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Old 11-20-2011, 10:42 PM   #1
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Best Tires for RV

After the axle and tires replacement by the manufacturer... I noticed today that the tires the dealer put on are Vail tires made in China and only 4 ply! I never heard of them.... They are ST205 75 D15 load rating is C.

Im guessing these are cheap junk tires. They look ok but im not sure I trust them. They may get replaced soon. Any suggestions?

Thanks
Daniel
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Old 11-20-2011, 11:03 PM   #2
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In a 15", you have a number of choices, starting with the Marathon's or any number of good LT tires. You'll hear all of the arguments and flames about using LT's, but the bottom line is that if you talk to a good tire pro, you'll find that he nay-sayers are correct about LT's not being "rated" for trailers, but that's because they are inherantly STRONGER than trailer rated tires.

Now, those of us with 14" wheels, and no extra clearance to upgrade to 15", have much fewer choices....
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Old 11-21-2011, 06:06 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by firedaniel View Post
After the axle and tires replacement by the manufacturer... I noticed today that the tires the dealer put on are Vail tires made in China and only 4 ply! I never heard of them.... They are ST205 75 D15 load rating is C.

Im guessing these are cheap junk tires. They look ok but im not sure I trust them. They may get replaced soon. Any suggestions?

Thanks
Daniel
Daniel, you actually have what is a 6 ply rated tire. It all has to do with the load or ply ratings, which in your case is the letter C.

We have to understand the tire terminology of LT(Light Truck) and ST(Special Trailer) tires, along with the manufacturing history of them to know what we are reading in what is a "Load Range" aka "Ply Rating."

These tires have what is called a Load range or Ply rating. It is just that, a rating, and is not indicative of the true actual numbers of plies in the tire. Modern tires have less true plies than the ply rating suggests. You can always read near the bead of a given tire and see how many true plies are in the tire (sidewall and tread).

OK, you're probably asking yourself, why a tire has less true plies than the ply "rating" indicates? Why not just put the true number of plies on the label? It has to do with how tires used to be made, or more precise, what they used to be made of. Tires all used to have their internal carcass plies made up of cotton cords. When tires were all made up of cotton cords, then the true number of cotton cords inside the tire, was the true number of plies listed on the tire. A 6 ply cotton corded tire had 6 actual plies of cotton cord...and so on, so on.

As technology has progressed, so has the stuff you can now make a tires internal cords from. You now have nylon, rayon, kevlar, and other polymers that are stronger than cotton. Different tire manufacturers will use different polymers to make their tires internal cords from, all of which are stronger than the previous cotton cords.

To keep things uniform, and where you and I can understand it, you have the ply rating come into existence. Take for example Brand X tires. Their tire is made from nylon plies, which 2 plies of nylon might equal 6 plies of cotton. Their tire is thus equivalent to a 6 ply "cotton corded" tire, but only has 2 plies of true nylon cord.

Now Brand Y tires have kevlar in theirs which 1 ply of it, might be equal in strength to 6 plies of cotton. They also have a tire equivalent in strength to a 6 ply cotton corded tire, but it has only 1 true ply of kevlar.

The ply rating, is a rating based off of the old cotton plies strengths. A 6, 8, 10, or higher rated tire has the same equivalent strength of a tire that had that many actual cotton plies..........even though it doesn't have that many actual plies now.

Since there are so many different things that each tire can now be made of in it's ply construction (besides cotton), by using the Ply Rating system, it keeps it uniform across all the brand lines. As a consumer, you aren't really interested in WHAT a tire has inside, as much as you are needing to know HOW much weight you can carry on it.

Each tire manufacturer uses the old cotton corded strengths as a measuring standard to determine their tires strengths with whatever material they use internally for their plies.

Here are the most common Ply Ratings or Load Ranges

C = 6 ply rated...equal to 6 plies of cotton cord
D = 8 ply rated...equal to 8 plies of cotton cord
E = 10 ply rated...equal to 10 plies of cotton cord
F = 12 ply rated...equal to 12 plies of cotton cord
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Old 11-21-2011, 09:23 AM   #4
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I don't doubt you but it says 4 ply on the side wall.
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Old 11-21-2011, 09:58 AM   #5
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Quote:
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I don't doubt you but it says 4 ply on the side wall.
Quote:
Originally Posted by wmtire View Post
. It is just that, a rating, and is not indicative of the true actual numbers of plies in the tire. Modern tires have less true plies than the ply rating suggests. You can always read near the bead of a given tire and see how many true plies are in the tire (sidewall and tread).
Daniel, are you reading the 'actual' number of plies in the small print molding, which could be any number of plies?

It could have one, two, three, or four actual number of plies listed there. Being you have a bias tire, most likely it reads:

Tread- 4 plies nylon, and Sidewall 3 plies nylon.

As stated in my very long-winded post, these nylon plies (although less than 6) are equivalent to a 6 ply cotton corded tire in load carrying capacity...........as you have a Load Range C tire....which is a 6 ply "rated" tire.

That's the whole purpose of the ply ratings, to keep the confusion down with the average Joe, so he doesn't misinterpret the load carrying capabilities of a given tire. You will need to be concerned with the Ply Rating/Load Range more than the TRUE number of plies in said tire (due to all the different materials that could be used in different brands of tires).

I have a habit of talking TOO much, and may be confusing everyone.
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Old 11-21-2011, 11:19 AM   #6
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Ok is a made in china Vail tire with a C load range any good? . Any better?
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Old 11-21-2011, 11:31 AM   #7
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The real question is;"Do you have sufficient total load capacity for the weight of your trailer". You should be looking at the GVW of your trailer. The sum of the capacity of your tires should exceed your GVW; ideally by 20% but that is often not the case.

You don't want to open the Chineese can of worms. There are many on these forums that love to knock the Made in China label. The fact is, the greatest majority of ST tires are made in China. There are many complaints about quality and blowouts but since virtually every tire is made in china, it is no surprise that blowouts happen with a chineese made tire!

Undoubtedly some people are dealing with real quality issues. But, IMO, many of the reported issues have nothing to do with the country of origin of the tires. Other causes? Excessive speed, Excessive load, improper inflation, poor trailer balance (side to side or across axles), road hazard, etc.

If your total tire capacity is insufficient in your opinion, there are D rated tires out there. Hope this helps.
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Old 11-21-2011, 02:58 PM   #8
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Many people have had a bad experience with ST tires made in China, thus the nick name "China bombs".
The highest rated ST tire out there is probably the Maxxis M8008. I ran them on my previous TT and they were great. The problem with any ST tire, though, is their 65 mph speed rating. They are spoken highly of around the campfire, and RV forums.
Also, finding a quality LT 14" or 15" LT tire that can handle your trailer can be a challenge.
Regardless, keep your current (and future) ST tires inflated to their maximum pressure.
Good luck.
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Old 11-21-2011, 03:17 PM   #9
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after a lot of research, I am going to the green ball brand towmaster tires.

2 things above are accurate:
1)since 90+% of all ST tires are made in China, you chances of one blowing out being Chinese made are numerically very high. It means nothing about qaulity.
2) LT tires are not rated for trailer use. they can be used safely, and often are.

2 things not said above need to be added:
1) 90+% of all trailer tire blowouts are a result of either improper tire inflation or age (not miles.) It does not matter what brand, type or color your trailer tire, if is not properly inflated or over 5 years in age, it will blow.
2) LT tires can be a horrible choice on some trailers as they have a more defined tread which will catch ruts/rumble strips/pretty much every variation in road surface and lead to trailer sway.
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