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Old 12-20-2013, 08:34 AM   #1
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Not to beat a dead horse...or tire, but...

Just purchased a new Wildcat which was delivered early this week. We had planned on replacement of the factory tires upon receipt of the 5th wheels due to the quality/limitations of the OEM tires.

The tires were 235-80-16 E tires, I am planning on going up to a 235-85-16 E tire due to a wider variety of choices in manufacture offering as well as the ability to get a higher speed rating on the tires.

So the question is, is there any reason not to go with a tire that is .93 taller over the original? That is less than 1/2" on each side of the rim.
Second part to the question is, is there any reason to stay with a highway tead pattern? Is there any reason that I couldn't go with a non aggressive trail pattern with the tread?

I appreciate your impute and knowledge.

Here are the two tires I am kind of narrowed down to:

Tire Details - Discount Tire

Tire Details - Discount Tire

The first in a Kumho and the second is a General tire.
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Old 12-20-2013, 08:46 AM   #2
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LT tires are not recommended for travel trailers.


ST vs. LT Tire problems
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Old 12-20-2013, 08:47 AM   #3
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That is a pretty aggressive tread for a trailer tire and it is almost a full INCH taller.

You will find that your fuel mileage will decrease, tires will wear faster and abnormally, and you may have impacts with the fender well on bumpy roads.

Also read this:

Lt Trailer Tires and Other Tire Info.

Tire Diameter Calculator
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Old 12-20-2013, 09:03 AM   #4
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OK, unless I am missing something....and maybe I am. The increase of a taller size would not effect fuel economy since these are mounted on a trailer and not the drive wheels of a vehicle. They should also not wear faster due to the fact that they actually turn less often per mile than the smaller tire.
And while the tire is almost 1" taller this means that when divided by 2, the trailer would sit 1/2" higher and that there would be 1/2" less clearance between the tire and the bottom of the trailer which should be no issue. The tire width is the same so there would be no less clearance between the new size tire and the fender of the 5th wheel.

As for the weight rating, since this is on a dual axle trailer and not single axle trailer the tire rating would be as stated on the tire side for max load.

The largest difference would be the flex in the side wall of the tire. Where a ST tire is designed to be stiffer for less sway as well as strength for tight turns when being backed into a site. The LT tire is designed for more flex in an effort to deliver a smoother ride. It is also mentioned that this more flex could equate to an ability to increase trailer sway, which is usually a problem more related to a travel or utility trailer not a gooseneck or 5th wheel trailer.

What am I missing?
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Old 12-20-2013, 09:16 AM   #5
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What you are missing is the effect of the aggressive "traction tread" of THOSE LT tires.

The increased road grip will result in severe scuffing during turns that will scrub off rubber every time you back.

It will also increase rolling friction resulting in poorer fuel economy in the towing vehicle.

This is in addition to the other disadvantages of less rubber lubricants in LT tires and tire construction more suited to straight line pulling vs. rolling/twisting.

Lt Trailer Tires and Other Tire Info.


As always, it is a free country and you can do as you please for the most part. Ask and you will get an answer. You can use or discard it as you will.

In all cases; Caveat Lector.
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Old 12-20-2013, 09:18 AM   #6
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The tires you listed have a weight rating of 3086 lbs and an E rated trailer tire has a rating of 3420 lb so with a double axel you are loosing 1336 lbs of load capacity. That, in my opinion, is a lot of weight to loose.
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Old 12-20-2013, 09:23 AM   #7
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Trailer Life has an article on this topic that is appropriate.
I will post it, but if anyone complains I will have to remove it.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf TRAILER LIFE - LT vs ST Magazine Article.pdf (1.91 MB, 73 views)
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Old 12-20-2013, 09:29 AM   #8
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http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j...42XGGWdTDxHlYg


Quote:
Your trailer is a follower, which often makes tire sidewall flexing a negative. Sidewall flexing on trailers, especially those with a high center of gravity (enclosed/travel trailers) or that carry heavy loads, is a primary cause of trailer sway. Typical passenger radial tires with flexible sidewalls can accentuate trailer sway problems. The stiffer sidewalls and higher operating pressures common with Special Trailer (ST) designated tires help reduce trailer sway.

Got sway?
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Old 12-20-2013, 09:58 AM   #9
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To the OP's original plan. As an alternative, why not purchase a quality tire pressure monitoring system such as TST 507 and keep the OEM tires on the camper. I wouldn't towed anything without a TPMS now regardless what tires are on it.

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Old 12-20-2013, 10:10 AM   #10
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OK, some points taken, double checked and taken.

As for the current weight rating on the OEM tires they are rated at 3520 pounds, so I did under estimate what the factory installed in this area.

As for sway, I can't say for sure it on this trailer, but I have owned and towed many 10s of thousands of miles a triple axle 40' Travel Supreme 5th wheel and many goose neck tandem axle farm loaded trailers and have never experienced sway with any gooseneck or 5th wheel trailer. Now utility and travel trailers are another story.

Link over to the Trailer Life article was well written and informative, but does allow for some speculation as to failure of ST designated tires.

I will even give some on the tread design pattern causing friction with the related results. As well as the loss of rubber lubricants due to time sitting in the sun and without usage.

I have yet to read the link to the Google article but will do so ASAP.

While, I am still not a total convert over to the ST tire, you have given me plenty to read and take under consideration. Maybe I could find a nice G-rated LT Tire, of course then I will be up in the price range of the premium priced ST tires offered.

Thank you for the continuing education,
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