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Old 12-10-2014, 07:30 PM   #15
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there's A LOT of info here on the forums on this topic.. here's a few:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f438...sa-107740.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f438...res-28293.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f438...oll-76867.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f438...ion-34105.html
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Old 12-10-2014, 07:39 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron A View Post
As a new airstreamer I am confused. Only had it a month and tires are starting to make me nervous. Does anyone make a good ST tire? What I am hearing is no, but don't understand why because their is so many travel trailers, campers, boats, etc. on the road.


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Ron, I may not be a good example, but I have owned to date 3 Airstreams using only the GYM's supplied. A 19, a 20 and now a 25.
I always thought the 20 was close to the maximum it should be carrying, and it is the only one I had a problem tire with after about 30,000 km however I did hit a large pothole which was big enough to break a shock mount, so I don't totally blame the tire.
But, I follow the guidelines. I always check tire pressures cold each day. I never go over 65 mph, and I don't overload the trailer.
This doesn't mean that nothing will ever happen, but I'm not going to run out and buy LT tires because it seems to be the latest craze.


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Old 12-10-2014, 08:03 PM   #17
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Old 12-10-2014, 08:29 PM   #18
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Thank you George. I have put about 600 miles on the tires. Being a little bit of a safety nut I usually always check tire pressured and careful not exceed the 65 mph speed rating. My normal speed has been averaging between 60 and 65.


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Old 12-10-2014, 09:30 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by CapriRacer View Post
Just so everyone knows, this is about the words on the sidewall of the tire, not anything structural. It's about the markings complying with the regulations.
Yes, all st tires are mislabeled, they should be 50% derated.
Better yet, just throw them on the garbage pile.
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Old 12-11-2014, 12:06 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by terryV View Post
Alright, what about the 10 ply Maxxis tires? They are officially ST tires, but much heavier duty, right? Are they better than the standard 6 ply STs?
Yes, each step 6, 8, 10 ply etc. are heavier duty for heavier load rating & more resistance to side thrust on sidewalls.

For example, I'm using the 8 ply Maxxis ST225/75R15 tires on our restored 1960 (`61 MY) Avion T20 single axle 20'-6" L. 2850# mfgr base TW & probably 3000-3500# wet & loaded. Original `60's Avion specs were for 8 ply bias trailer tires of the day, which had even stiffer sidewalls than the modern radials used today - either ST or LT or passenger cars types.

New tires in July 2012 & date coded for June 2012 mfgr. were put on when we bought this trailer, with about 1000 mi. in July-Dec./12, then about 1500-2000mi/yr 2013 & `14, no problems to date at all, no deterioration/cracking & minimal air loss while sitting between trips - & still using the 1960's steel 6-lug wheels (not split rims, but a period solid wheel upgrade).

That's only at about 5000+/- miles over 2.5 years, & they'll be at the 3 year mark where you need to start looking at them more closely & some experts recommend changing at 3 years - rather than 5 for "cheap" insurance.

Beyond the ply ratings, the weight rating should be correct for your TT's GVWR divided by the # of wheels. IIRC our tires are 2850# rated, so good for a much heavier TT.

I could've used 6 ply Maxxis by the weight rating, but they were unavailable, so I went up next level to 8.

IMHO if it's a choice between spending your tire money to grossly over buy the tires to an extreme - say for me to go to 10 ply - vs. replacing them sooner at every 3 years, instead of 5 - then I'd choose the more frequent replacements. Also if the tire gets to be too stiff & hard riding for the TT's weight, then I'd think that you could do more damage with that as well.

Best!
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Old 12-11-2014, 12:31 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by boondockdad View Post
religion, politics, and ST tires
it never gets old

Wheel Upgrade | Silver Travel

Why I Replaced our ST Tires with LT | Silver Travel

To sum up:

I didn't know Michelin made ST. News to me.. but, our seperations happened with Goodyear Marathons. Not sure if you classify those as cheap "camping world" product. They're Airstream OEM, afterall.

ALWAYS <65mph

Oldest failed tire was 2 years out from manufacture stamp.

TPMS, regular inspections, along with CAT scale checks and tongue weight checks with my Sherline. I'm very particular about my rigs maintenance.

When somebody starts going on about rubber compounds, rolling resistance, and mu, my eyes glaze over. I'm no tire engineer.

All I need to know is I'm on my same (4) Michelin LT's, whereas after the same mileage I'd gone thru (3) GYM's catastrophically failing.

Peace of mind.
It's worth every penny.

PS. I'm curious as to why someone might think running non-ST tires on a trailer would invalidate your insurance coverage.
Boondockdad -

I was referring to 4 tread seps on Michelin LT tires as factory spec'd on our 1988 VW Westfalia Camper Van - which is very tall, top heavy & narrow tracked with tall 185/75R15 8PR Load D tires. I have no idea if Michelin makes STs. The point was - any tire type can & does fail, & LTs are not the holy grail.

GYM's I believe have been made in China, Malaysia or Indonesia or somewhere over there for several years now, as are some of the Michelins, Continentals, etc., as that's where the mfgrs. are all going now. Same with auto glass, parts, etc.

Ergo, we HOPE that the major brands are keeping a better eye on quality control wherever they're made, than are the no name brand "budget" tires sold out there. CW sells some budget ST & LT tires, as well as GYMs - and those were what I was referring to as cheap tires, or from any other tire source.

As to tire composition & tread & sidewall design - sorry to confuse you with the facts of tires, so I guess it's easier for you to glaze eyes & ignore.

To make it simple for you: ST tires are design for trailers & their specific needs, while LTs are truck tires designed for different needs.

If I'd had 3 blow-outs/tread seps. with GYM's, then I would've tried a different tire maker ST first - at least by the 2nd time, if not after the first - & probably a different shop too.

I don't have a lot of faith in CW's work from what I've seen on others' TTs, & our Avion's work they did for the PO, & I've been a Good Sam member & CW customer since the 1980's.

As for insurance claims problems, I do know of a couple who've said they're insurance claims were partially or wholly denied because of the wrong tire used in the application. LT is not a trailer tire.

So it can happen, and using passenger tires on a truck can have the same result, if that is the root cause of the accident/damage.

I suppose the other comment to 1/2 the weight ratings on STs would be one approach to increase your margin of safety, but then that also applies to LTs in the same application. So long as that doesn't create other problems with the now 2x over rated tires being too stiff & hard for the TT application.

But I'd rather change tires every 3 years, than paying double for 2x rated tires & try to go 5-7 years on them.
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Old 12-11-2014, 01:08 AM   #22
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Another ST Tire Recall

Believe it or not I did consider doing a more frequent replacement but the cost of my Maxxis E rated tires is actually more over time. This based on a replacement cycle after 3 seasons. Two of my Maxxis tires failed with belt slippage on their first trip of season 4. If I can get 5 seasons from my 16" Michelin LT's which I believe is possible based on posts from others on the forum, I will be money ahead.

The fact that Airstream and some 5th wheel trailer builders are using Michelin 16" LT's new builds, liabilities should not be an issue. Consider that if putting these LT's was a downgrade, the manufacturers of the trailers would be putting themselves in a real liability pickle. I would also think that Michelin would never allow their tires to be used without some consumer warning to not use these in Trailer applications to protect themselves. If you do careful shopping, the switch to a 16" LT Michelin can actually be cost effective for some owners like me who haven't gotten more than 3 seasons of service with their ST's.


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Old 12-11-2014, 06:39 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron A View Post
As a new airstreamer I am confused. Only had it a month and tires are starting to make me nervous. Does anyone make a good ST tire? What I am hearing is no, but don't understand why because their is so many travel trailers, campers, boats, etc. on the road.


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Ron,

I hope I can characterize the situation accurately.

First, let's contrast the situation with your car. While you didn't say if your trailer was purchased new, I'm going to make that assumption - and that helps the analogy.

When you buy a new car, it comes with the tires the vehicle manufacturer specified. Those tires are oversized relative to the load carrying capacity. I am sure you feel confident in your new car's tires - and the facts support this.

By contrast, many trailer manufacturers UNDER estimate the load put on the tires, and then specify tires that barely adequate compared to their estimated load - and when you add the fact that trailers are generally loaded heavily (as opposed to a car where the vehicle is only carrying one passenger most of the time) you have a triple impact.

Then there is the issue of who makes ST tires. Only 2 major tire manufacturers offer ST tires. Most are designed and produced by Chinese tire manufacturers - and they are a little behind the technology curve.

The net effect is that ST tires are failing at a higher rate than other types of tires. Is it the brand or the location of the plant or the trailer manufacturer's size specification? Lots of varying opinions in the subject - and you've just read what I think is going on.

So what about Airstream? Are they doing a good job of sizing the tires? I don't know, but you have the ability to find out.

Locate the vehicle tire placard on your trailer and note the GVW, the GAWR, and the tire size and inflation pressure. From that you can determine what load the tires are required to carry versus what they are rated to carry.

Then weigh the trailer to see if the GVW and GAWR's are reasonably accurate. You'll want to weigh the trailer fully loaded.

Cars run at about 85% of the tire's rated capacity - and so should trailers. And that has to include side to side and front to rear variation in load.

What about the tires themselves. While people complain about them, they are complaining about older tires, not ones produced this year. Are this year's tires better than in the past (In other words, has there been an improvement made recently?)

The answer is, perhaps. There seemed to be fewer complaints about failures this last summer compared to previous years. Whether this is just an artifact of people not traveling as much or the tires getting better or whatever - who knows? Lots of confusion in the information.

So there you have it. The best I can do to honestly portray the situation.
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Old 12-11-2014, 06:47 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by CapriRacer View Post
Ron,

I hope I can characterize the situation accurately.

First, let's contrast the situation with your car. While you didn't say if your trailer was purchased new, I'm going to make that assumption - and that helps the analogy.

When you buy a new car, it comes with the tires the vehicle manufacturer specified. Those tires are oversized relative to the load carrying capacity. I am sure you feel confident in your new car's tires - and the facts support this.

By contrast, many trailer manufacturers UNDER estimate the load put on the tires, and then specify tires that barely adequate compared to their estimated load - and when you add the fact that trailers are generally loaded heavily (as opposed to a car where the vehicle is only carrying one passenger most of the time) you have a triple impact.

Then there is the issue of who makes ST tires. Only 2 major tire manufacturers offer ST tires. Most are designed and produced by Chinese tire manufacturers - and they are a little behind the technology curve.

The net effect is that ST tires are failing at a higher rate than other types of tires. Is it the brand or the location of the plant or the trailer manufacturer's size specification? Lots of varying opinions in the subject - and you've just read what I think is going on.

So what about Airstream? Are they doing a good job of sizing the tires? I don't know, but you have the ability to find out.

Locate the vehicle tire placard on your trailer and note the GVW, the GAWR, and the tire size and inflation pressure. From that you can determine what load the tires are required to carry versus what they are rated to carry.

Then weigh the trailer to see if the GVW and GAWR's are reasonably accurate. You'll want to weigh the trailer fully loaded.

Cars run at about 85% of the tire's rated capacity - and so should trailers. And that has to include side to side and front to rear variation in load.

What about the tires themselves. While people complain about them, they are complaining about older tires, not ones produced this year. Are this year's tires better than in the past (In other words, has there been an improvement made recently?)

The answer is, perhaps. There seemed to be fewer complaints about failures this last summer compared to previous years. Whether this is just an artifact of people not traveling as much or the tires getting better or whatever - who knows? Lots of confusion in the information.

So there you have it. The best I can do to honestly portray the situation.
Well said.
From an actual tire engineer.
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Old 12-11-2014, 07:56 PM   #25
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Tire Rack's Explanation of ST vs Passnger Tires

Tire Rack has a pretty good set of tech articles for the layman at this link:

http://www.tirerack.com/about/techcenter.jsp

FYI I've cut & pasted the one explaining the Trailer vs Passenger Tires tires below, since it's germane to this discussion. They seem to endorse both ST & LT for trailer use, but I've heard the opposite for the same reasons explained by them below for ST vs. passenger tires. I'm still looking for where I saw the ST vs. LT article(s), which may have been on the tire mfgrs' associations' website. Perhaps they too have changed their tune on using LT tires on TTs since I previously researched them?

When looking into which tires to put on our Avion T20, I both researched & asked around with a lot of people very expert in vintage trailers - as well as other owners of vintage trailers - and most felt that the Maxxis ST's were the best out there. A few with restored vintage TTs use LT tires, & some use old school vintage repro bias ply tires for the authenticity - some of which are passenger & not truck tires (or radials that look like bias). Although I see here & elsewhere on this site that others have had problems with the Maxxis ST's too.

Most were not keen on the GYMs of late since the early to mid-2000's, & flat out told me to stay away from the budget off-brand ST tires, such as the "$68.59 15" Hi-Run Long March" ones featured in the current CW ad. There are other "off-brands STs out there if you google for an ST tire size.

I don't know about the Hankook STs in that ad, but their car & LT tires are very good for those applications. I think Michelin may make ST tires for EU & other RoW applications, but have never seen them sold here (they may??).

So far I'm happy with the Maxxis ST's 8PR tires, & they provide an adequate cushion over our T20's GTW.

<snipped from:
http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tirete...jsp?techid=219 >
Tire Tech Information/General Tire Information


Trailer Tires vs. Passenger Vehicle Tires



There are differences in the driving requirements between the tires on your trailer and those on the car or light truck you used to tow it. Therefore there are distinct differences between the way trailer tires and tow vehicle tires are engineered.


Your tow vehicle is a leader, which means traction is a key focus in the design of its tires. Traction allows your tow vehicle to accelerate down the road, turn around the corner and brake to a stop. Another important consideration is tow vehicle tires are designed for ride comfort, which is achieved in part by allowing their sidewalls to flex.


Your trailer is a follower, which often makes tire sidewall flexing a negative. Sidewall flexing on trailers, especially those with a high center of gravity (enclosed/travel trailers) or that carry heavy loads, is a primary cause of trailer sway. Typical passenger radial tires with flexible sidewalls can accentuate trailer sway problems. The stiffer sidewalls and higher operating pressures common with Special Trailer (ST) designated tires help reduce trailer sway.


Also consider that Special Trailer (ST), as well as Light Truck (LT) tires are fully rated for trailer applications. This means ST- and LT-sized tires can carry the full weight rating branded on the sidewalls when used on a trailer.


However when P-metric or Euro-metric tires are used on a trailer, the load capacity branded on the sidewalls must be reduced by 9%. This means P-metric or Euro-metric tires with a maximum branded load rating of 1,874 lbs. for use on a car is only rated to carry 1,705 lbs. when used on a trailer.


Comparing the load capacities of a pair of tires of the same dimensions fitted to a single axle trailer, ST225/75R15 Load Range C-sized tires inflated to their maximum of 50 psi provide 4,300 lbs. of load capacity, where P225/75R15 Standard Load-sized tires inflated to their maximum of 35 psi would be limited to 3,410 lbs. of load capacity, a total reduction of 890 pounds.


Trailers will be more stable and pull better on tires designed specifically for trailer use. Since Special Trailer (ST) tires are constructed with heavier duty materials, they are tougher than typical passenger vehicle tires. This is a plus because trailer suspension systems are generally stiffer and less sophisticated than automotive suspension systems.


Special Trailer (ST) Tire Speed Ratings

Industry standards dictate tires with the ST designation are speed rated to 65 MPH (104 km/h) under normal inflation and load conditions.
However Goodyear Marathon and Power King Towmax STR tires featuring the ST size designation may be used at speeds between 66 and 75 mph (106 and 121 km/h) by increasing their cold inflation pressure by 10 psi (69 kPa) above the recommended pressure for the rated maximum load.
Do not exceed the wheel’s maximum rated pressure. If the maximum pressure for the wheel prohibits the increase of air pressure, then maximum speed must be restricted to 65 mph (104 km/h).


The cold inflation pressure must not exceed 10 psi (69 kPa) beyond the inflation specified for the maximum load of the tire.


Increasing the inflation pressure by 10 psi (69 kPa) does not provide any additional load carrying capacity.


<end snip>
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