Trailer Tire suggestions requested

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Dale Finch
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Trailer Tire suggestions requested

Postby Dale Finch » Thu Jan 03, 2013 10:40 am

I recently bought an 18' dual-axle trailer with 1-axle brakes, to be able to haul 2 Cubs or a Cub and my SA. Looks like the PO put on Passenger tires (P235/70R15). Originally I was only looking for a spare, but after doing some research (since I know virtually nothing about tires!) I realized I probably need ST....?? Load Range E tires. Can someone (Yogie?) recommend a reasonably priced, good quality (safe) tire that would work? And how can I tell if the 15" rims I already have are rated for the Load Range E tires at their operating pressures? Also, is there any reason to change to 16" rims/tires and how can I check in advance that they would fit the trailer, which does have fenders?

Should I try to sell my used tires? And with or without the rims? In other words, is it better to buy the new tires already mounted? I have an Agri-Supply, Northern Tool, TSC, plus lots of tire places in the area, so lots to choose from. I'm going out this morning to talk with someone about this same question, so will check back and see what you have to say and let you know what he says. Thanks for your input!

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Re: Trailer Tire suggestions requested

Postby Rick Spivey » Thu Jan 03, 2013 6:13 pm

Dale,

I work for Michelin, but we don't actually make trailer tires. And yes, they are different, and recommended over passenger car tires. I have a 16' tandem axle, and recently replaced all 4 tires after smoking one on the interstate. I don't have the trailer with me, but the tires were something like "Trailmaster", supposedly made by Goodyear (I cannot confirm). They are RADIAL trailer tires (all trailer tires used to be bias), and I am so far very happy with them. My cost was $88 each mounted and balanced. I recommend you stick with the 15" (no need for 16" here), and buy something similar. Currently at Northern, the trailer tire and wheel (still a bias tire) is approximately $125 or more, unless they are running a sale.
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Dale Finch
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Re: Trailer Tire suggestions requested

Postby Dale Finch » Thu Jan 03, 2013 11:01 pm

Thank you so much for the info, Rick. I will check them out. The friend I spoke to today was checking out Carlisle ?? tires ...know if they are any good? Thanks again!

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Rick Spivey
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Re: Trailer Tire suggestions requested

Postby Rick Spivey » Fri Jan 04, 2013 6:29 am

Call a couple of local tire dealers, and see what they have to offer, and if they know who it is made by. Many of the commodity and utility tires are now made overseas, which doesn't mean they are automatically inferior quality, it just means that North American tire factories tend to make premium, higher margin tires because our labor costs are higher than 3rd world countries. Carlisle appears to be a maker of many utility tires, such as wheelbarrow, loader or forklift, ATV, etc; a lot of tires no one else makes in the US. I honestly don't know which are best or not so good, but I recommend radial trailer tires, from a company that has a decent reputation. I don't think you will find the company name on those tires, most everybody produces those tires under some other name. I think in general this type of tire is most often abused, meaning they get run under-inflated, they sit in the sun for long periods of time, they are not replaced very often, etc. So these type of tires have lots of consumer issues associated with them, mostly due to neglect by the owner. Find a price you can live with, and then maintain them well, and you will likely get good service out of them.
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Re: Trailer Tire suggestions requested

Postby Gary Dotson » Fri Jan 04, 2013 7:22 am

I agree with everything Rick said. You will often see trailer tires with great looking tread but may be 10 or more years old. If you start using them for heavy loads, the problems begin. I put 4 new Carlisle tires on my trailer, last year and I'm happy with them. There are a few brands available, but Carlisle seems to be the most popular around here. About your wheels, are they 5 or 6 lug? If they're 6 lug, they're most likely rated for the load range E tires, 5 lug, may not be. The 2 common sizes for the trailers are ST205/75 and ST225/75, load range E is not common in the 205 size and may have to be special ordered in the 225 size, which is what I did. Generally, the 5 lug wheels come with 205's, the 6 lugs with 225's. I think your best bet is to find a tire shop that you trust and let them steer you in the right direction, based on how your trailer is set up.

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Re: Trailer Tire suggestions requested

Postby Dale Finch » Fri Jan 04, 2013 8:22 am

Thanks, Rick and Gary. Next week I will head out to a couple tire stores with the trailer and see what they recommend. It's amazing what you can learn about a subject when you start researching it. Between the internet and this forum, it definitely helps reduce the mystique of a subject! Thanks.

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Re: Trailer Tire suggestions requested

Postby outdoors4evr » Fri Jan 04, 2013 9:15 am

Hate Carlile tires.
Every one shredded (one at a time) on RV trailer within a year of a new trailer purchase.
Firestone got my business. No problems since.
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Re: Trailer Tire suggestions requested

Postby Jim Becker » Fri Jan 04, 2013 10:30 am

If your wheels are OEM from a major, they are probably marked with a weight rating. They used to mark a lot of them on the front, usually near the valve stem hole. The modern convention is to mark it on the back side. There is no labeling requirement and some of the aftermarket wheel companies don't do it. In the absence of some evidence to convince me otherwise, I would question an unmarked rim for anything above load range B.

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Re: Trailer Tire suggestions requested

Postby BIGHOSS » Fri Jan 04, 2013 10:35 am

While it is hard to replace a new looking tire with plenty of tread left, tires are only good for 8-10 years. Dry rot is the primary reason for tires shredding. My gooseneck horse trailer had been setting on a lot for 6 years when I bought it. It had never been used, so the tires had virtually zero miles. They immediately started failing after I started towing it. Rick Spivey may know this, but I have been told that a tire warranty is only good for 6 years.

I have had good sucess with load range D tires such as Carlisle and similar brands.
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Re: Trailer Tire suggestions requested

Postby danovercash » Fri Jan 04, 2013 10:53 am

Check the date code on any "new" tires you buy!
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Re: Trailer Tire suggestions requested

Postby Denny Clayton » Fri Jan 04, 2013 11:15 am

Dale, another place to check is your local trailer sales/service dealer. They deal with trailer tires every day.
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Re: Trailer Tire suggestions requested

Postby Peter Person » Fri Jan 04, 2013 11:39 am

...yet another option is Tire Rack Trailer Tires

Goodyear Marathon Radial
Kumho Radial 857
Power King Towmax STR

Interesting Info in the Goodyear link;
The Marathon Radial is Goodyear's special purpose trailer tire designed specifically for use on travel trailers, pop-up campers, boat trailers and fifth wheel trailers used for hauling everything from race horses to racecars. The Marathon Radial was developed to make towing a trailer more enjoyable and more economical while making it easier to take your big "toys" with you on the weekends.

Special purpose trailer tires are not intended to be used on cars or light trucks.

On the outside, the Marathon Radial features a rounded profile to enhance ride quality, and a symmetric tread design with a solid center rib to provide constant rubber-to-road contact that delivers dependable highway stability, traction and long lasting wear. Internally, the Marathon Radial features twin steel belts (with selected sizes reinforced with nylon cap plies) that stabilize the tread to increase traction and durability. The Marathon Radial features a polyester cord body to help smooth out the trailer's ride.

Special purpose trailer tires are not UTQG rated.

Marathon Special Trailer Applications - General Information from Goodyear(PDF)

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Re: Trailer Tire suggestions requested

Postby Rick Spivey » Fri Jan 04, 2013 7:12 pm

Update, I think the tires I got are actually the Power King Towmax that Peter referenced above. I will confirm next trip to the farm. And while I am happy with them initially, I don't have any real miles on them at load, just a couple trips mostly empty. Now to Bighoss's point, after the Firestone/Explorer issues in the early 2000's, the tire companies were pressed to suggest a "shelf life' or "age" guideline for tires, because some tires don't get used up before they succumb to age related issues, such as UV decay, ozone decay, etc. While reluctant to make a hard rule, or help Congress pass a law we don't need, most manufacturers did agree that 6 years is probably long enough to keep most car tires. Not sure that guideline should be spread over ALL tires, but in my OPINION, it wouldn't be a bad guideline to observe. Depending on how your tires are stored, especially on low use vehicles such as trailers, RV's, etc. the sun and ozone can wreak havoc, and cause them to be dangerous, even with full tread. So watch the age, look for cracking, discoloration, etc. Tires are still cheap compared to medical expenses, funerals, etc.
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Re: Trailer Tire suggestions requested

Postby birddog » Fri Jan 04, 2013 7:13 pm

You didn't say what the weight rating was on your trailer. I wouldn't waste money buying tires rated much hire then what the trailer is made for. You can buy SUV or LT tires that are rated at over 2200 pounds so I would think you wouldn't have to go to a load range E. As others have said, trailer tires may be better, but I've run Extra Load LT tires on my 7000 pound trailer for about 20 years with no trouble. Some weren't even LT's, just P-metric radials. I do try to run tires with a max load rating of over 2000 pounds just to be a little safer if I overload the trailer by accident.
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Re: Trailer Tire suggestions requested

Postby Mr E » Sun Jan 06, 2013 10:39 am

Rick Spivey wrote: I think in general this type of tire is most often abused, meaning they get run under-inflated, they sit in the sun for long periods of time, they are not replaced very often, etc.


Rick and others,
Is there an affordable way to protect them from the sun? You see RVs with covers over the tires. I'm guessing this simply is to hide them and make the surroundings more pleasing to the eye. Is there something of this nature that could protect trailer tires while they are awaiting their next call to duty? :lol:
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