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Old 03-06-2013, 07:54 AM   #1
2012 23' Flying Cloud
San Antonio , Texas
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 13
What about options on tires for 14 inch rims?

I am going to throw this up for discussion after looking through the forum and not finding anything dealing with the problems of the 14inch wheels and tires used on 23s and maybe some others.

I have a 2012 FC 23C, tandem axle, 14 inch wheel and GYMs. Made it through my first year without incident, but just had a road hazard induced low speed failure on one of the GYMs. Now that I am looking to replace, am considering a full GYM replacement due to the widespread history of problems noted on the forum.

It looks like I am stuck with ST tires if I keep the 14s. That keeps me with the inherent compromise of ST tires which just doesn't work in our area with the 75mph freeway limits and high summer temps. Does anyone have any info about a 14 to 15 upgrade in order to go with the Michelin LTX/2 XL rated tires? I really doubt that going all the way to 16s is workable from a wheelhouse space and axle spacing limit.

I see lots of people with larger trailers going from 15s to 16s, but haven't seen anyone solve the 14 problem yet.

Anyone out there already deal with this issue?


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Old 03-06-2013, 10:49 AM   #2
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2010 30' Classic
:) , Germany
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 214
Assuming your GVWR is 6k, these tires will exceed that by almost 1500 lbs at 14", and at only $86 per tire.

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Old 03-06-2013, 10:55 AM   #3
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1988 32' Excella
Robbinsville , New Jersey
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Check these threads.
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Old 03-15-2013, 05:21 PM   #4
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2010 23' International
Saturna , British Columbia
Join Date: Apr 2010
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I just had the same issues for my 23' International. I changed the rims to 15" and went with Michelin ST tires. See my posts and photos.

I just returned for a 1.5 month trip to Mexico and its bad roads; from 65 mph on I-5 to crawling on broken, pot hole riddled pavement, many "rustic" campgrounds with dirst and crushed gawd-knows-what underfoot and a few very hard bumps on unseen topes and vados.... No problems at all from my tires.
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Old 03-15-2013, 08:10 PM   #5
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1999 25' Safari
Vienna , Virginia
Join Date: Mar 2011
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I am running kumho 857 14s on my 1999 25ft I have about 8k on them so far good. They have a higher speed rating than gym do
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Old 03-26-2013, 08:18 PM   #6
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2005 16' International CCD
2015 Interstate Coach
Bandon , Oregon
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 103
Our QuikSilver Edition 16-footer blew a GYM tire on the way back from Arizona. Fortunately, no damage. Replacing with 15-inch wheel-tire seems to be a virtually impossible since there isn't the room at the rear of the wheel well. Any suggestions for a suitable and safe replacement for the 14-inched? Any help would be appreciated.
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Old 03-26-2013, 08:30 PM   #7
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I messed with the 14s on our '65 Caravel for several years. Finally changed to 15s. Many more tire options.
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Old 03-27-2013, 09:29 AM   #8
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2005 16' International CCD
2015 Interstate Coach
Bandon , Oregon
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Thanks Jim... I would really like to go to 15s but I'm afraid the tires won't fit. There's only about an inch of room between the tred and the back of wheel well. I've heard that ST215/75R-14/6 Tow Max trailer highway tires are a possible and good choice for the GYMs. Any thoughts?

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Old 03-27-2013, 10:16 AM   #9
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1999 23' Safari
Perrysburg , Ann Arbor
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 915
Yup, I went 14" > 15"

on my '99 Safari 23'. There are several issues to consider:

1. Wheel well clearance. Do "measure twice and cut once." You can get tire dimensions from many websites, such as Tire Rack. On mine, I wound up with less than an inch of clearance with the new tires, and so I suspect that IF I have a blowout, there'll be more sheet metal damage.

2. Spare tire carrier clearance. Again, do the smart thing and check first. My new 15" spare will JUST, with a lot of oomph, allow me to swing the spare tire carrier up and lock in place. Of course, you can modify the carrier, but be sure you know what you're getting into first.

3. Brakes. My coach has 10" brakes (if I recall correctly), and a 15" diameter tire/wheel has more leverage against the brakes than a 14" one does. Not a big deal perhaps, but worth considering.

4. Construction. ST tires are built different from light truck tires, and while the mfrs. don't let me in on how they build their tires, I'd strongly suspect that LT tires have lighter, thinner sidewalls (this gives better heat dissipation and thus higher speed ratings) - but the downside is that they are then more susceptible to "curbing" damage. Don't hit curbs, etc. and this is probably a non-issue ... but accidents happen, you know?

All that said, while I was very happy with my GYMs and had no issues whatsoever over tens of thousands of miles of towing, I'm also pleased with my Michelin LTXs also. I've got probably 15k miles on them so far, and all is well. They also, for some reason seem to hold air pressure better, but that could just as well be a rim issue or an issue of having a tiny bit of dirt at the rim/tire seal point, etc. Finally, though I run the Michelins at about the same pressure as the GYMs, they seem to run five to ten degrees cooler. Could be sidewalls flexing easier, aluminum wheels dissipating heat better than the stock steel wheels, etc.

Good luck!

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