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Old 02-28-2017, 08:27 AM   #1
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2014 31' Classic
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2014 Classic tire/rim change from 15 inch to 16 inch

This post will document what I did to change our 2014 31í Classic Airstreamís stock Goodyear Marathon 15 inch tires to Michelin 16 inch tires. I have been brand loyal to Michelin since 1975, and Iíve exclusively used their tires on all of our vehicles with great results. Since our Airstream did not come with Michelin tires, I decided to make the change. Hopefully this post will help others wanting to do the same thing.
The Michelins installed were LTX M/S LT225 75R 16s load range E. They were mounted on SenDal wheels, PN 20-666557 16X6 with a zero offset on a 5.5 inch bolt circle. Please note: our Airstream ownerís manual stated that our Dexter trailer axles have a 5 inch bolt circle which is incorrect. The axle weights of the trailer scaled at 3,700 lbs. each. I had been running the new tires at 70 psi which is high for the weight they are carrying per the weight/load chart on the Michelin web site. I will be reducing this to 60 psi this season. With the lower tire pressure and our Air Safe hitch, the trailer should get as smooth a ride as possible. Here is a link to the Michelin inflation chart for light truck tires.
http://read.dmtmag.com/i/41477-digital-toolbox/41.
During this change over I installed a Truck System Technologies (TST) tire pressure monitoring system (tpms). I used their internal rather than external sensors for this install, PN TST507INTTPMS4. So, it made sense to do this while mounting the new tires on their rims. The internal sensor package comes with the TST repeater, PN TST507REPEATER which I mounted on the front of the trailer and wired to the trailerís battery. This repeater relays the sensor signals to the digital readout in the truck cab. The instructions provided by TST were not very intuitive. I called the customer service number provided by TST, and the engineer I spoke with was very helpful in assisting me with my install.
I also installed a set of four Centramatic wheel balancers, PN 200221 special, during the changeover. The new wheel/tire sets were dynamically balanced at the tire store, but I decided to use the Centramatic balancers anyway. This will keep the wheel sets balanced even if I lose wheel weights.
Weíve put one season and 5,128 miles behind us with the new tires, rims and all the add-ons. Itís nice rolling down the highway knowing tire pressures and temperatures. I feel much safer and confident with this system installed. Having completed all of the work myself during this project, except for the tire mounting, has helped me further understand our trailer. I now have a good feel for all of the running gear getting us down the road.
Pricing:
Tires, set of 5: $922. This included mounting and balancing.
Wheels, set of 5: $741 which included new center caps.
Centramatics, set of 4: $213.
TST tire pressure monitoring system, set of 5. $444.
I sold the stock wheels and tires that had 8,847 miles on them to an Airstream owner with a 1992 Excella trailer that had rusted steel wheels and out of date tires. The newer alloy rims and tires gave the old Excella some of its elegance back.

Our tow vehicle and trailer:
Airstream 2014 Classic Limited 31 foot
2015 Ford Super Duty F-250 6.7 Diesel short bed
Air Safe hitch with an Equal-i-zer 10,000 pound hitch mounted to it.
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Old 02-28-2017, 08:45 AM   #2
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Nice job I did the same on my last Airstream without the tpms and sold them with the trailer just purchased my current one last April and plan on doing it again this year . It came with new marathons on it .
Les Grace Toledo Ohio
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Old 02-28-2017, 10:31 AM   #3
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Those of you using the 16" rims.
If you have the Dexter axles, the leg supporting the wheel angles down about 45 degrees. So for every inch it goes up, it goes an inch back too. Do you worry about the tire hitting the wheel well?
Have you ever seen evidence of contact, like a black mark on the trim?
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Old 02-28-2017, 04:32 PM   #4
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Spacing

Great question and thought. I did think about and decided to move forward. We have about 5k miles on the new set up and so far so good. I figured if Airstream changed over so could I.


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Originally Posted by Mollysdad View Post
Those of you using the 16" rims.
If you have the Dexter axles, the leg supporting the wheel angles down about 45 degrees. So for every inch it goes up, it goes an inch back too. Do you worry about the tire hitting the wheel well?
Have you ever seen evidence of contact, like a black mark on the trim?
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Old 02-28-2017, 04:39 PM   #5
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Size of rim does not make the tire larger in the wheel well. Size of the tire can effect hitting the wheel wells. Look at the diameter of the wheel to determine size difference.
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Old 02-28-2017, 05:28 PM   #6
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Ratchet... nice clear photos.

I looked at my 25 foot International fender forward and rear clearances.

Your photos #3 and #4 comparison:

My LEFT side is about 2" and equal from the rear and the front fender well.

My Right side has more clearance in the rear by about 1/2" and 1/2" less in the front fender well.

I will watch my tire wear.

Our 2006 23 Foot Safari's fender well was misfitted and sucked dust off of gravel roads. At Jackson Center they took the metal clippers and reshaped the fender wells. Solved my problem.

I would like to think mine, being not trimmed the same is from aluminum trimming, and not that the axles are installed a bit off. (?)

Anyone care to comment while I am thinking of this?
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Old 02-28-2017, 11:18 PM   #7
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Hi Ray, Our trailers are not built to automotive standards. The fit and finish is fair at best. But, I think Airstream's quality is far better than most box trailers. My wife and I, both engineering people, have been through many factories including automotive and RV. Airstream and other RV manufactures still have a long way to go to get to the quality of what the car manufactures are producing. Since the production numbers of RV's are so low compared to automotive I doubt that they will ever get there. So I'm not surprised that your fender wells weren't quite right. I also doubt that the axles were off. That's one thing that is pretty straight forward to install on the frame.

Regards,

Doug



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Originally Posted by Ray Eklund View Post
Ratchet... nice clear photos.

I looked at my 25 foot International fender forward and rear clearances.

Your photos #3 and #4 comparison:

My LEFT side is about 2" and equal from the rear and the front fender well.

My Right side has more clearance in the rear by about 1/2" and 1/2" less in the front fender well.

I will watch my tire wear.

Our 2006 23 Foot Safari's fender well was misfitted and sucked dust off of gravel roads. At Jackson Center they took the metal clippers and reshaped the fender wells. Solved my problem.

I would like to think mine, being not trimmed the same is from aluminum trimming, and not that the axles are installed a bit off. (?)

Anyone care to comment while I am thinking of this?
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Old 03-01-2017, 06:04 AM   #8
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The frames are built off-site by another company, and the production is "automated", making a frame that is "off" unusual. Now, assembling the body on the frame is another matter entirely.
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Old 03-01-2017, 12:06 PM   #9
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Resembles my tire and wheel change on my 2013 Classic 30.
Sendel wheels, Centramatic balancers, Dill TPMS, Firestone Transforce HT LT 225/75R16 tires-
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Old 03-01-2017, 01:07 PM   #10
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We did the same ofter a tire blowout.

We had 15" tires and had a horrible blowout last August and changed to the same 16" Michelin tires you did.

Here is a blog post about the adventure:

https://livinginbeauty.net/2016/08/0...ut-of-destiny/
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Old 03-01-2017, 04:06 PM   #11
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Is there any reason other than preference that everyone is going with Michelins? I was considering Cooper ten plies in the same size and LT makeup. If there is a good reason that Michelin is better let me know...I have no problem going that way if there is a reason to do so.
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Old 03-01-2017, 07:15 PM   #12
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Just preference for me. I'm sure you can hear bad things about any tire brand if you look hard enough. It's just like reviews on Amazon, if you keep reading you'll never buy anything.
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Old 03-01-2017, 08:04 PM   #13
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The reason some choose Michelins is the longevity/tread life.
I chose "second best" because I never get the tread life out of any tire, but replace them every 5-7 years due to dry rot. If I would go 100,000 miles in 5 years I would get Michelins.
I once got 130,000 miles out of a set of Michelins on a Chevy Express work truck.
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Old 03-01-2017, 10:43 PM   #14
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Hi from Az. . . as 'they' say, stuff happens ! in 14k miles to & from AK in '15, with 15" Carlisles on trailer, not a problem. . . blow out on TV with Michelins. . .just sayin'. . .regards, Craig
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Old 03-02-2017, 09:13 PM   #15
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Looking at the second picture of the installed internal TPMS.

Appears thy are held in place by a band that goes around the inside of the wheel. Looking at the kit at the TST site, there is no mention of this in their picture. Just appears that they are held in by the valve stem itself.

I got their external mounted kit and now wish I would have gotten the internals. What length valve stem did you go with and was there any problems installing them into the wheel?


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Old 03-02-2017, 10:05 PM   #16
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I see a lot of mention of the centramatics balancers and I'm just curious how much difference they make. It's not like anyone is riding back there, and the trailer doesn't vibrate enough to feel it in the TV...
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Old 03-03-2017, 07:31 PM   #17
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TST Sensors

Hi Greg, When I purchased my TST sensors last year they had the same pictures on their web site you have looked at. When I called and ordered my set they said they were now switching to the type I installed, with the bands. It's the same sensor used with the valve stem but the valve stem is removed and the sensor is held in place by the stainless band. You would have to call TST to see what they are offering now. So to answer your question, we didn't use any of their valve stems. I mounted the TST units before having the Michelins mounted. The tires mechanics didn't have any problems mounting the tires with the internal sensors in place. So far so good with this system. If you need more information just pm me. Regards, Doug



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Originally Posted by greghoro View Post
Looking at the second picture of the installed internal TPMS.

Appears thy are held in place by a band that goes around the inside of the wheel. Looking at the kit at the TST site, there is no mention of this in their picture. Just appears that they are held in by the valve stem itself.

I got their external mounted kit and now wish I would have gotten the internals. What length valve stem did you go with and was there any problems installing them into the wheel?


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Old 03-04-2017, 02:32 AM   #18
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Balance

I installed the centramatics to give the trailer and the running gear the smoothest ride possible. I believe things just last longer that way. It may be overkill but they do work. If your trailer tires are balanced you probably don't need the centramatics. I also installed an Airsafe hitch between the F-250 and the trailer. The F-250 has a really stiff suspension and beats the crap out of the trailer. With the Airsafe it doesn't.



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Originally Posted by joshjack View Post
I see a lot of mention of the centramatics balancers and I'm just curious how much difference they make. It's not like anyone is riding back there, and the trailer doesn't vibrate enough to feel it in the TV...
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Old 03-04-2017, 09:51 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greghoro View Post
Appears thy are held in place by a band that goes around the inside of the wheel.
There are two types of TPMS for inside the wheel. Trucks (don't take this as universal) use the band around the rim. Called banded or valveless sensors.
Cars (I know mine does) has the sensor inside but on the end of the valve stem.
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Old 03-04-2017, 10:22 AM   #20
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Stock GYM ST225/75R15D tire rated 2,540 pounds @ 65 psi is 28.3" in diameter
Michelin LT225/75R16/E LTX M/S2 tire rated 2,680 pounds @ 80 psi is 29.2" in diameter

Switching to the 16" Michelins increases tire diameter only 0.45" and the sheet metal should handle this no problem. Going to the Airstream factory customer service center one sees the Michelin tire captioned above along with the SenDel T03-66655T wheel on display at the entrance door. They will install them on any 25' or longer trailer. That combination was standard on the 27' Eddie Bower models, the Pendleton successor to the Eddie Bauer and all 2015 and later Classics.

Our 2015 23D International Serenity came with GYM ST215/75R14C tires rated 1,870 pounds @ 50 psi and 26.7" in diameter. I bought five Michelin LTX (P) 235/75R15 XL tires rated 2,183 pounds @ 50 psi (derated to 1,985 pounds for trailer use) that were 28.9" in diameter and mounted on SenDel T03-56545T wheels that have the same appearance as the T03-6665T wheels on our Classic. These tires are 1.1" larger in diameter.

We discovered that the street side front wheel opening was 0.5" from the plastic wheel well while the curb side wheel opening was over 2.0" from the same plastic wheel well. A pair to tin snips fixed that and then we re-attached the wheel well trim piece and all is well. There is more than adequate space on the rear side of the rear tire to rotate up and back into the wheel well. Note that the travel is limited by the axle design.

For 2017, Airstream is now installing the GYM ST225/75R15D tire on the 23D series as 14" tires are going the way of the Dodo bird.
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