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When, How, and Why to Rotate Tires

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  • When, How, and Why to Rotate Tires

    Note: Rob's post below was extracted from a much longer thread that wandered from discussing jack-knifing to braking and tire rotation. Thought his post deserved it's own thread here in the Reference Material channel. The longer thread is here: https://gdrvowners.com/forum/operati...t-actually-bad -Howard (Moderator)

    Lionshead (supplier of wheels and tires to Grand Design) recommends rotating the tires in an “X” pattern when they are off for bearing repack. The front tires can actually show more wear than the rear tires because (due to the lifting) they are more likely to slide against the road surface which creates more wear than the firmly gripping rear tires.

    Rob
    Last edited by howson; 05-10-2022, 11:07 AM.
    Cate & Rob
    (with Border Collies Molly & Angel)
    2015 Reflection 303RLS
    2022 F350 Diesel CC SB SRW Lariat
    Bayham, Ontario, Canada

  • #2
    Cate&Rob That thread made me rotate my tires in the pattern you suggested yesterday. But my thinking was the rear tires doing heavier braking work made them the higher stressed/worn tires. Especially when the front pair lifts...The rear pair are doing all the work holding up the trailer. Wouldn't this take some of the life out of them?
    2018 Dodge 3500 6.7 Cummins w Aisin and 9 cup holders
    2021 Reflection 303RLS, Haloview RD7, Strong-arms, Micro-Air364

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    • #3
      Scott'n'Wendy

      Tire tread wear is usually associated with sliding interface between tire and road surface. With the rear trailer tires being firmly planted on the road and the front tires lifting . . . the fronts are more likely to slide. I put new tires on the trailer before our trip to Florida and back. 5000 kms later there is slightly more wear on the front tires. Maybe half a mm. But . . . then again . . . the trailer brakes were often not working because of the truck software problem that has generated a recall.

      Rob
      Cate & Rob
      (with Border Collies Molly & Angel)
      2015 Reflection 303RLS
      2022 F350 Diesel CC SB SRW Lariat
      Bayham, Ontario, Canada

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      • #4
        I have yet to have a trailer tire wear out, mine always get replaced when they time out. Unless I see some noticeable wear pattern or a large discrepancy between the front and rears I leave them to fulfill their tire destiny in the position that GD put them in.
        2021 Reflection 337RLS, 2021 Silverado 3500HD 6.6 gas. Nellie the wonder boxer

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        • #5
          Don’t completely understand, wouldn’t rotating tires in an X fashion only make a front right tire move to back left side and then eventually go back to the front right? Also, I read someplace that tires wear unevenly many times due to turning, forcing tires to slide versus roll. This would hold true mainly for the front right (passenger side) tire. I’m not saying not to rotate, and I also understand Lionshead recommendations, but maybe rotate front to back and vice versa and then side to side (back tires staying in the back).
          thanks, Heinz
          Elke and Heinz
          2018 Chevy 3500 SRW Duramax SB
          2021 Reflection 337RLS

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          • #6
            hduring -- was wondering about that myself. Year 1, X. Year 2, side-to-side; year 3, X...at year 5 replace if not worn out
            Forum moderators are not GD employees--we are volunteers and owners presumably just like yourself. Unless specifically mentioned otherwise, we have nothing to gain should you choose to purchase a product or engage a service we discuss on this forum.

            2017 Ford F-350 DRW, '19 315RLTSPlus

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            • #7
              Originally posted by hduring View Post
              Don’t completely understand, wouldn’t rotating tires in an X fashion only make a front right tire move to back left side and then eventually go back to the front right? Also, I read someplace that tires wear unevenly many times due to turning, forcing tires to slide versus roll. This would hold true mainly for the front right (passenger side) tire. I’m not saying not to rotate, and I also understand Lionshead recommendations, but maybe rotate front to back and vice versa and then side to side (back tires staying in the back).
              thanks, Heinz
              I’m in the camp of front to back rotation during suspension maintenance mainly due to old school mind set. I believe once the tire belting has set it self it should rotate in the same direction for the remainder of it life. We used to brand the tire rotation direction when they came off for service. I do realize some not all tires manufactured today are non directional so this is not so much of a concern for many.
              To the OP’s point, rotate during service, IMO rotate front to back and buy rotating your tires it mitigates one or two tires absorbing all of the abuse of scuffing from turning and backing sharp.
              Retired Tanker Yanker
              2017 F-250 6.7 2019 273 MK - Carlisle CSL 16 225/75 15, MORryde CRE 3000 & center X cross brace, Sumo springs, Andersen Ultimate Hitch
              My your pleasures be many and your troubles be few!

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              • #8
                Many years ago I had a bent spindle on my boat trailer. Once I had it repaired and replaced the tires, I began checking the tread depth on the inside, center and outside grooves a couple of times a year on all of my trailer tires. IMO, it’s a good early warning system for suspension or tire issues.

                On my boat trailer, three of the wheels exhibit virtually identical wear across each tire and tire to tire. The 4th has similar wear to the others on the outside groove, but the inner is just a bit ahead of the rest. Not enough to ever cause a problem before the tire ages out with the mileage I put on it. Unfortunately I’m not sure whether rotation in this scenario is a good thing or bad thing so I just leave the wheel location alone.

                But the point is, 5 minutes effort a few times a year gives you good information about your suspension long before the signs of a problem are visible.
                John & Kathy
                2014 Reflection 303RLS
                2014 F250 SC SB 6.2

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                • #9
                  I had a 2008 Outback that had a tire developing an uneven wear pattern where the inner tread was wearing faster than the outer. I suspected a misaligned spindle on the axle and asked a friend of mine that owns a shop about it. He suggested that I swap the wheel with one from the other side and monitor it. He had seen some tires that would develop an odd wear pattern from inconsistent construction, the tire wore evenly on the other side and the one I swapped into that position wore evenly, his advice was correct.
                  2021 Reflection 337RLS, 2021 Silverado 3500HD 6.6 gas. Nellie the wonder boxer

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Cate&Rob View Post
                    Scott'n'Wendy

                    Tire tread wear is usually associated with sliding interface between tire and road surface. With the rear trailer tires being firmly planted on the road and the front tires lifting . . . the fronts are more likely to slide. I put new tires on the trailer before our trip to Florida and back. 5000 kms later there is slightly more wear on the front tires. Maybe half a mm. But . . . then again . . . the trailer brakes were often not working because of the truck software problem that has generated a recall.

                    Rob
                    Did you ever get the recall done? Just wondering if it fixed the issue.

                    I do the X and then front to back to front the next time, then X again. Doing this will eventually get the tires in every position. Unfortunately I usually wait too long.

                    Keith
                    2018 Reflection 150 Series 220RK 5th wheel. Reese R20 Titan hitch, Steadyfast system, 2004 6.0 F350 King Ranch dually - traded in. 2022 F350 King Ranch CC Long bed SRW is built - awaiting shipping

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