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Old 11-30-2012, 09:56 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by BlackAces View Post
Any tire that has a DOT certification for highway service can carry passengers. Here is a reference that has each state’s restrictions.

http://www.towingworld.com/articles/TowingLaws.htm

BlackAces
Appreciate the link. It includes requirements for towed cars, and I'm about to buy a toad to pull behind my Interstate, so your timing is perfect. Couln't find anything on the chart about tires, though.

If you want to see what the Code of Federal Regulations says about tires, here's the link: eCFR — Code of Federal Regulations

49 CFR 571.109, pneumatic and specialty tires;
49 CFR 571.110, motorhomes and trailers under 10,000 pounds;
49 CFR 571.119, vehicles over 10,000 pounds and motorcycles;
49 CFR 571.120, motorhomes and trailers over 10,000 pounds;
49 CFR 571.129, non-pneumatic tires (donut spares fall into this category);
49 CFR 571.139, radial tires for light vehicles.

I've quit supporting any particular position on the matter of ST vs. LT tires. Feel free to read the regs and decide for yourselves.
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Old 11-30-2012, 10:49 AM   #30
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Jamujoe made a good point about balancing. Does anyone do it? Do they come balanced from the factory? I have to believe that an out of balance tire would run hotter than one running true.
Maybe it's time to get some Centramatics.

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Old 11-30-2012, 11:07 AM   #31
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I have read many of the tire threads in their entirety and my eyeballs are spinning like the wheels on a slot machine.

One of the major points made was safety which would include the weight safety factor which was mentioned as being 15% of the GVW.

The much maligned GYM ST225/75R15D has a max weight rating of 2,540 pounds at 65 psi. Four times that equals 10,160 pounds of load capacity. The 31 foot Airstream models have a GVW of 10,000 pounds and come from the factory with this tire. Hmm, a 160 pound margin of the GVW?

The highly touted Michelin LT225/75R16E in the threads has a load capacity of 2,680 pounds at 80 psi. Four times that equals 10, 720 pounds of load capacity. Is that a 720 pound margin?

Where is the much mentioned 10 to 15% weight safety factor?

Just looking at the GVW on the data plate on the trailer here, not tongue weight.

If one counts the number of discreet posters to the tire threads, the total number of posters is a very small percentage (under 1%) of the total user population of the GYM tire just in the Airstream world. There were no verifiable statistics on the GYM tire failures presented, just personal experiences. I believe that if there really was a 50% failure rate in the general GYM tire population, these tires would not be on the market.

I also read where folks are running in excess of 65 mph which is the recommended maximum speed for thee GYM per some of the posts. Higher speeds build more heat which in turn leads to tire failure.

In the posts was a comment about replacing tires at the three or four year mark and at as low as 5,000 miles of use. Replacing all four tires is about a $600 dollar expense. We also have storage expense, both at home (if one cannot store the unit beside their home) and on the road. We have to carry liability and comprehensive insurance. Their is an electric bill if the unit is plugged in at home, etc.

If one is concerned about expense, then perhaps this is not the best hobby. Maintenance costs money, just ask the airlines. They change those tires regularly after so many landings and cost a lot more than a GYM. Tires are a maintenance item, period.

Many folks in the forums appear to disagree with the factory recommendations. Yet I did not read about anyone wanting to exceed the posted GVW for their trailer. Why not? It is just a recommendation like tire pressure or tire size.

My concept of the trailer is that it for leisure use. Thus a self imposed 55 mph speed is easier both on me, the TV and the tires on the trailer and I use less fuel.

I have used Michelin tires on all of my 4 wheeled vehicles for years and change them out long before getting to the wear bars or after several years have passed. I think they are a great tire. I am sure they would work fine on a trailer if there was a US version LT 225/75R15D tire for a 15" wheel. The P (as in passenger) 235/75R XL is still available in Canada with a max load of 1,985 pounds at 50 psi (or perhaps a Load Range C rating). Four of them are rated as 7,940 pounds. That would carry the weight of a 25FB with a GVW of 7,300 pounds with a 640 pound weight safety margin.

That is NOT the recommended minimum tire specification. I wonder if the insurance company would walk away from a claim because of intentionally using too small a rated tire? Would they walk away from a claim with a LT tire as it is not the specified type tire? I would really get it in writing from the insurance carrier that my coverage continues if I use an LT or P instead of a ST tire on my trailer.

Replacing tires is like replacing light bulbs and any other consumable item in the trailering experience. I would not be surprised that if the tire pressures are kept where recommended, speeds are kept down and the tires were replaced on a low mileage or elapsed time period, that one would have a low probability of a tire failure.

YMMV
This is a lengthy post, but as near as I can tell you have asked two questions. I will address those.

1. "Where is the much mentioned 10 to 15% weight safety factor?"

This figure was posted by a tire engineer and is the amount by which the maximum load rating of a LT tire should be reduced when it used on a trailer.

2. "Many folks in the forums appear to disagree with the factory recommendations. Yet I did not read about anyone wanting to exceed the posted GVW for their trailer. Why not? It is just a recommendation like tire pressure or tire size."

In order for you to get an answer to this question, you will need to find one of those individuals who appears to disagree with the factory ratings. I personally do not disagree with the factory ratings and do not exceed any of them. I would only do so in a bonafide emergency and would do so very cautiously.

The rest of your post is, in my opinion, your opinions, and I respect your right to hold and express them. Although I do not agree with some of them

Ken
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Old 11-30-2012, 11:14 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by daveswenson View Post
Jamujoe made a good point about balancing. Does anyone do it? Do they come balanced from the factory? I have to believe that an out of balance tire would run hotter than one running true.
Maybe it's time to get some Centramatics.

Dave
My tires came balanced from the factory. At the advice of the dealer, I had my new wheels and tires balanced when installed. I also use Centramatics. When it come to issues that I consider to be safety related, I am a "belt and at least two suspenders" kind of a guy. I learned that in the proffesion I worked in, and any of you who fly should be thankful.

Ken
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Old 12-01-2012, 08:00 AM   #33
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Ken,
I understand. As a retired Safety & Risk Manager, I'd just add that proper equipment usage combine with a rigorous maintenance and inspection program can be better "suspenders" than adding more equipment.

Correct, the tires do come balanced from the factory. Every tire manufacturer recommends rebalancing as tires wear.
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Old 12-01-2012, 08:13 AM   #34
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Ken,
I understand. As a retired Safety & Risk Manager, I'd just add that proper equipment usage combine with a rigorous maintenance and inspection program can be better "suspenders" than adding more equipment.

Correct, the tires do come balanced from the factory. Every tire manufacturer recommends rebalancing as tires wear.

Note that you need to verify when having work done on your trailer tires that they will be balanced. I've had discussions with very reputable RV deals (non-airstream) where the service manager looked at me like I had two heads when I asked that they balance the tires. His response was why would you want to balance tires for an trailer?

As for additional balance (centramatics) is there any change in how the trailer tows with this addition? Or do folks add centramatics as extra insurance against tire issues?
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Old 12-01-2012, 09:11 AM   #35
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As for additional balance (centramatics) is there any change in how the trailer tows with this addition? Or do folks add centramatics as extra insurance against tire issues?
From what I understand, Centramatics takes the place of having the whole assembly balanced ON the trailer. It is very hard to find a place that still will balance everything using a machine that is wheeled out to the vehicle or trailer and balanced that way. The Centramatics does this while moving. JMHO
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Old 12-01-2012, 11:45 AM   #36
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Note that you need to verify when having work done on your trailer tires that they will be balanced. I've had discussions with very reputable RV deals (non-airstream) where the service manager looked at me like I had two heads when I asked that they balance the tires. His response was why would you want to balance tires for an trailer?

As for additional balance (centramatics) is there any change in how the trailer tows with this addition? Or do folks add centramatics as extra insurance against tire issues?
Here is where to best find out what Centramatics do.

Centramatic

I have read very many positive things about their performance on trucks and automobiles. Unfortunately things have to be pretty far out of wack on a trailer's tires before you would feel it while towing. So I assume that Centramatics are good insurance to keep an otherwise out of balance tire in balance on a trailer. This helps extend tire life and helps keep everything in the trailer from getting shaken to death. I do not consider them to be a substitute for having the tires rebalanced when they are rotated.

Contrary to suggestions otherwise, I do not consider adding extra layers of protection a substitute for using and maintaining things properly.

Ken
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Old 12-01-2012, 12:03 PM   #37
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As for additional balance (centramatics) is there any change in how the trailer tows with this addition? Or do folks add centramatics as extra insurance against tire issues?
There have been many threads and while it is clear that people who have centramatics are pleased with the way their trailers ride it is less clear that they solve any problem that actually exists.

Over the last five or ten years there have, if memory serves, been exactly two people who have had their wheels balanced on-axle who have reported the outcome here. Both claimed that a substantial enough amount of weight had to be added to balance the assembly to be significant, even though the wheel/tire assembly had been balanced before being affixed to the hub. But they didn't provide enough information to give us the whole story -- the year of the trailer, the amount of weight added, any difference in ride, etc.

It seems to be settled fact that early hub/drum assemblies had looser manufacturing tolerances than those made today, therefore requiring either separate balancing of the hub/drum assembly or of the hub/drum/wheel/tire assembly as a whole.

I have identified a shop nearby that does on-vehicle balancing but have not taken my trailer in (nor have I purchased centramatics) simply because I don't think there's any problem to solve.
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Old 12-01-2012, 03:23 PM   #38
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Ag&Au /Jammer -

Thanks for the details - it is in line with what I was thinking. Just because a product exists, does not mean that it's actually needed. At least for a trailer with already balanced tires.

Sorry to take the tread off subject...
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Old 12-02-2012, 04:23 PM   #39
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I discovered Centramatics for my GoldWing motorcycles in 2008 and they completely replaced wheel weights and balancing on these relatively small tires and wheels. After moving about ten feet, the wheels are back in balance.

After joining the forum and reading about their availability for the Airstream, I had the selling install them on our trailer.

A properly balanced trailer tire lets the relatively small mass of the Centramatics disk work on balancing the brake hub if it is out of balance. This makes a best effort to reduce or eliminate vibration from the running gear going into the trailer body.
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