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I am pulling a Kwik Kamp camping trailer. Empty weight is about 350 lbs and cargo is less than 100 lbs. I put new tires and rims on it just before I left New Jersey for my Northwest trip. I was just West of Salt Lake City today and one of the tires disintegrated. The center of the tread was worn out. The other tire also had some worn spots in the center of the thread. I had been running about 25 psi as was suggested by some board members and was monitoring the pressures via a TPMS. I got them both replaced but I can't figure out why these tires wore out so quickly. Was I running the wrong pressure for these tires (4.80 x 4 x 8 )?
 

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My Bunkhouse camper calls for 50 psi in the tires. Tire size is 4.80 x 12.
 

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Wear in the center of the tire usually indicates over inflation, but 25psi should not be too high.Is it possible that your gauge is wrong?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Wear in the center of the tire usually indicates over inflation, but 25psi should not be too high.Is it possible that your gauge is wrong?
I guess it's possible, but I use a Tire Guard TPMS. It is pretty much right on for the bike tires so I assumed it was accurate.

Since the centers of the tires were worn out, the guy at the tire store recommended running lower than 25 psi, so I had him put in 20 psi. He said I could go to 15 psi if I start noticing uneven wear on my way home.
 

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There is another possibility. Are the tires maybe sized for a wider rim? That would give the tread a rounded profile and wear the center out quickly too.
 

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Check Alignment?

Check the alignment. Something is wrong.

My Kwik Kamp had good looking 8" inch rubber when I bought it. They had a little less tread in center than on the edges. We ran them a few thousand miles getting used to pulling a trailer before getting a long way from home. They did not show any real wear during that time. The previous (Texas) owner said he had pulled it to Idaho twice on those tires - at 32 psi. Tires had a born-on-date in '01!

I replaced with a set of 4.80X12" before a 6,200 mile trip. No clearance problems for me and brought the tongue up to level with my hitch. Gross trailer weight was 600~lbs, at 28 psi. It took several thousand miles to even wear the mold bumps off.

We went to WA via CA, home via S.D. On the PCH:

 

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I would make sure they were highway rated tires, they should not come apart at 25psi
 

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Some of the small trailer tires sold are junk. Typical Chinese stuff. Look for a pair of Carlisle tires. Either the USA Trail or Sport Trail They come in load range b and c and have a nice tread pattern. I pull a fully loaded Bunkhouse and run 32psi in them. Never had a problem.
 

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Some of the small trailer tires sold are junk. Typical Chinese stuff. Look for a pair of Carlisle tires. Either the USA Trail or Sport Trail They come in load range b and c and have a nice tread pattern. I pull a fully loaded Bunkhouse and run 32psi in them. Never had a problem.
Carlisle tires are the way to go. I have them on my 2012 Alumna trailer. It has 600 lb axels. When you have it loaded I believe it states 60 psi. empty I pull it around 40 psi. If your pulling it down the road just look at the tread and you can tell how much of the tire surface is laying flat against the road. If its only running down the middle, lower it. If its totally flat looking air it up. Go by whats on the side of the tire, only thing is you have to make sure it is the same tire that came with your trailer.
 

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Carlise has 6-ply and 4-ply tires -- even though the load rating on the 4-ply (Load Range B, their "SPORT TRAIL" model) tires is more than adequate for these light trailers, they do get hot when not at full pressure and will wear quickly -- the Load Range C tires (6-ply, their "USA TRAIL" model) wear like iron, even with low pressures!

I've had Carlisle 4-ply Sport Trails wear through the center tread in less than 5000 miles on a very light 'harbor freight' type of trailer behind my truck... Both my cargo and camper trailers for the bike run the "USA Trail" 6-ply and those still look new after a few years...

I would wonder if you had a nice set of new 4-ply tires on there?
 

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I have a Tag Along with 8" Carlises on it. Trailer has a little over 6k on it and the tires look good. Run them at 25 psi, I also added a spare tire carrier before my last trip so I now rotate three tires which should make them last longer.
 

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I am pulling a Kwik Kamp camping trailer. Empty weight is about 350 lbs and cargo is less than 100 lbs. I put new tires and rims on it just before I left New Jersey for my Northwest trip. I was just West of Salt Lake City today and one of the tires disintegrated. The center of the tread was worn out. The other tire also had some worn spots in the center of the thread. I had been running about 25 psi as was suggested by some board members and was monitoring the pressures via a TPMS. I got them both replaced but I can't figure out why these tires wore out so quickly. Was I running the wrong pressure for these tires (4.80 x 4 x 8 )?
Ok Jim when are you expected back home in NJ>
 

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If you look at a new trailer tire, you will see that the center grooves are not as deep as the side groves, so when the tires wear evenly, they appear to wear out in the center first when actually they wore at the same rate all the way across, just not as much rubber in the middle.

Wheel alignment does make a big difference in wear especially Toe in or Toe out.

Easy to check. Dust the tire tread with some white powder. Then Spin the wheel and make a scribed line in the powder with something held rigid so the scribe line is a perfect circle in the middle of the tread.

Do this on both wheels. With someone's help, measure the HORIZONTAL distance between the lines on the aft side of the wheels and then on the forward side, as close to the 3 o'clock and 9 o'clock positions as possible but for sure at the same height on each side so the measurement is HORIZONTAL.

the difference between the measurement front and back is the Toe In or Toe Out. If the lines are closer together on the forward side the alignment has Toe In.

Zero to 1/16" toe in is what trailer axles should have. More than 1/8" toe in or any toe out increases tire wear.

Any looseness in the wheel bearings beyond "perceptible" will allow the wheel to flutter and that causes rapid wear. Any looseness in the trailing arm pivots will also allow flutter. Flutter wears tires rapidly.

Trailers with too little nose weight are unstable and will wobble perpetually which not only wears the trailer tires but the rear tire of the bike in addition to just being plain dangerous.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Ok Jim when are you expected back home in NJ>
Hi Marvin,
I'll get home on Tuesday (8/6) around mid-day. I'm in Terre Haute, IN tonight. It's been one heck of a trip. I left home on July 1st and spent almost a month touring around Washington and Oregon. I'm picking up some of the States I need to fill in my map for the second time. Now I only need six more down in the Southeast. On my next trip to Texas, I'll get those. If I don't make it down there for the October shindig, I'll try to make it next March.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Tom, thanks for the great info. :thumbup: I'll do as you suggested after I get back to NJ.

Cheers!
 

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Have gone as low as 17 lbs. with a light load in my mini-mate or old HF. Feel tires and bearings occasionally to check for heat. Mine never get more than warm. The centers, as mentioned, have a bit less tread to start. Running 22-27 lbs. according to load now and tread wears well..neither bouncy or soggy.
 
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