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Old 02-23-2012, 11:34 AM   #99
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Why you should read the linked thread to the discussion. What fails, why, [probabilities] and how to spec a set of better tires is what it is about. We don't have shoot in the dark in upsizing and transferring ratings from ST to LT.
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Old 02-23-2012, 01:46 PM   #100
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Greetings

I am somewhat new here and have asked a lot of questions but now I have a comment on this thread about tires. I spent about a week heavily investigating this issue due to the need for replacement of my just acquired AS. I read many posts here and talked to Good Year cust service, Michelin and also Towmax (conglomerate). I discovered that unless you are willing to buy wheels and tires anew, it is best to stay with ST tires. Here is why. The ST tires have two cords on the sidewall; however they are larger diameter cords for handling weight. The 8 versus 10 ply issue is a weight capacity consideration BUT the wheels have to be able to handle the extra pressure of the 10 ply which is 20-30 lbs more. The tires that were on my 2006 Safari 25 were manufactured on the 41st week of 2004!! They were two years old about the time of original sale. The aluminum wheels that come with AS from 2006 (maybe even earlier) through current are designed for about 60 lbs of psi between load and pressure as per AS tech service. When they removed my OEM tires GY Marathons, they were stamped 6 ply. I did a double take. I ended up with Towmax 8 ply. I found them rated highly overall in several discussions. They are also being used by different companies now as OEM tires.While the LT tire is excellent. It is not designed for side forces that a trailer gets pivoting, etc. That is what I was told.
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Old 02-23-2012, 02:58 PM   #101
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Well, in the end you pay your money and you take your chances, I suppose. For now I'm going to go easy on my GYM's, but based upon good reports from those who have so chosen, I'll switch to 16" Tredit T-02 wheels and Michelin LTX M/S (#25516) tires as soon as my GYM's need replacement.
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Old 02-24-2012, 12:02 PM   #102
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It isn't hard to compare specs on ST versus LT tires. We looked up data for GYMs and looked for Michelin LT tires with the same (or very close) values on www.tirerack.com. Lots of tire info, data, survey and reviews on that site.

We only have one axle, so sidewall stress from pivoting isn't a problem. However, for multiple axles, this is done at parking speeds, so heat build-up isn't a factor. Also, stress can be reduced significantly by parking on dirt or gravel, or just sprinkling a little sand along the tire tracks.

Regarding actual plies used in sidewall construction, using "ply rating" to indicate relative sidewall strength has been a common practice with passenger car tires for decades. Very few "4-ply" rated passenger car and LT tires actually have 4 plies. Most have only two and some have only one, even from top rated manufacturers, like Michelin. In fact, the Michelin XPS Rib LT tires we now have on our Bambi are 10-ply rated, but they have only one ply in the sidewall. However, that one is steel.

Do I worry about tire failures anymore? -- No.
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Old 02-24-2012, 12:35 PM   #103
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Originally Posted by Phoenix View Post
It isn't hard to compare specs on ST versus LT tires. We looked up data for GYMs and looked for Michelin LT tires with the same (or very close) values on www.tirerack.com. Lots of tire info, data, survey and reviews on that site.

We only have one axle, so sidewall stress from pivoting isn't a problem. However, for multiple axles, this is done at parking speeds, so heat build-up isn't a factor. Also, stress can be reduced significantly by parking on dirt or gravel, or just sprinkling a little sand along the tire tracks.

Regarding actual plies used in sidewall construction, using "ply rating" to indicate relative sidewall strength has been a common practice with passenger car tires for decades. Very few "4-ply" rated passenger car and LT tires actually have 4 plies. Most have only two and some have only one, even from top rated manufacturers, like Michelin. In fact, the Michelin XPS Rib LT tires we now have on our Bambi are 10-ply rated, but they have only one ply in the sidewall. However, that one is steel.

Do I worry about tire failures anymore? -- No.
Specs aren't always directly comparable between tire types. This is at the heart of the problem of wanting "better than" ST tires when trying to make comparisons to LT's.

Ply rating is out of date by a decade or two. Load Range is even slightly deceptive. Load factor ([k-factor] is where the action is as tires of otherwise same size and load rating can have a K-factor with real differences.

Again, it is easy to want better than ST tires. But it is another thing to get the right replacement in LT (and when moving up from 15" to 16") as trailer tires need to be run at maximum sidewall pressure for best performance.

A tire -- with otherwise good specs for replacement (this is not so obvious as a Tire Rack chart which is also my old way of doing it) -- not run at proper pressure which is full pressure, is a miss for best performance.

An IR thermometer, it turns out, is not an accurate assessment of tire temps. See TM9 on this. Same with TPMS.

The linked thread on RV.net (Revived Tire Thread in Tech Issues, today with over 300-posts, two tire engineers and some well-informed amateurs) goes into all this.

Nailing down the best tire for a TT now has better information, but it up ends some assumptions we've made around here (and on every RV forum).

.
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Old 02-24-2012, 01:02 PM   #104
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Rednax, I don't understand why you say running a tire at full pressure is correct. Tire pressures (except maybe ST's) recommended by the manufacturers are usually far less than the tire's maximum. People are told to increase pressure when carrying a heavy load, though I expect few do on that uncommon time when they get a load of bricks at the brickyard.

I know Airstream, when they install Load Range E, 16" LT's, puts the maximum pressure in them. Some Forum members do the same, some don't.

I can understand that maximum pressure will make the sidewalls a bit stiffer and may decrease potential sway. Is that the reason you said it?

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Old 02-24-2012, 01:24 PM   #105
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There appears to be a "quality/reliability" range in tires used on travel trailers. For highway travel, that appears to be GYMs at the bottom (least reliable) to Michelin XPS Ribs (somewhere near the top). See tire survey results and reviews for both of these tires on www.tirerack.com.

I think all of the analyses seem to center around how much (or how little) can one spend to get a tire that is both reliable and economical/cost effective.

After an expensive GYM blowout that damaged our Bambi, cost $450 in roadside assistance, and led to the purchase of three new ST tires (two of which subsequently failed), I skipped all of the analyses and just bought the best (and most expensive) tires I could find. While this is overkill for many, I only had to buy two wheels and tires, which is worth the peace of mind to me.

If I had to buy six wheels and tires, a little more analysis would have been justified; and I would most likely would have gotten a slightly less durable LT tire (like the Michelin LTX M/S2). However, I am personally not interested in putting another ST tire on my Airstream.

Just another opinion, but from personal experience, to be taken with a grain of salt...
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Old 02-24-2012, 01:42 PM   #106
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phoenix View Post

Just another opinion, but from personal experience, to be taken with a grain of salt...
Less than a grain.

There have been a number of such testimonies from Airstream and other RV owners about Marathons. We drive with less worry since we got the Michelins. They don't lose air like the Marathons did and wear better. We haven't ridden in the trailer, but Michelins are engineered to ride smoothly, so that's a plus too.

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Old 02-24-2012, 08:44 PM   #107
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Rednax, I don't understand why you say running a tire at full pressure is correct. Tire pressures (except maybe ST's) recommended by the manufacturers are usually far less than the tire's maximum. People are told to increase pressure when carrying a heavy load, though I expect few do on that uncommon time when they get a load of bricks at the brickyard.

I know Airstream, when they install Load Range E, 16" LT's, puts the maximum pressure in them. Some Forum members do the same, some don't.

I can understand that maximum pressure will make the sidewalls a bit stiffer and may decrease potential sway. Is that the reason you said it?

Gene
Gene, I've been hearing this from the commercial guys for several years. And sorta ignored the pressure "fiat". My older practice/recommendations were load versus pressure as that was the big truck mantra (and who knows more than them, etc). But the experts (literal experts) and those old timers are emphatic about max pressure to maintain resistance against slip on our kind of trailers.

That RV.net thread is a good'un. Seriously good. See my recent thread on same for a few tidbits and link. Best tire thread anywhere, going back years.

.
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Old 02-24-2012, 08:53 PM   #108
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I saw your new thread here about tires. It was interesting. I'm not sure I can stand another tire thread—I have a limit on how many tire threads I can follow at once.

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Old 02-24-2012, 08:58 PM   #109
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Ignore the ones here, then. They've been superceded. We're out of date as of a few days ago as a result of the Woodalls thread. I've already cleared my bookmarks and permanent files. Bye bye buggy whips.

Viable numbers for a proper match.

.
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Old 04-28-2012, 09:05 AM   #110
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Michelin LTX M/S (LT225/75R 16 E)

Got the new LT tires installed this week. Looking forward to the increased peace of mind that will come with the LTs.

We had or Good Year Marathons for over 5 years, without incident.
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Old 04-28-2012, 10:27 AM   #111
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Got the new LT tires installed this week. Looking forward to the increased peace of mind that will come with the LTs.

We had or Good Year Marathons for over 5 years, without incident.
Very nice. The tires look like Michelins. Where did you get the wheels? I am probably heading the same direction on my next tires.
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Old 04-28-2012, 10:57 AM   #112
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Well, in the end you pay your money and you take your chances, I suppose. For now I'm going to go easy on my GYM's, but based upon good reports from those who have so chosen, I'll switch to 16" Tredit T-02 wheels and Michelin LTX M/S (#25516) tires as soon as my GYM's need replacement.

Good plan, but are these the OEM GYMs. If so, they are approaching their 5 year life span (by many accounts). Watch them closely.
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