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Old 12-10-2010, 09:25 PM   #1
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LT Tires on trailers

Hi Folks

I know in the past there has been talk of some folks going to LT tires on their campers as a trailer tire as an alternative to STs and for higher quality. While I have not researched this totally yet it is one of those things I have not yet found shown up in print yet until recently. This has over time been on my mind as an option to when my Denmans age out in a few years.

Here is some background digging I have down. See this flat bed goose neck equipment trailer.

As you can see from the dual tandem axles this trailer is made to haul weight.


Now it got my curiosity to what tires it had in it. Hmm Transforce HT Radial LT tires by Firestone






Now looking up Big Tex trailers they supply trailers with LT radials as standard. And the offer ST tires as options as well.

Trailer manufacturer of open flatbed utility, goosenecks, landscape, auto haulers, ATV and equipment trailers to fit any need!

http://www.bigtextrailers.com/pdf/product.pdf See page 61 and forward for specs.

So at least one equipment trailer mfg has no issues using LT radial tires on tandem axle trailers.

Now to a TT manufacture. This one I found out while camping with a buddy a short while ago.

See here. This camper is one the toy hauler kind that has the open toy deck up front and these monster knobby tires. KZ calls this their Rock Climber edition. KZ Recreational Vehicles: Coyote Rock Climber Travel Trailer Toy Haulers






And the sticker right from the OEM.


It appears KZ has now crossed into the LT tire world at least on this type of camper. I can't find anything on it on their web site other then the tire size.

So if equipment trailer manufactures use LT tires and now KZ as well on a TT, this ads more credit at least that is being done by OEM trailer manufactures.

Any one found anything in print from credited sources of why not to use LTs?

John

PS. If you are thinking of upgrading, watch what rim tire pressure yours can handle. May have to upgrade rims as well.
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Old 12-11-2010, 10:38 AM   #2
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LT Tire Possibilities

I've gotten very familiar with Tirerack.com as I'm researching new TV tires and also did some trailer browsing in case I suddenly need to replace the Maxxis I'm carefully monitoring. John's post got me looking up some more options so these links should save others the time.

When looking for non ST tires that might be suitable for a trailer I started with commercial truck, summer highway. It's a given this will be strong stiff tire with "smooth" tread that will provide a good solid footprint on the road. I fail to see the desirability of a squirmy knobby tire on a trailer, but doubt that they would de-stabilize a good setup. ST tires have minimal tread depth, so I checked that too, and knobby tires always have extra depth and even more squirm. I was also looking for tires that would fit into my 2499 size and wheel well. People with the larger SR trailers would actually have even more options.

Just for comparison here is Goodyear Marathon Radial.

I really like the Continental Vanco 2. Its load capacity is slightly higher than the OEM ST205/75R15 LRC and 55 psi is good too. A 65 series tire is always shorter than 75 and so this will likely be a very stiff sidewall. All good. It also comes in larger sizes for SR trailers.

Goodyear Cargo G26 is also a nice tire, but very expensive. So what's it got that the $88 Marathon doesn't have? I'm guessing it's a better tire

Al mentioned having 7.00X15 LT on a trailer. I had a set of these years ago on 69 Chev 1/2 ton. I only found one, and it's a radial, on Tirerack, but think it's too tall for the 2499. Yokohama RY215

The biggest problem with alternate tires is that the size selection is usually very small. That's the case with Firestone Transforce HT which has plenty of capacity in bigger sizes, but just doesn't match up well with Sunline.

If you haven't used Tirerack.com much, work through these examples and get familiar with how their site works. It's a very useful site. I've never bought from them because shipping to Canada kills their advantage. My brother in IL has bought all his tires from Tirerack for years. They have local installers right across the US and no one has ever hassled him for not buying local. They probably make more money on a tire install anyway than on the sale.

Henry
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Old 12-11-2010, 02:18 PM   #3
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Hi Henry!

We've had LT tires on the fifth wheel, for almost a year now. I did a lot of research and decided to go with the Maxxis Bravo tires, that the dealer offered us. I was very hesitant to go with foreign-made tires, but the reviews were good. I would NEVER have gone with Maxxis ST tires though. These tires now have around 1,300 miles on them and they look in great shape still. The size wasn't exactly the same. We had ST235/80-16 on it and the LT tires are LT235/85-16. Not much difference at all. The ride on them is great. Sunny seems to like them. Here is a picture of the tire we went with. They have several tread patterns and the pic shows what we have...

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Old 12-11-2010, 09:18 PM   #4
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Henry

Thanks for the info in your post. Odd I cannot find that Cargo G26 on the US Good year site. How did you come up with that is a LT tire? or is is?

Quote:
Originally Posted by henryj View Post

I fail to see the desirability of a squirmy knobby tire on a trailer, but doubt that they would de-stabilize a good setup. ST tires have minimal tread depth, so I checked that too, and knobby tires always have extra depth and even more squirm.
Now the the knobby tires on the KZ. Yes I too would never put them on my TT. The wiggle and squirm would be high. The only thing I see going for the knobbies is maybe the off road ability to turn better then the smooth road tires. The knob tire will roll in mud and yuk as the smooth road tire just fills up with mud and bogs down. I did ask the camping buddy, do these things make a lot of road noise and how do they handle? He said they made no more noise then normal and they handled OK. He was towing with an Excursion and a DC hitch so that may have helped compensate for the squirm. And there is also level of softness of the rubber. The harder rubber does not squirm as bad as the softer rubber does. I really did not try and check the durometer he had as compared to mine.

I think KZ may have done it more for looks. When I saw the name, Rock Crawler and then the Toy hauler feature I thought it had a heavy off road suspension. After looking under it, nope. It is the same RV industry light duty hangers and frame near the hangers. The question now is, why did they go LT? Was it an alternative to the ST or was it they could not get the knobs in ST? Good question. But the point is they went LT on a TT.

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Old 12-11-2010, 09:30 PM   #5
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Hi Gary,

Glad you joined in the conversation as I knew you where one of the ones who went LT.

Quote:
Originally Posted by EMD_Driver View Post
I would NEVER have gone with Maxxis ST tires though.

Now to your and Henry's comments on the Maxxis ST's. H'mm I myself had good luck with Maxxis on the T2499 and the T310. If I could not of got the Denmans for the T310 I would of went Maxxis as Marathons where on the China stint then. They came from Sunline with Maxxis. At 5 years sure to form cracks came in the thread. And it was right about on 5 years. From the offshore tires they had the better reviews of most that I had found.

This does come back to the other tire post as Henry pointed out. Quality of the Trailer tires is just not as high as auto tires. While auto tires wear faster in 5 years due to mileage I have not seen the cracks come as fast as they do on ST trailer tires.

3 years from now I will be back to, what do I put on the T310?

John
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Old 12-12-2010, 10:00 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnB View Post
Quality of the Trailer tires is just not as high as auto tires. While auto tires wear faster in 5 years due to mileage I have not seen the cracks come as fast as they do on ST trailer tires.

3 years from now I will be back to, what do I put on the T310?

John
This will make for an interesting comparison for us. Since our LT tires won't wear out due to mileage (I wish!) I'm wondering how they will hold up to cracking.

As a side note... We only bought one tire cover, for the fifth wheel. It goes on the door-side tires. The slide-side tires are always covered by the slide when it's out and don't get direct sunlight. Even in the Sunny pit, they are on the north side and never get direct sunlight. I want to see how they look, compared to the covered tires, in a few years.
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Old 12-12-2010, 01:41 PM   #7
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Hi John,
Interesting that Tirerack sells the Goodyear Cargo G26 when it's not on Goodyear's website. I did find it in Google on their European site Cargo G26 | Goodyear Light Truck Tires where it comes in even more sizes. While not specifically identified as LT (maybe not used in Europe), all sizes are LRC and it is designated as a light truck/van tire on the website.

Gary, thanks for that info. I didn't know you had the Maxxis UE-168(N) Bravo Series. That tire comes in a wide range of sizes with some real Sunline options in the list. From some of the smaller sizes--which are most likely trailer applications--this definitely seems to be one of the LT tires that many of us have seen on equipment trailers. The tread also has a "trailer" look to it. Since I've been digging into some of these options, I'm pretty sure that I won't be buying ST tires again.

I also have never covered the tires on the north side. It makes sense that all the cover does is shade the tire so why bother. On the 5 yr old Missions I noticed no difference between the south and north side. In fact there was zero checking on all 4.

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Old 12-12-2010, 05:53 PM   #8
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I've never understood why people put those knobby tires on a trailer?

I'm spend quite a bit of time on another forum that is pretty heavy into Overland Travel and off-road style exploration and many of the custom built trailers have knobby tires on them so they match the Tow Vehicle.

This way all the tires and spares can be used universally. Makes much more sence, but why would anyone want to tow a trailer with knobby tires?

For one, it would be a rougher ride, make the fuel efficiency worse and they usually cost more to replace.
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Old 12-12-2010, 07:19 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emam View Post
I've never understood why people put those knobby tires on a trailer?

Lots of people really don't care about mileage/ride/costs... It must be, because it looks "Cool"
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Old 12-12-2010, 07:47 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by henryj View Post

I didn't know you had the Maxxis UE-168(N) Bravo Series. That tire comes in a wide range of sizes with some real Sunline options in the list. From some of the smaller sizes--which are most likely trailer applications--this definitely seems to be one of the LT tires that many of us have seen on equipment trailers. The tread also has a "trailer" look to it. Since I've been digging into some of these options, I'm pretty sure that I won't be buying ST tires again.

Henry
Hi Henry,

Thanks for the more research, however in my tire size there is not a fit in the Maxxis UE size. I have ST225/75R15 Load Range D 2,540# at 65 psi. And I have a 10,000# GVWR so I need all of that tire.

They have a 80 psi tire but it is 16". I may have to get rims some day too.... but in my case fender clearance is not a lot of excess. Sunline even made low riders on the slide models and I really do not want to flip the axles. This thing eat enough air now going down the road.

Also while searching this I found out that Titan Tire bought the assets of Denman Tire. Interstitial Ad - Modern Tire Dealer However going to the Titan site they do not yet list a trailer tire even though they show one on the front of their trailer components catalog. Titan Titan | America's Best Since 1898 make a lot of off road big stuff like Denman did which is why they most likely bought up the rights. Hopefully Titan will start making the trailer tire line again, here in the US.

The search continues.

John
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Old 12-12-2010, 07:50 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EMD_Driver View Post
Lots of people really don't care about mileage/ride/costs... It must be, because it looks "Cool"
That is the only thing that made much sense seeing them on there... they look

I guess "cool" is in the eyes of the beholder....
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Old 12-13-2010, 08:05 AM   #12
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Lightbulb

Folks....

As the tire discussion appears to have broadened to include the issue of optional brands....allow me to add a name and a brief recent experience....

Our current trailer came shod with Duro tires (ST 205/75D14). Info on them can be found at http://www.durotire.com/products.php or at http://www.atvandtrailertires.com .


When we were bargaining for the TT, part of the deal ended up being that the dealer'd pull the wheels and repack the bearings (a standard requirement for us). Looked at as we checked out the rig, all 4 Duro tires appeared to be in new/excellent condition. (I confess I didn't check the tire manufacture date on the sidewalls).


However, when the dealer pulled the wheels to repack the bearings, the technician immediately informed the service manager that:
==>(a) one of the tires had noticable sidewall cracking on the inside (brakedrum) side, and the others looked a bit questionable, though the cracking wasn't fully developed, and
==>(b) he felt the tires shouldn't both be delivered to a buyer nor pass state inspection in that condition.


The dealer (Mellott's, Willow Street, PA) immediately contacted their tire distributer and secured new....satisfactory....replacement tires and mounted them before delivering the TT to us (delivery time was delayed by 4 hours). The service manager explained all this to us. His guess was that the TT frame with axles and tires had been manufactured several years before the TT build date (02/10).....and with the bad economy ended up sitting in a factory lot in the sun until the RV sales picked up again, accounting for the deterioration. By the time we picked up the TT, the old tires had gone back to Mellott's tire distributer, and I wasn't able to look at their manufacture date.


So...when our road use of the Duro tires begins (02/10, hopefully), we'll keep records so we can comment on the quality of our experience with them. Perhaps other SOC members already have Duro experience.


John....do you think an entire forum area on tires with individual threads assigned to brands of ST and/or LT tires would enable useful experience commentary and comparison?



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Old 12-13-2010, 08:40 PM   #13
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Last year, when taking our 1991 SOB out of the storage lot, one valve stem broke off in my hand when checking pressure. Caused me to look at the date codes. I could only conclude the tires were on the trailer when it left the factory. They were Goodyear Marathon, made in Canada. I had not given much thought to the age of the tires, because regular inspections showed them to be without any cracking.
Regardless, we bought five new Marathon tires. I was smart enough to insist on recent build dates, but i was royally pi---d (that is shorthand for peeved) when I noticed the "MADE IN CHINA" .
If that is now the only option for ST tires, the LT option starts to look more and more interesting.
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Old 12-14-2010, 11:53 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nasa42a View Post

John....do you think an entire forum area on tires with individual threads assigned to brands of ST and/or LT tires would enable useful experience commentary and comparison?




Frank
Frank,

Thank you for your excellent post. I can tell you have been around the block on buying trailers insisting that the wheel bearings get check for the get go. GREAT for you.

Good point about older parts and tires too even when brand new. Never thought of that.

Interested to here you Duro adventures. There was a stint in time when they had a bad rap but I have heard they since may have corrected the

You mentioned making a special forum just for tires. I do not know if there is enough traffic yet to create the forum by itself however your point is very good. I can and will add a subsection in the new Sunline FAQ/Articles forum. There is a collection of tire discussions there now and we can easily add to them. That is exactly what the new forum was intended for. If this grows enough we can create a Sunline Article section out of just this topic. See here section 9 Sunline Owners Club FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions and Common Topics)

Thanks

John
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