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Old 03-08-2014, 10:28 AM   #21
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Thanks for that. My only reasonable response is to say that I'm not a conspiracy theorist. I may camp in an aluminum trailer, but I don't wear tin foil hats, and I don't believe that both my dealer and the experts at Airstream will lie to me about the standard tires on my trailer. That's especially true when there's plenty of money to be made selling me the 16" stuff, which I made very clear I'd be happy to buy from them if they even remotely thought it would a good idea. Besides, neither of them is in the business of killing their customers. It's bad for business.

Further, if I aligned myself with this sort of conspiracy theory, what's to stop me replacing every single stock item that came with my trailer because it must be either unsound, poorly built or flat out dangerous? Why stop there? Maybe I should do the same for my TV, just to be safe. Sorry, I'm not going there. Wouldn't be prudent. I'd spend all my time and money doing that stuff instead of camping.
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Old 03-08-2014, 11:25 AM   #22
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Thanks for that. My only reasonable response is to say that I'm not a conspiracy theorist. I may camp in an aluminum trailer, but I don't wear tin foil hats, and I don't believe that both my dealer and the experts at Airstream will lie to me about the standard tires on my trailer. That's especially true when there's plenty of money to be made selling me the 16" stuff, which I made very clear I'd be happy to buy from them if they even remotely thought it would a good idea. Besides, neither of them is in the business of killing their customers. It's bad for business.

Further, if I aligned myself with this sort of conspiracy theory, what's to stop me replacing every single stock item that came with my trailer because it must be either unsound, poorly built or flat out dangerous? Why stop there? Maybe I should do the same for my TV, just to be safe. Sorry, I'm not going there. Wouldn't be prudent. I'd spend all my time and money doing that stuff instead of camping.
As you wish. One clarification I would like you to make. Are you saying you believe stating that a business is going to support the products they sell and not say negative things about them, because it may cost them money is a conspiracy theory?

Is believing this is wrong a conspiracy theory?

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/03/bu...shes.html?_r=0

It is the same exact same principle of business carried to much higher level.

If you think a company is going to tell you about possible negative properties in the products they sell in order to make a few hundred dollars profit selling you replacement parts for what they just sold you, I think you need to mull over the large scale effects that would have on their business.

There is a difference between a conspiracy theorist and a person who takes into consideration the possible motives of people they do business with. That is an application of common sense.

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Old 03-08-2014, 02:37 PM   #23
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I have a 2006 19ft Bambi 75th Anniversary; it's the David Winick prototype trailer. I changed the rims and tires for fear of destructive damage from the Explodathons doing their thing...

I would go retro with 16" Dexstar steel wheels and stainless baby moon caps along with stainless trim rings. No rust, low maintenance. Paint the rims to match your trailer. I bought my rims from Redneck Trailer Supply; very cheap: Dexstar 16" steel wheels, 6" wide, 6x5.5 bolt circle, model number WH166-60E. I also bought Centramatic model 13150 balancers from Andy.

Again, I went with 16" wheels for my 75th Winick Prototype but I went with the best tires I could...Michelin XPS Ribs. Very pricey, but they have a full steel sidewall. I had a previous blowout with a Bad-Year on my Scamp that ripped a hole in the wheelwell. Didn't want to chance that on my Airstream...so I replaced essentially brand new tires.

I painted my rims with Duplicolor Ford Blue high temperature engine enamel. I love the way they look. I am REALLY happy. The tires, again are Michelin XPS Ribs in a 225/75/16, customized by DiamondBack Tires with a 1.5" whitewall and dual blue lines. The blue lines are the exact same color as my pinstripes (and vintage logos) and match the color of my rims (the lettering I used for "Airstream" is a bit lighter in color). The stripes on the tires take away some of the HUGENESS of these tires. They increase the ride height over my old Bad-Year Explodathons by about 1/2". Not enough to worry about.

The trim rings are stainless steel, ribbed, purchased brand new from eBay. The hubcaps are PhoenixUSA 1309SS also in stainless steel. They fit the 16" Dexstar rims with ease...no denting, no forcing. But, it is wise to put a dab of clear RTV on at least two spots of the hubcaps to make sure they stay on...they fit snugly, but you don't want to lose one.

Here are some pics of the rims and tires. Talk about POP!!!



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Old 03-08-2014, 03:37 PM   #24
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I have a 2006 19ft Bambi 75th Anniversary; it's the David Winick prototype trailer. I changed the rims and tires for fear of destructive damage from the Explodathons doing their thing...

I would go retro with 16" Dexstar steel wheels and stainless baby moon caps along with stainless trim rings. No rust, low maintenance. Paint the rims to match your trailer. I bought my rims from Redneck Trailer Supply; very cheap: Dexstar 16" steel wheels, 6" wide, 6x5.5 bolt circle, model number WH166-60E. I also bought Centramatic model 13150 balancers from Andy.

Again, I went with 16" wheels for my 75th Winick Prototype but I went with the best tires I could...Michelin XPS Ribs. Very pricey, but they have a full steel sidewall. I had a previous blowout with a Bad-Year on my Scamp that ripped a hole in the wheelwell. Didn't want to chance that on my Airstream...so I replaced essentially brand new tires.

I painted my rims with Duplicolor Ford Blue high temperature engine enamel. I love the way they look. I am REALLY happy. The tires, again are Michelin XPS Ribs in a 225/75/16, customized by DiamondBack Tires with a 1.5" whitewall and dual blue lines. The blue lines are the exact same color as my pinstripes (and vintage logos) and match the color of my rims (the lettering I used for "Airstream" is a bit lighter in color). The stripes on the tires take away some of the HUGENESS of these tires. They increase the ride height over my old Bad-Year Explodathons by about 1/2". Not enough to worry about.

The trim rings are stainless steel, ribbed, purchased brand new from eBay. The hubcaps are PhoenixUSA 1309SS also in stainless steel. They fit the 16" Dexstar rims with ease...no denting, no forcing. But, it is wise to put a dab of clear RTV on at least two spots of the hubcaps to make sure they stay on...they fit snugly, but you don't want to lose one.

Here are some pics of the rims and tires. Talk about POP!!!


Wow, that really looks great...

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Old 03-08-2014, 04:13 PM   #25
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Hey, that's a beautiful look, great job! I'm sure it turns heads every time you pull that baby anywhere.

On the other topic, sure, it's unlikely that Airstream would say, "Hey, those 15" wheels and tires we've been putting on all those trailers are complete crap, you should all replace them." I think it's equally unlikely they would keep using them if there were a systemic problem. Nobody buys an Airstream for the wheel size or tire brand. They could switch their entire line overnight for no reason at all, and nobody outside these forums would even notice.

The failures I've read about here don't necessarily indicate a systemic problem that Airstream or its dealers might be hiding to escape liability. Also, the very act of installing 15" wheels and Goodyear Marathon tires indicates an acceptance of liability - they are representing that these items meet the bar for fitness and suitability for their intended purpose. There's no escaping that, as GM eventually discovered in the example you've cited.

Tires occasionally fail, and some fail spectacularly. As we all know, there's no absolute guarantee that any particular tire won't go there, regardless of size or type, or that a tire manufacturer with a great reputation won't suddenly have to recall a million or more tires due to manufacturing flaws that could lead to...catastrophic tire failures.

If folks want to spend time and money switching from stock wheels and tires to something else, that's just grand. Well, maybe less than a grand, but it's definitely quite a few bucks. After doing my own research, I'm not going there just yet.

I do, on the other hand, know for sure that it's always going to be necessary to take care of my tires, check pressures and temps, avoid driving above the tires' rated speeds, switch them out at a certain age, and double-check my trailer's weight distribution. Beyond that, if we experience a catastrophic tire failure that damages the trailer and/or us, this is what insurance and AAA Premium RV are for. The only way to be certain that we'll not fall victim to such a failure is to never move the trailer from it's current parking spot.

Happy camping!
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Old 03-08-2014, 04:23 PM   #26
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Streaminlife,

Besides the LT load range E, Michelin LTX MS/2 tire (a.k.a., the "Eddie Bauer" tire), some AirForums members have also installed the 16-inch LT tires listed below. These vary widely in price, and some may be considered overkill due to their all-steel construction. However, all of these should prove to be significantly more reliable than any 15-inch ST tire commonly used on Airstreams and SOB travel trailers.

Discount Tire maintains an inventory of these tires at their local warehouses; and they can usually get them the next day, if they don't have them in immediate stock at a particular store. Worst case, Discount can order them from their regional warehouses and have them in a specific store within a few days.

Listed in ascending order of reliability/durability with the best (and probably most expensive) at the bottom.

Michelin LTX M/S2, LT225/75R16, load range E -- http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires....um=275R6LTXMS2

BFG Commercial TA, LT225/75R16, load range E -- http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires....m=275R6COMMTAE

Bridgestone Duravis R250, LT225/75R16, load range E -- http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires....num=275QR6R250

Michelin XPS Rib, LT225/75R16, load range E -- http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires....tnum=275R6XPSR


Note: This is just my opinion from reading tire reviews and the anecdotal tire experiences of some AirForums members. Others may recommend different tires or sort order, and their opinions are just as valid as mine. Also, the above links are to http://www.tirerack.com only because tire data is easily found on their Website; and their prices are typical for most tire stores. I have no affiliation with Tire Rack, and my association with Discount Tire is only as a satisfied customer.

Thank you Phoenix, really appreciate the information here, as well as everyone else's input on the matter. I am thankful for this forum which has been so helpful these last couple months leading up to our maiden voyage, which is rapidly approaching (yikes!)
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Old 03-08-2014, 06:27 PM   #27
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Can I have the 15's?
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Old 03-08-2014, 06:39 PM   #28
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Chosing tires is a personal choice.



But, it's wise to pick a brand that has a decent history, AND that is available nation wide, so that if you have an issue, you can take care of it locally.



Balancing tires is almost a lost art.



With the availbility of a product like the "Centramatic balancers", balancing becomes quickly out dated, as the Centramatics are a lifetime balancer that requires "ZERO" maintenance, because they change as needed instantly to keep the running gear in perfect balance.



At this point, many owners have joined that "never need to worry again" club.



Andy

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What do the Centramatics cost?
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Old 03-08-2014, 11:42 PM   #29
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According to the web site here: Centramatic, when you navigate to this page: Balancers - Centramatic, a set of four balancers for Airstream would cost $199 plus shipping for late-model Airstreams. I've not heard of these things ever before seeing them in this forum, but I'd love it if I could use them instead of worrying about balancing the wheels.
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Old 03-09-2014, 05:53 AM   #30
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How much does balancing 4 wheels at a tire shop with weights cost?
I guess these trailers are so expensive anyway that cost of any accessory is also no object...
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Old 03-09-2014, 08:56 AM   #31
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There are two sets of Centramatic balancers that work on Airstreams depending on wheel size. The 15" wheels must use the 200-221 Special. The 16" wheels can use this size or jump up to the 300-356 all A plates version, which is what I installed with my SenDel T03-66655T wheels.

On my Honda GoldWing motorcycles, the tires and wheels are light enough that the Centramatic balancers can do the job without wheel weights.

On the trailers, the tires and wheels are much heavier and need to be properly balanced on a machine. I see the function of the Centramatic balancers is to help balance the brake drums and compensate for the change in tire balance due to tire wear.

In my images link to the left, are two tire photos. One shows the mounted OEM GYM tire beside the mounted 15" Michelin tire (both are on a factory wheel) and the other shows the OEM GYM tire mounted on a factory wheel beside the 16" Michelin tire mounted on a SenDel wheel.
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Old 03-09-2014, 09:24 AM   #32
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Much appreciation for all the responses here. We do have a little time to make our decision on tires, and it's good to get feedback on tires that have worked well for others. If we are unsuccessful at locating the Michelin LTX tires, we now have some good back-ups. We will check Discount Tire in our area, and I do appreciate the debunking of some of the tire myths out there. We will also consider doing the install ourselves. Pappy19 - the Trailer Aid looks pretty cool. Is it as easy to use as it looks?
Yes, the Trailer Aid is even easier than it looks. Takes seconds to use an only weighs about 5 lbs. I keep mine in my TV all year even when I'm not towing just incase some poor person is trying to jack their trailer on the side of the road in the mud or dirt. I can't say enough good about this product. Every AS owner with twin axles, should have one.
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Old 03-09-2014, 09:48 AM   #33
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How much does balancing 4 wheels at a tire shop with weights cost?
I guess these trailers are so expensive anyway that cost of any accessory is also no object...
$100.00 to $200.00.

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Old 03-09-2014, 11:40 AM   #34
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How much does balancing 4 wheels at a tire shop with weights cost?
I guess these trailers are so expensive anyway that cost of any accessory is also no object...
Balancing the wheel/tire combo is balancing, it costs the same as balancing the tires on your car.

I think my local Discount Tire charges something like $12-$15 for "lifetime" balance per tire, and $5 per tire for one-time balancing.
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Old 03-09-2014, 01:02 PM   #35
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Yeah, but....
I didn't even know what it costs for a car...
On my 15 year old car the wheels have been balanced twice- when I got new tires- and all I knew was the cost for 4 new tires mounted and balanced- not an itemized break down of each expense-
On my 7 year old pickup I assume once, when it was built. I have never had the wheels balanced. It still has the original tires. I can see stick-on weights on the inside of the wheel- I think this is "static" balancing-
On my trailer I cannot see any weights on the wheels. I think it might be a little gentler on my stuff inside if the wheels were balanced.
I mounted and balanced the tires on my previous trailer myself because I bought the tires wholesale through my company and we have a tire mounting machine and a tire balancing machine. That trailer had steel wheels and I used the hammer-on weights- net cost to me = my lunch break-
This trailer has aluminum wheels which should have stick-on weights. We may have some stick-on weights at the shop. I don't know.
Please excuse me for nor knowing what this costs.
In my opinion, based in my personal experience, the lifetime balance is a waste of money.
How often would you get your wheels balanced anyway?
I think $20 is reasonable for a 1 time balance and never mind getting Centramatics.
If it really costs from $100-$200 you might just as well get the Centramatics.
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Old 03-09-2014, 03:10 PM   #36
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It should only cost $200/set if they come get the trailer or the wheels from your home, take them somewhere to balance them, bring them back to you and preferably offer a kiss afterwards. I'd never pay that for balancing 4 wheels and tires.
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Old 03-10-2014, 01:36 AM   #37
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Notes:

1. Balancing the wheels and tires off of your Airstream does not balance the brake drums/discs and other running gear. That's what the Centramatics are for.

2. Also, Centramatics compensate for rocks in the tire treads, and ice or dried mud stuck on wheels, etc. They could also compensate for a lost wheel weight, depending on how big it was.

3. Tire prices at Costco include mounting, balancing and nitrogen gas.
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Old 03-10-2014, 04:19 AM   #38
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Why is it so important,to balance the other running gear?
I have been driving for 30 years and have never balanced the other running gear and have had no I'll effects for not doing so.
If it were so important to balance the other running gear wouldn't it be done from the factory?
How is it that we made it without these devices all these years, and we have never heard of them, but when we sign up on Airforums these devices become something we can't live without?
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Old 03-10-2014, 08:33 AM   #39
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Perhaps the thought might better be "What can I do to make the trailer ride smoother so no structural damage gets generated over time."

So we get the new tires balanced and we get stick on weights on the aluminum wheels. The factory recommends rotating and balancing the tires at specific intervals.

I have had the stick on wheel weights come off on motorcycle tires on a trip. The vibration becomes a safety issue over time as it makes the rider more tired. Since the Centramatic wheel balancers were installed on my Gold Wing motorcycles, there have been zero out of balance conditions in over 60,000 miles.

I elected to install the Centramatic wheel balancers for my Airstreams because $200 is peanuts compared to the cost of the unit and I would like to reduce road stresses to a minimum. They will compensate for a missing wheel weight on my trailer.

YMMV
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