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Old 11-16-2009, 06:30 PM   #1
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the 14.5 issue Advise Please

I am looking for some opinions/advise in the 14.5 tire and wheel issue. Here is some background and story of recent experience: I restored my 1960 18' Traveler about 5000 miles ago. When I did so, I left the original running gear in place, the axle and springs are in good shape, so I rebuilt the 6 bolt hubs and added an armiture plate and electric breaks, keeping the 14.5", 6 lug wheels that wear 7x14.5" tires. At that time I purchased 3 new 7x14.5, 12 ply tires. On my last trip from NY to Colorado, Two of those tires blew out with only approximately 3500 miles on them. Not wanting to travel without a spare, I researched from my Iphone on the road where to get the new 7x14.5 spare. Both times I encountered experienced tire people telling me that 7x14.5 is not a common size anymore. The first blow took me 1.5 day to find a spare in South Bend, then the second I got the same day in Des Moines after several phne calls. Fortunately, the mobile internet allowed me to find good help. The point is this; the 7x14.5" tire is not common and can not be purchesed in stock at most convienient tire dealer and repair shops on the road and since they are not very common, then when one purchases a "new" 7x14.5 tire, chances are it has been sitting for a while and may already be "dry", hense, how long can you trust it? One guy at Eastern Iowa Tire (Great Place) in Des Moines mentioned there was a place there that could fabricate custom steel wheels (popular for the farming industry) and that that cost would be much less than replacing the axle and hubs to change wheel size.
So my question comes down to this; 1,should I have new wheels made to fit the existing hub and axle at a more common modern size, 2,should I go to the expense of replacing the axle, hubs and wheels or 3, should I always carrry a fourth spare and hpe that those n the ground just don't blow. You can imagine my concern, My 1960 Traveler tows beautifully at highway speed, and I want to continue to tow at speed with confidence. Thanks for any and all input.
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Old 11-16-2009, 06:41 PM   #2
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You should be able to buy a stock 15x6JJ wheel from Dexstar and just slide it right onto the existing hubs. The bolt circle was the same on mine - 6 on 5 1/2. I still have a Kuhmo 7-14.5 tire I use as a spare, but my regular wheels are now Marathons on a 15" wheel. The Marathon is about 1" more in diameter, and a little wider, so check the clearance in the wheel well and shock mount.
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Old 11-16-2009, 07:59 PM   #3
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Even a 7.00x15 tire is more common than a 14.5 tire. As a rule, only mobile homes and some equipment trailers use them.
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Old 11-16-2009, 08:28 PM   #4
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I changed the 14.5 rims on a 58 Pacer to the Dexstar 15 OEM rims and used the normal ST 225x75x15 tires. The combo fit into the wheel well with no problems. BUT the axle had been flipped to below the springs.
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Old 11-16-2009, 11:03 PM   #5
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I changed the hubs on an equipment trailer that was built with 14.5" mobile home rims and tires. The spindles were fine and the new hubs and bearings were heavier than original. The whole deal was quick and relatively inexpensive. A plus was being able to find bearings and seals if required at a later date. Went to 15" rims and tires and never had another problem.
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Old 11-17-2009, 11:00 AM   #6
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Thanks for the input, sounds like going to 15s is the popular thing to do, I will check the clearence but already know there is not a lot of room in the wheel well. What about going to 14s?
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Old 11-17-2009, 11:15 AM   #7
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I have basically the same setup as jbond with the exception that the axle is not flipped. I have not had any problems.
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Old 11-17-2009, 12:41 PM   #8
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Thanks silver, I love your '65 Chevy! So, does your '60 18' roll with 15s on the original running gear? If so this is good news for me.
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Old 11-17-2009, 12:56 PM   #9
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Assuming that nothing has changed in 49 years and your Traveler has the same axle. Yes!
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Old 11-17-2009, 01:08 PM   #10
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Thanks again Silver! I like that look, chrome ring, black wheel and baby moon, Are those Dexstar brand? Would you mind pointing me toward where you purchased them?
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Old 08-08-2011, 09:07 PM   #11
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I am in the same boat now or shall I say airstream I am looking for a spare tire for my 59 Globester. It takes a 14 1/2" wheel, 6 lug and a 5.5 bolt pattern. Any suggestions are greatly appreicated!
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