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Old 09-29-2015, 07:14 PM   #1
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Naples , Florida
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Tire choice for 73 Overlander

Greetings, just picked up a 73 Overlander last weekend. First travel trailer ever so we started out with the cream. Need lots of stuff of course but starting out with tires and brakes. Any thoughts on best tires for the job? Make & model? Also what is the brake set up-how do they work? I have no owners manual so flying by the seat of my pants.
Thanks y"all bj
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Old 09-30-2015, 06:48 AM   #2
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First, you need to be aware that tires are a hot and controversial topic. Everyone has an opinion and they are all different.

Second, you need to tell us what tire size is on the trailer now. I'm going to bet 7.00-15 8 PR. This size is relatively difficult to locate and many folks opt to go to a more current sizing system.

Third, you need to be aware that your local tire dealer will likely need to order tires for your trailer. Depending on what you order, it might take as long as 10 days for them to arrive.
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Old 09-30-2015, 06:10 PM   #3
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Naples , Florida
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Righto, 7.00 X 15 8 ply nylon LT they are. So they are still made/used? Appears many are going to a light truck tire system. Fashion? I don't even know where to start with the braking system and new shocks should be in order.
Thanks for your input. bj
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Old 09-30-2015, 10:44 PM   #4
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Tire choice for 73 Overlander

Tire preferences are unlimited and sometimes an emotoonal debate. My father was a chemical engineer who worked product improvement for Gates Rubber and was an avid RVer. His towables always had STs, which he changed at about 4 year intervals with never a problem in 30+ years of RVing.
Do a little net searching and you'll find charts that give the diameter for a given tire size, also size recommendations to replace 7.00x15s, how to pack wheel bearings and how to adjust and check the brakes.
The brakes work via a magnet that when the pedal is depressed and current applied energizes the magnet pulling it to the face of the drum and with the rotation of the drum applies the brake. Makes more sense once you see the brake with the drum removed. The older the trailer, the less likely repair parts will be available - new magnets are often needed, sometimes the entire brake.
Have fun with it!
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Old 10-01-2015, 07:09 AM   #5
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Yes, 7.00-15LT 8 PR's are still available, but not in any huge quantity and not at your local tire shop. You'll have to order them.

On the other hand, you could move to the current sizing system.

A 7.00-15LT 8 PR (Load Range D) has an OD of 29.6" a width of 8.0" on a 5.5" rim, with an allowable rim width range of 5" to 6 1/2", and a load carrying capacity of 2040# at 60 psi (single) with a speed restriction of 75 mph unless otherwise indicated.

An ST205/75R15 Load Range D has an OD of 27.1", a width of 8.0" om a 5.5" rim with an allowable rim width range of 5" to 6 1/2", and a load carrying capacity of 2150# at 65 psi and a speed restriction of 65 mph.

So an ST205/75R15 is a good choice except for the diameter, which my or may not be a problem. Those tires probably need to be ordered as well.

No, it isn't fashion that changed in the 40 years - it was technology. In order to avoid having to grandfather all the old standards, new sizing systems have been developed. Since 1973, there have been 3 such changes in passenger car tires, a couple in Light Truck and Medium Truck, etc.
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Old 10-01-2015, 02:36 PM   #6
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You are just at the tip of the iceburg , more than likely you are going to need new axles also, get everything sealed up .get all seals , gaskets , and weatherstrip water leaks are your worst enemy you will learn as I did when your renovating an older airstream all you need is plenty of time , energy, lots of special tools and most of all a wheelbarrow full of money��
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Old 10-01-2015, 08:17 PM   #7
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1967 26' Overlander
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I run GoodYear Marathon ST225 75R15 Load range D on my '67 Overlander. 15 years now with no tire problems. ST's are designed to withstand the extra side wall loads imposed when sharp turning a tandem axle trailer, esp when backing or tracking over curbs in a turn. I bought my first set from a GoodYear dealer who gave me the pressure load chart to use in selecting the correct air pressure to handle the weight. Do not run tires at max pressure unless needed for the load. No need to beat your trailer up with a rough ride. I have bought also from Sam's Club but found they have less knowledge and have to order the ST's as the local store doesn't stock them. Where ever you buy tires insist on checking the date of manufacture on every tire before putting them on your trailer. Any tire on a trailer will age out or suffer damage long before the tread wears out. Figure about 5 years to replace if cared for well.

One more tip.....I jack the trailer myself and let them remove and replace the wheels two at a time. The first dealer I took it to wanted to jack it by the rear bumper which is a sure way to bend the frame. I also insist on metal valve stems and dynamic balancing.
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Old 10-01-2015, 08:39 PM   #8
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Thumbs up 73 Overlander

Thanks all for your help. All very enlightening. An owner's manual would also be the best starting point. One did not come with the unit.....got a service manual (what the mouse didn't chew up). Again I really appreciate your consideration. bj
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Old 10-05-2015, 08:41 AM   #9
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1967 26' Overlander
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Just reviewed again....You mentioned brakes. They work via a strong electro-magnet that pulls against a flat surface. This results in moving a lever to which the magnet is attached which pushes the opposing brake shoes against a drum. This braking action is exactly like the action of hydraulic brakes on a car except the magnet and steel disc it pulls against replaces the hydraulic wheel cylinder. The brakes are adjusted thru a slot in the backing plate with a brake adjusting "spoon" or tool you can purchase from any auto parts store. You can see all this as soon as you remove the hub from the axle. A tip is in order. I don't recall what year A/S began installing Dexter axles, but even if you have Henschen axles, a Dexter backing plate assembly will bolt right on and that is so much easier than buying all the parts separately. For me it was cheaper too because a local utility trailer manufacturer had the 12 inch Dexter brakes on his shelf. On another note, I am still running 47 year old Henschen axles but my self imposed speed limit is 55 and for family reasons, we don't travel out of state for the time being. I will replace the old axles before setting off across the country. So far, no sag but ride is a bit stiff.
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