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Old 07-17-2013, 12:35 PM   #1
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Another tire debate

It's time to buy tires again and I really don't want to move up to a 16". Pirelli makes an LT235/15 that is D rated with a load capacity of 2,335 lbs. at 65 psi. Although the load capacity is lower than the GYM, it's still more than enough to safely carry my loaded and ready to travel 7700 lb. trailer. I've done a lot of reading here and elsewhere on the net about the pros and cons of ST and LT tires. I don't need the capacity that an E rated tire provides but I think I want to switch to an LT. Other than 15" LT tires with a D rating are difficult to find (and that will probably get worse), is there another reason not to go with the 15" Pirelli? By the way, I have not experienced a GYM failure and I'm on my 2nd set.

Any input is greatly appreciated.
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Old 07-17-2013, 02:45 PM   #2
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It's time to buy tires again and I really don't want to move up to a 16". Pirelli makes an LT235/15 that is D rated with a load capacity of 2,335 lbs. at 65 psi. Although the load capacity is lower than the GYM, it's still more than enough to safely carry my loaded and ready to travel 7700 lb. trailer. I've done a lot of reading here and elsewhere on the net about the pros and cons of ST and LT tires. I don't need the capacity that an E rated tire provides but I think I want to switch to an LT. Other than 15" LT tires with a D rating are difficult to find (and that will probably get worse), is there another reason not to go with the 15" Pirelli? By the way, I have not experienced a GYM failure and I'm on my 2nd set.

Any input is greatly appreciated.
Then why in the world do you want to change brands?

Andy
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Old 07-17-2013, 07:07 PM   #3
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Here's one reason...

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f438...ml#post1328201
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Old 07-17-2013, 07:46 PM   #4
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Andy...do you think that GYM tires are the best option out there? It is hard to come up with hard data that says what is the best decision for tires. You have lots of experience and see first hand the damage done by tire failure and maybe have some insight into the failure. I have followed with interest your comments on hitches and that safety is the first priority. So I am trying to understand your position that GYM is as safe as anything else available and what others have reported and switched to 16 inch LT Michelins. I appreciate the experience and knowledge you bring to this site.
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Old 07-17-2013, 08:30 PM   #5
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As I said, my experience with GYM's has been good but many others, not so much. I believe the Perelli Scorpion ATR is heavier than the comparable Michelin or GYM, hence my question about this tire. I don't think more weight means its a better tire but.............
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Old 07-17-2013, 10:07 PM   #6
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Andy...do you think that GYM tires are the best option out there? It is hard to come up with hard data that says what is the best decision for tires. You have lots of experience and see first hand the damage done by tire failure and maybe have some insight into the failure. I have followed with interest your comments on hitches and that safety is the first priority. So I am trying to understand your position that GYM is as safe as anything else available and what others have reported and switched to 16 inch LT Michelins. I appreciate the experience and knowledge you bring to this site.
I look at it this way.

The Airstream name has been around almost as long as some of us.

Yes, they have made mistakes in the past, and for that matter, what company has been absolutely perfect?

None to my knowledge.

Therefore if Airstream has decided to stay with the Goodyear Marathons, then that is good enough for me.

I have visited with their engineers and top management many times over the past 47 years, and I must say that Airstream wants within reason a product as well as parts that make up that product, better than good.

Airstream has succeeded extremely well for over 70 years, which deserves a bow and a tip of the hat.

People are people and many become disgrunted when a failure happens.

And my answer says "name something, anything, that is perfect".

So far, that answer is a "blank".

Many companies make "knock-offs" and unfortunately, many folks fall for it, because it's often cheaper. Better no, but cheaper.

The percentage of failures, for any product, is the real answer.

I always suggest that owners stay with what is good, or damn good.

Andy
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Old 07-18-2013, 09:06 AM   #7
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Andy, you are a great dealer, Airstream is lucky to have you and if I was looking for a new Airstream I would come and see you but you are absolutely wrong about tires.
If you take one of your GYM clad new Airstreams off the lot and drive it at 65 mph from Phoenix to Miami in June, July and August, you will be by the side of the road one or more times changing tires in 100 degree heat.
The average AS owner drives in cooler weather, takes shorter trips and ST tires may suffice for him. But all of us crazy enough to take multiple day trips on the freeway in hotter than hell conditions have long ago replaced our GYMs with LT tires.
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Old 07-18-2013, 09:22 AM   #8
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I guess my experience trumps Airstream's choice. Quite honestly you also understand that any manufacturer is cost and profit driven and choices are made with those two factors in mind. I'm not going to bash Goodyear specifically but the fact that heavy Airstreams and ST tires are not a good mix when you take into account the roads and temperatures we tow in. Airstream is aware of it and I would bear to guess the Eddie Bauer Edition was a toe (sorry for the pun) in the water test. Now we see there is an option to put 16" LT's on.

I've spoken extensively with my dealer on this and he is very much in agreement with the move that many of us are making going to LT tires (even though he didn't sell me the wheels or tires). He sells other brands of RV's also and at the latest RV show at the convention center, he told me to take a look at a lot of the tires on the big fifth wheels. Many are now sporting LT tires.

So the bottom line is to take somewhat with a grain of salt what a manufacturer uses for materials. While performance is an issue, I dare say that until the customer shows that they are willing to pay for better materials, they are going to be reluctant to push that sticker price up higher to compensate for higher level components.

Airstream is very aware of what many of us are doing and I wouldn't be surprised to see the LT's pop up eventually as standard equipment on specific models beyond the Eddie Bauer.

Jack
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Old 07-18-2013, 09:52 AM   #9
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Hung around an Airstream dealer getting some work done and while I was there I looked at all of their many different RV units on the lot. All (several different brands) use GYM's. I have a 2013 Cloud and not sure I really have enough room to go with 16" tires even if I wanted too. The best we can do is keep up with good tire maintenance.
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Old 07-18-2013, 10:26 AM   #10
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There are some good points made on both sides of this argument. I like Andy's take and will stick with my Maxiis ST. But, I do agree with the issue of those who drive heavier Airstreams over great distances in the extreme heat. It only makes sense that a stronger tire would be needed. Of course "stronger" will continue to be argued.

Andy mentions history but I think that the last 25 years have seen heavier trailers, higher speeds, more full timers and much worse road conditions generally. We are heading out on a 5000+ road trip this fall. If we were out there now with all this heat I might have a different outlook.
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Old 07-18-2013, 12:17 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roadtoaster View Post
It's time to buy tires again and I really don't want to move up to a 16". Pirelli makes an LT235/15 that is D rated with a load capacity of 2,335 lbs. at 65 psi. Although the load capacity is lower than the GYM, it's still more than enough to safely carry my loaded and ready to travel 7700 lb. trailer. I've done a lot of reading here and elsewhere on the net about the pros and cons of ST and LT tires. I don't need the capacity that an E rated tire provides but I think I want to switch to an LT. Other than 15" LT tires with a D rating are difficult to find (and that will probably get worse), is there another reason not to go with the 15" Pirelli? By the way, I have not experienced a GYM failure and I'm on my 2nd set.

Any input is greatly appreciated.
No internal difference between ST and LT, just a difference in tread and in how they calculate capacity with LT using the more conservative calculation.

If you switch from 225/75R15 D to 235/75R15 D you will get a slight increase in (actual, not what's branded on the sidewall) capacity from the larger size.

If your trailer puts 7700 pounds on the axles then either will work fine.
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Old 07-18-2013, 12:30 PM   #12
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Hung around an Airstream dealer getting some work done and while I was there I looked at all of their many different RV units on the lot. All (several different brands) use GYM's. I have a 2013 Cloud and not sure I really have enough room to go with 16" tires even if I wanted too. The best we can do is keep up with good tire maintenance.
What about the option of using a 15" LT ? Several different choices out there.
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Old 07-18-2013, 12:50 PM   #13
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What about the option of using a 15" LT ? Several different choices out there.
The issue for me is weight capacity and reserve. In my case I had to move up to 16" wheels to get the weight capacity and reserve that I felt was necessary for my heavy trailer in a 225 75R size.

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Old 07-18-2013, 05:29 PM   #14
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Wow, these things go round & round!
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