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Old 08-15-2009, 02:50 AM   #1
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Michelin XPS Ribs (225/75x16) on our 19-foot Bambi

I tried to install Michelin XPS Ribs (225/75x16) on our 19-foot Bambi, but the tire dealer couldn't get the wheel and tire into the wheel wells. Also, my measurements appeared to indicate that even if they had deflated the tire and somehow managed to get it installed, there wouldn't be very much clearance. I was really concerned about interference if the axle moved around much on a rough road, or I hit a big hole.

Have those of you who switched to XPS Ribs on 16-inch rims on the 19-foot Bambi or Safari experienced the same problem? What did you do to get the wheel in the wheel well, and was there sufficient clearance?
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Old 08-20-2009, 02:47 PM   #2
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Well, I guess there isn't anyone interested in switching to 16-inch wheels and XPS Ribs...
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Old 08-20-2009, 03:23 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phoenix View Post
I tried to install Michelin XPS Ribs (225/75x16) on our 19-foot Bambi, but the tire dealer couldn't get the wheel and tire into the wheel wells.
Hi Phoenix:

Did your tire dealer remove the grease cap from the outer end of your trailer's axle when he tried to install the wheel and tire? Sometimes that creates more "room" to get the wheel and tire assembly mounted.
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Old 08-20-2009, 04:43 PM   #4
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You picked one of the best tires on the road. Too bad it didn't work out. I'd like to see them make that tire in a 15. I'd buy some tomorrow if they did.
If you try the dust cap removal and it works for you please let us know.
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Old 08-20-2009, 11:24 PM   #5
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Thanks for the responses. There are a couple of people that made the switch to the 16-inch wheels and XPS Ribs, but I'm not sure it was on the 19-foot Bambi. I am hoping they will tell us their secret.

I am running Maxxis tires now, but would like to make this switch in a couple of years when these wear out or fail. Otherwise, I also wish Michelin would make these all-steel tires in 225/75x15. It appears that this size is pretty common on trailers, and it would seem like there would be a pretty good market for them.

I sure wish I had figured out how to get the 16-inch wheels and tires on our Airstream before I purchased the Maxxis tires. They are fine for now, but I'd rather have put that money down on a permanent fix, instead of a bandaid.
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Old 07-15-2010, 09:14 AM   #6
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Someone just gave me two st235/80 R16 tires.. I was thinking about putting them on my 1999 Bambi cause i had a blowout yesterday.. Glad i checked here first.. Thanks...
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Old 07-15-2010, 10:51 AM   #7
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XPS Tire Price

Tirerack shows the Michelin XPS Rib @ $250 each. That is one expensive solution.
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Old 07-15-2010, 05:13 PM   #8
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Tirerack shows the Michelin XPS Rib @ $250 each. That is one expensive solution.

Ya, price is the only downside to that tire.
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Old 07-15-2010, 07:32 PM   #9
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I had BFG Commercial T/A 16" 225/75-16 on my 19CCD almost since I got it 5 years ago. They ran great with no clearance issues, except that they had to go on/off the trailer deflated. 235/80-16 tires will be way too tall for any Airstream trailer use, unfortunately.

I have been running the XPS Rib on my '04 Sprinter van for over 50K now and the tires still look like they have a lot of life left. These are supposed to be 80,000 mile tires in commercial use, and my van, weighing a full 8000 lbs all the time, is a testament to the quality of these tires.

Expensive...yes. But what is your safety and piece of mind worth???
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Old 07-15-2010, 07:42 PM   #10
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General Grabber HTS 235/75 X15

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phoenix View Post
I tried to install Michelin XPS Ribs (225/75x16) on our 19-foot Bambi, but the tire dealer couldn't get the wheel and tire into the wheel wells.... What did you do to get the wheel in the wheel well, and was there sufficient clearance?
After a significant search I found a full set of a few week old tires from General for the '78 - General Grabber HTS 235-75-15, 109T load rating, 2271 lbs each at 51 psi. Sizes were quoted on 6 1/2 rims, but the fit range was 6" to 8".

Works for me - at least I know I'm better off than with the ST tires on it previously.
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Old 07-16-2010, 01:08 AM   #11
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I had BFG Commercial T/A 16" 225/75-16 on my 19CCD almost since I got it 5 years ago. They ran great with no clearance issues, except that they had to go on/off the trailer deflated. 235/80-16 tires will be way too tall for any Airstream trailer use, unfortunately.

I have been running the XPS Rib on my '04 Sprinter van for over 50K now and the tires still look like they have a lot of life left. These are supposed to be 80,000 mile tires in commercial use, and my van, weighing a full 8000 lbs all the time, is a testament to the quality of these tires.

Expensive...yes. But what is your safety and piece of mind worth???

I have heard that the BFG's are a good tire although I have no direct use with them, but I do agree with you 100% about the XPS Rib tires. I have used them on dually trucks for the last 15 years and on equipment trailers with no issues. They're one tough tire. Yes, they are worth the extra $'s.
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Old 07-16-2010, 03:28 AM   #12
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The Michelin website and some tire store websites give the outer diameter of each tire they make. They are not all the same.

I thought the Rib was more tire than necessary for my trailer and used LTX instead. Each trailer has different cutouts and different spaces between tires for the 2 axle trailers. I measured and measured to make sure I had the right size for the upgrade to 16". Also make sure you get the right wheel with the proper offset. Mine is 0˚ and some tire stores don't pay attention to offset. I found the proper offset on the Airstream webpage, but it wasn't easy finding the specs.

Doing the research on changing wheels and tires was mind numbing, and I think I knew for a while more than I ever wanted to know about it, but like Lew implies, tires are really important to your safety and peace of mind.

Gene
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Old 07-16-2010, 08:22 AM   #13
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Guess i will stick to my Goodyear Marathons.. Thanks everyone..
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Old 07-19-2010, 03:31 PM   #14
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Luckily, I only have two tires on the ground, so the overall cost is lower than for those of you who have 4 or 6. However, after a blowout, $250 per tire doesn't sound so bad for the extra peace of mind, compared to the same or more spent repairing the Bambi.

Lots of alligators on Arizona highways this summer -- I wonder how many of those are Marathons?
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