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Old 06-30-2015, 10:42 AM   #1
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Tires - Good insights for one and all!

Too often I see a basis of opinion presented like, "I have towed for 35 years and never wrecked, so I know what I am talking about" or "I am a former politician, old and wise, have three graduate degrees, . . . "

Advice based on raw luck or multiple advanced degrees in social science doesn't give me comfort when making serious decisions on equipment and how I use it.

Here is a blog by a tire engineer. I find the information presented on RV tires by this gent to be very helpful and based on real data vs. "I have never wrecked". I discovered it in another thread here on the forum and wanted to point it out in a separate thread in the hope that it may help you too.

RV Tire Safety: "Interply Shear" and other Techno Babble
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Old 06-30-2015, 11:04 AM   #2
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Thanks Alan for this information. You are quite right, a forum is a place for people to voice opinions and many will quote all sorts of stuff to strengthen theirs. It gets comical if you look at it in the right light.

I wish he would have discussed the ongoing controversy between RV tires and LT tires. I have heard so much on both sides but am still in the dark.
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Old 06-30-2015, 11:38 AM   #3
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Isn't that Tireman9's blog? He contributes to the tire discussions here quite a bit!
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Old 06-30-2015, 11:59 AM   #4
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I agree that often anecdotal information and appeal to authority is not necessarily proof of anything. However, experience does have some merit, and especially experience referred to to contribute to a collective mindset of effectively what would be "long term tests". I replied to a post the other day about lube for leveling jacks. Several people responded as I did that I had good success with WD40 as a lube. In my case for over 35 years. I think there is some value there in the collective experiences.

It is a very difficult area. When does repeating something which is wrong enough times make it collectively right? That happens very commonly, but the thing is still wrong and becomes very difficult to change peoples views on it.

Our individual views on things like hitches are a prime example. We don't usually have a lot of experience with different hitches over our lifetime, so the one we have is usually OK, unless we get one we like better, then it becomes the best (compared to our other experience). That does not make it the best hitch however, and certainly not best for each and every combination of tow vehicle and trailer.

So, again, collective experience MAY have some value. And yet, it may not. It is very difficult. I wish there was a simple answer, but I don't see one.
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Old 06-30-2015, 12:41 PM   #5
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Thanks Alan for this information. You are quite right, a forum is a place for people to voice opinions and many will quote all sorts of stuff to strengthen theirs. It gets comical if you look at it in the right light.

I wish he would have discussed the ongoing controversy between RV tires and LT tires. I have heard so much on both sides but am still in the dark.

I think if you visit the blog and use both the "label" list on lower left and even the search box in upper left you will find a number of posts and comments on LT type tires on towables. Even have one specific to what I believe an owner MUST do if considering a change from ST to LT type tire.

You might even want to set a goal of working through the 200+ posts over the next couple of months. I wouldn't expect anyone to remember all the info but at least you would know that a topic was discussed and could then go back and review the details.

AS forum rules do not allow me to post direct link to my own blog even if I have a post on the specific question being asked, so I do try and follows the TOS here.
It gets a little tiring entering the same reply to the same questions over and over on the ten RV forums I try and monitor so one one forum I started to post links tot he posts with answers. This resulted in my being banned from that forum so those folks are on there own now.

PS Thanks Alan
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Old 06-30-2015, 12:58 PM   #6
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Isn't that Tireman9's blog? He contributes to the tire discussions here quite a bit!
Yes it is and he does contribute a lot. Search his blog for lots of info.
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Old 06-30-2015, 01:08 PM   #7
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Is there a tire that comes close to being ideal? One that would support at least 30% greater load than an AS rating, hold air for a long time, have low cord shear (single steel cord?) and work on 15" wheels....
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Old 06-30-2015, 02:01 PM   #8
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We have more than one tire engineer coming on the forum and they give good information; however they contribute science to the selection of tires for our Airstream rather than personal experience (generally speaking).

We have a great deal of personal experience available on this forum with tires and Airstreams. Collectively it is meaningful to me. There is even a poll of Airstreamers' tire failures relative to brand and size. We have the experience of at least one dealer who has been in business selling and servicing Airstreams for 40 years, who has made suggestions on tire selection, pressures and use.

Genuine experience from a large group is meaningful. Not the fellow who reports 40,000 miles on his GYMs and still going strong, but the volume of fellows who report repeated failures of their GYMs.

And the volume of fellows who report switching to 16" Michelin LTX M/S and none ever having a failure. In spite of the warnings about interply shear from sidewall scrubbing (I'm not a scientist, please excuse the crude terms), lowered pressures, overspeed, overweight, and so forth from the tire engineers.

It is useful to consider the entire body of information on this forum when choosing tires for your Airstream, what pressure to use, and how to use them when installed.

When analyzed in this way, the "default" tire for our Airstream is quite clear to me; the same one Airstream now puts on it's premium trailer.
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Old 06-30-2015, 02:18 PM   #9
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Is there a tire that comes close to being ideal? One that would support at least 30% greater load than an AS rating, hold air for a long time, have low cord shear (single steel cord?) and work on 15" wheels....
I have the Continental Vanco 2 15" tires now that have been great, but are getting old ( 6 yrs. old! ). This tire has been discontinued, so now I am looking at the Nokian Rotiiva AT tire. It is an LT tire, size LT235/75R15 116/113 S. Has a max. load rating of 2,760 LB. Still trying to find more info on them, but looks interesting.
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Old 06-30-2015, 02:20 PM   #10
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Is there a tire that comes close to being ideal? One that would support at least 30% greater load than an AS rating, hold air for a long time, have low cord shear (single steel cord?) and work on 15" wheels....
Add to that a speed rating of over 65 mph (not that I usually go that fast, but it's nice to have headroom) and we can double the order to save shipping!
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Old 06-30-2015, 02:47 PM   #11
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There's an old saying that "it's not worth a Continental", and I sure found that to be the case, at least on new truck tires that have come with them installed. I refuse to run any Continental tires, regardless. You might can find some off brand tire that has a similar or the same specs, but IMHO you still can't beat what the majority of folks on this forum have gone to on their As and many of their tow vehicles, and that's the Michelin E rated MS/2's.
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Old 06-30-2015, 04:11 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Alphonse View Post
Too often I see a basis of opinion presented like, "I have towed for 35 years and never wrecked, so I know what I am talking about" or "I am a former politician, old and wise, have three graduate degrees, . . . "

Advice based on raw luck or multiple advanced degrees in social science doesn't give me comfort when making serious decisions on equipment and how I use it.
Touching on this point, folks often equate experience with wisdom or that experience means you're right. But folks can do something wrong for 30yrs and luck out and still be WRONG in the end. If that makes sense.
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Old 06-30-2015, 05:27 PM   #13
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Touching on this point, folks often equate experience with wisdom or that experience means you're right. But folks can do something wrong for 30yrs and luck out and still be WRONG in the end. If that makes sense.
Also consider the technological changes in 35 years.
Materials and manufacturing advances change the equation. Good or bad. Your call. That's another thread.
My 67 Globetrotter had an original spare tire laying in the trailer when I bought it. It was labeled 600 15 8ply House Trailer. It was good enough then, why not now?
Today even things 10 years old are obsolete and it's recommended tires be replaced after 5 years. Science marches on.

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Old 06-30-2015, 06:06 PM   #14
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I absolutely no prior RV experience before I picked up the first Airstream. I did have GYM ST model tire failures on my dual axle 10,000 pound rated motorcycle trailer where the tread delaminated from the tire. I have seen many types of trailers beside the road with tire failures.

I found this forum and did a lot of reading, especially in the tire forums. The continuous discussions about tire failures and the damages caused by such an event encouraged more reading to discover if there was a tire that was more reliable.

My personal experience with the one brand that I have been using exclusively for over 45 years on my cars and trucks encouraged me to install that same brand mentioned over and over again (in an appropriate size).

I decided that I would install Michelin tires on all future Airstream trailers.
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