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Old 02-14-2011, 02:12 PM   #1
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Things to know about trailer tires

So you want some trailer tire facts?

Well then.. Here You go.


Trailer Tire Applications
  • Trailer tires are designed for use on trailer axle positions only. They are not built to handle the loads applied to, or the traction required by, drive or steering axles.
  • An "LT" designation on a trailer tire size specifies load range only. It is not designed for use on light trucks.
  • Do not mount "ST" or "LT" trailer tires on passenger cars or light trucks.
Inflation
  • Always inflate trailer tires to the maximum inflation indicated on the sidewall.
  • Check inflation when the tires are cool and have not been exposed to the sun.
  • If the tires are hot to the touch from operation, add three psi to the max inflation.
  • Underinflation is the number one cause of trailer tire failure.
Load Carrying Capacity
  • All tires must be identical in size for the tires to properly manage the weight of the trailer.
  • The combined capacity of the tires must equal or exceed the Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) of the axle.
  • The combined capacity of all of the tires should exceed the loaded trailer weight by 20 percent.
  • If the actual weight is not available, use the trailer GVW. If a tire fails on a tandem axle trailer, you should replace both tires on that side. The remaining tire is likely to have been subjected to excessive loading.
  • If the tires are replaced with tires of larger diameter, the tongue height may need to be adjusted to maintain proper weight distribution.
Speed
  • All "ST" tires have a maximum speed rating of 65 mph.
  • As heat builds up, the tire's structure starts to disintegrate and weaken.
  • The load carrying capacity gradually decreases as the heat and stresses generated by higher speed increases.
Time
  • Time and the elements weaken a trailer tire.
  • In approximately three years, roughly one-third of the tire's strength is gone.
  • Three to five years is the projected life of a normal trailer tire.
  • It is suggested that trailer tires be replaced after three to four years of service regardless of tread depth or tire appearance.
Mileage
  • Trailer tires are not designed to wear out.
  • The life of a trailer tire is limited by time and duty cycles.
  • The mileage expectation of a trailer tire is 5,000 to 12,000 miles.
Why Use An "ST" Tire
  • "ST" tires feature materials and construction to meet the higher load requirements and demands of trailering.
  • The polyester cords are bigger than they would be for a comparable "P" or "LT" tire.
  • The steel cords have a larger diameter and greater tensile strength to meet the additional load requirements.
  • "ST" tire rubber compounds contain more chemicals to resist weather and ozone cracking.
Storage
  • The ideal storage for trailer tires is in a cool, dark garage at maximum inflation.
  • Use tire covers to protect the tires from direct sunlight.
  • Use thin plywood sections between the tire and the pavement.
  • For long term storage, put the trailer on blocks to take the weight off the tires. Then lower the air pressure and cover the tires to protect them from direct sunlight.
Maintenance
  • Clean the tires using mild soap and water.
  • Do not use tire-care products containing alcohol or petroleum distillates.
  • Inspect the tires for any cuts, snags, bulges or punctures.
  • Check the inflation before towing and again before the return trip.
Keys to Avoiding Trouble
  • Make sure your rig is equipped with the proper tires.
  • Maintain the tires meticulously.
  • Replace trailer tires every three to five years, whether they look like they're worn out or not.
These facts are courtesy of Discount Tire.
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Old 04-25-2011, 11:36 PM   #2
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OK, I'll bite. Lists like this are made for "discussion".

Most of this makes pretty good sense and I hesitate to question the wisdom of the Discount Tire folks. However, I have to ask: If you should always keep your tires at the maximum inflation, why do tire manufacturers put out all these inflation tables -- just to confuse us? Do they want us to under-inflate so that we'll ruin the tires and buy another set?

Here's another: One trip from Houston to the northwest and back can put 5K-6K miles on my fiver. If the life expectancy of trailer tires is 5K-12K miles, then I need to buy a new set of tires after each of these long trips I take?

Inquiring minds ...

Jim
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Old 04-26-2011, 04:47 AM   #3
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In most cases tires on campers and trailers are changed because of age not milage, these unit set most of the time and dry rot before they wear out.
Check the date codes on the tires as well, the tires on my camper were two years old and i bought my camper new in 2006, the date code was 04.

But with new cars and trucks, i have found that the tires that are installed as they come off of the assembly line are dated as the same year the vehicles are produced.
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Old 04-26-2011, 06:04 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jledwards0117 View Post
If you should always keep your tires at the maximum inflation, why do tire manufacturers put out all these inflation tables -- just to confuse us? Do they want us to under-inflate so that we'll ruin the tires and buy another set?

If the life expectancy of trailer tires is 5K-12K miles, then I need to buy a new set of tires after each of these long trips I take?
Jim, John was posting a direct quote from the Discount Tire folks. While they are a source of excellent information, some "generalizations" slipped into their list. You picked two of the most glaring.

Generally:

Since trailer manufacturers put the cheapest and lowest rated ST tires they can buy, that are certified for the MAX GVWR of the camper, they will only carry the GVWR at max cold inflation pressure (CIP). Additionally, if you do use LESS than max CIP, YOU MUST WEIGHT THE CAMPER EVERY TIME. While I am sort of a weight Nazi, even I don't weigh every trip even though the load carried changes slightly every time we go out, depending on season and location. I also have D rated tires on my camper and it came with C rated tires that were maxed out at 50 PSI CIP to carry the GVWR. The MAX CIP on a D rated tire is 65 PSI CIP. If I ran the D rated tire at 65 PSI CIP, the camper's tires would wear on the center rib and not evenly across the tread face. Also, at 65 PSI the trailer would bounce down the highway with tires that hard. I weighed the camper with my normal stuff loaded for camping and run 55 PSI CIP. This gives me what I need and a nice smooth ride down the highway.

As to the mileage, ST tires are not designed with mileage in mind as a design feature. That is NOT to say you won't get better mileage. Since most tires rot off trailers, not wear off, folks that are on the road A LOT, get better mileage than those who are not. You and I are definitely "atypical" campers by that definition and not the type the Discount tire post was aimed at.
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Old 04-26-2011, 06:31 AM   #5
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" The mileage expectation of a trailer tire is 5,000 to 12,000 miles."

WTF???

These guys are just trying to sell tires!
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Old 04-26-2011, 03:21 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KyDan View Post
" The mileage expectation of a trailer tire is 5,000 to 12,000 miles."

WTF???

These guys are just trying to sell tires!
No, that's taking into consideration the average seasonal camper who goes a few times a year.

Do the math - 500 to 2000 miles a year,
Life span - every 5-6 years you should replace your tires
which equals 3,000 to 12,000 miles.
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Old 04-27-2011, 07:20 AM   #7
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They're trying to sell tires!

Granted old tires should be replaced but they could
say "tires should be replaced every 5 years" instead
they say 5k to 12k miles.
I put over 5000 on mine just last summer!
They still look new as far as tread wear and I don't see
any tiny cracks in the side walls or between tread lines
so I'm going another year at least.
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Old 05-05-2011, 11:01 PM   #8
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okay anyone have an odometer on their trailer? Use time as a guide. Who wants to be stuck on the side of the road changing a tire, anytime? The automotive industry has changed the term 'recommended service' to 'scheduled maintenance' for a reason - overall ownership satisfaction.
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Old 05-08-2011, 09:50 AM   #9
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Lou (herk7769),
Thanks for the detailed reply. It seemed to me that the statements must be generalizations, but DT should really consider qualifying statements like that so that they don't mislead people looking for information on how to run their tires. Also, from what I've seen, there seem to be a lot more LT tires on trailers rather than ST.

I just replaced the tires on my Sierra 345RET after 2 blowouts, about 60 miles apart, of the Trail Express tires that came from the factory. And, yes, they had only 6k or so miles on them.

It really upset me, as I had just checked them before starting the trip. They looked fine and were properly inflated. Weight was not a factor -- I'm running about 2k less than the tire ratings. Besides the trip delay, hassle of changing tires on the road, and expense of new tires, I now have to deal with the damage to the trailer that the blowouts caused. Hopefully, I'm good to go now. Replaced all the OEM tires (Load Rating "E") with new Goodyear tires (G614 RST, LR "G"). That's probably overkill, for the situation, but gives me some peace of mind.

Sorry, just venting. Don't want to subvert the thread, so I'd ask everyone to please not reply about crappy Chinese tires and the like. I really appreciate the opportunity the forum offers for shared information and for all of you with great experience who are willing to share with the rest of us.

Thanks again.
Jim
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Old 10-14-2011, 02:51 PM   #10
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Trailer Tires

Quote:
Originally Posted by KyDan View Post
" The mileage expectation of a trailer tire is 5,000 to 12,000 miles."

WTF???

These guys are just trying to sell tires!
I used to sell tires and most of my customers never came close to getting 12,000 miles on their trailer tires. Most people don't check the air pressure before taking off! I'd have customers that would overload their trailer, never check the air pressure and then be furious when their trailer tires would blow! It was always the tires fault and we covered many tires under warranty that would shouldn't have. I agree with many posts on here, trailer tires should last longer than 5k-12k miles IF they are taken care of through proper air inflation, not overloading the trailer beyond the weight capacity of the tires, and also covering the tires when possible from excess sun exposure.
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Old 11-18-2011, 01:04 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zx5chris View Post
okay anyone have an odometer on their trailer? Use time as a guide.
I don't know about the Chevs and Dodge trucks but the new fords have a built in mileage counter for multiple trailer hauling.

I think that mine with the delivery included made about 3,000 miles last year.

its now parked in my driveway with tire covers on them... but I wonder do I need to be up on a 2 by 8 off the compacted dirt/crushed rock to protect the tread a bit better?
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Old 12-28-2011, 10:15 AM   #12
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I thought I knew tires but I admit I don't know much about TT tires - but I'll learn. I've been reading various posts about the air pressue to run TT tires and it sounds like they are tun at max, or near max, psi. Is that correct?

I'm looking at Goodyear LT or ST tires. The Goodyear G614 indicates max psi at 110. One doesn't acctualy run them that high, right?
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Old 12-28-2011, 05:23 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KyDan View Post
" The mileage expectation of a trailer tire is 5,000 to 12,000 miles."

WTF???

These guys are just trying to sell tires!
My guess is that they were trying to translate "time" into "miles"; if you know what I mean. I've got a good 25,000 on my Marathons.
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Old 02-13-2012, 05:05 PM   #14
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I have A 2004 Sandpiper Sport in 2006 I put four new carlisle 235/85/16 load range F weight caple 3960lbs per tire in Nov 2011 took a trip to Southern Cal about 500 miles blew out two tires one on way down and one on the way home since 2006 I have blowen seven tire all Carlisle have since turned a complaint into Carlisle 2003 f350 7.3 four honda 250 quads six cats one dog
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Old 02-13-2012, 07:27 PM   #15
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I am going to mention this because I didn't see it in any of these post, I may have over looked it: "Date Codes" The Tires on my new 2006 Rock Wood were two years old, they were dated with the last two numbers "04" Tires have shelf life, I will not buy tires unless the date code is the same as year I bought them.. Example: the number "2612" as a data code means the "26th" week of the year "2012 or year "12" You can find this info on the side wall of the tire on the back of the tire.

I have posted this info a few years ago and it is back in one of my threads.
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Old 02-16-2012, 10:40 PM   #16
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alignment

thanks for the primer on tires. Very good. I have a question on alignment. Put all new tires on my rig (5th wheel Wildcat, 29', 2004) last spring when I bought it. 3rd hand. After travel to Cape Breton, Quebec and back to SC, found abnormal wear on the passenger side front tire. Now in Key Largo and it's getting severe. the other three tires on the ground look new with even tire wear. Took two straight edges to both sets of tires and found the errant tire about 3/8" "out". What might be a solution for that problem
? or cause?
Is it not odd for just one to be wearing, and so out of alignment?
I've read the thread about bushing wear? Have not been where I can jack the frame off the ground, if that is what it takes to determine shackle/bushing wear? don't really know the procedure.
The previous owner had hauled it to Fl a few of times so it probably has at least 10 - 20,000 miles on it with what I've put on it this year.
thanks for any input.
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Old 02-17-2012, 10:21 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasBBQ View Post
I thought I knew tires but I admit I don't know much about TT tires - but I'll learn. I've been reading various posts about the air pressue to run TT tires and it sounds like they are tun at max, or near max, psi. Is that correct?

I'm looking at Goodyear LT or ST tires. The Goodyear G614 indicates max psi at 110. One doesn't acctualy run them that high, right?
Below is a link to a pdf file with an inflation table on page L7.
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Old 02-17-2012, 10:22 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasBBQ View Post
I thought I knew tires but I admit I don't know much about TT tires - but I'll learn. I've been reading various posts about the air pressue to run TT tires and it sounds like they are tun at max, or near max, psi. Is that correct?

I'm looking at Goodyear LT or ST tires. The Goodyear G614 indicates max psi at 110. One doesn't acctualy run them that high, right?
Below is a link to a pdf file with an inflation table on page L7.

http://www.goodyear.com/truck/pdf/edb_loads.pdf
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Old 05-15-2012, 07:27 PM   #19
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Tire brands

I have been shopping for 4 new tires to replace the original tires on my 19 foot 2000 Wildwood Lite TT. The original tires are Carlisle 205 75/D14, load range C. I have learned that all trailer tires are now made overseas which is very disappointing. I'm wondering if upgrading to load range D is a good idea. The brands I'm considering are Carlisle, Goodyear and Greenball. Please share your advise.
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Old 05-15-2012, 07:38 PM   #20
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I have learned a lot more about tires since 2011.

http://www.forestriverforums.com/for...ems-20847.html

I will never put anything but ST tires on my camper.
Others here have different opinions and I respect them.

My OEM tires were Carlisle C range tires. They were maxed out at their max PSI. I replaced them after a high speed blowout (probably my fault due to a curb strike the month before) with Goodyear Marathon D range tires.

I got them for the extra strength and run them 5 PSI higher than the C rated ones (55 PSI). This is "harder" than the 50 PSI called for by my actual load but less than the 65 PSI on the sidewall.

The 55 PSI gives me the strength; ride quality; and load bearing I need for the actual weight of my camper. Running them at 65 PSI would make them too hard and my trailer would bounce all over the road causing tire cupping, center tread wear, and unnecessary frame stress.
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