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Old 03-07-2013, 12:31 PM   #1
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Another Tire Question

I hate to do this, but I have another question about tires.
It's time for new tires on the 5er, getting rid of the existing tires (china) and going to BFG Commercial TA. I am trying to include all pertinent info in this post to make things easier.

Currently, it has 225/75R15 load range D on it and the heaviest axle weight I have scaled is 8560. For what its worth, it has Lippert 5200 axles on it.

I will be purchasing new wheels and tires and I'm debating between the LT215/85R16/E or LT235/85R16/E tires (both have capacity rated higher than my current D tires). If I went with the 235's they have the most capacity at 3042lbs @80PSI vs 2680lbs @80PSI for the 215's. I am fairly confident that I can fit the larger 235 on my trailer, it would give me ~4.5" between the top if the tire and wheel well, just under 3" between the tire and frame, and ~4" between tires. The 215 is smaller in all dimensions so I am not as concerned about it fitting.

Question 1: Do the clearances look ok on the 235's? The one that is the closest (and makes me question them) is the tire to the frame, not sure if that is an acceptable distance.
Question2: Am I over thinking this? I know I could put the 215's on and would be golden. But, I would love to have more capacity on the tires with the 235's, even if the tires would be rated higher than the axles.

I would prefer the 235's if the clearances are all ok. They will give me a little help with leveling the 5er as it is currently sitting nose high. Between the taller tires, and moving the suspension to the lower mounting holes I should gain the needed lift to level the 5er without messing with the pin box or hitch in the truck (not really an option for me).

Thanks in advance for all the responses on this.
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Old 03-07-2013, 12:49 PM   #2
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To your question, the tire you selected (235 section width) is barely and inch wider, which is probably no issue at all since the tires do not pivot like a steer axle. It is theoretically possible to pinch one on the frame in a tight turn as the sidewall flexes, but seems pretty unlikely. the height will increase 3.4 inches, which means you are giving up 1.7 inches of clearance from the top of tire to the bottom of the trailer and you trailer will sit 1.7 inches taller overall.

The 215 is only 1.1 inches taller which deletes only 1/2 inch of clearance.

The question is do you have nearly 2 inches of tire clearance to give up and do you want your trailer sitting 2 inches higher than it does now?

With all that said, I am still at a loss why so many people prefer LT tires on their trailers. You are going from a tire with sidewall felx that is designed into the suspension system to one with less. You are going from a tire that is built to resits pavement variation and travel in a straight line to one that is built to react to pavement variation and and deviate from a straight line.

But to each their own.
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Old 03-07-2013, 01:37 PM   #3
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Old 03-08-2013, 10:33 AM   #4
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The more I think about it, the more I think the 235's will be fine. I can't imagine the tire flexing enough to cause issues with the space I have. I guess the next thing to do is to head over to the tire store and order some wheels and tires.

FWIW the reason I am going with the LT Commercial TA tire is I personally know several full time folks running this tire and have had tremendous results with them. The others run the Michelin Ribs, but I can't bring myself to pay for those at this point.
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Old 04-10-2013, 09:31 PM   #5
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I put on the LT235/85R16, LRE, Commercial T/A on the front axle of my 2009 37' Cedar Creek SATS. One tire, manufactured the first week of Jan 2010 had the tread separate and blew on three days ago with approx. 7000 miles. Approx $3500 damage to trailer plus the tire. This tire missed the BFGoodrich tire recall by 12 weeks. BFGoodrich says even though Forest River specifies the LT235/85R16 LRE tire size as original equipment, they only warranty the tire for two years on a trailer, but 6 years on a truck, with no mileage warranty. I have two Goodyears, same size, on back axle, both the same age, and they are both cracked. I don't think there is a good tire on the market today for larger 5th Wheels. I've gone through seven tires in three years and about $8000 in damages. It's a tough decision and pretty much a gamble. Be sure to check warranty close.
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Old 04-11-2013, 07:53 PM   #6
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I just purchased new 16" wheels and 235/85R16 Hercules for my 2009 31TS. The trailer called out for this size tire but somewhere somehow the trailer had 225/75R15 on it. We purchased this trailer back in Jan and on the way home from Oklahoma had a blowout and $5600 later finally got the trailer home from being fixed a few weeks ago. To answer the question I have no clearance issues whatsoever.
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Old 04-11-2013, 08:05 PM   #7
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Personally, I don't see the need for more tire than you have.
But, if it makes you feel safer, that is worth a lot.
Just be sure that you have the clearance above the tires. You sure wouldn't want to spend all of that money only to find out they are rubbing.
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Old 04-12-2013, 11:07 AM   #8
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I ended up with the 235's, I have another thread on here with the before and after pics. They did exactly what I wanted to with the lift and have plenty of clearance. As usual I was just over thinking it
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