View Poll Results: Note: This poll must be completed in one session.
Has a tire failed on your Airstream in the past 5 years – Yes. 144 50.17%
Has a tire failed on your Airstream in the past 5 years – No. 145 50.52%
Reason for tire failure: Valve stem leak/failure. 6 2.09%
Reason for tire failure: Bubble in sidewall. 17 5.92%
Reason for tire failure: Bubble in tread area. 9 3.14%
Reason for tire failure: Belt/tread slipped, but still relatively intact. 16 5.57%
Reason for tire failure: Tread separated, but still partially attached to tire body. 28 9.76%
Reason for tire failure: Tread completely separated, but tire body still inflated. 12 4.18%
Reason for tire failure: Blowout, sidewall. 16 5.57%
Reason for tire failure: Blowout, with tread separation. 57 19.86%
Reason for tire failure: Other reason(s), not stated above. 18 6.27%
Ambient/outdoor temperature when tire failure occurred or was noticed: Subfreezing to freezing temperatures. Note: Please, select only one “ambient/outdoor temperature”. 1 0.35%
Ambient/outdoor temperature: Freezing to 70-degrees Fahrenheit. 24 8.36%
Ambient/outdoor temperature: 70 to 90-degrees Fahrenheit. 80 27.87%
Ambient/outdoor temperature: 90 to 110-degrees Fahrenheit. 37 12.89%
Ambient/outdoor temperature: 110+ degrees Fahrenheit. 1 0.35%
The tire failed: Before driving. Note: Please, select only one “tire failure time”. 10 3.48%
The tire failed: While driving. 111 38.68%
The tire failed: After driving. 18 6.27%
Number of axles on your Airstream: 1. Note: Please, select only one “number of axles” response. 45 15.68%
Number of axles on your Airstream: 2. 157 54.70%
Number of axles on your Airstream: 3. 11 3.83%
Position of tire that failed: Axle #1 (front or single axle), left side. Note: Please, select all “failed tire positions” that apply. 48 16.72%
Position of tire that failed: Axle #1 (front or single axle), right side. 64 22.30%
Position of tire that failed: Axle #2, left side. 31 10.80%
Position of tire that failed: Axle #2, right side. 39 13.59%
Position of tire that failed: Axle #3, left side. 4 1.39%
Position of tire that failed: Axle #3, right side. 5 1.74%
Did a road hazard, hitch failure or vehicle accident cause or contribute to the tire failure: Yes. 10 3.48%
Did a road hazard, hitch failure or vehicle accident cause or contribute to the tire failure: No. 113 39.37%
Did the tire failure cause or contribute to a vehicle accident: Yes. 0 0%
Did the tire failure cause or contribute to a vehicle accident: No. 131 45.64%
Number of tires that failed during the original incident: 1. Note: Please, select only one “number of tires that failed during original incident” response. 119 41.46%
Number of tires that failed during the original incident: 2. 15 5.23%
Number of tires that failed during the original incident: 3. 5 1.74%
Number of tires that failed during the original incident: 4 or more. 3 1.05%
Number of additional tires that failed within 30 days or 1,000 miles of the original incident: 1. Note: Please, select only one “number of additional tires, within 30 days or 1,000 miles” response. 20 6.97%
Number of additional tires that failed within 30 days or 1,000 miles: 2. 4 1.39%
Number of additional tires that failed within 30 days or 1,000 miles: 3. 1 0.35%
Number of additional tires that failed within 30 days or 1,000 miles: 4 or more. 0 0%
Number of additional tires that failed within 12 months or 12,000 miles of the original incident: 1. Note: Please, select only one “number of additional tires, within 12 months or 12,000 miles” response. 11 3.83%
Number of additional tires that failed within 12 months or 12,000 miles: 2. 3 1.05%
Number of additional tires that failed within 12 months or 12,000 miles: 3. 4 1.39%
Number of additional tires that failed within 12 months or 12,000 miles: 4 or more. 2 0.70%
Type of tire that failed: ST. Note: Please, select only one “type of tire that failed” response. 112 39.02%
Type of tire that failed: LT. 4 1.39%
Type of tire that failed: Other/unknown. 8 2.79%
Tire size of failed tire: 215/75. Note: Please, select only one “tire size”. 13 4.53%
Tire size: 225/75. 109 37.98%
Tire size: 235/75. 16 5.57%
Tire size: Other. 4 1.39%
Wheel size of failed tire: 14 inch. Note: Please, select only one “wheel size”. 16 5.57%
Wheel size: 15 inch. 136 47.39%
Wheel size: 16 inch. 8 2.79%
Wheel size: Other. 0 0%
Load range of tire that failed: C. Note: Please, select only one “load range”. 15 5.23%
Load range: D. 90 31.36%
Load range: E. 32 11.15%
Load range: Other. 3 1.05%
Normal tire pressure for tire that failed: 36 psi or less. Note: Please, select only one “normal tire pressure” response. 0 0%
Normal tire pressure: 36-44 psi. 4 1.39%
Normal tire pressure: 50 psi. 26 9.06%
Normal tire pressure: 55-60 psi. 25 8.71%
Normal tire pressure: 65 psi. 87 30.31%
Normal tire pressure: 72 psi. 5 1.74%
Normal tire pressure: 80 psi. 15 5.23%
Normal tire pressure: 80+ psi. 0 0%
Tire was inflated to “normal tire pressure” above, at time of failure. 111 38.68%
Tire was inflated to a lower pressure. 6 2.09%
Tire was inflated to a higher pressure. 1 0.35%
Tire pressure was unknown at time of failure. 5 1.74%
Manufacturer of failed tire: BG Goodrich. Note: Please, select only one “manufacturer of failed tire” response. 6 2.09%
Manufacturer of failed tire: Carlisle. 21 7.32%
Manufacturer of failed tire: Goodyear Marathon. 100 34.84%
Manufacturer of failed tire: Goodyear (other than Marathon). 0 0%
Manufacturer of failed tire: Greenball. 2 0.70%
Manufacturer of failed tire: Maxxis. 4 1.39%
Manufacturer of failed tire: Michelin. 2 0.70%
Manufacturer of failed tire: Towmax. 8 2.79%
Manufacturer of failed tire: Other. 13 4.53%
Manufacturing country of failed tire: Canada. Note: Please, select only one “manufacturing country” response. 11 3.83%
Manufacturing country: China. 50 17.42%
Manufacturing country: Europe. 0 0%
Manufacturing country: Mexico. 1 0.35%
Manufacturing country: Other Far Eastern Countries (e.g., Japan, Taiwan, Korea, Malaysia, etc.). 3 1.05%
Manufacturing country: USA. 14 4.88%
Manufacturing country: Other/unknown. 51 17.77%
Tire age at failure: Less than 1 year. Note: Please, select only one “tire age” response. 9 3.14%
Tire age: 1-2 years. 29 10.10%
Tire age: 2-3 years. 39 13.59%
Tire age: 3-4 years. 42 14.63%
Tire age: 4-5 years. 13 4.53%
Tire age: 5-6 years. 8 2.79%
Tire age: 6-7 years. 10 3.48%
Tire age: More than 7 years. 7 2.44%
Tire age: Unknown. 1 0.35%
Tire mileage at failure: Less than 1,000 miles. Note: Please, select only one “tire mileage” response. 2 0.70%
Tire mileage: 1,000-5,000 miles. 38 13.24%
Tire mileage: 5,000-10,000 miles. 56 19.51%
Tire mileage: 10,000-15,000 miles. 22 7.67%
Tire mileage: 15,000-20,000 miles. 2 0.70%
Tire mileage: More than 20,000 miles. 13 4.53%
Tire mileage: Unknown. 20 6.97%
Was the failed tire balanced by the tire installer: Yes. 102 35.54%
Was the failed tire balanced by the tire installer: No (or unknown). 29 10.10%
Did the tire that failed use a dynamic balancing device (Centramatic or similar): Yes. 25 8.71%
Did the tire that failed use a dynamic balancing device: No. 80 27.87%
Parking surface for failed tire during extended storage (longer than 30 days): Concrete. Note: Please, select only one “parking surface” response. 42 14.63%
Parking surface: Asphalt. 24 8.36%
Parking surface: Gravel or dirt. 57 19.86%
Parking surface: Wood. 8 2.79%
Parking surface: Synthetic material (rubber, plastic, etc.). 1 0.35%
Parking surface: Other. 9 3.14%
Cost of roadside assistance, towing, etc. due to tire failure: $0 Note: Please, include costs reimbursed by insurance. However, do not include tires, wheels, etc. Also, please select only one “cost of roadside assistance...” response. 79 27.53%
Cost of roadside assistance, towing, etc.: Up to $100. 19 6.62%
Cost of roadside assistance, towing, etc.: $100 - $500. 16 5.57%
Cost of roadside assistance, towing, etc.: $500 - $1,000. 1 0.35%
Cost of roadside assistance, towing, etc.: $1,000 - $5000. 2 0.70%
Cost of roadside assistance, towing, etc.: More than $5,000. 0 0%
Cost of replacement tire, wheel, shipping, ext warranty, mount/balance, etc. due to tire failure: $0 Note: Please include cost reimbursed by insurance. Also, please select only one “cost of replacement tire, wheel, etc.” response. 13 4.53%
Cost of replacement tire, wheel, shipping, etc.: Up to $250. 86 29.97%
Cost of replacement tire, wheel, shipping, etc.: $250 - $500. 16 5.57%
Cost of replacement tire, wheel, shipping, etc.: $500 - $1,000. 8 2.79%
Cost of replacement tire, wheel, shipping, etc.: $1,000 - $2,000. 3 1.05%
Cost of replacement tire, wheel, shipping, etc.: $2,000-$3,000. 1 0.35%
Cost of replacement tire, wheel, shipping, etc.: More than $3,000. 1 0.35%
Additional damage to your Airstream, if any: None. 81 28.22%
Additional damage to your Airstream: Minor cosmetic damage, not repaired. 20 6.97%
Additional damage to your Airstream: Functional damage to other tires, wheels, suspension parts, etc., repaired/replaced. 8 2.79%
Additional damage to your Airstream: Functional damage affecting safety, including brake lines/parts, electrical wiring, propane lines, etc., repaired/replaced. 5 1.74%
Additional damage to your Airstream: Major damage to exterior or interior of Airstream, including body panels, rock guards, hot water heater, refrigerator, etc. 19 6.62%
Additional damage: Damage to tow or other vehicles. 0 0%
Additional damage: Personal injury, property or other damage not usually associated with tire failure. 0 0%
Cost of additional damage to Airstream: $0 (no damage). Note: Please, select only one “cost of additional damage to Airstream” response. 61 21.25%
Cost of additional damage to Airstream: Up to $100 (estimate, if not repaired). 8 2.79%
Cost of additional damage to Airstream: $100 - $500 (estimate, if not repaired). 9 3.14%
Cost of additional damage to Airstream: $500 - $1,000 (estimate, if not repaired). 7 2.44%
Cost of additional damage to Airstream: $1,000 - $5000 (estimate, if not repaired). 13 4.53%
Cost of additional damage to Airstream: $5000 - $10,000 (estimate, if not repaired). 2 0.70%
Cost of additional damage to Airstream: More than $10,000 (estimate, if not repaired). 1 0.35%
Cost of personal injury, property, tow vehicle or other damage associated with tire failure: $0 (no other damage). Note: Please, select only one “cost of other damage” response. 68 23.69%
Cost of other damage: Up to $100. 2 0.70%
Cost of other damage: $100 - $500. 0 0%
Cost of other damage: $500 - $1,000. 0 0%
Cost of other damage: $1,000 - $5000. 0 0%
Cost of other damage: $5000 - $10,000. 0 0%
Cost of other damage: More than $10,000. 0 0%
Did your tow vehicle also experience TIRE damage in conjunction with the tire failure on your Airstream: Yes. 1 0.35%
Did your tow vehicle also experience TIRE damage in conjunction with the tire failure on your Airstream: No. 130 45.30%
My Airstream is towed on: Interstate and multilane highways. 178 62.02%
My Airstream is towed on: State and other improved two-lane highways, with shoulders. 161 56.10%
My Airstream is towed on: Mostly paved and well-maintained lesser-used "backroads". 88 30.66%
My Airstream is towed on: Poorly/minimally maintained backroads and offroad. 27 9.41%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 287. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 03-03-2015, 11:40 AM   #85
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Good Poll, but only incorrect conclusions are possible

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gene View Post
Yes. You will see the result, but maybe not the cause. And there may be more than one cause, for ex., hit a rock, but the tread was going to slip sometime in the future if you didn't hit the rock. Not sure that's the best analogy.

Gene

Result not cause serves little purpose for making future decisions.

If 70% of the tires supplied on Airstream trailers were from one brand and the remaining 30% was split among 2 other tire brands then the tires with the highest reported "failures" may be better than the other brands if the report rate was less than 70%. So you need production numbers to make brand selection meaningful.

I know of a group of men and women who went to school in Virginia. this group had a death rate 5 times higher than the men & women that went to school in Ohio. Do these results mean that there is something wrong with the VA school or the people that go to school in VA?
With just this partial info you could say going to school in VA was bad for your health.

My main point is that you are collecting numbers that some will feel provides a meaningful picture into the quality and durability of the tires. If a tire fails because the valve was leaking how does that reflect on the durability of the tire, especially if the owner didn't do sufficient investigation to know the cause was a valve failure?

Some have mentioned the country of manufacture. This as useless as tire brand if there is no way to compare percentages of fire failures vs percentage of tire production by country.

I note at least one post that clarified his tires "Failed" due to age. Exactly how is getting old a "failure"?

Some have already stated that they think this is a "comprehensive" survey. Others have incorrectly interpreted the results to imply that lower tire pressure may be better.

Having been involved with and even teaching "Root Cause Failure Analysis" to other tire engineers, automotive engineers and even engineers who work at DOT and RMA for a number of years, I can assure you that while well meaning, the results of this poll, are no more meaningful than claiming that eating McDonald's fries will result in you going to prison because 98% of those in prison have eaten McDonald's fries.
You end up with what appears to be a meaningful correlation but correlation is absolutely no proof of causation.

Sorry for the rant but the conclusions being developed from this poll will just make the work of the few tire engineers here that much harder.
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Old 03-03-2015, 01:07 PM   #86
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"... only incorrect conclusions are possible"

The obvious conclusions seem to be:
  • GYM, Carlisle, Maxxis, Towmax, and numerous other brands of ST tires fail on Airstreams.

  • Old tires seem to be less reliable than new ones.

  • LT and XL tire failures are not frequently reported.

  • It appears that Airstream owners (on AirForums.com) who switched to LT and XL tires have had very few tire failures (as indicated by posts in other tire threads).

Tireman9 and CapriRacer, with your tire industry backgrounds and experiences, I would appreciate your comments on the above conclusions, and any others you may have that are less obvious.

Plus, I am very interested in knowing which tires you have on your Airstreams, and your reasons for choosing them.

I certainly appreciate your insights into tire failure causes and analyses of failed tire photos; and I would like to just cut to the end conclusion:

Specifically, in your opinion, which tires should we buy?
.
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Old 03-03-2015, 01:13 PM   #87
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Phoenis' post just above is very good.

No poll is perfect and you have to derive your answers from your own interpretation. The poll results seem to indicate ST tires fail early and LT tires, especially Michelins, work fine. My own experience with decades of Michelins on cars, trucks and an Airstream is that they wear very well, ride well and have great traction in snow. Self reporting poll results are always suspect. The sheer numbers of Marathon tires will show failures more than the lesser used tires, but the poll results, while not statistically perfect, show a problem with Marathons.

I appreciate the input from tireman and capri' as they have expertise. Neither seem to own Airstreams. My experience as well as others who tow Airstreams means a lot to me, but I respect the input of the engineers as well. Like everything posted on this Forum, you have to weigh all the information and make your own decision. I'm happy with mine.

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Old 03-03-2015, 02:10 PM   #88
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phoenix View Post
"... only incorrect conclusions are possible"

The obvious conclusions seem to be:
  • GYM, Carlisle, Maxxis, Towmax, and numerous other brands of ST tires fail on Airstreams.
  • Old tires seem to be less reliable than new ones.
  • LT and XL tire failures are not frequently reported.
  • It appears that Airstream owners (on AirForums.com) who switched to LT and XL tires have had very few tire failures (as indicated by posts in other tire threads).
.
For some reason ST tires are always low on air and blowout.
Better buy XL or LT as they hold air and don't have problems.
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Old 03-04-2015, 05:34 AM   #89
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ST tires aren't made to be reliable. That's obvious. Not allowed on passenger vehicles should be enough information for anyone. Plenty of tires to fit the bill that are far better. A few more dollars is all.
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Old 03-04-2015, 06:33 AM   #90
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phoenix View Post
......Plus, I am very interested in knowing which tires you have on your Airstreams, and your reasons for choosing them.......
First, I do not own an AS, nor any kind of RV. I am here just to help folks understand how tires work - to dispel myths with facts.

What tires do I buy? Well, both Roger and I worked for major tire manufacturers - albeit different ones. I tend to buy the tires manufactured by my former employer - and I suspect Roger does the same - but I do that merely because I have confidence in them, having been around all those technical folks for so many years.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phoenix View Post
......I certainly appreciate your insights into tire failure causes and analyses of failed tire photos; and I would like to just cut to the end conclusion:

Specifically, in your opinion, which tires should we buy?
.
First, the major reason I am posting on this website is because there have been many problems with the way trailer manufacturers sized their tires. I don't know specifically if Airstream was one of those, but certainly, the engineering practices have changed over the years.

What about cars and trucks? The car and truck manufacturers have over the years revised the way they size tires, and I think vehicles produced after 2008 have properly sized tires and proper inflation specifications. Prior to that, the trucks were worse than the cars, and the further back in time, the worse that becomes. HOWEVER, these types of vehicles have traditionally had ADEQUATE tire sizing (some exceptions noted.)

RV's based on chassis's manufactured by the major vehicle manufacturers haven't always followed. There have been many cases where the converter overloaded the chassis, and therefore the tires.

So why am I talking about vehicles when your question is about tire brand? Because even the best tire can fail if overloaded. I think a major portion of the problem with ST tire failures is that the tires are too small for the loads. So I am a huge advocate of weighing trailers.
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Old 03-04-2015, 06:55 AM   #91
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CapriRacer View Post
So why am I talking about vehicles when your question is about tire brand? Because even the best tire can fail if overloaded. I think a major portion of the problem with ST tire failures is that the tires are too small for the loads. So I am a huge advocate of weighing trailers.
Really???? More excuses? I don't think one person here has put on tires not rated to carry the load. They normally go up a load rating thinking they will get more reliability in a st tire.

Ever wonder why Michelin doesn't offer a st tire? Well they don't want anything to do with such poorly engineered tires!
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Old 03-04-2015, 07:30 AM   #92
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gene View Post
Phoenis' post just above is very good.

No poll is perfect and you have to derive your answers from your own interpretation. The poll results seem to indicate ST tires fail early and LT tires, especially Michelins, work fine. My own experience with decades of Michelins on cars, trucks and an Airstream is that they wear very well, ride well and have great traction in snow. Self reporting poll results are always suspect. The sheer numbers of Marathon tires will show failures more than the lesser used tires, but the poll results, while not statistically perfect, show a problem with Marathons.

I appreciate the input from tireman and capri' as they have expertise. Neither seem to own Airstreams. My experience as well as others who tow Airstreams means a lot to me, but I respect the input of the engineers as well. Like everything posted on this Forum, you have to weigh all the information and make your own decision. I'm happy with mine.

Gene

Thanks we try.

Not sure what Capri has owned. I have owned a Winni, Haulmark, various utility trailers and currently a Coachmen Class-C.

To my knowledge no tire is built with Artificial Intelligence to know the brand RV or vehicle it is on. Capri has mentioned the Ford/Firestone situation. I remember the Congressional hearing where it was pointed out that the identical tires were shipped to both Ford & Toyota. Fords had a number of fatalities while Toyota had none.
The Congressman from Michigan simply could not understand how it was possible for the "defective" Firestone tires to fail when on Ford vehicles but not on Toyota, so he kept asking the same question over and over again... "What was different between the tires sent to Ford vs those sent to Toyota" The answer was there was no difference. they were all shipped from same warehouse with the same part number and made with the same specification.

All tires can fail, no matter the brand. Under the right, or "wrong" conditions, they all can fail in under 5 minutes.

Tires only respond to the physical inputs.
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Old 03-04-2015, 12:39 PM   #93
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I understand Tireman9's and CapriRacer's reluctance to make an outright tire recommendation; so for me, my Dad's sage advice to "buy the best tires you can afford" still applies in this century.

Fortunately, only needing two tires, I can afford XPS Ribs; and my quest for the "holy grail of tires" ended in 2011.

Best wishes to those who still seek tire wisdom and the ultimate truth...
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Old 03-04-2015, 01:46 PM   #94
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tireman9 View Post
To my knowledge no tire is built with Artificial Intelligence to know the brand RV or vehicle it is on. Capri has mentioned the Ford/Firestone situation. I remember the Congressional hearing where it was pointed out that the identical tires were shipped to both Ford & Toyota. Fords had a number of fatalities while Toyota had none.
The Congressman from Michigan simply could not understand how it was possible for the "defective" Firestone tires to fail when on Ford vehicles but not on Toyota, so he kept asking the same question over and over again... "What was different between the tires sent to Ford vs those sent to Toyota" The answer was there was no difference. they were all shipped from same warehouse with the same part number and made with the same specification.


.
To my limited knowledge ST tires fail on all types of trailers.
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Old 03-04-2015, 02:05 PM   #95
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To my limited knowledge ST tires fail on all types of trailers.
Or, all tires fail on all types of vehicles.
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Old 03-05-2015, 07:48 AM   #96
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Quote:
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Really???? More excuses? I don't think one person here has put on tires not rated to carry the load......
But people don't KNOW what the load is - and we do know of situations where the trailer manufacturer under-estimates the actual loads. This isn't an excuse for why ST tires fail. It's the reality. Knowing the actual load is a step towards fixing the problem.

Quote:
Originally Posted by r carl View Post
....... They normally go up a load rating thinking they will get more reliability in a st tire.........
Absolutely correct. But if the trailer manufacturer had done that to begin with, the size of the problem would be smaller.

Quote:
Originally Posted by r carl View Post
...........Ever wonder why Michelin doesn't offer a st tire? Well they don't want anything to do with such poorly engineered tires!
I'm not sure where you were trying to go with this, but if Michelin (or anyone, for that matter) were to design an ST tire like they would an LT tire, what would happen? I think we already know the answer to that question, based on how many people switch to LT tires.
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Old 03-05-2015, 08:02 AM   #97
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CapriRacer View Post


I'm not sure where you were trying to go with this, but if Michelin (or anyone, for that matter) were to design an ST tire like they would an LT tire, what would happen? I think we already know the answer to that question, based on how many people switch to LT tires.
Happy customers if they designed a tire for trailers.
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Old 03-05-2015, 08:18 AM   #98
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But people don't KNOW what the load is - and we do know of situations where the trailer manufacturer under-estimates the actual loads. This isn't an excuse for why ST tires fail. It's the reality. Knowing the actual load is a step towards fixing the problem.





.
I think people either look in their owners manual or on the nameplate on the trailer for the GVWR. Wouldn't most people?
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