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Old 07-06-2012, 03:45 PM   #281
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It seems that eventually many threads get to the point where some great suggestions are made to test scientifically some question. This has happened here on this thread. But rarely do the tests happen and if they do, sometimes the results are in engineer-speak so I can't tell what the result was. And sometimes the tests aren't very valid.

Good testing is expensive and the only people with enough invested to want them aren't organized to pay for them, and probably wouldn't want to pay for them anyway. Airstream won't and if they did, would they publicize them? Consumer Reports isn't going to test RV's—too expensive and too many different brands. The only place that might test RV's would be a large university using the procedures to train students. I'm not sure I'd want to lend our Safari to them, but it would nice if they would test tires. Maybe someone has contacts to a university engineering school and could talk them into testing RV things.

Gene
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Old 07-06-2012, 06:11 PM   #282
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Gene,

Good points. -- I suppose any extra data is more for those who are still on the fence on converting to 16-inch wheels and tires.

For those of us who already bit the bullet, it really doesn't matter. In fact, if we didn't care whether others had blowouts in remote locations and possibly incurred damage to their Airstreams, we would just go camping and stop trying to beat this poor horse to death. Instead, I hope that the experience that some of us gained the hard way can be used by others to save them time, money and frustration.

I got over the extra expense on the first roadtrip after switching wheels and tires, and I haven't had ANY tire worries or problems since. Haven't had any popped rivets or cabinets falling off the walls from running 80 psi in XPS Ribs either.

Time to go camping!
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Old 07-06-2012, 06:44 PM   #283
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No pictures of the other two failures (very obvious bulges).

Before I get it from all you skeptical armchair experts... these failures were under very diligent adherence to manufacturer recommended use... including:

- regular CAT tickets to verify proper loading
- TPMS to verify proper PSI
- never exceed 65mph
- slathering them in a moisturizing avocado face cream once a month

Should've upgraded long before I did.



The first thing I noticed about Michelins, was not having to add air every morning.
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Old 07-07-2012, 10:59 AM   #284
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Axle Replacement Cost...

Quote:
Originally Posted by redwoodguy View Post
I didn't know there were optional axles. Can you briefly explain what is meant by 35 degree, and why it is higher? Changing axles sounds very costly - - was it?

You went for the gusto with those XPS! That should be a super setup! Congrats on all that.
Hi RedwoodGuy:

This will be my second set of axles that I've replaced - '77 31-footer in '09; and now, an '85 25-footer.

To answer the your questions:

1. "What is meant by 35-degree?" My understanding is that the Airstream OEM Dexter axle originally came with the axle spindle arm 22.5-degrees below horizontal. As tow vehicle heights have increased, there has been a demand for more ground clearance. Dexter started offering a 35-degree spindle arm which can raise trailer height about 1.5" - it doesn't sound like much, but from my experience with my 31-foot Sovereign, it seemed to help in avoiding scraping the rear end on occasion.

2. "...was (changing the axles) costly?" Yes. However, for me, running gear, suspension, wheels, tires, and hitch rig are of primary concern - it boils down to safety of my family and others while dragging this 6k-lb. aluminum tube down the road. Piece-of-mind - priceless! In '09, I replaced my first set of Dexter 3200# axles with an upgraded 3500# set - they cost $750 each at that time. Last week, I picked up a pair from the same vendor for $725 - includes electric brake assembly. I'm sure you can find them cheaper, but my success with the first go-around in '09 brought me back to the same vendor. In addition to the axle cost, I bought wheel balancing disks, shocks, and a hardware mounting kit (new bolts, etc.). This time I purchased the axles with automatic adjusting electric brakes for an extra $40. After the dust settles, your looking at a solid $2k for the set.

Save-up the nickles!

Best,

Art
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Old 07-07-2012, 11:43 AM   #285
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dkottum View Post
Rednax you have a lot of good advice but if I used it all I'd need to own a gold mine. I am concerned about the danger of ST tires and if that poor would consider breaking the bank again.

The GYM's have worked well for me and others. Apparently lucky?

Why are ST tires so dangerous?

doug k
Y'know, if ST tires were cheap, I might give more weight to your comment, but they're not. A Carlisle Radial Trail (225-75-15, E-rated) is $123 at Discount Tire, comparable in price with LTX tires in comparable sizes.

Michelin LTX A/T 2, 235/75R15 XL 108S at Discount Tire is $154. Yeah, that's a $31 difference, it's not the same price, but it's not much more than 1 tank of gas (and probably less than a full tank of diesel) for the whole set of 4.

(later edit) And Michelin LTX M/S 2 in the same size at Discount Tire are $145, and a better tread for the highway.
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Old 07-07-2012, 11:43 AM   #286
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MaxAB -
That is very useful information. Boy, you don't have to sell me on safety and protecting my family - I am all over that. So, I fully appreciate your reasoning and logic. Thanks.
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Old 07-07-2012, 12:11 PM   #287
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The trade off with a higher trailer after installing the 35˚ axle is a higher center of gravity, thus a higher chance of tipping. You would reduce the chance of something on the bottom of the trailer hitting something else.

After 40,000+ miles, I haven't hit anything on the bottom, so if I needed axles I'd probably stay with the original specs. But if I had a steep driveway, I'd consider the 35˚ axles.

Gene
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Old 07-07-2012, 03:05 PM   #288
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrawfordGene View Post
The trade off with a higher trailer after installing the 35˚ axle is a higher center of gravity, thus a higher chance of tipping. You would reduce the chance of something on the bottom of the trailer hitting something else.

After 40,000+ miles, I haven't hit anything on the bottom, so if I needed axles I'd probably stay with the original specs. But if I had a steep driveway, I'd consider the 35˚ axles.

Gene
I imagine there might also be a gas mileage penalty for increase in wind resistance.
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Old 07-08-2012, 11:04 AM   #289
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Just looking up 16" wheels online, and one of the questions was bolt pattern. I know there are 6 bolts, but 6x ___ (ex 6x132, 6x135...? Didn't remember seeing this previously, thanks.
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Old 07-08-2012, 03:38 PM   #290
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Below are the specs for the wheels that most are using:

Wheel size: 16x6
Bolt Circle: 6x139.7 (same as 6x5.5)
Offset: 0 (zero)
Center Bore: 4.25
Load Rating: 3,200
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Old 07-08-2012, 05:07 PM   #291
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Awesome, thanks Phoenix.

Since determining the proper tire pressure seems to be so related to trailer weight, have any of you found (inexpensive) portable scales? I've looked online and all I've seen are exorbitantly expensive (for my purposes).
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Old 07-08-2012, 05:13 PM   #292
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Sorry, per Discount Tire, Costco and Airstream, I am one of the Airstreamers that runs 80 psi (the maximum pressure printed on load range E tire sidewalls). We do this primarily because most of our towing is in the desert southwest where it's supposed to be 112+ today.

Others may be able to suggest portable scales, although having searched before, they appear to be too expensive for normal people's use. I think most weigh their rigs at the CAT scales that the semi's use.
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Old 07-09-2012, 08:15 AM   #293
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dkottum View Post
This thread like a few others lately is overly dramatic. Beyond me why people insist on throwing out perfectly functioning products because someone else told them they are no good.

Here's a lighter, but informative discussion a while back.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f438...ons-27999.html

doug k
Five minutes on google, all related to Goodyear Marathon ST failures (some dating back to '08):

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f438...ion-34105.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f438...ace-74629.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f438...ain-45428.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f438...uts-50926.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f438...uts-43172.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f438...two-84928.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f438...ure-84703.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f438...res-28293.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f438...sue-89518.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f438...5-a-75896.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f438...hon-67407.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f438...res-55550.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f438...oll-76867.html


An excellent discussion on ST and LT tires:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f438...ore-87862.html


And one involving MAXXIS:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f438...ion-42493.html
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Old 07-09-2012, 11:28 AM   #294
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Did anyone consider a 7" wheel (16x7)? My tire guy guy tells me a lot of the wheels have moved to a 7" width - not at home so can't tell if that would work or not, particularly if I were to go with Centramatics...
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