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Old 06-07-2010, 06:51 PM   #225
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Follow-up: It's been just over 5 years since I started this thread and first switched to 16" wheels and installed the BF Goodrich Commercial T/A's. I replaced the original Commercial T/A's today and I thought someone might appreciate knowing how the original tires performed. I put nearly 85,000 on the tires. Over that time, I picked up 4 different nails whose holes were plugged, but otherwise had no problems. The tires never cracked or split due to age and sun exposure, not even in the slightest. Tread wear was generally very even until the tires got about 60,000 miles on them, then they started to show some tendany to cup. Rotating the tires helped, but ultimately, it was cupping on the two front tires which lead to my taking them out of service. When they were taken out of service, about half the tread was remaining on the two rear tires which didn't show much cupping. I've researched to see if others have posted about having their same tires cup, but found nothing. I think it could be attributed to 3 things, worn shocks, wheel bearings running a bit loose, and out of balance not within the ability of centramatics to correct. The replacement tires are the same BF Goodrich Commercial T/A's but this time they are Load Range E which gives them a third steel belt under the tread. This should help them to wear evenly as well as give them lower rolling resistance. I also installed new shock absorbers, replacing the original shocks from 1997. I also repacked the wheel bearings and tightened the castle nuts on step tighter to eliminate any shimmy from loose bearings. The new tires required very little weights to bring them into balance so I'm confident they will be easy to live with.

I gotta say the first set of Goodrich Commercial tires are the single most important modification I've done to the trailer to enhance it's safe towing. Not once did I worry about whether the tires were going to blow apart at any moment. Sometimes I would go months without even checking the pressure in them. I'd visually inspect them and give them a kick once in a while to make sure they were not loosing pressure, but otherwise I just didn't worry about tires. I set out to get tires I could mostly forget about just like my car tires or the tires on my Tundra, and that is what I got from these Goodrich's. From outside temperatures approaching 112 degrees, to snow storms in northern Colorado, they performed beautifully. They have been a truly great experince for me.

PS: It was Denver, Cheyenne, Jackson, Yellowstone, Ouray, Silverton, Durango and home in May. Now we're getting everything dialed in for Sturgis and the Black Hills!
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Old 06-07-2010, 07:30 PM   #226
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News you can use.

That's awesome to have a 5 year history on a set of tires. So things I noticed ....

~ Tires made it to 80,000+ which is about what quality car/truck tires have as a wear rate
~ 5 years is about the life of a set of tires for age. A couple more years and I would expect these tires to show cracking
~ You averaged about 17,000 miles a year. Likely much more than the average RV. And also more than the average vehicle of any type.

This is great data for me on tires. However personally I do not get anywhere near that kind of use out of my trailer. Wish I did and I am still supporting the economy for now.

Thanks for taking the effort and sharing your experience. It's not a common thing.

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Old 06-07-2010, 09:35 PM   #227
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Bob , thanks for the follow up report , good or bad they are invaluable to our collective knowledge .

Action , not trying to convince anyone of anything , just some observations for folks to ponder .

I have a pair of BFG commercial TA tires that were on my AS for 10 years . I removed them because after reading much about tires i felt I was pushing my luck . Now the good part , these tires were at least 5 years old when I put them on and they have been off for 8 years , so that makes them 23 years old , and to this day they have no weather cracking. The reason I kept them was in hopes to find a testing facility to determine their condition but I never have.

Another short story . Back in the mid 80's I purchased an old military trailer which had sat in an open field for 10 years . The tires were dated 1959 , so they were more than 25 years old at the time and showed no signs of cracking .

My point in all this is that it seems it may be possible to manufacture a tire that doesn't break down in 5 or 6 years . Wouldn't that be great for the consumer and our planet.
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Old 06-07-2010, 09:53 PM   #228
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My thresh hold is about 7 to 9 years. After that I have had older trailer tires that had no visable cracks and let go on a utility trailer.

Military tires may be built to a different standard. However it's not a choice I am willing to make.

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Old 06-07-2010, 10:51 PM   #229
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Tires

Just got back from a 1000 mile trip to southern KY and on the way south I had a tire blow up on my 65 vintage Safari. It was very scary when I looked in the side mirror and saw the tire go - smoke and all. They are 8 year old Goodyear Marathons load range D. The tread let loose from the tire. I was able to move to side of the xpress way just as the tire let go and dropped down to the skid rod. Wow! am I glad the skid rod is there. No damage ! Put on spare and made it into Dayton, Ohio and replace both tires with load range E and inflated to 65 lbs. (max is 80). My recommendation is to update tires sooner than 8 years or you might have to go through my experience.....tim
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Old 10-31-2011, 08:23 PM   #230
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Had Bob remind me of this thread the other day as we looked over the trailer of Casa3805. I found I had not bookmarked this. It's a short list of tires for our next trailer.
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Old 10-31-2011, 09:02 PM   #231
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Had Bob remind me of this thread the other day as we looked over the trailer of Casa3805. I found I had not bookmarked this. It's a short list of tires for our next trailer.
Yep, out of all the things I learned from you guys the other day, What really sticks is I just bought 5 new Carlisle ST's. If I had just met you a couple months earlier...
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Old 10-31-2011, 09:20 PM   #232
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Yep, out of all the things I learned from you guys the other day, What really sticks is I just bought 5 new Carlisle ST's. If I had just met you a couple months earlier...
I'll trade ya: I bought a $3000+ Hensley Arrow hitch three months before Sean Woodruff premiered the re-engineered version of the licensed VPP hitch with PRO PRIDE. The improvements I needed to get the kind of weight scale readings I desire.
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Old 11-01-2011, 07:33 AM   #233
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I'll trade ya: I bought a $3000+ Hensley Arrow hitch three months before Sean Woodruff premiered the re-engineered version of the licensed VPP hitch with PRO PRIDE. The improvements I needed to get the kind of weight scale readings I desire.
Ouch...you win!
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Old 11-01-2011, 08:18 AM   #234
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16" tires

Airstream has been doing a 16" upgrade for some time now. It took me several phone calls to their technical department before I was advised that I might want to look into changing to 16" wheels and tires. Even then the technician did not indicate that their service department was already performing the upgrade. Finally I got someone at Airstream service that told me they had been offering the change for quite some time. They offer either a B.F. Goodrich LT or a Michelin LT tire in16" as an upgrade. I think they realize that they have a problem with the Goodyear Marathons but since they put them on they have a company policy requiring their staff to continue standing behind them as a good tire. I changed to 16" wheels and Michelin XPS Ribs a year ago. Clearance was no issue. The 1" difference in diameter results in only 0.5" reduction in clearances at the front, rear and top and was of no consequence on my 2008 30' Classic. For my trailer the wheel offset recommended is zero. I guess they felt this to be important enough that they place a yellow sticker behind every wheel that is apparent when the wheel is removed. Personally I have absolutely no confidence in getting a straight answer from Airstream on much of anything. If there is a problem I think they prefer to stick their head in the sand.
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Old 11-01-2011, 09:10 AM   #235
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Personally I have absolutely no confidence in getting a straight answer from Airstream on much of anything. If there is a problem I think they prefer to stick their head in the sand.
Getting an answer depends on who you asked.

Technicians, generally speaking, avoid technical issues that could become libelous for the company.

Dealers questions, somehow, someway, are answered about 99 percent of the time.

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Old 11-01-2011, 09:37 AM   #236
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I take some satisfaction in the fact that this thread was started back in May 2005 and at the time was treated as some irresponsible crazy idea that was sure to harm someone or worse, cause rivets to pop. Now, you have to pay extra to get the good stuff, the new and improved "factory upgrade" from 15" to 16" wheels plus people are finding the "upgrade" to provide the very same safety and security they wanted in the first place just as I stated in the first two posts of the thread. Funny how things change in just 6 years, but the detractors, well, they just stay the same. It's something you can't "fix".
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Old 11-02-2011, 08:51 PM   #237
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The replacement tires are the same BF Goodrich Commercial T/A's but this time they are Load Range E which gives them a third steel belt under the tread.
OK Bob, I am pretty ignorant on tires as you probably figured out the other day. Can you post the whole series of numbers on the side of the new ones you just got so I can be sure to get the right ones. And as soon as I do I will get wheels and centramatics. Did you say you got them from Delta?

Then I will have a darn near brand new set of 5 Carlisle ST's for sale with wheels...
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Old 11-02-2011, 09:47 PM   #238
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Hi Chuck, it's all in post #2 of this thread, but I'll go back over it here. What you want to do is find a quality tire which is as close as possible to the original tires which came on the trailer in size, but on 16" wheels. So the first thing you want to know is exactly what size tire and brand tire was on the trailer from the manufacturer. For the sake of this trial run, lets say it was a Goodyear Marathon 225/75/15. You have to go to the manufacturers data to find this tire's diameter and width. The specs can be found here: Goodyear Marathon Radial

From the "SPECS" section for this tire you will find that the Overall Diameter is: 28.3" and the Section Width is 8.8". In selecting tires you want to get as close as possible to these magic numbers.

Now, go to the SPECS section for B F GOODRICH COMMERCIAL T/A: BFGoodrich Commercial T/A All-Season

and the closest tire to the numbers you are trying to match is a:
225/75/R16 Load Range E. This tire has a Section Width of 8.8" which exactly matches the Marathon and an Overall Diameter of 29.4" or 1.1" larger in diameter. This overall diameter increase of 1.1" should easily fit in your wheel wells. These tires have a load rating of 2680 lbs.

I had Discount Tire order the B F GOODRICH Commercial T/A's for me and it only took a couple days for them to get in.

Next, you want to find wheels. There are many many wheel threads on this website. All you need to do is find wheels with bolt pattern to match the hubs on your trailer, and which are load rated for at least 2680 lbs which is the load rating of the tires, and which have zero offset. I'm not sure if you understand offset, but I'll go over it quickly. Zero offset means the mounting surface of the wheel (where the wheel meets the Airstream Hub) is exactly in the middle of the wheel, not more to the back side of the wheel and not more to the public side of the wheel, exactly in the middle. That's what you want to match.

Ross's suggestion that Alcoa wheels are a good choice is spot on, nonetheless, there are other good choices. If you love to polish aluminum wheels, then don't worry if they are clearcoated or not. I personally hate polishing aluminum wheels so I had to have clearcoated wheels. Wheel size and width should be 16x6 or 16x7 and the offset should be zero. The design is up to you. This is where you let your inner hippie run free. Also, you will want to note if your wheels are "lug centric" or "hub centric". Lug centric wheels support the trailer weight on tapered lug nuts. These tapered lug nuts center the wheel on the trailer hub. Hub centric wheels center the wheel on a protruding hub from the trailer axle. The lug nuts just hold the wheel tight while the load is carried by the hub of the trailer axle and the matching hub of the wheel mounted to it. Try to choose wheels which you can get a replacement for should you ever damage one. Here's a wheel thread: http://www.airforums.com/forums/f465...els-72151.html

Your Carlisle's aren't necessarily bad tires, just not a good choice if you love to travel. They are perfectly fine for someone who drags a fishing boat from house to launch or something similar. When I'm in the middle of nowhere Nevada or Utah and I'm blasting down some road at 65 - 70 mph and it's 109 degrees out, I want the most reliable tire I can find and I've found that in the Commercial T/As. Put the C's on Craigslist and someone will snap them up.
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