Woodalls Open Roads Forum: Discussion on new tires and question about speed.
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 > Discussion on new tires and question about speed.

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Bob_in_NC

North Carolina

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Posted: 06/30/12 08:36pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I bought a travel trailer in 2009. It had only been used a few times and was in near new condition. Recently I discovered that it had an axle alignment problem that had worn the two tires on the right side enough to warrant new tires. I had the alignment issue corrected at a shop that specializes in trailer alignment. It pulled slightly better, but it was barely noticeable. The main reason for the alignment was so that I would not continue the excessive wear on tires.

The tires on my camper were Carlisle bias tires in the size 205/75D14. I was not too upset about replacing them because the useful life of the tires was up. What I found out when doing research on new tires there are not too many tire brands out there that do not have some reported issues. Some are even horror stories. I did a lot of research on the internet. I also talked to a several people in the tire business including one that specializes in RV tires. I was apprehensive about buying tires not knowing what brand to buy. The last thing I want to deal with is a tire failure on a vacation.

Since I had Carlisle tires on my trailer now, I looked at that brand first. I found out that Carlisle makes a very reliable bias ply tire, but they are not widely available any more. It could be they have stopped making them, but I was not told for sure. I was told the radial tire in the same brand was not that reliable. I found out that even Goodyear was having problems with the Marathon. I was also told by all of the people that I spoke to that trailer tires are going away from bias ply to radial. I found out that radial tires are able to handle heat better. The speed for every ST tire that I looked at was 65mph, and that was for the radial or bias.

After a lot of research I found out that most every trailer tire is made overseas. After much research, I finally bought a new set of radials from a local tire dealer. I chose to go with a brand called Westlake. It was between Westlake and Maxxis. I could not find any one brand that was without negative reviews, but these two had much less. I was told by all of the people (in the tire business) to keep the tires at the maximum rated pressure and not to exceed the speed and load limitations of the tire. One point that my local tire dealer made clear to me was the conditions that a tire fails under are not always known, with a few exceptions. The manager at the store I bought my tires told me that under inflation and/or overloading can cause a tire to fail quickly. I am by no means suggesting that the majority of failures are related to improper maintenance.

I have seen discussions in different forums talking about bias vs. radials. I do want everyone to know that my camper pulls much better on the radials as compared to the bias tires. I am very pleased with the radials and it was worth having to buy the spare so that I could switch over. (I did this because you can not mix bias and radials and my spare was bias.) My trailer pulls as if it was lighter and I would recommend anyone replace with radials. It is well worth it.

I hope this helps someone that may be in the same situation that I was in. I also would like input on the speed rating of trailer tires. I know that there are a lot of Good Sam members out there that are doing a lot of interstate towing. Do you stick to 65mph, or do you run with traffic at 70+? Most of my travels have been on roads at 60mph or less. I will soon do some interstate travel and I am looking for your input. I welcome any tips and discussion on this topic.

downtheroad

Pacific Northwest

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Posted: 06/30/12 08:51pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Just wondering why Chinese Westlake tires are selling for around $40.00 less each than I paid for our Maxxis (same size and rating)?

Anyway, welcome to the Forum.


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Old-Biscuit

Verde Valley

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Posted: 06/30/12 09:01pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Under inflated.....over loading.....exceeding tire speed rating

All tire killers.


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Bob_in_NC

North Carolina

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Posted: 06/30/12 09:11pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Actually, there was only 20 dollars differance between Westlake and Maxxis. Both tires are made overseas. I could not find any made in the USA.

johnrbd

San Joaquin Valley

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Posted: 06/30/12 09:15pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Since the ST's are rated for 65 mph, if you tow above that speed and have a tire "issues", don't start complaining about the poor construction of ST's.

As Dirty Harry once said, "do you feel lucky?"

I "used to tow above 65 quite often when I was still working and tried to cram too much travel in too short a period of time. These days, 59-60 mph (right after o/d kicks in). Much less stress on the tires and on me. Don't have to worry about leo's and their radar. I just wave as I go by, even though, in CA 55 is the limit when towing.

FWIW, I have, as yet, never had a tire issues on my trailer tires. But now, Maxxis is the only ST I will buy. They are not made in China, but in Thailand, and a excellent rep on this forum.





Bob_in_NC

North Carolina

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Posted: 06/30/12 09:47pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

johnrbd wrote:

Since the ST's are rated for 65 mph, if you tow above that speed and have a tire "issues", don't start complaining about the poor construction of ST's.

As Dirty Harry once said, "do you feel lucky?"

I "used to tow above 65 quite often when I was still working and tried to cram too much travel in too short a period of time. These days, 59-60 mph (right after o/d kicks in). Much less stress on the tires and on me. Don't have to worry about leo's and their radar. I just wave as I go by, even though, in CA 55 is the limit when towing.

FWIW, I have, as yet, never had a tire issues on my trailer tires. But now, Maxxis is the only ST I will buy. They are not made in China, but in Thailand, and a excellent rep on this forum.


I agree with you on the Maxxis, I think it is quite a good tire. I am going to give the Westlake a try. If I find out they are not what I expect them to be you will read about it here. The tire store I was dealing with covers this region with many stores. He said that his company has sold many Westlake ST's and they have not had any coming back.
As far as the speed thing goes, I think the law in NC does not allow 70 mph towing a TT, but I have seen it on many occasions and the highway patrol does not seem to stop them for that alone..... I may need to check into this more.

Turtle n Peeps

California

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Posted: 06/30/12 10:12pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have all ST bias on my trailers. Blew one tire in 30+ year of towing. I think it had a nail in it and lost all of it's air and boom! All off brand China stuff.

I tow at the speed limit. For most states I tow in that is 70 or 75 MPH. Alway air them up to max and sometimes 5 over.

I just don't have tire problems so maybe I should buy a lotto ticket.


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old guy

Oregon (pronounced Or e gun)

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Posted: 07/01/12 02:29am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I had a lot of tire issues. blow out mostly. that was because forest river had two different sized tires on my TT. After blowing out several tires averaged one every trip, I went to tire store and got over sized tires and wheels for the TT now have no issues. still tow at 65mph tho. some may say the over sized was over kill but I'm the one who has to change the tires on the road, and it's worth it to me

VintageRacer

Tatamagouche Nova Scotia

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Posted: 07/01/12 05:40am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I think there are three legs to this stool, and you can have two of them at any one time... If you have them at the right pressure and are well under the load limit, a little extra speed won't hurt. If my trailer (a car hauler, so the weight can vary widely) is under 50% load then I am happy at the 70 mph speed limit all day long. If I am loaded, I slow down. If I am driving slow and empty, I sometimes lower the pressure a bit to improve the ride. I personally think that radial tires wear a lot better than bias tires - I have worn out bias ply tires in 10K miles while similar radials still look new. I also have come to believe that age plays a big part in problems, and now I put new on after 5 years for my car hauler.

Brian


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wandering1

Texas

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Posted: 07/01/12 06:06am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

To get a good selection of tire brands when I was living in NC I had to go to another state. Do not exceed the speed rating on the sidewalls.


HR


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