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Old 07-07-2014, 06:07 PM   #1
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2008 23' International: 14 or 15 inch wheels and which tires?

Hello all,

My wife and I have a 2008 Airstream International Series M-23D Ocean Breeze. We’ve owned it since December 2012. The tires we have on there now are Goodyear Marathons ST215/75R14 and are 7 years old. We believe they are the original tires that came with the trailer.

On a recent trip at a gas stop, I noticed that one of the tires was showing some very unusual wear and I later learned that the tire was beginning to “separate from the inside”. Of course, I changed out the one tire at the gas stop before continuing home.

Needless to say, I’d like to replace all these old tires with new ones before our next trip. If we stay with our current 14 inch wheels, what is the preferred tire recommendation out there?

Additionally, on a recent trip to Ohio, we ran into some folks that had just been to Alumapalooza at the factory there. They said they were talking to Andy Thomson and that he recommended the Michelin P235/75R x 15XL tire for their trailer. Our trailer has 14inch rims, so this size wouldn’t work for us. But what do folks think about the Michelins? Is there a benefit to having 15” rims instead of 14” rims? Is this something we should consider for our Airstream? Can our Airstream model even accommodate 15” rims?

Thanks in advance for any advice!
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Old 07-07-2014, 06:21 PM   #2
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Many owners have switched out the 14 inch rims for 15 inch Sendel T02s (the one designed for five studs), and the Michelin LT tires that you reference. A highly recommended upgrade!
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Old 07-07-2014, 10:12 PM   #3
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Is there a benefit with 15 inch rims? absolutely. It gives you more clearance, many times coming out of gas stations with dips the rear would scrape, one time the bottom of the sewer scraped a bit. Airstream should have known this!

I just ordered the Michelin LTX MS/2 P235/75r/15, I will never buy ST tires again, I think they're all crap. On my next trip I'll post what I think of the new tires. I have 225 ST's on there now, that are ready to go. I'll gain another half inch in height too.
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Old 07-08-2014, 01:23 PM   #4
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The advantage of a larger tire versus a smaller one is load capacity and reserve load capacity.

The larger tire can accept and disperse larger amounts of heat and has more rubber to absorb shock and stress. However in my opinion there is a Goldilocks scenario. One can go too large of a tire and at best it is just a waste of money, at worst the ride quality is not as good as a smaller tire loaded properly. Knowing the maximum possible load is the first step in making a running gear item selection. Add about 10% to 15% to tha maximum possible load and select tires, rims and other running gear items that will meet that need. Run the trailer across a scale in full camping mode.

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Old 07-08-2014, 01:29 PM   #5
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Hi from Scottsdale. . . Are you sure they're 14" ? I thought all late model AS trailers were delivered with 15". My '05 & '10 were. regards, Craig
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Old 07-08-2014, 01:59 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RamblinManGa View Post
Hi from Scottsdale. . . Are you sure they're 14" ? I thought all late model AS trailers were delivered with 15". My '05 & '10 were. regards, Craig
I believe it is a function of trailer size. The smaller the trailer the smaller the load and the load capacity need is less.

The '05 and '10 you have are larger trailers (not by much on the '05) than Haleakala's trailer. A 16' Bambi isn't going to have the same wheel size as a 25" Safari. (Or a even larger trailer)

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Old 07-08-2014, 02:20 PM   #7
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Hi from AZ. . . as the kids say 'My Bad', I guess I've never seen a late model 16' up close. BUT, there is one at my storage place, I'll check it out. thanks, Cb
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Old 07-08-2014, 02:24 PM   #8
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The original poster (OP) has a 2008 23' International. I have no idea what wheels and tires are on that unit. However I am sure Airstream does not use the same rim diameter for all units.

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Old 07-08-2014, 02:52 PM   #9
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We looked at the 23' Airstream in 2005, when we bought our 19' Bambi. If my memory is correct, it had 215/75x14 GYMs on 14" wheels, one 12v battery and one 20-pound propane tank. Also, I think it had a narrower body than other Airstreams.

With the exception of the 16' and 23' models, I believe that (until recently) all other late-model Airstreams came from the factory with 225/75x15 GYM, load range D, ST tires on 15" wheels.
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Old 07-08-2014, 07:20 PM   #10
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Hello all! Thank you for the replies - we very much appreciate it. And to answer the questions, we definitely have 14" rims on our Airstream
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Old 07-08-2014, 07:25 PM   #11
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PS - Looks like several of the replies to this post were from folks in or around Phoenix, Arizona. Bonus question: Where do you all get your Airstreams serviced? We took it to Oasis RV in Tucson last year for it's yearly inspection and service. They came highly recommended and we were very happy with their service and work. That said, if there is a comparable recommended place closer to Phoenix, we'd likely go there in the future. Thanks again in advance!
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Old 07-08-2014, 07:45 PM   #12
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In 2005, we purchased our Bambi from Oasis RV in Tucson, when they were still an Airstream dealer. I think Oasis still services Airstreams, but I am certain they are no longer a dealer.

Currently, I believe the only Airstream dealer in Tucson is Lazydays RV.

After original purchase, our Bambi was only serviced once at Oasis, primarily to fix a couple of minor warranty items.

Other than that, I perform all maintenance and repairs myself.

==========

It looks like Dillon (in Mesa) closed or sold out, and Desert Autoplex (Mesa) and Schumacher European (Scottsdale) are now dealers. However, we have never been to either of them.
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Old 07-08-2014, 07:57 PM   #13
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We've had Michelins on almost all of our vehicles including our Airstream for decades. They are excellent tires, last forever and ride smoother than ST's and a lot of LT's.

If you want to go to 15" wheels, make sure they fit the cut out. You gain 1/2" on all sides. Make sure new wheels have a 0˚ offset.

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Old 07-08-2014, 08:02 PM   #14
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Comment regarding switching to 15" wheels:

I think the 14" wheels on the 23' Airstream have only 5 lugs. The 15" and 16" wheels on other models have 6.

Hopefully, other owners of 23' Airstreams who have switched wheels can provide details.
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