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Old 09-19-12, 09:23 AM   #1
Phantoj
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Burley trailer: excessive tire wear?

What kind of tire life are you seeing with your Burley trailers?

I have an Encore, one of the last of the old US-built design. Sort of a stripped-down D-lite. I've just worn the second set of tires down to the cords. I pull it fairly regularly, but I'm hardly a fanatical trailer user. I'm guessing I got less than 1000 miles from each set of tires.

This trailer is designed (?) so that the wheels have a bit of inward camber,
kinda like this: /--\. I'm guessing that's why they wear out so fast...?

Anybody else?
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Old 09-19-12, 12:25 PM   #2
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The negative camber is causing the excessive tire wear. Fixing the problem may be tough to do, as something is bent or the trailer is chronically overloaded.
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Old 09-19-12, 12:36 PM   #3
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I'd suggest putting on a decent set of tires. I run Scwalbe Marathon Racers on my Nomad and have 5,000 miles on them and counting. They still look perfectly good, and I haul a pretty heavy load. The camber shouldn't be very severe (mine has the same thing) and I doubt that is your problem.
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Old 09-19-12, 01:21 PM   #4
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Yes...this is an alignment issue given they really shouldn't wear out at all. Like said earlier, not sure how to fix it, maybe a shim can be fabricated.
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Old 09-19-12, 01:43 PM   #5
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I wouldn't expect the camber to be that big an issue. It'll cause wear to the tread more to the inside than right in the center, but that shouldn't make the tire wear out so quick. Wonder if you might have an alignment problem with toe-in (or toe-out) which would cause some scrubbing action on the tire and also increase the rolling resistance. Measure the distance between the two wheels right at the front and again at the back to see if the two readings are different.
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Old 09-19-12, 02:29 PM   #6
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The trailer hasn't been overloaded. I thought negative camber was a design feature of the old Burleys to make them more stable or something..?
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Old 09-19-12, 02:49 PM   #7
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The brand of trailer you're pulling probably doesn't have anything to do with tire wear. Doubtful that Burley's magically wear out tires faster than others.

Trailer wheels, like sport wheelchairs, often have a camber in order to make it harder for them to flip over in corners. You are correct by assuming stability is the reason.

Spend a buck or two and put on some quality tires and I'm thinking you'll see much better mileage.
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Old 09-21-12, 03:13 PM   #8
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Excessive tire wire is usually a result of under-inflation.
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Old 10-21-12, 10:27 PM   #9
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If the problem is camber, you could swap sides with the wheels (if that's possible--I don't know that trailer) or remount the tires so they lean the other way. We have a lot of steeply cambered roads here, and road tires wear on the left side because they're effectively on a sidehill all the time. Some people say it's dangerous to rotate them, but I've done it for 30 years with no problems.
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Old 10-24-12, 07:56 PM   #10
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I don't think a little camber would do much for tire wear. What I WOULD check though would be the amount of toe the wheels have. If there is excessive to you will just be scrubbing away the tires as you ride. It sounds like you are familiar with the different alignment angles but if not, measure how far apart the front of the tires are compared to the rear of the tires. Also make sure the hubs are in good shape because that could cause you to scrub the tires as you pull the trailer.
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Old 10-25-12, 05:29 AM   #11
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I will be shocked--shocked!-- if this has anything to do with camber or toe issues. I think the likelihood is extremely low, first because bike trailers don't have adjustments for those settings, and it's a Burley USA made, legendary for quality, so probably not a production flaw.

Any hub failure to cause uneven wear would be obvious; you'd feel that right away. I doubt it's that.

OP: what do you inflate to? Do you check periodically with a gauge? What type and brand of tire?
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Old 10-25-12, 08:57 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
, and it's a Burley USA made, legendary for quality, so probably not a production flaw.
Yeah...um, in today's world or shifting factories and layoffs, you can never ASSUME quality...that's like saying a Cadillac is the king of cars...they once were, but that ship has sailed a long time ago. It all starts somewhere.

As for wheel adjustments, no, there is no mechanical means to do it, but if things are bent, they need to be unbent. Toe would be the big issue, in or out, it's going to erase tread.
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Old 10-25-12, 09:11 PM   #13
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Yeah...um, in today's world or shifting factories and layoffs, you can never ASSUME quality...that's like saying a Cadillac is the king of cars...they once were, but that ship has sailed a long time ago. It all starts somewhere.

As for wheel adjustments, no, there is no mechanical means to do it, but if things are bent, they need to be unbent. Toe would be the big issue, in or out, it's going to erase tread.
Like I said earlier, the Burley co-op in Eugene, OR, was famed, and appreciated, for it's quality products. They lost some lustre with the sellout to Asian manufacturing in '06.

Regarding bent wheel mounts, knowing how the Burley's are built, I think that's an extremely unlikely scenario.
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Old 11-09-12, 05:24 PM   #14
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IDK I have a Burly Trailer The 2 406 wheels are dished, for wider track , But
they are not cambered, something is Bent if they are not straight up&down .
its a CoOp made Flat bed..

I heard the CoOp was driven into the ditch by a hired Manager-CEO,
who bought the company privately at the Bankruptcy.

and is responsible for the Job Offshoring, making Them.

Last edited by fietsbob; 11-09-12 at 05:29 PM.
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Old 11-10-12, 10:13 AM   #15
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IDK I have a Burly Trailer The 2 406 wheels are dished, for wider track , But
they are not cambered, something is Bent if they are not straight up&down .
its a CoOp made Flat bed..

I heard the CoOp was driven into the ditch by a hired Manager-CEO,
who bought the company privately at the Bankruptcy.

and is responsible for the Job Offshoring, making Them.
Both wheel mounts bent? At the same angle? And the OP not realize it? Really, that sounds extremely unlikely, for a variety of reasons. My Tanjor trailer has cambered wheels:

Attached Images
File Type: jpg tanjor camber.jpg (75.2 KB, 3 views)
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Old 11-11-12, 12:32 PM   #16
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The scrub angle, An offset viewed vertically, (like toe in/out)

not being at right angles to the centerline of the trailer.
would have potential tire wear..

Camber if axle is square to direction of travel. would only move the contact patch A Bit.

have you analyzed the tire wear pattern..?

Decent car mechanics have done that for a long time..
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