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Trailer tires
Old 05-30-2012, 05:21 PM   #1
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Trailer tires

OK.. I KNOW this is not a retirement question.... but there seems to be a lot of knowledge and experience here I want to see if I can get some help...


I recently bought a small boat... we went camping this past weekend and had a tire blow out going to the lake.... and another tire blow out coming home...

I have looked at different reviews and almost all the trailer tires I can find to buy have horrible reviews... the one that Discount Tire sells had 1 good review to 45 bad reviews...

Does anybody here have any knowledge on trailer tires I need to get some new ones soon as we are going to go on another trip in two weeks...
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Old 05-30-2012, 05:23 PM   #2
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Are you sure the tires that blew were not due to something like overloading of the trailer/tires? I am lead to understand that a lot of blowouts are due to excessive weight.
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Old 05-30-2012, 05:27 PM   #3
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Underinflation, overloading and age are the three primary reasons for tire failure. brewer asked the weight question, so were they inflated to the proper pressure and were they no more than 5-6 years past the date of manufacture?
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Old 05-30-2012, 06:16 PM   #4
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Are they a size (12" - 15") where you could just use a car or light truck tire?
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Old 05-30-2012, 07:04 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by kumquat View Post
Are they a size (12" - 15") where you could just use a car or light truck tire?
From what I have read and been told, no. A car and truck tire is designed different than a trailer tire.
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Old 05-30-2012, 07:09 PM   #6
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To answer the other questions....

The tires were inflated to what the trailer said, 35 psi... I have read since then that moving it up to 50 psi is better.

The tires were older. They were made in 2005. I had read before this that you could go 8 to 10 years on a tire... but, I have now read that for a trailer, you should go 4 to 5 years.

From what I have learned, it is probably due to age and dry rot.

I am not as concerned about why they blew... it has happened and I think I know why... I am just trying to get a good tire to replace all of them. When I look at reviews, almost all trailer tires I see suck... there has to be a good trailer tire out there....



PS... after ours blew the first time, we saw 4 other trailers with blown tires.. and we went to 3 places to get a new spare... but all said they had sold out since there were so many blow outs
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Old 05-30-2012, 07:21 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas Proud View Post
I am just trying to get a good tire to replace all of them. When I look at reviews, almost all trailer tires I see suck... there has to be a good trailer tire out there....
The sad fact is there aren't many - if any - good light trailer tires. I went with LT (light truck) tires on my RV, but they don't come in anything smaller than 16". P (passenger) tires are much better but usually don't have the weight rating needed for trailers - however, if your boat isn't too large, that might be the way to go.

Whatever you end up buying, plan on replacing them at the 5 year mark...
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Old 05-30-2012, 07:32 PM   #8
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Back in the days when we had boats and travel trailers, I heard that one of the things that damage tires most is the sun beating down on them while in storage. We always had covers for the tires and if we were traveling, covered the tires when in a park for any more than a couple days.
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Old 05-30-2012, 07:46 PM   #9
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I just bought a couple of 13" Greenball tires from Costco. I've heard good things about Greenball and have confidence in Costco. I haven't used them so no usage feedback.
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Old 05-31-2012, 05:26 AM   #10
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I would look at a farm store. they usually have a good selection of heavy duty trailer tires as they are used a lot on the farm. also heat and speed combined have a bad effect on tires. you usually see all those tires that have shredded on the highway happen during hot weather.
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Old 05-31-2012, 07:02 AM   #11
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There are three main types of tires, bias ply, belted and radial, on the side of the tire it should tell you the amount of weight each tire will carry at a specific psi. The more air pressure the tire holds the more weight it will carry, but most auto tires shouldn't hold more then 45 psi. Trailer tires normally can hold more weight so read the sidewall and go from there.

If in fact the tire held more weight then rated as per psi, it would normally blow out the sidewal A standard tire is normally 4 ply tread, two ply sidewall therfore would blow out at the weakest point being the two ply.

The reason I mentioned the three types of tires is I believe radial tires can hold more weight but don't quote me on that, I do know you can purchase 6 ply tread tires which can carry more weight. Normally the tires should match the weight restrictions of the trailer it's mounted on. On certain truck tires they have extra ply's to hold 100 psi.

Good luck and happy boating.
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Old 05-31-2012, 07:46 AM   #12
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I wonder if part of the problem with these trailer tires comes from not blocking the trailer during the off season. Possibly could lead to flat spots and balance issues that further contribute to wear. And how good was the balance job when the tires were first mounted and periodically thereafter.
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Old 05-31-2012, 08:30 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DFW_M5 View Post
I wonder if part of the problem with these trailer tires comes from not blocking the trailer during the off season. Possibly could lead to flat spots and balance issues that further contribute to wear. And how good was the balance job when the tires were first mounted and periodically thereafter.
From reading up on RV/trailer tires for the past several years I've learned most tire problems (excluding overloading and improper inflation) are due to dry rot, caused by the same thing that causes humans to 'go bad': lack of exercise.

Quote:
Ozone and ultraviolet light (UV) are the chief environmental degradants that set up tires for dry rot. The tires have a wax added to them to help them flex while driving. However, the lack of exercise in vehicles parked for extended periods causes the rubber to become unflexible, especially the rubber sitting on the pavement. Certain petrochemical-based tire cleaners can strip the protective waxes and attack the rubber.

Once the tires have been compromised, Serpula lacrymans, the fungus responsible for dry rot in wood, sets in and eats away at the rubber. When dry rot sets in it can cause the rubber to become unstable and lose strength. This could lead to blown tires and accidents.
Tire dry rot

Covering tires and keeping them out of the sun helps only marginally. The best way to keep trailer tires in good shape is to maintain proper pressure and use your trailer frequently.
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Old 05-31-2012, 08:44 AM   #14
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Thanks for the replies...

I did not answer a couple of questions before... they are 14 inch tires... they were radial, I think 6 ply.... I am looking at getting 6 ply...

From what I can read, a car tire is NOT an option... and in fact they say not to use a truck tire as they are designed with softer sidewalls because the tires have to turn the truck.... a trailer tire is only a 'follower' and should have stiffer sidewalls so it does not sway.... also, that give them better load rating....
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Old 05-31-2012, 09:33 AM   #15
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I check the load rating on the tire - it should be stamped on the sidewall - while shopping for tires I don't need to worry about converting ply to load rating.
I had good luck for my boat trailer with relatively cheap tires from Northern Tool, here's the link for 14 inches:
14-inch High Speed Rims | High Speed Trailer Tires + Wheels | Tires + Wheels | Northern Tool + Equipment
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Old 06-02-2012, 08:45 PM   #16
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Trailer tires seem to fail most often from age and underinflation. I just replaced two tires that were only 4 years old do to cracking of the sidewall. Under inflated tires flex the sidewall causing overheating and failure. No brand seems to be that much better than any other brand.
Small trailer tires usually have a 65mph speed rating.

On my tent trailer I inflate the 4.8 x 12 c rated tires to their 90lb max pressure due to the weight of the loaded trailer being near their almost 1800lb koad raring.

My small sailboat with similar tires I keep at about 45lb pressure since it weighs much less than the tent trailer. At full rated pressure the tread will wear off the center of the tire.

IIRC, trailer tires have stiffer sidewalls than passenger car tires.
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Old 06-02-2012, 09:44 PM   #17
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I didn't take the time to read all the replies, because I'm on my way out the door someplace...but, if there's a question about which brand trailer tires are best for your boat trailer, here is the answer, in order. #1 Goodyear Marathons, hands down. #2 Carlisle.

No, car tires are not the same as trailer tires. Trailer tires are built with more plies (typically 8 ply) in the sidewalls to take the type of stresses that are unique to trailered loads.
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Old 06-03-2012, 09:48 AM   #18
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OK, bought the tires yesterday...

Martyb.... I had the goodyears and bought Carlisles... but when I did research, both were rated very low... I just do not think they make good trailer tires..

I will be putting in more air than the trailer recommended... they had 35 psi... I will go to 45 or 50...

I now will be checking them for cracking... something that I had not done before... but, we had just bought the boat so it is a learning process...
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Old 06-03-2012, 02:05 PM   #19
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Wow...that's weird to hear! I have to admit I haven't bought any trailer tires since around 2004, back then the Marathons were highly rated by Consumer Reports, with Carlisles coming in 2nd, if I remember correctly. I also based my buying decisions on many friends who towed boat trailers racking up many miles. I was fishing a lot of tournaments back then throughout Louisiana and Texas and I was pretty careful to not get garbage tires. That said, I never had a single tire failure with my Marathons. I can't say the same about friends with other cheapo tires, auto type tires etc. I was coming back from Lake Fork at 2 a.m. with a friend in his rig, running some old-ass tires on his trailer that should have been retired years before, and they weren't trailer tires. Within 25 miles of each other on I-20, he had not one, but 2 tires blow out. The first one was easily enough replaced with the spare, but the spare blew out 25 miles later. It sucked big time, no help on the road, not close to anything, some big-ass dogs trying to eat us in the dark...it took almost 4 hours and him spending a fortune at a truck stop, waking his brother -in-law up at 3 a.m. to drive 70 miles etc, to reinforce my belief in not skimping on trailer tires. I'll have to do some more up-to-date research I guess, but until now I would have sworn by the Marathons. They were also the most expensive....which is why so many people bought the cheapos or put car tires on their trailers.
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Old 06-03-2012, 02:31 PM   #20
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Marty, Marathons went downhill in quality when they stopped mfg them in the US/Canada. The common term for them in the RV world now is "China Bombs"...
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