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Author Topic: Tires  (Read 715 times)


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« on: July 01, 2017, 07:53:56 PM »
I have a new 5er, I have Westlake, ST238/85/R16 14 ply load range G tires rated on sidewall for 4400#. My trailer weighs about 14500#. I hear so much about "China Bombs" that I don't know what I should do.
I've checked other brands and they are not rated this high. Are the Westlake any good?
Recommend to change tires? they only made one trip so far, about 200 miles. They are made in China, are all China tires crap. These even game from factory with nitrogen.

Tom Hoffman

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Re: Tires
« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2017, 02:27:20 AM »
What year were they made I would surly thing you should get a couple of years out of them.  For ease of mind after my last years winter trip 3600 miles, will be getting tire pressure monitors.  Those tires are a long way back and a lot can happen before you even know you have a problem.
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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Tires
« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2017, 10:31:06 AM »
They are made in China, are all China tires crap.

No.   Chinese factories produce a lot of tires, some of them for major brands like Michelin and Goodyear. However, production procedures, materials and quality control can vary a lot, so the production line producing the Michelin may be doing a much better job than an adjacent one producing some off-brand label.  Even then, the off-brand may still be a decent tire for the money, though perhaps with a higher rate of unexpected failures.

I have no idea where the Westlake brand falls in terms of quality or track record. The claim to have their own manufacturing and not just a marketing label for unidentified factories, but they seem to be best known for bicycle tires and commercial bias plies.  It's a fair bet that the RV manufacturer chose them for their low cost rather than any other feature or quality.

Personally, I would use them without worrying overmuch but keep an eye on them, as you would (or should, anyway) on any trailer tire. Make sure the inflation is kept up where it needs to be (usually max on an ST tire for any RV)
Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL


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Re: Tires
« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2017, 01:53:49 PM »
The Westlake brand got into the RV trailer OEM tire market about 4-5 years ago. Like almost all other trailer tires made in China they have early failures reported against them.

Early ST tire failures are not now or in the past, uncommon. The fitment regulations for RV trailer tires do not require them to have any load capacity reserves. Couple that with most RV trailers having more cargo space than needed. Owners tend to load them to the max. ST tires are notorious for failing early when stressed with loads close to their capabilities.

Your Westlake tires provide much more than just adequate load capacity reserves. Inflated to the recommended inflation pressures they should give you years of good service. (Trailer tires are not mileage tires. they are age out tires. Of course the can be worn out, but not often).
DOD RET Journeyman Aircraft Mechanic


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Re: Tires
« Reply #4 on: July 02, 2017, 06:40:01 PM »
To add to Eagle's comments,

For a 14,500# GVWR  FW, 2900# of that is pin wt., leaving  11,600# on the axles.  With 4400# tires, that is 17,600# capacity.

My guess is that is DRY wt, which is a worthless weight.  My guess is the GVWR is 18,000#.  This is a 3600# pin wt, leaving 14,400# on the axles.

Either way, there is a very large excess capacity on the tires, which is quite unusual for a manufacturer to not use the smallest possible tires.
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Sandhill Guy

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Re: Tires
« Reply #5 on: July 02, 2017, 06:51:45 PM »
I agree with a previous commenter that a good tire pressure monitor is probably the best protection if you stay with the Westlakes. I follow the Grand Design discussion pages that frequently discuss Westlake tires which are used on Grand Design 5th wheels. Many people say they have had few problems with them. I wanted to upgrade and I desided to change them out to Maxxis tires after a year.
Doug and Barbara
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Re: Tires
« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2017, 10:49:35 PM »
I agree with a previous commenter that a good tire pressure monitor is probably the best protection if you stay with the Westlakes.

That is the case with any manufacturer really, if you plan to travel a lot.  Based on this forum and my own experiences, it's a pretty sure thing that if you own/drive an RV long enough... you WILL deal with a roadside tire blowout at some point.  ;)  These rigs are often riding on tires that are constantly near/at their max weight limit, compared to cars that usually have thousands of pounds to spare.

As Gary mentioned, many (and probably most) tires are made in part or whole with Chinese components/labor these days.  They are not automatically junk, or nobody would ever buy them and the companies would be out of business.  You haven't heard of many of the brands because they don't spend billions on advertising in the U.S., as the more "classic" tire makers still do (which is primarily why they cost more to buy).
Scott, wife, 3 boys... and the dog
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Re: Tires
« Reply #7 on: July 03, 2017, 10:12:43 PM »
I have a Grand Design 27ft TT with Westlake tires. It appears all Grand Design trailers 5ers' or TT's have Westlake tires on them. I am on the GD Forum all the time, and while a few people have had a issue with this tire, mine are D rated which is better than most trailers my weight receives and if you take care of them (keep inflated to the recommended PSI) and don't overload or go faster than the rated speed you should be fine. I have approx 5K miles on mine and they have very little tire ware. I was considering changing to another brand, however these have preformed well so far.
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