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Old 09-01-2016, 03:51 PM   #267
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FCStreamer View Post
Well, according to some here, ST tires are a no no.

I'm sorry, but I am going to side with the manufacturers on this.

If they say an LT tire is not to be used on a trailer, I am not using one. No matter how much "internet wisdom" is behind that practice.

I'm going to stick to ST tires. They are made specifically for trailers. And I give more credence to the manufacturer's statement on what they design and build rather than some anecdotal experiences posted on an internet forum.

But that's me. Call me crazy. YMMV.
That's how I felt the first two years of our 2007 Airstream, and bought a TPMS to watch. Then I began to see how many people had damaged Airstreams from the ST tires blowing out, with or without TPMS.

I also noticed how many Airstreamers switched to Michelin 16" after the 2012 Eddie Bauer (and now the Pendleton and Classic) came with them as original equipment. No one ever had a blowout, none. So we put them on our FC 25, and run them at 65 psi for better ride and wet roadway braking. After five years still thinking about adding TPMS.

That said, if our travel was always locally, in the Upper Midwest, we may have stayed with the ST tires to save a $1000 or so.
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Old 09-01-2016, 06:04 PM   #268
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It's been my experience that when someone spends a lot of money on a purchase based upon emotion or opinion and are later questioned about it, that they are reluctant to do anything other than praise their previous decision because, after all, who among us want's to look like a fool who blew their money going against common wisdom based upon anecdotal information.
The other thing that often enters these discussions are the flock-of-ducks-affect.... if one quacks, the whole flock quacks. In this case, the decision to get away from ST tires resembles a crowd-flash-dance.

The tire industry has good reason, based upon engineering/manufacturing research to make ST tires. There would be no reason to make and promote an entire line of tires that did not meet a special market. ST tires are not "cheap" wannabe tires. They are purposefully designed and manufactured. The tire and rubber mfr's industry holds that position.
My Carlisle Trail HDs are rated at 81 mph. So the claim that "all" ST tires are 65 mph tires is incorrect.
Someone mentioned they'd 'be more convinced it the argument were made by someone in the tire industry other than someone promoting their own tires:......
Here's a spokesman for a major trailer company in the U.S., who very simply explains why ST tires are for trailers and P and LT tires are for cars and trucks.
Most folks who suffer ST problems fail to acknowledge the seemingly common reasons for failure: Underinflation, improper storage, and abuse.
Trailers sit for months on one spot, sometimes on humid soil, creating a water-logged flat spot, then put into hot highway service... underinflated...and POP...Gee, those tires must be defective...!!! That doesn't happen to my daily-driver.....!
Additional videos offer tire selection and care advice, but here's the reason ST tires are best for trailers:



Hope this helps.
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Old 09-01-2016, 07:33 PM   #269
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Since Bob Thompsonís first mention of converting from ST to more reliable LT tires ("Tires...Tires...Tires" - Post #1, dated 05/01/05), there have been doubters who touted the virtues of Special Trailer tires and the foolishness of those who drank Bobís anecdotal LT-tire Kool-Aid, and switched.

Many have resisted the change and accepted the ST-tire marketing claims as truth, only to be later disappointed. Unfortunately, the ST tireís 52% failure rate will eventually catch up with many of them.

We who have switched are only trying to help those who have not, to avoid the anguish of time and money wasted on inferior tires. Time will tell whether the tire gods will smile, or wreak their havoc, upon their Airstreams.

In the meantime, best wishes to all for safe travels.
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Old 09-01-2016, 08:38 PM   #270
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I tend to have a 'fool me only once' policy with tires, banks, and other suppliers.

GYM blowout after being babied, run below the speed limit, and always properly inflated. $4,000 damage to wheel well later....

Firestone tire on van, same thing.

Why would I give them a second chance to kill me and my family?



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Old 09-01-2016, 08:58 PM   #271
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Boxite,
Thanks for the informative post!
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Old 09-01-2016, 09:20 PM   #272
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Among the first in the flock to quack was the Airstream factory when they introduced the 2012 Eddie Bauer with 16" Michelins. Andrew Thomson at Can-Am RV preceded that by getting ST tires off Airstreams that came in for tire service and were looking for reliability, lessons learned from over 40 years in the second generation business.

$4,000 in trailer damage from another common ST tire failure, no thanks. We do use them on our utility and boat trailers where they can't hurt anything (unless put us in the ditch).
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Old 09-01-2016, 09:49 PM   #273
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I went the Sendel 16" route with Michelins and have never looked back. I'm on the 4th year with them and have trailered over 30,000 miles in the past 18 months. The only problem is I recently picked up a bolt in one on our recent trip to Alaska. I plugged it along the way and had it properly repaired 6 wks later on the way back through BC. So, in other words, I have no complaints. Well, I do have one not tire related. The sendel wheels are showing some creeping corrosion under the clear coat. I will look at them closer when I get home and clean them up but it does disturb me that it's there at all.

Choose the tire / wheel combination of your choice but be prepared to live with your decision. I did and have never looked back.
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Old 09-01-2016, 10:05 PM   #274
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I made the switch for a couple of reasons. The first is I do a lot of driving. Most of the blown out tires I see are on RV trailers by the road side. The second reason is that my impression that stiff ST tires are hard on an Airstream both inside and out. That is the same reason I use 750# rated bars on the WDH. My trailer is stored inside on concrete with the tires sitting on plywood squares. So, little UV or moisture damage. I have an air compressor in my TV. I check and air the tires as needed.

At about $1,500.00 it was not an inexpensive upgrade. You can believe that I will report the unvarnished truth of my experience with the new tires and wheels. I will be towing the trailer solo on a 700 mile round trip this weekend. In fact I will be doing the trip often during the college football season.

By the way, I don't trust the tires to the point that I wouldn't carry a tandem jack and lug wrench.
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Old 09-01-2016, 10:14 PM   #275
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I was curious to find out how AS was able to determine that the LTX tires were physically capable to be used on some of their trailers despite the tire companies advice to the opposite. I submitted a support ticket to AS asking how they determined that they could be used ( I mentioned that LT Ribbs were eventually acceptable by Michelin) and if there was any impact to the trailer structure running these higher pressure tires. The reply was:

....Five years ago when we signed the contract with Eddie Bauer to build a trailer Eddie Bauer wanted the 16” Michelin tires on that trailer. That is the reason we started using 16” tires. Just this past year we put them on the special addition Pendleton trailer and they are now an option for the Classic trailers. These are the only trailers we put the 16” tires on, but I do know customers have put them on other models....The 16” tires do not have an impact on the Eddie Bauer, Pendleton, or Classic models that I am aware of. I do not know about other models because they do not come from the factory with 16” tires on them...

I pushed them further for a technical reason as to why these tires can be used and was told:

... Customers did not like the speed rating of the Good Year Marathon tires and wanted something more. The government will not let the import of a Good Year Marathon tire be more than a D rating in ply. Airstream then went to the Michelin E rated tires because of the higher speed rating and ply for the Eddie Bauer. Since then we have included the Pendleton and Classic models...

Since I wasn't going to get a technical answer I then asked ......
Michelin still does not support the LTX on trailers which probably translates to will not assume liability...So does AS assume all liability for the LTX tires?... To which I received:

...
It states in the owner’s manual for your Airstream what Airstream covers and does not cover under warranty. Airstream does not cover the warranty of the tire because the manufacturer of the tires covers that. Like with any vehicle (or RV) it is required to carry insurance of the vehicle for accidents that might happen. .....

I know that the liability issue has been discussed to death in other threads. In the spirit of completeness I just wanted to pass on this last part of the AS support response. Furthermore, I want to say that I was very pleased with the front line customer support.

So I am left to believe that AS made the decision to use the LTX tires as a result of a marketing decision. I would really like to know if any of their technical staff picked up a phone or sent an email to Michelin for their input. Without any other information from AS, I am left with an uneasiness from an apparent lack of technical basis for their countering the tire manufacturer.

It may turn out that LTX tires are acceptable on trailers. But when that day comes and is fully embraced by the tire manufacturers, I suspect the decision will be made on more fundamental design analysis than the anecdotal evidence usually given by some "early" adopters. Remember that there was a lot of empirical evidence given and interpreted that the earth was flat or the sun traveled around the earth. It still didn't make it right.
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Old 09-01-2016, 10:31 PM   #276
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'Cabin, it sounds to me like Airstream is avoiding making the statement that ST tires are unreliable because they still use them on most trailer models. The premium models get the good tires. The many members of this forum who report ST failures and went to a better tire don't have that concern.

It's simply about reliability.
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Old 09-02-2016, 03:06 AM   #277
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Thank you for all the recent comments, especially Cabin's report about Airstream's replies.

It is probably true that Airstream did not get the "all clear" from MIchelin to use the 16" LT tires. [IMO] Nor apparently did Michelin order AS not to use the LT tires.

As always, therefore, we the consumer are testing the full-scale model for empirical data on the suitability of the LT tires.

We are the guinea pigs.

"So be it" is the thought here. I have had Michelin tires on various vehicles for decades, and trust them more than other tires.

Even without Michelin and Airstream being explicitly on the same page about this, it is worth the risk IMO vs. known risks on the ST tires especially the GYM.

Life is not without risk.

So be it.

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Old 09-02-2016, 07:48 AM   #278
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I think we have a case of cabin fever causing an inability to accept actual on the road facts with therory from scientists and engineers who probably never tested the lt tires in the actual universe, only relying on models.
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Old 09-02-2016, 08:40 AM   #279
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Actual "on the road "facts"" is anecdote. Tire and Rubber Mfr's Assoc'n, heavily influenced by DOT/Gov't regs, are actual, controlled tests.

If we have 100 Airstream users, 90 of them still use the ST tires that AS put on them, while 10 folks have switched to what has worked for them on their cars/trucks. (Obviously, I'm imagining the actual numbers.)

Of those same 100 AS owners, 30 of them participate here in the forums, and 15 of those came here because they were experiencing a problem they didn't know how to solve, and got advice from the other 15, ten of whom are willing to experiment with any solution at all, and 5 of those are habitual whiners/complainers about anything Airstream.

Those last ones mentioned are the same ones who, on one thread will claim that any change from AS design will void a warranty and therefore shouldn't be tried (which, if you think about it, suggests they believe the designers must have known what they were doing).... and those same guys in a different thread will unequivocally affirm that the only opinions which count are the people who've gone to the little-known, experimental solution and refer to that experiment as "proof" of the solution...without regard to the fact their experiment is a very small number without a control group or meeting any trustworthy testing protocol. They've simply not yet had a failure after their change, and if they did they'd not likely come back and admit it. (thereby furthering the "proof" of the experimental solution.)

Let's face it: Mfr's have a liability-risk for their product design and performance, and the laws of economics tells us that a defective product will no longer have a marketplace. Lawyers being what they are, there is little likelihood that an entire line of products would still be offered by the industry if there were any evidence whatsoever the product is questionable. (If ST tires are so worthless that television-pharmaceutical-blonde will soon be on the screen telling us to call her law-firm because they have the resources, experience, and capability to get us our best settlement if we or anyone in our family has wrecked the trailer.)
It's my opinion, AS offered LT tires as an option because customers demanded it based on anecdotal evidence, and the increased cost was passed onto the customer in premium product lines, which gives AS a higher profit margin.

The majority of all trailer mfr's supply their trailers with ST tires because they are purpose-built for trailers. That's not to say that LT tires cannot carry a trailer. I've got old, worn-out LT tires on my utility-trailer that I use to haul trash to the dump. But I have new or recent-mfr-date tires on my expensive AS that were purpose-built for the task. It drives me crazy to see my grandson use a good screwdriver as a chisel or pry-bar. I tell him to use the proper tool for the job.

I'm sorry I kinda hi-jacked this thread about particular wheel/tire combinations, but I figured those who've had troubles might read this thread searching for a solution and felt it was the responsible thing to suggest that they use the proper tire for the job. I've now begun to repeat my opinion mercilessly, so now I'm going to sit back and be quiet.
I want to make it clear I'm not condemning those who wanted larger wheels/tires for various reasons. We all have to be happy with our choices.
Kind regards to all...
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Old 09-02-2016, 09:55 AM   #280
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Opinions vary.
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