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Old 04-09-2016, 10:35 AM   #15
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2016 30' International
Woodstock ON , North Fort Myers FL
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Our AS was delivered from the factory to CANAM with stock tires. On delivery we specified "Michelin HEAVY LOAD" P235/75 R15 LTX M/S with carry capacity at 50lbs (max) inflation of 2183 lbs. These tires have Michelin in white letters and are available from most if not all Michelin dealers in North America.

As we understand it, these tires carry a heavier load at a lower air pressure, which is said to improve the AS ride, stress on components and contents. We also hear these tires may have an improved ability to deal with "scrub" caused by turns.

In our opinion, these tires have a slightly different appearance, in that the sidewalls appear to be thicker. There will be other differences not known to ourselves, but we can say these tires have held 47 lbs air pressure without loss of even a single pound, over the past 8 months in Florida winter climate.

These tires are monitored for failure by USDOT and I have found no reported evidence as to failures. Needless to say, we are pleased so far with Michelin performance and enjoy not having to debate the merits of tire country of origin.

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Old 04-09-2016, 10:45 AM   #16
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1967 26' Overlander
Spartanburg , South Carolina
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Originally Posted by mpsgolf View Post
How can i tell if my GYMs are made in China? Is it certain years? Is it on the tire?

All the horror stories have me a bit worried. I just traded for a new 2015 28' Intnl so the tires are new but....
The "horror stories" are just that.....stories. I run nothing but Good Year tires on my TV and vintage AS. I once ran a set of Canadian made GYM's for 13 years with only one flat because of a nail. That'w what woke me to the age of the tires and I replaced them with a set of China tires which have been on for two years with no issues. I run them with 43 psi pressure on a tandem axle trailer which is the pressure indicated for the weight of my trailer on the Good Year chart.

You can buy spray treatment to prevent UV degradation and cracking which some folks call "dry rot".. I spray mine once a month with Armor All Tire Foam and keep them covered if idle for more than a month. Storage in my drive way is on pavement which I think helps. To find out the correct pressure to use, weigh your trailer one axle at a time and consult the manufacturer's weight chart. Better yet, weigh one wheel at a time and use the pressure indicated for the highest weight on all wheels.

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Old 04-09-2016, 10:56 AM   #17
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When reading the posts on tire life, look to see the vintage and model of the poster's trailer. The Vintage crowd are towing trailers that weigh substantially less than the newer wide body models of the same length. Weight does impact tire life.
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2014 31' Classic model 30 twin beds, 50 amp service, 900 watt solar system, Centramatics, Dill TPMS, disc brakes, 16" tires & wheels
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Old 04-09-2016, 11:19 AM   #18

2006 30' Classic S/O
Merced , California
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I have had GYMs made in Canada, China, and USA. All junk. When I got the USA tires they told me everything has been fixed and not to worry. Still had tread separation. Don't tell me it was under inflation as I ran max pressure and had the pressure pro setup. Don't trust em.
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Old 04-09-2016, 11:29 AM   #19
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1967 17' Caravel
Oakland , California
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I manufacture products in China and I spend about 2 months per year in there on average doing QC. All products made in China are required by law to state this.
US Customs will not allow any product that comes in from China that is to be resold
here not to have the Made in China or PRC or Taiwan etc. I have been in factories in China that make products that say Made in Taiwan. Most all the batteries in the world are made in China because US companies can pollute easier over there than here.
Not all products that come out of China are crap. Apple seems to do OK, however they are only assembled in China
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Old 04-09-2016, 12:08 PM   #20
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1986 31' Sovereign
Miami , Florida
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There I was, in Pensacola on my way to Yellowstone, when the second of the 2 year old Carlisles on my trailer failed catastrophically. I had lost one just south of Gainesville the previous day.

As time was of the essence, off to the Goodyear dealer as he was a) open on Sunday and b) had tires in my size ready to go. Aware of the many strongly held opinions here that Marathons are "junk", I figured I'd just eat the cost for four of them on the spot and then swap them out when I got back home in the Fall.

Well, that was four years and about 26000 miles ago. Never did get around to swapping them out. I do take care of them -- pressure checked every morning on "moving day", covered when we are parked all summer, TPMS.

Maybe I am just lucky, but when they "age out" next Fall, It will be hard to justify $1500 to upgrade the wheels to Sendel and tires to Michelin...

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Old 04-09-2016, 01:26 PM   #21
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2005 19' Safari
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Re: Tire Failure Data

Goodyear Marathon tire failures seem to peak in the third year of ownership (see data below, extracted from Airstream Tire Failure Poll):

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In the table above, I suspect that tire failures decrease after year #4, because most people either have other brands of tires (other than GYM’s); or the GYM’s have already failed and there aren’t many left on the road older than that.

Note: The above data is from 2013, and there have been very few additional poll entries since then. At the time, GYM's were in wide use due the Airstream factory shipping these as the OEM standard equipment tire; and the conversion to 16" wheels and Michelin LT tires was in its infancy, with few early adopters.

As of 2013, over 50% of AirForums members who participated in the tire failure poll reported problems, mostly with GYM's. With no follow-up poll for 16" wheels & LT tires, there is no data to support the supposition that tire reliability is improved with this conversion. However, anecdotal accounts seem to indicate that most are satisfied with the 16" wheel/LT tire upgrade, and there are very few reports of Michelin LTX MS2 tire failures.

Regarding my personal experience with LT tires, we switched to 16" wheels and Michelin XPS Rib LT tires (load range E, 80 psi max) in January 2011; and our 2005 19' Bambi has about 45,000 miles on them so far, with absolutely no tire problems. Before converting, we had two GYMs and one Maxxis fail with tread separation; and all three were 15" ST tires. We plan to replace the XPS Ribs in another year or two (tire age 6-7 years) even though they show practically no treadwear.
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Old 04-09-2016, 03:41 PM   #22
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McHenry County , Illinois
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Must have "rare" set of load range D 15s made in the USA last week of 2009.
With about 10K on the set of 4, no sidewall concerns and minimal, even, tread wear.
Presures checked and inflated between 45 to 50 psi prior to every run.
No problems with them on my last trailer, single axle Globetrotter, either.

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Old 04-09-2016, 04:09 PM   #23
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1966 24' Tradewind
2005 22' Safari
Bastrop , Texas
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Chinese ST tires are somewhat reliable if they are Nylon bias ply .
Never Never Never run a ST radial by any manufacturer .

Just me ! :-)
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Old 04-09-2016, 04:34 PM   #24
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2005 30' Classic
Burlington , Ontario
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I have switched from Marathons to 16" Michelins - mostly based on info from this forum and the fact that AS now supplies them as an upgrade, and noting that quite a few other RV companies seem to be moving away from ST tires in favour of LT, I will say that my own experience with Marathons was not all that bad.

I did have Marathons on a previous "Award" make trailer, and had one throw off a chunk of full width tread over a foot long near Fort Stockton Texas when on our way to Tucson.

I felt vibrations before things got really bad, and when I examined the situation, I found that two other tires were just starting to show separation of the tread as well!

We were able to limp into Fort Stockton and had four new tires put on.

However, I would really blame myself for that one!

At that time I had thought that as long as tires had decent amount of tread left, and there were no signs of sidewall cracking, all was good to go - I have since learned that might not be so, irrespective of whose tires you were using.

I think the Marathons were probably around ten years old at the time so I suppose they didn't owe me anything!

The replacements I had put on (all I could get in ST tires in Fort Stockton on short notice were some obscure brand I had never heard of!) were still on the trailer a year or two later when I sold it and bought the Airstream.

The Airstream that I bought (used) came with Marathons - they were quite old and also showed weird bulges all around the sidewalls, which I have since learned is not necessarily indicative of a problem.

I changed them due to age - I think they were maybe 5-6 years old, and Ibought the next class up in load capacity as a safety margin (in my mind!)

I believe they were called Towmaster. I got those at Jackson Centre when there for other work.

I ran those without problem for perhaps three years or so - they did however seem to wear very quickly.

I then decided to bite the bullet and move to the 16" Michelins. So far, an excellent experience. After 3 or 4 years, they still look brand new and hardly lose one psi over a year. No issues at all.


PS - When people condemn tires just based on country of origin, I often wonder how fair that is.

Is it not possible that any country is capable of producing both products of high and low quality?

Is it reasonable and right to think that anything coming from China must be crap?

A awful lot of products come from China these days, and admittedly I have had some crap oit of China over the years, I have also bought some items that have served me very well indeed!

Just my thoughts!
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2005 Classic 30'
Hensley Arrow / Centramatics
2008 GMC Sierra SLT 2500HD,4x4,Crew Cab, Diesel, Leer cap.
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Old 04-09-2016, 05:36 PM   #25
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Venice , Florida
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Originally Posted by tjdonahoe View Post

Off topic but Taiwan is an island off the coast of China. Taiwanese consider themselves as independent from China. China considers them as a rebel region and wants to reunite them, by force if necessary, to mainland China.

I have written Goodyear and received a response that the GYMs made in China are exactly the same formula, process, components etc. as when they were made elsewhere. Goodyear says they have plants all over the world and shift production as necessary. Goodyear said that most tire failures are the result of under inflation. I asked them what their market share of ST tires was, thinking that if you make more STs than anyone else you're probably going to have more failures. They said that was proprietary and wouldn't tell me.

I have never had a problem with the GYMs on my boat nor the ones on my AS, which are now 6 years old. I will be replacing those this year and I will be buying more GYMs. I've had a LOT of blowouts on Carlisle tires, changed to GYMs. So far, so good.

As with anything else, your mileage may vary.
Rich, tomorrow I'm replacing my GYM with Maxxis E rated. My AS has 3k miles on it. Message me I'm selling them cheep plus shipping .
Venice, FL
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Old 04-10-2016, 07:58 AM   #26
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1996 25' Excella
Tillsonburg , Ontario
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Never had a problem with GYMs and always replaced in pairs for 10 years, Current trailer has Chinese Knock-offs. I'll be watching them but so far 4000 miles and no issues. I also have Michelin off brand tires on the truck. Chinese get to use the last generation of Michelin molds and make tires on them for private label.
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Old 04-10-2016, 10:26 AM   #27
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Lexington , Kentucky
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Originally Posted by richw46 View Post

Rich, tomorrow I'm replacing my GYM with Maxxis E rated. My AS has 3k miles on it. Message me I'm selling them cheep plus shipping .
Thanks, Joe, I appreciate the offer, but I don't buy used tires.

Rich & Yvonne
2006 Safari SE -Dora-
2004 4Runner SE

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Old 04-10-2016, 12:30 PM   #28
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billings , Montana
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Originally Posted by richw46 View Post

Rich, tomorrow I'm replacing my GYM with Maxxis E rated. My AS has 3k miles on it. Message me I'm selling them cheep plus shipping .
You should read the post from rtaylor 537 about twainese maxis tires.....

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