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Old 11-05-2009, 06:28 PM   #21
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Why 3? What is on the other wheel.

I am sure your trailer does not weight 10,160 lbs so why would you inflate to MAX pressure. Look at the inflation chart and inflate your tires to the correct pressure.

Tires properly inflated are not prone to have blowouts. Under inflation is the problem.
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Old 11-05-2009, 07:42 PM   #22
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2 for the axle 1 for the spare. the 2 tires together hold 5080lbs 2540+2540=5080. Now out of all the threads here and on boat forums this thread seems to help the most. I'm still wondering if the bias ply will work good for my situation any idea? Heres the thread from discount tire: The subject of tires is hard to escape these days. It seems every TV newscast or daily paper has a story on faulty automobile tires. As a result of negative publicity and a plethora of litigation, the tire industry is in the middle of self-analysis. Manufacturers, industry organizations and regulators are now coming forward with new recommendations concerning tire selection, maintenance and replacement.
Since knowledge and proper equipment are the keys to a pleasant, trouble-free towing experience, we decided to take a fresh and in-depth look at tires for trailers. The new information and thinking we uncovered from manufacturers surprised us.
For example, though your trailer's tires may sport plenty of tread and have healthy-looking sidewalls (that are free of cracks), the same tires may be disintegrating from within, manufacturers tell us. Like time bombs, tires can let go without warning.
A blowout on a single-axle trailer can spell disaster. A sudden shift in weight can create an unstable load and trigger a rollover. Yet, even on a tandem- or triple-axle trailer, the results can be unpleasant, and may spark a chain reaction as the remaining tires bear an overwhelming load and fail as a result.
Before we explore why seemingly sound trailer tires can fail, let's talk about selecting the right tires for your trailer in the first place. When it comes to trailer tires, what you don't know can hurt you.
THE RIGHT TIRES
When purchasing or replacing trailer tires, look for the ST (Special Trailer) designation. Avoid using a passenger car (P) tire or light truck (LT) tires, as these do not have stiff, beefy sidewalls and other structural components to provide stability and handle the stress and dynamics imposed by a trailered load. Modern ST tires feature materials and construction to meet the higher load requirements and unique demands of trailering.
"The major difference is reflected in the polyester cords used in ST tires," said Tim Fry, senior development engineer with Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. in Akron, Ohio. "These cords are bigger than they would be for a comparable P or LT tire. Typically, the steel wire also has a larger diameter or a greater tensile strength to meet the additional load requirements.
"Because of the heavier construction for an equal volume of air space, an ST tire is designed to carry more load (than a P or LT)," says Fry.
What's more, the ratings on ST tires are standardized for axle ratings on trailers, according to Leo Garbarino, regional sales director for Carlisle Tire and Wheel Co. of Aiken, South Carolina. "If you have a 5000-pound axle, use an ST tire rated at 2540 pounds, so that two tires will meet the 5000 pound requirement in weight-carrying capacity," said Garbarino. "A P or LT tire is not rated the same way, so determining the load capacity can be difficult." If the combined tire ratings do not meet the axle ratings, the tires will eventually fail-perhaps in a catastrophic blowout.
Bias ply trailer tires normally have two belts of steel in the tread area and extra sidewall cords to add stiffness. Most tires also include nylon belts to help resist separation caused by overloading, underinflation or excessive speed.
FAILURE ANALYSIS
Even properly rated tires can fail. The No. 1 cause is underinflation. This is particularly true of an ST tire, which relies on proper inflation to live up to its load rating. Without enough air pressure, an ST sidewall will not function as designed, and will eventually fail, usually in the form of a sidewall blowout. Tires lose approximately 1 psi per month as well as 1 psi for every 10-degree drop in temperature. Overinflation is also hard on a tire, causing irregular wear and possibly a blowout. Yet, you can't always spot improper inflation with a visual inspection, so check your tires frequently with an accurate air-pressure gauge.
Long-term fatigue can also weaken a trailer tire. There are a number of factors that accelerate fatigue, but heat buildup from towing at high speeds is one of the main culprits, according to Fry.
"If you trailer nonstop from Phoenix, Arizona, to Las Vegas, in 100-degree temperatures at 65 mph, you use up much of the resources of that tire, and you don't realize it," said Fry.
Fry is not talking about wearing out the tread. It is the tire's construction that is breaking down. As heat builds up, the tire's structure starts to disintegrate and weaken. Over the course of several trips, this load-carrying capacity gradually decreases, according to Fry. Incidentally, all ST tires have a maximum speed rating of 65 mph.
One key to extending tire life on a tandem- or tri-axle trailer is to ensure that the trailer is riding level, thus distributing the load equally among all the tires. If the trailer tongue sits too high, the rear tires may bear the brunt of the load: with the trailer tongue too low, the front tires may be unduly stressed.
OLD MAN TIME
Time and the elements can also weaken a tire. The structural components and bonding agents slowly break down. This is due primarily to internal air pressure forcing oxidation of the tire materials. Ultraviolet rays also attack the rubber on a tire left exposed to the sun. As a result, a 15-year-old tire that was rarely used may look virtually new, but because of the ravages of time and elements, it does not have the same strength as when it was new, according to Fry. "As an estimate, in about three years roughly one-third of a tire's strength is gone, just because of the normal process of aging," Fry claimed. "We believe three to five years is the projected life of normal trailer tires."
REPAIRING ST TIRES
Should you repair a flat trailer tire? The answer depends on the size of the puncture, its location and method of repair. If it is a small hole in the tread area, it can be successfully patched. However, if it is a jagged cut or a puncture in the sidewall, replace the tire.
There is only one way to properly repair a flat tire, and it is important to have it fixed as quickly as possible. You must remove the tire and patch it from the inside. You must also plug the hole from the outside. If moisture gets into the tire and reaches the steel belt, the steel will begin to rust in seven to 14 days. Three months later, the rust will cause a weak spot in the tire. That will lead to a separation.
Whenever you repair or replace a tire, always put on a new valve stem. Heat and age deteriorate the rubber in the stem and this results in leakage.
RADIAL VS. BIAS PLY
One old wives' tale has it that you should never put radial tires on a trailer. The sidewalls on radials, the tale goes, are too soft, allowing the trailer to squirm all over the road. Conventional bias ply tires are the way to go. . . or are they? While radials were frowned upon at one time, today there is wide-spread acceptance of these tires. Which should you use? The decision hinges on your towing style, according to Ray Evans, executive vice president for engineering, marketing and sales of Titan Tire Corp. in Mogadore, Ohio. "While it is true that a bias-ply tire can provide more side-to-side stability than a radial, a bias ply also runs hotter than a radial," said Evans. "If you are pulling a heavy load, and need an extra measure of stability, use a bias ply." "On the other hand, if you do a lot of long-distance towing with a relatively light load at high speeds, the radial design may be better for you because it stays cooler than a bias ply," he said. The cooler the tire stays, the less it will fatigue.
IDENTIFY THE LOAD RANGE
The most critical factor in choosing a trailer tire is load range. You can find the load range molded into the sidewall of every tire. For towing, look for C, D and E load ranges. Load ranges are based on specific inflation pressures. With a higher inflation pressure, the tire can carry more weight. Therefore, a load-range C tire is at its peak load capacity when inflated to its maximum pressure of 50 psi. In range D, you need to be at 65 psi to handle the increased load capacity. Load-range E tires must be set at 80 psi.
Trailer Tire Load Limits (in lbs.) at Various Inflation Pressures PSI 35 50 65 80 ST115/80/13 880 (B) 1100 (C) ST165/80/13 990 (B) 1230 (C) ST175/80/13 1100 (B) 1360 (C) ST185/80/13 1200 (B) 1480 (C) ST195/80/14 1320 (B) 1610 (C) ST205/80/14 1430 (B) 1760 (C) 2040 (D) ST215/80/14 1520 (B) 1870 (C) ST205/75/15 1480 (B) 1820 (C) 2150 (D) ST225/75/15 1760 (B) 2150 (C) 2540 (D) 2840 (E) ST215/80/16 1820 (B) 2200 (C) 2600 (D) 2910 (E) ST235/80/16 2090 (B) 2600 (C) 3000 (D) 3420 (E) This table (above) shows the relationship between air pressure and load capacity for popular sizes of trailer tires. The capacities apply equally to radial and bias ply versions. The letters following some capacities indicate the load range.
In order to select the proper load range, you must first weigh your trailer fully loaded. This means full of water, LPG and gear. Go to a truck stop or public scale and weigh the entire rig. While you are there, weigh each axle separately. This will let you know if you have exceeded the tow rating of your tow vehicle or are overloading one of the trailer axles.
There are other considerations in picking ST tires. For the trailer tires to manage the weight, all must be identical. Do not mix bias and radials tires. What's more, the load range and size of each tire should be the same. And each should have the same amount of tread wear. This becomes critical when replacing a tire.
When replacing a single tire, always run the same size outside diameter tires on the same axle. A smaller- diameter tire will carry more weight, and may become overloaded.
After a blowout on a tandem-axle trailer, you should replace both tires on that side. The remaining tire was likely subjected to excessive loading and, as a consequence, may fail in the near future.
MAINTENANCE TIPS
When a trailer is in long-term storage, there are steps you can take to add life to the tires.
  • Put the trailer on blocks to take weight off the tires.
  • Lower the air pressure.
  • Keep the tires covered to protect them from the sun's ultraviolet light.
When taking the trailer out of storage, make sure there are no cracks in the grooves and no wire showing. Cracks in the sidewall could indicate interior damage or separations in the tire. MAXIMUM PSI?
As indicated earlier, maximum load range is attained only when the tire is at its maximum air pressure. Yet, should you maintain maximum pressure even if you are towing below the load range of the tires? Tire manufacturers differ on this point. "You should maintain the maximum pressure at all times," says Carlisle's Garbarino. "There is no advantage to taking air out of the tire. With maximum pressure, the tire will perform and wear better, and you will get better mileage. Reduce the psi, and you compromise the functionality of the tire."
Titan Tire's Evans feels differently. "If you want a little softer ride, drop the psi a bit," he says. However, he cautions that: "They have to know the actual load."
"Trailer owners should set the pressure according to the load," says Goodyear's Fry, who provided the tire pressure vs. load chart that accompanies this story. "Yet, this is not easy to do without weighing the trailer."
"Once the weight is accurately determined, the pressure should be set when the tire is cold, not when it is hot."
All the manufacturers agree on one point: If you do not know the exact weight of your trailer, keep the ST tires at the maximum cold psi.
Based on updated thinking, there are ultimately three keys to avoiding tire trouble while towing: (1) Make sure your rig is equipped with the proper tires: (2) maintain the tires meticulously: and (3) replace trailer tires every three to five years, whether they look like they're worn out or not.
As my grandfather used to say, take care of your equipment, and it will take care of you.
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Old 11-05-2009, 07:58 PM   #23
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From Above- ("If you trailer nonstop from Phoenix, Arizona, to Las Vegas, in 100-degree temperatures at 65 mph, you use up much of the resources of that tire, and you don't realize it.)

With that said and me having bias ply will I use up my tire resources driving 700 miles from Minnesota to Ohio? Should I return these bias plys and get radials Instead? Keep in mind I do about 58-60mph down the highway, and thats my top speed I'll go. I'm being a worry ward I know, but then again it's better to be safe then sorry. So anyone out there have any insight on my tires?
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Old 11-05-2009, 08:30 PM   #24
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Since I live in Phoenix and I tow in temperatures well in excess of 100 degrees all summer (it was 92 today), should I replace my tires every trip?

I run bias (LT) tires on my trailer. The set that was on the trailer when I bought it lasted over 8 years and started throwing some rubber. I should have replaced them sooner, that was my bad. The new set of bias tires have been on almost 2 years and I had one go bad on my last trip. It did not blow out, but developed a fairly large bubble where the sidewall and tread meet. I replaced it and did the last 1,000 miles with out any issues.
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Old 11-05-2009, 08:43 PM   #25
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Since I live in Phoenix and I tow in temperatures well in excess of 100 degrees all summer (it was 92 today), should I replace my tires every trip?

I run bias (LT) tires on my trailer. The set that was on the trailer when I bought it lasted over 8 years and started throwing some rubber. I should have replaced them sooner, that was my bad. The new set of bias tires have been on almost 2 years and I had one go bad on my last trip. It did not blow out, but developed a fairly large bubble where the sidewall and tread meet. I replaced it and did the last 1,000 miles with out any issues.
I appreciate your response. Are you running Towmasters as well?
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Old 11-05-2009, 08:54 PM   #26
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Yes, I have 7x15 LT bias Towmasters on my trailer. The previous tires were Carlisle 7x15 LT bias.

When I need a new Towmaster in Fort Collins, CO they could not find one near by. The replaced it with a Carlisle. When I got back home I replaced it with a Towmaster. Discount tire was very good about the replacements and my out of pocket cost was around $20.

It seems that different areas of the country carry different brands of tires. At least it seems that way with Discount Tire...
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Old 11-05-2009, 09:06 PM   #27
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Yes, I have 7x15 LT bias Towmasters on my trailer. The previous tires were Carlisle 7x15 LT bias.

When I need a new Towmaster in Fort Collins, CO they could not find one near by. The replaced it with a Carlisle. When I got back home I replaced it with a Towmaster. Discount tire was very good about the replacements and my out of pocket cost was around $20.

It seems that different areas of the country carry different brands of tires. At least it seems that way with Discount Tire...
So you would recommend towmaster bias ply?
Thanks again. You have made me feel better with my purchase.
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Old 11-10-2009, 07:29 PM   #28
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Ok, so I found out Goodyears are not good, and are known for blowouts. I just bought 3 Towmaster 225 75 15 bias ply max psi 50 with a load rating of 2540 per tire. I'm just wondering if I should have gone with radials instead? I usually don't take long road trips, but will be driving to Ohio in the spring and was wondering if anyone knew if these tires would hold up alright? I have been reading alot about blowouts and it makes me scared for my body panels. Any advice would be great!
I returned these today. I am worried about weight as well and the 10% margin you must be in on weight to be safe. I am looking at Towmaster radial st225/75/15 Load Range E max weight 2830.
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Old 08-08-2010, 10:03 PM   #29
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Im trying to figure out my tonge weight and do not know how. My first weigh with truck and trailer was 2860 steer axle 3800 drive axle and 3720 trailer axle. My second weight with no trailer was 3130 steer axle, 2980 drive axle. Is there some sort of an equation to figure out tonge weight? Thanks for the help!
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Old 08-08-2010, 10:44 PM   #30
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Im trying to figure out my tonge weight and do not know how. My first weigh with truck and trailer was 2860 steer axle 3800 drive axle and 3720 trailer axle. My second weight with no trailer was 3130 steer axle, 2980 drive axle. Is there some sort of an equation to figure out tonge weight? Thanks for the help!
No formula that would be reliable.

You will have to actually measure the tongue weight, but you have about 600 pounds, more or less. You can add the weights, in each case, and then subtract the no trailer weight, from the trailer connected weight. 6110 from 6660 = 550 pounds. That gives you a ball park.

I might add, that I hope your using a load equalizing hitch, when your hauling the trailer. Your carrying far more weight on the rear end than you should, and not enough on the front end.

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Old 08-09-2010, 08:22 AM   #31
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It does not appear that you are using a WD hitch because of the amount of weight you are removing from the front axle when hitched. If you are using a WD hitch it needs to be set up to provide the intended results, added weight on the front axle.

Another question, when hitched is the trailer sitting parallel to the ground. This is important as an Airstream does not have an equalizing system in the spring system as most trailer do. The result is if the tongue is high you will have a heavier tongue weight and conversely if the tongue is low you will have a lighter tongue weight. This statement holds for double and triple axle trailer. Single axle trailer this is not a consideration just a point of aesthetics.
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Old 08-09-2010, 11:29 AM   #32
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It does not appear that you are using a WD hitch because of the amount of weight you are removing from the front axle when hitched. If you are using a WD hitch it needs to be set up to provide the intended results, added weight on the front axle.

Another question, when hitched is the trailer sitting parallel to the ground. This is important as an Airstream does not have an equalizing system in the spring system as most trailer do. The result is if the tongue is high you will have a heavier tongue weight and conversely if the tongue is low you will have a lighter tongue weight. This statement holds for double and triple axle trailer. Single axle trailer this is not a consideration just a point of aesthetics.
This is without the equalizer hitch, I have a 800 TW equalizer will be here tomorrow from UPS. Hopefully this will work? I also have rock tamers mud flaps 50 lbs and the equalizer weighs 88 lbs also this weight is without the two aluminum 30 lb propane tanks filled. I just wanted to get a dry weight to see how much the axle was holding and a estimate on tonge weight. Last time I weighed her she was at 3640 vs 3720 yesterday, but that was without the front counter with furnace, stove and sink, U-couch and table. I did have some water in the tank and some camping supplies so I am assuming thats why the weight was so close. Right now on the truck I'm using a 4" drop so the front of the trailer is sitting lower then the back. I will have to figure that out tomorrow as the shank is adjustable on the equalizer. Hopefully tonge weight won't be over 800. Thanks for the help.
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Old 08-09-2010, 01:21 PM   #33
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What is your concern with tongue weight any way? As long as the dry tongue weight of the trailer is between 10 and 12% of the trailer weight you are in the ball park as far as unaided sway control would dictate.

You bigger concern is to get some weight on the front axle of the TV. Assumingly your new hitch will do that.

The fact that you are riding tongue low will reduce the tongue weight some as the rear of the trailer is hanging off the front axle. Try and get this the other way around. Better to be heavy on the tongue than light.
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Old 08-09-2010, 02:17 PM   #34
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What is your concern with tongue weight any way? As long as the dry tongue weight of the trailer is between 10 and 12% of the trailer weight you are in the ball park as far as unaided sway control would dictate.

You bigger concern is to get some weight on the front axle of the TV. Assumingly your new hitch will do that.

The fact that you are riding tongue low will reduce the tongue weight some as the rear of the trailer is hanging off the front axle. Try and get this the other way around. Better to be heavy on the tongue than light.
My receiver on my truck is rated to 800 tw and 8000 trailer weight with distribution hitch. I was worried that might rip off if I go over 800, also the equalizer is rated to 800. So if I have 550 to 600 est. as Andy is stating I should be at 750-800 (adding the mud flaps, full propane tanks and equalizer hitch) for TW when level or will I have more TW once the trailer is level?
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Old 08-09-2010, 02:39 PM   #35
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Not sure the hitch rating takes into consideration the torque that the WD hitch will apply to the receiver. 800 lbs. tongue load seam very light to pull an Airstrean. I think I would look for a heftier receiver rather than skate along the edge.

They will crack.

Factory receiver on a 3/4 ton Suburban cracked in 4 places before I saw it.
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Old 08-09-2010, 04:02 PM   #36
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Correct me if Im wrong, but I thought she was only 415 tw from the factory in 1963. Anyhow I need to try and figure out what my tw will be now. Thanks for the help Howie.
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Old 08-09-2010, 04:17 PM   #37
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Correct me if Im wrong, but I thought she was only 415 tw from the factory in 1963. Anyhow I need to try and figure out what my tw will be now. Thanks for the help Howie.
Your correct, but that's the weight off the production line.

Add to that, water, clothes, groceries, propane and just stuff, which partially adds to that weight, as it should.

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Old 08-09-2010, 05:01 PM   #38
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Andy-

So with the mudflaps 50 lbs the WD hitch 88 lbs and propane tanks 60 lbs when the trailer is level should be right around 800 TW? This is confusing stuff to me. Thanks for the help.
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Old 08-09-2010, 05:13 PM   #39
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Andy-

So with the mudflaps 50 lbs the WD hitch 88 lbs and propane tanks 60 lbs when the trailer is level should be right around 800 TW? This is confusing stuff to me. Thanks for the help.
Your welcome, anytime.

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Old 08-25-2010, 09:39 AM   #40
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I'm glad I stumbled across this thread while reading up on axle replacement.

We recently purchased our AS and haven't even towed it home yet because I'm making a pad for it beside the garage. Now I know I'll take my compressor along when I pick her up.

Since our AS has been parked in a campground for the past six years, I expected to replace the tires. And the axles and brakes. But basically I never gave much thought to what kind of tires would be needed. So, this is very helpful information.

As far as load ratings go, I think you are safe if you don't exceed the rating by more than 10% or so on a consistent basis. I've been an engineer for about 40 years and I've never seen an engineered system that didn't have a factor of safety of less than 50% and as high as 150%. Economic considerations (cheapness) are the determining factor in the establishment of the safety factor utilized in a given system.

When you weigh your trailer and TV, the loads are static, sitting still. The load ratings of the tire and hitch are stated for that condition. However, when the vehicle is in motion, there is a constant transfer of loads between the tires on the trailer, the tires on the TV, the hitch connection, etc. That is called dynamic (in motion) loading. For example, when the rear tires of the TV cross over a bump, moving the hitch upward, the weight of the trailer is transferred to the trailer tires just at the time the hitch begins to move downward. That transfer of loading happens continuously as you drive down the road. The good news is that the factor of safety is normally applied to the dynamic (higher) load for the system, be it tires or hitch.

So, an 800 pound hitch of good quality should be expected to withstand all of the forces placed upon it while towing a trailer with a TW of approximately 800 pounds without failing. Anything significantly more than that and the safety factor is reduced and the likelihood of failure is increased.

Now, back to the tires, I noticed that at least two of the above posts indicated that LT tires are being used. Is there a significant difference in price or availability between LT and ST rated tires?
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