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Old 04-21-2015, 09:48 AM   #1
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Are these tires safe

Just got my new 2015 FC 28 Rear Queen. Trailer has 15 inch wheels but only 2 ply tires. That seems unsafe. Surprised AS doesn't put higher quality tires on such expensive equipment. Can anyone advise as to whether I should upgrade? Seems a shame to put new tires on a new trailer.
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Old 04-21-2015, 09:58 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeltaRon View Post
Just got my new 2015 FC 28 Rear Queen. Trailer has 15 inch wheels but only 2 ply tires. That seems unsafe. Surprised AS doesn't put higher quality tires on such expensive equipment. Can anyone advise as to whether I should upgrade? Seems a shame to put new tires on a new trailer.
Airstream doesn't like incurring liability. They would not deliberately install unsafe tires to save a few bucks, because the payout on a lawsuit is a lot worse than the cost of the tires.

Check the maximum allowable load on the tire, not the number of plies. If the maximum allowable load times the number of tires on the ground is higher than the weight of the trailer minus the tongue weight, you're good to go.

But it wouldn't hurt to weigh the trailer on scales, and measure the load on each tire separately, just to make sure an unbalanced load isn't overloading any one tire. It will not only ensure that the tires are safe, but that none of your brakes is overloaded, too.
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Old 04-21-2015, 10:32 AM   #3
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To load the tire uniformly and not unevenly distribute the load between the tires, you need to set up your weight distribution hitch properly. The quality of a tire is more complex than just counting the plies. The load and speed ratings for the tires are the most important things you should be reviewing. Consumer's Report might be a help also.
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Old 04-21-2015, 10:59 AM   #4
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Number of ply in tires has been meaningless as a rating system for many years. Today, each tire is stamped with the maximum load rating in pounds on the sidewall. It is that number which is meaningful.

I am not saying that Airstream puts the highest quality tires on their units from the factory, but I am sure that the load of the trailer vs. the manufacturer of the tires load rating is completely within reasonable specs.

There are many threads on tires for Airstreams here on the Forums. They will make you cross-eyed very fast.
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Old 04-21-2015, 01:14 PM   #5
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1) Tires of this size are rated by letter code; B, C, D, etc. You need to read the code and how that rating applies to your AS.

2) Whether you realize it or not, tires are an integral part of the suspension. The two-ply sidewall provides necessary flexability/cushion between road surface and wheel.

If, for example, you install tires with a higher rating and four-ply sidewalls, that flexability becomes lost, and as a result will hafta be absorbed by other components; wheels, spindles, axles. Additionally, overall ride will become significantly more aggressive.

You will observe at crawling speed and during tight maneuvering, tires (and oftentimes wheels, spindles, and axles) will flex considerably. This is because wheels mounted on dual axles cannot possibly turn on the same radius. This is where sidewall flexability becomes critical.

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Old 04-21-2015, 01:20 PM   #6
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Everybody loves 10 ply load range E tires. Overkill and peace of mind come at a higher price. I just cant see AS putting substandard / marginal tires on their rigs.
I would think that there would have been some collaborative effort between AS and the tire supplier. I have heard of folks swapping the tires at the dealership to their preference as part of the deal.
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Old 04-21-2015, 01:32 PM   #7
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You'll have to replace your tires every five years or so due to age anyway.

I for one want my tires to be ready to be replaced due to wear about the same time they're ready to be replaced due to age. That means my tire money has been well spent.

If the tires aren't adequate to the usage they wear too quickly— or they blow out— meaning I replace them too soon and I end up buying too many tires.

If I go the overkill route they wear too slowly, and I have to replace them due to age when there's still a lot of usable tread depth left. That means I've spent too much for better tires than I need and wasted money that I could have better spent on something else.
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Old 04-21-2015, 03:13 PM   #8
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The tires are probably Goodyear Marathon trailer tires in the 15" size. They are certainly "safe". Some people, myself included, believe that they have a higher failure rate than passenger car tires and that the belt separation failure they sometimes have can damage the wheel well and the side of the trailer.

But the problem if you decide to replace them is what to replace them with? There are very few, if any, 15" LT tires that are rated high enough for that trailer. Some people go to 16" wheels and have a wider range of replacement tires. Some people to to different brands of ST tires with higher ply rating.

I would be as comfortable with the GYMs from Airstream as I would with any of the 15" replacements on that trailer. I run the Michelin LTX P235x15XL but on a 25' trailer that only has 3200 lbs rated axle weight and actual 5600 on the axles when loaded and hitched. The load rating is 1985 per tire and at 50 psi. Your trailer came with tires rated about 2500 at 65 psi. Changing to the P tires would be a significant decision.

So it is just not as simple as just buying better tires. Having a tire failure should not cause an accident on a multi axle trailer. Just aggravation and possibly some damage to the trailer.

I do not know about others, but my trailer tires do not show significant wear and we pull it 8,000 to 15,000 miles per year. All three of my tire changes have been from age. Surface cracking but still almost full tread depth. And the Michelins seem to age pretty quickly. I figure 4 years based on past experience which is, of course, based on past tire formulations. which might have changed.
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Old 04-21-2015, 07:50 PM   #9
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Airstream is a company that at times cuts corners anywhere they can to remain profitable and stay in business.To say that everything on these new trailers are scrutinized and carefully selected would not be reality.
That is why we are lucky to have this forum filled with ideas on how to improve on a already good product.
They put GYM's on because they are cheap and fit their product specifications and they have cut a deal for the volume they buy.

There are better tires out there but they cost more money as we all know.


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Old 04-21-2015, 08:52 PM   #10
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My gym's are 2 yrs old with almost 17000 miles and are looking good,all are wearing evenly so no worrys.....
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Old 04-22-2015, 06:21 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeltaRon View Post
Just got my new 2015 FC 28 Rear Queen. Trailer has 15 inch wheels but only 2 ply tires. That seems unsafe. Surprised AS doesn't put higher quality tires on such expensive equipment. Can anyone advise as to whether I should upgrade? Seems a shame to put new tires on a new trailer.
The number of plies has no relationship to either strength nor quality. Take a look at other tires and you'll see that most of them have 2 plies.

And even more shocking, big over the road truck tires have a single ply! It's steel, but it's just one!

(Ya' see, it matters what those plies are made out of!)
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Old 04-22-2015, 06:44 AM   #12
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As protagonist stated Airstream does not want liability - the Goodyear tires which come equipped as standard equipment on all Airstream products are safe. Are their better products available, in many peoples minds, yes. But, for reason which may or may not be of interest to you. I for one like to drive either at or above the speed limit, no matter what it is, so we have an F350 Diesel and tow our 30' at 70MPH if the speed limit is such and conditions warrant. The Goodyears are not rated for such sustained speeds, the 16" Michelins LT Tires we have are. But, the Michelins hold less weight.

If I were you and you don't like to travel fast, keep them for a while, see how they work for you and then decide before you make an expensive choice to switch to new tires and possibly new wheels. I've had discussions with Airstream on this very subject and came away feeling they are not staying with Goodyear simply because they are less expensive than some other brand but because they have confidence in the product. Plus, I've had the privilege of running a couple of operations in business where these types of decisions come up a lot.
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Old 04-22-2015, 07:03 AM   #13
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Another member originally posted this link. I am reposting the link below for your review. I found it to be helpful in helping me understand ST tires.
http://m.discounttire.com/dtcs/infoTrailerTireFacts.do



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Old 04-22-2015, 10:24 AM   #14
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I think TomKirk hit it right on.

I had a conversation with a long haul trucker in our unit who changed the tires to heavy duty multiply tires. The biggest result was the cabinet doors on the 70's AS got shaken of their hinges!
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