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Let's talk Trailer Tires

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I will be buying five next month. My Sunseta 250 is the biggest boat I have owned. And in the past, I have bought some "real crap" for much "lighter vessels". Please help me to not be ignorant!   :wacko:

My Sunesta is generally stowed on an enclosed dry dock bunk, but will trailer 2 or 3 times a year to the Gulf Coast (285 miles one way).

Simple questions; what are the best brands, worst brands to definitely stay away from, and would I want radials and/or steel belted?  Any other thoughts will be appreciated as well!

Thanks in advance, I appreciate you sharing your trailer tire experiences.....

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I replace my trailer tires every 5 years. It is a function of time, not distance. I always buy Goodyear Marathon trailer tires and have good luck with them. I know they are all made in China now, but that is the same for pretty much all trailer tires. I had Carlisle trailer tires on my travel trailer. Started blowing in less than 5 years, so I put Marathons on. No more tire failures.  

I put new tires on this spring  so far, so good...

brick

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I have never had a steel belted car tire blow out or have any defects.  They last just like on a car. They do not cause swaying or anything else. Best of all  USA DOT says they are safe if loaded to rated limits.

Trailer companies have installed car tires for years on  them.  Last time I checked passengers tires needed to be  DERATED by 10 %. By who I do not know. Or if it is even a law.

The   L T   tires need the same derating.

Can you put those SUPERIOR trailer tires on passenger cars ?     Now which is the more reliable tire ?     The tire does not know what it is supporting when it runs over a piece of steel guard rail on the road at 60 mph.  Or is pushed into a pothole at speeds.

Do steel belted tires fail more than trailer tires. I sure hope so.  Since all the passenger, heavy truck, earth movers & aircraft use steel belted tires.

Name any trailer tire with road hazard replacement, high mileage, close to a car steel belted.  NONE  But they are far superior.  HAH

 

Old brain.  Remember to change your steel belted car tires every 3 to 4 years or sooner. Would not want a blow out & a accident.

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If you would like to see how your tax money is peeedd away by FMVSS tire safety division. Go there & read all the dozens of arguing agencies. All trying to not inform a customer about the safety of your tires, so a tire molder can save on the cost of molding information on the side wall. 

Must be billions of directors & trillions of advisors repeating themselves.   Pork barrel ?   Not even close to the bureaucratic B S being bickered about.

I am stunned by the useless repeating, repeating, repeating of sections. They are still arguing about 2007 codes  !! 

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50 minutes ago, cyclops2 said:

If you would like to see how your tax money is peeedd away by FMVSS tire safety division. Go there & read all the dozens of arguing agencies. All trying to not inform a customer about the safety of your tires, so a tire molder can save on the cost of molding information on the side wall. 

Must be billions of directors & trillions of advisors repeating themselves.   Pork barrel ?   Not even close to the bureaucratic B S being bickered about.

I am stunned by the useless repeating, repeating, repeating of sections. They are still arguing about 2007 codes  !! 

Well at least we are getting something for our tax dollars.

Joe

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My brother buys Goodyears, I get Carlyle's. Either one only lasts 5 plus years. I get mine at Discount Tire or Big O. Both companies have a life time warrenty (30 bucks approx) so if one blows all you have to do is take it to their shop and they replace the tire. 

.

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I have Firestone trailer tires on mine and have had (knock on wood) zero problems with them. Have towed from Florida to NY, to NH, to Upstate NY, to MA, to VT with the same set of tires and they still look new after 4-5 years.... Will probably change soon, just due to the age, but they show no signs of sidewall weather cracks / dry rot and tread still looks new.

When I bought the boat, one of the Goodyears blew within 30 miles of the pick up. Only tire dealer close to where I was, was a Firestone dealer, so on a set of 4 went. Didn't even know Firestone made trailer tires, as all I ever heard about was Goodyear and Carlisle for boat trailers.

I just keep them at 50 PSI and regularly use tire dressing on them. Also, (don't know if this helps, but,) when trailer is parked, the tires sit on 2x12 planks, not directly on the ground.

The dressing is one of 3 one gallon containers of Gulf "RuGlide" that I have had for years. Keeps them from drying out. Coat tires completely when I pull them in the fall to clean / repack bearings and install new seals for winter layup.

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Most important thing is to check the date code when you buy a set of tires.  Some of these tire stores will have trailer tires on the shelf for years.  I looked back thru my records and saw that the tires that blew out on my trailer this summer were on for 3 years.  And I'd bet money they were probably a total of 5 years old.  The other thing is ensure you're running the max recommended pressure.  As far at brands go, everyone has horror stories for every brand.

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I would agree that the date code is just as important if not more important than the brand.  One thing I also do is run nitrogen in my trailer tires, helps keep the temperature down and doesn't loose pressure as quick.

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27 minutes ago, muddywater said:

I would agree that the date code is just as important if not more important than the brand.  One thing I also do is run nitrogen in my trailer tires, helps keep the temperature down and doesn't loose pressure as quick.

where do you go to get them filled with Nitrogen?

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1 hour ago, muddywater said:

I would agree that the date code is just as important if not more important than the brand.  One thing I also do is run nitrogen in my trailer tires, helps keep the temperature down and doesn't loose pressure as quick.

How old or how new can I expect to find?

 

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2 hours ago, muddywater said:

I would agree that the date code is just as important if not more important than the brand.  One thing I also do is run nitrogen in my trailer tires, helps keep the temperature down and doesn't loose pressure as quick.

I always check the date codes. I tell my tire shop I will not accept them if more than 6 months old.

I am also careful to only use summer air. Winter air is much too cold...

brick

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26 minutes ago, brick said:

I also careful to only use summer air. Winter air is much too cold...

Winter air becomes summer air during summer if temperature only is considered. It must be more to consider, moisture, whatever, to make a difference. What is it ... just curious?

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4 minutes ago, Richard W said:

Winter air becomes summer air during summer if temperature only is considered. It must be more to consider, moisture, whatever, to make a difference. What is it ... just curious?

not sure what it is, but I could sell you some...

brick

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On a more serious note ... something to consider especially if you tow often and/or long distance.

The tires were basically done after our boat was hauled from Idaho to Ontario, and previously from California to Idaho. Immediately I had a local RV shop in Ontario inspect the trailer and replace the tires. They, by their own internal procedure based on their experience, installed the new tires with additional traditional tubes inside.

At first I questioned the necessity, but after hearing their explanation it made sense to me. I do not tow a lot, but the tires and tubs are in their fifth season without a single issue ... knock on wood as the time to replace them is coming up soon.

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28 minutes ago, Richard W said:

Sure, how much? Must be really important thingy since you decided to move from cold Ontario to warmer Georgia ... :)

Much worse than that, I am originally from Montreal PQ.

brick

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5 hours ago, MonkeySeaII said:

where do you go to get them filled with Nitrogen?

I had mine done at my local auto dealer.  Was $5 per tire.  My dad has switched to nitrogen too.  He takes a fishing trip to Canada every year and it never failed, would always have at least 1 blowout.  Since doing this hasn't had a problem the last 3 years. 

 

4 hours ago, SNiC said:

How old or how new can I expect to find?

 

I just purchased new tires for the waverunner in June.  They were manufactured in March of this year.  I wouldn't want to have anything less than 6 months old put on, lose a year of life any older than that. 

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I may do the nitrogen.  Especially since my brother-in-law owns 3 dealerships!  But it makes me feel better to hear that so many other people have had blow-outs too!

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Thoughts about Nitrogen from dealing with it on race vehicles...

Unless you have 2 valve stems - one to purge the old air out as the nitrogen goes in - you aren't really getting what you paid for. Some places will "vacuum" the tires first to get all the "old air" out but that's only partially effective at best. Also, you will need your own nitrogen tank to top them up at home if they lose pressure, or you will have to take the trailer to a station with nitrogen fill. Granted, they don't lose pressure as quick...usually.  The main reason race cars use nitrogen is that it doesn't expand/ contract as much with temp change so you can set the pressure and when the car is on track it stays the same even after many hot laps. On road vehicles I've never seen evidence of any benefit. People will argue that it keeps the tires from aging as fast due to the lack of oxygen exposure, but since they're exposed to the (oxygenated) atmosphere outside the tire, I can't believe there's a big difference.  I know people who swear by it but I just can't see any documentable advantage.

My trailer tires are much smaller, light duty stuff. I can buy Kenda tires (4.80x12) already mounted on the wheel cheaper from etrailer online than I can buy just the tires locally. With free shipping.They also move a lot of stock so the tires are fresh. The set I just bought had a date stamp less than a month older than my purchase date.

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So if the air coming out of my air compressor is the same as the air going into it then it is about 78% nitrogen, 21% Oxygen, and 1% other gases.  If the theory is that the oxygen and other trace gases leak out of the tire only, then how many times do I have to refill the tire after it gets low to get nearly pure nitrogen in the tire?  

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I'm in the camp that doesn't believe nitrogen makes a difference in street vehicles for the reasons other have stated. You've received good advice wrt the brands (they're really all just about the same if you listen to enough horror stories). The key is how you care for the tires. Change them at or before the 5 year point. Keep them out of the direct sun as much as possible. Keep them aired to their max pressure to reduce rolling resistance which causes heat buildup with deteriorates the tire. You also want to put the driest air you can in them to prevent the belts from rusting (happened to me) and the tire deteriorating from the inside out. That is the only reason I would consider paying for nitrogen which is going to come with very low moisture content commercially. Something I started doing based on advice I received was to go up 1 load bearing range over what you need. My boat and trailer weigh in at 5,200lb which divided over 4 tires is 1,300lb. In theory I'd be within the weight limit of most tires with a "C" Load Range. However, I buy Load Range "D" tires and have not had a problem since. Part of that is due to me living in hot locations (FL and AZ) since the higher load range can handle more heat in the tire. I do that on my boat trailer and my 10K# gross weight enclosed trailer.

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Why is it CAR  belted tires do not rust the belts of steel ?

Because trailer tire have NO    NO   safety standards to adhere to.   Tire companies laugh every year all the way to ordering a larger yacht each year.  Totally legal fact of the trailer tire builders.

Legal D O T fact.  Look it up.   You buy & risk a accident so they make obscene profits. 

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I may be having problems understanding what I am reading here but 49 CFR 571.119 sets standards for tires used on the road for other than automobiles. That includes trucks over 10,000lb, motorcycles and trailer tires. This outlines labeling, testing procedures, etc.

https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CFR-2011-title49-vol6/pdf/CFR-2011-title49-vol6-sec571-119.pdf

Joe

 

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