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Old 08-02-2008, 03:29 PM   #421
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LT Tires

The Airstream "Travel Trailer Owner's Manual Addendum", titled "Tire Safety Information" that came with my 2007 AS states on page 8 that "LT-The "LT" indicates the tire is for light trucks or trailers".

I converted to 16" wheels and installed Michelins load range E and have not had any issues, problems, missing rivets, etc. none of the doom and gloom that some have speculated would occur. My AS pulls smooth and I have the confidence in the tires now. I could not be happier with this decision, as others have made as well. To my knowledge, I have not heard or seen any posts from anyone who has converted to 16" wheels reporting problems.
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Old 08-02-2008, 04:32 PM   #422
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Originally Posted by Steamy1 View Post
The Airstream "Travel Trailer Owner's Manual Addendum", titled "Tire Safety Information" that came with my 2007 AS states on page 8 that "LT-The "LT" indicates the tire is for light trucks or trailers".

I converted to 16" wheels and installed Michelins load range E and have not had any issues, problems, missing rivets, etc. none of the doom and gloom that some have speculated would occur. My AS pulls smooth and I have the confidence in the tires now. I could not be happier with this decision, as others have made as well. To my knowledge, I have not heard or seen any posts from anyone who has converted to 16" wheels reporting problems.
Exactly the point of my post earlier. Bob Thompson, Beginner and others have posted good luck with their BFGoodrichs and Michelins in 16". I think Bob has well over 10,000 miles on his. The deciding factor for me was that I already had one Maxxis tire replaced last October so I just went with 3 more along with the 4 new 15" aluminum rims. Time will tell if I made the right choice or not.
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Old 08-02-2008, 08:12 PM   #423
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Exactly the point of my post earlier. Bob Thompson, Beginner and others have posted good luck with their BFGoodrichs and Michelins in 16". I think Bob has well over 10,000 miles on his. The deciding factor for me was that I already had one Maxxis tire replaced last October so I just went with 3 more along with the 4 new 15" aluminum rims. Time will tell if I made the right choice or not.
I joined the club last year and went 16"/BFG on my 19CCD (single axle) and have towed over 10K since then with no issues at all!
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Old 08-02-2008, 09:49 PM   #424
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So Marathon had a problem, years ago.

16" wheels are asking for a tire fire, if it rubs the wheel wells, as it more than likely would.

Andy
Andy,
I agree with almost everything you say except the comment about the size moving to 16" rims. The larger rim size does not mean you end up with a larger diameter or wider tire. That is determined by the tire size and aspect ratio and current tire choices for 16" rims come closer to the original 7.00x15 size spec for old Airstreams.

Back in the 60's the trailers were spec'd for the bias ply tires that were available at the time. The world has switched to radial tires which do better with a lower aspect ratio. That's the reason good 15" tires have become so hard to find.

An LT tire meets more stringent standards because it's designed for passenger use. The government spec for ST tires is less stringent because it's assumed that a blowout on your trailer is not as serious as in a vehicle carrying people. That may be true but it's still a hazard, especially if you're close to the tow limit with your vehicle and it's certainly inconvenient and often costly to have your trailer tires fail.

-Bernie
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Old 08-03-2008, 09:27 AM   #425
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I wanted to drop my 2 cents in and mention that LT tires are Light truck tires. They are not designed with side wall streghnth in mind infact more for ride ability and comfort unless you go to an E rated tire e = extra load. Keep in mind tires on a trailer are operateing differently thren that of a car or light truck, for instance in a tight turn situation your vehicle of choice you back up and pull forward a few times, a trailer gets jacknifed, incredible side wall tension and pressure not to mention what is going on at the bead. Keep in mind There is a reason you use LT on pick ups and Vans and P rated on cars. "Weight difference" and where the vehicle is most likely to go and encounter.
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Old 08-03-2008, 10:57 AM   #426
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Mustang, I'm sorry but I'm going to politely disagree. LT tires are designed for even more demanding loads than an ST tire. The test for sidewall torsion which would cause damage or unseat the bead is equal to or greater than those for ST tires. Consider that LT tires are designed to be put on some serious trucks such as a Ford F350 and provide safe service even when that vehicle is fully loaded and making very sharp turns. Watch the front tires of similar trucks in a parking lot making very tight turns and you will see the same sidewall torsion as on trailer tires.

A couple years ago, I researched the tests for unseating the beads for tires using sidewall torsion to determine if it would indeed be safe to put LT tires on a trailer which was originally mounted with ST tires. Thru the maze of engineering jargon and lingo, I was able to deduce the tests used the exact same machine and the side-force requirements for LT tires were the same or higher than those for ST tires.
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Old 08-03-2008, 01:12 PM   #427
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I just went back over some of my research and determined the standards for the testing can be found in NHTSA document FMVSS No. 119. This is the test document for LT tires and others not designated as P tires. In short, the NHTSA requirements are based on load designation. Tires with the same load designation must pass the same tests including bead unseating and durability. Commercial LT tires must meet an additional 15% load requirement.
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Old 08-03-2008, 01:32 PM   #428
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Bob, that's very interesting and, of course, exactly opposite what others say. I wish I could figure out which person writing with authority is actually right.

Although I only have about 3,500 miles on my Safari, I'm thinking I'd like more margin of safety before I take a really long trip and might invest in a different brand. I'm thoroughly confused about about what load range is available in what size wheel, though it's easy enough to check that on tire mfr. websites.

I'm thinking if I were to go to a 16" wheel, I might buy steel wheels. Not as pretty as aluminum, but a lot cheaper. If I go to muddy places, steel wheels are easier to clean in back than aluminum (try cleaning dried clay mud from the back of an aluminum wheel with a screw driver—you can tell on the TV how out of balance the wheels are when mud encrusted, but don't notice it on the trailer).

I'm also thinking about wooden wheels with iron around the outside. Those Conestoga wagons had a lot of stress on them as they traveled to Oregon and many didn't break. I am concerned how they will perform at 65 though.

By the time I have to make a decision, I may just look for the Michelin LT tire since I have always had extraordinary service from Michelins on trucks and cars. It makes sense to me that the sidewall stresses on a 4wd truck tire crawling over boulders, slick rock benches, and such is as much or worse than anything a trailer could present.

Gene
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Old 08-03-2008, 03:27 PM   #429
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another path to the truth

horse trailers, vehicle trailers and race cars... (where I'm coming from)

the tire's max load rating at approved pressure and per wheel loading is the whole deal. no trailer puts as much cross sectional load as a loaded 3/4 or 1 ton truck in a 60mph banked turn. Skid angle is the deal there... low speed cross sectional loads in a trailer are insignificant compared to "at speed" loading on the front wheels in a truck. Consequently, per wheel loading as a function of tire load capacity is the whole deal for trailers... round numbers - a 9000lb dual axle trailer with a 1000lb tongue weight results in a per wheel loading of 2000lbs. okay - most tires have a tread life of at least 12000 miles under max load. However, the carcass longevity which may not be apparent from inspection of outside of the tire (internal structure) has a lifetime dependent on miles at load. The closer to the max loading for the tire the shorter the carcass life. Really - it's that simple... eight horse trailers, stock trailers down to two horse trailers... the answer was always the same... max load rating to wheel load. The tiwnk has a per tire load rating of 850 and the tires I have are rated at 2050. The tread will wear out before the carcass does. If you are at 2000 load on a 2050 rated tire... the tread will look good and the carcass will be crap...

okay - everyone can tell me I'm full of it and that's okay.. managing a fleet of horse trailers - i didn't have any tire failures. No tire survives the road hazards.

let the games begin...
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Old 08-04-2008, 07:55 AM   #430
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Ah HAA!

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Originally Posted by flitzwhopper View Post
...the carcass longevity which may not be apparent from inspection of outside of the tire (internal structure) has a lifetime dependent on miles at load. The closer to the max loading for the tire the shorter the carcass life. Really - it's that simple...

Fitzwhopper,
I think that you may have something here! Looking over my records the absolutely best tire service I have gotten was when we put a set of Marathon LR E's on our trailer. They lasted 12 years before I replaced them...only because dry rot had started to set in. I am now on my 4th set of LR D's, they only seem to make it 4 years.

The trailer has a single axle with approx 2000# at each tire. Going strictly by the numbers I could be using the LR C tires. Our first Marathons were LR B.
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Old 08-04-2008, 09:46 AM   #431
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Another way of looking at this: Marathons are not bad tires, but are there better tires?

Now that I've actually checked manufacturers' websites (and probably I am the last person to do so) I've confirmed Michelin does not have a 225/75/15 LT tire. They do have a 235/75/15 LT tire, but it's load range C only. Maxxis does have the 225/75/15 in LR E which would give the extra margin of safety. I also found there are few Maxxis dealers within 100 miles of my house (the closest one is out of business).

In 2002 we went to Alaska and I changed the tires on our pickup to 10 ply (LR E) because I knew we were going to some pretty remote places with not so good roads. I put the OEM tires on another vehicle since it took the same size, so I didn't throw away any tires. The Tundra C range tires seem to be low mileage OEM's and may be replaced before another very long trip, but the trailer—just don't know. Maybe D range for the Tundra. Would I need to increase pressure in the Tundra while towing or when not towing? When you put E range tires on a Safari, do you increase pressure to 80 lbs., or keep at 65?

I may take the Conestoga wheel option. No worries about pressure. I know the 4Runner will need tires this year so the cost of as many as 12 tires is scary.

Gene
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Old 08-04-2008, 11:12 AM   #432
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Gene,

The OEM Marathons on my 19CCD were inflated to 65PSI, and I use the same pressure in the 16" LREs that I'm running now. The PSI should be matched to your tire load, not the max inflation pressure of the tire.
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Old 08-04-2008, 12:43 PM   #433
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Hi Lew, I know you use the B F Goodrich on your trailer but in a previous thread you recommended Maxxis tires to someone. Was it because you think Maxxis is a better tire or was it due to the wheel size being 15" and Maxxis being the better of the available tires for that size wheel??
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Old 08-04-2008, 02:17 PM   #434
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Hi Lew, I know you use the B F Goodrich on your trailer but in a previous thread you recommended Maxxis tires to someone. Was it because you think Maxxis is a better tire or was it due to the wheel size being 15" and Maxxis being the better of the available tires for that size wheel??
IIRC, they couldn't or didn't want to go to 16" rims, and BFG does not make an LRE tire in 15"....neither does Michelin.

I usually recommend the Maxxis tires for 14" and 15" rims. The BFG Commercial T/As work great, but I have since found probably the BEST tire I have ever used....Michelin XPS Rib. I put a set of these on my Sprinter before I left FL for my annual West trip, and they are the smoothest rolling LRE tire I have ever used. The tread is super deep and very beefy, and I have heard of very long mileage experiences from these.

I was getting 40-45K from my Michelin LTX tires (original equipment), but hope to go 80K on the XPS. They are more expensive than the LTX, which are more than the BFGs, but if I get the kind of mileage that I anticipate, then it will be well worth it!
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