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Old 08-12-2016, 10:52 AM   #1
Tao
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2013 19' International
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Intl. 19, 2013 - upgrade rims/tires.

Had a 2012 Intl. Signature 19 - sold as part of divorce. Divorce now final and I just purchased a used 2013 Intl. Signature 19.

On the 2012 I had upgraded the rims and tires to the following:
Rims: Source - RecStuff.com
16x6, 6 bolt on 5.5" Aluminum T02 Trailer Wheel $115 each
4.25 Stainless EZ Lube Center Cap $12.20 each
Shipping $27.18

Tires: Michelin LT225/75 R16 15R E1
Discount Tires, Mount, Balance, $458.40



Question, any significant improvement in rims or tires from what I did to the 2012 a few years ago?

At Discount Tires they offer Lifetime balance at no charge, so I don't think I will add the Centramatics again. Can just have the tire balance check for free once a year.

I plan to order times and rims in just a few days so feedback ASAP is appreciated.
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Old 08-12-2016, 07:00 PM   #2
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Wheel balancing only balances a tire and wheel. The question is whether the brake drums are in balance. While many drums appear to have weights attached or holes partially drilled in them (which may indicate that some kind of balancing was done during their manufacture), there's no way to tell if the entire tire/wheel/drum assembly is in balance.

For cars and trucks, wheel balancing is usually sufficient; and this may also be true for most trailers. However, with no way to tell for sure (since most people don't ride in their trailer to see if they can detect any gross imbalance, and they might not be able to tell anyway), one can either just hope for the best (which may be OK most of the time), or use dynamic balancers, like Centramatics. Thus, it mostly comes down to personal opinion and preference.

I choose to use Centramatics, since their cost is minimal compared to the other expenses of owning and maintaining an Airstream. And, I don't have to worry about any imbalances due to the brake drums, rocks in tire treads, mud or ice in/on wheels, etc. Also, I consider them insurance towards prolonging the life of our XPS Ribs, which were a pricey upgrade. Hopefully the Centramatics will prevent any flat-spotting or irregular wear that might shorten their treadlife.

As an aside, my decision was also influenced by our long-haul trucker neighbors who swear by Centramatics on their big rig, and by other neighbors who use them on their Honda Gold Wing motorcycles. Both say that their tires run longer and stay in balance.
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Old 08-12-2016, 07:03 PM   #3
Tao
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Thanks Phoenix, you made a couple of good points, as always!
I'll add a pair to my order on Monday or Tuesday.

Jack
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Old 08-23-2016, 07:53 PM   #4
Tao
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UPDATE, 8/23/2016
Just had the rims and tires mounted at Discount Tire. Look great.
BUT, Discount Tire would NOT install the Centramatics!
Against their policy as it is considered an "spacer" and they have had wheels come apart as a result in the past.

Checked with another shop, same story.

As I don't have a floor jack, and Discount Tire gave me free rebalance for life of the tires, I'll more than likely return the Centramatics.

Thus, beware!

Also, went with the Michelin "Defender" tire, supposedly the upgrade replacement for the LT2. Bit more money but nothing of any consequence.
Jack
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Old 08-24-2016, 03:31 AM   #5
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I purchased our 16" wheels & LT tires at Discount Tire in Phoenix; and they installed our Centramatics (that I purchased from another source) at the same time. Must be your local franchise. There are lots of AirForums members running Centramatics, so I think their concerns are unfounded.

When towing, we carry a 3-ton floor jack, upgraded from a 2-ton model that wouldn't jack up a flat on our pickup with our Bambi attached. (While the jack may have been able to lift the wheel, the handle was too short to get any leverage with the jack under the truck.)

Hope you have a jack capable of lifting a flat tire on your Bambi or TV. If you want to keep the Centramatics, you could use that jack to install them yourself.

Just a thought...
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Old 08-24-2016, 09:14 AM   #6
Tao
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Divorced about 1.5 years ago - sold house and all stuff that would not fit in a 2 bedroom apartment. Thus, no floor jack.

Will see if my son in law has one in Atlanta on my next trip down there.

I did keep my torque wrench.
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