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IMPORTANT UPDATE FOR ALL RETTROBAND OWNERS


David Pratt
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All Members;
This information below is for those members of the Group that may have purchased this Product instead of TYRON BANDS.
Special Note; I have been involved with TYRON BANDS for over fifteen years and I do not know of any TYRON BAND failures from a Tire Blow Out. TYRON BANDS have performed as stated when a tire has failed.
 
"When Poly Carbonite Meets Concrete, Poly Carbonite Loses"
 
 IMPORTANT UPDATE FOR ALL RETTROBAND OWNERS
Dear Rettroband Owner,
For those of you whom I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting, my name is Brett Davis and I am the Founder and CEO of National Indoor RV Centers. I am also Co-Founder of Rettroband. For what it’s worth, I feel you should know I write all my own communications. Not our marketing department, and not our lawyers.
I purchased my first coach in 1985. I have nine children and twenty six grandchildren. During those thirty five years, almost without exception, every time I’ve traveled I’ve had what I consider very precious cargo onboard in the form of my children and/or grandchildren. Needless to say, front tire blowouts have always been of paramount concern to me.
Five years ago I met Robert Craig, Founder of Craig International Ballistics, when he was taking delivery of his coach from National Indoor RV Centers, and together we formed Rettroband. Craig International Ballistics is the largest supplier of armor to the Australian military, as well as eight other militaries around the world. Craig International Ballistic’s products range from body armor, to armored vehicles, to both fixed wing and rotary aircraft, and to vessels. Robert has thirty five years experience in manufacturing military grade armor and protective products for armored vehicles, including “run flat devices”.
Robert’s and my desire was to develop a product, a “run flat device” which would free coach owners from the continual dread in the back of their minds of a front tire blowout. We both recognized the Motorhome market is a very small market, but in dire need of such a product. And, we both really desired to solve this problem.
So, why am I writing you? A couple of my pet peeves over my thirty five years of RVing experiences are:
  1. Regardless of the number of times their products fail, or how widely known those failures are within the RVing community, the manufacturers almost always say “this is the first we’re hearing of this”.
  2. Whenever failures do occur, manufacturers tend to point up and down the supply chain trying to lay blame on someone else.
These are only two of a myriad of frustrations I have personally experienced over my years of RVing, and which ultimately led to the founding of National Indoor RV Centers.
When it comes to business I have always believed “if you have a problem, you put it up on the table so we all have a problem”. At National Indoor RV Centers we don’t hide issues, and we don’t duck from our customers. So, I am writing to inform you we have had several Rettroband failures recently, for a total of five Rettroband failures out of almost one thousand. While 5/1,000 is a very small percentage, in my opinion, one failure is one too many.
We at Rettroband experienced our first failure on, none other than, September 11th, 2019. We immediately sent the failed Rettroband to the laboratory to determine the cause of the failure. The cause was found to be over tightening of the Rettroband due to improper installation. The next failure occurred June 21st, 2020, and the last three failures have been in the last three weeks which is prompting this communication. We have not received back the cause of the most recent failure from the lab yet as it just occurred a few days ago. However, it sure appears to have been over tightened as well, and is most distressing to me because we (NIRVC) installed it. I wish I had all the answers for this latest failure before writing this email, but I also didn’t want to delay in communicating what appears to be the issue and what we think the solution is.
Immediately after determining the cause of the first failure, Robert started designing and engineering a solution, followed by molds, then production, and finally testing. I will try and paint a picture with words in hopes you’ll be able to visualize the problem, and therefore the solution.
In our development of the product, which took 3.5 years to design, engineer, and test, Robert did extensive testing. I’ll share with you just a few of Robert‘s tests:
  1. Compression. Rettroband withstood 32,000 pounds of pressure before the Rettroband failed.
  2. Strength. On a tire testing machine acquired from Bridgestone by the Big Tyre Company, they took Rettroband up to 75.18mph and then instantly hit it with 10,000 pounds of pressure numerous times.
  3. Durability. We wanted to be certain a coach owner could safely drive to the next exit following a blowout. Below is a link to a video showing the Rettroband attached directly to the brake drum... no rim! The Rettroband has 6 tons (12,000 pounds) of weight on it, and is traveling at 45mph. FYI, the largest Alcoa aluminum rim is only rated to 10,500 pounds. As you will see, Rettroband is extremely durable, and more than capable of being driven on after a blowout. Remember, in a true blowout Rettroband will have the added benefits of being attached to a rim within a tire as compared to this video. Here is the link to the video: https://youtu.be/RmGGKxlHix0
  4. Blowout. As many of you have seen before in the below video, we used a gas coach with a short wheelbase, and a very long overhang behind the drive axle. We also loaded the coach with ballast to the point we couldn’t get its speed above 65mph. While the test driver knew we were going to blow the tire, he didn’t know exactly when the tire would be blown. The drone shot at the 7:15 mark of the video captures the blowout from the exterior. Notice the coach doesn’t even wiggle. Then the interior camera shot at the 7:17 mark of the video captures the test driver’s hand on the steering wheel at the moment of the blowout. Notice again, the steering wheel doesn’t even wiggle. Here is the link to the video: https://youtu.be/ujVVWz-Wxjo
Robert focused in testing on the pressure and compression associated with the centripetal force, and the sudden impact of a blowout. We knew it was critical during the installation of Rettrobands for the gearboxes to be centered, and tightened only until both halves touched. Preferably, we like to be able to slide a sheet of paper between the two halves. What we have found, unfortunately, is that third-party installers were using air wrenches or rattle guns, and over tightening the the gearboxes. Tightening beyond the ability to slide a piece of paper through where the two halves meet is incorrect, and we now know that apparently it may lead to Rettroband failures as the over tightening bows the two halves, and stretches the entire system causing it to work against itself.
Now knowing the problem, as we now do, hopefully you’ll be able to visualize my explanation of the solution. Since “a picture is worth a thousand words” I’ll start with a series of pictures and explanations of each. Here is a drawing of the steel band which is inside the new Rettrobands:
image
 
The steel band is inside each of the halves which make up the complete Rettroband. The large metal pin the gearbox threads into, will now go through the both the hole in the polyurethane composite AND the steel band. The steel band is anchored to both the large metal pins in the same half of the Rettroband. Now as the gearboxes bring the two halves together the steel band will act as a torque brake mitigating the risk of over tightening. The steel band anchors the two other metal pins to each other in the event of over tightening, as opposed to the gearboxes pulling the pins through the polyurethane.
Below is a picture of the steel band inside a polyurethane Rettroband. Notice how the large metal pin is no longer going through just the hole in the polyurethane, but it also goes through the steel band.
image
 
 
Below is a picture of the steel band inside a rubber Rettroband:
image
 
 
And finally, below is a picture showing the beginnings of a crack in the old Rettroband caused by over tightening. Once the crack has started we believe its travel can be accelerated in extreme heat. For example, one of the recent failures occurred during an outside temperature of 115 degrees, with pavement temperature of 150 degrees, and inside tire temperatures of almost 200 degrees. Hence, Robert’s testing of the new Rettrobands with the steel band inside have been performed this time around inside a kiln.
image
 
 
I hope I’ve been able to paint a picture for you of both the problem and the solution. The in-house testing of the new Rettroband is nearing completion. Following completion of our in-house testing, once again, actual road testing using explosive charges will be carried out at the Nevada Auto Testing Center (“NATC”). NATC is a certified track and where we test blowing tires at speed on a Motorhome. This testing was scheduled to have been done this past March, but due to the Coronavirus, NATC postponed our testing dates. We are currently scheduled to do our final round of testing at the NATC in the coming weeks.
I’m sure the biggest question you are all asking yourselves right now is; what’s National Indoor RV Centers and Rettroband going to do about this? For this I’ll pull back the curtain a little.
At National Indoor RV Centers, we’re in the business of making customers for life. To that end, one of our training programs is a mandatory “Book Club” meeting every Monday morning at 7:30am. In this meeting all our employees participate in real life customer service experiences, both inside and outside of our company, as we go through four books on customer service over, and over again. We stress treating a customer the way we would want to be treated if our roles were reversed. We emphasize “always doing what’s right regardless of the cost”.
Additionally, Robert and I are concerned about what happens to your original Rettrobands when you need to replace your tires, or you sell your coach and the new owner needs to replace the tires. We will have no knowledge or control over how the new tire shop may reinstall the Rettrobands. Whether or not they will bother to follow the instructions. We are both the kind of men “who would rather sleep well, than eat well”. Rettroband was designed and engineered to keep you and your loved ones safe in the event of a blowout, and we will “practice what we preach” and stand behind the product or service we sell. We will be replacing the bands of all Rettrobands currently on the road at no cost to you our customer, and have ceased installations of the current design. (We won’t be replacing the gearboxes as they are not the problem, and we’ve never had one fail in either testing or in the market.)
Also, upon completion of the testing and compliance at the NATC, we will begin mass production of the new redesigned Rettrobands. While around the clock production will be quick, shipping 20 tons will take 47 days at sea, and another 8 days to clear customs and be at our facilities. Once they are aboard the ship, and their arrival date is know, we will begin booking appointments to swap out your bands and rebalance your tires.
In the meantime, I’m sure you’re wondering what happens should a Rettroband fail, and should you drive our coach while waiting on the replacement Rettrobands?
Since I am not one of the five who experienced a Rettroband failure, I can’t speak to this firsthand. However, I can pass on what I’ve been told the experience felt like, and fortunately, one of the failures was captured on a dash camera. I’ve been told it felt “like a buckboard wagon ride” for about a quarter of a mile until they could get to the side of the road. Three of the failures described it as feeling “like their tire was severely out of balance”. Here again, I believe “a picture is worth a thousand words”, and you can make your own assessment. Here is the link to the dash camera video of one of the Rettroband failures:
Now as to the question of whether you should or shouldn’t drive your coach while waiting for your replacement bands? Here, I really can’t offer any advice, because it’s similar to asking “how long is a piece of rope”. However, I can and will offer my opinion. We can start with 1,000 Rettrobands currently on the road, and then make any assumption you’d like to make on the number of miles they’ve been driven on since the first installation sixteen months ago. I’m just “spitballing” here, but let’s say they’ve averaged 5,000 miles apiece, multiplied by 1,000 Rettrobands, would equal 5,000,000 miles, out of which five bands have failed without an accident or a fatality. Personally, I feel much safer driving with the existing Rettrobands than I do driving without them, or with the other competing “run flat” devices currently available on the market today.
Please be sure, I will try to keep you updated on timing, as well as answer any questions as they arise.
Please feel free to call, email, or text me. It may take a little time in responding, but I will get back to you.

All the best,
Brett Davis
 
National Indoor RV Centers 498 E State Hwy 121 Lewisville, Texas 75057 United States (800) 250-6354
6326605553664000
 
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FWIW......I have read and reread the notice.  There is a LOT of thought and wordsmithing that went into the submission.  BUT, to me, there is one significant fact....

The RETROBANDS are failing at a temperature that also puts the TIRES at Risk.  MOST of the published articles and the comments from various testing and even the Tire Manufacturers "Engineering" Groups sort of (with lawyers and engineers....that is as good as it gets) say...

DANGER....WILL ROBINSON......DANGER.  In other words, without my feeble attempt at humor and to get your attention, when you exceed 180 dF on a tire, you are a GREAT risk of a failure.  Some will quibble and say....  OK, well maybe 180, but definitely 190 or others will say....NOPE....you are OK up to 170-175.  BUT, if you really want to be conservative....and one should when it comes to TIRES....you want to stay in the 160 - 180 range.

NOW, if I read the text....the RETROBANDS start to FAIL at 180 dF.  Therefore, when you NEED the protection.....you are at risk of NOT having the protection.....SO, I would be leery.

Next up....they have had several failures.  HOW DO THEY KNOW THAT?  Did a tire blow out and the band did not work?  Or MAYBE.....the driver was tooling down the road and all of a sudden, the wheels (Steer axle) starts to SHIMMY or there is a noise like the front end is disintegrating?

I DO NOT KNOW.....all I know, as Dave says, is that we have NOT had any Tyron failures.  I can also say, as an engineer (and we have several here that have more advanced and relevant degrees.....PLUS A LOT OF SMART PEOPLE>>>>Degreed or NOT) that if you look at the pictures, then that is SPOOKY.  There is a MOLDED in THREADED INSERT.....if I visualize it correctly.

That is SPOOKY.  I used to "run" as in I was in charge of Product Engineering and Design as well as Maintenance a LOT of Molding shops where we did all types of molding using a variety of materials.  The Threaded insert.....molded in, would NOT be MY pick of "fastening concepts".  

The Tyron Band is a nut and bolt and there are NO cushion or vibration or whatever spacers or inserts in the mechanical lockup.

NOW....having said that, I CAN tell you (and have pictures that Tyron sort of "glossed over" that Lazy Days did NOT install my bands correctly in 2010.  I fixed that in 2012.  

An improper installation takes on MANY issues.  Having a hulking tech overtighten a bolt is one thing....but overtightening a fastener in a threaded insert is really risky.

The THREE things.....that are important with the TYRON Bands.

First.....After the second installation, you MIGHT want to change out the spacers.  THAT is what I think went wrong with mine.  LD got into a hurry.  The bands are "Universal".  There are (memory) 3 Colors or inserts or spacers.  IF you just push in the spacer and do NOT hit it smartly with a rubber mallet, you run the risk of it not being seated.  I think that mine were NOT seated.  SO, as I drove and the band thermocycled and centrifugal force came into play, my spacers DID seat.  That then allowed the band to slide (shift or move or work themselves to the outside).  When I removed them (and I was there and helped the two tire changers), the bands were on the OUTSIDE of the well.

To that end.....i installed and did the torquing and centering MYSELF.  When I pulled the tires in 2018, some 35K miles later.....they were absolutely centered and aligned.

Second.....center the bands.  The spider tool makes that a lot easier to do.  Some folks do it WITHOUT the tool..

Third...  Properly TORQUE or tighten the securing bolt.  The spec is 120 Inch Lbs or 10 Ft Lbs.  You can NOT use a 3/8 torque wrench and get it correct.  You NEED an inch pound device....or you need to "know" how tight, TIGHT.....is.

My comments.....others may or may not agree.

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History is probably the best indicator we have. So far, Retroband history is not kind. 

Conflict of interest disclaimer - I have had Tyron bands now, that I installed, for the last couple of years. No problems at all so far. But that should be expected.
 

The real test of the product would be how it performs after a blowout. That is true with Retroband too. If you can’t get to that point, it says a lot.  As Tom says, Danger Will Robinson. 
 

bill g

06 Dynasty 

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Sounds to me like they discovered a problem with a small number of their products, and are standing behind it for ALL their customers.
The redesign looks very robust to me.  I also like the design that actually carries the weight in the event of a blowout, instead of allowing the wheel rim to contact the road.

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1 hour ago, dl_racing427 said:

Sounds to me like they discovered a problem with a small number of their products, and are standing behind it for ALL their customers.
The redesign looks very robust to me.  I also like the design that actually carries the weight in the event of a blowout, instead of allowing the wheel rim to contact the road.

RetroBand, in theory, has one edge....as far as I can see, over the Tyron Bands.  The Tyron Bands depends on the tire casing to keep you under control.  When the tire goes "out", the beads are supposed to stay in place and therefore, as the tire deflates, you are riding on the sidewall of the tire as the tire's beads don't wallow around in the well and then come flying off.  

So, from a design standpoint....the RetroBand looks like it might have an edge. 

BUT, what is troubling....and that depends on how folks look at this....is that if you continue to do some googling, you find 9 pages of comments on another forum.  There does not seem to be an "real world" experience when the RetroBand took over and kept the MH safe.  We have that with Tyron....  And I understand the differences in the design and the theories.

The OTHER thing is that no matter how much I google, I keep getting upward limits of just over 200 dF for polyurethanes.   The overtightening, where vehicles were properly installed (see one of the posts where a meticulous individual used a torque wrench and did it "By the book" was the FIRST assignable cause.  But, further investigation showed that there was a flaw in the design and thus, the RetroBands now have a "Precautionary" steel band.  I understand the torque brake theory and that the gearbox (which seems a little overkill and complex) is structurally or mechanically sound.

https://gallaghercorp.com/polyurethane-temperature-range/#:~:text=In general%2C polyurethane can be,C (300°F).

I MAY have missed it in the letter and the comments on the OTHER site....which were also from Brett Davis (he sounds like our good friend Brett Thomas....who was a great resource)....but I never saw any comments on the type of Polyurethane used and it being a special high temperature formulation.  If you add in the steel band and beef up the fastening system, but then continue to have thermal cycling and/or stress points (contact or heat related), then I don't quite have the confidence that a workable solution or fix has been accomplished.

Again....the first was overtightening.  BUT, it would be interesting to pull a random sample of the bands and do some critical looking at the points were the failures were.  

My experience is not of a certified or PE in the molding and materials industry....but I did a lot of work and designed a lot of products and talked to a lot of suppliers and such over the years.  Thus, this engineer is skeptical and want some real world testing and thermal cycling.  Have not figured out how you get up a design of experiments to replicate the heat inside a tire and jack it up to say 250 - 275 dF and then have the forces (centripetal, centrifugal or centipede....LOL) on the tire.  Maybe setting up a test track on the Bonneville Salt Flats and doing an endurance run for a few weeks would be in order....

SO....I think the jury is still out....and wonder IF there is a failure of the Gen 2 Retrobands if there will be a "Materials Change"....sometimes even the folks that are overly cautious and want to make changes don't go far enough....and often run with the first theory out of the door...

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21 hours ago, Tom Cherry said:

RetroBand, in theory, has one edge....as far as I can see, over the Tyron Bands.  The Tyron Bands depends on the tire casing to keep you under control.  When the tire goes "out", the beads are supposed to stay in place and therefore, as the tire deflates, you are riding on the sidewall of the tire as the tire's beads don't wallow around in the well and then come flying off.  

So, from a design standpoint....the RetroBand looks like it might have an edge. 

BUT, what is troubling....and that depends on how folks look at this....is that if you continue to do some googling, you find 9 pages of comments on another forum.  There does not seem to be an "real world" experience when the RetroBand took over and kept the MH safe.  We have that with Tyron....  And I understand the differences in the design and the theories.

The OTHER thing is that no matter how much I google, I keep getting upward limits of just over 200 dF for polyurethanes.   The overtightening, where vehicles were properly installed (see one of the posts where a meticulous individual used a torque wrench and did it "By the book" was the FIRST assignable cause.  But, further investigation showed that there was a flaw in the design and thus, the RetroBands now have a "Precautionary" steel band.  I understand the torque brake theory and that the gearbox (which seems a little overkill and complex) is structurally or mechanically sound.

https://gallaghercorp.com/polyurethane-temperature-range/#:~:text=In general%2C polyurethane can be,C (300°F).

I MAY have missed it in the letter and the comments on the OTHER site....which were also from Brett Davis (he sounds like our good friend Brett Thomas....who was a great resource)....but I never saw any comments on the type of Polyurethane used and it being a special high temperature formulation.  If you add in the steel band and beef up the fastening system, but then continue to have thermal cycling and/or stress points (contact or heat related), then I don't quite have the confidence that a workable solution or fix has been accomplished.

Again....the first was overtightening.  BUT, it would be interesting to pull a random sample of the bands and do some critical looking at the points were the failures were.  

My experience is not of a certified or PE in the molding and materials industry....but I did a lot of work and designed a lot of products and talked to a lot of suppliers and such over the years.  Thus, this engineer is skeptical and want some real world testing and thermal cycling.  Have not figured out how you get up a design of experiments to replicate the heat inside a tire and jack it up to say 250 - 275 dF and then have the forces (centripetal, centrifugal or centipede....LOL) on the tire.  Maybe setting up a test track on the Bonneville Salt Flats and doing an endurance run for a few weeks would be in order....

SO....I think the jury is still out....and wonder IF there is a failure of the Gen 2 Retrobands if there will be a "Materials Change"....sometimes even the folks that are overly cautious and want to make changes don't go far enough....and often run with the first theory out of the door...

Tom,

None of that actually matters. The question is , do you want to pay to be a test pilot.

 

Only time will tell (IMO).

bill g

06 Dynasty

 

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3 minutes ago, dl_racing427 said:

Bill,  If nobody ever tried anything new, we'd never have any advances in technology. 

Judging by how they're standing behind their customers and improving their product, I'm strongly considering the retrobands when I buy my next set of tires. 

Quite True....as well as HotRod's "Test Pilot" comment.  BUT, even  someone that had NOT involved with or ever has done Product Development or Product Design....common sense says.....I would probably, after reading all the comments, WANT to know MORE....

Tell me about the MATERIAL and what it's OPERATING RANGE (Heat).  The design is patented and I doubt that Alibaba will be "Knocking it OFF"....  

I would want to know the Material Spec and also see the CERTIFICATIONS on it.  If you are at all familiar with Lot Control and FAA or OEM Safety Items - FMVSS (memory) manufacturing protocols, you typically have to submit TEST DATA  that includes the Vendor, Material (SIC or Vendor Specific), Lot Certification (Testing) data, Test Method (parameters and such), etc.....the list is long and boring and distinguished.....

THEN, after you test something and get a Federal or a "Professional" approval (like UL or SAE or whatever), then for any SAFETY ITEM....you should have a complete history of the LOT Numbers and the Sequence (SN) data as to WHICH parts were manufactured from which lots (and if there are multiple materials....you have each Lot Cert info)...THEN, your files must also have all design changes and revisions.  

MAYBE all that exists?  If so, and multiple lots of Polyurethane were used, then you could do some real "Accident Investigation" work and find out if the issue was a bad lot of material (molding resin) or such.....  

I guess that I am a bit more "concerned".  I worked for a Carburetor Company and was assigned as the SPECIAL RECALL PROJECT MANAGER on two occassions.   I had to handle a massive "Throttle Spring Failure" or ....the dadgummed thing will stick open at WOT or PT.  That included finding out the cause (an IDIOT molding supervisor that approved the continued running of a part when it was out of spec) as well as developing a FIX that could be done (AMC personally came in and spent a week overlooking our test results and the fix and the record keeping) .   I also did another recall.....both of these were NHTSA documented issues or had numbers assigned.

Then, just for the fun of it, I helped the TPS folks that made most of the 2005 - 2010 units used on the ISL (and maybe others) by Monaco...as well as many other chassis vendors... set up their Recall and then helped develop their "FIX" specs so that a field tech could do them....and not have to have a lab and special tools.

I only made my comments as a caution.....which David Pratt also stated... FOR THE BENEFIT OF OUR MEMBERS.  If I planned to purchase a "revised" set of bands....then I would really want a WHOLE LOT MORE info....and YES....the communications appear to be quite open....but I SNIFF a hint of "Legal" wordsmithing....with a touch of PR.   Having also been, in a later life, involved in Product Liability Cases....I have had to pull years of "files" and also be "DEPOSED" (think Colonscopy without anestheia....), I GUESS that I am a bit more suspicious or perhaps....SKEPTICAL

 This is a serious issue....  I would rather have MORE technical data and insight....and I think that they appear to be "open" as well as have  "The Customer is ALWAYS RIGHT".  I do NOT doubt the sincerity of Brett Davis.  He sounds like a stand-up guy....but he might NOT have the acumen or the resources or the background that is needed to make sure that EVERY ASPECT of the redesign and the recall is handled in a manner that would meet NHTSA overshight (which it appears it will NOT).


 

 

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Tom,

Thanks for the input. 

I perform NDE and recon on nuclear fuel and reactor control components for a company that handles all aspects of nuclear power plant construction, test and maintenance, as well as uranium mining and fuel manufacturing, so I'm well aware of the lengths gone to track materials and investigate problems.  I'm also aware of the cost that those certifications add to a product, often many times the cost of the product itself.

That said, this product is a secondary safety item.  It doesn't even come into play unless a tire fails, and none of the 5 failures have caused an accident or injury.  When they've failed it's simply caused a severe vibration. 

It looks like the company has made a significant change to strengthen the product, as well as to educate their distributors about proper installation.

While I get your concerns regarding temperature, I've personally used polyurethane bushings in suspension components that were very close to exhaust components.  The polyurethane withstood the heat far longer than the original rubber bushings did.

While the Retrobands may not have been tested to aerospace or nuclear requirements, if the product cost is so high that no-one can afford them, then they aren't going to improve anyone's safety.

Edited by dl_racing427
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9 minutes ago, dl_racing427 said:

Tom,

Thanks for the input. 

I perform NDE and recon on nuclear fuel and reactor control components for a company that handles all aspects of nuclear power plant construction, test and maintenance, as well as uranium mining and fuel manufacturing, so I'm well aware of the lengths gone to track materials and investigate problems.  I'm also aware of the cost that those certifications add to a product, often many times the cost of the product itself.

That said, this product is a secondary safety item.  It doesn't even come into play unless a tire fails, and none of the 5 failures have caused an accident or injury.  When they've failed it's simply caused a severe vibration. 

It looks like the company has made a significant change to strengthen the product, as well as to educate their distributors about proper installation.

While I get your concerns regarding temperature, I've personally used polyurethane bushings in suspension components that were very close to exhaust components.  The polyurethane withstood the heat far longer than the original rubber bushings did.

While the Retrobands may not have been tested to aerospace or nuclear requirements, if the product cost is so high that no-one can afford them, then they aren't going to improve anyone's safety.

Thanks for your post. Well said.

Paul A

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20 minutes ago, dl_racing427 said:

Tom,

Thanks for the input. 

I perform NDE and recon on nuclear fuel and reactor control components for a company that handles all aspects of nuclear power plant construction, test and maintenance, as well as uranium mining and fuel manufacturing, so I'm well aware of the lengths gone to track materials and investigate problems.  I'm also aware of the cost that those certifications add to a product, often many times the cost of the product itself.

That said, this product is a secondary safety item.  It doesn't even come into play unless a tire fails, and none of the 5 failures have caused an accident or injury.  When they've failed it's simply caused a severe vibration. 

It looks like the company has made a significant change to strengthen the product, as well as to educate their distributors about proper installation.

While I get your concerns regarding temperature, I've personally used polyurethane bushings in suspension components that were very close to exhaust components.  The polyurethane withstood the heat far longer than the original rubber bushings did.

While the Retrobands may not have been tested to aerospace or nuclear requirements, if the product cost is so high that no-one can afford them, then they aren't going to improve anyone's safety.

We probably agree more than it seems like.  I certainly do respect your credentials and you got my point.

As to the Material.  YES, you can use a lot of materials in environments that might not be in the stated "list".  Your bushings are obviously an example.  However, until you simulate the internal temperatures of a failed tire and then thermo cycle the material a few million times, I am skeptical.  

Having talked to the (at that time) Engineering Manager for Bridgestone Commercial Tire division, who was also a MH owner, I would want to know more.  BS did a LOT of experimenting, as do the other major Tire companies did...as well as some of the first (gonna corner the market after the Explorer/Firestone incident) TPMS folks....  I understand some of the dynamics of the tires and their safety limits.  What I do NOT know....and probably will never find out..   When a tire starts to heat up due to a slow pressure leak, the internal (call it the "atmosphere") temperature starts to rise.  When you get above 180 dF (or somewhere approaching 200), the tire begins to deteriorate or is past the "Working or the Thermodynamic Equilibrium Temperature, then you are prone to failure.

What I do NOT know....and have not seen ....  How HOT does it actually get inside the TIRE....before it fails or comes apart?  That is, I believe, a highly guarded secret.  YES, the companies have tested it.  BUT if you had a continuous time/temperature plot.....with a time scale to show when the pressure "dropped"...as in failed.....then I do NOT know how HOT it gets inside and what range that the Polyurethane has to be rated at for safety or where it will fail.

We DO know that the thermal cycle of a tire is from ambient to around 160 - 170 or so.  I would love to see the material tested or "certified" for a few thousand cycles.  I would choose 70 - 250 dF (unless I had info that said that a tire will "hold together for upwards of 300 dF....then let that be the upper limit.  THEN, take the tested or cycled material(s) and do all the performance testing that Brett talks about.  THEN.....I would less skeptical.  That is how MOST of the durability or design or specs are developed.  We had to go through a few hundred thousand thermocycle tests to convince AMC that a shortened Nylon bushing inside the Throttle Return Spring would BE OK....as we figured out that the nylon bushing was rubbing an out of spec "boss" on the Throttle Body and causing the rubbing or the sticking.  THEN, we had to STAMP a REV code on each Reburbished unit so that if it was ever rebuilt in the field, you have to use a shortened bushing....

That's how I see it.  I DO think that MOST folks consider this as a "Life Saving" device or a safety feature.....or else WHY would you buy it.  

Thanks for your comments and insights.....

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There are already manufacturers supplying this kind of device for government vehicles and military for years.They are available for commercial trucks and emergency vehicles around the world already. I would assume, they went through some extreme testing to be approved for government vehicle use. These people take care of themselves and therefore, I think, I would trust their source. But there is a lot of secrecy and I don't think you can get any of this information out of them. The motorhome market is just too small for them to care. IMO, That's where rettroband is reinventing the wheel at a much higher price just because they know that many will pay whatever they ask while going through some initial setbacks.

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38 minutes ago, Ivan K said:

There are already manufacturers supplying this kind of device for government vehicles and military for years.They are available for commercial trucks and emergency vehicles around the world already. I would assume, they went through some extreme testing to be approved for government vehicle use. These people take care of themselves and therefore, I think, I would trust their source. But there is a lot of secrecy and I don't think you can get any of this information out of them. The motorhome market is just too small for them to care. IMO, That's where rettroband is reinventing the wheel at a much higher price just because they know that many will pay whatever they ask while going through some initial setbacks.

Don't disagree with anything that you say.  However, many of us have been involved or know of the "Exploits" of Tyron.  Tyron is an English company.  A VEC guy in CA (where else??) bought the Tyron USA Franchise in the late 90's or the early 20's.  Fred White, one of our founders, was close to Chuck Thatcher.  David Pratt also knows more about this that I can relate....but to make it simple.

Tyron''s USA market was FIRST.....Military.  THEN Emergency.....  Next up was Aircraft.  There were (maybe still are) a LOT of private aircraft running the Tyron Bands.  I was with Chuck Thatcher one day when he was "on contract" to Lazy Days.  He spent most of that day trying to catch up with a development (application) engineer in Europe as there was a pricey 2 engine Corporate Jet sitting in a hanger with no rubber on the ground.  The owner(s) had ordered the Bands....which were about 5X more than what we were paying....and the Power Frame (FAA Certified) Tech objected and said that he wanted to see "Certifications".....as well he should...

OK....the MH industry got bombarded.....and the VEC in CA made Chuck an offer that he could not refuse.  SO, Chuck became the owner of the Tyron USA account and then worked on the gravy applications....which was MILITARY and DEFENSE.  

Meanwhile, folks were experimenting with all sorts of "Run Flat", Tire in Tire, Inserts, Bands, Sprayed Kevlar Structural Foam....you name it...it probably has been tried....

NOW, due to our society....an maybe due to the Drug Cartels all over the world, there is a demand for "Bullet Proof" tires.  If the tire be Bullet Proof, then presumably use peons with our monsterous rigs should be able to tap into that market.

If you google, there are many designs.  You can can up to "22" truck tires.  OPPS, they mean the low profile high rise wheels that are popular with the tricked out Escapade rides.  

I know that many of the local emergency folks have had pitches for outfitting the large ambulances with "Bands, Run-Flats, whatever).  However, there seems to be NO interest in the 22.5 Size that is on the fire trucks and the hook an ladder rigs.

I don't doubt that the RetroBands are trying to corner a niche market.....and have to be on a price point with Tyron.  Right now....they have a "problem".....small or large....sort of like an accuser that says that a local politico "done touched her inappropriately".  NOW....was she consenting?  Were they more than friends?....the list of questions goes on....  THEN that original "Problem" is defined as Trivia, Minor, Maybe, Colassal, or HUNT HIM DOWN LIKE A DOG IN THE STREETS.  And that is NON-Partisan and NOT aimed at one party or individual.

As long as there is a "concern" or a whiff....then that issue needs to be addressed.  Price point is "Tyron".  If you can tout a product that meets or exceeds Tyron....then you can get maybe 20 - 25% MORE for it.  You might price it low and let its claims escalate and then improve your margins.

I don't know....past that.  BUT, until now....RetroBand has been the most serious contender for Tyron.  It MAY have more advantages.  It is NOT the "Military or Presidential Motorcade" approach.....  I don't think that any of us would pay $25K per wheel or higher....unless we were the Government....

My thoughts.....

OK....I'm bored.  I am reloading the OS on several "older" PC's that I am donating to a local mission that supplies PC's to kids now going all virtual.  That takes about 6 hours per PC.  NOW....I am not watching things spin on the screen....but I am in the area and have about 4 projects going....

This thread keeps popping up.

I did a little more GOOGLING.  I could NOT find an hits for a "Blowout PROOF Tractor Trailer Tire".  Lots of ads for the "22" low profile Escalade" crowds.....SO, if anyone has some applications or info on such....chime in here.

However, I DID see an article that sort of got me to wondering.....and since my front axle is pushed to the limit because of where Monaco put the fuel and fresh water tanks....I DO know what the tire plate spec is and where I have to run.  I have the 295/80R22.5 (nomenclature may be slightly off).....

This is an interesting comment....and I assume that the publication and writer are informed....look at the info.

https://www.truckinginfo.com/312435/steer-tire-inflation-leaves-no-margin-for-error

Several members here have customized screens on their laptops that show TP.  I watch my PressurePro "New" monitor like a hawk.  Now, I KNOW that their "Temps" are at the wheel....but you can get an idea and see (with the new sensors that are not just blocks of 20 dF) what Heat (black asphalt versus white concrete) will do to the overall "Rim" temperature... as well as pressures.

Happy reading....back to Uncle Bill (of MSFT fame)....

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OK Folks

I posted the information about the Rettroband Issue to inform those members of our group that had purchased them and had them installed would have the information and take appropriate action as necessary.

I did not post this information to start a DEBATE. There has been some very good  incites and knowledgeable information posted and should give many an education to help in making a purchase decision in the future.

TYRON BANDS have been on the market for years in the Military and First Responders in the USA, all over Europe and elsewhere in the world. The TYRON BANDS  were introduced into the domestic market in 2005. TYRON BANDS have an Excellent track record, no failures to date and have proven themselves in First Hand Experiences including many in this Group.

The Rettroband is new to the RV market place  and have no first hand proven track record, hopefully that will change as time allows.

As with any product every one should do the research of all the facts and use caution and due diligence before making a purchase. 

What appeals to some may not appeal to others, some have their minds made up for various reasons on what product they will purchase, so debates need to be taken off line.

Unless  their is more important information to post about the Rettroband issue or product other than what has been posted. I ask that the DEBATORS take it off line.

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  • Tom Cherry locked this topic
  • 2 weeks later...

Chuck Thatcher (TYRON USA) forwarded an email that a Member sent to him. With all the current discussion on this thread about TYRON BANDs, I felt compelled to share this information with our members. It is another Testimonial of a first hand experience with a Steer Tire Failure with the TYRON BANDs installed.

The Email speaks for itself!!

Dave

From: Marc Franken | Frankentek <Marc@frankentek.com>
Sent: Wednesday, August 19, 2020 3:15:54 PM
To: Chuck Thacther <chuck@tyron-usa.com>
Subject: Motor Home Front Right Blow out - Family saved by Tyron!
 

Dear Sir,

 

My family, kids and dog were heading north on the PA turnpike just before the Allentown exit, and the front right tire blew up.  VERY loud and scary experience!!  I was able to control the 46,000LB motorhome and safely brake and steer it to the side of the road. Thank God I had these Tyron’s installed. I would tell anyone that if they didn’t have them they were CRAZY!

In fact just told 2 of my buddies who own pushers.

 

The tow truck service company sent an emergency tire repair truck with a truck tire the same size and installed it. They strapped the body panels back so they were safe to drive the motorhome. They had to cut the damaged Tyron bolt off, so I need a new complete band. I have the tool kit. My tire size is 295 / 80R22.5.

 

PLEASE SHIP IT TO MY OFFICE BELOW.

 

TYRON Agreement number #13531

Purchased from LazyDays

2009 American Coach

Model Allegiance 42G

 

The wheel is going to be replaced by Progressive RV insurance company and hopefully they will pay for the full amount.

 

Thank you very much!!

Marc

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