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Boat Tires - when to replace


Doonbuggy

Question

How does one know when you might need new boat trailer tires?

I've had the same ones for five years and have put on maybe 6,000 miles. The previous owner had them on for some time I'm sure as well. The tread is still fairly decent.

Any tips would be appreciated. I've never had any problems with them, but perhaps my luck is running out.

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There is usually some type of tread wear indicater in the tread somewhere .. look for imperfections in the tread.

Also look for weather cracks in the tread, and also on the sidewalls of the tires. last but not least your tread should look *Flat*, not rounded.

I usually replace my tires at about 1/2 tread. Depending on the weight of your boat and number of miles you tire life will vary greatly. I get about 5 years out of mine, or 25,000 - 30,000 miles if I had to guess distance, but its a light boat on 12" tires(900 lbs).

Its easier to replace them once in a while vs. getting blowouts on the road.

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I just experienced a blow-out on hwy.94 going around 70+ mph and let tell you a heavy
17 foot boat loaded with everything plus the kitchen sink can give you a white knuckle ride all you would ever want.
I purchased the boat-motor-trailer in 1997 and never had any tire problems. So I wouldn't go any longer than 5 years before replacing both tires no matter what condition they appear to be in!
Better safe than sorry and stranded!

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As cheap as a set of tire can be for a boat, replace them if you have any doubt at all. I put a new set on my 1996 trailer this spring. Nothing woould ruin a day faster than loosing your boat from a blow out.

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Agree, replace cheap things that prevent expensive accidents. And lets not forget some of the roads we drag these things down. Talk about abuse. That being said, where's my credit card?

chunky

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Half the tire tread peeled off last week on my trailer, and it looked fine before we started. Just never know.

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If the tread is thin or you see any side wall cracks it is a good time to shop for new rubber.

MACK'S in Fargo ND has good radials cheap. I pick up spares already mounted on rims there for about half of what Firestone or the others want for a tire alone. Nice to have spare rims around too.

------------------
Ed "Backwater Eddy" Carlson

Backwater Guiding "ED on the RED"

[This message has been edited by Backwater Eddy (edited 07-08-2003).]

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Hey, when I first saw the topic, I really wanted to see this boat of yours that had tires on it.

Seriously, though, I'm glad I popped in to read this thread....my trailer tires have had little cracks in the sidewalls for a couple of years. I've just been too lazy to check into how long they may last me, but now you've all prompted me to get this taken care of.

Thanks, folks!! Chunkytrout said it best, "replace cheap things that prevent expensive accidents".

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This thread brings up some bad memories for me. Last year after going up to our cabin for Memorial Day fishing/working trip I had a blowout on the highway. Cruising along and bang!! Look in the rearview and see the tire flying in ten pieces. Not a big deal. Pulled over and put the spare on. We were in a convoy of three trucks/boats and I was leading so it was a nice time to stretch and comment about the bang. Take off again and about three miles down the road, bang! I knew I should have bought a new spare, but no, it was my other side tire. What are the chances. Both trailer tires blow within a few miles of each other, and on Memorial Day in Northern Minnesota with no tire places open for over 50 miles. My buddy and tire man told me it was because I pull about 300 lbs. extra in the boat on the way up, propane tanks, lumber, and tools,etc. It must have seperated the tires a little and they heated up on the drive home. Now I have a new boat and a new trailer, and always watch my extra poundage. Now I guess I have to fish all weekend and not work.

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Separation is another good reason to make sure you're checking tire pressure before long-distance pulling. Underinflated tires will expire in a hurry under additional load.

After getting a new set of tires several years ago during the time I was commuting from St. Cloud to the Twin Cities, I kept one of old tires in the trunk, figuring one time I'd run across someone with a blown tire. Never did but it's a pretty good way to make a friend for life.

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