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Old 06-25-2009, 09:24 AM   #15
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Paul, an E range tire may be overdoing it for a Bambi. It may, according to some, provide a harsh ride for the trailer. Also, it will have more tread and check to see if it will comfortably fit in the wheel well. And it will last a long, long time and that's ok if you travel a lot, but if you don't (except for one trip to Alaska), the tire tread will last a lot longer than the tire.

I don't know whether your trailer came with a C or D range tire, but don't inflate new tires any more than recommended for the original tire. Inflation pressure is related to the weight carried.

Gene
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Old 06-25-2009, 02:37 PM   #16
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If you're concerned about running 80 psi in a Load Range E tire, some people run 65 psi, like for the LR-D, which would probably soften the ride a little. However, with only one axle, the smaller Bambi's don't have the safety margin of having a second tire on each side of the trailer. When the one tire on that side blows, you're on the rims.

Personally, I prefer the extra safety margin of a tire with a higher load range; and the few extra dollars spent on an "E" instead of a "D" is money well-spent when it cost us $450 and a half-day of our vacation to have a tow truck drive over 100 miles to change our Marathon tire in soft sand. (See details on our blowout elsewhere on this site.)

Also, the Maxxis LR-E tire is rated at 2860 pounds (if I recall correctly), which is only a couple of hundred pounds per tire over the rating of a LR-D tire. But I am counting on the heavier construction and better reliability of that tire to prevent a recurrence of last summer's excitement. Blowouts aren't much fun anywhere, let alone in Mexican Water, Arizona.

By the way, my wife rode a short distance in our trailer to see the difference in the tires (LR-E at 80 psi vs LR-D at 65 psi) and said she couldn't tell the difference. Both Marathon and Maxxis ST tires ride extremely soft compared to truck tires.
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Old 06-25-2009, 02:56 PM   #17
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There are two significant differences in the ST tire and the LT tire. The ST tire is only rated for 65mph and it has a UV inhibitor in the rubber compound. As far as buying an E range tire the Michelin RV tire guide recommends weighing the rig and inflating the tires per their inflation chart. There may not be any real ride quality difference between a D rated tire inflated to 65 psi and an E rated tire inflated at 65 psi.

A previous poster mentioned the Michelin XPS Rib. I have them on my 55 Cruiser and I will be putting them on my CCD when the time comes. As far as I know, they are the only LT tire made with steel belted sidewalls as opposed to the rag sidewalls on other tires.
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Old 06-25-2009, 03:23 PM   #18
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I would agree that keeping air pressure at 65 psi in an E tire will result in a ride closer to a D, but there's more tire there and I think that would make the ride stiffer. Nevertheless, different manufacturer's tires have different characteristics. Our Tundra came with C range Goodrichs, but the ride improved when I put E range Michelins on it, and that's with much, much more tread and some more pressure. Michelin makes a much better tire than Goodrich in every way, ride is a function of the manufacturer as well as other more objective factors.

Load Range D, E, etc. are on the way out just as we have gotten used to not using 6 ply, 8 ply, etc. They have started using numbers, none of which I can remember, but they seem to be from about 110-130 for C to E. Prepare to be confused until we get used to it and then maybe they'll change it again.

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Old 06-25-2009, 04:43 PM   #19
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. . . It's a little unnerving to have tires (Marathons) that you have questions about. I've been watching the innumerable tire threads and while I have had no problems I do have real concerns. There appears no real concensus whether LT or ST tires work better and some have raised questions about the LT ride. Paul
Hi Paul:

I'm glad you have decided to mount your spare tire on a wheel; good choice for wilderness adventure!

When it was time for me to buy new tires for my single axle 1964 19' Globe Trotter that weighs around 3,300 lbs. loaded, I went into the tire dealer's rack room and had him pull down a Marathon ST tire and a load range D LT tire. I looked at the overall construction of each tire and felt the greater thickness of the sidewalls on the LT tires () compared to the relative thinness of the sidewalls on (and overall lighter construction of) the ST tires (). Comparing the two unmounted tires side-by-side sold me on the LT tires because I could see why the LT tires had higher load and speed ratings than comparable ST tires. If I were going to Alaska, I'd choose the LT tire instead of the ST tire and adjust the ride by adjusting tire air pressure.
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Old 06-25-2009, 05:42 PM   #20
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If I recall correctly, trailer tires have weaker sidewalls to provide a softer ride and because when backing, you can put a lot of lateral pressure on the sidewalls, so much so that the wheels can skip sideways. A stiffer sidewall would not give so much under that lateral pressure and could come off the wheel, or jump like a jackalope.

I may not recall correctly and I'm sure, if so, someone will correct me.

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Old 06-26-2009, 08:20 AM   #21
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Our trailer came with D rated tires. It only has one axle so the concern about tire failures, both because of the possible damage and because of weight limit on trailer (4500lbs) and the weight limit on a properly inflated Marathon (2500).

Making tires is not rocket science and the tolerance difference of about 10% (5000 lbs tire limit vs 4500 lb trailer weight) worry me. That's why I'm looking for an alternative with more margin for safety.

Regarding tread life. I don't expect I'll wear out these tires, though we take several trips a year anywhere between 7 and 10,000 miles/year on the road. I plan to replace after 4-5 years.

I've seen this same discussion several times on the forum. Concerns about the ride with E and LT tires. I haven't seen much on reports of damage or problems? Any adverse experiences out there?

Paul
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Old 07-15-2009, 01:49 PM   #22
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Replaced the Marathons with Maxxis, fit fine into the tire well. I went with the E rating.

Of concern, one of the Marathons (about 17,000 miles) had a liner separation. There appeared to be a bubble of air between the interior lining and the body of the tire. Presumably this is one step towards a tire failure.

Quite sobering as I've been compulsive about pressures and the tires were run for the most part in the Northwest, where extremes of temperature are uncommon.

Paul
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Old 07-15-2009, 02:36 PM   #23
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I last drove to Anchorage-Fairbanks in '86 - with hundreds of miles each way over gravel. Lots of pieces of tires. Also, protect your headlamps and radiator from flying gravel - not pea gravel - with 1/4" hardware cloth, the HD screen. There is a lot of traffic on narrow roads, considering...

IMHO, even with much more pavement, carry two mounted spares, all four trailer and tow vehicle's new, best possible quality LR D or E, at no more than ~60 PSI. Use metal valve stems because of flying gravel.

Slow down at all bridges because of frost heaving; it can push up the bridge inches creating a sharp edge which can bottom out your suspension with damage to rims and tires, et al.

I drove on Bridgestones rated AA, from then on a true fan of that brand. From and to my driveway in Dallas was 9,700 miles in 7 weeks.

PREPARE hard so that you CAN play hard and enjoy. IMHO, the trip will change your view of our once Constitutional Republic.
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Old 07-15-2009, 03:23 PM   #24
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This is not our first trip there--last time in a VW bus. It is the first pulling Bambi.

thanks for the advice
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Old 07-15-2009, 04:03 PM   #25
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Do you have 14" or 15" rims? If you have the 15" rims you can go up one range in tire load. (like from C to D) In the 14" rims there isn't much choice. I did a little research on blow outs. Most happend when the temp was high. Many happened as drivers went from cool to hot roads. Drivers that stayed below 65 mph had fewer blowouts. Under inflated tires often blew. Over inflated tires sometimes damaged the wheel. (check the rating of the wheel before going from 50 to 60 psi)
I had to get a new tire for our trailer for our last trip. It had been towed for just a few miles under inflated and was ruined. Check that tire pressure evey morning before you get under way.
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Old 07-20-2009, 08:25 AM   #26
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For Paul headed for Alaska. We had a Goodyear Marathon separate at 55 to 60 MPH on a cool afternoon on our single axle 2005 19' Bambi International. Our first indication was a thumping sensation. I looked in the rear view mirror just in time to see the tread skittering across the highway making life interesting for a group of motorcyclists. The trailer tracked perfectly behind our 2004 Dodge 2500 as we slowed, but remaining pieces of the sidewalls battered the underside of the trailer destroying the moulding ends and denting the rocker panels. We will replace the other two Marathons (spare and other runner) ASAP with better tires. And I will not travel again without two spares on wheels. Take the correct size socket and 1/2 inch drive pull handle and long (12 inch) extension. Make sure you have a jack that will lift the trailer (My truck jack will do the trick).
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Old 07-20-2009, 03:01 PM   #27
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Same trailer and experience as "jimd" last summer, in northern Arizona -- No more Marathons for me (we run Maxxis tires now).
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