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Old 01-17-2010, 03:09 PM   #1
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tires radials or bias ply tires

I recently purchased a 1975 sovereign and it has bias ply loadmastet 7.00 X 15 tires on it. What is better staying with original bias ply or going with a radial tire. Not sure if they make radials in 7.00 X 15 so what size radial should I look for if its a better choice.

Going to buy tires in the spring an want to make the right decisions. I have read many threads on tires but really still not sure what the right choice is.
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Old 01-17-2010, 03:59 PM   #2
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I had the same issue when my wife and I bought our '78 Argosy. The bias tires were old and cracked and the trailer had the original wheels but in talking around I discovered that the old wheels do not work well with radial tires. So you have a choice to keep your bias tire configuration or change to radials which will necessitate getting new wheels. My experience and opinion.

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Old 01-17-2010, 04:11 PM   #3
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I had the same issue when my wife and I bought our '78 Argosy. The bias tires were old and cracked and the trailer had the original wheels but in talking around I discovered that the old wheels do not work well with radial tires. So you have a choice to keep your bias tire configuration or change to radials which will necessitate getting new wheels. My experience and opinion.
Never heard of that before,I`m running radials on all my trailers,granted the 77 gets almost all the mileage,but no problems.
The tires I am running are 235/75 D-rated.Dave
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Old 01-17-2010, 04:31 PM   #4
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I recently purchased a 1975 sovereign and it has bias ply loadmastet 7.00 X 15 tires on it. What is better staying with original bias ply or going with a radial tire. Not sure if they make radials in 7.00 X 15 so what size radial should I look for if its a better choice.

Going to buy tires in the spring an want to make the right decisions. I have read many threads on tires but really still not sure what the right choice is.
Which tire is easier found, when you travel?

More than likely the radials.

Traveling also requires a little extra planning, for that "just in case it happens".

Staying away from odd ball and local only stuff pays big dividends, if you need a replacement whatever, should you be miles away from home.

Goodyear Marathon is the tire Airstream still uses. The proper radial for your Argosy is ST 225/75 R15.

You can use load range "C" if you wish.

Unless the old tires are 8 ply, you must not increase the rating to a "D", as the wheels could split.

Wheel manufacturers all say that once a wheel has been in service for a long time, with as an example in this case, a load range "C" you cannot increase the tire rating to a "D" as the wheels can split.

Andy
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Old 01-17-2010, 09:54 PM   #5
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Bias Ply vs. Radial tire

This may be filed under TMI (too much information) Andy is right there are more radial tires out there than bias ply these days. There is no good reason to use bias ply tires unless you just want a true "Vintage" look.
Bias ply tires will take a set when parked for extended periods. I'm old enough to have owned vehicles that thumped along on flat sided bias tires until they warmed up enough to get round again. Also, bias ply tires have a tendenecy to roll over or lift up the inside part of the tire tread when cornering this means less rubber is in contact with the road when you need it the most going around curves on wet or slippery roads. There are good reasons why radials have all but replaced bias ply tires these days and cost is not one of them. Radials are more expensive to build but they are better tires.

Wheels - the inside of wheels in the USA are stamped with a weight rating. Tires are also assigned weight ratings i.e. Load ranges B,C,D,E and F. Each load range has a maximum air pressure rating D for example is 65 psi. and E is 80 psi. The maximum load the tire is rated to carry is also stamped into the tire sidewall. The DOT (Department of Transportation) makes these rules that all tire and wheel manufacturers must comply with. So if you know the max load your wheel will support and use a tire that does not exceed the load limit of the wheel it should not fail because of excess air pressure.

The GVW of your rig determines what tires you need to have. Your A/S has 4 tires, divide the GVW by 4 and look for a tire load range that will exceed that number with a safety margin, make sure your wheels will support the load the tires are rated for and you are golden.
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Old 01-17-2010, 11:54 PM   #6
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You have already received good advice.

My trailer is a 87 Sovereign 29ft vs your 31ft. Not much difference.

The equivalent metric size for the 700-15 is the 235/75R15 which is an LT or light truck size. This is a van size tire.

I defer to Andy on the rim stressing after many years.

I have ST225/75R15 loadrange D Goodyear Marathon on my trailer. I load out at 7300# less hitch weight of 810# (approx), therefore 1623 lbs per tire. The D load range tire is 2540 # at 65psi. I am loading the tire at approx 64% but, my tires are 4 years old this year. I like the extra safety factor as I plan to go at least 6 years.

Also, a big difference with radials is the steel belts. When they run over debris, they have a much better chance of turning a nail etc. without getting a penetration through into the air chamber. Radials also generate less rolling resistance and run cooler due to no cross plies and the belt package.

My current set of tires have been to British Columbia,Alberta, New Foundland, Southwest, Southeast, Texas or Florida for winters, and Alaska this summer.

I never ride my trailer on the side of the road. I am an old bicycle rider and I remember how much trash gets deposited beyound the edge white line.
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Old 01-18-2010, 07:35 AM   #7
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I've got bias ply on my coach. I've got Marathons on my flatbed equipment trailer. The Marathons are all cracking on the sidewalls. The bias ply still look like new and have no cracks. They are both 5-6 years old. Marathons seem to run cooler, though.
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Old 01-18-2010, 08:15 PM   #8
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thanks all for the info. I am planning on going with radial. 225-75-15 is this the right size to replace 7.00 x 15??????

I have also read nothing bad on Maxxis tires and have read several dissapointment on Marathons.
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Old 01-18-2010, 08:46 PM   #9
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thanks all for the info. I am planning on going with radial. 225-75-15 is this the right size to replace 7.00 x 15??????

I have also read nothing bad on Maxxis tires and have read several dissapointment on Marathons.
It all has to do with how many tires are out there.

Maxxis, not many, Marathons, hundreds of thousands.

If you take even a one percent failure rate, obviously Maxxis will score less.

But, Maxxis is also not known around the RV industry, nearly as well as Marathons. Then add to that, that the Marathons were not made in the USA for a while.

Andy
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Old 01-18-2010, 10:08 PM   #10
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Maxxis v. Goodyear ... I went through same debate two years ago. Local dealers all "could get" Maxxis "in a few days". Marathons in stock or same day. You're not too far from me - call around and see what they tell you. I think you'll hear the same thing. So now imagne that you have a shredded tire and a bum spare one day out in East Tumbleweed ... how long you want to sit and wait out there to get a new tire? Which are you gonna' get sooner?

The received wisdom is that Goodyear had a lot of QC problems when they started manufacturing in China, and there were a lot of on-road failures, even considering their dominance in the field. I figured they've got it worked out by now. So far, so good ... I've probably got less than 5k miles on the Marathons, but no issues ... yet. Like anything else, you do need to check the pressures regularly, and I check temps of tires and hubs every stop, just to make sure nothing's geting hot. YMMV. Good luck.
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Old 01-18-2010, 10:16 PM   #11
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Tire pressure

Replacing the air in the trailer tires, with Nitrogen, helps keeping the tires cooler, and far less variation in pressure.

Costco now does it in all the tires they service.

Andy
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Old 01-18-2010, 10:37 PM   #12
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Larry,

One small issue. There is no direct size equivalent to the 700-15 in a trailer tire. The closest size is the ST 225/75R15 LR C or D. You can look on either Michelin or Goodyear websites and they will have charts showing OD. My best recollection is that the 700-15 stands about a 1/2 inch taller than the 225/75R15.

The LT235/75R15 LR C (I don't think this tire is made in a D) is the equivalent of the 700-15. Only problem is not having the reserve load capacity of the LR D. Some folks are opting to purchase a Michelin in this size, LR C and betting that Michelin's quality & uniformity are sufficient to have this tire hold up even though it is loaded heavier as a percentage of total. 2150# LR C vs. 2540# LR D.

Other folks are opting to replace their wheels and move to 16" diameter so that they can purchase a LT (light truck in a LR D).

Sorry, don't mean to complicate things. I have been telling my friends at airstream for 2-3 years that Airstream should move up to a 16" wheel standard. I am sure price is a major consideration due to the number of cheaper trailer tires coming in from China.

LT tires are tested to 80 mph vs 65 mph for ST tires.
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Old 01-18-2010, 10:41 PM   #13
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is the tire for a tradewind the same size as other airstream models?
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Old 01-18-2010, 10:42 PM   #14
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Larry,

One small issue.

Sorry, don't mean to complicate things. I have been telling my friends at airstream for 2-3 years that Airstream should move up to a 16" wheel standard. I am sure price is a major consideration due to the number of cheaper trailer tires coming in from China.
A 16 inch tire, as the axle rubber rods age and give out, will get very close to hitting the top of the outer wheel well, especially when hitting some good bumps.

Part of that reason, is the starting angle of the axle torsion arms that Airstream specs out.

Andy
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