Friday, November 22, 2013

Safety Issue: Continental Spare Tire Carrier Failure

I feel compelled to share this. One morning before heading to work, I decided to check on my spare tire and noticed that it was loose as if it was unbolted from the carrier. I immediately removed the plastic tire cover and to my demise, the flat metal bracket where the tire is bolted on has completely broken off and the tire was just hanging by its rim on top of the remaining broken bracket.  The failure was at the 90-degree bend of the bracket and to the weld joint where it meets the vertical square tubing (see picture). The welded spot has probably failed first as evident by some rust stains along the weld joints, then from shear load of the tire and road vibrations the bracket just could not handle the stress and broke off at the weak point. The welding looks sloppy with bad metal penetration and to make it worst, it was only welded to one side of the bracket. If I have driven the RV that day without noticing it, the tire could have simply slid out and have fallen on the road, which could cause a vehicle crash. I took the broken tire bracket to a local weld shop and have gussets added to corners for more suport.
For anyone with the “Continental Tire Carrier” option, it would be wise to thoroughly inspect it for signs of failure.