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Old 09-01-2013, 07:51 AM   #1
Rainer
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Is it time for a class action suit?

I've joined the "Marabomb Club."

On August 22 after having driven almost 9000 miles on "Monte's 1st Big Adventure", we started the last day of trip in Kingman, AZ, hoping to be home by late afternoon.

We were on the road at 9:30am, happy that everything had worked out so well. I checked the tires and they all looked good, and my tire pressure monitoring system reconfirmed my visual inspection.

On the way out of town we stopped at "Truck Tub" to get two months worth of dirt and grime washed off my F-250 and Monte. Once finished we were looking good.

We left the truck wash and headed west on the Interstate at 58mph as we had the entire trip. I was convinced that folks who where having problems with their OEM trailer tires had either exceeded 65mph, the maximum allowable speed for ST tires, hadn't keep an eye on the condition or pressure of their tires, or not been within the weight limits of their tires. No, we were very careful, and truth be told, we were smug.

But we were wrong.

Just 32 miles west of Kingman we heard an explosion. It's a sound we had heard previously on our Keystone Outback travel trailer. Looking out the rearview mirrors I saw smoke coming from the passenger side of Monte. I immediately pulled over to the side of the road and expected the worst, since on my Outback one of my "tire episodes" was a $2000 damage fiasco.

I did have damage on my new Monte as the attached photos show. Strangely, although it was the rear tire the blew, the damage was to the panel just ahead of the front tire, between that tire and the steps leading into Monte.

I had no interest in changing the tire, since I had Good Sam's Roadside Assistance. I'm getting too old (and/or lazy) to change a tire. I called GS and gave them all the information they needed, and once they had that, they said they'd call me back with 30 minutes with the information regarding which of their contract providers could come out and do the dirty work.

Almost 30 minutes on the button, we received the information that they'd found a service who could be out to change the tire in about 55 minutes.

So for almost 90 minutes we sat on the side of Interstate 40 with the trucking idling and our air-conditioning keeping up cool in the 90 whether. But to make matters worse, a rain squall was approaching our freshly washed truck and trailer. Crap....rain in the desert in August with the temperature over 90.

At the height of the rain, the tow truck arrived. Hey, the rain felt pretty good in the heat!

After filling out the paperwork, the tow truck driver hooked up his air compressor and was ready to jack up the trailer by the axle. No way, I said. He said that's the way he did it all the time, I explained that this would be one time he didn't.

I suggested a pyramid placed down in front of the good tire, and I would pull the trailer unto that pyramid. But all he had were 4x4's so there was no way to create a stable pyramid.

Since I'd done this routine a number of times before, I grabbed my stacking leveling blocks, and built a seven block high pyramid unto which I easily pulled my trailer onto, which gave the gentleman enough room to quickly change the tire.

After everything was replace, I tipped him $20 for coming almost 50 miles to do the work.

While originally waiting for the tow driver, I got my notes from MOC as to which tires I should get to replace the Chinese Marabombs. I found 4 - Uniroyal LT 235/85 R16 120/1160 M+8 at the Kingman Big O tire store. When he asked what I was putting the tires on, I told him my new 5th wheel. "Let me guess," he said, "you've got Marathon tires. They're the worst tires ever made..."

I drove to the next exit, and headed back into Kingman to get the tries replaced. I pulled into Big O's parking lot, checked out the tires, making sure they were what I wanted, and also got the build date, just six months earlier. Good enough for me.

We went to eat a lunch across the street while the new tires were being balanced and mounted. By the time we finished eating lunch, the job was completed.

As I was paying for the job, the tire jockey who did the work said I was lucky I was replacing all four tires, since the cord was beginning to separate from a second tire and I would have only been able to go just a few miles before that tire blew!

I now felt so much better with the new tires. Since in Arizona I could drive 75mph with a trailer. That worked fine, heck we kept up semis now, instead of being passed by every vehicle on the road. But that didn't last too long, because in short order we were back in California where the speed limit is 55mph for vehicles with trailers.

A couple of questions:

Those of you that are running these exact same Uniroyals on your 5th wheel, what's the pressure you run them at. The sidewall says 80psi max, and Big O recommended 70psi because heat expansion would get them up to 80psi, and they believed that the tires shouldn't be overinflated. Your thoughts, please.

Last question, I'm thinking of putting together a class action suit. I've had more tire failures on my last two towables in seven years than I've ever had in almost 50 years of driving cars.

Reading the forums here and on the Outback side, this is a common problem. And I believe that both Keystone and Goodyear know about this, but adamantly refuse to do anything about it. I believe this is negligent, as many of you have experienced what I have.

And this negligence may border on criminality. And as a result I am prepared to initiate and finance a class action suit. Would any of you have had similar experiences support this sort of legal action? In any case I plan to talk to an attorney this coming week.

I hope to hear from you either here or privately.

Thanks for taking time to read this longish post.

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Old 09-01-2013, 08:44 AM   #2
cdaniels
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Especially since BFGoodrich had a minor issue they stepped up and recalled thousands of tires and made it right! Says a lot about their company!
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Old 09-01-2013, 08:48 AM   #3
8.1al
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Sorry to hear about your tire problem. I can't believe what Big O told you. If you inflate to 70 psi those tires will certainly warm up to 80 as they will be overloaded for that pressure. Tires are designed to hold the pressure increase that occurs when they get hot so pump them up to 80
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Old 09-01-2013, 08:51 AM   #4
bncinwv
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Ditto on the 80 psi cold inflation. Can't help you with the class action deal, since I refused to accept the current rig with the Marathons on it. As stated many times, based on past personal experience and the MOC, I simply refuse to entrust our rig to "Made in China" stamped tires!
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Bingo and Cathy - Our adventures begin in the hills of WV. We are blessed by our 2014 3850FL Big Sky (previous 2011 3750FL and 2007 3400RL) that we pull with a 2007 Chevy Silverado Classic DRW CC dually.
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Old 09-01-2013, 09:00 AM   #5
DQDick
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The problem with the lawsuit is going to be the federal government. The reason you don't have problems with your cars is because the government requires that tires for vehicles that carry passengers have reserve capacity. Trailer tires don't have to have reserve capacity so Goodyear can stamp a weight on them right up to the limit and Keystone and others can then use them on heavy trailers. Hard to win that in court unless the feds ever wake up.
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Old 09-01-2013, 09:18 AM   #6
Tomg
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That will be a hard one to win, ditto on reserve capacity, also on 65 mph limit. Lt tires and P_ rated have up to 150% reserve capacity so your 3040 rated LT tire has 4500 capacity and 90-110 mph. Look at the Tire and Rim association specs. Need to get the trailer manufacturers to get away from trailer tires.
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Old 09-01-2013, 12:06 PM   #7
Irlpguy
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You must have gotten off the road and stopped pretty quick as that is quite a chunk of tread that was flapping around. I think the OP is from California, if correct then like myself in BC our units were delivered to a dealer a considerable distance from the factory. We have no way of knowing what speed the person delivering the Monty drove. damage to your tires may have occurred before you took delivery.

According to the Uniroyal Website the LT235/85R16 120/Q tire has a load index of 120 if you look that up it is rated at 3086 lbs. and the Q represents a speed rating of 99 mph. I think the 3086 will be consistent with the Maximum load @ xx psi stamped on the tire as well.

It appears that your wheels are 6 stud which would indicate a 6k axle and these tires do exceed the axle capacity by a small amount.

I think you would be hard pressed to even come close to a viable suit against the tire manufacturers and the trailer manufacturers. If Keystone or any other manufacturer was concerned about a suit they would not be putting the tires on that they do.

I checked out a couple of SOB's yesterday and along with Keystone the VIN sticker on the front corner of the unit will show a GAWR that is less than the 7k axles when they use tires that do not exceed the axle rating ie: Marathons @ 3420 x 2 = 6840. On my unit that GAWR is 6750. SOB's and Keystone's sticker will only show the 7k GAWR when G rated tires are used as in the Big Sky and on SOB's that leave the factory with a tire rated above the rating of the axle ie: G614's @ 3750 x 2 = 7500 lbs. This is what protects their asses when you overload and things happen. I did find some SOB's with G614's on them and the GAWR was 7k.

I am a long, long way from being a tire expert however I do caution everyone about inaccurate information on Reserve Capacity.

Good luck with the Uniroyals, they will undoubtedly outlast the Marathons and you obviously already feel safer with them on your unit.


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Old 09-01-2013, 01:11 PM   #8
dieselguy
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I had Uniroyal LTs on my 2980 straight from the factory I ran them at 70 psi. I now run Michelin LTs on my 3150 at 70 psi as well. Im some lighter than you, so I just inflate per a tire load chart and not go automatically to the max pressure the tire is rated for. As pointed out by Big O 35 miles down the road on a hot day youll be running at @ 80 psi anyways my TST sytem confirms that.
Ill have to just smile on your aversion to jacking under the springs yet moments later you willingly place double the load on the adjoining spindle to get the tire changed. Id do it on my car trailer since its way lighter, but no way on something as heavy as our fivers. But hey weve beat this horse well past the finish line before.
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Old 09-01-2013, 01:20 PM   #9
dpam
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Rainer, I'm glad you are done with the Marabombs. I can't comment on the "G" Goodyear tires, but I can state their LT truck tires and ST Marabomb tires are crap (blowouts with both GY- "E"LT&ST proved that).
My question is: Your post doesn't identify your tailer, or year, so I'm wondering if you have a Morryde suspension? The reason I'm asking is that you said you normally use a pyramid and drive up it to get the flat tire off the ground. In the past I was told I can't use a pyramid or elevate the good tire so that the flat raises. I'd greatly appreciate if you or someone else can please confirm that it is possible to raise one tire off the ground by driving the other one up a higher elevation. I like your solution in the event I get a flat, and if the Morryde suspension will allow me to raise a tire off the ground by using a pyramid or my plastic levelling blocks.

Pls advise.
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Old 09-01-2013, 01:27 PM   #10
Irlpguy
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I have to agree with Charlie and Bingo, why run at 70 psi, the tire is rated at 3086 lbs, but that rating is at the maximum pressure of 80 psi. The only time I had a tire problem on any trailer was due to under inflation because I listened to the dealer.

DOT tire ratings are all at "cold" pressure, the tires are all capable of handling the increase in pressure or they would not rate them "cold".

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Old 09-01-2013, 02:15 PM   #11
Rainer
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by dieselguyIll have to just smile on your aversion to jacking under the springs yet moments later you willingly place double the load on the adjoining spindle to get the tire changed. Id do it on my car trailer since its way lighter, but no way on something as heavy as our fivers. But hey weve beat this horse well past the finish line before.
There is theory, and there is experience. I'll take experience every time. I have used the pyramid process using interlocking leveling blocks successfully several times previously, yes it wasn't a 5th wheel, but I'm guessing the axle weight ratios were similar.

Taking a jack and putting it under a single point on the axle scares me, since I'm concerned with a bent axle. Using the pyramid, I gently raise my trailer on pressure points. No, I wouldn't want to drive that way for any distance, but for 16" I feel good. There are extra stresses, but some of that stress is then moved across the trailer to the other two tires.

I go with what I know. And again, it worked.
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Old 09-01-2013, 02:19 PM   #12
Rainer
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by dpam
My question is: Your post doesn't identify your tailer, or year, so I'm wondering if you have a Morryde suspension? The reason I'm asking is that you said you normally use a pyramid and drive up it to get the flat tire off the ground. In the past I was told I can't use a pyramid or elevate the good tire so that the flat raises. I'd greatly appreciate if you or someone else can please confirm that it is possible to raise one tire off the ground by driving the other one up a higher elevation. I like your solution in the event I get a flat, and if the Morryde suspension will allow me to raise a tire off the ground by using a pyramid or my plastic levelling blocks.
I have a 2013 Montana 343RL High Country. And it does have the MorRyde suspension.

Please see the post immediately before this one to see my reasons for using the interlocking plastic leveling blocks to create a pyramid under the good tire to raise the damaged tire off the ground to replace it.
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Old 09-01-2013, 02:35 PM   #13
Rainer
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by Irlpguy

You must have gotten off the road and stopped pretty quick as that is quite a chunk of tread that was flapping around. I think the OP is from California, if correct then like myself in BC our units were delivered to a dealer a considerable distance from the factory. We have no way of knowing what speed the person delivering the Monty drove. damage to your tires may have occurred before you took delivery.
I'm not sure what you mean by "OP". I personally drove the unit: 1) 500 miles home from the dealer, 2) 1000 miles on a week long shake down trip, and 3) over 8000 miles on "Monte's 1st Big Adventure".

According to Google, the distance from Goshen where the unit was built to Sacramento, CA where I purchased it, is about 2200 miles. So in total the tires had less than 12,000 miles on them, 81% of the mileage by my calculation was by me.

Quote:
quote:Originally posted by IrlpguyI think you would be hard pressed to even come close to a viable suit against the tire manufacturers and the trailer manufacturers. If Keystone or any other manufacturer was concerned about a suit they would not be putting the tires on that they do.
If that were anywhere true, then there would have never been a reason for a class action suit for anything, anywhere, anytime. And we all know that's not the case!

Manufacturers have been known to cut corners to save a buck, and will take the risk of legal action as a business expense. Sad, but true.
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Old 09-01-2013, 02:53 PM   #14
Irlpguy
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Rainer your distance from the factory is very near what mine would have been. Driving 2200 miles without consideration of the tires or unit might be the norm when these folks are being paid to deliver and get back so they can deliver again. By OP I meant you the original poster.

I have been doing a lot of research on tires, axles and all things related to this part of our RV's. I discovered today that only 14 complaints have been registered with Safercar.gov, which is a division of the NHTSA. Put in Goodyear and Marathon ST in the search location.

http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/owners/SearchTires
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Old 09-02-2013, 02:49 AM   #15
ols1932
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When fully loaded I always inflate to the recommended "cold" psi no matter what it is.

Orv
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Old 09-02-2013, 03:51 AM   #16
mobil
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To dpam, we have the Mor/ryde suspension on ours. When our Marathon blew(on the interstate descending a mountain, on a blind curve, with a narrow shoulder)I pulled over as far as I dared, completely off the road. Our Monty and truck were rocking pretty good from the semis that passed by. I used a 'trailer aid' and pulled the Monty up on it and had just enough clearance to change out the bad tire. I know, to many this is a no no. But short of having two jacks under the frame and jack stands to stabilize the rig against the rocking caused by passing traffic, this was the safest solution. By the way, we had AAA coverage including for the trailer and they couldn't get ANYONE to come out to our location. WE now have GS ERS.
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Old 09-02-2013, 04:17 AM   #17
Ozz
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Rainer, sorry this happened to you, I don't know what we can do about the tire issue/lawsuit, I do know that the lawyers generally do all the winning, even if it went to court.
Our grand-kids would be getting the news about the outcome of the case.
Here is what I use for jacking up the Monte, I even welded up a couple for a couple of the members here. Works great.


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Old 09-02-2013, 04:48 AM   #18
Big Dave
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Oz

That jack with the attachment you welded on it, does it go under the axle or the frame?
Also what do you charge for them?
Would you be willing to make more of them?
Thanks;
Dave
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Old 09-02-2013, 05:00 AM   #19
Ozz
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Hi Dave,
The bracket sits on top of the jack, I welded a ring on the bottom for the jack end to fit in.
I would do them for the members here for $40 plus shipping, I have around 2 hrs in the job. The 40 covers supplies and a little for labor.
Ozz
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Old 09-02-2013, 05:37 AM   #20
Rainer
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by Ozz
The bracket sits on top of the jack, I welded a ring on the bottom for the jack end to fit in.
I take it that the cradle you created for this bottle jack is for the axle of the Montana? Inquiring minds want to know.

I have a 12-ton bottle jack which I purchased from Harbor Freight, so does the ring fall under the category "one size fits all"?
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