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Old 07-06-2012, 09:38 AM   #267
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Michelin XPS RIB Commercial Tire.

Are these too harsh a ride to put under an Airstream? Thought I read that here in the past.

doug k
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Old 07-06-2012, 10:01 AM   #268
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Originally Posted by dkottum View Post
Michelin XPS RIB Commercial Tire.

Are these too harsh a ride to put under an Airstream? Thought I read that here in the past.

doug k
I believe the Rib does not have as soft a ride as the Michelin LTX because of its construction and purpose. Michelin designs all their tires to ride smoothly. So any Michelin tire probably rides softer than some other brands. It is possible the Rib rides smoother than the Marathons, but I have no objective proof of that. Does the Rib have too harsh a ride? I don't remember those who use them saying so. It is all relative….

I have seen tires with indentations in the sidewalls where belts overlap. This is not the same as a bulge, although I can see how someone may misidentify them. When I first saw them I was worried as I had never noticed them in any other tire. Our OEM Marathons had those indentations, but the replacement Michelins did not. Perhaps it is sloppy manufacturing that causes the indentations to be obvious.

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Old 07-06-2012, 10:08 AM   #269
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I'm replacing the axles sets also as part of the upgrade. With the 35-degree axles and the larger diameter wheel set, I'm looking to get about a 1.5 to 2" higher profile, not to mention the peace of mind with these tires. I'll be running 100% nitrogen with a pressure monitoring system that's worked well on my previous AS.
Redwood Guy:
The 35 degree that MaxAB is referencing is the down angle on a torsion axle. Airstream trailers come from the factory with a 22 degree down angle. The 35 degree down angle gives about an 1.5" rise in ride height. After changing the axles on a previous trailer I think the trailers should have come from the factory with this extra height. That 1.5" seemed to be just enough to not worry about dragging the trailer tail on steep approaches to fuel stations.
A google search on Dexter Torflex axles should answer your questions.
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Old 07-06-2012, 10:18 AM   #270
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For those still in the 15" crowd, such as myself, there appears to be options other than the 235/75R15 LTX Michelins with their 2183 pound load capacity. This includes the 225/70R15 Continental Vanco2 and the 225/70R15 Goodyear Cargo G26, both of which are rib, and have a 2470 pound load capacity, very similar to the GYM. For those of you that opted to remain with the 15" and chose buy the Michelins, or are leaning toward Michelins and their 2183 pound load capacity, why that tire versus either the 225/70R15 Continental Vanco2 or the 225/70R15 Goodyear Cargo G26, and their 2470 pound load capacity? Just curious, and trying to understand the best tire option.
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Old 07-06-2012, 10:39 AM   #271
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For those still in the 15" crowd, such as myself, there appears to be options other than the 235/75R15 LTX Michelins with their 2183 pound load capacity. This includes the 225/70R15 Continental Vanco2 and the 225/70R15 Goodyear Cargo G26, both of which are rib, and have a 2470 pound load capacity, very similar to the GYM. For those of you that opted to remain with the 15" and chose buy the Michelins, or are leaning toward Michelins and their 2183 pound load capacity, why that tire versus either the 225/70R15 Continental Vanco2 or the 225/70R15 Goodyear Cargo G26, and their 2470 pound load capacity? Just curious, and trying to understand the best tire option.
It's an excellent and useful question. My reasoning went like this:
1. Given my GVW of #7300 what is my minimum load requirement? It is #1,825. And that's at MAX GVW, which I would not be approaching in any extreme.

2. What's the relationship between a tire's Load Range and it's ride characteristic for a given actual load? Well, for any given load - say #1800, the higher the load range of the tire, the stiffer the ride will be. In short, if you go way overboard in load range, you will get a stiffer ride as your compromise. In short, if you need #1800 for the actual load, a tire rated at #2000 will "usually" provide a better ride than a tire rated at say, #4000. This is because the higher load ranges require ever heavier, stiffer sidewalls. Going a little high for margin is fine, but if you way over do it, there will be some penalty in ride.

3. Given that hard data on trailer use for each tire model is not readily available, what does the anecdotal evidence suggest for what tires are working and what ones are not? This is reliance on my method of "best evidence" to evaluate some of the choices. It might very well be true that a Continental is superior to the Michelin, but what means will I use to confirm that? What I do have as actual evidence is reports from users of the Michelin who are getting great miles and no blowouts. I don't personally have the same evidence on Continental. I have LOTS of evidence on Michelin, and little to no evidence on Continental. Therefore, I have to trust the evidence I have.

4. What are the costs for each alternative and can I afford them? Changing to the 16" with Ribs was about 2X (roughly) more expensive than the choice I made for the 15" Michelins.

Putting all that together, and given that I was not going to go camping again on the Marathons for safety reasons, the Michelin won the day for me. No doubt others with different values and budgets and priorities, and maybe different evidence, would come to other conclusions.

I think your question was great and identifying more choices is always a good thing.
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Old 07-06-2012, 11:04 AM   #272
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Here is the tire I selected. Note the XL load range of 2,183 lbs. and 50 PSI.
Michelin*LTX M/S2
Redwoodguy,

Thanks for posting this link. I am currently running the GYM tires; they came with the trailer that we purshased last year (I haven't checked the date code, but am guessing they are about 5 years old (I guess that would be in the twilight years for tires!)). It looks like a tire change is in order for the spring.

Thanks again,
David
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Old 07-06-2012, 11:49 AM   #273
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Economics of switching to 16" Wheels and Tires

For those contemplating the switch to 16" wheels and Michelin or some other 16" tires, don't forget to consider the residual sale value of your 15" wheels and possibly the used Marathon tires, depending on the shape they are in. I made the switchover when I purchased my 2008 Safari and discovered the market was strong for used 15" wheels when I advertised them. Selling the used 15" wheels and the tires netted me about 80% of the cost of purchasing 5 new aluminum 16" wheels. I sold them locally in 3 days for cash and only advertised on Airforums.
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Old 07-06-2012, 12:58 PM   #274
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Link to post describing a ride I took in our 19-foot Bambi with Michelin XPS Ribs and Centramatics:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f465...tml#post952647

I think if one were comparing the ride quality of tires inflated to 80 psi and 32 psi, there would be a significant difference. However, in my opinion, one would be hard pressed to detect a change in "smoothness" between ST tires at 65 psi and LT tires at 80 psi. I suspect ride is more a function of axles, shocks and, of course, road surface.

Unfortunately, my friend put 16-inch wheels and Michelin LTX M/S tires on his identical Bambi before I could do a ride comparison; but my gut feeling is that there would have been no discernible difference.

In a similar change, we replace the tires on our 2008 Tundra last year, switching from "P" rated passenger tires at 44 psi to "LT" load range E tires at 55 psi; and there was no significance difference in ride smoothness. The new tires track straighter with less wandering and wallowing, and there is a discernible difference in road feel (more sports-car-like than boat). However, the LT tires, with much stiffer sidewalls, did not noticeably change the "smoothness". (CrawfordGene, any comments on this subject?)

Just my opinion, but I think that any concerns about switching to 16-inch wheels and LT tires need not focus on ride quality.

Note: While the switch to XPS Ribs seems like expensive overkill to most, we only had to purchase two wheels and tires at approximately $800, which made the decision much easier (and cheaper). The extra $200 is blowout insurance for us; and well worth that amount, considering most of our towing is in 110+ desert heat in remote areas.
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Old 07-06-2012, 01:17 PM   #275
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I switched from Yokohama P rated tires n our truck to Yokohama XL rated tires on our 2006 Tundra for less side-to-side movement of the sidewall when towing. The towing experience is greatly improved. The ride quality was very much rougher, almost jarring.

I would not want to give my Airstream this experience if indeed that may be the case with a switch to different, stiffer tire. And then join the Airstream structural damage complaint threads.

doug k
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Old 07-06-2012, 01:21 PM   #276
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Link to post describing a ride I took in our 19-foot Bambi with Michelin XPS Ribs and Centramatics:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f465...tml#post952647

I think if one were comparing the ride quality of tires inflated to 80 psi and 32 psi, there would be a significant difference. However, in my opinion, one would be hard pressed to detect a change in "smoothness" between ST tires at 65 psi and LT tires at 80 psi. I suspect ride is more a function of axles, shocks and, of course, road surface.
Good information. If there's no ride difference, that eliminates one more variable, and that's good to hear. Wouldn't it be great to have a direct test? Of course, that level of data capture isn't very feasible for RV owners, but it sure would be interesting if one of the RV mags took that on - ala "Consumer Reports."

I find these detailed discussions totally fascinating. Makes me want to have a lot more data at my disposal.
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Old 07-06-2012, 01:25 PM   #277
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Phoenix,

I think different manufacturers emphasize different things—it could be high quality tires, or cheap tires with big profits. There are, of course many ways to make a product and how to sell it. You can make lots of money with good quality tires if you have nurtured a great reputation and don't waiver from making high quality products, but many companies take the cheap way out.

To make a well balanced tire that lasts a long time, rides smoothly and has good traction for the purpose intended will cost more to both the manufacturer and the customer. Some companies go that route because that's their business model. I was told a story that when Michelin opened a factory in the US, they made tires for utility trailers, mowers and other low impact uses until they felt the factory was running smoothly and, more importantly, they had trained the workers their way, emphasizing quality. Was that true? I don't know, but I do know we have used Michelins for decades (and sometimes other brands, or have experience with OEM brands) and they are superior in ride quality, length of service and traction. They are expensive, partly because of petroleum prices, and partly because it costs money to make the tires they want to sell. But since they last so long, we don't have to buy tires frequently and have them mounted, so they come out equal or cheaper.

If I were making tires and I wanted them to ride smoothly, I'd make sure the belts did not overlap a lot, the tire was as round as possible, had low rolling resistance, and tread depth was even across the tire. That would be a well balanced tire. To combine that with good traction and long life is not easy. Usually the better traction, the worse the life. Making a tire that does it all is not easy.

So, given all that, I'd rather have a smooth riding tire than a rough one. Since I don't ride in the trailer (my wife doesn't seem interested in riding there either), I can't say whether it rides better with Michelins or Marathons. I know our truck rides much better with Michelins than the OEM Goodrich tires. Theoretically, Load Range E (Michelins) tires should ride less smoothly than LR C (Goodrichs), but they don't because they are made to ride smoothly. The Tundra Michelins have 55,000 miles and should make it to the fall, maybe longer.

A lot of words to say I don't know whether a smoothly riding tire is a substantial benefit to a trailer. It certainly seems it would be, but is the difference significant? I know it makes a difference in the truck because a harsh ride hurts after a while and tires the passengers much faster. I would think the trailer likes less vibration and over 10's of thousands of miles, that does make a difference.

Gene
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Old 07-06-2012, 01:38 PM   #278
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Do we have any aerospace engineers out there that have access to accelerometers? I also seem to recall seeing some type of video device that measured a target spot wandering over a screen with calibration marks that showed shock and vibrations while driving. Does anyone have any details on that kind of device?

It would be nice to have some hard numbers to compare.
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Old 07-06-2012, 02:31 PM   #279
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Do we have any aerospace engineers out there that have access to accelerometers? I also seem to recall seeing some type of video device that measured a target spot wandering over a screen with calibration marks that showed shock and vibrations while driving. Does anyone have any details on that kind of device?

It would be nice to have some hard numbers to compare.
There's probably an app for that. See 10 Best Free Accelerometer Apps for iPhone and iPod Touch

I'd look into iSeismo, for instance.

Excellent suggestion, by the way!
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Old 07-06-2012, 02:56 PM   #280
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There's probably an app for that. See 10 Best Free Accelerometer Apps for iPhone and iPod Touch

I'd look into iSeismo, for instance.

Excellent suggestion, by the way!
I have the accelerometer app for my Android tablet. I got it when this subject came up before regarding the rough ride that some WD bars are purportedly producing in the trailer.

The app was about $5 (at the most) and it works REALLY well. It records the data into a chart over time. I did not make use of it then, because I didn't have another trailer with another hitch to compare.

It would be a cool thing to do at a rally, and that's what was in the back of my mind. Get some same size trailers with different WD systems and take them over a measured course. Same could be done with tires. It's a pretty time intensive commitment, but it sure would be interesting.
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