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Old 07-17-2016, 01:44 PM   #43
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Thanks, Capri (for #40). It really is confusing. I saw a YouTube video that said if a tire in the US doesn't start with a letter, assume it is a P. I'm guessing that's due to your explanation (the same provided by Michelin).
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Old 07-17-2016, 02:28 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by CapriRacer View Post
There seems to be a bit of confusion about the difference between a P type tire, a Passenger Car tire, an LT tire and a Light Truck tire - and whether or not a particular version of a Michelin tire needs to be derated for use on a trailer.

The easiest way to explain this is to point out that the words *LT tire* refer to a load table in The Tire and Rim Association (TRA) yearbook. The tire will ALWAYS have the letters *LT* in front of the size - except to say that some people forget, perhaps thinking they are not important. They are wrong!

These tires are designed for use on Light Trucks - a vehicle designation, meaning a vehicle designed to haul cargo or people up to 10,000# GVW (Gross Vehicle Weight) - and a bit beyond. This GVW limitation is mostly a government regulation kind of thing and the tire load limitation doesn't quite match up - but it is close.

But LT type tires can be used in other applications with some adjustments - such as trailers, SUV's, buses, mobile cranes, road pavers, etc. It is those adjustments - which are delineated in the TRA yearbook - that guide folks when using those tires in those applications.

But what about small pickup trucks? Are they light trucks and would they use LT tires? Well, they are Light Trucks, but as a general rule, they use P type tires.

So what are P type tires? These are sometimes referred to as *Passenger Car Tires*, since that is the use they are designed for. And here is where is gets a bit more convoluted.

Tires designed to US P type standards (that is, according TRA standards) have the letter *P* in front of the size. But tires designed to European or Asian tire standards (ETRTO - European Tyre and Rim Technical Organization - and JATMA - Japanese Automobile Tyre Manufacturers Association) do not use the letter *P*.

But all 3 of these types of P type tires can be used in other applications if certain adjustments are made. For example, if a P type tire is used on a Light Truck, or a Trailer, it has to be derated by a factor of 1.1. This applies regardless of whether or not the tire was designed to US standards (with the *P*) or European or Asian Standards (without the *P*)

Further complications: Since a tire on a small pickup would be used differently than a tire on a large car, tire manufacturers would design the tires slightly differently. However, the size designations would be the same. So you will find tire retailers listing certain lines of tires as *Light Truck* tires - referring to the vehicle - while the tire itself could be designed to P type tire standards. Confusing? You bet!!

The tire in question is a 235/75R15 109T XL Michelin Defender LTX M/S. Since it doesn't have the letters *LT* in front of the size, it is not an *LT tire* - that is built to the US LT load table. It also doesn't have the letter *P* in front of the size, so it isn't built to the US P type tire load table. In fact it has no letter in front at all, so it is either built to the European P type standard or the Asian type standard - and Michelin themselves say it is the former and not the latter. (and that makes sense given that they are a French company).

And a short cut to tell if you are dealing with a P type tire or an LT type tire: P type tires come in Standard Load (SL) and Extra Load (XL), while LT type tires come in Load Ranges (or the obsolete and discarded designation Ply Rating)

I hope this clarifies things.
Your right, my tires do not have a P type or LT type on them. Its seems Michelin wants to sell my tires to passenger car consumers as well as light truck owners . Based on how Michelin now words their advertising on their web site confirms this fact. They make a tire they advertise as a LT tire, handle the load requirements of a pickup truck but will not stamp it so . Here we go again ..... de-rate or not to de-rate, is it a truck tire or really a Passenger tire on steroids ?. They are on my trailer now & my Airstream is not talking
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Old 07-17-2016, 04:01 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by OTRA15 View Post
Thanks for the new information. We are also considering a similar upgrade for our single-axle 2014 FC20 (gross weight 5000 lbs.).

Airstream pegs your gross weight at 4500 lbs., and I assume that this does not include any stone guards, rear bumper, or other options you may have added like more awnings, etc.. Even without de-rating the tires, and without options, you are right at the limit. Curious whether there were any other 15" Michelin tires available with a higher load rating than you got? Or do we have to go to 16" for E and higher weight ratings?

The Michelin site is not the most user-friendly, and seems to contain old info. When we get ready to upgrade, our tire dealer will have to help sort this out, perhaps in the Fall.

If you have time, could you post the clearance of your tires at the sidewall to the wheel well, and also at the front or rear outside corner of the tread near the closest aluminum bottom corner?

Thanks,

Peter
Hi Peter .... Our 2016 Sport 22' has been weighed at a CAT scale with both gas tanks/spare & weighed in at 3,100 lbs hitched to our tow vehicle unloaded. However we now travel with the spare in the back of our van because I find it would be easier to get at it if needed (can not remove tire when trailer is hitched). Also one of the 20lb gas tanks is also kept in the van because we use it for other things so the total weight is a little less now. We do not travel with any liquids in our tanks and everything else is put in our cargo van except about 10-15 lbs of personal clothes in the closet. So our total trailer weight is a little over 3,000 lbs. Having said this I decided to get rid of the GYM ST tires as soon as I brought the trailer home from the dealer. I even called Airstream to get an estimate for them to modify/install 16' Michelins but decided to stay with a 15 " tire & the New Defender 15" XLT was the only Michelin that would fit/meet my load requirements with a 15" rim. If you have seen the pictures I posted of the GYM & the Michelins side by side you can see the Michelins are just a tad larger. About a 1/2 inch wider & a 1/2 inch higher which comes out to only 1/4" loss in clearances all the way around. Here is a picture showing the clearance of one of the tires to the inner side wheel well. The picture makes it look closer than it really is. As for the inner wheel well top I can still fit my fist (5 fingers) between the top of the tire & top of the inner wheel well.
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Old 07-17-2016, 04:25 PM   #46
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.... Our 2016 Sport 22' has been weighed at a CAT scale with both gas tanks/spare & weighed in at 3,100 lbs hitched to our tow vehicle unloaded.
That is interesting as out 2017 Sport 22FB has a published Unit Base Weight (w/ LP & Batteries) of 3,634 lbs. Did your weight distribution hitch move over 500 lbs to the tow vehicle? What is the tongue weight?
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Old 07-17-2016, 05:14 PM   #47
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Jcole - 3000#? Those Michelins will be fine!!! You get nearly 2000# each. No worries. And - so glad you went with the white side out! 😀 (Bloodhound optional equipment...)

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Old 07-17-2016, 06:44 PM   #48
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That is interesting as out 2017 Sport 22FB has a published Unit Base Weight (w/ LP & Batteries) of 3,634 lbs. Did your weight distribution hitch move over 500 lbs to the tow vehicle? What is the tongue weight?
I just got out the cat Scale paperwork = Trailer axle hitched to the tow vehicle 3140 Lbs. I could not weigh the tongue weight on the Cat scale because I did not want to un-hitch with a line of tractor trailers waiting inline behind me. So I weighed the tongue with a Sherline 2000 tongue scale which weighs at 50 Lb intervals. The tongue scale gave a scale reading half way between the 400 to 450 Lb indicator with LP tanks & spare. The trailer was unloaded . So those numbers would put the total trailer weight within about 70-100 Lbs of the listed tongue/trailer weight of Airstreams listed specs. I have a Nissan 3500 HD cargo van with the factory tow package with a total tow capacity of close to 10,000Lbs. The hitch being a Class IV straight ball hookup, I do not use a special weight distribution hitch. Though I would assume the tow package hitch does provided some weight distribution, it really is not need with this kind of tongue weight. When the trailer tongue is loaded on to the ball hitch the rear of my van does not move, the vans inside load capacity is close to 3,000 Lbs with the base weight of this tow vehicle close to 7,200 lbs. with the way I now have it configured inside with twin beds with over head cabinets. Its a beast but its rides like a luxury hi-end pickup.
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Old 07-17-2016, 06:48 PM   #49
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Jcole - 3000#? Those Michelins will be fine!!! You get nearly 2000# each. No worries. And - so glad you went with the white side out! �� (Bloodhound optional equipment...)

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For what they cost me with new rims, you bet the words Michelin was going to be seen & not hidden.
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Old 07-17-2016, 07:02 PM   #50
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Jcole - 3000#? Those Michelins will be fine!!! You get nearly 2000# each. No worries. And - so glad you went with the white side out! �� (Bloodhound optional equipment...)

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What's the price for the " Guard " dog ?
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