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Old 02-08-2015, 04:37 PM   #1
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Two tire questions.

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!
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Old 02-08-2015, 04:40 PM   #2
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1. LT, light truck
2. Some people just like to fiddle and upgrade. In my opinion, not always necessary.
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Old 02-08-2015, 04:47 PM   #3
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Michael; what are you running as tires/wheels?
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Old 02-08-2015, 08:50 PM   #4
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What tires are standard on a new AS?

Are they adequate?

Thanks!
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Old 02-08-2015, 09:11 PM   #5
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If there goodyear explozathons ( marathons) you may want to change to LT tires (michelin ) and in 16" rims as the goodyear tires made in China then to blowout.just do a search on this forum ,there is also a survey on tires,thats if you have room for the larger LT Tires and rims.

Don
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Old 02-08-2015, 09:12 PM   #6
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Most trailers come with ST (special trailer) tires. These tires are low tech and tend to blow out. Many are made overseas with little quality control. LT is a light truck tire and is rated for passenger use and comes in higher load ratings than car tires. When used on a trailer they are usually on 16 inch rims as opposed to 15 inch rims. I think the Eddy Bower comes with the 16 inch LT tires. If your trailer is under 8000 lbs total you can run 235/75-XL15 tires that are called P-metric tires. These tires are speed rated and offer a soft cushy ride. This is fine for Airstreams since they have a low center of gravity. ST tires are best suited for top heavy square box trailers or garbage trailers. They have high pressures and light weight construction. Some say they have a stiffer sidewall but I think that has more to do with the high pressures that they run. I put them on lightly loaded trailers that sit in the yard a lot. There are some on here that think the world will come to an end if you don't use ST tires. I have the opposite view. If you care about it, don't put ST tires on it. Most RV's are never used or used for short trips so the ST tire problems are not seen. For folks that run the heck out of tires the ST tires start to fail with age, high mileage, and high speeds in hot weather.

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Old 02-08-2015, 09:24 PM   #7
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The OEM Marathons are not real great if you actually want to tow the trailer anywhere. We have had two 25FB's, an '05 and a '15. We have replaced the OEM Marathons with Michelin 16" LT's on both trailers based upon our experience with the Junk ST tires on the 2005 Safari.

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Old 02-08-2015, 09:54 PM   #8
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I have Goodyear Marathons on our 1987 Avion 34W.... six of them. Not one problem with any of them. We bought our trailer 18 months ago, towed it home 1000 miles on some really crummy roads, and have put another 1000 miles or so on not-nearly-new tires. The suspension on our Avion is very good, not sure it needs different tires for a "cushy" ride. I could leave a writing pen on the dining table in our trailer, drive all day, and the pen would still be on the table. The main thing an owner needs to do is make sure the tires are in good shape, monitor the tire pressure, and replace them every 5-6 years. LT tires can help get you more load capacity, or help if you think you need to tow a trailer down the road at 70-75 mph.... not recommended anyway, for lots of reasons!

Here's a good video to watch:
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Old 02-08-2015, 10:04 PM   #9
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I put over 10,000 miles on my Bambi II. So far about 3,000 on the Safari. GYMs on both trailers.
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Old 02-08-2015, 10:19 PM   #10
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One I got the trailer home, I immediately upgraded our 2013 25FB from the stock 15" Good Years to the 15" Michelin LTX (P) 235/75R15 XL tires rated 2,183 pounds @ 50 psi but derated to 1,985 pounds per Federal Regulation 49 CFR 571.110:

Tire selection and rims and motor home/recreation vehicle trailer load carrying capacity information for motor vehicles with a GVWR of 4,536 kilograms (10,000 pounds) or less.


S4.2.2.1
Except as provided in S4.2.2.2, the sum of the maximum load ratings of the tires fitted to an axle shall not be less than the GAWR of the axle system as specified on the vehicle's certification label required by 49 CFR part 567. If the certification label shows more than one GAWR for the axle system, the sum shall be not less than the GAWR corresponding to the size designation of the tires fitted to the axle.

S4.2.2.2
When passenger car tires are installed on an MPV, truck, bus, or trailer, each tire's load rating is reduced by dividing it by 1.10 before determining, under S4.2.2.1, the sum of the maximum load ratings of the tires fitted to an axle.

S4.2.2.3
(a) For vehicles, except trailers with no designated seating positions, equipped with passenger car tires, the vehicle normal load on the tire shall be no greater than 94 percent of the derated load rating at the vehicle manufacturer's recommended cold inflation pressure for that tire.
(b) For vehicles, except trailers with no designated seating positions, equipped with LT tires, the vehicle normal load on the tire shall be no greater than 94 percent of the load rating at the vehicle manufacturer's recommended cold inflation pressure for that tire.

Those tires had plenty of load capacity for the 25FB at 7,300 pounds GVW. (4 x 1985 = 7,940 pounds) We had a tongue weight of 1,150 pounds, so even fully loaded the tires would have supported around 6,500 pounds with the weight distribution hitch.

When the new Classic arrived with a GVW of 10,000 pounds, I took the trailer directly to the storage unit and replaced the 15" stock Good Years with 16" Michelin LT225/75R16/E LTX M/S2 tires mounted on 16" SenDel wheels and attached with McGard 24138 Chrome Cone Seat Wheel Locks and McGard 64010 Chrome Bulge Cone Seat Style Lug Nuts (1/2" - 20 Thread Size).

The 25FB had Centramatic model 200-221 Special wheel balancers while the Classic has the model 300-356 all"A" plates Centramatics. The Classic also has the Dill 1506-453 TPMSsystem.

The tire reading material on this forum can take a long time to read let alone absorb and decipher facts from opinions. Along with personal experience with a dual axle motorcycle trailer and all I read here I knew I wanted different tires than Good Year Marathon ST tires. My Airstream is too large an investment to worry about the cost of tires versus thousands in repairs from a failing tire beating the aluminum out of the wheel well and trailer side panels.

I have driven only on Michelin tires for nearly 50 years and never have had a tire failure.
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Old 02-08-2015, 10:54 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moosetags View Post
The OEM Marathons are not real great if you actually want to tow the trailer anywhere. We have had two 25FB's, an '05 and a '15. We have replaced the OEM Marathons with Michelin 16" LT's on both trailers based upon our experience with the Junk ST tires on the 2005 Safari.



Brian

It's a cheap upgrade, OP. The above man is a very high mile user. The rest of us aren't willing to wait to be crippled going down the road. Tires are central. ST cannot be used for pax service. It's okay for your lawnmower trailer.

If you lose a tire with a blowout you may be looking at a $7000+ repair bill to the trailer.
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Old 02-08-2015, 11:09 PM   #12
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Two kinds of tires:

ST (Special Trailer) tires which are made for higher pressures, for sitting around and not getting moved a lot, and for not wearing thin on the tread - i.e. you would replace them after 5 or 6 years, not 40 or 50,000 miles like you're used to with vehicle tires. These tires are almost exclusively made in China and shipped to the US.

LT (Light Truck) tires which are made for light trucks. These tires run lower tire pressures (like what you're used to in a passenger vehicle). You can find tires that are made various places, some are made in the US.

To put the tire discussion aside for a moment, and discuss cold hard realities... Most trailers, including travel trailers, which includes airstreams, sit motionless about 95% of the time. Tires aren't really meant to do that, so after sitting out in the bright sun for 18 months, the owner fills the water tanks full, tosses the suitcases in, makes two right turns and three minutes later is going 75 MPH on the freeway. The trailer, which has developed a significant flat spot on the tires and has probably experienced some dry rot, blows a tire 10 minutes in, which then causes the owner to hop out, kick the remaining tire, let out a slew of curse words, and swear he will never use another Goodyear Marathon.

About 5% of trailers are babied, lived in, or researched heavily. These owners have decided that LT tires are better (because these people, before they retired, lived the above scenario where they had a ST blowout). Even when they don't camp every weekend, they take their trailer out for a spin to get the flat spots out once a month, in the wintertime they lift it up on jack stands, they cover the tires to protect them from the sun, and they dutifully buy new tires every 5 years, regardless of condition. They seldom/never experience blowouts. You can count this toward the fact that they don't blow out because they are LT tires, or you can say that they don't blow out because the trailers are babied.

My $0.02 is that ST's are designed to sit around a lot, and that's what my trailer does. LT's are not designed for the weight load and the friction of double axle trailers, nor for the prolonged sitting around. I chose to go up a weight class and get better tires. They haven't blown out yet. Others will disagree. When all else fails, ask a tire guy. My experience from asking several is that when you ask about putting LT tires on a trailer, they look at you cross eyed and say... "why would you do that?". That was when I decided to go with ST tires.
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Old 02-08-2015, 11:13 PM   #13
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Where will it end?

Hi, one person with a ten year old trailer is still running Marathons and another person had tons of problems with them on a similar trailer of the same size and year.

Buy your trailer.
Change to LT tires and wheels.
Change to disc brakes.
Buy a million dollar hitch.
Don't forget to buy the magic brake controller too.
You will need two 15,000 BTU air conditioners.
This will need a 50 amp system.
Awnings for all windows.
And now you will need a 7,000 watt generator.
Then six $300.00 batteries.
600 watts of solar panels.
Make sure to bring a $500.00 Dyson vacuum cleaner too.
and with all of this on your brand new 16' Bambie.
You will be happily cruising down the freeway towing with your new Kenworth.

If I missed any other essentials, I'm sure someone will let us know.
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Old 02-08-2015, 11:52 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBERTSUNRUS View Post
Hi, one person with a ten year old trailer is still running Marathons and another person had tons of problems with them on a similar trailer of the same size and year.

Buy your trailer.
Change to LT tires and wheels.
Change to disc brakes.
Buy a million dollar hitch.
Don't forget to buy the magic brake controller too.
You will need two 15,000 BTU air conditioners.
This will need a 50 amp system.
Awnings for all windows.
And now you will need a 7,000 watt generator.
Then six $300.00 batteries.
600 watts of solar panels.
Make sure to bring a $500.00 Dyson vacuum cleaner too.
and with all of this on your brand new 16' Bambie.
You will be happily cruising down the freeway towing with your new Kenworth.

If I missed any other essentials, I'm sure someone will let us know.
I just joined but I did full time for 6 years and towed a 14000lbs 5th wheel with Marathon ST tires. Never had a bit of problems in 40000 miles. I totally agree with you. If you want to spend some money, buy a good tire pressure gauge and a good air pump. Check your pressures often ( before leaving, after sitting a long time, temp changes, altitude changes etc...) Visual inspection before every trip is a must.

Cheers
Al
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