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Purchasing a pre-owned trailer? Has your trailer parked for a long time? Check the DOT build date on each tire, the tires may be a safety hazard! We bought our 2000 Holiday Rambler 29FKS travel trailer at Oregon last month and inspected the tire tread before heading home. Tread depth is not enough, though, you need to inspect tires for age as well. The 8-ply Load Range D tires, fortunately, got our 10000# GVWR (8,000# over-the-road this trip) trailer home in one piece. A post-trip inspection, however, found two tires with belt separation. One was on the verge of throwing the center tread. Trailer tires often get the worst treatment imaginable. Our rare find trailer was garaged when not in use but still endured summer UV when in service. These tires likely were not jacked off the ground during long idle periods, and this tears at the belts, leading to separation. Between UV, rubber aging and parking "flat spots", these four tires were a recipe for belt separation or a blowout. Buy a new set of quality tires whenever your trailer tires have five years of clock time. In our case, the tires were '06 built with plenty of tread. One 650 mile trip home was enough, though; we were lucky a tire didn't blow apart and rip a fender skirt off our trailer... Here are some tire defect issues found in this set of tires: This is belt separation. The flat tread surface now looks like a "Space Saver" spare! This tire is ripe for a blowout, and the tread would likely rip the plastic skirt from the trailer—or worse! Space Saver spare? Hardly! This is a belt separating. Next few miles would have the tread unraveling from the tire carcass. Feathering like this is an indication of tread separation or camber issues. By design, the trailer's beam axles flex with loads. This changes the camber angle. Inspect tires regularly for wear or abnormalities. Rotate them as you would your tow vehicles' tires, from rear axle straight forward, moving the front axle's tires in cross to the rear axle. Can you spot the tire with the belt separation? Actually, there are two with belt separation, ready to blow off the tread! Choppiness at left edge is from tire imbalance. Imbalance produces a scalloping effect. Belt separation can lead to other issues, including this imbalance condition that quickly scarfed the tire edge. The DOT numbers include a date of production. These Brand-X tires were built in 2006. The Goodyear Marathon tire in this set is actually the spare and dates to 1999, an original tire for this 2000 model year trailer. Forget the tread depth, all five of these tires are scrap. I purchased a new set of five (5) 10-ply load range E replacement tires. OE called for load range D (8-ply)...If your tires are over five years old, replace them. Our trailer when loaded will weigh 8,300-8,500 pounds. That's a lot of weight for 225/75R15 tires, even if 10-ply rated! Moses
Our Jeep KJ Cherokee friends at the EU/UK can now tow with an N46 legal hitch solution. It would be great to have Paul, Laney and MikeK share their towing experiences with the new Tow-Trust hitch and ball receiver...Let us know your impressions of the hitch for towing and please share details on any additional tow equipment that is either mandatory at the UK or your personal preference for safe towing. Please note the trailer weight. Janet Brown shared earlier that the tow capacity of a KJ Cherokee at the UK is ample! Some, like Janet, tote live cargo, and horse toting is a unique challenge! We live at horse country in the Far West. (If you like horses, enjoy my short video on wild horses at northern Nevada!) I have been around horses and horse trailers since the early 'sixties. Take a peek at my article on towing a Jeep-toting trailer behind the magazine's heavy-duty hauler. This Dodge Ram 3500 4WD truck with 5.9L Cummins turbo-diesel power has towed trailer weights to 8,500 pounds and is capable of towing far more. There are devices that I consider essential for trailering safety, experience accumulated over four and a half decades of trailering. Curious how you approach towing, trailer brakes and controllers, tie-downs and overall trailering safety at the UK. What's required? What do you like in the way of additional trailering equipment? These are useful topics to discuss! I'm also very curious about the KJ Cherokee (our Liberty) diesel engines and their overall performance. Many KJ owners have the diesel option at the UK and EU. This is a higher tech, common rail diesel. It would be valuable to share your insights around these engines and trailering. Would someone care to start new topic related to turbo-diesel KJ power? Note: I have considered "swapping" a 2.8L VM Motori KJ Liberty turbo-diesel engine into our 1999 XJ Cherokee (U.S. predecessor model to the KJ Liberty/Cherokee). The engine would replace a 4.0L inline six gasoline powerplant. Would I be disappointed? Totally satisfied with the torque character? Your thoughts? Let's look forward to a much better KJ Cherokee experience at the U.K. in 2015! Tow-Trust has certainly changed the course as we turn this discussion toward towing at the U.K./EU and the U.S. Looking forward to sharing our experiences! Happy New Year to all our friends across the ocean! Moses
Dirt motorcycling, ATVs/UTVs, quads and Side-by-Side recreation often involves trailers. For that reason, it has become increasingly more popular, especially for family recreation, to have a toy hauler. Others, whose primary aim is on-highway or light graded road travel with a pickup or longer wheelbase SUV, find travel trailers useful. Travel trailers range from smaller Scamp type conventional pull to 40' fifth wheels. Choices depend upon your tow vehicle, family size and budget! I have pulled travel trailers with everything from an FJ40 Land Cruiser to Suburbans and our Dodge Ram 3500 4WD pickup truck. For the 2012 King of the Hammers coverage, I pulled a 28' Vortex toy hauler to Johnson Valley. I found the trailer very satisfactory for living space and features, the trade-off being less insulation factor than a well-built travel trailer. I didn't mind sleeping with my XR350R Honda motorcycle nearby. On the other hand, my wife does. Some simply do not want a gasoline vehicle in their living space. In fairness to the Honda dirt bike, the machine never emitted a scent nor spill, so sleeping in the same room was not an issue for me. There are many concerns to discuss at this forum, including trailer design, weight, insulation factors for cold weather, air conditioning, appliance quality, towing ease, tow equipment needed to safely tow, trailer hitches, load capacity, onboard generators—you name it! Whether you're living in the trailer for lengths of time or a "weekend warrior" with the family at the desert with motorcycles, share your questions and insights here.—Moses Ludel