Originally Posted by nautipelican
Read bolg highlighted in this months newsletter about Castle Rock tires. Its enough to scare the crap out of you. We have 13" Castle Rocks on our new T12RBST. I know we Aframers are not hauling anywhere near the weight of others - How have these tires held up for you??? Whats with the "Nitrogen" filled deal??? Do I put air in them if they're low? What manufacturer would you recommend changing to for 13inchers.......
When we camp or store the unit do we jack it up so the tires are off the ground or just run the jacks down until the unit feels stabilized and level???
How do you change a tire on the Aframe??? Do you need to carry another jack and put it under the axel, or can you use the stabilizer jacks??
Unit tows down the road very stable and even, actually feels very good......do I really need to lose sleep over this????
Make a decision and live with it. Don't lose sleep, and don't second guess yourself.
My 2014 Rockwood A122 came with Trail Express 13" tires, another Chinese importer. I ran those for 4 years, 9500 miles with absolutely no issues. After a year, I had the tires balanced. They needed little weight to balance. I never used the spare, and sold the A-frame with the original tires on it.
My 2019 Flagstaff T21TBHW came with Castle Rock 14" tires. A month ago, I pulled the wheels, hand repacked the bearings (not needed, all was in good shape) and had the tires balanced. Again, my tire guy saw no issues and reasonable weight to balance. In a year, we have done 9 trips and about 2,700 miles. I'm going to push for 5 years unless I see evidence of a tire failing.
I do keep the tires at 65-68 PSI; exact amount depends on temp when I measure and whether the campsite is lower or higher in altitude than my home (going significantly lower and/or colder means 68PSI). They started out nitrogen filled, they are now at at least 78% nitrogen. I have a home air compressor, so I check and fill before each trip.
On my next-to-last trip, I found one of the Schrader valves a little loose, and would lose a little air occasionally. Bought a valve key, tightened the valve, and no loss on that tire since. That was a valve stem (I still have rubber valve stems) problem, not a tire problem.
I do think single axles are much easier on trailer tires than tandem axles. There's next to no scrubbing or tire twisting going around corners like the tandem axle trailers have. The other good point about single axles is that you should feel a tire blowout very quickly.
That said, if you run your tires after they partially disintegrate, you are likely to do some significant damage to your A-frame. A tire rotating with tread separation is going to take out the plastic wheel well liner, and probably some of the wiring just inside the wheel well.
If you need to spend close to $300 (including the spare) for peace of mind, Carlisle makes a nice radial ST tire in the 13" LRD sizes that FR uses on the A-frames. If I get to 5 years, that's the tire I would get.
The tires and wheels carry the load at all times. Stabilizers are there to stabilize, nothing more. Stabilizers should just kiss the ground, or you run the risk of bending the frame or stabilizer mount. I don't put the stabilizers down until after I put the roof and sides up because if I put the stabilizer down a little hard, it will push the sidewalls out of alignment with the roof.
My minivan has a scissors jack that can lift the A-frame. I make sure I have a long torque wrench and the right size socket to get the lug nuts off. I will probably replace the lug nuts with solid versions at some point - the stock lug nuts have a decorative cap that can deform and slip under the 100lbs torque required.
just my experiences
2019 Flagstaff T21TBHW A-frame
prev 2014 Rockwood A122 A-frame
2008 Hyundai Entourage minivan
camping Colorado and adjacent states one weekend at a time