, there is a fly in the ointment: at present, there are still failure-prone Marathons that were made in China out there, being sold. They are currently being made domestically, reportedly with higher reliability; but, it's hard to find the American ones. In the interim, I had to settle for Karrier Loadstar, which owners report enjoys good operating safety and reliability, even though... you guessed, it's made in China.

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Roadmaster pledged to review their tire supplier, to consider changing sources. But, their advertising currently shows no such transition.

Your link has some breathtaking reviews, suggesting the Carlisles might live up to their terrible nickname, "China Bomb."

To Carlisle's credit, they have reimbursed us fully for our damages, and it is entirely possible that they've made adjustments to their production to rectify problems. The Catch 22 is that bannering such changes might expose the company to liability, be construed as an admission of guilt. That's why we have government regulators; the Feds are on notice that consumers using the model of tires supplied on earlier Roadmasters could be in danger.

Meanwhile, our new Karrier brand tires have accumulated a couple of thousand miles without problems. As mentioned earlier, they are also Chinese models; so, a blanket indictment of products made in China is not the answer (although I'll happily pay extra for a superior American-made tire that size, when they become available).

I might add that these dollies have to do a lot of work, it is important that the manufacturers' recommendations for alignment and other periodic maintenance be followed to a tee. Like our RVs themselves, the machinery is subject to harsher loading than a family car, requires lots of TLC.

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Andy, you are correct about alignment. However the only thing that can be aligned on a dolly would be the toe-in, But the toe-in has to be correct or the dolly will try to wander and cause excess tire wear.

Herman

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I'll add my Carlyle experience.

I bought a used Roadmaster dolly in March 2011. The tires on it were badly sunburned, so I replaced them at Americas Tire in Palm Desert before using the dolly. They put Carlyles on. After about 10k miles with no issues, the tire on the rt side lost its balance and bounced itself to death. The bouncing of the rt tire caused the left one to bounce too, so both were not safe to continue once I found the problem. I noticed this by using my IR gun to temp them and found the rt was 140 F while the car rear tires were 85F in 80F ambient temp. On examination, the rt tire showed wear patches all around the tire, up to 5 in diameter wear patches that were all the way through the tread. No cord showing, but not by much. This at Bakersfield CA. The tires were still looking new when I left home, Coquitlam BC, about 1000 miles. I put whatever Costco was selling on, not Carlyles. When I arrived in El Centro, 250 miles later, the temp was 80F, the same as the car rear tires.

I think the problem was bouncing. I don't know how you could tell it was occurring, other than by watching the wear appear on the tire and reading the temperature of the tire. I don't know if the brand of tire has anything to do with it. Possibly the AM Tire installation left something to be desired, such as a loose balancing weight. I do know that I feel like I dodged a bullet by stopping and shooting the temps, so I will continue to do that. I would never expect Carlyle to step up without a lot more to indicate there was a manufacturing problem.

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I'll add my Carlyle experience.

I bought a used Roadmaster dolly in March 2011. The tires on it were badly sunburned, so I replaced them at Americas Tire in Palm Desert before using the dolly. They put Carlyles on. After about 10k miles with no issues, the tire on the rt side lost its balance and bounced itself to death. The bouncing of the rt tire caused the left one to bounce too, so both were not safe to continue once I found the problem. I noticed this by using my IR gun to temp them and found the rt was 140 F while the car rear tires were 85F in 80F ambient temp. On examination, the rt tire showed wear patches all around the tire, up to 5 in diameter wear patches that were all the way through the tread. No cord showing, but not by much. This at Bakersfield CA. The tires were still looking new when I left home, Coquitlam BC, about 1000 miles. I put whatever Costco was selling on, not Carlyles. When I arrived in El Centro, 250 miles later, the temp was 80F, the same as the car rear tires.

I think the problem was bouncing. I don't know how you could tell it was occurring, other than by watching the wear appear on the tire and reading the temperature of the tire. I don't know if the brand of tire has anything to do with it. Possibly the AM Tire installation left something to be desired, such as a loose balancing weight. I do know that I feel like I dodged a bullet by stopping and shooting the temps, so I will continue to do that. I would never expect Carlyle to step up without a lot more to indicate there was a manufacturing problem.

You should install tire pressure and temperature monitors then you know what your running going down the highway.

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There are lots of things I could spend money on. TPMS is somewhere on that list, but since I have to stop periodically to stretch my legs and have a potty break, and I have a handy IR gun, I will rename it TPMS, for now. I now know that it works!

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Andy, you are correct about alignment. However the only thing that can be aligned on a dolly would be the toe-in, But the toe-in has to be correct or the dolly will try to wander and cause excess tire wear.

Herman

Camber and caster also have to be correct. Caster is less critical but camber has an effect on tire wear just as toe in/out does. If everything is correct it will track better as well as give maximum tread life.

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A little more about DOT code and manufacturing plant location at this site.

Note that the first two characters are the plant code and does not change. The next two are usually a code for tire size but this code is not universal and sometimes tires of the same size may have different "size code" when made by two different manufacturers.

Finally if you only have three numbers at the end of the DOT serial that means the tire is more than 11 years old and should not be on any RV driven on the road today.

I have a blog post specifically on tires made in China.

Also a post on why "bad tires" are on the road.

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There are lots of things I could spend money on. TPMS is somewhere on that list, but since I have to stop periodically to stretch my legs and have a potty break, and I have a handy IR gun, I will rename it TPMS, for now. I now know that it works!

Don't forget that just because you checked the air in the morning or in the rest stop doesn't mean you won't drive over a nail as you pull out of the driveway.

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