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Old 04-01-2016, 04:33 PM   #57
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I do have a question about the center caps. Apparently, Sendel told Discount Tire that they recommended the use of plastic centers vs metal due to corrosion issues. Have any of you longer term Sendel owners heard or experienced any issues? It's interesting that the stock 15s were Sendel with the same metal caps......
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Old 04-01-2016, 06:20 PM   #58
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Using metal center caps-
No corrosion-
But I do live in the south where cars don't rust either-


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Old 04-01-2016, 06:21 PM   #59
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The OE aluminum wheels have chromed steel center caps.


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Old 04-01-2016, 06:22 PM   #60
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I'm gonna say ignore that and use your original center caps.


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Old 04-01-2016, 07:03 PM   #61
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My center caps and stock rims corroded. I reused the center caps after cleaning them with the new 16" wheels. I just put them on so will monitor closely.

Btw, I also raised my hitch as the trailer was already slightly nose down with the 15's.
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Old 04-01-2016, 09:27 PM   #62
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MOUNTED and ready to roll...

Costco mounted my tires onto my new wheels today.;

I asked for 70#, but they did 74# pressure. Nitrogen.

I mounted them onto my trailer using leveling blocks and replaced one side and then the next, one in the air at a time. Break the lug nut loose on the ground, first. Then when the wheel is in the air, remove all six. Takes time, but you will survive. Gloves or no gloves... you get better after the first wheel.

I did not think about measuring the height at the fender well with the 15" and then the 16" wheels. I expect it to be higher, but how much I will not know.

Michelin LTX MS2 LT225/75R16- wheel and tire weigh about 61 pounds (bathroom scale accurate to within 1/2 pound)
Marthon 225/75R15- wheel and tire weight about 48 pounds

The Michelins took weights for balance: 0, 8, 9 & 10 (5Fe- 5 gram weights)
The Marthons took weights for balance: 5, 12, 12, 13 (25Fe- 1/4 ounce weights)
(I am not sure what 25Fe were. Costco said it was US equivalent to 1/4 ounce weights. These looked thicker, but how much, not sure.)
Someone might know for sure. The guy I spoke with did not convince me.

Of course you need to get the trailer axle higher to fit the 16" wheel, top of tire in first and slide bottom to fit under fender. After the first replacement you will know how many blocks are needed to have ground clearance to attach wheel to drum lugs. I had about 1" air space with wheel attached for floor clearance. Sit, straddle the tire, set top lug nut on drum UP CENTER, align wheel with top hole UP CENTER and... give it all you have.

Hand snug each lug nut by rotating wheel in air and equally tight. Then use breaker bar to snug them up. When wheel is on the ground, torque to whatever someone convinces you to do... 90# to 120#. I think 90# to 100# is very secure. I will check the lug nuts at each gas station stop on this first trial run.

The 15" stainless original center cap fit perfectly and no corrosion. Of course, I am in a different environment too.

The spare tire rack. I removed the 15" and slid the 16" spare onto the tire rack, hoping nothing else was needed. Wrong. The fit was a little loose for the 15", but not enough to fit the replacement wheel and tire. I took a hollow pipe that fits a floor jack, dropped it over one of the two 'side bars' that hold the tire in place. Bent outward, went to the other side and bent it outward. Just a little bending outward on each and the tire slid onto the spare tire rack and laid snug. I pushed the tire back as far as it would go and lifted... the heavier than you want to believe... spare upward and the pivoting latch was snug and I could get the pin and retainer pin through the holes with a little aligning with poor lighting.

The lug nuts sent with these wheels had a theft proof lug nut that takes a special socket. I used those and put the original lug nuts with my set of five 15" wheels and tires.

The next Boondocking Trip for us is May 9th, 2016 to Quemado, NM. I am very curious as how these tires handle, the extra clearance if noticed and anything else positive or negative.

I used my torque wrench and tightened the lug nuts to 90#. Possibly a bit more. By hand and a breaker bar... it was also about 90# without over doing it after checking it with the torque wrench. To loosen... it takes more than 90# as the torque wrench would click for 90# and it took a bit more effort to break the lug nut loose. Just For Your Information.
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Old 04-01-2016, 09:53 PM   #63
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Ray, thanks. That is great info. I ordered my replacement wheels and tires from Performance Tire. They will ship mounted and balanced. I mentioned the $70.00 Costco discount for a set. I was assured that a $70.00 mail in discount will come with the tires. Good pointers about the spare tire rack. I have been concerned about that. It sounds like it will take no welding which is a good thing. What they tow and handle like will be reported later. Thanks again.

I also ordered a Cat 500 watt (1000 peak watts) jump starter with inverter and air compressor (up to 120psi) from Costco. The unit was priced at $79.00, but the freight and tax made it about $98.00. This was an internet special not available in our store. I will also let it be known how that works.

We are getting ready to actually go camping in the little darlin'.
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Old 04-02-2016, 08:45 AM   #64
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The stock 15" GYM ST225/75R15D tires are 28.3" in diameter. The 16" Michelin LT225/75R16/E LTX M/S2 tire are 29.2" in diameter. The difference in diameters is 0.9" and raises the axles 0.45" or less than ".
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Old 04-02-2016, 10:36 AM   #65
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Ray,
I have heard from multiple sources that you should initially check torque more often after mounting wheels and my experience would seem to confirm that. I think the recommendation is after 50, then 100, and finally 200 miles or at 50, 150, and 350 from start. I usually had at least one lug nut loose on each wheel after just 50 miles.

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Old 04-02-2016, 10:53 AM   #66
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I want to thank.... switz .... for providing those minute details that can get in the way.

After visually comparing the tire tread on my Michelin tires and the Goodyear Marathon tires... my thought... "You must be fooling yourself to believe these tires belong on a high end, expensive, trailer, like an Airstream."

Airstream, Jackson Center, OH is doing what many automobile companies are... putting low end tires on their new product and cooperating with the tire manufacturers who then can sell you 'better quality' tires after you pull off the lot.

Toyota 4x4 Tundra tires are no better. The spare is a steel wheel and a street tire, not even matching the four in use. I immediately replace the stock Toyota Tundra tires, buy Michelins and sell the stock tires on Craigs List.

I find it poor customer loyalty that even Airstream's spare wheel is a steel wheel and the lug nuts do not fit properly from the 'aluminum' wheels in use. Where on the final price tag is CHEAP spare tire? Then you begin to wonder about everything else, with the tires a very important part of a trailer.

The Michelins come with a 70,000 mile warranty. No doubt prorated for wear, but I expect these to be as reliable as all of my other Michelins on our 4x4 vehicles. Airstream and Goodyear are doing themselves a poor job of promoting their products. Not all consumers are fools... with or without discretionary money to throw at their recreation vehicles. Eventually, as on this Forum... owners are speaking out and not afraid to express an opinion.

I am reminded about my NOISY refrigerator fan that I paid out of pocket to replace. I am expected to tow my trailer to a dealership, spend my time and money to have them declare the original fan a P.O.S., return to having the fan unplugged, replaced with two screws, and Airstream charged for the flat rate warranty repair... that I did myself.

When members on the Forum like.... switz .... provide solid information, I am among friends.

Thank you switz.
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Old 04-02-2016, 07:14 PM   #67
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Just finished my tire upgrade today. Went from the stock GYM to the Sendel T03 16" rims with Michelin LT 225 16 R LTX/MS2. Definitely a big difference in beef from the GYM, at least visually.

I ended up cutting the fender wells, they were real close otherwise, the fronts more than the rear. That was pretty easy with the molding removed, used a Dremel with a 426 attachment.

I did 5 tires and rims, the spare is now equal to the 4 running tires so if I get a flat on a trip, I want to put on a new tire and not slow down. I am going to rotate the spare into the mix, I mounted the spare face down so I could check pressure while in the carrier.

The spare tire carrier modification took about 2 minutes, just bent out he stays slightly and it was no problem. It almost felt I didn't even need to modify them.

Added Centramatics and had everything spun balanced with my TPMS sensors in place. Inflated to 80psi.

I feel better now.
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Old 04-02-2016, 07:17 PM   #68
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PS - Airstream doesn't put GYMs on their trailers, YOU DO !!!. They offer a Michelin upgrade which was quoted to me at $2500. I said no and did it myself. So if I had a GYM failure on the road...it would have been my fault, not Airstream's neglect.

You get what you pay for.
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Old 04-02-2016, 08:22 PM   #69
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Has anyone tried or even looked at the Sendel T03 wheel in chrome instead of the aluminum finish ??? Just wondering if the chrome version has a good quality finish and might not corrode as fast as the aluminum version. Have had other chrome wheels over the years and with a good coat of wax twice a year they held up real good on our salty Canadian roads.


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Old 04-02-2016, 08:30 PM   #70
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Here are side by side 15" GYM on the left and a 15" Michelin on the right in the left photo and the 15 GYM on the left with at the 16" Michelin on the right in the right photo.

Notice that the 15" Michelin has a wider tire patch than the GYM as does the 16" Michelin.
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