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Old 12-02-2016, 10:16 PM   #1
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Again with tires - load rating on a heavy 5th wheel

I have a 43 foot 5th wheel FR Sierra with tandem axles (not a Toy Hauler). We are full-timers putting maybe 15,000 miles per year on the rig. The axles are Dexter 7000#. The rig’s GVWR is 15,800#, and the hitch weight is 2900# weighed on CAT scales. Theoretically this gives me 12,900# to be carried by the RV tires. I haul it with an F350 dually diesel, with some suspension mods to handle the hitch weight.

I have been running with Goodyear Marathons ST235/80R16 load range E that are rated at 3420# @ 80psi.
3420# x 4 = 13,680#. 13,680# - 12,900# = 780# safety margin. This seems to be cutting it a bit close!

I rigorously check the tire pressures cold @ 80 psi, and use a TPMS system monitoring psi and tire temps. The road speed never exceeds 62-63 mph (even downhill). Yet despite this, I have had 2 blowouts with the Marathons within the past 3 months. Tire age is about 2 years, with my road usage about 8 months. The only good news is that I have become very adept at repairing wiring damage and aluminum skirt body damage. I do not need to add to my experience, thus I am looking for something more reliable. Additional to avoid having to call upon my repair skills, I am not worried about the cost factor of better(!) tires.

The RV forums seem to favor either Michelin XPS Rib LT235/85 R16 rated @ 3086#, or Maxxi ST 235/80R16 rated @ 3420#. I know the difference between LT and ST designations

The LT Michelins seem to get a real positive rating by users, but I have concerns about the Max Load rating.


Looking at the Forum discussions, they seem to be referring to 5th wheels that are significantly lighter than mine.

In talking with eTrailer they were suggesting either:

Taskmaster ST235/85R16 Radial Trailer Tire - Load Range G, 14 ply with a load rating of 4,080# at 110 psi. The numbers seem fine, but I've never heard of this brand. Chinese?

or

Westlake ST235/85R16 - Load range G, 14 ply and a 4,080# maximum load at 110 psi. The numbers again seem fine, but I'm pretty sure Westlake IS made in China.

Finally my questions:

1. Will the Michelins handle the weight of my rig? 4x 3086 = 12,344# tire load rating to carry 12,900# rig weight on the tires. In theory, I'd say no.

2. The Maxxis have the same numbers as the Marathons, and by calculation carrying 12,900# on a max combined load rating of 13,680#.

3. Both the Taskmaster and Westlake numbers seem fine, but obviously I’m real concerned about Chinese made tires! Has anyone had any experience with these tires, especially with G load ratings


Comments, opinions??

Thanks Fred


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Old 12-02-2016, 11:01 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fredcrowley View Post
I have a 43 foot 5th wheel FR Sierra with tandem axles (not a Toy Hauler). We are full-timers putting maybe 15,000 miles per year on the rig. The axles are Dexter 7000#. The rig’s GVWR is 15,800#, and the hitch weight is 2900# weighed on CAT scales. Theoretically this gives me 12,900# to be carried by the RV tires. I haul it with an F350 dually diesel, with some suspension mods to handle the hitch weight.

I have been running with Goodyear Marathons ST235/80R16 load range E that are rated at 3420# @ 80psi.
3420# x 4 = 13,680#. 13,680# - 12,900# = 780# safety margin. This seems to be cutting it a bit close!

I rigorously check the tire pressures cold @ 80 psi, and use a TPMS system monitoring psi and tire temps. The road speed never exceeds 62-63 mph (even downhill). Yet despite this, I have had 2 blowouts with the Marathons within the past 3 months. Tire age is about 2 years, with my road usage about 8 months. The only good news is that I have become very adept at repairing wiring damage and aluminum skirt body damage. I do not need to add to my experience, thus I am looking for something more reliable. Additional to avoid having to call upon my repair skills, I am not worried about the cost factor of better(!) tires.

The RV forums seem to favor either Michelin XPS Rib LT235/85 R16 rated @ 3086#, or Maxxi ST 235/80R16 rated @ 3420#. I know the difference between LT and ST designations

The LT Michelins seem to get a real positive rating by users, but I have concerns about the Max Load rating.


Looking at the Forum discussions, they seem to be referring to 5th wheels that are significantly lighter than mine.

In talking with eTrailer they were suggesting either:

Taskmaster ST235/85R16 Radial Trailer Tire - Load Range G, 14 ply with a load rating of 4,080# at 110 psi. The numbers seem fine, but I've never heard of this brand. Chinese?

or

Westlake ST235/85R16 - Load range G, 14 ply and a 4,080# maximum load at 110 psi. The numbers again seem fine, but I'm pretty sure Westlake IS made in China.

Finally my questions:

1. Will the Michelins handle the weight of my rig? 4x 3086 = 12,344# tire load rating to carry 12,900# rig weight on the tires. In theory, I'd say no.

2. The Maxxis have the same numbers as the Marathons, and by calculation carrying 12,900# on a max combined load rating of 13,680#.

3. Both the Taskmaster and Westlake numbers seem fine, but obviously I’m real concerned about Chinese made tires! Has anyone had any experience with these tires, especially with G load ratings


Comments, opinions??

Thanks Fred



1st ~~ many will disagree but your rims may not be rated to hold 110# even if stamped for the weight. Was informed of that by the maker of my rims.
2nd ~~ A tire engineer suggested Carlisle tires. They have a good reputation for several reasons. Not only in your current size and a G rated but a 235/85R16 LR F requires 95#. See more here:
During a visit to China in April 2015, Van Ormer saw many new lines of ST products, but says he is aware of only one manufacturer that has “truly changed” the technology of the ST tires. That manufacturer is Carlstar Group LLC, formerly CTP Transportation Products and before that, Carlisle Transportation Products. “With the RH (radial) and LH (bias) trailer tires, they beefed up the bead and sidewall packages so that few others can compete quality-wise with them,” Van Ormer says.

http://www.moderntiredealer.com/article/312514/st-tires-all-steel-radial-construction-is-meeting-the-demand-for-more-carrying-capacity


I spoke to other owners of Carlisle and all were pleased. My tire dealer said he can get any Carlisle tire for any of his 4 locations in 1 day. Maxxis take 3 - 5 business days.
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Old 12-02-2016, 11:05 PM   #3
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Just get the Goodyear G614, 3,750 pound rating. Made in Alabama.
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Old 12-02-2016, 11:16 PM   #4
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At your weight and miles per year, I wouldn't be looking at ST tires any longer.

As emm-dee said, you want a minimum of Goodyear G614 or Sailun S635. They're very similar -
Goodyear has the name brand; Sailun has a cheaper price. Both get excellent reviews. As CaptnDan mentioned, the rims could be an issue.

OR- you could go nuts and opt for 17.5" rims and commercial trailer tires. You'll jump up to load range H or J tires, get a higher speed rating, and get durable tires as a result. It's what I did since I was fulltiming and running about 16,000 lbs. on two 7,000 lbs. axles.

More info about tire choices:
http://learntorv.com/what-are-the-be...-your-trailer/

More info on the 17.5" upgrade:
http://learntorv.com/major-tire-whee...er-overloaded/
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Old 12-03-2016, 04:27 PM   #5
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Get rid of those Marthon's as soon as you can!!! I lost three out of four in 6 days last fall with only 14000 miles on them.As others noted above, I too went with )the Goodyar ST235 tires and have them at 100 # (my rims will take 110#) I only witht hedealer had suggested/insisted on getting me to buy tire pressure sensors!
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Old 12-03-2016, 08:40 PM   #6
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I went with the G614's when I only had 500 or so miles on the Marathons. Just the peace of mind made it well worth it.
I also added a TPMS system as well.
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Old 12-03-2016, 09:36 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ependydad View Post
At your weight and miles per year, I wouldn't be looking at ST tires any longer.

As emm-dee said, you want a minimum of Goodyear G614 or Sailun S635. They're very similar -
Goodyear has the name brand; Sailun has a cheaper price. Both get excellent reviews. As CaptnDan mentioned, the rims could be an issue.

OR- you could go nuts and opt for 17.5" rims and commercial trailer tires. You'll jump up to load range H or J tires, get a higher speed rating, and get durable tires as a result. It's what I did since I was fulltiming and running about 16,000 lbs. on two 7,000 lbs. axles.

More info about tire choices:
What are the best tires for your trailer? | Learn To RV

More info on the 17.5" upgrade:
Major tire & wheel upgrade – no longer overloaded | Learn To RV
The 17.5" upgrade is nice but I don't see it as an option if you have 6-lug axles and wheels...or maybe I'm just missing it.???
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Old 12-03-2016, 10:23 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Taranwanderer View Post
The 17.5" upgrade is nice but I don't see it as an option if you have 6-lug axles and wheels...or maybe I'm just missing it.???

You're right. But the OP said they're on 7,000 lbs. axles which I thought were all 8-lug wheels; of course, I could be wrong.

But for 6-lug wheels, you're definitely right- the 17.5" rims aren't an option.
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Old 12-03-2016, 11:07 PM   #9
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You want to really be safe? Invest in new 17.5 inch tires and wheels. You can purchase them online from several retailers at a decent price. Generally the tires will be rated at 4000+ pounds each giving tou a good safety margain and readily accesavle product choices.
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Old 12-03-2016, 11:51 PM   #10
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I got a recent quote for 17.5 Sailun tires on aluminum wheels including lugs, center caps and shipping at $1400.00 all in. They are Chinese made tires but have an excellent reputation around the internet...This is an H rated tire and the tire diameter is the same same as most of the 235/80/16s that everybody is using.
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