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Old 09-22-2009, 12:41 PM   #15
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Mentioned this on another thread yesterday but will repeat it here. Airstream is now offering "E" load range trailer tires in 15" and a 16" tire/wheel combo. The 16 uses Good Year Wrangler HT LT225/75R16. They charge 299 per for these. Not sure just which trailers could use the 16" wheels but I'm sure the factory should be able to tell you if you give them a call. Doubt you'll find any 15" LT tires with a high enough load rating.

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Old 09-22-2009, 12:45 PM   #16

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Boy the tire manufacturers must LOVE these threads.

I gott'a go buy some now!!!

AF #1

"Sticks & stones can break your bones...and hail will dent your Airstream"

So when is this..."old enough to know better" supposed to kick in?
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Old 09-27-2009, 07:36 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Al - K4GLU View Post
Airstream is now offering "E" load range trailer tires in 15" and a 16" tire/wheel combo. The 16 uses Good Year Wrangler HT LT225/75R16. They charge 299 per for these. Not sure just which trailers could use the 16" wheels but I'm sure the factory should be able to tell you if you give them a call. Doubt you'll find any 15" LT tires with a high enough load rating.
I checked this also and confirmed it. The 15" LR E tire is a Towmax.

Then I spent a lot of time looking on the Michelin website and they make a variety of LT 225/75R16 tires—XPS Rib, LTX A/T2, 2 versions of LTX M&S (specs are the same, but one costs more), and the old reliable X. All are LR E. I also checked tire stores around JC because I might get them changed there and would bring the tires to JC for mounting after I try to work out an exchange of wheels because I am seeing the coating coming off on 1 or 2 or more of my 15" wheels. It's easy to find LTX and LTX A/T2, but the Rib and the X aren't so easy to find and would probably have to be ordered.

The XPS Rib looks like a highway tire to me and is listed as a commercial tire. All the LTX's are M&S, something that sounds good to me because someday I'll have to drive through snow though I'm not looking forward to it. The X is a good tire, but the LTX seems better.

The tires range from 29.29" diameter (LTX A/T2; 17/32" tread, the most) to 29.5" (X, 15/32") while the LTX is 29.4" (15/32") and the XPS Rib is 29.4" also and 14/32" tread.

By comparison the Marathon LR D 15" tire is 28.3" (10/32") and the Maxxis has the same diameter, with 9/32" tread. So all the Michelins have much more tread, but the A/T2 may be overkill. I use them on our truck and they ride very well despite being LR E, much better than the OEM LR C tires.

The importance of diameter has to do with the space at each end of the wheel cutouts. I measured it a couple of different ways and with the Michelins there would be from .5 to .7" clearance at the body. The Marathons or Maxxis has 1" space. I am unsure whether a very low tire would bulge out and hit the body, but the TPMS warns of low pressure long before the tire would get that low. Airstream appears to believe a 16" tire will be ok in the existing cutout and it appears unnecessary to perform surgery.

I could not quickly find a price for that Goodyear HT tire; other Wranglers ran from $134-168 at Discount Tire. The Airstream price seems extraordinary. Prices at Discount, Sears and NTB within 50 miles of JC for the LTX ran from $180-187 (keep in mind there are 2 versions and one is a little more expensive). The A/T2 version is $187 at Sears. Note that Walmart was $23 to $33 more expensive than the others.

As for 15" LT tires, they now are called P, but some could have enough of weight rating for some trailers, though probably not mine. Not too long ago, 15" was a standard light truck/SUV tire size, but not anymore. It was easy to get D and E range then, but not so much now.

I would like to know what the advantage is in buying the XPS Rib and how much they cost. I am leaning toward the LTX M&S—lots of tread and about 5/8" clearance. If I can get the wheels exchanged…otherwise, the cost goes way, way up.

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Old 09-27-2009, 08:54 PM   #18
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The Michelin XPS Ribs have steel belts and steel sidewalls (an all steel tire). They are extremely long wearing and will take a lot of abuse; and they are also much more than the other tires you listed.

By the way, thanks for the info. I have not had much response to another thread I started on this same subject.
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Old 09-27-2009, 09:38 PM   #19
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Phoenix, thanks. I found a price—around $222 plus shipping for online order from a couple of retailers. They are also sold as a tire suitable for retreads, so I guess they build the basic tire for a lot of miles, more than I'll ever drive in a 5 year period. It would be good for a light commercial truck or maybe a fulltimer. I'm unsure the steel sidewalls are necessary, but don't know. I do like the M&S tires and the Rib appears to be all season tread.

I finally figured out the difference between the two LTX tires—the more expensive one has raised white letters. I was so intent on studying the specs that I missed that.

And at Tire Rack, the Goodyear Wrangler HT's are $159 + shipping. Sears at $183. They are an all season tire and for heavy trucks like the XPS Rib.

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Old 09-27-2009, 10:08 PM   #20
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I know of at least two people who have successfully made the switch to 16s. Hopefully they will post. I never had a Marathon failure but I have swapped them out for Maxxis 15s and a Pressure Pro system. I also never tow over 65.
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Old 09-27-2009, 10:44 PM   #21
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I switched to 16" wheels and BF Goodrich Commercial T/A tires more than 5 years ago and haven't looked back. They now have nearly 70,000 miles on them and still have about half tread remaining. I plan to put another 20,000 miles on them then replace them. They've stayed round and any balance issues are solved by the Centramatics. I have had a slight bit of cupping on two of the tires, but that self corrected when I rotated them front to back.
The absolute most important feature is the peace of mind. I just returned from a 6,000 mile trip and never once felt the need to check the pressure or temperature of the tires. I wish I were more virtuous and checked them just to be sure, but I never did. That piece of mind is why I purchased them. I gave them a visual check before leaving and would occasionally look them over but never pulled out a pressure guage. I did quite a bit of 65mph to 70mph towing in temperatures sometimes in excess of 105 degrees. No worries. No problems. That's pretty much been the life's story of these tires.
Do what you want. Doesn't matter to me. But, don't believe my solution couldn't possibly work. It works exceedingly well, thank you.

The key is try to get appropriately load rated 16" wheels with nearly identical rim width and back spacing as the OEM wheels. Slight variations in back spacing up to 3/8" should still work, but you will have to try them on to be sure. Next, buy tires which are about the same width and diameter as the OEM tires. My tires were about 1" taller than the OEM spec'd tires. It did not cause any problems. All this info is available on the different tire manufacturer and tire outlet websites. Rest assured, the option is there for you to choose.
So Long!
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Old 09-27-2009, 11:30 PM   #22
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16 " wheels

I have an 01 30' Classic/w slide. in june of this year I put 16" micky thompson
forged aluminum wheels [ 8 " wide wheels ] on my trailer with Michelin LTX m/s. Purchased tires at america's tires in Hemet, ca. I have put over 5K miles on them and feel more secure than with 15" tires. no problems !! No modifications to trailer were needed, no trimming Just peace of mind. Needless to say, I have the 15" alcoa wheels/marathons available 4 those who feel the need.

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Old 11-10-2009, 08:27 PM   #23
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Why would you go with 16's when you can get a st 225/75-15 in load range E max pressure 80 psi 2830 max weight? For tires I'm going with Towmaster I have searched the internet up and down on boat forums this forum and many other trailer forums. My find is that Towmasters have more compliments then any other trailer tire out there! My question is do I go with LRD or LRE I'm thinking she will be around 4500 unloaded when finished any ideas?
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Old 11-11-2009, 09:35 PM   #24
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Yokahama makes an excellent LT tire in 7x15 load range D the model is an RY215. Check out the Tire Rack web site for more information.
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Old 11-13-2009, 06:28 PM   #25
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Do I go with D or E? Thanks
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Old 11-16-2009, 08:47 AM   #26
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The Yokohama web site lists the tire as a Commercial Light Truck Tire, however, there is no speed rating given.
Given the positive experience I have had with Yokohama tires in other applications it might be a good tire. There refusal to be fourth comming with a speed rating casts a pall over the tire in my mind.
I went to a 16" wheel to get a reliable speed rated tire that is built to handle the heat generated at 65 MPH hour after hour on hot interstates during the summer.
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Old 11-17-2009, 08:47 AM   #27
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These are what I had on our Silver Streak which called for H78-15. If one does some study, one also finds that the generally recommended replacement size is shorter; 225-75/15. That, I did not want.

YOKOHAMA RY215 (size 7R-15 [the old 7.00 x 15])

This is a tire of heavier construction than the Marathon, deeper tread, BUT narrower tread designed for commercial use. I executed full-lock u-turn with these tires on new concrete, old & new aspahlt, as well as gravel. Zero sidewall deflection as the narrow tread and stiff sidewalls caused it to rotate in place. The drawback -- in some instances -- may be that it does not have as much tread width on the road as the Marathons.

Temperatures, in above 100F Texas summer, were lower than the TV with Michelins that last 80,000+ miles when measured.

My other choice would have been the XPS Rib had I opted to go to a taller rim.

Trailer GVWR was 8,000 (and scaled at 7,500-lbs full timing) and tires were rated at 2,040-lbs, so margin was fine. I bought mine through DISCOUNT TIRE who ordered them for me. I installed CENTRAMATICs at the same time.
1990 35' Silver Streak Sterling; 9k GVWR.
2004 DODGE Cummins 305/555; 6-manual; 9k GVWR.
Hensley Arrow. 10-cpm solo, 18-cpm towing
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Old 11-18-2009, 12:08 PM   #28
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Another 15 inch option you might think about is the maxxis ue-168. Its commercial rated, q speed rated, 8ply rated (65#). Maxis rep said it is rated for trailer use. It also has a nylon cap. I purchased 235-75r15, slightly taller but fit fine. 2340# each.

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