RV tire showing dangerous wear. What’s wrong?

5

We spotted this question on Facebook. What is happening is definitely a bad thing, and certainly dangerous. So we asked our RV tire expert Roger Marble to weigh in with his thoughts. We welcome your comments as well.


The problem:
“I’m sure someone has had the same issue as me. This tire is wearing on the inside and it’s the only tire doing so. I would automatically assume that the axle is bent. Any input from someone that has had the same issue would be greatly appreciated. The trailer is less than a year old.” — Jeff H.

Roger’s response:
It appears that the one-shoulder wear may be due to a bent or misaligned axle. In this case, negative camber (the bottom of the wheel is out farther than the top) could be the cause. I would suggest that you:

1. Find an alignment shop that can do trailer axles.

2. If the camber can be “fixed” have them do so. If they cannot, then you are probably looking at needing a new or replacement axle. Be sure to get one that has an equal or better strength rating.

3. Confirm proper alignment for all the trailer axles and have the tire inspected. You might be able to keep the tire as a spare, but check its age and have it completely inspected inside and out.

4. One other thing to check is the actual scale weight on each axle and be sure you are not exceeding GAWR and that the load is evenly split axle to axle.

##RVT953

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billh42
3 months ago

A few years ago after a hard jolt on an under construction road in southern Wyoming I had a similar situation show up on my fifth wheel within the next 500 miles. Don’t try to get a problem like this fixed at an RV dealer. All they know how to do is replace an axle and they don’t have a clue about alignment problems. After an internet search I found a specialty trailer repair shop in Great Falls MT. They found a sheared bolt where the axle attached to the frame. They not only repaired it but also did a complete axle to axle and axle to kingpin alignment. Have had no problems since. Take the time and effort to find an expert for this kind of repair. You won’t be disappointed.

Walt
3 months ago

Ditto others: a bad axle, most likely bent due to overloading. Note that this can happen while parked with accumulated snow load over the winter, not necessarily due to traveling over the road. (This happened to my boat trailer, producing the same abnormal tire wear as in the photo — on the inside.)

Bob H
3 months ago

After repair or replacement of the axle, that tire should absolutely be replaced as well as the tire on the other side of that axle. The opposing tire may look normal but is subject to the same stress from the axle. This odd tire wear pattern happened to me and I purchased a new axle, but mistakenly only replaced the tire that was showing obvious signs of wear. Roughly 500 miles later the opposing tire blew and created an unnessecary road-side tire change.

Eric
3 months ago

We had two trailers that were out of alignment from the factory. Apparently, this is pretty common. Dealer told us repair wasn’t possible and put us in touch with Dexter who sent a new axle. Found a local shop that could install the new axle for $250 or align the original axle in less time for only $100. It worked great and no more abnormal wear on tires. Donated the axle to them when I had our current trailer aligned. Same wear issues on both axles of new Coleman trailer. Again, took care of extreme inside tire wear (down to cords when noticed – needed emergency tire purchase to continue home journey). Best bet is have alignment checked upon delivery by independent shop.

ROBERT PALESCH
3 months ago

We recently ran into tire wear like this. We did not address it quickly enough and lost a axle bearing. We think we found the issue with the leaf spring perches not being welded horizontal from each other (2.5 degree difference) and could of put a strain on the axle and hence the tire.