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Old 09-27-2015, 01:47 PM   #1
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1967 17' Caravel
Houston , Texas
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Question from New Owner about Tires

Hello Everyone,

My wife and I just purchased a 1967 Caravel after a long 2 year search. She is thrilled beyond words to say the least. Lots of work ahead, first being ..getting it home.

Tires on it were dry rotted and the owners manual said "7:00 x15" tires, nylon"
and the wheels were 15" drop centers.

I want to put the best tires I can on this to start out with...wheels hugs are pretty rusted on so I am thinking new wheels and grease the bearing before driving the 4 hrs home.

Anyone have thoughts on the best brand of tires...and what would be the best tire width as the ones on there look kind of thin...

Thanks for the information and I am sure I'll be asking lots more questions in the future when we get this home and really start looking at the restoration.
Thanks, GH
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Old 09-27-2015, 04:59 PM   #2
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Question from New Owner about Tires

Get ready for lots of ideas about tires ...
I like STs, any brand, replacing the original 7.00x15s on our 75 with 205/75D-15s (slightly smaller in diameter to prevent wheel well contact on the lead edge), the cheaper the better since they'll get replaced at 4 year intervals.
So if it were me, I'd repack the bearings, check the brakes, put on some functional tires and get it home.
It will likely need new axles, so changing rims at that time might work out better.
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Old 09-27-2015, 05:08 PM   #3
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Probably the most common replacement size is 75R15
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Old 09-27-2015, 09:06 PM   #4
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Hello and welcome to Air Forums and the vintage Airstream hobby. Your new Caravel is a very popular trailer. Some folks are quite attracted to the mid sixties vintage due to "the last of the real wood". It is also an era where Airstream was building "top of the line" trailers maybe to help justify the higher cost of the aluminum shell. Plastic parts more significantly infiltrated the trailers during the seventies and there after. Good or bad, plastics are lighter and lower costs, and very functional. I'm sure my Super Duty 6.7 has lots of plastic parts including the intake manifold and oil pan as well as the interior.

Be sure to become a regular contributor to Air Forums as you learn all about your trailer and assess all of its needs. All questions are warmly received and respectfully answered. Even the "what is this thingie". There are a lot of people who have refurbished or restored Caravels with their experiences recorded here.

You are wise to mount new rubber on your trailer before the ride home. I good ST (special trailer) 15" load range D tire in a 205 or 225 75R15 at 50 psi will serve you well in my view. Every Airstreamer has a preference for a tire size or brand. There is no consensus. Same with tow vehicles and same with hitches. Yep, clean, inspect, and grease pack those bearings, adjust the brakes, and get the lights working.

Keep us informed on your progress with your Caravel.

David
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Old 09-28-2015, 12:51 AM   #5
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Agree with all the above advice. Tires are # 1 if you are moving this unit any distance IE more than a mile or so on flat terrain.

For any significant distance beyond, wheel bearings become the significant big issue in my opinion; especially important if the unit has been sitting and not moved for over a year or so; unless the owner had it stored with the tires off the ground and rotated the tires a few times a year, That said if you are towing more than a few miles it is ESSENTIAL to inspect, lube and repair all of the above including the brakes of course before moving the unit any significant distance; my experience says more than 5 miles at town speeds. Rural like I live; my rule is max of 2 miles. Hope this helps.
WLJ
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Old 09-28-2015, 07:42 PM   #6
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like other have said if you are going more than 10ish miles there are a lot more thing to be done than worry about tires.

a lot of ASer have gone to 16" rims and the Michelin LT tires.. there is also bf goodrich which is a michelin in different markings.

the ST tires are ole school and not all they have cracked up to be..

just search "Tire blowouts".. you will not see a michelin or other good quality LT tire mentioned.. it most always Goodyear Marathons.. or Maxi or the other ST tires out the folk get.

just sayin.. and congrats.. not let the fun begin..
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Old 09-29-2015, 12:03 AM   #7
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When you get ready to put her on the road for good you might want to look at Michelin XPS Rib tires, LT225/75R16/E 115/112Q LRE. "Phoenix" has some good info on those tires for single axle trailers. Big bucks, but almost indestructible.
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Old 09-29-2015, 11:19 AM   #8
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Since you also have a Caravel, do you know if the 205 75 15" or 225 75 15" would be a better choice. One tire place gave me a quote for Vanguard 225 tires which are 10ply . That sounds alot like a airplane ply and I worry about going overboard on ply. what would you think about the Michelin XPS LT225/75R 16 E tire the member Howard L. references below. Can I use a 16" tire on the Caravel without it rubbing the sides. Thanks for any help
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Old 09-29-2015, 12:07 PM   #9
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Question from New Owner about Tires

For me the process evolves into a math and geometry problem - in my opinion best solved by the user.
You'll need the GVWR of your trailer to determine what load rating will support the weight - C, D, E.
There are charts available online that tell the diameter of different tire sizes for the geometry part of what will or won't fit.
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Old 10-01-2015, 08:35 AM   #10
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7.00-15's are still available, but your local tire shop will have to order them and the selection is sparse. ST tires are more readily available, but while there are more brands, many people have had issues with them. Do some reading to get the gist.

A 7.00-15LT 8 PR (Load Range D) has an OD of 29.6" a width of 8.0" on a 5.5" rim, with an allowable rim width range of 5" to 6 1/2", and a load carrying capacity of 2040# at 60 psi (single) with a speed restriction of 75 mph unless otherwise indicated.

An ST205/75R15 Load Range D has an OD of 27.1", a width of 8.0" om a 5.5" rim with an allowable rim width range of 5" to 6 1/2", and a load carrying capacity of 2150# at 65 psi and a speed restriction of 65 mph.

So an ST205/75R15 is a good choice except for the diameter, which may or may not be a problem. Those tires probably need to be ordered as well.
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Old 10-01-2015, 10:29 AM   #11
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Hi, you should be aware, and may already be, that Caravels apparently have Spindles that were "under-engineered", and can fail in a big way. If you search the forums you should be able to find a lot of discussion regarding the issue - this assumes it has the original axle set up.
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Old 10-01-2015, 10:42 AM   #12
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I would suggest that you consider using someone like America's Tire or an equivalent. I chose them because they have outlets in areas that we intend to travel.
Tires are only good for 5 years or so but I do not believe that is a reason to skimp. The cost of Tires is minimal considering how much you will have invested in any restoration. Also important to stay with a Trailer Tire and the correct Ply.
The Axle will be of the most concern since as stated it has a known fault.

Good Luck! PS I chose Carlisle because I stayed with the original 14.5 Wheels simply because they were original and were still there, the tires are 7-14.5.
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Old 10-01-2015, 11:27 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CapriRacer View Post

A 7.00-15LT 8 PR (Load Range D) has an OD of 29.6" a width of 8.0" on a 5.5" rim, with an allowable rim width range of 5" to 6 1/2", and a load carrying capacity of 2040# at 60 psi (single) with a speed restriction of 75 mph unless otherwise indicated.

An ST205/75R15 Load Range D has an OD of 27.1", a width of 8.0" om a 5.5" rim with an allowable rim width range of 5" to 6 1/2", and a load carrying capacity of 2150# at 65 psi and a speed restriction of 65 mph.

So an ST205/75R15 is a good choice except for the diameter, which may or may not be a problem. Those tires probably need to be ordered as well.
225 75R15 has about a 28 diameter and is closer to the 7:00 15
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Old 10-02-2015, 07:52 AM   #14
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Quote:
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225 75R15 has about a 28 diameter and is closer to the 7.00-15
Yes, but it is wider - 8.8" wide on a 6" rim, with an allowable rim width range of 6" to 7". So even if we mount it on a 5.5" wheel - which you are not supposed to do, that's 0.3" more on each side. That MIGHT be a problem.
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