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Old 08-02-2009, 06:22 PM   #1
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Tires for Vintage Airstream

I am trying to solve my tire issue and I hope someone here can point me in the right direction. The current tires (pic 1) that I bought last year are the Master TRack ST 225/75 R15 Load D, 8 Ply Radial Tubeless. These are great tires but we want to get back to the original wheels that have the babay moons (pic 2). I have the original wheels (pic 3) but I have no idea what size they are and how to measure them correctly? I plan on sandblasting the wheels before we get the new tires on them. I would like to trade the Master Tracks wheels and tires (3) for some tires for the original wheels so if anyone is interested drop me a line. Thanks again for this great forum!!!
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Old 08-02-2009, 06:27 PM   #2
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Measure across the rim (the diameter) from outside bead to outside bead. I believe your rims are 16.5".. off hand, I'd say you'd want a 215/70/16? or a bias ply 7/16.5" tire....
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Old 08-02-2009, 06:41 PM   #3
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just measured bead to bead 17.5
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Old 08-02-2009, 06:46 PM   #4
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Really? Wow.. that's some tire! Maybe you should take it to a tire dealer to make sure... I'd also pm 47weewind on the forums.. he should know. I'll also check some old VAC newsletters, I believe the specs are there as well.

Also, thinking it over, I think you'd want either a 205 or 215 width...
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Old 08-02-2009, 07:07 PM   #5
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Wink

Yep, the width is pretty important as there is not much room in the wheel well.
The Master Tracks work well and give me a couple inches of clearance. Hopefully, with the original wheels I will still be able to maintain a comfortable clearance...here's for hoping
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Old 08-02-2009, 07:43 PM   #6
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Hi Benjo:

Great looking 1949 Trailwind you have following you about! The 1949 Airstream catalog states all trailers used Mercury automotive (car, not truck) wheels, which I think were 15" diameter wheels for tube type tires. In 1951 the Cruisette used 600-16 4 ply tires on 16" automotive (not truck) wheels, and the 22' Flying Cloud used 700-15 6 ply tires on 15" automotive (not truck) wheels. But your wheel with hub cap looks newer that an old tube type auto wheel. Your "new" hub cap wheel might, or may not, be a tubeless tire wheel.

What size tire was taken off the hub cap wheels? That alone should tell you the wheel size and a likely size for the wheel. If you don't know, then have your "new" hub cap wheels sandblasted. The wheel size (diameter and width) and flange type should be stamped on the inside of the wheel, usually near the valve stem hole. Have your local tire dealer verify the type and size of sandblasted wheels you have; its difficult to do over the internet when we are not discussing wheels original to the trailer. Your local tire dealer can then tell you what type and size tires are recommended for the size and type hub cap wheels you have.

I ran old Michelin X 700R-15 radials on my 1951 Clipper and loved them. They were well built, tall and narrow radials, so naturally are no longer available.

All my wrenches are SAE, none are metric, so I live in the deep and continually recessing past. For that reason I don't know what are the modern tire equivalents to the simple old tires of the past.

Lost in history,
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Old 08-02-2009, 07:59 PM   #7
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Hey thanks for the input. You all have been very helpful. Silly me got rid of the old tires before writing down the dimensions but I do remember they had a tube in them though if that helps at all. All i have now is the picture, the wheels, and the 17.5 measurement from seam to seam.
You are right I should take them down to a tire dealer and have them measure it correctly.
Any other insight is appreciated!!!
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Old 08-02-2009, 08:12 PM   #8
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And when you speak of a catalog...i had no idea one was available.
Would love to have a copy for my airstream archives.
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Old 08-02-2009, 09:21 PM   #9
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Insight the wheel . . .

Quote:
Originally Posted by Benjo View Post
Hey thanks for the input. You all have been very helpful. Silly me got rid of the old tires before writing down the dimensions but I do remember they had a tube in them though if that helps at all. All i have now is the picture, the wheels, and the 17.5 measurement from seam to seam. You are right I should take them down to a tire dealer and have them measure it correctly. Any other insight is appreciated!!!
Hi Benjo:

My 16" jeep wheel measures 17.5 inches on the outside from edge to edge. Wheel measurements are taken on the inside of the rim, not the outside, so your wheel might be a 16" wheel.

If the center disc is riveted to the outer rim, then your wheel requires a tube because rivets leak air and the wheel could not hold the air required for a tubeless tire, hence the need for an inner tube. If your disc is welded or spot welded to the rim, then you may have a tubeless tire wheel. Your local tire dealer can tell you for sure.

The 1949 sales catalog (brochure) can be found here on the Airstream, Inc. web site:

http://service.airstream.com/files/l...10feebf625.pdf

Worth viewing. Enjoy!
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Old 08-02-2009, 09:39 PM   #10
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Just looked it over again and the center disc is riveted to the outer rim and i do remember the tire guy taking the tires off and the tubes. so with the 17.5 seam to seam measurement leading me to think it's a 16 wheel. do you have any pics of your 16 jeep wheel?
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Old 08-03-2009, 08:12 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Benjo View Post
Just looked it over again and the center disc is riveted to the outer rim and i do remember the tire guy taking the tires off and the tubes. so with the 17.5 seam to seam measurement leading me to think it's a 16 wheel. do you have any pics of your 16 jeep wheel?
Hi Benjo:

My jeep wheel still has the tire mounted on it and no hub cap clips like yours, so a photo won't add much to the useful exterior side-to-side measurement. And it likely has a larger bolt circle diameter than your trailer wheel.

Does the bolt circle diameter of the hub cap wheel match that on your axle hub? Do the bare hub cap wheels mount on your axle? If you haven't yet done so, I'd double check that first before having new tires mounted on them.
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Old 08-03-2009, 11:49 AM   #12
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Here is an image of the wheel measuring points. The diameter is measured at the points where the tire bead lands on the wheel, not the outer edge of the wheel.

Hope this helps.
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Old 08-03-2009, 11:56 AM   #13
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Another illustration:

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Old 08-03-2009, 12:04 PM   #14
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Some more tire info:

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