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Old 05-01-2017, 12:16 PM   #1
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'73 Safari smaller tires

Good afternoon. We had to change a tire on the side of the road yesterday and found it almost impossible to squeeze the spare up between the fender opening and wheel hub. My wife had to pull the body out for clearance. the tires are ST 227/75R15 as original (I think). Can I go with a narrower tire without compromising anything?
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Old 05-02-2017, 09:21 PM   #2
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I am pretty sure the tire width of 227 does not exist. The origina tires were a 7 X 15

As to what size can be used .... I would size up the tire based on the load the tire is expected to handle. Which means you will have to weigh the trailer. (dry weight for a twin is 3410 #s and a double is 3450 #s) You can deduct the tongue weight on the TV if weighed separate from the TV.

If the max load is 4000 #'s you would want a tire that can handle 2000 #'s plus a margin of 110 to 115 percent. The next narrower size would be a 215 assuming you have a 225.

The above is a general idea. Specifics are up to you. You have to know the load first.

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Old 05-03-2017, 08:06 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Action View Post
I am pretty sure the tire width of 227 does not exist. The origina tires were a 7 X 15

As to what size can be used .... I would size up the tire based on the load the tire is expected to handle. Which means you will have to weigh the trailer. (dry weight for a twin is 3410 #s and a double is 3450 #s) You can deduct the tongue weight on the TV if weighed separate from the TV.

If the max load is 4000 #'s you would want a tire that can handle 2000 #'s plus a margin of 110 to 115 percent. The next narrower size would be a 215 assuming you have a 225.

The above is a general idea. Specifics are up to you. You have to know the load first.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>Action

Sorry, the 227 was a typo, they are 225's. Also the trailer has tandem axles so the weight is divided up by 4. The 225's I looked up are rated for 2540# and the 205s' are rated for 1820. The smaller ones would be easier to deal with (3/4" narrower and shorter)but the larger ones should hold up better over time. Thanks
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Old 05-03-2017, 08:40 AM   #4
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Are the 205s a P design or a ST?

What is the GVWR of the trailer OR have you weighed the trailer? Post either.


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Old 05-03-2017, 09:17 AM   #5
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I know this doesn't really address your question, but I had similar problems getting tires in and out of my trailer when I got it. I had to let the air out of the tires to get them to slide in. It turned out that my problem was that the axle was shot and would not drop low enough to give adequate clearance. Once I replaced the axle, tire changes became much easier.

Just something you might want to check
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Old 05-03-2017, 11:25 AM   #6
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Same thing on my 67. The 235 Michelins had to be completely deflated to fit.
Switched to a narrower tire and they fit perfect now.
Michelin did not come in the size I needed so went with a different brand. & TPMS, just in case.
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Old 05-03-2017, 11:47 AM   #7
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I never had any problem on my 73 safari using 22575r15s.
If the axles are original, they are more than likely toast. Mine certainly are...but maybe they're frozen in place a little lower, allowing access for the wheels. (I'll be ordering new axles when the rest of my renovation is done. don't ask when that will be. )

(fwiw: gvw on a 73 twin axle is 5800lbs).
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Old 05-03-2017, 12:15 PM   #8
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My initial knee-jerk reaction was that the axles are worn out and need to be replaced.
The 225/75R15 tires should go right in.
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Old 05-03-2017, 12:35 PM   #9
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All -

Aside from a shot axle - if you jack it up using the axle, then you're just pushing it & the wheels/hubs/tires up into the wheelwells, as opposed to jacking at the appropriate jack points on the body/frame & allowing the axle/wheels/tires to hang down as they were meant to do on a tire change.

Frankly, I don't see how an old school AS or other vintage trailer with the old school solid tube drop axle could "fail" or be "toast" to cause the fitment problem. Yes the bearings & hubs can fail & need replacement, but that is not going to jamb them up into the wheelwell.

Yes, the mounts, springs, etc. can shift or weaken so that they're mounted off-center on one side, but not all 2, 4 or 6 wheels nor on both sides - & that can be corrected by fixing the mounts & frame mounting points. IMHO some of you were sold a bill of goods on the need for axle replacement, unless replacement hubs, stub axle shafts, bearings, etc. are NLA - thereby forcing a full replacement.

For the OP, as others have said, check your trailer's weight wet & loaded - divided by the number of wheels + 115% - & find the tire size. If you still have the original AS owners manual, then it should give you the tire size & load rating which you can use to find either classic bias ply tires or modern radials.

Also our PO's used a 205 for a spare with 225/75/15s as running tires, just to make it easier to swap in the spare on the road emergency

We were recommended Maxxis ST M8008 tires by a well reputed & experienced AS restorer for our 1960 Avion T20 & have had excellent service out of them since July 2012 when we bought the trailer, & know many others using them.

> http://www.maxxis.com/catalog/tire-1...t-radial-m8008

Good Luck!
Tom
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Old 05-03-2017, 12:40 PM   #10
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Had the same problem on my '67 with the old axles but jacking up a few inches higher allowed the tire/wheel assy. to drop straight down. Now with new axles since last year it is even easier. Had no prob putting the wheels back on after axle installation.

To answer the other question, there is no reason not to use a narrower tire as long as the tire is able to carry the load. Interestingly, our family heirloom A/S originally came from the factory with narrower bias ply truck tires which we continued to use until 15 years ago. The radial ST's we use now are a good bit fatter. They also ride much better.
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Old 05-03-2017, 12:58 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom_T View Post
All -

Aside from a shot axle - if you jack it up using the axle, then you're just pushing it & the wheels/hubs/tires up into the wheelwells, as opposed to jacking at the appropriate jack points on the body/frame & allowing the axle/wheels/tires to hang down as they were meant to do on a tire change.

Frankly, I don't see how an old school AS or other vintage trailer with the old school solid tube drop axle could "fail" or be "toast" to cause the fitment problem. Yes the bearings & hubs can fail & need replacement, but that is not going to jamb them up into the wheelwell.

Yes, the mounts, springs, etc. can shift or weaken so that they're mounted off-center on one side, but not all 2, 4 or 6 wheels nor on both sides - & that can be corrected by fixing the mounts & frame mounting points. IMHO some of you were sold a bill of goods on the need for axle replacement, unless replacement hubs, stub axle shafts, bearings, etc. are NLA - thereby forcing a full replacement.

For the OP, as others have said, check your trailer's weight wet & loaded - divided by the number of wheels + 115% - & find the tire size. If you still have the original AS owners manual, then it should give you the tire size & load rating which you can use to find either classic bias ply tires or modern radials.

Also our PO's used a 205 for a spare with 225/75/15s as running tires, just to make it easier to swap in the spare on the road emergency

We were recommended Maxxis ST M8008 tires by a well reputed & experienced AS restorer for our 1960 Avion T20 & have had excellent service out of them since July 2012 when we bought the trailer, & know many others using them.

> http://www.maxxis.com/catalog/tire-1...t-radial-m8008

Good Luck!
Tom
///////
I believe that they stopped using the "old school solid tube drop axle in 1960 or 1961 (correct me if my years are off). My 1962 came with a torsion axle, and I'm sure the OP's 1973 would have had torsion axles.
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Old 05-03-2017, 03:19 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thalweg View Post
I believe that they stopped using the "old school solid tube drop axle in 1960 or 1961 (correct me if my years are off). My 1962 came with a torsion axle, and I'm sure the OP's 1973 would have had torsion axles.
You are correct. Airstream stopped using leaf spring solid axles in 1961. Of note the 62 and may be 63 axles were welded onto the chassis.

Jacking up a torsion axle on the tube has a good possibility of damaging the torsion axle spring inside the axle tube.

The OPs axle is a torsion axle just like the axles used on today's Airstreams. If shot there is no flex in the rubber torsion springs and the wheels will not drop (or drop very little) when the trailer is lifted.

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Old 05-04-2017, 10:02 AM   #13
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Thank you all for your responses. The smaller tires I looked at are ST205/75R15 and measure 7.7"w x 27.4" dia., compared to the ST225/75R15 at 8.4"w x 28.1 dia. I used the drive up ramp (can't remember what its called off hand) under the good tire on the same side to lift it, so the torsion spring was relaxed. But I was in the truck and didn't see how much it moved.
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