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Old 07-24-2003, 09:36 PM   #1
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1978 31' Sovereign
Mesa , Arizona
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tire selection

Hi,

I am a new member to airstreamforums.com. My wife and I just purchased a 1978 31' International LY. My question relates to tires. The trailer presently has some L78R15 series tires on it that are in need of replacement. I have been waffling over ST225/15, ST235/15 and 7.00X15 tires. I would like to maximize the trailer clearance. It appears that the 7.00X15 tires are the best choice for me. I think that the ST235/15 tires may fill in the wheel wells too much as they are about the same size as the tires that are presently on the rig. Is this true? I was also reading a thread about someone purchasing a set of Toyo M-53 Hyparadial ST tires. Does anyone know if these tires are tubed or tubeless? Also does anyone know where they may be available? Are there any other 7.00X15 load range D tires made by any other manufacturers? Any additional suggestions?

Thanks,

Slade Weaver
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Old 07-24-2003, 09:54 PM   #2
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I am one of them, running the Toyo Hyparadials (tubeless) on my Overlander. There are many opinions here on tires but as long as you keep with a ST (special trailer) tire you will be ok. I went with the 7x15's because they have the maximum amount of height and are relatively narrow, don't squat much and look the most authentic on a vintage rig as mine. Mine originally had bias ply 7X15's.

I had ST225 radials on my Argosy and it just didn't look right, thus the difference on my Overlander.

BTW, Welcome to the forum!

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Old 07-24-2003, 10:01 PM   #3
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1978 31' Sovereign
Mesa , Arizona
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Chas,

Thanks for the prompt reply. I am interested to find a set of these. I live in Phoenix, AZ, but would purchase online. Where did you locate yours? Do they seem to be wearing well? That size tire seems to be original on my trailer as well. The spare is an old Goodyear 7.00 X 15 bias tube type tire.

Slade
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Old 07-24-2003, 10:08 PM   #4
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I can see no reason why you couldn't find them locally. You might need to skip the national chain stores and go to an independent supplier, maybe even a truck tire supply. I got mine at a local three store privately owned chain.

It is strange to hear of 70's models still having tube type tires in them, I would have thought most everything was radials by the early 70's, definitely so in the late 70's

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Old 07-25-2003, 01:05 AM   #5
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1978 31' Excella 500
Franklin , Indiana
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SladeW--Welcome to the Forum!!!

I have a 1972 Sovereign and we've been using Goodyear Workhorse 7.00x15LT-D for about 3 years and have "gotten away with it!"--though I don't recommend it! At the timeI didn't know any better and that's what the previous owner had used. For what it's worth, the pictures of the trailer tires shown in my 1972 service manual appear identical to those Goodyear Workhorses--sidewalls, tread and all!

For many years, there really were no ST or special trailer tires. I suspect they're a relative latecomer to the scene, or just did not see wide usage, in the era of our vintage trailers.

I can remember when radials made their appearance on trailers in the early 70's and there was reluctance of some Airstreamers to use them--for many reasons, some of which are not really valid now.

I feel that your first priority should be an ST tire in order to take advantage of (hopefully) stiffer sidewalls, better UV resistance and tread design for trailer purposes. You should make sure that a local facility is familar with trailers and have them fit tested the first time you buy if you're switching brands or styles. Next choose the proper weight rating. Then decide based on the ride height and wheel-well opening for your coach, if you can use a radial or not. I felt that I could not. The rear overhang is important as well. Any reduction in ride height will affect give you more propensity to drag the rear when coming down inclines. Radials are said to smooth the ride somewhat and run cooler.

Also review the postings with regards to balancing. Do not allow the tire dealer to dissuade you from balancing! There are many posts which you'll find to confirm this.

When you have the tire dismounted, it's a good time to check and make sure that your wheels are of the proper type and weight rating for a trailer application. Mine, for instance, are metal and say something along the line of Rockwell F15x6JJ DOT-T 85psi Cap 2780lbs.

Good luck!
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