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Old 05-16-2016, 07:21 PM   #1
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Trailer- Too Tall, Long, Wide or Low?

I have a 2014 International. It is 9 feet 7 inches tall with the standard 15 inch wheels and Marathon tires. My going to 16" wheels and 16" Michelins... I will have to add at least an inch to be... safe. The trailer still clears the RV Garage, but was tested with caution.

The 2015 Airstreams are two inches taller due to the ceiling vents for the air conditioning. Make them 9 feet 9 inches tall, unless again... 15" wheels are replaced some day with 16" wheels.

Now, why is this important? This is the How TALL to be SMALL issues begin when 'our' RV Garage entry at 9 feet 11 inches tall to the top of the Air Conditioning cover. Anything added that is higher than the Air Conditioning cover just might get 'trimmed' down to size in an effort to fit under 10 feet. A taller trailer would not fit and that is the advantage of knowing your trailer height.

Too Long to Fit? Measure twice the space in your RV Garage and measure three or more times the length of the trailer needing to fit.

This might seem trivial to you. It will not when Boondocking and the massive pine tree branch is at 9 feet 5 inches above the road grade. Oops...

Width must also be taken in consideration. The 23 footer we had in 2006 was three inches narrower on each side, compared to the current 'full sized' standard Airstream.

When 'On the Road' or 'Off the Grid', knowing these numbers will save you some embarrassment and trailer repairs.

If you judge your 'low clearance' by sound, hitch dragging upon the pavement or dragging a bumper... maybe change those methods. Figure that when clearance issues MAY become an issue, have the passenger get off their comfort seat and signal to the tow master with the foot on the throttle. An aluminum bumper is attached with FOUR large metal screws. Aluminum will bend up to its ability to stay attached. Other wise you will need a sturdy 'Y' branch to insert the bent bumper and take two or more people to bend it back to fit. Odd... how I would know the technique personally...

Many cannot judge their turning radius no more than clearing tree branches or brush along side a Forest Service road. We bring a number of saws and clippers to make room for our Trailer- 'Too Tall, Long, Wide or Low'. What you do not know will be imprinted on each panel of your aluminum for... ever. Some lessons are learned the hard way... let this help you avoid the hard way. I have already done most of it.
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Old 05-16-2016, 07:24 PM   #2
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Great post. I've never towed before and I'm looking forward to it, and you raise some very good points.
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Old 05-16-2016, 07:33 PM   #3
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My observation is good advice, but I believe that, since axles are in the center of the wheel, going from 15" to 16" wheels will raise you a half inch (the diameter increases an inch, but the radius only increases a half inch). However, different tires may affect that outcome. The best bet is to have the rig measured to be certain what those new wheels and LT tires do to your height.


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Old 05-16-2016, 08:14 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray Eklund View Post
... An aluminum bumper is attached with FOUR large metal screws. Aluminum will bend up to its ability to stay attached. Other wise you will need a sturdy 'Y' branch to insert the bent bumper and take two or more people to bend it back to fit. Odd... how I would know the technique personally...
Or a driveway stem wall adjacent to a 100 gallon propane tank with one person pulling on the wedged in bumper and washers over the pulled out screw holes....

Like Ray, don't ask how I know....

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Old 05-16-2016, 11:32 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by tvketchum View Post
My observation is good advice, but I believe that, since axles are in the center of the wheel, going from 15" to 16" wheels will raise you a half inch (the diameter increases an inch, but the radius only increases a half inch). However, different tires may affect that outcome. The best bet is to have the rig measured to be certain what those new wheels and LT tires do to your height.
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*******

After reading the Tire and Wheel threads, the tires may be considered 16" to fit onto the rims... the tire dimensions can differ to the ground and center of wheel. I did not measure my 15" Marathon height before installing my 16" wheels and Michelin LTX 16" tires, so cannot give an exact change in 'clearance' or change in height. The trailer fit into our RV Garage, but it was not something that I figured into the equation...

Whew.... Managed to slop through that one!

So... sometimes you must consider ALL options. Someone might have done the measurement differences that I managed not considered important at the time.
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Old 05-17-2016, 07:04 AM   #6
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Good info, relevant for boondockers and super slab campers alike. Thanks for the thoughts.
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Old 05-17-2016, 05:12 PM   #7
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Thanks, HB/RE. I just added a small bow saw and loppers for "Boondocking".
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Old 05-17-2016, 08:38 PM   #8
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For information:

Stock 14" GYM ST215/75R14C rated 1,870 pounds @ 50 psi - 26.7" in diameter

Stock 15" GYM ST225/75R15D rated 2,540 pounds @ 65 psi - 28.3" in diameter

15" Michelin LTX (P) 235/75R15 XL rated 2,183 pounds @ 50 psi derated to 1,985 pounds for trailer use - 28.9" in diameter

16" Michelin LT225/75R16/E LTX M/S2 rated 2,680 pounds @ 80 psi - 29.2" in diameter

Upon inspection, we find that the 16" Michelin is about 0.9" larger in diameter than the stock 15" GYM which means the trailer is elevated 0.45" or just under ½".

For lighter trailers, we find that the 15" Michelin is about 0.6" larger in diameter than the stock 15" GYM which means the trailer is elevated 0.3" or just over ¼".

When we went from the stock 14" GYM to the 15" Michelin tire, we had an increase of 2.2" in diameter which raised the 23D 1.1" higher. The 23D frame is now at the same elevation we had with our 25FB with the same 15" Michelins. All The Hesley Arrow hitch settings we used on the 25FB work on the 23D with that same hitch.

The derating of the "P" tire for trailer use is covered by this Federal Regulation

************************************************** *************

49 CFR 571.110
Tire selection and rims and motor home/recreation vehicle trailer load carrying capacity information for motor vehicles with a GVWR of 4,536 kilograms (10,000 pounds) or less.

S4.2.2.1
Except as provided in S4.2.2.2, the sum of the maximum load ratings of the tires fitted to an axle shall not be less than the GAWR of the axle system as specified on the vehicle's certification label required by 49 CFR part 567. If the certification label shows more than one GAWR for the axle system, the sum shall be not less than the GAWR corresponding to the size designation of the tires fitted to the axle.

S4.2.2.2
When passenger car tires are installed on an MPV, truck, bus, or trailer, each tire's load rating is reduced by dividing it by 1.10 before determining, under S4.2.2.1, the sum of the maximum load ratings of the tires fitted to an axle.

S4.2.2.3
(a) For vehicles, except trailers with no designated seating positions, equipped with passenger car tires, the vehicle normal load on the tire shall be no greater than 94 percent of the derated load rating at the vehicle manufacturer's recommended cold inflation pressure for that tire.
(b) For vehicles, except trailers with no designated seating positions, equipped with LT tires, the vehicle normal load on the tire shall be no greater than 94 percent of the load rating at the vehicle manufacturer's recommended cold inflation pressure for that tire.
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Old 05-17-2016, 10:18 PM   #9
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Switz.... a wealth of information, as always!

I started a thread trying to figure out how to LEVEL my trailer and tow vehicle with an Equal-i-zer Hitch. After reading on and on of mostly opinions, I am totally confused how to transfer weight from the rear of the tow vehicle to the front and retain a LEVEL trailer and tow vehicle while in use.

The tire conversion from 15" to 16" was EASY. Now I know how TALL my trailer is today!

Figuring out how a hitch is adjusted is not. When I am done trying to get this worked out on a current Thread... I will have to post how confusing hitches can be to a layman. Right now... it is just another item that we all should know, but were afraid to ask.
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Old 05-17-2016, 10:23 PM   #10
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Good advice Ray. I measured and measured again before I cut 4.5" out of my 18" garage header to get the air conditioner through. I guess 16" wheels are not in my future.
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