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Old 02-09-2015, 01:03 AM   #15
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Data Summary for Airstream Tire Failure Poll, as of 02/08/15

The following is a data summary for the Airstream Tire Failure Poll, as of 02/08/15:
  • Cumulative total members who completed the poll since it was original posted on 05/01/11:

    - As of 12/2011 = 95

    - As of 12/2012 = 135

    - As of 12/2013 = 190

    - As of today (12/08/2015)= 218
  • Total number of members who reported tire failures in the past five years = 120 (55%)

  • Total number of members who reported NO tire failures in the past five years = 101 (45%)

    Notes:

    - Totals do not add up due to three persons who checked both of these boxes.

    - Percentages have not varied more than 1-2% since 2011.

  • Total number of tire failures = 160

  • Total number of LT tires that failed = 2

    - Michelin (unknown model) = 1 tire (10 years old)

    - BF Goodrich Commercial TA = 1 tire

    Note: Investigation of a couple of reported LT tire failures revealed that they were actually ST tires.

  • Total number of "Unknown/Other" tire types that failed = 7

  • Total number of ST tires that failed = 151 (estimated, due to a couple of inaccurate entries)

It seems many of the opinions expressed state that there is nothing wrong with ST tires, and most failures are caused by Airstream owners NOT maintaining the proper tire pressure.

It's hard for me to imagine that 120 out of 218 AirForums members had 151 ST tire failures, because they failed to check their tires and ran them under-inflated. I know that I always maintained 65 psi on the LR-D tires and 80 psi on the LR-E's, and I can't believe that all 120 members were this irresponsible.

Sorry to repeat myself, but in the first five years after we bought our 2005 Bambi, I had six ST tires: Three OEM GYMs, one Carlisle, and two Maxxis. Of these, three failed, which approximates the failure rate reflected in the tire failure poll.

In January 2011, I installed two Michelin XPS Rib LT tires; and I have had absolutely no tire problems in the four years since then. I'm sure that most, if not all, of those who installed 16" wheels and LT tires have had a similar lack of tire problems (except for road hazards; e.g., nails, debris, etc.).

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but there is no way I would switch back to ST tires.
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Old 02-09-2015, 06:20 AM   #16
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Wink GYM's & ST's....

Two AS's, one boat trailer, 27yrs, 16 tires, three failures, two punctures and a valve stem.

Got three more Seasons left on the Classics' GYM's, will be switching them out for E rated 15" ST's....go figger.

"Grey skies for some, silver for others'.
Try to stay on the silver side!"
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Old 02-09-2015, 06:21 AM   #17
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Tire failures

Gosh, I towed my 2007 25 foot International about 15,000 miles, my 2009 27 FB Int about 25,000 miles, never had a tire issue. Went across the Rockies, Black Hills, long Interstate distances.. Trailers were stored outside....see avatar.

Always, before a trip, check the wheel bolts and tire presses maintaining within a half pound the 65 lb/in as specified and correct wheel nut torque.

Now, with a slightly heavier 30 RB Int Serenity, I am wondering if the OEM tires are OK. I think I will just do my due diligence before each trip and hope for the best. IMO, the biggest issue with tire failures is not proper maintenance. And, as I store the trailer inside, atmospheric conditions are very good.

Maybe a poll on what tire pressures, how often checked, do you use a certified air pressure gauge, etc., could be done. Unfortunately gauges are not always accurate. Oh well.....

A side note.....if AS offers an option on wheel/tire packages I have never been made aware of this. And, I am one who generally looks at an options page like .."oh, yes, check all the above"...LOL
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Old 02-09-2015, 06:49 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulnGina View Post
I have Goodyear Marathons on our 1987 Avion 34W.... six of them.
I'd like to also add: sometimes, no matter how careful you are with your tires, a blowout can happen. Doesn't necessarily mean the tire was inherently "crap".
Fact is, running st tires you have a 50% chance one of them is going to blowout. If you have a blowout your not taking your Avion to Jackson center to get repaired. Your going to get a check for your totaled trailer.
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Old 02-09-2015, 06:55 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hans627 View Post
I don't have my AS yet and am still collecting information thanks to many on the Air Forum.

Risking appearing somewhat stupid (not the first time this has happened), what is an LT tire? Apparently this is not the tire used from the factory. It seems like I should already know but I keep drawing a blank.

Secondly, I see some people changing to 16" wheels and tires. Why do some see the need to change? Or another way of asking is, are they better in some way?

As always, thanks!
Hans627 I posted in another post that you can order the 16" Wheels and LT Michelins directly from the factory. We had good experiences with the Goodyear Marathons, however, I did adhere to the warnings put out about ST tires and did not exceed 65 MPH and did not drive at 65 MPH for too long a period, always kept it around 55-60. Put 16" on a previous 30' AS and liked them as I could then motor along at 70 and sometimes + to make up some time. Ordering from the factory was simple and worked. We got this trailer from Airstream of Western PA, in Greensburg and the sales person there, George, ordered the wheels and tires for us. I know Colonial, Lauren, can do the same you are about in the middle of these two dealers.

Good Luck

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Old 02-09-2015, 07:03 AM   #20
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Question

I really enjoy it when all these "facts" are brought kicking & screaming into the light of day.





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Old 02-09-2015, 07:07 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by r carl View Post
Fact is, running st tires you have a 50% chance one of them is going to blowout. If you have a blowout your not taking your Avion to Jackson center to get repaired. Your going to get a check for your totaled trailer.
Amazing. 50% chance?

I know for a real fact that this trailer has been all over North America. Maine to California, Florida to Washington, Alaska, Mexico, Canada. (Yep, that's pretty much all of it.) No indication of ANY damage to the trailer due to tire problems. Verified with the two previous owners that they always ran ST tires and never had any problems with tires. The first owner accounted for 95% of the miles. The first owner told me that they towed at 60-65mph on the highway.
This spring I'll be putting a new set of load range E ST's on it.
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Old 02-09-2015, 07:50 AM   #22
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Two tire questions.

Will those Avion wheels handle LR-E pressures? And the tires are a bad match by spec. Closer is better assuming quality.

65-mph on ST is the same as running an engine at redline. Why push ones luck? A few dollars?

The Yokohama RY215 has more capacity in 7.00x15 than that Avion needs, and is a far better tire in every respect.

9500-lbs ~ six = 1,580. Add 15% load reserve = 1,820. RY215 = 2040. So even if one or more tires are loaded heavy, ought to still have capacity remaining.

I ordered them through Tire Rack for one of my trailers. Needed almost no balancing. Added Centramatics to offset drum imbalance (inherent to that brake type unless corrected; good luck finding someone today who can and will balance drum assemblies).

Runs cool in my more heavily loaded tandem versus your tridem in peak of summer Texas heat, and doesn't lose pressure (another ST problem). Better on wet roads as well. Longer till wheel lock up.

There is no bargain in cheap tires, and ST is cheaply made. Not so long ago there was no such category and we all ran LT, but it's a profitable way to keep old machinery at work.

There are plenty of tire dealers now who will not recommend ST for the reasons experienced here and on other RV forums. Just because new trailers are often almost substandard in axle and tires is no reason to continue the problem.
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Old 02-09-2015, 08:05 AM   #23
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Quote:
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Amazing. 50% chance?

.
Oh I'm sorry, it is 55% chance in the Airstream tire poll. Do as you wish, I am just defending your beautiful trailer, I would hate to see anything happen to it.
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Old 02-09-2015, 08:09 AM   #24
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Agreed. The purchase price was probably low, and the TV was as well, it was the same path I followed.

Low quality tires aren't worth the chance, however.
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Old 02-09-2015, 08:14 AM   #25
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I believe load range e st tires have a higher speed rating. Jim
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Old 02-09-2015, 08:17 AM   #26
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Great information. There is nothing like experience even if it is tempered with opinions.

Thanks for your comments.
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Old 02-09-2015, 08:27 AM   #27
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Thank you, slowmover and r carl.

I made a typo earlier: The tires on my trailer are load range D, on 15x6 rims (according to the plate on the trailer, haven't measured the alloys myself). I was planning on replacing them with like-spec tires.
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Old 02-09-2015, 09:00 AM   #28
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I suggest inspecting the 15" factory rims for the load and pressure rating for that load before putting load E tires on those wheels that could have higher air pressures than load D tires.

The factory is using the SenDel T03-66655T wheel as it is rated 3,580 pounds at 80 psi which is the maximum pressure for the Michelin LT225/75R16/E LTX M/S2 which are rated 2,680 pounds @ 80 psi.

The 16" Michelins were on display when I visited the factory in October of 2012 along with a sign stating the factory service center could install them on any customer's trailer with 15" tires. At that time they were a build option for the Eddie Bauer trailers. They are now standard on the 2015 31' Classic.

I knew that since the factory selected a different tire and wheel and made them available to their customer base, my installing that same tire and wheel would not be grounds for voiding the trailer warranty if there was a suspension issue.
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