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.