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In this section we advise you, and provide assistance to others on various industry topics.

THE ISSUE OF BAKKIE TYRES

replies: 5
views: 1771
10 Dec 2003
Dave
Gold Member
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Joined: 01 Aug 2003
On 14-11-03 I e-mailed a letter to Godfrey Castle regarding the above concern, to which I had no reply. It reads as follow: My wife and I are still young "caravaners" although seasoned campers. I read with great concerns the comments on your website and in your magazine about caravaners having horrific experiences with tyre blow-outs and having to change their van's tyres to bakkie tyres for safety reasons. Although my investment I made in my first caravan (a 1979 Gypsey 5) might not be regarded as a major investment by some people, to me it was an investment and I am perturbed that mabe my van might be the next to have a tyre blow-out.

If the modern car tyres are a problem for caravans, why are the caravan manufacturers using them? Has any tyre/caravan manufacturer done any research as to why there are so many blow-outs? Why are blow-outs occurring? I have never hearde of a sedan car having a blow-out because of being heavily loaded so why is it happening to caravans? This whole caravan tyre situation could have serious and probably legal implications.

My van still has the old "Marie biscuit" General tyres fitted with thread to last me at least another 10 to 15 thousand kilometers. These tyres are not recaps! Considering the fact that I'm planning a long trip (Cape Town to Salt Rock and back) early next year would it be recommendable to change to bakkie tyres?

Positive comments from caravan/tyre manufacturers would also be greatly appreciated. Mark Lowe, you seem to be boffin on caravans? Your comments are always interesting.
Regards Dave.
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10 Dec 2003
Mark
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Dave,
See also my comments on the issue of spare wheels as standard.
As to your existing tyres...BEWARE !
Tyres are manufactured from a composite rubber compound with a SAFE life span (regardless of tread depth or mileage covered) NOT exceeding 5 years.
Even if your tyres look in great condition with plenty of legal tread remaining...you run a real risk of the tyre coming apart due to compound deterioration. The manufacturers also will not look at any claim regarding a failed tyre over 5 years old.
On the issue of commercial tyres..it is true they are much better suited to the workload of a loaded caravan axle and you would do well to fit these as soon as possible. Obviously, as my previous sentiments illucidate, the manufacturer would rather fit cheaper passenger tyres as standard to supposedly "keep costs down"...as with the spare wheel issue, I rest my case.
Regards
Mark Lowe
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10 Dec 2003
japieh
Bronze Member
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Dave. I am no expert on this issue but it cost me R20,000.00 to get the caravan repaired after a blow-out. If you dont replace your tyres you must inspect the sidewalls of the tyres for damage. When I inspected my other tyre, the sidewall was also about to blow out.
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17 Dec 2003
Anonymous
Without definite information at hand, I would still stick out my head and say that 90 % of blow outs are caused by aged tyres, i.e older than five years, and also coupled to the overloading of our caravans. I support fully Mark's explanation, and to illistrate exactly what is spoken about, please phone Winniw at the Caravan Club of Southern Africa, telephone (011) 828-3744 and ask her to send you the latest issue of the Club's 'Homestead News' which has a short story together with photographs of the tyres concerned. The Homestead is free of charge.
Regards,
Jan Heyneke
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18 Dec 2003
Anonymous
I presume your caravan is fitted with 13 inch rims which was the case with most of the older vans.
You do get 13 inch tyres manufactured by Goodyear which are 6-ply or commecial rated.
These tyres have a higher load rating and can be pumped harder than standard sedan tyres.
I would recommend you go for these if you intend replacing your tyres.
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18 Dec 2003
Anonymous
Dear Dave,
I can relate to your concerns, as I too have had to change my tyres to Bakkie Tyres.
I would like to briefly relate my story, hopefully without boring anyone.
If you go to the home page on this site and to monthly news letters. Scroll down to April news and view. You will see an article and photo of me and my wife trying to change our blown tyre.
I bought a brand new Penta in 1998 and have done a fair amount of towing since then.My major concern since the beginning was to always have a spare tyre. No-one ever told me about the ageing of a tyre.
It now all makes sense. I could not understand why my tyre blew, as I am a very carefull caravan tower.My tyres were exactly five years old. When I put on the spare I could not understand why there were small hairline cracks on the side wall. Fortunately the tyre did not blow and I was able to get home safely.
If only someone told us all this when we bought our caravans. We would have been able to tow peacifully.
I am leaving for the Natal coast in January and have taken Markham Smiths advice(see Tyres-advice urgently needed by Nico Pietersen on 24.11.2003 of this forum).
I will be fitting Goodyear G22 185 R 14c bakkie tyres this week-end to my 1998 Penta which should be the same as Markham Smiths 1998 Palma.
This Forum has been invaluable in assisting fellow Caravaners.Especially if experiences are related.
Regards
Brian
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