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Old 02-12-2013, 01:32 AM   #393
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1976 31' Sovereign
Springfield , South Carolina
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On the factory 15" rims I could hear the front tires being drug sideways on sharp turns on our first road trip. I could go back and see the diagonal drag marks on the tread on the front tires.

When I changed out to the 16" "E" rated tires inflated to 80 lbs the noise all but disappeared. Now that I have changed out and replaced the 3500 lb factory axles (they no longer had a down angle even with rig on 5 ton jack stands for two weeks and the electric brakes and hubs were completely shot ) with 5200 lb axles it raised the rig about two inches and I could tell the difference in ride immediately as being smoother. Changed them out myself and would do it again in a flash.

They are the Chinese made ones and I have about 5500 miles on them with no problems. Visually there is no change in them. Measured with a caliper depth there appears to be about .015" wear on the front ones.

I took a different approach for a spare on the 16" rims. I got my first four rims and tires from Tredit (they have about seven locations nationwide) and a extra rim only and went to a used tire place and got a "E" rated tire with about 35% tread for about 35.00. My rims Modular are steel as are the factory ones on my 2500HD. Now I carry two spares for the trailer and two for the 2500HD.

When rig is not on the road it is parked under a shed on planks and the tires are completely covered from the sun. Two years old and still look new.

I have another travel trailer frame ( 20 ft of unknown make) I got from a guy at a flea market. It has conventional 3500 lb drop axles with leaf springs. Previous owner told me the upper was shot so he hooked a steel cable to it and pulled it off the frame and burned it. I welded in some extra cross members and decked it out with thin steel sheets and rewired it with new lights. The factory tires on it look new insofar as tread depth but they are dry rotted. I just use it to carry steel stock and wood and will use it for power poles cut in 16 ft lengths eventually. The tread wear on all four appear identical. It sits out in the weather but the tires are covered. It should last me as long as I need it.
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Old 02-12-2013, 08:18 AM   #394
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Originally Posted by Hummer View Post
On the factory 15" rims I could hear the front tires being drug sideways on sharp turns on our first road trip. I could go back and see the diagonal drag marks on the tread on the front tires.

When I changed out to the 16" "E" rated tires inflated to 80 lbs the noise all but disappeared. Now that I have changed out and replaced the 3500 lb factory axles (they no longer had a down angle even with rig on 5 ton jack stands for two weeks and the electric brakes and hubs were completely shot ) with 5200 lb axles it raised the rig about two inches and I could tell the difference in ride immediately as being smoother. Changed them out myself and would do it again in a flash.

They are the Chinese made ones and I have about 5500 miles on them with no problems. Visually there is no change in them. Measured with a caliper depth there appears to be about .015" wear on the front ones.

I took a different approach for a spare on the 16" rims. I got my first four rims and tires from Tredit (they have about seven locations nationwide) and a extra rim only and went to a used tire place and got a "E" rated tire with about 35% tread for about 35.00. My rims Modular are steel as are the factory ones on my 2500HD. Now I carry two spares for the trailer and two for the 2500HD.

When rig is not on the road it is parked under a shed on planks and the tires are completely covered from the sun. Two years old and still look new.

I have another travel trailer frame ( 20 ft of unknown make) I got from a guy at a flea market. It has conventional 3500 lb drop axles with leaf springs. Previous owner told me the upper was shot so he hooked a steel cable to it and pulled it off the frame and burned it. I welded in some extra cross members and decked it out with thin steel sheets and rewired it with new lights. The factory tires on it look new insofar as tread depth but they are dry rotted. I just use it to carry steel stock and wood and will use it for power poles cut in 16 ft lengths eventually. The tread wear on all four appear identical. It sits out in the weather but the tires are covered. It should last me as long as I need it.
You have changed the running gear on your 76 to a weight rating that I have never heard of.

A word of caution, in order to minimize the potential structual damage, would be to make super sure that the running gear is properly balanced, or add Centramatics to the rig.

Your trailer was originally equipped with 3200 pound axles. Kicking them up to 5200 pounds each is about a 65 percent increase. Typically, a 15 percent increase is the maximum.

Road caused vibrations are now a huge enemy for your Airstream, since the "soft" ride has been discarded.

Andy
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Old 02-12-2013, 08:20 AM   #395
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We have a 1999 Safari which came with 14" wheels, and we went to 16" wheels/tires (5 of them including spare), we also changed out the axles at the same time and upgraded the brakes to 12" from the previous 10". As I stated on post #146 (I believe), I called the factory to check on amount of wheel well space, and was told all Safaris have the same size wheel well space. Since we had been told the factory was changing up to 16" on Safaris for individuals, we decided we could too. We went with the Michelin XPS, and have not regretted it -- the peace of mind is worth the cost.

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Old 02-12-2013, 09:15 AM   #396
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Since I am installing the Centramatic balancers on all 4 new LT tires on my AS, I doubt that I will rotate much except for an occasional front-to-back. I expect these new Michelins will "time out" before they wear out, even without rotating them.

I too am a master at changing a flat in the wilderness, about 20 minutes using the trailer aid. I also have the AAA RV and the Camping Wolrd/Good Sam, but the only time I used them it was 2 hours getting to me and then he had to use my metric sockets to get the tire off(along with stripping the lug nut cap which made me change out all of my lug nuts to solids), so for my next 2 flats, I did the changing myself. The hard part is changing a tire when the flat is on the driver's side and you have traffic going past you at 70+ mph; not fun. I will be happy to say good-bye to my 15" ST's and hello to my 16" LT's.

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Old 02-26-2013, 04:32 PM   #397
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Question to those of you who have upgraded their late-model Airstream's 15" wheels to the 16" Sendel T03's -

Did you have to replace lug nuts and/or hub caps, or did you just re-use the ones that came off the 15" wheels?

thanks -
Steve
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Old 02-26-2013, 04:37 PM   #398
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I got T02s, but the same. Lugs nuts and center cap re-used.
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Old 02-26-2013, 04:43 PM   #399
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I just ordered Sendel T05's - T05-66655SM and Michelin LTX M/S 2's - LT 225/75 R16 E1. Will post pictures once I get them installed on the trailer. I like the machined insert in the T05 a lot better than the standard chrome hub cover on other wheels.



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Old 02-26-2013, 05:03 PM   #400
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steverino View Post
Question to those of you who have upgraded their late-model Airstream's 15" wheels to the 16" Sendel T03's -

Did you have to replace lug nuts and/or hub caps, or did you just re-use the ones that came off the 15" wheels?

thanks -
Steve
Steve,
I intalled my T03s with the OEM lug nuts and hub caps, I kept the hub caps that came with my Sendel TO3 as spares.
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Old 02-26-2013, 05:39 PM   #401
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steverino View Post
Question to those of you who have upgraded their late-model Airstream's 15" wheels to the 16" Sendel T03's -

Did you have to replace lug nuts and/or hub caps, or did you just re-use the ones that came off the 15" wheels?

thanks -
Steve
I reused the hub caps, fit perfectly, and look good to boot.

I jettisoned the OEM 'capped' lug nuts. They tended to deform under the lug wrench. Replaced with solid.
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Old 02-26-2013, 05:41 PM   #402
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Originally Posted by ddruker View Post
I just ordered Sendel T05's - T05-66655SM and Michelin LTX M/S 2's - LT 225/75 R16 E1. Will post pictures once I get them installed on the trailer. I like the machined insert in the T05 a lot better than the standard chrome hub cover on other wheels.



slick. I'd love to see pix of those installed.
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Old 02-27-2013, 07:44 AM   #403
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Thumbs up Nice combo!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ddruker View Post
I just ordered Sendel T05's - T05-66655SM and Michelin LTX M/S 2's - LT 225/75 R16 E1. Will post pictures once I get them installed on the trailer. I like the machined insert in the T05 a lot better than the standard chrome hub cover on other wheels.


HI Dan,

Looks like a sweet combo! You'll like the performance of the Michelins. Nice pic of you and the kids - looks like the top of Half Dome, no?

Cheers,

Art
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Old 02-27-2013, 07:53 AM   #404
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16" Michelins XPS Upgrade...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Air Cruiser View Post
We have a 1999 Safari which came with 14" wheels, and we went to 16" wheels/tires (5 of them including spare), we also changed out the axles at the same time and upgraded the brakes to 12" from the previous 10". As I stated on post #146 (I believe), I called the factory to check on amount of wheel well space, and was told all Safaris have the same size wheel well space. Since we had been told the factory was changing up to 16" on Safaris for individuals, we decided we could too. We went with the Michelin XPS, and have not regretted it -- the peace of mind is worth the cost.

Deb
Deb,

We've logged over 5,000 miles on our 16" wheel, tire, ceramic balancers, brakes, and axles upgrade since last September. You are right about the Michelins - you won't regret having made the upgrade, we sure haven't. Those tires really give us peace of mind as we're rolling down the road.

Be safe, cheers ,

Art
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Old 02-27-2013, 08:59 AM   #405
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I ordered new solid lug nuts with locking lug nut for the new combo. I didn't like the original style lug nuts.
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Old 02-28-2013, 09:49 AM   #406
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We replaced the OEM lug nuts a while back with solid ones. When I was changing a tire years ago I wondered why the lug nut wouldn't tighten properly. The torque wrench said everything was ok, but the nut would wiggle. Then I found out the chrome was just a cap on the real nut underneath and they got loose and can sometimes fall off. I'd never heard of such a lug nut. How cheap does Airstream get with the parts they buy?

Gene
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