Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 02-23-2012, 01:55 PM   #1
Wise Elder
 
Jammer's Avatar
 
2010 30' Classic
Vintage Kin Owner
South of the river , Minnesota
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 4,119
Uncertain future for 16" LT tires

From about 1970 to 1980, all but the lowest GAWR 3/4 ton trucks left the factory with 16.5" rims, as did most 1 ton trucks and a few medium duty trucks. 16.5" rims were also the preferred choice for trailers with axle weight ratings above 3500 pounds or so, in part because load range E tires in 16" were just as scarce then as they are in 15" today.

Ford made 8.75R16 radial tires an option in 1980, and switched completely to 16" rims and radial tires in metric sizes in 1983. The other automakers did, too, right around the same time.

The 16.5" rims are now obsolete. While tires are available, they are a low-volume, specialty product, purchased rarely for older vehicles where it doesn't make sense (for economic or aesthetic reasons) to change to a modern rim.

Ford quit using 16" rims on full size trucks beginning with the 2005 model year. Chevrolet followed suit for 2011. These trucks are now standard with 17" rims with 18" and 20" rims available as optional upgrades.

Typically these trucks have 245/75R16 tires, stock, or larger, which are, I believe, too large to fit on an Airstream even with suitable wheels.

So the 16" load range E tire may go the way of the 16.5" tire, and sooner than we might think. 16.5" tires were pretty much a special-order item around ten years after their use on new trucks was discontinued.

Something to think about before investing in 16" rims for your trailer.
__________________

__________________
Jammer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-23-2012, 03:46 PM   #2
Rivet Master
 
1981 31' Excella II
New Market , Alabama
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 5,648
So did Ford and the others have a reason to go with lower profile rims other than the Snoop Dog factor? I think it is just a fad and a dangerouse one at that as tire rim failures become more numerouse as a result of pot holes, speed bumps etc. I remember a few years back the fad was to have rims that stuck out 1 ft past the fenders. Ultra Low profile rims are a downgrade both in perfomance and intelligence. If there is less than 4 inches of rubber between the rim and the road you have a problem. On non-performance vehicles 6 inches is more reasonable. Ride quality goes south as tire profiles get lower.

Perry
__________________

__________________
perryg114 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-23-2012, 04:59 PM   #3
Wise Elder
 
Jammer's Avatar
 
2010 30' Classic
Vintage Kin Owner
South of the river , Minnesota
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 4,119
Perry I believe the tire profiles are about the same. The larger rims therefore result in a somewhat larger tire diameter. I still see at least 6" of rubber in most cases.
__________________
Jammer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-23-2012, 05:11 PM   #4
Rivet Master
 
1981 31' Excella II
New Market , Alabama
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 5,648
You should be ok then. I am running 235/75-15 on my trailer and they are about an inch wider and taller and they fit just fine. I don't know about clearances on newer trailers though.

Perry
__________________
perryg114 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-23-2012, 05:44 PM   #5
Rivet Master
 
JimGolden's Avatar
 
Vintage Kin Owner
1977 31' Excella 500
Berkeley Springs , West Virginia
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 1,619
Images: 7
Man this REALLY ties into my "8 Lug" thread where I want to get 17" wheels and run the same size tires on the Silver Tube as on the truck.

I was going to say that if my backspacing doesn't work out then there's no reason to go to 17" and I should just go 16"....but now it looks like that may not be so.....

Sounds to me like if I were doing any kind of Airstream restoration, I'd open the wheel wells up to take bigger wheels and tires....
__________________
- Jim
JimGolden is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-23-2012, 07:03 PM   #6
Rivet Master
 
1976 31' Sovereign
Oswego , Illinois
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 1,330
Blog Entries: 1
Smile tire size

Perry where did you find 235/75-15 tires as I could not find any gave up pur. 225/75r15 I also have many sources for tires, I will not use bias ply tires
__________________
featherbedder is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-23-2012, 09:46 PM   #7
Vintage Kin
 
slowmover's Avatar
 
Fort Worth , Texas
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 7,583
Images: 1
Something to think about before investing in 16" rims for your trailer.

Gonna be time for Sawzall surgery as we're all gonna run out of room.

Good thread idea, glad to see it up here.

(JG, I might have to source those 17" H2 wheels myself).

.

.
__________________
1990 35' Silver Streak Sterling; 9k GVWR.
2004 DODGE Cummins 305/555; 6-manual; 9k GVWR.
Hensley Arrow. 9-cpm solo, 15-cpm towing
Sold: Silver Streak Model 3411
slowmover is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-23-2012, 10:46 PM   #8
Maniacal Engineer
 
barts's Avatar
 
1971 25' Tradewind
Menlo Park , California
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 1,223
Images: 1
Blog Entries: 4
21 years of production of 3/4 and 1 ton pickups and vans used 16" rims.
There were several hundred thousand of these vehicles produced by Ford alone each year. There are literally millions of these still on the road, so
there are lots of 16" tires being sold.

There will be tires to fit 16" rims for a very long time.

- Bart
__________________
Bart Smaalders
Menlo Park, CA
http://tinpickle.blogspot.com
http://smaalders.net/barts
barts is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-24-2012, 08:35 AM   #9
Rivet Master
 
dznf0g's Avatar

 
2007 30' Classic
Oswego , Illinois
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 9,406
Images: 5
I agree with Barts.
__________________
-Rich-

"If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy." - Red Green
dznf0g is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-24-2012, 08:50 AM   #10
Wise Elder
 
Jammer's Avatar
 
2010 30' Classic
Vintage Kin Owner
South of the river , Minnesota
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 4,119
Bart that was my reaction as I was pondering this thread before starting it.

And I agree that 16" LT tires will be available. You'll be able to get them. After all, you can still get letter-sized bias ply whitewalls from Coker if you want, and there are still places that sell 9.00-20 bias ply truck tires that have been obsolete for decades.

And you can still get tires for 16.5" rims, from tirerack.com. As long as you like Firestone Transforce, at least, because that's the only tire they carry (plus a couple of ginormous floatation tires for mud trucks).

But that wasn't where I was going with this. After all, 15" load range E trailer tires are available, too, from several manufacturers.

The point was that 16" LT tires aren't going to remain ubiquitous indefinitely. The industry has moved on. I predict that in another 3-4 years, tire manufacturers will quit making new molds for 16" LT tires when they introduce new products. In 10-12 years they'll become a special order item, and in 15-20 years they'll be a specialty item the way 16.5" tires have been since, say, 2003 or so (20 years after they were no longer used on new production trucks).

At some point then it will no longer make sense to switch from 15" to 16" rims because the tire selection won't be significantly better. Maybe we're not there yet, but it's coming.
__________________
Jammer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-24-2012, 09:04 AM   #11
Vintage Kin
 
slowmover's Avatar
 
Fort Worth , Texas
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 7,583
Images: 1
Part of the discussion on LT vs. ST on the "Revived" thread on RV.net concerns technology. That ST tires are not benefitting from advances made over the past ten years in tire technology (and are increasingly made by no-name companies), questions about quality are more apparent than before.

Once a vehicle is past the fifteen model year mark, car dealers and the chain auto parts stores start to clear inventory. Depreciation has reached it's maximum. I think it not difficult to see that as with whitewall tires one may have a harder time finding examples at a price commensurate with best quality and long life, to say nothing of actual performance.

Won't be tomorrow, but it's foreseeable.

.
__________________
1990 35' Silver Streak Sterling; 9k GVWR.
2004 DODGE Cummins 305/555; 6-manual; 9k GVWR.
Hensley Arrow. 9-cpm solo, 15-cpm towing
Sold: Silver Streak Model 3411
slowmover is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-24-2012, 09:10 AM   #12
Rivet Master
 
1981 31' Excella II
New Market , Alabama
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 5,648
Sam's club has them. Check out this thread.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f438...ire-83262.html

Perry

Quote:
Originally Posted by featherbeder View Post
Perry where did you find 235/75-15 tires as I could not find any gave up pur. 225/75r15 I also have many sources for tires, I will not use bias ply tires
__________________
perryg114 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-24-2012, 09:29 AM   #13
Rivet Master
 
dznf0g's Avatar

 
2007 30' Classic
Oswego , Illinois
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 9,406
Images: 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jammer View Post
Bart that was my reaction as I was pondering this thread before starting it.

And I agree that 16" LT tires will be available. You'll be able to get them. After all, you can still get letter-sized bias ply whitewalls from Coker if you want, and there are still places that sell 9.00-20 bias ply truck tires that have been obsolete for decades.

And you can still get tires for 16.5" rims, from tirerack.com. As long as you like Firestone Transforce, at least, because that's the only tire they carry (plus a couple of ginormous floatation tires for mud trucks).

But that wasn't where I was going with this. After all, 15" load range E trailer tires are available, too, from several manufacturers.

The point was that 16" LT tires aren't going to remain ubiquitous indefinitely. The industry has moved on. I predict that in another 3-4 years, tire manufacturers will quit making new molds for 16" LT tires when they introduce new products. In 10-12 years they'll become a special order item, and in 15-20 years they'll be a specialty item the way 16.5" tires have been since, say, 2003 or so (20 years after they were no longer used on new production trucks).

At some point then it will no longer make sense to switch from 15" to 16" rims because the tire selection won't be significantly better. Maybe we're not there yet, but it's coming.

Jammer, IMO, your thinking is correct, but I think you timeframes are too compressed. With the volume of vehicles out there with 16" wheels, the average age of registered vehicles increasing (vehicle last longer and that trend continues..it is now over 10 years ), I feel I won't be towing anymore by the time the tires become scarce. Heck, if they become scarce in 20 years, My current wheels will probably look like crap and I'll replace them with whatever is the best size choice at the time. I just don't think it's a reason, at this time, to not consider 16".
__________________

__________________
-Rich-

"If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy." - Red Green
dznf0g is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
ST vs LT tires Phil&Sher Tires 125 08-31-2012 03:11 PM
February Photo Contest "Reflections" casa3805 Photography 171 03-02-2012 03:39 PM
Interested in International 16' augustfall Dollars & Cents 13 02-24-2012 11:44 AM
Dimmer for LED goshawks00 Lights - Interior & Exterior 4 02-23-2012 01:57 PM
Rewiring 110v fixtures for Airstream bganso Lights - Interior & Exterior 1 02-23-2012 11:08 AM


Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:25 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.