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Old 03-22-2016, 04:38 PM   #1
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16" Sendel Wheels & 16" Michelin LTX Tires

The process of making the transformation of my 2014 25 foot International with 15" Goodyear Marathons to:

16" Sendel Wheels and Michelin LT225/75R16 LTX M/S2 Load Range E tires. S20-66655T, 16x6 at a cost of $106.40 each.

-16" Sendel Wheels
Five wheels @ $532.00
One set of lug nuts for four wheels @ $29.00
Handling/Boxing charge in three cartons @ $22.95
Delivery via FedEx Ground 3-21 tendering date / delivery date 3-24 from CA
Total Cost: $583.95 Performance Plus

- 16" Michelin Tires LT225/75R16 Load Range E, LTX M/S2 (Costco) PN05681
Once I receive the wheels and verify that they FIT as I expect onto my six lug drums, I will add my experience with these tires as to the fit onto my International Airstream. (There is a $70 discount at Costco upon their "sale" in the future for the purchase of 4 tires. The LT225 width is not a stock item for Costco and they have to order them.)

I do understand that I could have kept my 15" wheels and mounted a passenger Michelin C rating, or other brand of Trailer Tires in the D rating. I respect many of those who made comments and posts on the Airforum making consideration of numerous options and combinations...

This was my "Custer Moment". Do this, or forget it... decision.

I will make my experiences, positive or negative, on this Thread.

-It could be my best option out there for my Boondocking travels.
-It could be my worst option out there for my Airstream rivets.
-It could be the best of both traveling and rivets.
-I did not notice any improvement in towing over the Marathon 15".
-I noticed an improvement in EVERTHING.
-Is there an advantage of LT225 versus LT235 for fit and width from YOUR experience?

This thread is ONLY for those with 15" wheels going to 16" wheels. Mixing the 14" to 15" just confuses old farts, as myself. Too many short posts not detailing if they are starting with 14" or 15" rigs.

Between Hitches and Tires... there are a lot of opinions. At the moment... I have NO opinion, just expectations. I am not politically correct. I am not selling wheels, tires or more accessories to add to your or my Airstream.

If I find these changes wonderful. I will comment.
If I find these changes a waste of hard earned money. I will comment.

At the worst... I will have my set of four aluminum 15" wheels and Marathons and the steel wheel spare to humbly install back onto my International and suck up the loss of finding someone wanting to travel the same path of discovery for themselves.

One way or the other... I will get it. You will get information first hand, my experiences. I am optimistic and have high expectations with this change.

WHAT were your 16" wheel and tire "upgrade" experiences? Details, details and details.
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Old 03-22-2016, 06:21 PM   #2
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Ray --- Thanks for the post. I eagerly await your review.

My experience was "going half way." I kept the 15 inch Sendel rims, took off the Marathons, and put on 4 Maxxis E-rated tires, at $120 each incl shipping. Once I got them, I put the AS on jacks, took off the wheels, took them & the Maxxis to my local Goodyear dealer, who, for $70, removed the Marathons, mounted & balanced the Maxxis, & gave the wheels back to me for installation on the trailer. I then sold the four Marathons with approx 750 miles on them (from Reno to Seattle) for $300. Total out of pocket = $250. I'll see how the Maxxis work out. If not well, I'll go your route with 16 inch Sendels & Michelins. Time will tell. We're signed up to go to W Virginia this July, so that trip should give us some evidence, positive or negative, re the tire switcheroo.
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Old 03-23-2016, 12:26 PM   #3
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From a thread: 16" SenDel / Michelin Combo Thread (1-22-16)

I found good, usable, information that I was seeking in Posts #11 and #23 made by switz at Apache Junction, Arizona. There might have been another thread running as well. It is from this information I was able to go forward with my choice of wheel and tires. This thread may also be of help to anyone else.
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Old 03-23-2016, 12:54 PM   #4
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Ray: I suspect you will NOT be disappointed. I did this to our 25' then on a 30' we had and liked the set up so much ordered them on the 30'FC we have now directly from the factory. Suggest you experiment with air pressure, but I've found on all three AS trailers that right about 72 pounds per sq inch is the best pressure. Then I run our truck at 85PSI - virtually same tires.

We very seldom boondock, but when we did we had NO issues with the tires. And no issues on the new ones after 10,000 miles last summer running from Pittsburgh, PA out to the Pacific coast and all over the west.

Enjoy

Bud
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Old 03-23-2016, 06:23 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by paiceman View Post
Ray: I suspect you will NOT be disappointed. I did this to our 25' then on a 30' we had and liked the set up so much ordered them on the 30'FC we have now directly from the factory. Suggest you experiment with air pressure, but I've found on all three AS trailers that right about 72 pounds per sq inch is the best pressure. Then I run our truck at 85PSI - virtually same tires.

We very seldom boondock, but when we did we had NO issues with the tires. And no issues on the new ones after 10,000 miles last summer running from Pittsburgh, PA out to the Pacific coast and all over the west.

Enjoy

Bud
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Which tire size did you find working best for you? LT225 or LT235. I am considering the LT225 width.
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Old 03-23-2016, 07:02 PM   #6
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The Michelin LT225/75R16/E LTX M/S2 tires are rated 2,680 pounds @ 80 psi and have a 29.2" diameter. These are the same tires Airstream is installing on the Classics and the Eddie Bauer variants. Note that they are for sale as you walk into the service center in Jackson Center along with the SenDel T03-66655T wheels. Those wheels can reuse the stock stainless steel center hub.

The stock 15" GYM ST225/75R15D tires are rated 2,540 pounds @ 65 psi and have a 28.3" diameter. The diameter increase is under one inch between these two tires.

In between these two tire sizes above is the 15" Michelin LTX (P) 235/75R15 XL tire rated 2,183 pounds @ 50 psi but must be derated to 1,985 pounds for trailer use and is 28.9" in diameter. It is more than adequate load capacity for the 25' (GVW of 7,300, pounds) and 27' (GVW of 7,600 pounds) non Classic models.

Our 2013 25FB International Serenity scaled 5,800 pounds on the trailer axles camping ready. So in theory, each Michelin LTX (P) 235/75R15 XL tire was carrying 1,450 pounds out of it's 1,983 pound capacity. This is a much softer ride for the lighter trailers and has a very large tire road contact pattern for better braking.

One may find that putting 80 psi in the 16" Michelin LT225/75R16/E LTX M/S2 tires on the 25' & 27' will be too firm of a ride and popped rivets could be the by-product. I strongly suggest a TPMS system so the user can try and adjust the 16" tire pressures to a safe loading point where they do not overheat. We carry 73 to 75 psi in our Classic with these 16" Michelin tires.

For those who are considering a tire upgrade on their trailer with 14" GYM ST215/75R14C tires rated 1,870 pounds @ 50 psi and a diameter of 26.7" and stock 14" five lug wheels, that extra 2.5" diameter of the 16" Michelins would not work for us, thus the choice of the 15" Michelins on SenDel T03-56545T wheels and we were able to reuse the stock stainless steel center hubs.
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Old 03-23-2016, 07:44 PM   #7
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My experience with the same setup has been nothing but positive. I will never again tow a travel trailer equipped with any brand ST tires.

Ken
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Old 03-24-2016, 11:33 AM   #8
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We did the same set up with our 2016 International 30 and have had very good results to date. I air them up to 65 psi based on the Michelin load chart on their website.

The only problem I have is with the cheap plastic 4.25" bore plastic caps. I knocked the end off one with my torque wrench and it came off Has anyone found an alternative cap that looks good and won't come apart with a bump?
Jim
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Old 03-24-2016, 11:37 AM   #9
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I think sendel sells them
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Old 03-24-2016, 11:49 AM   #10
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We did the same set up with our 2016 International 30 and have had very good results to date. I air them up to 65 psi based on the Michelin load chart on their website.

The only problem I have is with the cheap plastic 4.25" bore plastic caps. I knocked the end off one with my torque wrench and it came off Has anyone found an alternative cap that looks good and won't come apart with a bump?
Jim
When I replaced my wheels, I reused the Airstream caps, because they looked better and were more durable. However I don't know what they're using these days.

Ken
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Old 03-24-2016, 12:09 PM   #11
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My experience with the same upgrade is this: Peace of mind!
I don't have to worry about the OE Goodyear Marathons/Puff-up-athons/Explode-athons any more. I don't have to worry about the wheel well, underbelly, banana wraps, or skins of the trailer being damaged by a tire separating.
I don't have to go 65 mph max anymore, but I still will for margin of safety and fuel economy.
Does the trailer tow differently? Well, no, it doesn't.
Do I feel better towing the trailer? Absolutely! Without a doubt.
You will be happy with your upgrade.
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Old 03-24-2016, 12:10 PM   #12
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The center caps from the OE 15" Sendel wheels fit perfectly in the new Sendel T03 wheels.
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Old 03-24-2016, 12:15 PM   #13
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What about the spare, do you guys upgrade the spare and does it fit in the A frame cradle?

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Old 03-24-2016, 12:46 PM   #14
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Some upgrade the spare. They say it will fit- sometimes with slight bending of the pat that holds the tire in.
I did not upgrade the spare. Budget-
Another wheel/tire would have been another $265 or more.
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