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Old 05-06-2012, 07:17 PM   #1
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Bias tires vs. Radial- a few questions

It looks like the tires on my trailer are begining to show cracks on the sidewall already, so I am due to replace them. I do have the 2nd year warranty through Forest River, but from what my dealer said they may only be offering me $20 per tire. (Which is a joke considering comperable tires cost closer to $60 each.)

In any case, I have been looking at upgrading the tires to Radial. Searching through the forums it seems others have also done the same; and for the same reason as me- less likely to fail catostrophically.

What I am wondering is this:
- Are there any advantages other than price to stick with the bias tires?
- Those of you who have made the switch; have you noticed any issues?

The other thing I am wondering as about my spare tire. The spare appears to be in much better shape as it never sees the elements or the light of day. Would you guys keep the bias spare tire, or cough up the money to upgrade it as well? I've heard some things about not mixing the tires, but haven't heard exactly what the reason is. My thinking is that if the handling isn't quite as good- for a tire that should get very little use is it worth spending the money to upgrade?

I have a single axle trailer; so I am looking at replacing either 2 or 3 tires. And assuming FR sticks with their $20 payout; I am looking at around $110 per tire after taxes.

I appreciate any input on this!
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Old 05-06-2012, 08:17 PM   #2
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Personally, I would replace all three. Buy the best tire you can afford. The Maxxis 8008 gets good reviews on pretty much every forum I have seen. It is a radial tire. I would not recommend mixing them, probably even more so on a single axle.
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Old 05-06-2012, 09:23 PM   #3
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Yes buy ourself a good radial. I use Michelin's but Maxxis 8008 are also a good tire. Either one of them will give you a smoother and cooler ride. One of the biggest mistake people make is not protecting there tires from the sun. Sun damage will take your tire as fast as the road will.
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Old 05-06-2012, 10:09 PM   #4
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Stick with replacing the two on the ground with Maxxis or Kumho ST tires, only. They're both radials.
Make sure they balance the new tires and for added measure, replace the rubber valve stems with steel ones. They'll hold air better.
Radials run cooler and last longer, the only way to go.
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Old 05-07-2012, 07:20 AM   #5
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the following from a tire supplier:

The difference is the way the tires are constructed as well as the materials used. Bias ply tires have the plies (layers of rubberized nylon or polyester mesh) laid in at a 30 – 45 degree angle to the centerline of the tire and in alternating directions. There are usually fiberglass belts added for strength.

In the Radial design, Polyester cords are laid in and overlapped at 90 degrees to the centerline of the tire and then steel mesh belts are added.
The Radial design prevents the point of contact (where the rubber meets the road) from deforming, unlike the Bias Ply, which does deform under load.

There are a number of benefits to the Radial design for the trailer operator.
1) Softer, smoother, quieter ride
2) Improved fuel economy
3) Flat, wider footprint for better tire wear
4) Runs cooler than a bias ply, minimizing risk of a blowout on the highway
5) Longer tire life
6) Better tracking – Improved sway control

The main benefit for the Bias-Ply design is that the sidewall is more rugged and bruise resistant, plus Bias-Ply tires are usually less expensive. This could be an important consideration in a trailer application because many trailers are used infrequently, minimizing some of the Radial’s benefits.
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Old 05-07-2012, 07:26 AM   #6
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Yes if you replace with radials you have to replace spare
to. If you ever do have a flat the radial and bias on the
same axle will not work together and make the trailer
Tow weird.
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Old 05-07-2012, 07:41 AM   #7
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You will need to purchase 3 new tires. You cannot mix bias and radial tires. Plus if you are given $20 per tire feel yourself lucky. Tires are not usually covered under warranty. They are subject to wear and if not covered to weather checking (cracks). If you did not keep the tires covered when not traveling and did not have the wheels on wood to keep them off the ground you might n ot be covered under warranty.
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Old 05-07-2012, 09:19 AM   #8
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Yeah, my guess about the cracking is that the damage was caused when the trailer sat on the dealer's lot before I bought it. At home where it is parked the trailer is sandwiched between the garage and the fence, so no sunshine gets through.

However on the paperwork for the 2nd year warranty, tires are specifically mentioned. That is why I am disappointed about only getting $20.

Quote:
Originally Posted by f1100turbo View Post
Yes if you replace with radials you have to replace spare
to. If you ever do have a flat the radial and bias on the
same axle will not work together and make the trailer
Tow weird.
I guess what I was looking for was a definition of "tow weird." I have read this over and over; people saying not to mix them. And then the best description is that it will "tow weird." The "scientist" part of me is curious as to what the exact issue is. Will it make the trailer pull to one side? Will it be unpredictable? Is it far more likely to start swaying?

I know when I drive my car with the temporary spare tire, I would say it also "drives weird." That is more of what I am looking for; is using a bias as a temporary spare akin to using a car's temporary spare tire?

In my mind, I just need to know why I am spendng the extra money. I don't mind spending a little more money for safety; I just need to understand how that makes me safer.
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Old 05-07-2012, 09:59 AM   #9
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Trailer will act like its out of alignment.
best description I can give is this
if you have ever driven a 4 wheel drive truck locked in
4 wheel drive and then turned sharp on dry pavement that's
how the trailer will act while being towed.
maybe not as near as abrupt but similiar.
I've driven a car before with two radials in front and two bias
In back and it was scary! Nuff said
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Old 05-07-2012, 11:07 AM   #10
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At 12 mos and 19 days after we purchased our TT I contacted the dealer and emailed pictures of the sidewall cracks and they replaced all 5 under the tire manufacturers 1 year warranty. The dealer was Dandy RV in Calera, AL. The original tires were Trail Express. ITG Voma Corp. is who the dealer contacted and they covered the tires and shipped them to Dandy for them to install at no charge to me. Push the dealer to contact factory and tire manufacturer/factory dealer.

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