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Old 03-26-2012, 03:03 PM   #1
twrastall
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Goodyear Marathon tires

On the trip home from FL I saw 3 Montana's along Side the road with blown tires. When I got home I started searching the web and was alarmed to learn about all the problems with Goodyear Marathon tires. I called Montana and was told there is nothing they can do about it because the tires are rated for the weight of my 2011 Montana 3100RL. Was given the standard speach about tires fail because of low air pressure. I replied that most people who buy a $50,000 RV will make sure the tires are at proper inflation. The customer rep admitted thy are still using Goodyear Marathon tires on their 2012 models. I asked why would they put tires on that they know will fail. No answer. I was told to drive under 65 MPH or my tires would blow out. I replied that this will be the last Montana I will buy. The customer rep gave me the number for TRIDENT Tires who is the company who install their wheels and tires. I asked if I could put G rated tires on my 5th wheel. I was told no, as my wheels are only rated for 80PSI. I asked to talk to someone who could address the tire problems. I was told there was no one to talk to.


Called Trident Tire main office. The customer rep admitted that they have received a number of complaints about the Goodyear Marathon tire. The rep said my only option was G rated tires ($400 per tire). The rep did verify that wheels on 2011 and newer Montana's have 120PSI wheels.

Warning, don't buy a Montana unless it has G rated tires.

Filed complaint with NTSA.
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Old 03-26-2012, 03:26 PM   #2
bncinwv
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Hopefully one of these days Keystone Montana will see the light and put G614's as standard equipment on their rigs. It is totally unacceptable to have to purchase the Big Sky upgrade package to get reliable tires. Why they don't start immediately is beyond my comprehension? If most owners were aware of the potential for problems (like us) there would be no issue with paying a few hundred dollars extra for reliability. We consider ourselves blessed that we worked it out with the dealer to get the Mara"bombs" off of our rig before it left the lot behind our Chevy. Unfortunately, if you don't make the change now that you are aware of the problems, you will constantly be looking in the rear view......pondering and wondering.........(been there done that, and we don't do it now!) Oh, and welcome to the forum!!!
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Old 03-26-2012, 03:47 PM   #3
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by twrastall

I was told to drive under 65 MPH or my tires would blow out.
FYI, all ST tires are speed rated with a max of 65.
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Old 03-26-2012, 04:28 PM   #4
mhs4771
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The sad part about all this, IT'S NOT just Keystone and Montana's. Go to an RV show, I'll bet that at least half the rigs there will be sitting on Marathons. There are bigger and heavier rigs out there than Montanas using the Marathons as OEM tires. For any of these bigger rigs, the "G" rated tires should be standard, with an option to move up to 17.5 "H" or "J" rated tires.
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Old 03-26-2012, 04:40 PM   #5
Clemson1881
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I have never seen a topic come up as much as the China Bombs in any forum. Unreal Keystone has not gotten rid of them. Who wouldn't pay $600 to $800 more for a rig with safer tires versus the ticking time bombs?
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Old 03-26-2012, 05:01 PM   #6
1retired06
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G rated tires are not your only option. There are lots of good quality E-Load tires out there. In the E-load range I usually ran Firestone Transforce LT tires, and I have never had a blowout or tire issue. I watch my air pressure and keep my speed down to 65. Lots of threads about Marathon ST tires and consensus is they are not up to the task. If your rims can handle the higher PSI, a G-load is a no-brainer. If your rims cannot, a good quality E-Load LT tire is a major step above the Marathon. I see too many trailers passing me going 70-80 miles per hour and some folks are sloppy checking air pressure regularly. I suspect those folks are the ones experiencing the majority of tire failures.
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Old 03-26-2012, 05:25 PM   #7
Clemson1881
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The belts on the Marabombs are weak. The twisting of parking and tight turns are a huge factor of their demise.
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Old 03-26-2012, 05:43 PM   #8
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Mike you are right there are alot of great LT tires out there that you will not have any trouble out of. I have ran Falkens from Japan till they were worn down and no problems now I have Laredo HD/Hs From USA great looking tires but I only have about 1200 miles on them and the LTs are rated for over 65MPH Just in case. BTW just about all are less than 200$ each mounted and balanced out the door. JMHO
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Old 03-26-2012, 06:11 PM   #9
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Once again the Marathon thread season is in full swing. Here's the answer to why the Marathons fail even though rated for higher weight and some other tires you may want to investigate. This thread was on another forum last year and I've already put it on this forum four times this year. Here it is: I have asked many times for someone to explain how a ST tire can be rated to carry more weight than a LT tire in a similar size, without a good answer.

The answer lies in what is called reserve capacity. To quote from Trailer Parts Superstore and this same statement exist on just about every tire site:

HEAVY DUTY 'LT' TRUCK / TRAILER TIRES
'LT' signifies the tire is a "Light Truck/Trailer" series that can be used on trailers that are capable of carrying heavy cargo such as equipment trailers.

If a tire size begins with 'LT' it signifies the tire is a "Light Truck-metric" size that was designed to be used on trailers that are capable of carrying heavy cargo or tow vehicles. Tires branded with the "LT" designation are designed to provide substantial reserve capacity to accept the additional stresses of carrying heavy cargo.

So what is reserve capacity? It is capacity beyond the rating of the tire, capacity that is held in reserve. This reserve capacity comes from the heavy-duty sidewall of the LT type tires. LT's rank at the top of the list when we look at P, ST and LT tires.

Now I finally have an answer to how a ST tire can be rated to carry more weight than a LT tire of similar size.

The ratings of ST tires infringe into the reserve capacity of the tire. This is double bad, because the design of the ST gives us a tire with less reserve capacity to start with as it has a lighter sidewall to start with as most ST tires are much lighter than their LT counterparts.

To quote one tire site:
"Put a different way, the load carrying capacity of an ST tire is 20% greater than an LT tire. Since durability is strictly a long term issue - and the results of a tire failure on a trailer are much less life threatening than on a truck - the folks that set up these load / inflation pressure relationships allow a greater......ah......let's call it load intensity."

There it is in print to be read. They make a calculated decision to give the ST tire a higher load rating because a failure is less life threatening.

I have on a number of occasions pointed out the weight difference between the different tires and have been told that does not matter. Well it does matter. The rubber in the average tire only makes up around 40 some percent of its weight, the rest is in the steel belts, gum strips, steel beads, and the carcass plies. The remaining 60 or so percent of the stuff in a tire is what builds in the reserve capacity.

So to review again, here are some weights:
1. Michelin XPS RIB LT235/85R16 LRE (rated to 3042lbs) Weight 55.41
2. Goodyear G614 LT235/85R16 LRG (rated to 3750lbs) Weight 57.5
3. Bridgestone Duravis R250 LT235/85R16 LRE(rated to 3042lbs) Weight 60
4. BFG Commercial TA LT235/85R16 LRE(rated to 3042lbs) Weight 44.44
5. Uniroyal Laredo HD/H LT235/85R16 LRE(rated to 3042lbs) Weight 44.44
6. GY Marathon ST235/80R16 LRE(rated to 3420lbs) Weight 35.4

So which tires on the list have the most reserve capacity? Well that is not a completely simple answer, as one of the tires is a G rate 110 lb tire and the rest are LRE at 80lb inflation. So if we disregard the G614, then the Michelin XPS RIB and the Bridgestone Duravis R250 due to their all-steel ply construction will have the most reserve capacity inherent in their construction. The twin Commercial TA and Laredo will be next and the Marathon would have little or no reserve capacity available because it was used up in its higher load rating, AND because of it's much lighter construction it had much less inherent reserve capacity to start with.

So what have we learn from this?

I think that the first thing that we learned was that a LT tire can be used at or near it max rated loading without having issues, as they built with "substantial reserve capacity to accept the additional stresses of carrying heavy cargo".

The second thing we may have learned is why ST tires are failing on mid to larger 5th wheels, in that they do not have inherent reserve capacity beyond that rated max loading. Again this is because they have less reserve capacity to start with and their greater "load intensity" used up any reserve capacity that might have been available.

Now, here is an interesting bit of information. I just called Maxxis Tech Line and asked the weights for two tires.

ST235/80R16 LRD 3000 lb rating at 65 lbs of air weights 38.58
ST235/80R16 LRE 3420 lb rating at 80 lbs of air weights 43.43

What??? The Maxxis load range E tire weights almost the same as the Commercial TA?? This is a ST tire that has heavier construction than the GY Marathon at 35.4 lbs. So it has more inherent reserve capacity due to its heavier construction.

Those that claimed its virtues maybe did not know why it was a better ST tire than some of the others, but there it is! It is a heavier built tire with more reserve capacity.

So as one chooses a replacement tire or is asking for an upgrade on a new trailer please get educated on where the reserve capacity exist. Is it inherent in the tire you choose or do you have to factor it into the weight rating of the tire you choose.

Those with heavy trailers that are switching to 17.5 rims and tires rated to 4805 lbs and getting a double injection of reserve capacity, in that they are using a tire with lots of inherent reserve capacity and the tire has much more capacity than the application. It is all starting to make sense.
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Old 03-27-2012, 04:18 AM   #10
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I wish I had been on this forum back in February, before I bought my Montana with china bombs.
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Old 03-27-2012, 12:23 PM   #11
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When I negotiated our new unit, the dealer was unwilling to replace the tires (Camping World). What he would do was swap the new tires from my old rig to the new rig (rim to rim). Guess they were not hungry enough, or else I got everything I was going to get.
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Old 03-27-2012, 01:28 PM   #12
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I find it amazing that so many Montana owners I meet have never heard of this forum and seem uninterested when I speak of it. When you begin to understand the number of Montanas on the road and that a greater portion of their owners have no idea about these tires, it becomes of more concern. In addition , ours are not the only ones with these tires. We are probably a minority portion. Circumstances will get perfect one day and someone will die. A lawyer will clean several pockets.

Recently a tri axle toy hauler pulled into our driveway. You guessed it , Marathons. One had a blister as large as a softball, 3 of the other 5 had obvious broken belts. When I showed them to the owner , his comment was ," I'm sure glad they didn't blow when I was running 80 on the Interstate. Where is the GY dealer?"

I really hope something will cause intervention from somewhere before there is a terrible incident.

I have come to realize that there are alot of folks rving , who don't have a clue.
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Old 03-27-2012, 02:05 PM   #13
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Someone who would run 80 on the interstate with a three axle toy hauler has more to learn than just about tires and I hope someone else isn't in the way when the lessons are learned.
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Old 03-29-2012, 07:33 AM   #14
twrastall
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I drive under 65 MPH, however sometimes you need to pass and may get up to 70 MPH. I guess I missed that part of the sales presentation that you have to drive under 65 MPH. You would think Keystone would have warnings all over the place if this is a concern.
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Old 03-29-2012, 07:50 AM   #15
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The 65 mph max speed limitation is imposed on ST rated tires. Research of any tire literature will yield these numbers. On occasion when we had the ST's, we would also exceed the 65 mph max speed recommendation, whether that had anything to do with our tire failures is unknown and probably debatable. Our 614's are rated at a maximum speed of 75 mph, which gives a little better traveling margin for driving circumstances that arise, but rest assured that speed has never been approached. I typically set the cruise control at about 67-68 mph, and feel comfortable at that speed on the Interstates.
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Old 03-29-2012, 11:05 AM   #16
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The 65MPH rating has been on all ST tires I've owned. Rarely do people check theirs nor follow the ratings even when posting. The person admitting to driving 80 mph with their rig is the reason tire companies don't do better with trailers since they'll just say there are so many abusers out there.

In California, anyone towing a trailer has a 55 mph speed limit on ANY road, but I rarely see it followed even by me. In my case, I get the best mileage, performance and comfort when towing at about 60-63 mph so that's why I use that speed. I have gone by plenty of LEOs without issue. I get passed by lots of trailers all the time, but I've been known to pass a few myself especially gassers going up a hill and they'll pass me by once again on the down hill.

Taking care of the tires are the number one issue when driving. I still have my Marabombs because I can't afford just to swap them out, so meticulous care and monitoring are the priority. And when 6 years comes up, I'll probably move to Maxxis.
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Old 03-29-2012, 11:15 AM   #17
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I second the comments from Dick!
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Old 03-29-2012, 06:59 PM   #18
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The dealer where I bought my 06 Montana which had brand new Marathons tires, wanted too much for new LT tires and wanted to charge me his hourly rate to put them on. So as soon as it got home we ran her on down to Discount Tire and she now has brand new BF Goodrich LT's like my last 5er did. The last 5er weighed about the same as the Montana. My last trailer has been known to cruise along at 70 mph for hours on end when she goes cross country. Never had a problem with the tires. Woulda had the dealer switch them over to the new trailer but they were already 4 years old so figured may as well get new ones. In the 12k lb or less weight range LT tires will do just fine, and are a whole lot cheaper then the G614's. Got to remember LT E rated tires are not just on pickups. Lots of small dump trucks and box trucks have them on too.
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Old 04-03-2012, 06:20 AM   #19
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I am currently waiting on a response from the Keystone rep. I contacted my salesman at CampingWorld and expressed my concerns regarding the tires being installed on my new 3402RL. He checked the lot and yep-all had Marathons. When I reminded him of the GVWR on the 3402RL (15,000) and the weight rating on the Marathons (3,420 each X4=13,680. He grew silent and passed the buck to Keystone. The G614's will match the GVWR of the unit (3,750 X4=15,000). If I can't get Keystone to resolve this, it may be a deal breaker. But, more importantly, Shouldn't there be a legal issue with equipping a vehicle, towed or driven, with under-rated tires. By the way, this unit as equipped will top 13,000 lbs DRY. Put a tank of fresh, gray or black water on board and it's over loaded. I'll be sure to post Keystone's response here if and whenm I get one. All weight rating on the tires were obtained from the Goodyear website.
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Old 04-03-2012, 06:39 AM   #20
8.1al
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BethandKevin,
The Marathons are really not "under-rated". When your unit is loaded to its GVWR 2500-3000 lbs. of that will be on the pin so your tires will only see 12,500-12,000 lbs. or at most 3125lbs per tire. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying the Marathons are a good tire, I'm just saying that their rating is not inadequate for your trailer
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