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Old 07-23-2013, 06:16 AM   #547
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Originally Posted by SteveH View Post
Sort of reluctant to post this for all of the screams of incorrectness I will receive, but I typically take just the tires and wheels into the tire shop for tire work, and so I install them when I get home myself.

My procedure is I initially install them with an air impact wrench tying not to get them too tight. Then after all the wheels/tires are on the ground, I use a large cross lug wrench that I carry with me in the truck, and I tighten all the lug nuts until they squeak, and that's tight enough. I never torque them again.

Haven't had one come loose in 40+ years, but I have had to replace one stud and lug. It was on an Airstream I bought used, and I'm absolutely certain the previous owner damaged it.
You're right - you're going to be taken to task.

If you have an impact wrench, it seems silly not to use a torque wrench to tighten the lug nuts. I can understand it if all you have is that X-type 4 way lug wrench, but a torque wrench is so much more precise. No more over-tightening, no more under-tightening.

I mean, come on!! A torque wrench only costs $50.

I ALWAYS check inflation pressures, and torques BEFORE I start any trip with the trailer.
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Old 07-23-2013, 06:37 AM   #548
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I am actually a little surprised that here on this forum ( the owners of such a fancy trailer ) that more folks are not picky about getting lug nut torque correct. Yes, I am one of those that carries a torque wrench under the seat of the truck, along with a 2 foot breaker bar and all the appropriate 6 point sockets. It doesn't cost that many dollars, and it only takes a few minutes to get it all right.
As for lubing the wheel studs, just looked in my machinists guide, and I would say depending on the lube you might use, you have over torqued the fasteners by as much as double what they are spec'd for ( assuming you actually used a torque wrench ). If you just used the "farmer tight" method.....who knows how tight they are. They are most likely uneven around the pattern also, which can lead to warped brake drums or rotors. To each his own.
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Old 07-23-2013, 07:20 AM   #549
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The reason for using a torque wrench in a pattern and making several passes increasing the torque value slowly is to keep from warping the wheel or hub. I have seen kids at tire shops using air wrenches and fully seat each nut in one pass. Remember, it is not their vehicle!
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Old 07-23-2013, 07:34 AM   #550
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Originally Posted by CapriRacer View Post
You're right - you're going to be taken to task.

If you have an impact wrench, it seems silly not to use a torque wrench to tighten the lug nuts. I can understand it if all you have is that X-type 4 way lug wrench, but a torque wrench is so much more precise. No more over-tightening, no more under-tightening.

I mean, come on!! A torque wrench only costs $50.

I ALWAYS check inflation pressures, and torques BEFORE I start any trip with the trailer.
Didn't say I don't have a torque wrench.....just said how I do it, and never expected any agreement either.

Like I said, I've never had one come loose that I tightened, but I have had one come loose that a "tire shop" put on with a torque wrench, but it was on a daily driver, not a trailer.

If it's of any comfort to you, I do torque all the bolts on the hitch, use lock washers, and Locktite on them too.
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Old 07-23-2013, 09:01 AM   #551
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I've always used my own muscle with a cross wrench to tighten up the lugs prior to each trip. With the advent of new wheels and tires I borrowed my neighbors torque wrench to "do it right". As an experiment he had me torque the lugs on a wheel the way I feel is correct. We then went back with the torque wrench starting at 85 lbs and continued to move it up a pound at a time until we found where the wrench stopped clicking. To my surprise apparently my manual effort was pretty consistently applying 100 lbs of torque to the lugs, which for all intents was my goal.

Since we were headed out on a 700 mile trip, I took his wrench with me. After mounting the tires and wheels at the garage where I keep my trailer, I drove the trailer home which was about 30 miles. I checked the torque at that point and the lugs had lost about a lb. The next day we took off on our trip and I pulled over at a rest stop about 50 miles out of town. Everything was right on at 100 lbs. Checked again 100 miles further at the next rest stop and again everything was right on. Checked at 300 miles at our first overnight. Again no movement. Checked on our arrival to our final destination again no movement. I checked again this spring and found everything still where it should be. Probably will have to check at least one wheel tomorrow since the trailer is up at the local dealership to investigate a noisy wheel.

Even though my own effort is pretty good, I'm going to buy my own torque wrench to carry with me. It does give me some level of comfort, and as I get older, the body may start to weaken...


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Old 07-23-2013, 12:18 PM   #552
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I pretty much do what Bob does—see post #545.

I didn't have a torque wrench until I bought the trailer. I looked around for one (often they cost more than $50), but found one on sale for about $30 at a hardware store and bought it. What I discovered was I was torquing the lugnuts far more than was recommended. It was nice to find out I was so strong, but not so nice I was overtorquing the lugnuts. The truck wheels require somewhat less torque than the trailer, so I may have been doubling the torque on them for years. With a 4 way it is easy to torque to over 150 lbs. Properly torqued lugnuts are a lot easier to get off too. Last year I watched a mechanic torque the lugnuts on the truck without a torque wrench. I told him the proper torque and he ignored me. I retorqued them when I got home. Thus, I learned always to check torque after anyone else works on the brakes or changes tires.

The shop where the mechanic overtorqued the truck wheels had changed rotors for me and then they slightly warped again, so I took it back and they solved the problem. It is possible they warped the new rotors the first time since their work practices were poor. They had them fixed at their expense. After I took the truck home and retorqued the wheels, there have been no problems. I watched the mechanic doing things so unsafe that I decided their work practices were so poor I never went back there.

I always carry a torque wrench, a complete rachet set and a box of tools sufficient to take a locomotive apart when we travel with the trailer. Fortunately no one has asked me to take a locomotive apart, but I'm ready in case they do.

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Old 11-01-2013, 06:47 AM   #553
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Andy:
Why would Jackson Center recommend 16" rims and E rated tires?
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Old 11-01-2013, 10:48 AM   #554
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Andy:
Why would Jackson Center recommend 16" rims and E rated tires?
I have no idea.

To me, "E" tires are for trucks, certainly not an Airstream trailer, THAT MUST have a soft ride.

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Old 11-01-2013, 12:31 PM   #555
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As I started this thread several years, I will now give my final report on the performance of the 16" Michelin LTs that I put on Lucy. This post will serve as a final report as we have committed to trade Lucy in on a hardly used 2012 Flying Cloud 23FB. We will make our final trip with Lucy over to Gulfport, Mississippi, in about two weeks.

That being said, this is our assessment of the tire situation for our well worn (1,380 nights/116,000 miles) 2005 Safari 25FB. We had horrible experience with Lucy's OEM 15" ST tires and the ST's that we replaced them with. Fed up with the junk trailer tire situation, we took Lucy to Jackson Center in November of 2010, and had them install a complete set of five 16" wheels and tires. We opted for the Michelin LTs.

We have now had the new 16" tires for three years. We have towed Lucy a little over 50,000 miles with the LTs. We have experienced absolutely no tire related problems. We have hardly ever had to add pressure. There is no discernible tread wear. Not a single rivet has been popped, and there is no interior damage.

Based upon my personal experience, I would highly recommend the 16" LT tire upgrade for a 25FB.

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Old 11-01-2013, 01:10 PM   #556
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This soft ride discussion poses a question.

Do the the 16" Michelin LT tires at 80 psi Airstream uses and recommends have a stiffer sidewall than my Airstream original 15" GYM ST tires at 65 psi?

I've used both on our trailer and see no evidence of damage from either. My understanding is ST tires have a very stiff sidewall, more so than LT tires, but looking for the truth, not opinions.
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Old 11-01-2013, 01:32 PM   #557
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Thanks Brian for that fairly long term report on the LT tires. Do you keep them at the full 80psi or something less ???? Based on your experience, as well as quite a few others, I'm confident I made the right decision to go that route.

Thanks again. See ya on the road sometime.
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Old 11-01-2013, 01:48 PM   #558
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From Brian's LT tire experience it looks as though the proof is in the pudding! It is really hard to argue with real world results of his LT tire experience.

So Brian, now you have our curiosity up - after 116,000 miles - how did your trailer hold up? Has anything worn out specifically or were you just ready for a change?
Are you going to switch to 16" LT tires, use the Michelin XL 15" tires or roll the dice on the ST tires for awhile?
Of course you must tell us more about the new trailer!
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Old 11-01-2013, 05:31 PM   #559
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We also have the 16"Michelin LT tires - originally bought them for our 2006 25' Safari a coupke of years ago.

When we bought our new 2013 27' Classic, we had the AS dealer transfer our old tire and rims to the new trailer.

Enough said - we have about 8,000 miles on the tires, with 3,000 miles being on the new trailer - putting another 2,500 miles in the next couple of weeks.

No problem, except the increased peace of mind.

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Old 11-01-2013, 10:30 PM   #560
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Quote:
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Thanks Brian for that fairly long term report on the LT tires. Do you keep them at the full 80psi or something less ???? Based on your experience, as well as quite a few others, I'm confident I made the right decision to go that route.

Thanks again. See ya on the road sometime.
I have been running mine at 72 psi, based on Lucy's weight (7,400#).

Brian
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