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Old 09-01-2007, 12:33 PM   #1
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TIRES - Which, What and How

Hey All,

I'm fairly new to this forum, and my 19' Bambi is my first travel trailer, although I am an experienced trailer-towing person. I've noticed alot of dis-satisfaction with the factory tires on the Airstreams, and I personally want to get rid of them before any trouble (especially since my Bambi is a single axle).

So I've done a search for the last two nights, and barely scratched the surface of the info/comments on this forum.

I am hoping that an Administrator can make a Sticky of the best tire recommendations from this forum. Maybe some POLL results could be done/included as well. Here's what info I am searching for (as I know others are too):

What is your experience with the factory Goodyear's?

What replacement tire did you get?

What type tire? (ST, LT etc.)

What size and load range?

What PSI do you run?

Did you replace your wheels?

Do you balance your tires? On the trailer or Off?

...And two other newbie questions I have are..

Do I need to put my Bambi up on blocks and take the wheels in for tire replacement, or does the average truck/tire center repalce and balance if I pull her in?

As for long term parking...is there a problem with flat spots in the tires or damage from long term parking? Should I block up the trailer to take some weight off the tires?

Awesome site...thanks all.
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Old 09-01-2007, 02:10 PM   #2
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welcome! there are many, many posts with the information you are looking for, just do a search!
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Old 09-01-2007, 02:44 PM   #3
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Welcome to the forum...we also have a 19' Bambi...I'll be interested in the responses to your good questions...it would be swell if all this info was in one place, as the research through threads is overwhelming to say the least... In the mean time I'll keep looking.

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Old 09-01-2007, 04:10 PM   #4
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After towing my '06 19CCD about 10,000 miles on the Goodyear Marathons, I decided that replacing the tires would give me much more piece of mind. I've had single axle motorcycle and cargo trailers, so I was not new to single axle towing.

I decided to change both the wheels and tires, and went with new 16" alloys from www.trailertiresandwheels.com and added a set of BF Goodrich Commercial T/A tires in the LT225/75-16 LRE size. I was going to use the Michelins that I have on the van, but after doing a little research on the topic, it seems that most users find the BFGs every bit as good as the Michelins at 2/3 the cost!

My Sprinter van uses this size and type of tire, and the 16's just fit nicely on the Bambi. I run them at 65PSI and they have been great on the first 5000 miles that I have on them since installation in June.

I also use a Pressure Pro tire monitor system, which I highly recommend on any trailer, and also have them on my van. I also use a tire sealant: Ride-On | Tire Protection System so a small puncture will never be a problem either with the added benefit of self-balancing the wheels as you drive.

Of course, you can use what you like, but I strongly believe in the old saw 'an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure', so a half pound of prevention is worth about a ton of cure!
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Old 09-01-2007, 07:25 PM   #5
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Tires

tetstream
If you want to see this subject beat to a pulp go to this thread;

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f438...res-16506.html

Its a good start and all encompassing and is complete with emotion, difference of opinions and passion as well as information from the various manufacturers.
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Old 09-01-2007, 10:33 PM   #6
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Hello Tetstream:

This is my first posting as well and I am trying to add photos of our recent failures. My wife, warbler5, has been posting here for the three years we have owned our 2004 30 ft. Classic. To answer your questions:

Our Goodyear tires are date coded 2303 meaning, I believe, week 23 of 03 manufacture. We probably have 5,000 miles on our tires and even had our dealer rotate and check the tires in May 07. We only put 500 miles on the tires when we decided on another trip early August. I went out to check the pressure and found the front left tire at 40 psi. I assumed we had run over a nail and removed the tire. This is what I found.
(Sorry I don't know how to put photos in the right place)
This should be a photo of a inside sidewall with a big chunk of rubber hanging out with a business card stuck in the tread.

You could feel the tread was uneven as you ran you hand around the tire. Classic tread separation.

This tire was prorated by Goodyear and we were able to go on our trip only 200 miles from home. We did stop at a rest stop about 60 miles from home and checked the pressure and condition of the tires, no problems.

We stayed for 10 days and the night before we left I was looking at the tires and could feel there was a difference in height of tread around the tire, just like the previous one. This time it was right rear. I told my wife, Dee, this was going to be the next failure. The next day we left I checked the air in all the tire. The right rear one read 60 psi, all others read 65 psi.

We left for home and kept it at 55-58 MPH on I-5. We stopped another rest stop and I felt all the tires as Dee drove ahead. I could still feel the unevenness of the tread so we kept the speed low. About 20 miles later we had a blow out on I-5, it was the right rear. The tread stayed on the tire but there is a 1-2 inch split across the tire on the inside wall. We used our spare to get home without any additional failures.

We looked at the forums site and decided to follow what RossFam05BH has done with their Safari. Same American Eagle rims and same Michelin XPS Rib tires 225/75-16 LRE and we run at 65 psi.

I jacked up the trailer myself and replaced the tires that were balanced by the tire dealer.

There does not seem to be a drastic difference in detailed measurements I took while installing two tires on right side of trailer vs the stock tires I left on to make sure I had plenty of room. The only modification I made was to the dark thin metal below the side of the trailer as it curves underneath. I took tin snips and cut about 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch away at the same curve and simply rebent the metal trim piece, drilled new holes for the same screws.

You must also bent the two vertical bars located on the spare tire carrier because the new tires are one inch larger in diameter than the stock Goodyear tires.

Since we have been home and removed all the old tires I have noticed another Marathon with tread separation issue. It is the second photo attached. You can see the tread is uneven across the tire. This problem measures about 48 inches in total around the tire.

The final photo shows where the rubber is pushed out towards the empty space of the tread. I believe this tire would have been number three failure if it had not been removed from service.

I have filed a complaint with the NHTSB last week. I am hopeful someone comes and looks at these tires and finds the one now at Goodyear as the warranty claim. From what I read on the forums most failed tires blow apart and there is nothing left to show anyone. I think I have some good tires for the government to look at.

Your final question has to do with winter (long) storage. I think this is something we all need to think about. The Goodyear RV user guide (available on the web) on page 14 recommends "the vehicle should be placed on blocks to remove weight from the tires." I found a owners manual for a Sunliner trailer and they say the same thing. They say "steady weight creates weakened flat spots." "Take weight off the tires by supporting the trailer with wooden blocks or manufactured jack stands." Additionally they say "decrease pressure to 10-12 lbs psi to eliminate stress but help keep shape." I know this winter our trailer will be on blocks even if to reduce weight on tires by 75%. Now the question is where are the safe places on the Airstream frame that you could use jack stands for five months?

My guess is now people who use their trailers more through the entire year have less failures than people like us who keep the trailer in one location for five or six months.
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Old 09-08-2007, 11:52 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by tetstream
Hey All,
I am hoping that an Administrator can make a Sticky of the best tire recommendations from this forum. Maybe some POLL results could be done/included as well. Here's what info I am searching for (as I know others are too):
Tetstream,

That isn't going to happen, (at least by me) because there really isn't a best tire for all situations. Making that kind of recommendation would get us (or me) in a place that I couldn't get out of.

Thanks for the vote of confidence!

As afr as doing a poll, you are able to do that and create what you want to ask.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Action
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Old 09-08-2007, 12:31 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lewster
After towing my '06 19CCD about 10,000 miles on the Goodyear Marathons, I decided that replacing the tires would give me much more piece of mind. I've had single axle motorcycle and cargo trailers, so I was not new to single axle towing.

I decided to change both the wheels and tires, and went with new 16" alloys from Trailer Tires and Wheels - trailer tires, boat trailer tires, trailer wheels, boat trailer wheels, aluminum trailer wheels and added a set of BF Goodrich Commercial T/A tires in the LT225/75-16 LRE size. I was going to use the Michelins that I have on the van, but after doing a little research on the topic, it seems that most users find the BFGs every bit as good as the Michelins at 2/3 the cost!

My Sprinter van uses this size and type of tire, and the 16's just fit nicely on the Bambi. I run them at 65PSI and they have been great on the first 5000 miles that I have on them since installation in June.

I also use a Pressure Pro tire monitor system, which I highly recommend on any trailer, and also have them on my van. I also use a tire sealant: Ride-On | Tire Protection System so a small puncture will never be a problem either with the added benefit of self-balancing the wheels as you drive.

Of course, you can use what you like, but I strongly believe in the old saw 'an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure', so a half pound of prevention is worth about a ton of cure!
I fully agree with Lew's and other's solution to go to 16" wheels and tires. The only thing I would add is an explanation on why go to 16" wheels and tires. It's because 15" tires don't come in high enough weight ratings, with the exception of dedicated trailer tires like the Marathons in question. The highest rated 15" LT type tire is a "C" rated tire, at least to my findings.
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Old 09-08-2007, 05:39 PM   #9
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The BF Goodrich Commercial T/As that I put on my 84 Excella, 31 Foot were Load Range D. They were a fit/form/function replacment for what was there (first Michelin XCAs 700-15 then the Marathon). I stayed with the D rating because I believe that the material used to construct the ST tires is not the class/duribility rating/quality used in the LT tires I purchased or any LT tire for that matter.
I believe, in light of the different threads here and talks with the NHTSA tire engineer that all rubber is not created equal. That being said you get what you pay for.
Again, I went to the 16 LT tire because of the variety available and the dimentions avalible (Outside Diameter and Max Sidewall width).
Since installing the new 16 inch LT tires last spring I have NOT had to reinflate or touch up the tire pressure at all.
I also never leave home with my Pressure Pro working.
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