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Old 03-18-2013, 07:30 AM   #1
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Tires - Look good - replace??

Hi,

My 2007 T-2553 has the original Mission tires, as far as I can tell. They look good, no visible cracks on sidewalls or tread, no indication of dry rot, tread is good, no indication of uneven wear. I generally travel within Pennsylvania. I put new tires on my T-2251 after about 14 years of use. I did that even though the tires still looked good. I've heard some say replace them even if they look good after six or eight years or so.

Thoughts???

Thanks
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Old 03-18-2013, 08:39 AM   #2
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I don't know anything about Mission tires, but, as you said, the rule of thumb is about 6 to 7 yrs. From my past expierence that is what I adhere to. When we had a pop-up camper, the tires looked good and had perfect tread. In about 6 years I had a blow out on one. Same with my boat. New tires, and 6 years later the same thing happened. With the boat, we only towed it to the river and back, which is about 30 miles round trip. I even had it stored inside all the time. So, with the T1950 I will replace them at 6 years even if they look ok. I've seen some on here who have replaced the spare as well.
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Old 03-18-2013, 09:51 AM   #3
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I would highly recommend that you replace them. We had the original Mission tires on out 2007 T276SR until last summer when we were traveling on hot day near Lancaster, PA and had a blowout. The tires looked great... I always kept them covered and set the pressure before every trip. But, one failed without warning and put us in a dangerous and stressful situation changing the tire on a very narrow shoulder with lots of traffic flying by at 60+. Do yourself a favor and replace them before you start the season.
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Old 03-18-2013, 12:04 PM   #4
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Tires - Look good - replace??

Ditto on the Missions. They are nothing like the factory Goodyears from your 2251. I had one fail last year too. Trailer was outside at the dealer for about two years, probably between other trailers, but has sat inside ever since. Properly inflated the whole time with me too. Had around 6200 miles on them at the time of the blowout, IIRC.
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Old 03-18-2013, 02:40 PM   #5
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Although tires don't come with a best before date, they do have a week/year manufacture code--yours could be from 2006--and the general consensus is they should be replaced 5 or 6 years later. The reason is that tires age, dry out and harden. We don't notice this process on our cars and TVs because they drive enough to wear out the treads before significant aging takes place. The 3 worst things you can do to a tire are overloading, underinflation and having it sitting for long periods, especially in water or on dirt. Unfortunately most RV tires are subjected to one or all 3 of these stresses at some point. A rolling tire flexes and keeps the oils moving around in the rubber, a stationary tire actually dries out faster. Clearly there is a risk that even new tires will fail or be inferior to the OEM--as I found with my original Maxxis replacements. Only you can judge whether your risk is less in short trips close to home, but it also means your tires have been sitting more which increases the risk.

These are the risks I see in running old tires:

1. They will fail spontaneously and catastrophically not with a slow air leak.

2. The steel belts will flap around the wheel well and potentially do a lot of damage to vulnerable plastic.

3. The second tire of the tandem will immediately be hugely overloaded and will also fail, possibly on the next trip.

4. Changing a tire on the road is at the very least a big pain, at worst extremely dangerous especially if you can't get out of a travel lane.

5. There are now 4 old tires on the trailer--one of which has been highly stressed by overloading--and no spare.

6. You may be forced into an emergency purchase of 2 stale dated genuine Chinese branded and manufactured ST tires with no warranty because that's all that's available from local sources.

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Old 03-18-2013, 05:04 PM   #6
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I can't say replace those enough. After 4 years and 4500 miles on Missions, in a short time one was flat at home and later went flat at a camp site for no apparent reason. Turns out a bead was broken. Then another one completely tore apart on the New York State Thruway, I mean tore apart! No warning. It was passenger side but with the camper up on a jack it shook everytime a truck drove past at 65+. With that I bought a new tire on my way to camp then replaced the other 4 before I went camping again keeping the one I bought (or I should say settled for because it was all I could get) as a spare.

I think if you check the load rating on the tires and the total weight of the camper, when one tire goes, the others are quite overloaded as HenryJ says. I bought a load rating one up for replacements.

You can find many recomendations on this site for replacements. I never did find a real good rating on any trailer tire and I don't think any made in the USA.

I have seen recomendations to replace tires after 5 years regardless of miles.

Ditch the Missions!
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Old 03-18-2013, 08:12 PM   #7
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Depending where you look, you can find 3 to 5 years for ST tires age for needing replacement. Tread depth really does not apply on campers, unless you have an out of aligned axle grinding up the tire or you do many trips cross country in the 5 year time frame. If you actually wear out tire tread on a camper with no axle issues, you are an exception.

I really can't add a lot to Henry's post. I echo his comments. Other than, replace the spare tire too. If you do not replace it with the main 4, when will you? Some day you may be a long trip from home, pick up a nail and have a flat. Now that spare has to work like the rest. Towing long distances on a hot days running on an unused really old spare is a real wild card for a camper tire.

For what it is worth, I had 3 ST tire failures last summer on 3.5 year old Denman tires. And they made in north America, Mexico. I have a heavy camper and gave up on ST tires.

Having a tire failure on the camper is bad news no matter how you cut it. Some get lucky, like me... and do not destroy part of the camper with the tire flaying apart.

The tire life you have on your Missons have served you well. Odds are not in your favor for a lot longer.

Good luck and hope this helps

John
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Old 03-18-2013, 10:02 PM   #8
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Thanks for the information. I was out looking at tires today. I had thought I would go with Goodyear Marathons but one of the shops that I talked with will sell Marathons but I was told they didn't like them. They suggested Master Trac tires because they use them on their utility shop trailers and have good luck with them. So ......

I guess I have more searching to do.

Thanks again for the input.
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Old 03-18-2013, 10:28 PM   #9
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I wouldn't. Immediate search results don't show tires unless you add the term 'tires' to it. Even then, not much on them. My guess is the tire shop buys them in bulk and can make more off of them.

If you stick with an ST vs. going LT, I'd stay with the big names- Goodyear Marathon, Carlisle, or Maxxis. At that point, it pretty much becomes personal preference. The Marathon and Carlisle are nearly neck and neck in terms of reliability- neither are perfect, but they should be better than an off brand one. I have Marathons on mine just because that's my preference, I always had good luck with them. My dad just got a set of the equivalent Carlisles last fall and while they have little use, I'm going to be watching how they perform.

If your local tire shop has to order in a brand name, that's good! You don't want old tires that have been sitting around, so that's the best way to get fresh ones.

Another option would be to go back to the Sunline OEM tier 2 supplier. It'll be a little drive for you, but the price might be worth it. Tredit Tire and Wheel in York, PA. tredittire.com I drove 3 hours to the Elkhart location to get mine mounted on new wheels. EMD_Driver I believe dealt with the York location, even though his were shipped to him (which is an option too). You could probably take your wheels to them if you had the tires dismounted and they probably could mount the new tires on for you if you left them and went to lunch, etc. Gary and I both got our new tires and aluminum wheels for about the same cost as getting just new tires locally.

Definitely plan to get them balanced too. Nobody does this automatically with trailer tires.
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Old 03-19-2013, 06:09 AM   #10
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Another option for you is sears online.I ordered my spare replacement and they shipped it to store.They have marathons listed but I ordered the radar.Only problem is it took a month to get it
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Old 03-19-2013, 08:18 AM   #11
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When we had our blowout, I was going to just replace one until I got home and shopped around. But, I called Tire Consultants in Ephrata, PA and they had fresh (1 mo. old date code) Greenball Towmasters for a great price ($115 ea installed for ST225/75R15 load range D). So I pulled out the card and got all 4 replaced. Most of the reviews I have read about Greenball Towmaster and Maxxis tires have been positive. Your mileage may vary...
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Old 03-19-2013, 09:18 AM   #12
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Thanks for all the responses. Now, another related question. The rims on my T-2553 are 15X5J. The tires on the rims are ST-205-75 R 15. I wonder if I can go up to ST-215 or maybe even up to ST-225-75 R15 on these rims. I don't know if they would be too big/wide for the space available or too big for the rims.

Thanks for any information or thoughts. I would also like to go to the D load range if possible. The C range looks like it's close to the tire load limit.

Thoughts??
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Old 03-19-2013, 10:51 AM   #13
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I don't think you can move up to a 225 on a 5J rim since the bead won't seat properly. Maybe a 215? Another option would be upgrade the rims to 15X6J with the appropriate load range tires. Eastern Marine has some great prices on rim/tire combinations... Trailer Parts Superstore - Shopping Index
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Old 03-20-2013, 06:49 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ham Radio Op View Post
Thanks for all the responses. Now, another related question. The rims on my T-2553 are 15X5J. The tires on the rims are ST-205-75 R 15. I wonder if I can go up to ST-215 or maybe even up to ST-225-75 R15 on these rims. I don't know if they would be too big/wide for the space available or too big for the rims.

Thanks for any information or thoughts. I would also like to go to the D load range if possible. The C range looks like it's close to the tire load limit.

Thoughts??
Hi Paul,

A few thoughts on this

See this chart. http://www.maxxis.com/Industrial/Tra...ST-Radial.aspx

Or this one, pick Marathon for a sizing chart.
Goodyear RV Tires

Or this one
Carlisle Radial Trail RH Trailer Tires

The ST-205-75 R 15 fits on a 5.5" rim and is a 50 psi tire, 8.10" wide and 27.1" OD. That is what fits in your wheel well and odds are high the rims you have may only be rated for that tire pressure

Neither Marathon, Goodyear or Carlisle list a ST-215-in a R 15. They do in a 14". The load ratings are there, but it fits a 6" rim and is smaller in diameter

The ST-225-75 R 15 load range D fits on a 6" rim and is a 65 psi tire, 8.90" wide and 28.3" OD. That size tire is what Sunline put on my T310SR for a 10,000# GVWR and is on the 8,600# GVWR Sunline campers. This tires is a lot bigger in OD and width than what is on your T2553. Odds are high this tire will not fit in your wheel well wit the needed bump clearance.

So you are up against a rim width, PSI issue and OD issue.

If you are going to buy new rims, an option then is to jump to LT tires that fit or to ST 20575R15 Load range D at 65 psi.

HenryJ sort of pioneered the Sunline 7,000# GVWR camper on SOC with LT215/75R15. A few others followed in his foot steps. Henry can fill in more on his experiences.

This post of mine has Henry's upgrade and the work I had to do to get to LT tires. I had more work to get to 16" tires but now have more options.

LT Tires on trailers

There is no clean cut answer at this time on trailer tires. Some of us have broken away from ST trailer tires and went to LT and dealt with the costs to do this after negative ST tire experiences. If you tow heavy to the tire capacity and or long distances, this jump to LT may be easier to justify.

Regardless of what you do ST or LT, here are some things that will help regardless.

1. Weigh the camper fully loaded, water if you haul it to camp, axle by axle and ideally individual wheels. Odds are high you will find there is a lighter and heavier wheel position.

2. Select your tire with a good reserve capacity of 20% as a target over that heaviest wheel location. There is growing evidence that tandem wheel trailers need higher reserve capacity to deal with the tandem setup. Triples are even worse. If you do not want to up grade the wheels/tire for this load weight, then try and reduce camper weight on that heavy wheel.

3. Air your tires to max side wall cold pressure and check before the start of every trip.

4. Keep the tires covered with white or light colored covers when the camper is stored.

5. Check the tires often for side wall or tread cracks. Some weather checking is considered acceptable however it is hard to find a hard and fast rule on how long is an acceptable crack is. Good year once had an article on this with a rating. In my case both of my Sunlines had OEM Maxxis tires and cracked in the treads at the 4.5 year mark. I never had a blow out but 5 years was their limit. I found 3 tire failures last summer on my ST Denman's before they let go just by looking constantly. Now, before every trip and gas stop I look, even on LT's...

6. If you tow a lot, consider a tire pressure monitor.

7. Pick a brand you at least have faith in or have faith in your tire dealer. Try and get fresh tires, ideally no more than 1 year old. You have to ask/demand/ or wait for them OR else you can get most anything.

8. The 5 year guideline for ST trailer tires is about it.

Hope this helps and good luck

John

As a point of compasion, while I upgraded to LT tires on the camper, I bought Maxxis ST's for my flat bed trailer. I did not want the low end real cheap ST's the trailer dealer was offering and I paid the extra for the Maxxis. The duty cycle and loads are totally different, My flat deck trailer rides empty part of the time and 3/4 loaded the other part. Towing is stop and go and the most 1 hour long. A totally different setup than the camper always towing heavy per the tire size and often 5 to 8 hour tow days on the interstate.
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