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Old 08-22-2009, 07:15 PM   #1
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Hi Run ST 215-75D14: WORST TIRE AWARD!

SPECIFICS: Safari 2006, 23 footer come with 14 inch wheels and tires. Purchased on February 26, 2006 and first trip on May 10, 2006. From May 10, 2006 to August 1, 2007 about 14,000 miles on the one Goodyear Marathon tires that was still on the trailer and the spare tire.

Plains Tire Co. of Casper, Wyoming replaced three Goodyear Marathons that one by one had failed in 2007. The only trailer tires available in Casper were Hi Run, made in China, at Plains Tire Company. They look very good. I purchased them on June 12, 2007, June 21, 2007 and August 1, 2007. We were spending a lot of time in western Wyoming and Northwest Colorado at the time and as a Marathon failed, we would run up to Casper and replace it with a Hi Run.

By August 16, 2007 (mileage under 2,000 miles) I noticed the center tread on two tires were uneven. Stopping at the Plains Tire Co. at Green River, Wyoming we were told the tires had been run over weighted. Of course, our problem, not theirs.

August 16, 2007 I stopped at Les Schwab Tires in Salt Lake City, Utah and they handled only Tow Max ST215-75R-14 trailer tires at $70.72 each. NO PROBLEM SINCE. I had a nail puncture the side wall this Spring 2009 in New Mexico and no tire shop would patch it, so I needed to buy a replacement at Costco. I feel confident with Tow Max trailer tires up to this point. I have not calculated the mileage put on these, but they are probably nearing 18,000 miles and have plenty of tread to spare. If I get a rock puncture... it is time to replace them... ALL.

My present thought is to buy five replacement wheels in 15 inch when tires need to be replaced and go to a Load Range D tire, which is not available in the 14 inch wheel. Foolish on Airstream's part not having the 15 inch wheel for the 23 foot models. Marathon tires get plenty of critical reviews on the Forum, but are far superior than the Hi Run ST tires!

Comments that Airstream uses Goodyear Marathon tires as they are the best available for their trailers. Well, I could argue the point when you find the cheap Chinese and Taiwan parts on the trailer. Maybe Marathons are "cheaper" to acquire from Goodyear and not necessarily a better or the best option. Just helps the bottom line.
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Old 08-22-2009, 07:26 PM   #2
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Big O Tires- Tow Max replacement purchase

The replacement for the tire with the side wall nail puncture was not purchased as Costco, but from Big O Tires for a cost of $79.99. Just to keep my story accurate.
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Old 08-28-2009, 10:37 PM   #3
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My guess as to the 14" rims.

Lower cost for tires and rim means more new vehicle sales. And/or 15" rims will have a higher center of gravity so for safety on the smaller trailer to keep the center lower. Also the wheel well space may have been designed for the smaller rim to increase the interior space.

I know what you might be thinking .....lower cost! Well if the 14" rims and tires were $200 less in cost for 4 tires and rims, spread that over a 100 trailer and A/S save $20,000 in cost. Also if the MSRP was $200 less then it would likely generate an additional sale or 3.

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Old 09-21-2009, 04:16 PM   #4
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So, are you suggesting that the 14 foot tire is not adequate for the 23' Airstreams, when making long trips.....
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Old 09-21-2009, 06:07 PM   #5
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Maxxis makes a 14" "D" load range trailer tire.
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Old 09-21-2009, 06:37 PM   #6
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Hi Run 215/75D14: Worst Tire Award

For Rosyln H. concerning 14 inch versus 15 inch wheels and tires on 23 footer.

I do not understand why the 23 foot Airstream has 14 inch wheels. The trend seems that 14 inch tires need only be Load Range C. (Maxis excluded?) At least with 15 inch wheels you have the option for a higher Load Range tires. With the larger wheel you would get a bit more clearance as well. Airstream should have left the 15 inch wheel as the standard for the 16 foot single axle, up to the triple axles (if they are 15 inch). My only option now is to buy a set of five 15" replacement wheels (rated to carry the weight) and Load Range D tires. I would prefer to have excess capacity than be running the risk the Load Range C tires are not made to "standards" of automobile tire requirements, which ST tires are not.

So far with Tow Max 14 inch tires I have had reliability that I did not seem to have with the Marathon tires and the Hi Run tires might have been intended for a flatbed trailer hauling a Snowmobile or a riding lawn mower on board. Not a travel trailer. Lessons are learned first hand and I want to pass my experience onto those who might be tempted to try the Hi Run tire.... don't.

It was mentioned the 14 inch wheel lowers the center of gravity and makes it safer for travel. I think the 1/2 inch difference would not even be noticed, as the Airstreams all seem to be as close to the asphalt as possible. If that were the case, go to 13 inch wheels... Other trailers brands have up to six inches of extra clearance since they are mounted on top of the frame and axles. I have to watch the plumbing on non asphalt road travel when any irregular surfaces are encountered.
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Old 09-22-2009, 10:18 AM   #7
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So, call me stupid....and this does make sense....

You can change out the 14" tires for the 15" tires on the 23'.
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Old 09-22-2009, 10:35 AM   #8
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Sure you can change the tire size, along with the WHEELS of course...

Also, 15" wheels will give your room for larger brakes, at brake rebuild time, if one wanted more stopping power for hilly terrain, etc...and the cost increase to switch would be modest in the event you needed new drum/hubs at brake rebuild time...

Check the outside tire diameter between the 14 and 15 inch tires to maintain clearance, also...
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