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Old 09-28-2017, 10:04 PM   #1
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Tire Shred

Toad - 2004 CR-V
Tow Bar - Roadmaster Falcon II
Tires - Uniroyal - less than 5000 miles - 3000 towing - 1000 driving

Situation - Both front tires look to be shredded on the outside third of both treads - left front and right front. Tire store asked about towing. Yes, we do. It looks as if ignition was locked. I agree except we use a check list and after all is done and we pull away, lovely wife observes the toad out the rv back window to check steering and front end of toad as we leave our location. It has always been ok. Tire store checked alignment - dead on. Is there anything that could cause this besides locked steering wheel? The tow bar is about 6 years old and never a problem. Driving the car home from CW after dropping rv nothing seemed amiss. I then drove from home to a bike trail and back home - probably 50 miles round trip and the first time I noticed it pulling to the left. When we dropped the rv at CW my wife drove it there and I drove back. Nothing seemed amiss to either of us. Two tires will be replaced regardless. Just wish it had happened on the old ones. Anyone have any ideas on what could cause this? Is it possible for the ignition to lock after towing begins? I'm stumped! Any ideas?
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Old 09-28-2017, 10:51 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wonderdog View Post
Toad - 2004 CR-V
Tow Bar - Roadmaster Falcon II
Tires - Uniroyal - less than 5000 miles - 3000 towing - 1000 driving

Situation - Both front tires look to be shredded on the outside third of both treads - left front and right front. Tire store asked about towing. Yes, we do. It looks as if ignition was locked. I agree except we use a check list and after all is done and we pull away, lovely wife observes the toad out the rv back window to check steering and front end of toad as we leave our location. It has always been ok. Tire store checked alignment - dead on. Is there anything that could cause this besides locked steering wheel? The tow bar is about 6 years old and never a problem. Driving the car home from CW after dropping rv nothing seemed amiss. I then drove from home to a bike trail and back home - probably 50 miles round trip and the first time I noticed it pulling to the left. When we dropped the rv at CW my wife drove it there and I drove back. Nothing seemed amiss to either of us. Two tires will be replaced regardless. Just wish it had happened on the old ones. Anyone have any ideas on what could cause this? Is it possible for the ignition to lock after towing begins? I'm stumped! Any ideas?
I can only answer your last question as our CR-V is a 2015 and non-flat towable. Your steering wheel is locked when a pawl is inserted into a locking groove. It is possible to turn your key to a position that would lock the steering wheel, but the pawl and groove are not lined up, so you can move the steering wheel and it won't feel locked until it moves far enough for the pawl to drop into the groove.

Only you can say if you think this may be a possibility in your case.
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Old 09-28-2017, 11:04 PM   #3
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I can only answer your last question as our CR-V is a 2015 and non-flat towable. Your steering wheel is locked when a pawl is inserted into a locking groove. It is possible to turn your key to a position that would lock the steering wheel, but the pawl and groove are not lined up, so you can move the steering wheel and it won't feel locked until it moves far enough for the pawl to drop into the groove.

Only you can say if you think this may be a possibility in your case.
Thanks. I'm afraid I'll never find the true cause. I want to find out so a repeat can be avoided. For now I guess all we can do is review our check list and make sure every item is done in order and correctly with no distractions. With your suggestion the only thing I can come up with is the steering wheel was unlocked but the key not quite turned far enough to remain in the first position. But then it would be found to be locked after towing? If it had locked the last trip returning home was 110 miles. Enough I suppose to ruin the tires on a fairly straight run on I10 to home. Hmm. Frustrating not to know for sure.
Thanks again.
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Old 09-28-2017, 11:54 PM   #4
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"Situation - Both front tires look to be shredded on the outside third of both treads - left front and right front"

I would think if the steering had locked, the tires would be shredded on the inside of one, outside of the other. Unless you have positive camber on each wheel. But even then, that would have to be a really noticeable camber to affect the outside 1/3 of each tire.

Odd situation. If you ever figure it out, let us know.
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Old 09-29-2017, 12:03 AM   #5
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"Situation - Both front tires look to be shredded on the outside third of both treads - left front and right front"

I would think if the steering had locked, the tires would be shredded on the inside of one, outside of the other. Unless you have positive camber on each wheel. But even then, that would have to be a really noticeable camber to affect the outside 1/3 of each tire.

Odd situation. If you ever figure it out, let us know.
My mistake. When I picked up the car this afternoon I spoke with the mechanic. He has done alignments on my vehicles for ages. He told me that it was in fact, the inside of one, the outside of the other.
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Old 09-29-2017, 12:08 AM   #6
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Many people tie a rag or something to the steering wheel to make it more obvious that the wheel is turning (even being able to verify the wheel turning via the rear view camera).
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Old 09-29-2017, 12:10 AM   #7
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My mistake. When I picked up the car this afternoon I spoke with the mechanic. He has done alignments on my vehicles for ages. He told me that it was in fact, the inside of one, the outside of the other.
Ahhhh...that makes more sense!

Thanks for clarifying.
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Old 09-29-2017, 12:11 AM   #8
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Many people tie a rag or something to the steering wheel to make it more obvious that the wheel is turning (even being able to verify the wheel turning via the rear view camera).
It will be done. Thanks.

Grrrr. This is frustrating. I want to KNOW!
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Old 09-29-2017, 01:34 AM   #9
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Sure sounds like the steering was locked. Usually there is a lot of smoke after the tires have been scrubbed and heated for several miles, and someone would try to flag you over. When I towed a lot, on corners, I would be able to see using mirrors, that the toads front wheels were turned, something I always checked.
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Old 09-29-2017, 02:21 AM   #10
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Sure sounds like the steering was locked. Usually there is a lot of smoke after the tires have been scrubbed and heated for several miles, and someone would try to flag you over. When I towed a lot, on corners, I would be able to see using mirrors, that the toads front wheels were turned, something I always checked.
No smoke, no smell, nothing. When we stopped to disconnect there was nothing unusual. Yes, I would have thought there would be burned rubber smell, but no, nothing. I always watch the mirrors when turning also. "Yes, its still back there and the bikes are still on the car,"
Very strange.
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Old 09-29-2017, 10:12 AM   #11
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I wonder if one of the auto locks of your tow bar is not locking? You use the falcon 2 tow bar which makes it easy for the hook up. Part of the description of the falcon 2 from the Roadmaster web site
start of paste---->
Telescoping, independently-adjustable inner arms are easy to maneuver into position. Simply pin them in place and then drive your motorhome away and the arms automatically center and lock in place.
<----end of paste
Maybe give Roadmaster a call and explain your situation. They should be the experts.
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Old 09-30-2017, 02:11 PM   #12
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I wonder if one of the auto locks of your tow bar is not locking? You use the falcon 2 tow bar which makes it easy for the hook up. Part of the description of the falcon 2 from the Roadmaster web site
start of paste---->
Telescoping, independently-adjustable inner arms are easy to maneuver into position. Simply pin them in place and then drive your motorhome away and the arms automatically center and lock in place.
<----end of paste
Maybe give Roadmaster a call and explain your situation. They should be the experts.
I've wondered the same. It's pretty much a last resort. Kind of like finding that lost item in the last place you look. Going to contact Roadmaster on Monday and see what they say. With another trip planned for mid October I'm feeling a bit of pressure and maybe a little paranoia. Need to solve this.
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Old 09-30-2017, 02:34 PM   #13
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I know what it is like. Right now I can not find my multimeter, and of course I need it. May just go buy another.
Back to yours, I could see, if one side is not locking and with the combination of having the front steering locked once, any slight change in the direct plane would cause the irregular wear on the tires, when the towed vehicle is trying to get back to center and following the motorhome.
If the steering is not locked and one side of your tow bar is not locked, then when towing the front wheels could be offset from the plane the rear wheels are following with no additional wear, as the towed vehicle is following the MH off centre. Sort of like when you see a vehicle where the rear wheels are tracking off set from the front. I hope this makes sense.
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Old 09-30-2017, 03:15 PM   #14
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I seriously doubt that one of the tow bar arms did not lock. The one time, one of mine did not lock, as soon as I got to about 25 or 30MPH, the side to side motion was so strong, it literally rocked my 40,000 pound DP. No way that could not be noticed.
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Old 09-30-2017, 06:21 PM   #15
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Just checked with a close friend who works Honda Service about towing 4 down 2004 Honda CRV and his reply was no way is it possible or warranteed. Normally he says the tires (axles) will tighten up due to transmission tightening and the wheels will become sluggish or stop turning. Now take it for what it is. I'm sure there will be many who disagree but that is what I was told.
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Old 09-30-2017, 06:37 PM   #16
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If the transmission stiffened, or started a lockup sequence, how would that scrub the inside of one tire and the outside of the other? Also wouldn't that mean there would be transmission damage? Just wondering!!!!!!!
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Old 10-02-2017, 03:10 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by cpmath View Post
Just checked with a close friend who works Honda Service about towing 4 down 2004 Honda CRV and his reply was no way is it possible or warranteed. Normally he says the tires (axles) will tighten up due to transmission tightening and the wheels will become sluggish or stop turning. Now take it for what it is. I'm sure there will be many who disagree but that is what I was told.
Maybe, but I doubt it. The owners manual gives specific instructions to flat tow and we follow them religiously and have not had problems towing the CR-V for 6 years. Perhaps your friend is thinking of newer CR-Vs that are not flat towable.

FURTHER DEVELOPMENTS:
i can't stop thinking about this and it's making me crazy. With the MH in the shop down the road a piece I haven't been able to check out the tow bar but am about to the point where I'm going to drive down there and inspect it. After checking the Roadmaster site a couple of thoughts about the situation have come back to me and am now considering the failure to lock possibility. The car is operating perfectly as usual.
So, some of this might seem to be but here goes.

On the last short trip we took I thought that the tire pressure was off as the steering wheel when towing was off center by at least 45 degrees and I had to hold it with some strain to keep it from pulling hard left. When driving the MH from CW it did not do that. We drove 110 miles to our stop for the week. That was when I checked the air and found the front MH tires to be off by maybe a max of 5lbs on one side. More like 3 but rounded for guage error. Maybe that wasn't the culprit. Don't ask about the car tires because I didn't check them although driving around during the week there was a slight pull to the right (thinking back).
On the return trip there was no pull and the MH steering wheel was once again straight. I really have to wonder if the tow bar did not lock on one side and that was the reason for the pulling to the left on the trip out and then locked on the way home with whatever damage already done to the not checked auto tires.

Just got off the phone with Roadmaster support. After hearing the whole story their tech support thinks the only possibility is a locked ignition. They pointed out that it is entirely possible to put the key in the accessory position and it move to locked. Their recommendation is to start the car and then go back to the first position rather than from locked to the first position. We have always gone from locked to accessory position so will change our procedure. According to them if an arm was unlocked you would know it when applying brakes but the vehicle should return to fully extended position and track straight when returning to speed.
Lesson: If something doesn't seem right, don't wait to check it out. I should already know that.

MYSTERY SOLVED: Or at least accepting what everyone thinks. I, Dennis, and lovely wife, mother of our children, keeper of the peace, went out and once again reviewed towing procedure. We discovered that the first position that clicks when the key is turned on is NOT #1 but is halfway to #1. Without looking at the position markings on the ignition you would think this was #1. It is the position always used before and we have simply been lucky. I think back on what could have happened on our 2500 mile trip in August or driving through the crowded tunnel in Mobile on I10.
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Old 10-02-2017, 07:28 PM   #18
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That makes sense. On our check list, once I am set up to tow, I turn the steering wheel lock to lock, just to be sure. Also, I have a mechanical key, no chip, that I use when towing, which is not capable of starting the car, but certainly will put the ignition in ACC position, to unlock the wheel.
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Old 10-02-2017, 08:14 PM   #19
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That makes sense. On our check list, once I am set up to tow, I turn the steering wheel lock to lock, just to be sure. Also, I have a mechanical key, no chip, that I use when towing, which is not capable of starting the car, but certainly will put the ignition in ACC position, to unlock the wheel.
Further adjustments.

We haven't turned the steering wheel lock to lock but will in the future. Also will get a non chip key. Thanks.

Oh the lessons we learn.
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