Fifth wheel tire wearing on inside and smoking

Fifth wheel tire wearing on inside and smoking

By Chris Dougherty
Certified RV Technician

Dear Chris,
I have a question about a tire on a 5th wheel we own. The back left tire wears on the inside. We bought the RV less than a year ago. Camped in it a few times at local area parks. Noticed the back left tire was worn on the inside. Bought a new tire, camped a few times and just got back home last night and noticed the same tire was worn badly on the inside. My husband also noticed on the way home, smoke coming from the tire, got out and checked, but said the tire was not hot.-Joy

Dear Joy,
Thanks for writing in. Sorry to hear about your problem. It should be looked at professionally as soon as possible. For just one tire/wheel position to be exhibiting these symptoms, I would think that it could be a hub/bearing problem. If the bearing has worn or broken, and/or the hub is loose, the wheel when weighted will tilt outward and backward causing this kind of scuffing. This is dangerous and doing damage the more you use it.

There are other possibilities, which include worn spring bushings, loose or broken axle bolts, the trailer could be overloaded (which it still could be, leading to the bearing failure), mis-aligned axle (but this would likely cause the other tire to show wear as well). and a bent axle or spindle, especially if that wheel hit something hard.

You best option would be to get it to you RV or trailer repair center for diagnosis and repair.

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