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Old 02-06-2016, 03:46 PM   #1
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Michelin 16" LT Tire Upgrade

I just upgraded from 15" GY Marathons to Michelin XPS Rib LT 235/85R16E with Sendel T03 16" wheels. They are mounted on my 2014 FC 28' Airstream.

After mounting I noticed that there is only 1" clearance of the front tire from the front wheel well. Is this OK? Will the tire hit the wheel well during travel when the trailer hits a bump,hole,etc.

During installation I felt that it was best to remove a small portion of the wheel well decorative moulding for additional clearance.

I would like to get opinions from those who did this change.

Thanks
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Old 02-06-2016, 05:00 PM   #2
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I've had zero issues with that in 23K of towing with my 16's.
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Old 02-06-2016, 05:22 PM   #3
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Mine have been fine for two years. If you look at the way the wheel moves there shouldn't be a problem.
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Old 02-06-2016, 05:50 PM   #4
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We made this change 3 years ago on our 25', I was a little concerned because the tires looked too close but I was assured by the tire shop that it wouldn't be a problem. A trip across the country and back and two round trips to Florida and back in addition to several trips where we ended pulling through mud in 4 wheel drive have proven the shop was right. The tires still look like new and the safe feeling of control I feel when a semi roles past me going 80 miles per hour down a mountain makes the added expense worth every penny. 5 blow outs before the michellins, congrats on your purchase.
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Old 02-06-2016, 06:23 PM   #5
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What a coincidence. I replaced my 15" wheels and Marathons with 16" wheels and Michelin LT's today too. Here's some photos. Got the job done at America's Tire.



Using four jacks they lifted the entire trailer at once.




Below is a photo of the old 15" wheels and old Marathons.



Below are the new 16" wheels with Michelin LT's. Clearance front and back is slightly reduced, but still remains at 1.5" to 2". Installed Michelin LT 225/75 R16. All four plus spare, all on new Sendel wheels.

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Old 02-06-2016, 07:34 PM   #6
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We made the same tire/wheel upgrade to both our 25FB's. One was a 2005 and the other a 2015. The clearance is close as you see in the photos below.

We put 60,000 miles on the Michelins on the 2005, and have already put 20,000 miles on the 2015's Michelins. We have never made any wheel well alteration and have never had a problem.

Brian
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Old 02-06-2016, 07:39 PM   #7
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I thank you all for your reply. I see where all of you mounted LT225/75R16's. I mounted LT235/85R16's which are 2" larger I come to find out. So my clearance is less.
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Old 02-07-2016, 11:21 AM   #8
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My change to Michelin 16 wheels/tires was the same result and after 3 years, no problems. I would recommend using the Trailer Aid to lift the wheels off the ground instead of a jack. Much easier, safer and way lighter.

http://www.genuinehotrod.com/itemgroup/trailer-aid
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Old 02-07-2016, 12:00 PM   #9
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Interesting! After years of Marathon blowouts, we replaced ours with the same at the beginning of last season and have had no problems. We purchased the wheels and tires from Discount Tires, which is the local branch of All American Tires, and they wouldn't install on the Airstream--we had that done with Ron at C&G Airstream instead. He had to do a slight modification to the spare tire holder to make it fit, but otherwise no problems. After a season of towing, no problems with clearance on our 2009 28' International.
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Old 02-07-2016, 01:13 PM   #10
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I'm so confident in the Michelins I made a gamble. And yes, I know it's a gamble. I'm not running a spare tire. No spare. It's an experiment. (Also not going to Alaska anytime soon )

If I can make it to 2 yrs full time, I will not shut up about how much better the Michelins are. So far, I'm two months out from 1 yr on the road full-time. Zero issues. And these things hold their air pressure. I used to have to keep adding air to the Marthons after every tow.
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Old 02-07-2016, 01:21 PM   #11
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Even though I carry a spare, I agree that the 16" Michelins do the job. Our 2005 25FB did 60,000 miles on a set of Michelins without a single issue of any kind. I would check the pressure regularly and never had to add any air.

We now have covered 20,000 miles with the 2015 25FB. It also has the 16" Michelin LT's. These also have thus far performed flawlessly.

Brian
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Old 02-07-2016, 02:35 PM   #12
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I wonder why the 235/ 85 / 16 / instead of 225/75/16 ?? Or is this a misprint?
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Old 02-07-2016, 03:46 PM   #13
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I too switched out the 15 inch Marathon tires for 16 inch Michelins on my 2015 28 ft FC. You're correct there is not much clearance but we haven't had a problem. I have towed about 9,000 miles on them. I'm a newbie but I am dead that I made the switch after hearing horror stories about blowouts with Marathon tires.
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Old 02-07-2016, 05:31 PM   #14
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Has anyone tried the 15" Continentals on original rims?
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Old 02-07-2016, 05:55 PM   #15
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And if / when you need tires, 16" LT (Light Truck) tires are available EVERYWHERE and, you'll have a wide selection to choose from.
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Old 02-08-2016, 06:53 AM   #16
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It will be OK.
You've made a good upgrade.
The tires will never rub.
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Old 02-08-2016, 07:33 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joohntooth View Post
I thank you all for your reply. I see where all of you mounted LT225/75R16's. I mounted LT235/85R16's which are 2" larger I come to find out. So my clearance is less.

There may be others out there, but yours is the first mention that I have seen of using 235/85/16 (which has a diameter of about 31.73"). I think most people making the switch to 16" are using 225/75/16 (diameter of 29.29"). If the size you mentioned works then it would offer over an inch extra height, which can certainly come in handy at times. As you say, it could put you close to rubbing though. I would be curious to know how well it works out and if it affects the handling in any way as well.
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Old 02-08-2016, 03:35 PM   #18
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After reading horror stories on this forum, I purchased some 16" rims and Michelins before I had my Airstream. We were living in Michigan and went out to Idaho to pick up our 2005 Classic 30'. Had the 16's put on the next day, so I don't know what life would have been like - but so far haven't had any problems.

How does everyone keep track of the mileage on their trailers and tires? Simply keeping a log of each trip?
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Old 02-08-2016, 03:59 PM   #19
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We have always kept a daily log on the road to show total miles and nights camped.

Brian
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Old 02-08-2016, 04:01 PM   #20
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Replacing 15in tires with16in

I have reviewed the posts about going with larger 225and 235 16 in tires and
Wheels. My tires are 12 yrs old Carlisle 700x15 with travel from the east coast
To Elpaso with no problems. 1970 25 ft. Carlisle is presently producing a 're-
Placement bias ply tire 205-90-15 eight ply.I'm planing trying them this time
Because I've had good luck with Carlisle on both pull tag and fifth wheel. Good
To hear good reports from you folks and trials. Anybody used the replacement
Carlisle yet? Thanks and good day B-) Cooke
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