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Old 04-19-2011, 11:36 AM   #1
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ST trailer tire speed ratings

The speed rating on ST trailer tires is a maximum speed of 65 mph from every manufacturer, as far as I can find. It is common to see someone towing a trailer exceed this speed and the posted speed limits does allow higher speeds. I think it is time the manufacturers be required to upgrade their speed ratings to exceed the allowed road speeds.

It is my opinion that we, as a group, should be complaining to the manufacturers and especially to the government agency regulating them. I have already.

In the USA you can complain and/or comment here; NHTSA Contact Information | National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)

Where I live in NC, it is not legal to use any tire on a trailer unless it is specifically labeled for use on a trailer. This makes the light truck tires some of you say you are using illegal if you pass through NC. You can be ticked here for this. I am not sure about other states' laws.

I am interested in hearing your opinions and specifically what the the laws of your area are, regarding use of light truck tires being used on trailers.

Alan
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Old 04-19-2011, 11:44 AM   #2
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While I agree that trailer tires should be better-made, I am not sure if NC can ticket someone for an equipment violation if their vehicle it licensed in another state and meets all of the safety and equipment regulations for the state in which it's licensed.
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Old 04-19-2011, 11:51 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by A W Warn View Post
Where I live in NC, it is not legal to use any tire on a trailer unless it is specifically labeled for use on a trailer. This makes the light truck tires some of you say you are using illegal if you pass through NC. You can be ticked here for this. I am not sure about other states' laws.
Wow! I guess Out-of-doors mart in Colfax, NC is going to be breaking the law by selling the new 2012 Eddie Bauer 25'. The trailer comes from the mothership with 16" Michelin LTX tires.

Bye,

Paul
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Old 04-19-2011, 12:00 PM   #4
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That would be really hard to enforce as most officers would not know an ST tire from a tennis racket. Besides, ST tires would be best used as bumpers tied to a boat dock.

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Old 04-19-2011, 12:07 PM   #5
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ST tires are not required to be speed rated by the US gov't. Some manufacturers may say they are speed rated, but that is not required and may not have been done to gov't specifications. Goodyear does on its website say what pressure to use if you have their tires and want to go 75.

Whether NC can require out of state trailers to have ST tires is a difficult question. The US constitution generally requires states to give comity to other states' laws, thus your driver's license in good in all states, but vehicle and traffic laws are not necessarily subject to the comity rule. Thus your trailer license plate is good, but your tires may not be. An example is whether or not you need a weight distributing hitch—some states require it after a certain trailer weight—often 2,500 lbs.—and others do not. I expect that a WD hitch would be required in any state that had a law about it. Some states require flares, some require red triangles, some both, some none when you are stopped by the road. I have not checked this out, however. Shortly after we had 16" LT tires installed on our trailer, we drove through NC and escaped before they found us out.

Woodall's campground book has a list of RV laws in their campground book for all states and provinces. I have never seen anything about tires in it. I actually enjoy reading that section. I found out two provinces (Manitoba and another one) require you to shut off the propane while driving—I made it through Manitoba without being found out because I figured rotten food in the fridge was more dangerous than leaving the propane on.

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Old 04-19-2011, 12:09 PM   #6
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Ok. time to add a new topic to the FUD list that is used to promote LEO involvement in my RV experience and add to my license and tax fees .... :-(

Speed ratings on tires are, in essence, heat tolerance ratings. As with weight ratings, they are indeed ratings and not limits.

I'd be curious about the statute that requires ST tires on trailers as using other types is not all that uncommon.

Do keep your trailer tires at max sidewall PSI rating. Do check tire and hub temperatures when you stop for breaks and fuel with an IR thermometer. If running hot, take appropriate measures.

But please, let's just leave the FUD mongering in the dust of common sense?
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Old 04-19-2011, 12:25 PM   #7
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I believe the ST tire is stated because they wanted a minimum Class Rating stamped on the tire. This does not mean you couldn't use a Lt tire which has the same exact tire pressure to class rating. I read a article in Trailer Life and it seems that you have the option of going to a better tire like the LT which has a higher speed rating than the ST that is designed at 65 MPH.
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Old 04-19-2011, 12:34 PM   #8
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So I looked up FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt), but couldn't find LEO. What is LEO?

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Old 04-19-2011, 01:01 PM   #9
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LEO is law enforcement officer.

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Old 04-19-2011, 01:24 PM   #10
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I wonder how long before the annual, summer tire failure reports start coming in...
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Old 04-19-2011, 01:27 PM   #11
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Seems like I struck a nerve!

Seems like I struck a nerve!
I did not mean too.

I learned about this law in NC while taking a class to become a licensed vehicle inspector. I did become one, several years ago, but my license is no longer valid. I looked on line but could not find the general statute and I no longer have my manual. My brother-in-law is a (LEO) NCDOT enforcement officer. I will ask him if this is still current. I will post if I find I am incorrect.

Gene,
You are correct, that the Feds do not regulate tire manufacturers, I mis-spoke. They regulate the application of tires applied to vehicles that are on the road.

I appologize if I offended anyone. I just think we, as a group can band together for a good cause, whether enjoying one another's company or getting a better tire. I do not think anyone on this forum is shy about speaking up and that is good!
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Old 04-19-2011, 01:31 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A W Warn View Post
The speed rating on ST trailer tires is a maximum speed of 65 mph from every manufacturer, as far as I can find. It is common to see someone towing a trailer exceed this speed and the posted speed limits does allow higher speeds. I think it is time the manufacturers be required to upgrade their speed ratings to exceed the allowed road speeds.
Can you post a few links to what you have been able to find? I'm curious.

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It is my opinion that we, as a group, should be complaining to the ... government ...
But there's already so much to complain about!
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Old 04-19-2011, 01:53 PM   #13
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Can you post a few links to what you have been able to find? I'm curious.



But there's already so much to complain about!
one examlpe of tire speed ratings (or are you asking about the NC law):
Trailer Load/Inflation Chart

You are right, complaining about something that is so insignifigant as a tire, unless it is your tire that goes out while you are towing.
When complaining, it's the squeeky wheel (tire) that gets the grease.

I have to leave right now, I will check back tonight.
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Old 04-19-2011, 02:16 PM   #14
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After reading numerous threads on ST tire failures, I think this rating is used more for "No, you can't use that cheap, unreliable ST tire on a passenger car or pickup truck, because they'll blowout and damage your vehicle and/or cause an accident", than "This ST tire is specially designed for a cushy ride on your new Airstream".

I think that any tire that is rated at 65 or 80 psi is going to ride relatively hard regardless of whether it's an ST or LT tire; and ST tires should be banned for any use other than RV storage.

After several ST tire failures, my opinion is that they are the RV equivalent to those semi tires with pie-slice-shaped painted sections on them that are identified for storage or low speed use, so that no one makes the mistake of taking them out on the highway.

However, if I hadn't already made the expensive switch to 16-inch wheels and LT tires, I'd consider ST tires in 225/75x15 if they were all steel and made like Michelin XPS Ribs or BF Goodrich Commercial TAs.

Just my opinion, to be taken with a grain of salt...
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Old 04-19-2011, 02:55 PM   #15
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I'm really glad that we made the switch to the 16" wheels and the Michelin LT's The extra expense was worth it to me because the 15" LT's are more difficult to find in stock ion a small town. It seems like just about everyone stocks the 16's. The other reason is that Lucy's OEM wheels were just about as awful as the ST tires. The design was such that the valve stem was very difficult to get at, which made checking and adding pressure a difficult procedure. The new 16" wheels are great.

Brian
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Old 04-19-2011, 03:35 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A W Warn View Post
Where I live in NC, it is not legal to use any tire on a trailer unless it is specifically labeled for use on a trailer. This makes the light truck tires some of you say you are using illegal if you pass through NC. You can be ticked here for this. I am not sure about other states' laws.

Alan

Are you sure this relates to RV tires and not just commercial trailers. If it does relate to RV tires NC has got to get with the program and change the law since LT tires are fast becoming a thing of the past. If I had to guess that law might refer to those who would use wheel barrow tires on small RV trailers

There is no way, law or no law, I would ever use LT tires on my trailer. First off they are not made with a rating above C, made in ever fewer sizes, and now almost all that are still made are made in China.

Just send your NC representative a copy of the thread on Marathon failures and ask him if he would use them with his family.

I have used Michelin LTs load range E at 40 psi ever since Tow Master, which was the only LT tire I would have considered sent their molds to China




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Old 04-19-2011, 04:13 PM   #17
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You are right, complaining about something that is so insignifigant as a tire, unless it is your tire that goes out while you are towing.
I have to leave right now, I will check back tonight.
The issue here is if it's really against the law for a normal consumer to use an LT rated tire on his RV. If it is, do the leg work and post the evidence. I knew my trailer had ST tires on it when I bought it. I'm not filing a complaint for something that was my choice.

When the P rated tires wore out on my 1/2 ton truck, I upgraded to LT's. When the ST rated tires wear out on the trailer, I'll be upgrading to 16" LT's. Until then I'll be checking for wear and proper inflation and keeping it under 65MPH.
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Old 04-19-2011, 06:29 PM   #18
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I think anyone that tows a trailer at a higher speed than 65 mph is asking for trouble, no matter what type of tire or who makes it. A 14" or even a 15" tires spins a lot faster than a 16" I don't know the exact dimensions of any of the tires, but if you just used the rim size as an example; the circumference = diameter x 3.1416. Therefore a 14" rim has a circumference of 43.98"; a 15" rim has a circumference of 47.12"; a 16" rim has a circumference of 50.27". A 16" rim rotating at a speed of 65 mph would be the equvilant of a 15" running at 69.29 mph. I don't think there are many trailers out there with 14" but the speed would be even higher.
So when you are out there going 75 mph think about how fast that tire is spinning.
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Old 04-19-2011, 07:31 PM   #19
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Lots of interesting views and opinions here on tires. That is no surprise

When I look for tires I usually look online at Tirerack dot com. They have all the specs listed for all the tires they sell. I like to look at the tire diameter on their spec sheets. One thing that TG Twinkie mentioned was tire revs per mile. It is possible to have a 16" tire that has a short aspect ratio spin faster than a "tall" 15" tire. An ST 225/75/15 GYM has a diameter of 28.3" and 736 revs per mile. A Michelin LTX M/S2 235/75/15 has a diameter of 28.9 and 721 revs per mile. The Michelin LTX 235/85/16 LR E has a diameter of 31.7" and 656 revs per mile.

I'm inclined to agree that the ST designation is so that cheap trailer tires won't be put on passenger cars.
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Old 04-19-2011, 08:35 PM   #20
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I spent a few hours tonight researching NC General Statures re trailer tires, and did not find anything to back up what I said. I will continue and post what I find.
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