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Old 11-25-2020, 07:15 PM   #1
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Michelin RV tire site: XPS Rib?

I’m in process of buying a used Airstream: a 20FC.

I read a lot, looking for advice that’s previously been shared. One of the things I’ve come across repeatedly is to switch from 15” wheels to 16” wheels so that instead of Goodyear’s, you can switch to Michelin LTX tires. However, Michelin has now discontinued the LTX in 16”, which has now led people to choose the Agilis.

I’ve just come across a Michelin RV site, that in the size, lists both the Agilis, and also the XPS Rib.

https://www.michelinrvtires.com/tires/selector/#!/ (You will need to select the tire size to narrow it down to the two).

Reading the thread on the Agilis, it seemed as though some were questioning it, as it was not-yet-proven. It seems as though the XPS has been around longer, is load-rated similarly. Should I consider the XPS? Or is the Agilis proving itself?

But now, the Marathon has been replaced by the Endurance. Is the Endurance better thought of? Instead of contemplating a switch up to 16” (which I like the idea of the clearance), is it there possibly a 15” tire that you can select that has a higher aspect ratio, and achieve the same height as going with the 16”? Because the 20FC is a single-axle instead of a dual-axle, I want to ensure that I go with a quality tire since you only have one per side...

Thoughts? Suggestions? Opinions?
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Old 11-25-2020, 07:32 PM   #2
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The Endurance is a fine tire and, in my opinion, makes the change to 16” Michelins unnecessary.

18000 miles on my previous trailer (31’ Sovereign) and still had at least 50% tread life when I sold it.

My current trailer has about 9000 miles on three year old Endurance tires and they look practically new. I will replace them next year preemptively for age.
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Old 11-25-2020, 07:32 PM   #3
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Nothin wrong with Michelin agilis....the gy endurance is also good..the Michelin rib would be stiff...and overkill on an as..your choice..
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Old 11-25-2020, 07:40 PM   #4
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I am much confused by the new tire lines from Michelin, but the XPS has been around for quite a long time. It is meant for local delivery trucks around town. It has strong sidewalls—that’s good—and is built to be retreaded as the casing will last many, many miles. I doubt it has all that soft a ride, but other Michelin’s I have used always seemed to have a good ride. The casing will last for a lot longer than you’ll want unless you are traveling to Tierra del Fuego (always wanted to do that). Some Airstreamers use them and love them, even in smaller trailers.

You don’t have to go up to 16”. Years ago I bought new 16” wheels because it was the only way to get the LTX tires I wanted. Also remember the aspect ratio does not have to be perfect if the tire you want is perfect other than that—I think you know that. If you use a 16”, you will only increase height by 1/2”—obvious once you hear it, but easy to forget to think about. I can’t think of any reason except rough boondocking to increase the body height, but you gain very little after spending $400+ on wheels unless you can do a trade and cut your cost. The lower trailer makes for better gas mileage though the difference of half an inch might not be noticeable.

I put P type Michelin Defenders on our Nash—pretty much same tread as LTX for snow traction, but hardly the tread depth and near their weight limit, but fine for shorter trips as we do now (400 miles in one day is a major rarity). I think you have to get a Defender plus or some name like that because it takes more weight.

One more thing about Michelins. In recent years the tread doesn’t last as long as it used to so they changed the rubber mixture to make them a little softer for the ride I guess. But, when I come in for new tires and show how they haven’t lasted as long as the warranty, I get a big discount plus all the usual tire discounts. Michelin has always been good on the warranty. I think one time I was several hundred miles out of warranty and they discounted anyway. I bought some for my truck and ended up paying half price for the new tires after discounts on discounts. CR says there are better tires now, but I have found Michelin’s to be excellent for snow, traction everywhere, good ride and wear (even 50,000 miles is great when you remember 20,000 mile tires 60 years ago).
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Old 11-25-2020, 07:49 PM   #5
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Lnbright, search Forums gye endurance. The move to 16's was due to the gym being rated i believe at 2450 per tire, thus no margin of safety. Going to the 16s with new tires and rims got you to an e tire and plenty of margin, a higher psi (80) and speed rating.

My recommendation is go with the gye endurance, keep the stock rims and don't look back. No reason to. To be fair the nokians in a 15 e are the equal IMO. Used to see them a lot in Eugene on horse trailers. I was heading there but settled on the gye's, 1) because at that time, and that has since changed was availability. They are now made in TN. When i bought gye's were available everywhere. 2) because i wasn't sure they would fit in the spare rack as they are slightly larger dis. and i was leaving x country from OR in 2 weeks.

Since the gye install, we have been xc from OR 3 times and have about 35-40 k miles on the gye's. Total mileage 55k+ as we just moved to MO, and with covid parked of late.

When i have a moment i'll look for the main gye thread, but also a very good thread on psi, since 20's even with a 10-15% margin don't need to run at a hard 80. Read tireman9 and capriracer' s excellent comments as tire engineers. Bottom line know your weight per tire, add 10-15% then go to the gye psi chart. Our 20 weighed out at about roughly 2350 per tire and i run a
at 72 psi. Plus the gye's hold air like a bandit.

EDIT:

GYE Endurance:


https://www.airforums.com/forums/f43...sa-157249.html

https://www.airforums.com/forums/f43...ce-204398.html

Speed/PSI etc.:
https://www.airforums.com/forums/f43...on-167187.html

15 vs 16...
https://www.airforums.com/forums/f46...ml#post2350567


and the gravy....a 20 footers thread! You'll love it!
https://www.airforums.com/forums/f54...ml#post2433004


one last comment, remember that some posts will be by owners of dual axle rigs and the 20 is a heavy 20 (due to the larger frame in part) and sometime experience isn't apples to apples. So especially when you're talking about PSI there is a lot of variability from model to model. Not saying it isn't applicable, just note differences.


Happy Trails
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Old 11-25-2020, 08:17 PM   #6
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Rereading the OP, the Mich Ribs are very good tires. SAs someone said a little stiff. Phoenix (RIP) ran them on his 19 and has many thread/posts. Not aware of the replacement.


This is for memory but the knock on the Mich's (I run them on my TV and love them) is that it is not a LT tire and needs to be de-rated 10% for use on a TT>


I hope this isn't a duplicate but this is Ray's earlier and very long 15-16 thread. Note the dates and tires have changed significantly (intro GYE).


https://www.airforums.com/forums/f43...es-148274.html
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Old 11-25-2020, 08:43 PM   #7
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I agree with the comments so far and have some additional comments.

1. Switch to 16" for ground clearance otherwise it's no longer worth the effort and cost, also if you tow near the towing limits limits, the improved stiffness in trailer cornering is not helpful and alows the trailer to push the vehicle around more.

2. the Marathons got a bad rap. They were speed rated to 65 mph , but too many people just drove them at and over the speed limit and too close to the load limits. Drivers overheated the tires and they failed.

3. Modern ST tires now have more realistic speed rating including the Endurance.

4. Trailer tires are designed for the sheer stresses trailer tires experience. LT tires are not.

5. Despite the popularity, manufacturers do not recommend putting truck tires on trailers.

So my guidance is to buy trailer tires for trailers and ensure they have at least 20% over the proper load ratings you need and 15% over the speed rating for which you intend to travel.
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Old 11-26-2020, 11:10 AM   #8
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We upgraded last year to the GYEndurance - stayed with the 15" rims so far find the tires to be great. We run at 65lb according to the GoodYear specs HYW speeds I still like 65MPH (90-95KMHP) all we do is Boondock. Going to 16" + mich. really just did not seem to be worth the exta cost for that 1/2" clearance. Also the GYE are E rated.
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Old 11-26-2020, 11:24 AM   #9
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Three years ago, I bought four Sendel 16" wheels & Michelin XPS Ribs for my AS 27 from Discount Tire for a little over $1,000. The XPS Ribs seem to be bullet-proof. Plus: a hard-rubber tire that lasts & lasts. Minus: as a hard-rubber tire, they lose their grip in the cold. That's OK with me, as I use the trailer only from around March/April to September/October.

I sold the Sendel 15" wheels with the old tires on them for $250, so the change cost me around $800.
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Old 11-26-2020, 11:30 AM   #10
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Trailer tires have never been speed rated unless something has changed lately. There are recommendations for speed, but not a formal objective speed rating.

If the Goodyear successor to the Marathon is a good tire, great. The Marathons did fail more often than other tires and had tread separation problems. Regardless what tire you use, you do not have to fill the tire to the air pressure stated on the tire. That is a maximum, but each vehicle has a different weight and the tire should be filled to match the weight. Just look at the plate by the driver’s door in your car or truck with tire pressure recommendations—they are usually less than the maximum. You can call the manufacturer to get a recommendations for a specific vehicle and then as you use the tire, check the tread depth with a depth gauge to know how the tire is wearing. Too much air and the center of the tire will wear faster; too little, the tread at the edges will wear faster. If one side wears faster than the other, the tires are out of alignment, not usually a problem with a trailer. Trailer tires wear slowly because they are not attached to an engine—drive tires wear faster.

There was a survey on this Forum about tires and the Marathon gave the most problems. I believe it was by Phoenix. If he has left us, he was a good guy and I always read his posts with respect for his opinions.
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Old 11-26-2020, 11:32 AM   #11
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They did recently add formal speed ratings for ST classification.
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Old 11-26-2020, 11:44 AM   #12
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The Goodyear Endurance is a perfectly fine tire. USA made and has a much better reputation than the marathon. IMO there's no need to spend the money for new wheels AND tires just for a small increase in ground clearance. If that's really the concern, you may want to look in to the Dexter 3" lift kit.
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Old 11-26-2020, 02:21 PM   #13
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I've been running the XPS Ribs for four years on my 27 FB Classic and love them. We upgraded from the 15 inch Marathon tires because of all the blowouts reported. The XPS Ribs have a steel belt in the sidewalls for extra strength and stability. We run ours at 72 psi pressure and have had no issues with harsh ride (we also use an AirSafe/Equalizer combo to give both TV and TT independent suspensions). I highly recommend the XPS Ribs, and plan on buying another set when these finish their 5th season, as they will definitely age out long before they wear out.
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Old 11-26-2020, 05:09 PM   #14
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How do you justify disregard of the manufacturer guidance against using light truck tires on trailers? Is it like the kindergartener who says, well Joey did it too?
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Old 11-26-2020, 06:42 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gene View Post

There was a survey on this Forum about tires and the Marathon gave the most problems. I believe it was by Phoenix. If he has left us, he was a good guy and I always read his posts with respect for his opinions.

https://www.airforums.com/forums/f48...lp-199469.html

Gene, he has passed to the other side. We had breakfast with he and Kathy in Jan 19 on our way to key west but unfortunately could not connect on the WB leg. they made it to Alaska that summer, but i believe received his diagnosis upon his return. He was a valuable forums contributor and he and Kathy were wonderful people.
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Old 11-26-2020, 07:18 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BayouBiker View Post
2. the Marathons got a bad rap. They were speed rated to 65 mph , but too many people just drove them at and over the speed limit and too close to the load limits. Drivers overheated the tires and they failed.
.....
So my guidance is to buy trailer tires for trailers and ensure they have at least 20% over the proper load ratings you need and 15% over the speed rating for which you intend to travel.

Brian i agree with most of your post but partially disagree on the the bad rap. I think it well deserved...hence the development of the gye.

...too fast, totally agree, but prone to overheating, apparently so and not only due to excess speed. I was sold on the nokian...an e rated tire with some meat on the tread. Thought the gye was a weanie tire... Where's the meat, literally. But apparently gye engineers were on to something. Designed that way to reduce heat. I believe tireman and capri racer have both commented on this. The gye was GY's solution to tires that apparently were prone to overheating....loading aside. Part of the problem, but they didn't spec what tire for what rig, enter JC.

Also it's the math. To use my rig as an example. 5 K axle, 2500 per tire. Tire rated at 65 psi was 2450 load capacity. 50 lbs isn't much margin. ours weighed in around 2350 tire, i didn't even have a 10% margin much less 20%, and I was 150 lbs/tire under weight.

Imo, i believe GY understood they needed not only a cooler running tire, but one with a higher speed rating AND load capacity, if not for any reason than for safety's sake. Hence the gye as the solution. IMO, JC has a piece if this and believe they simply should have upsized to 16's as oem, especially on bambi's.

The good news is that the GYE has proven itself.
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Old 11-26-2020, 07:37 PM   #17
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I think we are on the same page. I appreciate your response and pushback!

Too many Marathons were on combinations that were too close to the limits and the tires predictably failed. Like Tireman, when I read the reports of tread separation nearly every time, I see numbers that are way too close to or over the limits. I suppose you can blame the tire designers for failing to understand market demand, but I blame the owner for not reading and following the guidance on the sidewall. As an engineer when I see I am at the limit, I immediately look for ways to get 10-20% away from them. In your example I would have added 5 psi more than recommended so 70 psi instead of 65 carefully set for the days expected root mean squared high. Then I would also stay below 63 mph. Fortunately I have GYE and don't have to mess with that. I set them at 57psi now (for my 7100 lb trailer) and go camping. I also putter along at 62-63 mph unless there is traffic and then I might get up to 69 mph.
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Old 11-26-2020, 09:39 PM   #18
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Hey Brian, i agree re the same page. Thanks for your post. I too am in the 62 up to maybe 65 groove, with the occasional burst. It's the gearing groove but also preference. It was that way with the gym's too.

I'm also thrifty and wasn't buying into the 16's. To quote my old neighbor...fine home building... "There has to be a better way". Slow down, travel lighter and know your weight...

Thank you for all your posts. I have always appreciated and respected your posts.

My background is mtg finance and construction management and coincidentally my first major was architecture, loved the design but hated the engineering side so changed to business. It was the late 60's and things have changed. Now it's the intriguing side of AS (space shuttle) ownership and home improvement.

Happy trails
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Old 11-27-2020, 12:53 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CruizinDux View Post
https://www.airforums.com/forums/f48...lp-199469.html

Gene, he has passed to the other side. We had breakfast with he and Kathy in Jan 19 on our way to key west but unfortunately could not connect on the WB leg. they made it to Alaska that summer, but i believe received his diagnosis upon his return. He was a valuable forums contributor and he and Kathy were wonderful people.
I'm so sorry to hear it. He was one of the good guys.

Despite LT tires and P tires not being designated for trailers, many us have had no problems with them. The idea of ST (special trailer) tires was with the then new radials with relatively weak sidewalls compared to what had been standard—bias ply tires—was trailers needed a stronger sidewall especially when backing. Radials improved over the decades and we have never had a problem.
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Old 11-27-2020, 05:09 PM   #20
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Thank you everyone. I really appreciated the input and education.

At this time, I think I'll replace the GYM that are on it with GYE, staying at the 15". (This particular one has the Dexter lift on it, so the clearance is already improved, without having to go to 16" wheels.) I'm a fan of Michelins in general, but, as they don't have a suitable 15" tire, I'll probably stay with the GYE since it is available in the 15".


And WashMoBob/ CruisinDux, my, that's an impressive thread on the 20-footer, 150-some pages! It'll take me awhile to get through it..... it's already proved educational, and I'm only 20 pages in.....


I suppose I need to doctor up a sig line now....
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