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Old 12-14-2018, 06:48 PM   #1
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Car tires on a trailer?

I recently bought a 1999 Solaris (T-1950). Outside is a bit weathered of course, but the interior is unbelievably pristine, with the original upholstery/curtains and whatnot. Even has the stickers next to the switches telling you how to use them.

Anyway, on the drive home with it, one of the tires shredded itself, taking out the wheelwell trim. I doubt there's any chance of finding a replacement for that.

Unfortunately, the spare was flat (of course). Fortunately, it held air once I pumped it up, and I got it home without further incident.

The post-mortem revealed that the shredded tire was an ST205/75R14, while all of the others, including the spare, are P205/75R14. Near as I can make out from the date codes, the ST was made in the early 90's and all of the others are much newer.

They look great, no signs of dry rot or tread wear. I'm pretty confident they're good for at least a couple more years. However, they're car tires, not trailer tires. How critical is that? The day I drove it home was very windy, and I was blown away (so to speak) by the lack of sway and good controllability under those conditions.

Do I really need to buy five new tires, or is it worth a throw of the dice on just replacing the ST with a P? I don't anticipate taking this thing on long runs to Lower Slobbovia, so worst case any trouble would be somewhat local and relatively easy to deal with in that sense.
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Old 12-15-2018, 08:00 AM   #2
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Look very carefully deep inside of the tread for cracks the tread usually outlasts the tires expected life. Dual axle smaller campers handle the wind very well. When I got my T1700 the tires looked new except for the cracking inside of the tread they were also cross ply tires 4 new radial trailer tires made a huge difference. I drive a 6 speed manual pickup it made a difference of one gear change on the same hills!
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Old 12-15-2018, 08:24 AM   #3
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There are quite a few that have gone to lt from st, but not to p. I do not think you will find a p rated tire that is rated for the weight of the camper. I run lt tires and see a lot of benefits, they are heavier and have more tread (which is good for my use). If you aren’t putting on a lot of miles and dont want to buy new wheels then st are probably your best bet (the lt sizes that I know of require wider wheels than standard in 15” - don’t know about 14”). As far as life span, you need new tires every 5-6 years, just part of the game. Trailer tires fail frequently.
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Old 12-15-2018, 05:06 PM   #4
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It's a bit more than weight trailer tires take a beating they drag big time on a curve because they are so close together. My camper is about 3000# fully loaded compact car weight. Sure when you get up into big trailers weight becomes a factor but the trailer tires are built to take the flexing a trailer causes.
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Old 12-16-2018, 08:49 AM   #5
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Thanks, guys. I do realize that the age of the tires calls for replacement even if they'd never been on the ground. I'll just have to suppress my inner Scrooge.

Replacing all five, it's a no-brainer to go with the proper type.
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Old 12-16-2018, 09:33 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tinstaafl View Post
Anyway, on the drive home with it, one of the tires shredded itself, taking out the wheelwell trim. I doubt there's any chance of finding a replacement for that.

I assume your referring to what they call the fender skirt? If so www.icondirect.com should have a direct replacement.
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Old 12-16-2018, 10:04 AM   #7
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I assume your referring to what they call the fender skirt? If so www.icondirect.com should have a direct replacement.
Yes, speendy, though. I found the best price is camping world (which you go through the selection tool there and the fenders ship direct from icon direct).
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Old 12-16-2018, 01:11 PM   #8
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LIB,MRDucks!


Thank you so much! I thought I had gathered from browsing around here that replacements for something that old were pretty much a lost cause.

IconDirect wants $149 plus shipping; Camping World wants $169--and they have a location 20 minutes from here.

Salty for a scrap of vinyl, but not all that bad in the big picture. I'm replacing weathered lenses etc slowly over the winter and ought to have her pretty spiffy (sans decals) by spring.
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Old 12-19-2018, 09:57 PM   #9
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If you still have all the pieces of the wheel well trim, (fender skirt) there is a procedure on how to repair them. The cost is less the $10, but does take some time. If you are missing parts, the Icon solution is a good one, just it does cost.

See here for the ABS repair process Door Trim (Bezel) Repair

You already made the decision to not use P tires in your camper application, good. Very wise choice. They will not handle the loads and turning forces of your camper as good as a good ST trailer tire or LT truck tire when sized correctly.

And here for the tire damage if interested that goes with the door bezel repair. I lost way too many parts of my fender to repair it. Had to buy them from Icon and glad I could at least get them. Tire Failure, Tire Investigation and Camper Damage Repair

And the other trailer tires that failed before them.
ST Tire Failure Analysis (Lots of Pics)

The 5 year rule even for properly sized tires is real when it comes trailer tires. We have had many of our club members with tire failures. There is a good amount out there now on the problems. See here for a lot of good info RV Tire Safety Roger is a Sunline Club member too.

Good luck with your camper.

Hope this helps

John
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Old 12-20-2018, 10:51 AM   #10
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I remember just a few years ago after I sold my T1350 TT and when I was looking for a bigger replacement, I would ask the online sellers how old the tires were and their condition, not to mention asking about the wheel bearings and brakes. Most of them responded with an "I dunno" response which tells me that too many people don't know what they have or how to look after what they have.
Pardon me for coming across as a sour-puss but it saddens me when people don't understand their own equipment. I heard too many horror stories at camp sites where people would just hook up and tow not understanding the basic mechanical concepts of trailer safety and towing. I agree with most if not all the posts above.

Tinstaafl. kudos to you for bringing this subject to light again. These factoids about tires on a TT or even a tow vehicle can't be mentioned often enough.
I only hope the more new first-time buyer keep checking in BEFORE they decide to buy and/or tow.

I know one person that has an older 21 ft Starcraft aluminum boat. He towed it okay with his older GMC safari but he upgraded to a new front-wheel drive minivan. Now without a WD system he can't tow up boat ramps. He didn't do any research before buying
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Old 12-20-2018, 03:54 PM   #11
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I remember just a few years ago after I sold my T1350 TT and when I was looking for a bigger replacement, I would ask the online sellers how old the tires were and their condition, not to mention asking about the wheel bearings and brakes. Most of them responded with an "I dunno" response which tells me that too many people don't know what they have or how to look after what they have.
Pardon me for coming across as a sour-puss but it saddens me when people don't understand their own equipment. I heard too many horror stories at camp sites where people would just hook up and tow not understanding the basic mechanical concepts of trailer safety and towing. I agree with most if not all the posts above.

Tinstaafl. kudos to you for bringing this subject to light again. These factoids about tires on a TT or even a tow vehicle can't be mentioned often enough.
I only hope the more new first-time buyer keep checking in BEFORE they decide to buy and/or tow.

I know one person that has an older 21 ft Starcraft aluminum boat. He towed it okay with his older GMC safari but he upgraded to a new front-wheel drive minivan. Now without a WD system he can't tow up boat ramps. He didn't do any research before buying
He needs a hitch on the front and backup the ramp common issue with FWD.
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Old 12-20-2018, 04:33 PM   #12
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He needs a hitch on the front and backup the ramp common issue with FWD.
i hear you, but knowing him he won't. I have suggested a few options and he looks bewildered. Hey, we can do so much. The other person need to be receptive.

I might have even mention that to him before. Probably heard it here from you last year
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Old 12-20-2018, 05:02 PM   #13
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If you still have all the pieces of the wheel well trim, (fender skirt) there is a procedure on how to repair them. The cost is less the $10, but does take some time. If you are missing parts, the Icon solution is a good one, just it does cost.
John, thanks for the detailed response. Unfortunately, about 2/3 of the fender skirt was scattered along about a half mile of very busy six-lane interstate, and for some reason I just didn't have the energy to go pick up the pieces. So ordering a replacement with fingers crossed that it actually fits well is probably my most practical option.

Fortunately, there was no appreciable damage to the sheet metal other than some scuffing and minor dents. It did take out the city water fitting, which I've already replaced.

I'm also tickled that one of your threads details "spin checking" the tires--something I and no doubt many others never gave much thought to. This is my first TT; I've been a dedicated tent camper for many years, but SWMBO laid down the law recently and it's a TT or no camping for her. Gotta pick yer battles.

...while I'm here, and no thread drift of course, is there a good tutorial on the site for flipping axles on something like a T1950? I have a set of casters I'm going to install on the skid bars, but they're dismayingly close to the ground for the type of sites I want to frequent. Ground clearance is one of the few things (I think) I missed when vetting the purchase.
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Old 12-20-2018, 05:39 PM   #14
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I owned that exact model, since you are in PA, maybe you got mine.


Here is the tires to buy: https://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires...del=Radial+857


They do sit low and flipping axles might be a good idea. I simply shortened those V shaped scrapers and made thick wear parts from 2" diameter round stock with a matching V cut well into it. Welded it all together and that gave me a long wearing surface. If you pull a string from under the rear tire and lift it towards the bumper, you will see they may not need to be so long.
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