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Old 05-31-2012, 07:38 PM   #15
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Learned (and spent) a lot since my above post six weeks ago:

I just upgraded the rolling stock on my 2007 Safari SE 23'. OEM fittment was 14" wheels with a 5 by 4.5 bolt pattern. Went to 15" trailer wheels from etrailer.com and a set of 205/70/15 Nokian Hakka C Van tires with a higher weight rating than the stock Marathons. Expensive, but very good tires.

The five-bolt hub was the thing that stopped me from going to 16" wheels (and sadly would make the 25' Safari wheels offered above a non-option.) Mind you, I'm not sure that the 23FB has the same bolt pattern.

Tom
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Old 06-01-2012, 07:03 AM   #16
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15" wheels

Excellent! Sounds like you have made a good decision. Tom
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Old 06-04-2012, 05:59 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mutcth View Post
Learned (and spent) a lot since my above post six weeks ago:

I just upgraded the rolling stock on my 2007 Safari SE 23'. OEM fittment was 14" wheels with a 5 by 4.5 bolt pattern. Went to 15" trailer wheels from etrailer.com and a set of 205/70/15 Nokian Hakka C Van tires with a higher weight rating than the stock Marathons. Expensive, but very good tires.

The five-bolt hub was the thing that stopped me from going to 16" wheels (and sadly would make the 25' Safari wheels offered above a non-option.) Mind you, I'm not sure that the 23FB has the same bolt pattern.

Tom
Thank you for the info. That's some serious $$ to go to the 15s.
Just curious, what issues you had with the 14s, or was this a preventative move to avoid issues.
Also, did it give you more clearance under the trailer? I guess it's at least a half inch, but I would like to get more than that. We tend to go back into places that are maybe a little rough..
Thanks,
Jeff
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Old 06-04-2012, 06:27 AM   #18
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Totally preventative move. My Marathons were five years old, so I wanted them replaced. I also figured 15" wheels give me more tire choices down the road. My motto is "life is too short for cheap tires."

I actually lost a hair of clearance, about 0.2 inch, due to smaller diameter tires. Even though 15" wheels give you more choices, you're still stuck with what each tire manufacturer offers in that size.

If you want a larger diameter, the Continental Vanco 2 comes in 15" in a wider variety of sizes. Would have gone with them (they're slightly cheaper than the Nokians) but they were back ordered at the time. And if I wasn't so hung up on weight rating, the Michelin LTX M/S 225/70/15 would give more clearance. Was very happy with the LTX's on my Argosy.

Hope this helps
Tom
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Old 08-09-2012, 06:22 PM   #19
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My '99 Safari 23' came with 14" wheels and GYMs (I purchased it used) and I had zero problems with them. At some point, due to the tires' age, I replaced them with new 14" GYMs and again had zero problems.

It may be worth noting that I am a stickler for air pressure monitoring and use an infrared thermometer on every tire and hub at every stop. About a thousand years ago, I sold tires, and I learned early on that most - not all, but most - tire failures are the result of underinflation. Often due to something like a slow leak around an embedded nail, etc. that goes unnoticed for a day or two while the tire pressure slowly bleeds down. The result of careful monitoring, etc. is that over many decades of driving and towing, I've only once had a catastrophic tire failure, and it was on an auto, not a trailer.

But it seemed to me that larger and higher speed rated tires would give me more "margin of error" ... this was mostly unscientific, though I'd read dozens of articles on the subject. So ultimately I decided to replace the GYMs with 15" Michelin LT tires (LT 235 75 R15) ... and of course new wheels and all-metal valve stems, etc. These are LR "C" tires, and at 45 psi each has a load rating of 1785 lbs as opposed to the 14" GYMs load rating of 1760 at 50 psi. And of course, they have a higher speed rating.

I've been totally satisfied ... BUT ... here's where the "measure twice" bit comes in: they only have about 1" - 1 1/2" of clearance fore and aft in the wheel wells. And the larger tire / rim assembly BARELY fits into the spare tire carrier. So if you are gonna' go that route, I strongly suggest that you check out the inflated diameter and section width of the proposed new tires and measure carefully before pressing the "go" button. It might be worth talking to a trailer specialist to make sure that the proposed wheels have the correct offset, etc. also.

One other potential issue is that the slightly larger tires have slightly more leverage against the original 10" brakes, so in theory at least, the brakes are a bit "weaker." This has not so far proved to be a problem for me, even with a lot of mountain driving, but they need to be maintained in a good state of adjustment.

Good luck with your decision!
Now I am looking at the same thing and after measuring twice, I too will have a 1" - 1 1/2" clearance fore and aft. Have you had any problems with that minimum clearance? Are you still happy with your decision?
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Old 08-09-2012, 07:08 PM   #20
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I'm just back from an 11,000 mile trip to Alaska and back. Zero problems, and the tires on the trailer look new. And the new wheels are prettier than the factory originals, too!

I'ts time to replace my axles, so I think that in doing so I'll up the brake size ... but on this recent trip, I adjusted the brakes carefully before leaving - and had no issues on the sometimes steep grades in BC, the Yukon, and AK. But more braking power is always a useful thing to have, at least in reserve.
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Old 08-10-2012, 07:36 AM   #21
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I don't want to change the subject on this thread, but how do you know when it is time to replace your axles?
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Old 08-10-2012, 10:44 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by wdh
I don't want to change the subject on this thread, but how do you know when it is time to replace your axles?
Hi wdh,

Here's a link to an article that should help answer your question.

http://www.airstreamcentral.com/arti...xle/Page1.html
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Old 08-17-2012, 05:50 PM   #23
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Thanks for the link that helped. But getting back to the thread, I took the plunge and changed to 15" wheels and put on Michelin LTX M/S P235/75R15 XL. But the guy at Discount Tire confused me. He said I need to run with 41 PSI instead of the 50 PSI that is indicated as max presure on the tire. So what are you guys running?
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Old 08-17-2012, 06:11 PM   #24
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Tire Pressure

I'm running those tires on my 1971 21' Globetrotter. Replaced newer 15" GYM's just to feel safe.

My Discount tire guy said run 'em at 51 PSI, which I do. One trip to Central/Southern California on them so far. Smooth ride and no issues.

FWIW, I've always felt Michelin makes the best tires, so why not use them
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Old 08-17-2012, 07:16 PM   #25
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That''s what I meant. What tire pressure are you guys running?

Of all the measurements I did, the one I miss was the spare tire holder. I measured the diameter and that was ok. I didn't measure the tire width, so I still have some modifications to make before hitting the road. Oh, well. Still learning.
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Old 08-19-2012, 08:12 AM   #26
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I just got back from a trip around Lake Superior. A little over 2,200 miles. I ran the 14" GYMs at 50 psi the whole time. Actually I think I was a little over. I set them at 52, and they never dropped down to 50.. So far, so good. I think I'll leave them in place until I retire (6 years) then I'll head for Alaska for the summer. I plan to just try and fit 15" wheels with the Michilin tires at that time. Braking was very good on the decents around Superior. (I know they are nothing compared to what I'll see heading to Alaska.) but sufficient..
I sure wish they would have gone ahead and but 15s on the 23FB, but the 14s are ok, I guess.
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Old 08-30-2012, 07:22 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mutcth View Post
Learned (and spent) a lot since my above post six weeks ago:

I just upgraded the rolling stock on my 2007 Safari SE 23'. OEM fittment was 14" wheels with a 5 by 4.5 bolt pattern. Went to 15" trailer wheels from etrailer.com and a set of 205/70/15 Nokian Hakka C Van tires with a higher weight rating than the stock Marathons. Expensive, but very good tires.

The five-bolt hub was the thing that stopped me from going to 16" wheels (and sadly would make the 25' Safari wheels offered above a non-option.) Mind you, I'm not sure that the 23FB has the same bolt pattern.

Tom
I have a 23 FB SE due for new tires now. Do you happen to have the trailer wheel part number/name from etrailer that you bought? I'd liked to look into it as I consider my options for replacing my tires. Thanks.
Sandy
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Old 08-30-2012, 08:04 PM   #28
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Here is the link for the wheel that I bought. I've been happy with them and the tires so far.

Tom
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