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Old 08-31-2009, 10:49 AM   #1
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LT vs ST - replacing Marathons

I wonder if anyone can recommend any LT tires for my '07 20' Safari. From what I have gathered here on the forums and talking with Airstream, the ST tires are made for more sitting, while the LT tires can handle more driving, higher heat and perhaps faster speeds and heavier loads. BOTH of the original Marathons on my trailer have blown, causing significant body damage. The first one blew after just a year. It blew out in Arizona when it was over 100 degrees. It was probably our 4th day of long driving in hot weather. The other tire blew a year later, again after long days of driving in hot weather. Now that I need a new set, I am thinking that a load range E Light Truck tire might be better suited for my traveling needs. Any suggestions? Thanks.
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Old 08-31-2009, 11:04 AM   #2
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p.s. - my current tire size is 225/75/15. It looks like any LT tire would need a 16 rim...so unless I wanted to buy new rims, maybe sticking to the Maxxis 8008 Load Range E would be the best bet for now?
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Old 08-31-2009, 11:08 AM   #3
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ST's have two other attributes. One is the extra UV compounds, the other is the ability to flex on the sidewall to help on tandem axles when you are pivoting the trailer. This prevents the tire bead from coming away from the wheel. With a 20' trailer, your D rated tires provide plenty of reserve on load capacity. There are however E rated ST tires out there. I'm using them on my Classic.

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Old 08-31-2009, 12:26 PM   #4
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Tires

I went with the Eagle alloy wheels (most economical) Model 058, Part Number 0589-7788.
The Load Range for these wheels is over 3000 lbs.
The tires are the B. F. Goodrich Commercial T/A LT22575R16 Load Range D.
Unfortunately they do not make the LRD any more.
Just go with the LRE and never more than 60PSI.
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Old 08-31-2009, 01:15 PM   #5
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Akurat makes a 7.00 x 15 bias-ply, load range E, tire. Carlisle makes a similar one, but only load range-D, if I'm not mistaken. I've got the Akurats on my Overlander, no problems with them yet.
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Old 08-31-2009, 02:58 PM   #6
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I have another thread out there that asks people about using 16-inch wheels with 225/75x16 Michelin XPS Ribs, but I haven't gotten feedback from anyone that has successfully made this change. Maybe someone will respond in this thread to indicate if these will fit.

I am currently running Maxxis LR-E 225/75x15 tires in the Arizona heat (it's been 113-115 lately!), after the first two Marathons failed. So far, so good, but I'd rather be running the XPS Ribs.
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Old 08-31-2009, 05:37 PM   #7
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It seems like a good idea to get 16" wheels and find some LT tires. I would prefer to do it at some point anyway, so why not now. So how do I know the correct size to get? Is it just a matter of increasing the diameter and the other numbers stay the same, so if I've got 225/75/15 now, I just get 225/75/16? I know for the wheels there is also bolt pattern and width to consider, which I have no clue about...

I talked to Kevin at Airstream and they offer a 16" Tredit rim with a Goodyear Wrangler HT tire Load Range E for $299. Doesn't seem like the best combination for the buck. Seems like he'd have to know all the specs of what will fit on my particular trailer, though, no? This information does not appear to be in any documentation I received with the trailer.
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Old 08-31-2009, 07:57 PM   #8
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Michelin XPS Rib

The XPS RIB has the same outside dimentions as the Commercial T/As.
The real difference is the way the body is constucted.
Whats important is the Speed Rating (the tires overall ability to withstand heat).
Its constructed like a real truck (steel cord body).
The thing is that Michelin is very proud of them and probally rightly so, however, BF Goodrich is owned by Michelin.
Thing about the supposed "extra added UV protection" is that the STs, on the 31' trailers don't last long enough for the "additional protection" to make a difference. The tires are not rotting, they are comming apart.
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Old 09-12-2009, 10:14 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silversnail View Post
I wonder if anyone can recommend any LT tires for my '07 20' Safari. From what I have gathered here on the forums and talking with Airstream, the ST tires are made for more sitting, while the LT tires can handle more driving, higher heat and perhaps faster speeds and heavier loads. BOTH of the original Marathons on my trailer have blown, causing significant body damage. The first one blew after just a year. It blew out in Arizona when it was over 100 degrees. It was probably our 4th day of long driving in hot weather. The other tire blew a year later, again after long days of driving in hot weather. Now that I need a new set, I am thinking that a load range E Light Truck tire might be better suited for my traveling needs. Any suggestions? Thanks.
After replacing all four Marathons (225 x 75 15LR D) TWICE in the past 3 years on our 2000 30' Excella, I've found a solution to the Goodyear problem. Get rid of them!
On a recent trip to Indiana, and after a Marathon "exploded" on I-65 in Birmingham, AL, I found a tire dealer who had four Carlisle 225 x 75 15E in stock. Recommended pressure is 85 PSI.
Needless to say, Goodyear products are now part of our past lives, and will not be revisited!
Airstream should know better than trying to use a load range D tire.
For whatever it's worth
Larry
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Old 09-12-2009, 10:42 AM   #10
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If your wheel wells have the room I wouldn't be afraid of buying 3 16" wheels (I assume you have the spare?). It's not that much cost especially compared to repairing body damage from a blow out. I just upgraded the wheels on my 16' CCD from 14 to 15" - had to do some minor trimming on the wheel well openings for clearance, but not a big deal at all if you have a hack saw and some aviation snips. I'm already thinking I should have gone from 14 to 16" wheels - so I could use the LT rated tires. I thought going up by two sizes would be too much, but once I had the 15" on, it looks like there would be room for the 16".

Buying a tire for it's 'sitting' properties, at the expense of blow-outs while under way - what sense does that make? I'd rather replace the tires every year or two, than worry about a possible blow out every time I go someplace.

I'm not saying that ST tires always blow out and LT tires never do - just that if, in your mind the LT tires are 'better' against blow outs - don't be afraid to look into the larger wheel size. Take your trailer to some good tire & wheel shops, and ask for their opinion about the larger size.

To be fair to the Marathons and ST tires in general - I never had any trouble with my original Marathon tires - replaced them because they got to that 5 year point where many say they need to be replaced. But I went with Maxxis ST-rated tires because of all the bad stories (like yours.....) about the Marathons. I couldn't find much in the way of LT tires for the 15" wheels or I'd have probably gone with them.

You can always sell your original wheels and offset the cost of buying the bigger ones. Lots of people with boat trailers seem to like to upgrade from their steel wheels to the aluminum ones - I had no trouble selling mine.
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Old 09-12-2009, 10:55 AM   #11
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The Airstream Tire Debacle

OK, I am once again pondering the trailer tire debacle.

Lucy's history with this issue is as follows:

- In her first 12,000 miles from new, Lucy suffered three catastrophic tire failures (blowouts) with the original equipment Goodyear Marathon ST's.

- All of Lucy's Marathons were replaced with Maxxis 8008 E's. These lasted about just under two years and 28,000 miles. Even though there appeared to be plenty of tread left, two of the Maxxis developed a center tread bulge indicating internal tread separation. Lucy was in the middle of a long excursion when this happened. We ended up replacing all four of her tires with the same type Maxxis E's in Quartzsite, Arozona. We run our Maxxis at 72 psi.

- Lucy is now about 10,000 miles into her new Maxxis with no problems.

I have considered going to Michelin LT's for Lucy, but when I crunch the numbers, I'm not sure that this is the smartest move.

I will use all round number to demonstrate my thinking. The Maxxis E's run about $100 each and easily last 25,000 miles. To go to the Michelin LT's, Lucy would need new wheels at $100 each, and the Michelins go for $200 each. I would anticipate that the LT's would give me 35,000 miles of trouble free operation. At this rate, it would take about 150,000 miles to break even on a cost basis.

Each direction has it's benefits. The LT's are best for higher speed towing. The ST's are designed and beefed up for trailer use.

I am still torn as to which direction to go.

Brian
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Old 09-12-2009, 01:05 PM   #12
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Another tire thread. Well, I will ramble on as I try to sort this out in my own mind from all the gazillion posts I've read because I am unsure what to do. Maybe this will help summarize some of endless tire talk.

Brian, your analysis is right on so far as it goes. Whether the 16" wheels fit in the space is another issue. It appears to require trimming off a little aluminum. I'm sure I could do it, not sure I want to.

I am also concerned with the issue of backing the trailer with the LT's—if the angle is tight enough on tandem axles, the tires can skip sideways. That's a lot of lateral force on the sidewalls and I wonder whether LT's could handle it.

I know others have made the switch and don't report LT's coming off the wheels so far as I know.

Since I do a lot more driving on hot days at 65 than I do backing at 2 mph, going with LT's makes some sense. And does the increased UV resistance in ST's make any difference when most of the year (about 75-80% in our case) they are covered? Maybe we could bring the covers with us and put them on when we travel and that would add some more protection. Another advantage of LT's is they should be better in snow. We keep pushing the climate on traveling closer and closer to winter—in the Rockies winter can start in September to December, end in March to June. I am not looking to tow in snow, but it is inevitable we will have to some day.

I am a great fan of Michelins and keep hoping they will make a 15" tire in the right size (checked website today—no 15"). What are the alternatives in LT tires? There are other tire mfrs that make good LT tires. I looked at the reviews of tires in Consumer Reports and they make no sense to me (they rate Michelins pretty low while our personnel experience is they are great tires—ride well, great in snow, stop well, last a long, long time with great traction even when tread is getting low). There don't seem to be any reliable ratings I could find that tell me what I want to know.

And if you are going to a 16" wheel, how much would steel wheels cost? Could I get aftermarket hubcaps for them? I could live with them, though I'm not sure Barb could.

There are lots of other threads on this issue. Some advocate not using E range tires because they will give a rougher ride than D range. However, the E range Michelin tires I put on my truck ride much better than the C range Goodrich's it came with. Michelin may have bought Goodrich, but maybe that's their cheap tire line. And others claim using bias ply tires provides too rough a ride for an Airstream. I tend to agree with that statement because bias ply tires are built for heavy duty use at lower speeds as I understand it. Radials make more sense to me for highway use.

Since ST tires are only speed rated at 65 mph, one good reason for going to an LT tire is getting a higher speed rating and providing a margin of safety, especially when it's hot.

It seems after considering all these variables, most people who refuse to buy Marathons, buy Maxxis ST tires if only because you can get them in a 15" wheel and they appear to have a better constructed tire to prevent tread separation and counteract the speed rating problem. Some go with Marathons, sometimes only because they are easier to find, especially on the road when a tire fails. Some go to a 16" wheel and some look for a 15" LT tire—some picking Carlisles, though it has been said Carlisle has cheapened the tire that was once well thought of.

Today the US gov't is putting high tariffs on Chinese made tires. This may make some tires hard to find and I believe Maxxis tires are Chinese made.

Then there are tires that appear to be SUV tires that are speed rated over 100 mph, have reasonably high weight ratings and are lower pressure tires—two are Michelin LTX M/S (a tire I have used in the past on light trucks with great success), 225/75 R 15, rated at 1,874 lbs. at 30 psi, and Pirelli Scorpion ATR, 2,039 lbs at 51 lbs. Both would exceed the weight of my trailer, though not by much for the Michelin (196 lbs over GWVR; Pirelli, 856 lbs). Neither would be a D range tire, but those type of tire ratings (which replaced plies) are disappearing and numbers are being used called "load index". It is possible that these tires could have a maximum air pressure higher than the nominal numbers, but you'd have to look at the tire to find out. So, why wouldn't these tires work?

We have something over 15,000 miles on the OEM Marathons and have about 6,000 or more miles planned for travel this year. I had figured on getting new tires after that. So far no problems except for brain confusion.

Gene
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Old 09-12-2009, 01:21 PM   #13
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I'm having Maxxis load range D tires installed on Tuesday before I leave for Zion later in the week. The original Marathons have about 12-15000 miles on them with no issues but after reading these threads I want peace of mind with the new tires. I guess I'll never wear out trailer tires, just replace on a schedule to try to keep them reliable.
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Old 09-22-2009, 12:17 PM   #14
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Hi All,
Need your help! Well, unfortunately or perhaps fortunately, it is time to replace my Marathon tires. My 2005 19' Bambi has the original tires which are ST225 75R15. I just did a walk around and noticed the one tire is splitting! I am grateful to have noticed it now as this could have been a disaster on the road. Question: What do you recommend I replace these 2 tires with? I live in Az, travel to and from CA with Bambi and plan on longer trips in the future. From what I have read and seen, I haven't any confidence in the Goodyear Marathons. I need to replace ASAP; any suggestions/advice are greatly appreciated.
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