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Old 08-30-2016, 09:26 AM   #1
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Aframe tire replacement

A122BH. Had a bubble develop on one original tire a year ago. Fortunately a friendly driver pointed it out to us and we were able to get it replaced without incident. Tire place replaced it with a Load C rather than a Load D. This last weekend other original tire blew. Again fortunately we were at an intersection when someone pointed the 'flat' out to us. Just came off the freeway and had driven the Grapevine in CA earlier in the day. Good luck is on our side. Again, tire place replaced with C rather than D, said he couldn't find any Ds anywhere. When I asked what difference it makes, he said how much weight we put in the vehicle and how much pressure in the tire (50 now instead of 65). We don't put hardly any additional weight in the vehicle as we don't even load it with water, so it is just dishes and camp chairs.

Has anyone else had an issue with not being able to find D tires? Anyone have any knowledge of if a Load C over a Load D would not be a good thing? Making the 9 hr drive south again this weekend for a family wedding.

Thanks much,
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Old 08-30-2016, 09:29 AM   #2
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Carla, I am familiar with tires (as per my username) but not your specific RV. What size tire does it have on it?
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Old 08-30-2016, 09:34 AM   #3
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Tire says ST175/80R13. Do you need something else?
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Old 08-30-2016, 10:49 AM   #4
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You need the Load Range D to carry the full weight the A-frame is capable of.

On my A122, the factory installed ST185R13 Load Range D tires, which have a capacity of 1710 lbs each (3420 lbs) at 65 PSI. My GVWR is 3100 lbs, so there is reserve capacity in the tires when the camper is fully loaded. A trip to the scales showed my actual tow weight as 2,730lbs - and we pack very light, and don't have the front porch of the BH. Since the weighing, I have switched to six volt batteries (add 30lbs on the tongue, carry a few more tools (20lbs), added a mattress topper for the dinette (30lbs), and often travel with a full water tank and hot water heater (170lbs).

Etrailer lists Kenda ST175/80R13 Load Range D tires (1,610 lb capacity) for $84. They also list a few other brands. The Load Range C tire of the same size has a 1,360lb capacity. To be within specs for the Load Range C tire your A-frame as towed should weigh less than 2,600lbs on the tires. Unless you pack very, very light, you are probably at or well over 2,800lbs, with 400 of that on the tongue. So you are right at or over the limits with Load Range C tires. Weighing the A-frame and the tow vehicle separately (in camping trim), and then hitched is the only way to KNOW weights on the tires and the tongue.

I would suspect your actual weights are higher, based on the relatively early failures of the OEM tires. Which would mean you are on borrowed time on the Load Range C tires.

Yes, finding radial Load Range D tires in the right size for our A-frames is difficult. So far the only source I have found for tires for my A-frame (ST185R13 LRD) is a Forest River A-frame dealer. But in your case, I would make the replacement as soon as I could. And I would take the vehicles to a truck or CAT scales to find out what your actual axle and tongue weights are.

Fred W
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2008 Hyundai Entourage minivan
camping Colorado and adjacent states one weekend at a time
last trip: Waco and Palo Duro State Park, Texas
next trip: Custer State Park and Mt Rushmore, SD
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Old 08-30-2016, 11:02 AM   #5
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Quote:
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Tire says ST175/80R13. Do you need something else?
That's it, and yes it would be harder to find that size in a LR D (8 ply rated), especially on the road.

Carlisle has started building one in a LR D, that may be easier to find as time progresses.

http://www.carlstargroup.com/product...adial-trail-hd
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Old 08-30-2016, 11:12 AM   #6
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I suggest you read THIS post to educate yourself on why tires fail.
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Old 08-30-2016, 12:46 PM   #7
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The camper came with a Kenda Loadstar ST175/80R13 load range D radial trailer tire. It is the only tire like this (load D and radial) that I have found. One of mine had a bubble in the sidewall too. I purchased a replacement from Amazon but it is not available there right now. The following link has the same tire.


ST175/80R13 Load Range D Radial Trailer Tire - Kenda Loadstar

Tire stores are poorly equipped to handle orders for these tires. I have had more than one shop try to put load range C tires on a too heavy camper. One guy tried to persuade me that a ST175/80D13 was the same thing on the basis that the "D" meant load range D. It doesn't, the D in the code means it is bias ply.

I hope you were in a position to return the blown tires to the seller, because they made a big mistake in putting the wrong tire on your camper that could have resulted in significant property damage from the error.
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Old 08-30-2016, 12:48 PM   #8
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The tire that bubbled and the tire that blew were the original tires, load D.
The replacements from these incidents are Load C.
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Old 08-30-2016, 12:53 PM   #9
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The camper came with a Kenda Loadstar ST175/80R13 load range D radial trailer tire. It is the only tire like this (load D and radial) that I have found.
As linked to in post #5, Carlisle is building these now, and the availability will be greatly improved thus. Should make it easier for a tire retailer to obtain, as I have two Carlisle distributors that both have this Carlisle in stock.
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Old 08-30-2016, 12:55 PM   #10
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Quote:
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The tire that bubbled and the tire that blew were the original tires, load D.
The replacements from these incidents are Load C.
I was not terribly impressed to get a sidewall bubble on a Load Star tire. Thankfully I noticed it at a gas station where I could change it with only the penalty of being late for the start of a kayaking trip. But I guess they are OK as I haven't had any other problems nor a full blowout.
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