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Old 03-07-2014, 05:03 PM   #1
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2014 27' Flying Cloud
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Red face Asking for Advice on Choosing Tires


I've just been informed by Les Schwab that all Michelin LTX M/S2 16 tires are out of stock in the U.S. Bummer!

We have a brand new 27' Flying Cloud, and I was intending to replace the 15 rims and tires with the 16" SenDel and Michelins recommended so highly in the forums. So far, it's not looking like that will happen. Has anybody had any luck getting the Michelins recently??

If we cannot get the Michelins, what kind of tires should we go with??

Les Schwab recommended two options that I'd like to pass along, and also ask for advice from those who have had experience with either of these options:

The recommendations are: Toyo 10 ply 16" (these are Light Truck tires, load range E), or TBC Towmax 10-ply 15" (these are Trailer tires, also load range E). The person at Les Schwab explained why the Towmax tires might be better than the light truck tires, including the way the sidewalls are designed to be more rigid than the sidewalls of the light truck tires. Also, the 15" Towmax tires may not require new wheels, but I have not yet researched whether the wheels that come with our AS (Tredit 7-spoke 15x6J) are an appropriate pairing for these tires or not. Does anyone happen to know?

Also, has anyone had Les Schwab install tires and wheels on their Airstream? If so, did L.S. do a good job? I am concerned that anyone but the dealership may damage our trailer. I asked our dealership, and they would charge us $120 to install tires as long as they are already mounted on wheels, which seems like a lot to me, but it's better than a damaged trailer. Any suggestions in this area would be of great help also. Installing the tires ourselves is unlikely as we have no experience with installing trailer tires.

Thank you so much for you help!

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Old 03-07-2014, 05:17 PM   #2
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Is there a Discount Tire in your area? Thats where I got mine wheels too . I did the mounting my self . changing a tire and wheel is not a big job you may need to do it out on the road some day . Be careful who you let jack up your new Airstream.
I wouldn't worry to much about you tires it looks like you have a 14 yr model they will last I would think until you can get Michelins

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Old 03-07-2014, 05:28 PM   #3
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There is no new science in mounting tires on a wheel, or a wheel on a trailer. Be sure LS knows where to jack and be willing to let you watch them do it. Be sure they hand torque the wheels for final tightness.

If you can get Goodrich TA radials in the LT 225/75 R 16 size you will have a very good tire with a good track record. I have them on my Argosy. They are the tire of choice for the GMC motorhome people, and are about the only tire that most of them use. I replaced my Goodyear marathon's and 15" wheels on my new 2014 FC 20' last summer, very soon after I got it. The Michelin's were available, and the Goodrich TA's were not as easy to find in my area at that time.

I don't know about the Toyo 16" tires, the Towmaster 15" are just another questionable trailer tire in my opinion.
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Old 03-07-2014, 05:57 PM   #4
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Also, the 15" Towmax tires may not require new wheels, but I have not yet researched whether the wheels that come with our AS (Tredit 7-spoke 15x6J) are an appropriate pairing for these tires or not. Does anyone happen to know?
I just sold my used 3000 mile Towmax 15" tires. They are good tires for 15" but you need to get 8 ply for Airstream rims as per Airstream. I called them and was told that they were designed for 80 psi not the higher pressure of the 10ply.
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Old 03-07-2014, 07:45 PM   #5
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Any 16" Michelin LT tires with an E rate will do fine on your AS. I never use a jack to lift my 31' Classic, I use this:

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Old 03-07-2014, 08:01 PM   #6
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I bought the 16" Michelins you're looking for just 2 weeks ago from Discount Tire in Melbourne, FL. They were manufactured the first week of January. They are being produced. Check w/Discount Tire in your area if you have one.
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Old 03-07-2014, 08:16 PM   #7
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ST tire sidewalls are not stiffer or more rigid than than an LT tire. That is just not true. Ask a tire engineer like Capri Racer about this. I suggest you read all posts by him as well as look at his website.
If I had your trailer, I'd use these tires.
They have more than enough (15%) reserve capacity for your trailer.

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Old 03-07-2014, 09:02 PM   #8
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What is the rush?
You should have 15" marathons and alum wheels. Keep the air pressure at 65psi cold, stay at 65mph or slower, try not to curb a tire in town, and stay in the middle of the road (trash is thrown to the edge of the road).

I removed a set of 2006 marathons in 2011 that had 40,000 miles on them. They had been to alaska, newfoundland, bc, southwest, southeast, texas & florida a number of times.

Michelin will have supply after their recall is complete.

I would much prefer a Japanese Toyo over a chinese TBC. 8ply & 10ply are old bias terminology. Radials are typically a two ply sidewall and I go by the loadrating of C = 2140 lbs/load at 45psi, D=2540lbs/load at 65psi, & E = 2900/3000 lbs/load per tire at 80psi. I run 15" E's but, only inflate to 65psi.

$120 to change mounted tires is high. I guess they figure they are not selling the tire so make it all on the mounting.

I am not a tire designer but, consider the light truck tire to be superior to the trailer tire due to being DOT qualified at 80mph vs 65mph for trailer tires. The sidewall difference is an old wives tale. The light truck tire has a much superior bead area.

I carry a bottle jack that is so old the label is gone (8-10ton). With the trailer hitched to the truck, it is easy to place the jack on the frame between the two tires and jack both at the same time. My fresh water tank valve is close to the frame but, has clearance. My frame is at its heaviest between the tires. Your new trailer should have the jack point marked.

Just my $.02
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Old 03-07-2014, 09:50 PM   #9
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I had the Michelin LTX (P) 235/75R15 XL tires (2,183 pounds @ 50 psi derated to 1,985 pounds for trailer use) on our 2013 25FB International Serenity. It had a GVW of 7,300 pounds whereas the 27FB has a 7,600.pound GVW.

The derated capacity of (4 x 1985 =) 7,940 pounds is more than enough for even the 27FB models. Our 25FB fully loaded for camping was at 6,960 pounds gross weight, but the axles were only carrying 5,860 pounds.

And I used the factory 15" wheels with tire pressure at 44 psi.
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Old 03-07-2014, 10:06 PM   #10
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If you search for this member's (Phoenix ) posts or else send him a PM, you find that he uses a Michelin commercial truck 16 inch tire that he swears by. That is what I would use if I could not get the LTX. Or perhaps someone else here may know what it is.

Edit: I found it: it is the XPS Rib.

Here you find Michelin makes several light trucks tires that would probably work.

I would certainly stick with Michelin.

I would also recommend Discount Tire.
I'm a western Washington native and long time Les Schaub customer. However they don't have stores here in the Denver area. I have found the service at Discount Tires as least as good if not better than LS.

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Old 03-07-2014, 11:11 PM   #11
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Much appreciation for all the responses here. We do have a little time to make our decision on tires, and it's good to get feedback on tires that have worked well for others. If we are unsuccessful at locating the Michelin LTX tires, we now have some good back-ups. We will check Discount Tire in our area, and I do appreciate the debunking of some of the tire myths out there. We will also consider doing the install ourselves. Pappy19 - the Trailer Aid looks pretty cool. Is it as easy to use as it looks?
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Old 03-07-2014, 11:35 PM   #12
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I was at a National Tire and Battery location here in St. Louis on Wednesday and they have them in stock. Maybe Les Schwab is out, but it's obviously that not all tire dealers are in the same situation.

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Old 03-08-2014, 01:07 AM   #13
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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 --

BFG Commercial TA, LT225/75R16, load range E --

Bridgestone Duravis R250, LT225/75R16, load range E --

Michelin XPS Rib, LT225/75R16, load range E --

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 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.
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Old 03-08-2014, 03:46 AM   #14
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I appears that the Tire Rack can ship them to you on March 11. I would wait and get the Michelins.

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