Action Line – Radial Tires

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December 1, 2010

by Betty Abramhson

While camping the weekend of June 4, I shared my concern and showed my fellow campers the cracks that were occurring on the tires of my 2007 Cougar fifth-wheel. From the fall until spring, my camper is parked and the wheels are covered.

After returning home, I called the company where I purchased my camper and was told to contact Duro Tire Co.

The gentleman at Duro told me bias ply tires are made to be on a trailer that is on the go all of the time and not parked for a long period. Duro told me that the tires I currently have, H78-15ST-ST225175 D 15, are bias ply and DOT6WVX -2406 CA means the tires were made in 2006. My camper should have come with radial tires.

I contacted Keystone and explained my problem and asked if they could help me in replacing these tires since Keystone installed the wrong tires. Keystone said they were DOT approved and nothing could be done.

I am now in the process of purchasing radial tires from Duro, who has been most co-operative in this matter. I feel that Keystone should share in the cost of the replacement tires.

Luckily I noticed the condition of my tires and did not have the blowout experience that Steve Taft described in  Action Line, in the July 2010 issue.

Thomas A. Cousineau, Richmond, RI

Keystone’s response to Mr. Cousineau in September 2010:

Dear Mr. Cousineau:

This letter is a follow up to our phone conversation that we had on August 27, 2010, about the problems you had with the tires on your 2007 Keystone Cougar. You agreed to accept the $150 Keystone offered you to assist with some of the out-of-pocket expenses. As mentioned in the conversation, please allow four to six weeks for the check to be delivered to the address you provided.

If we can be of further assistance, please feel free to contact us at 866-425-4369.

Mr. Cousineau sent this letter to Action Line:

Dear Ms. Abramson:

Thank you very much for your assistance in helping me to get some reimbursement from Keystone RV Company.

I am pleased with the $150 that I am to receive from Keystone. I should be receiving it within the next two weeks.

I do appreciate your attention to my problem.

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  1. francis young

    This is for Richard Wolf who has trouble with his double pane windows fogging etc. I think you will find that it is expensive to replace them and probably cannot repair them so they last permanently. Since you have an older coach maybe you would like to do what I did on a coach about the same age. I took the window and frame out in one piece and took it to a window/glass installer. He separated the 2 panes and re-installed one pane back into the frame. I know this is not the same weather wise and noise wise as the double pane glass, but considering the cost saving I figured I could get along just fine with one thickness of glass and the fogging problem is solved permanently.

    Hope this helps.
    Francis Young

  2. Thanks for your great technical question. The Good Sam forums is a great resource for questions such as these as your fellow RVers are very knowledgeable and can provide tried and true advice. You can also submit questions to Good Sam by sending your question to [email protected]. Hope this helps!

  3. Beverly and Robert Saxton

    We have a 2011 Prime Time fifth wheel. After having it for less than two months the wheel bearings went out and one of the tires went flaming down the road. We had to drive 35 miles on Three wheels and spend a week in a trailer parking lot while a new axle and parts were sent to us. Two tires were actually effected and had to
    be replaced. Hi run was the name of the new tires, the old tires( actually less than three months old) were whatever they put on at the factory were called road riders.
    While at Les Schwab they noted two bulges in the tires. One in the tire less than a month old and one InThe original tire that came with the trailer . Since the tires are 15″ we are very limited in choice. We do not want another cheap China tire but are having a lot of difficulty finding anything else that has consistent good performance. Please help, because blow outs are not just dangerous, they are very
    expensive and stressful. Our tire problem caused over $3,000 worth of damage to our slide outs.
    We found out that the hi run tires carry no warrantee so we have to buy 5new tires. Any advice from rvers with experience would be very appreciated.
    Perhaps the folks at Good Sam Tech could respond? Thank you, Bev and Bob Saxton

  4. Hello, We bought a New, 2009 Denali trailer in Aug 1010, in less than 2500. miles all Rubber was wearing off no treat on inside and outside of tires, Back left tire all rubber worn out on inside, showing that the Axle, wheel was welded on crocked, and look at the video on web page, found out now that the tires. Lippert Axles. and the 2009, Denali, 5th wheel had been RECALLED before it was sole to us, in Aug. 2010

  5. Does Winnebago have a recall on the defective double pane side windows on ’95 Winnebago Vectra Motorhomes?

  6. Charles Johnson

    Is there any place you can email problems to Camping World headquarters

  7. Dave Condit

    My 2010 Open Range fifth wheel came with nitro filled Trail Express. At 5000 miles the first tire blew. At 5700 miles the second blew. At 6600 miles the third blew out, ripping the wiring from my electric brakes and marring up the body a bit. I replaced all three plus the unblown tire with Goodyears. These tires were nitro-filled at 80 LBS, as stated on the tire. Cheap Cheap Cheap tires. Even the fourth tire that didn’t blow was taken off the rim, the sidewalls were so flimsy and weak that the tire was barely able to stand upright. My Goodyears seem to be doing quite well and they look much firmer on the trailer than the cheap chinese junky things.

  8. Pete Norman

    I have a 2008 Keystone Passport travel trailer. After two summers of long trips I had to replace the stock Duro tires. They were severely cupped and worn on the inside. They had cracks and a split in the tread. Plus they rode poorly. When having my bearings greased and brakes adjusted I purchased new alloy rims and tires from Les Schwab in Roseville on historic highway 40. This place caters to RV, trailers and has lots of parking. The new tires ride better and the full tread contacts the road. The Duro tires only rode on a crown in the middle and did not sit flat on the pavement. I can really feel the difference as the trailer tracks and handles better. Also make sure you torque your wheels after about 15 miles. The Les Schwab tires are also made in China but I think the quality control is better than the Duro’s. I plan on replacing my tires every 3-4 years even if the tread looks good.

  9. Wayne Nicklas

    My 2007 4Winds trailer had Duro Radials that didn’t even last a month. All 4 started to have sidewall cracking, my dealer called me and he had 10 brand-new units in stock with the same problem. I gat a free set, only made two short trips and put the trailer in winter storage. The next spring, 3 of the 4 had cracked sidewalls again. Dealer called Duro and got about $200 credit. I ordered Goodyear Marathons from TireRack, had them shipped to the dealer who installed them. I also had them balanced at the same time. Love the Goodyears, the trailer tows easier and have had no problems with them. I went up 1 size for additinal safety, but he did raise the trailer up about 1 inch. The Goodyears are also made in China, but it appears Goodyear has better QC than Duro has. I had Duro tires on my 2001 Coleman pop-up and they were great! but they were also made in the USA…

  10. Mitch Curtis

    My 2008 Dutchmen had the Duro tires when it was purchased. They didn’t even make it 2 yrs. I discovered a 5 inch section of tread missing after a 2 hr trip. I inspected the other 4 tires (spare too) and found that they all had cracks where the tread was seperating. Duro wanted pictures and paperwork from the original purchase along with their pro rated excuses. $600 out of pocket for the new radial properly rated tires.

  11. Tom Cederstrom

    My 2008 Cougar 5th wheel also had the same Bias ply tires made by Duro. I’m surprised that Keystone/Cougar even used bias ply tires. My thinking is Bias ply is practically obsolete, and one wonders why Cougar didn’t use Radial tires. Go figure! I didn’t have any blow-outs, but cracks certainly developed on all 4 tires on the sidewalls. I never contacted Keystone about this because I automatically assumed it would be a big hassle anyway and not worth my time. I bought 4 Maxxis tires in the spring of this year (2010) and so far I haven’t had any problems. One lesson I learned from this is…If one is shopping for a new RV it makes one pay attention to what make tires are installed on the rig.

  12. Bill Baker

    I have a 2002 Forest River 725D that has an unloaded weight of 2720#. Of course that also doesn’t include any options and mine (purchased it used) came with heat, A/C, Hot water tank, cassette potti, roof rack, and spare tire as options. The tires that were on it were ST175 80R/13’s which have a rating of 1360# each or total of 2720#. The tires were 7 years old and I had 2 blowouts -both on road side, and both, I believe, due to dry rot.

    I contacted Forest River, told them what was going on, and though they couldn’t/wouldn’t do anything for me, they did make a change on the tires (and axle for that matter) they are using. They now put bias ply that have a 1410 rating and a higher rated axle.

    In my research, bias ply is okay to use even for sometime camping. The first few miles you will notice a thump as they warm up and “get round” again, but they do have a greater weight rating.

  13. Alex Penner

    We have a 2005 Keystone Sprinter with Mission tires. After meeting another Keystone owner who had repeated tire failures I checked with our dealer. Our tires are ST 225- 75R 15 – Series ST108. Apparently there were issues with other model numbers of Mission tires, and there was suppposed to be a recal, but I could not find any more about that.. Our dealer assured us that they had no issues with the “108” series of Mission tires and to date I would agree.They did say that tire pressure is critical and even though it seem high to me I keep it checked and up. We have three long haul trips behind us, and another planned this year, and our tires still look new. Trailer tire failure has been an issue here, especially with some of the larger horse trailers with living quarters. Many I know have gone over to Yokahama trailer service tires and seem quite happy. My question is when do you replace a tire that still appears to be in great shape? Every time I look in the mirror I wonder about the tires back there.

  14. Cliff Friesen

    May I add another problem tire to your list – Trail Express, Power Touring DOT #1KMM16A. Last summer we purchased a 2010Silverback RE29 Silverback, Cardinal 5th Wheel by Forrest River. We towed it for about 5,00 miles to AZ and locally when it was notice that there was a bulging bead separation on two tires. If you Google that tire, you will find that many other individuals have had serious problems too. Our local RV dealer put us in contact with Voma Tire Corporation, Mephis,TN, who said they would send out replacement tires. I did not want these tires again, so warranty department agreed to a cash settlement at their cost of $59.70 per tire if I sent in the DOT numbers cut off of the tires. I did this and about a month later I received a check in the mail. Even Forrest River uses cheap off-shore tires.

  15. Richard Crandall

    I had the same tire problem with Duro tires on my 08 Cougar. The day before leaving for a trip I was checking the inflation on my trailer tires. I found all 4 were cracking on the sidewalls and the tread was separating from the casing. I went to Camping World who said my problem was with Duro. After several attempts to call Duro they said the problem was with Keystone, not them. I called Keystone who said the problem was Duro’s. I contacted Good Sam. A couple of weeks later I received a call from Keystone who said in a few weeks they would send me a$150 reimbursement. I appreciate the refund but my replacements cost more than they allowed me.

    The price is not nearly as important as the fact that Keystone chose to put Chinese manufactured bias ply tires on my camper. Why did they not buy quality American made tires. I was fortunate to discover the problem before I had a blowout (or multiple blowouts) on the highway.

  16. David Dalton

    We have a 2006 Keystone Everest 364Q, and we’ve had three blowouts and two additional ones that we caught before they actually blew. We started with Mission tires all around. After the second blowout, we attempted to contact Mission for help, but they failed to respond to our inquiries through their link on the website or phone messages left on their “customer service” line. After the Mission failures, we replaced them with several other brands including Maxxis (Firestone) and Towmaster. However, the problem continued until we took the 5th wheel to Southwest Brake & Alignment in San Antonio. Since then, we have had no failures and the tire wear appears to be even across all four tires. The alignment cost about a hundred dollars, less than half the cost of a single tire, and, so far, it seems to have fixed the problem. However, we will not consider any Mission products regardless since they could not even pay us the courtesy of a return correspondence.

  17. Eric R

    I traveled for about 15 weeks this year, and had three tires delaminate (causing a flat in a fourth). All were older 10 ply radials, but uncracked and showing little wear. The 5th wheel was new to me and had spent its life in a park, so I do not know what might have preceded my use but it included a lot of sitting for the tires. I do not know what the lesson is here and none of the tire dealers involved could identify the cause. However, I can say that I should have taken the first delamination as a sign and replaced the whole lot then (and the second was a clear signal, the dealer’s assurances notwithstanding). I simply had never heard of a problem like that. We were fortunate to have detected the failures before the trailer was damaged, and of course we are glad that neither we nor anyone else was injured.

  18. Glenn Morris

    We bought a new Dutchmen in 2008. Getting ready for a trip the first few months we owned it, I noticed that all the Duro tire sidewalls were deeply cracked. Duro replaced them under warranty, but made sure to tell me that they would not stand behind the replacements they sent. Nice warranty policy. We bought a new Keystone Montana in 2010. It has Goodyears on it, and I haven’t seen any problems with them. By the way, both the Duro’s and the Goodyears were made in China.

  19. Francis E. Jeffery

    The Spare tire is not used. It has a Chrome cover and plastic shield.
    It will deteriorate and is dangerous to use.

    Usually it is black iron rim and the ground rim is Chrome, therefore a cost to rotate so the rims match..

    Check the manufacturing date on the tire.
    After a certain date, it not to be used. — except as a swing for the kids.

  20. Robert Patten

    We have issues with Mission Tires that came with our 2005 Keystone Cougar 30 travel trailer. Have had two blowouts, with the second causing damage to our trailer. Replaced with Goodyear. Tire dealer noticed the two we took off starting to de-tread and bubble up. Said we wouldn’t have made it home without having another blowout or two.
    Keystone took no responceability. Referred me to calling Mission tires directly. Haven’t had the chance to call yet.
    Anything you can help me with or tell me?
    Thanks, Robert Patten

  21. John Smoker

    I purchased a new Fleetwood camper with a slide last fall. It isa 2009 and I was suprised to find bias ply tires on it as well. I mention that to the dealer and was told thats what were on when it came to them with. I wonder if Fleetwood was using the cheaper tires as they were going under or the dealer changed them out . As I was preparing to cover the camper and tires for the winter I noticed the fine weather cracks on my tires as well and felt that the cracks should not be happening that soon on two year old tires.