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Old 03-08-2014, 06:31 AM   #15
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A few more thoughts on tires. When I went to get tires the day I purchased the Airstream, I was ignorant to all things Airstream. Thank God I got down on the pavement next to the serviceman pointing out the jack indicators. At least I could read! He was ready to jack it up on the pan.

1(If a serviceman is jacking up the trailer, show them where to jack it up. Assume they know nothing.

While we were waiting I watched him working. When he put the third tire/wheel on I noticed that he had not balanced the tire. I asked and he said that trailer tires aren't balanced. I went to the manager who told him to balance them. He went back and balanced those previously installed. I have heard this more than once. It seems to be a common belief that trailer tires need not be balanced. FALSE.

2(Always have a tire/wheel balanced if it will be used on a vehicle.

When I purchased the Michelin tires Sams, at first, was refusing to mount them on my trailer wheels. I showed them the picture of the Eddie Bauer model with the exact same wheels that I had purchased new and they did it without warranty (Sams warranty). That said, I watched the balancing and they did not have the proper armature for the Sendel trailer wheel so the serviceman kept trying to get it on the balancer just right. NADA. He finished. Later I took them to a truck tire facility that had equipment for all types of tires including a load balancer. I stood beside the guy doing the work. The tires were WAY OFF, 2-3 OZ in two instances- this AFTER THEY HAD SUPPOSEDLY BEEN BALANCED.

3( Make sure the facility has the proper equipment to balance the tire/wheel type or make arrangements to have it balanced properly. Watch the work being done even if you have to stand at the garage door outside the garage area.


I switched to the truck tires because of so many others having issues with trailer tires and not just on Airstreams but RVs in general. Truck tires are also designed for carrying loads. The sides of TRAILER tires are supposed to have larger diameter cords for shearing strength but this also causes heat issues apparently and they disintegrate and fall apart. This may not be the case for all trailer tires but the owners share this scenario with tires that are few years old to new. Something is wrong so people look for an alternative.

4(Research issues that others have and piece together the information as to why (evaluate) then take action to avoid the problem if necessary.
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Old 03-08-2014, 10:28 AM   #16
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Before rushing out and spending all that money to switch from one wheel size to another, here are a few suggestions I'd make after having had this forum apply high levels of fear, uncertainty and doubt to my brain regarding factory standard 15" wheels & tires. I spoke directly and at length with both my dealer and a tire guy at Airstream about this before deciding to stay with the wheels and tires they selected at the factory, at least for the near future. I hope this is helpful.
Good luck, and safe travels!
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Old 03-08-2014, 10:39 AM   #17
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Phoenix -Thanks for the info on 16 inch tires

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phoenix View Post
Streaminlife,

Besides the LT load range E, Michelin LTX MS/2 tire (a.k.a., the "Eddie Bauer" tire), some AirForums members have also installed the 16-inch LT tires listed below. These vary widely in price, and some may be considered overkill due to their all-steel construction. However, all of these should prove to be significantly more reliable than any 15-inch ST tire commonly used on Airstreams and SOB travel trailers.

Discount Tire maintains an inventory of these tires at their local warehouses; and they can usually get them the next day, if they don't have them in immediate stock at a particular store. Worst case, Discount can order them from their regional warehouses and have them in a specific store within a few days.

Listed in ascending order of reliability/durability with the best (and probably most expensive) at the bottom.

Michelin LTX M/S2, LT225/75R16, load range E -- http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires....um=275R6LTXMS2

BFG Commercial TA, LT225/75R16, load range E -- http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires....m=275R6COMMTAE

Bridgestone Duravis R250, LT225/75R16, load range E -- http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires....num=275QR6R250

Michelin XPS Rib, LT225/75R16, load range E -- http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires....tnum=275R6XPSR


Note: This is just my opinion from reading tire reviews and the anecdotal tire experiences of some AirForums members. Others may recommend different tires or sort order, and their opinions are just as valid as mine. Also, the above links are to http://www.tirerack.com only because tire data is easily found on their Website; and their prices are typical for most tire stores. I have no affiliation with Tire Rack, and my association with Discount Tire is only as a satisfied customer.
Well done. Thank you for your summary .
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Old 03-08-2014, 10:39 AM   #18
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Chosing tires is a personal choice.

But, it's wise to pick a brand that has a decent history, AND that is available nation wide, so that if you have an issue, you can take care of it locally.

Balancing tires is almost a lost art.

With the availbility of a product like the "Centramatic balancers", balancing becomes quickly out dated, as the Centramatics are a lifetime balancer that requires "ZERO" maintenance, because they change as needed instantly to keep the running gear in perfect balance.

At this point, many owners have joined that "never need to worry again" club.

Andy
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Old 03-08-2014, 10:54 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Silvery Moon View Post
Before rushing out and spending all that money to switch from one wheel size to another, here are a few suggestions I'd make after having had this forum apply high levels of fear, uncertainty and doubt to my brain regarding factory standard 15" wheels & tires. I spoke directly and at length with both my dealer and a tire guy at Airstream about this before deciding to stay with the wheels and tires they selected at the factory, at least for the near future. I hope this is helpful

.................................................. .......
First off, all of your advice below the part I accented in bold, is very good sound advice and an excellent plan to help with tire safety.

However, regarding the part in bold:

First of all, I am assuming that "my dealer" refers to the Airstream dealer where you bought your trailer.

Do you really expect either Airstream or their dealers are going to make even the slightest hint, that the tires they put on their trailers have any problems whatsoever? That would be liability suicide. I would be much more inclined to listen to the experience of the people who use them rather than the people who make money selling them. There is plenty of anecdotal evidence on these forums and other major RV forums to thoroughly document that fact that users have reliability issues with Goodyear marathon trailer tires.

I am not saying you should replace your tires. I am only saying that if you make a decision to keep your tires, do it based on research with sources other than the people who have a great deal at stake if there is something proven to be wrong with them. Keep in mind that those that replace the tires are doing so at a substantial financial outlay. I think its save to assume they did not base this solely on fear mongering by others.

Ken
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Old 03-08-2014, 11:24 AM   #20
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I might switch to 16" wheels one day, but will probably go with a Firestone TransForce HT 10-ply load range E tire.
We are able to get them for about $165 each on our company national account.
As far as tires on the tow vehicle I will probably get another set of 20" Bridgestone Dueler Alenza tires like the ones that came on it from the factory and are 7 years old.
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Old 03-08-2014, 11:28 AM   #21
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Thanks for that. My only reasonable response is to say that I'm not a conspiracy theorist. I may camp in an aluminum trailer, but I don't wear tin foil hats, and I don't believe that both my dealer and the experts at Airstream will lie to me about the standard tires on my trailer. That's especially true when there's plenty of money to be made selling me the 16" stuff, which I made very clear I'd be happy to buy from them if they even remotely thought it would a good idea. Besides, neither of them is in the business of killing their customers. It's bad for business.

Further, if I aligned myself with this sort of conspiracy theory, what's to stop me replacing every single stock item that came with my trailer because it must be either unsound, poorly built or flat out dangerous? Why stop there? Maybe I should do the same for my TV, just to be safe. Sorry, I'm not going there. Wouldn't be prudent. I'd spend all my time and money doing that stuff instead of camping.
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Old 03-08-2014, 12:25 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silvery Moon View Post
Thanks for that. My only reasonable response is to say that I'm not a conspiracy theorist. I may camp in an aluminum trailer, but I don't wear tin foil hats, and I don't believe that both my dealer and the experts at Airstream will lie to me about the standard tires on my trailer. That's especially true when there's plenty of money to be made selling me the 16" stuff, which I made very clear I'd be happy to buy from them if they even remotely thought it would a good idea. Besides, neither of them is in the business of killing their customers. It's bad for business.

Further, if I aligned myself with this sort of conspiracy theory, what's to stop me replacing every single stock item that came with my trailer because it must be either unsound, poorly built or flat out dangerous? Why stop there? Maybe I should do the same for my TV, just to be safe. Sorry, I'm not going there. Wouldn't be prudent. I'd spend all my time and money doing that stuff instead of camping.
As you wish. One clarification I would like you to make. Are you saying you believe stating that a business is going to support the products they sell and not say negative things about them, because it may cost them money is a conspiracy theory?

Is believing this is wrong a conspiracy theory?

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/03/bu...shes.html?_r=0

It is the same exact same principle of business carried to much higher level.

If you think a company is going to tell you about possible negative properties in the products they sell in order to make a few hundred dollars profit selling you replacement parts for what they just sold you, I think you need to mull over the large scale effects that would have on their business.

There is a difference between a conspiracy theorist and a person who takes into consideration the possible motives of people they do business with. That is an application of common sense.

Ken



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Old 03-08-2014, 03:37 PM   #23
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I have a 2006 19ft Bambi 75th Anniversary; it's the David Winick prototype trailer. I changed the rims and tires for fear of destructive damage from the Explodathons doing their thing...

I would go retro with 16" Dexstar steel wheels and stainless baby moon caps along with stainless trim rings. No rust, low maintenance. Paint the rims to match your trailer. I bought my rims from Redneck Trailer Supply; very cheap: Dexstar 16" steel wheels, 6" wide, 6x5.5 bolt circle, model number WH166-60E. I also bought Centramatic model 13150 balancers from Andy.

Again, I went with 16" wheels for my 75th Winick Prototype but I went with the best tires I could...Michelin XPS Ribs. Very pricey, but they have a full steel sidewall. I had a previous blowout with a Bad-Year on my Scamp that ripped a hole in the wheelwell. Didn't want to chance that on my Airstream...so I replaced essentially brand new tires.

I painted my rims with Duplicolor Ford Blue high temperature engine enamel. I love the way they look. I am REALLY happy. The tires, again are Michelin XPS Ribs in a 225/75/16, customized by DiamondBack Tires with a 1.5" whitewall and dual blue lines. The blue lines are the exact same color as my pinstripes (and vintage logos) and match the color of my rims (the lettering I used for "Airstream" is a bit lighter in color). The stripes on the tires take away some of the HUGENESS of these tires. They increase the ride height over my old Bad-Year Explodathons by about 1/2". Not enough to worry about.

The trim rings are stainless steel, ribbed, purchased brand new from eBay. The hubcaps are PhoenixUSA 1309SS also in stainless steel. They fit the 16" Dexstar rims with ease...no denting, no forcing. But, it is wise to put a dab of clear RTV on at least two spots of the hubcaps to make sure they stay on...they fit snugly, but you don't want to lose one.

Here are some pics of the rims and tires. Talk about POP!!!



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Old 03-08-2014, 04:37 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ggoat!!! View Post
I have a 2006 19ft Bambi 75th Anniversary; it's the David Winick prototype trailer. I changed the rims and tires for fear of destructive damage from the Explodathons doing their thing...

I would go retro with 16" Dexstar steel wheels and stainless baby moon caps along with stainless trim rings. No rust, low maintenance. Paint the rims to match your trailer. I bought my rims from Redneck Trailer Supply; very cheap: Dexstar 16" steel wheels, 6" wide, 6x5.5 bolt circle, model number WH166-60E. I also bought Centramatic model 13150 balancers from Andy.

Again, I went with 16" wheels for my 75th Winick Prototype but I went with the best tires I could...Michelin XPS Ribs. Very pricey, but they have a full steel sidewall. I had a previous blowout with a Bad-Year on my Scamp that ripped a hole in the wheelwell. Didn't want to chance that on my Airstream...so I replaced essentially brand new tires.

I painted my rims with Duplicolor Ford Blue high temperature engine enamel. I love the way they look. I am REALLY happy. The tires, again are Michelin XPS Ribs in a 225/75/16, customized by DiamondBack Tires with a 1.5" whitewall and dual blue lines. The blue lines are the exact same color as my pinstripes (and vintage logos) and match the color of my rims (the lettering I used for "Airstream" is a bit lighter in color). The stripes on the tires take away some of the HUGENESS of these tires. They increase the ride height over my old Bad-Year Explodathons by about 1/2". Not enough to worry about.

The trim rings are stainless steel, ribbed, purchased brand new from eBay. The hubcaps are PhoenixUSA 1309SS also in stainless steel. They fit the 16" Dexstar rims with ease...no denting, no forcing. But, it is wise to put a dab of clear RTV on at least two spots of the hubcaps to make sure they stay on...they fit snugly, but you don't want to lose one.

Here are some pics of the rims and tires. Talk about POP!!!


Wow, that really looks great...

Ken
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Old 03-08-2014, 05:13 PM   #25
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Hey, that's a beautiful look, great job! I'm sure it turns heads every time you pull that baby anywhere.

On the other topic, sure, it's unlikely that Airstream would say, "Hey, those 15" wheels and tires we've been putting on all those trailers are complete crap, you should all replace them." I think it's equally unlikely they would keep using them if there were a systemic problem. Nobody buys an Airstream for the wheel size or tire brand. They could switch their entire line overnight for no reason at all, and nobody outside these forums would even notice.

The failures I've read about here don't necessarily indicate a systemic problem that Airstream or its dealers might be hiding to escape liability. Also, the very act of installing 15" wheels and Goodyear Marathon tires indicates an acceptance of liability - they are representing that these items meet the bar for fitness and suitability for their intended purpose. There's no escaping that, as GM eventually discovered in the example you've cited.

Tires occasionally fail, and some fail spectacularly. As we all know, there's no absolute guarantee that any particular tire won't go there, regardless of size or type, or that a tire manufacturer with a great reputation won't suddenly have to recall a million or more tires due to manufacturing flaws that could lead to...catastrophic tire failures.

If folks want to spend time and money switching from stock wheels and tires to something else, that's just grand. Well, maybe less than a grand, but it's definitely quite a few bucks. After doing my own research, I'm not going there just yet.

I do, on the other hand, know for sure that it's always going to be necessary to take care of my tires, check pressures and temps, avoid driving above the tires' rated speeds, switch them out at a certain age, and double-check my trailer's weight distribution. Beyond that, if we experience a catastrophic tire failure that damages the trailer and/or us, this is what insurance and AAA Premium RV are for. The only way to be certain that we'll not fall victim to such a failure is to never move the trailer from it's current parking spot.

Happy camping!
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Old 03-08-2014, 05:23 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phoenix View Post
Streaminlife,

Besides the LT load range E, Michelin LTX MS/2 tire (a.k.a., the "Eddie Bauer" tire), some AirForums members have also installed the 16-inch LT tires listed below. These vary widely in price, and some may be considered overkill due to their all-steel construction. However, all of these should prove to be significantly more reliable than any 15-inch ST tire commonly used on Airstreams and SOB travel trailers.

Discount Tire maintains an inventory of these tires at their local warehouses; and they can usually get them the next day, if they don't have them in immediate stock at a particular store. Worst case, Discount can order them from their regional warehouses and have them in a specific store within a few days.

Listed in ascending order of reliability/durability with the best (and probably most expensive) at the bottom.

Michelin LTX M/S2, LT225/75R16, load range E -- http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires....um=275R6LTXMS2

BFG Commercial TA, LT225/75R16, load range E -- http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires....m=275R6COMMTAE

Bridgestone Duravis R250, LT225/75R16, load range E -- http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires....num=275QR6R250

Michelin XPS Rib, LT225/75R16, load range E -- http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires....tnum=275R6XPSR


Note: This is just my opinion from reading tire reviews and the anecdotal tire experiences of some AirForums members. Others may recommend different tires or sort order, and their opinions are just as valid as mine. Also, the above links are to http://www.tirerack.com only because tire data is easily found on their Website; and their prices are typical for most tire stores. I have no affiliation with Tire Rack, and my association with Discount Tire is only as a satisfied customer.

Thank you Phoenix, really appreciate the information here, as well as everyone else's input on the matter. I am thankful for this forum which has been so helpful these last couple months leading up to our maiden voyage, which is rapidly approaching (yikes!)
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Old 03-08-2014, 07:27 PM   #27
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Can I have the 15's?
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Old 03-08-2014, 07:39 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In View Post
Chosing tires is a personal choice.



But, it's wise to pick a brand that has a decent history, AND that is available nation wide, so that if you have an issue, you can take care of it locally.



Balancing tires is almost a lost art.



With the availbility of a product like the "Centramatic balancers", balancing becomes quickly out dated, as the Centramatics are a lifetime balancer that requires "ZERO" maintenance, because they change as needed instantly to keep the running gear in perfect balance.



At this point, many owners have joined that "never need to worry again" club.



Andy

Andy
What do the Centramatics cost?
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