Recommendations for tire brands

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gtown

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May 29, 2006
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My 24 ft fifth wheel has Goodyear Marathon tires that I suspect are original equipment, and the trailer is a '96 model.  (No, I didn't keep 'em on this long, I just bought the trailer last summer!)  Anyhow, browsing across the internet, I've really read some horror stories about Goodyear Marathons, and there doesn't appear to be any other well-known manufacturer that makes travel trailer tires.  I found a few references to brands that sounded Chinese or Japanese, but none that I'd heard of except Goodyear.

Can any of you folks recommend any alternative brands, or are the complaints about the Goodyears overblown?  In any case, I don't want to take off from Ohio toward Texas on ten year old tires.

John in SW Ohio
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Nearly all tire manufacturers make trailer tires - ask for ST service rated tires (ST stands for Trailer Service - yeah, I know its backwards).  But you don't have to have a trailer tire - any tire with a suitable load rating will work fine and perhaps even better. Light truck tires (Service LT) are available in a variety of sizes and are generally less expensive than trailer (ST) tires because the production volume is higher and the market more price competitive. P-metric passenger car tires will also work fine if you can find the appropriate load rating.

The ST designation a tire means that it can only be used on a trailer, whereas LT and P rated tires can be used on car, trucks and trailers.

Look at your existing tire's sidewall and get the load rating information. It will either say something like "Load Range C" or give a maximum weight carrying capabilit at some given inflation, e.g. "2850 lbs at 60 psi". Many tires have both ratings.  Buy a tire that is equal or greater in load capacity.

I've heard that Goodyear has changed the composition of the Marathon trailer tire, but  I can understand why you want to avoid taking any chances.
 

Shayne

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For any trailer I would suggest, if you can, stay away from Carlisle tires. Everyone that I know of that has had or has them is and was dissatisfied.  Where there's smok there's fire.  I've had them and tweren't happy MCGee>
 

gtown

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May 29, 2006
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RV Roamer wrote:

"Nearly all tire manufacturers make trailer tires"


I haven't found this to be true, at least in the size I need (ST205/75R15)? So far I've found Goodyear, Carlisle, Maxxim, and Green Dot.? Never heard of the last two 'til now.

RV Roamer continued:

"But you don't have to have a trailer tire - any tire with a suitable load rating will work fine and perhaps even better. Light truck tires (Service LT) are available in a variety of sizes and are generally less expensive than trailer (ST) tires because the production volume is higher and the market more price competitive. P-metric passenger car tires will also work fine if you can find the appropriate load rating."

From my search, Light Truck (LT) tires in 15" size start at 235mm width, a considerably larger tire which requires a wider rim than the 205mm tire spec'ed for my trailer.

RV Roamer continued"

"Look at your existing tire's sidewall and get the load rating information. It will either say something like "Load Range C" or give a maximum weight carrying capabilit at some given inflation, e.g. "2850 lbs at 60 psi". Many tires have both ratings.? Buy a tire that is equal or greater in load capacity."

Agreed.? Problem is, I haven't been able to find any load range C tires in 205/75R15 except the ST's, and those only from the ones I listed above.


RV Roamer concluded:

"I've heard that Goodyear has changed the composition of the Marathon trailer tire, but? I can understand why you want to avoid taking any chances."

That would surely be good news if Goodyear has indeed addressed the problems that others have had with their Marathons.? Thanks for your reply.? I guess I should have specified the tire size I'm looking for in my original post.

John in SW Ohio
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Yeah, 205 is a bit skinny for a truck tire. Michelin has a LT215/75R15C, though, in their LTX M/S line. Probably others too.

But check the actual weight carring capacity, xxxx lbs @ yy psi.  Often a P-series tire can carry the load, even though it does not have a LR C rating. Load range does not have a fixed relationship to weight in lbs - the range letters indicate reallive capacity for a particular line of tires.  So one make/model of tire with an A range might carry as much load as another make/model in a C range. That's why they mostly use the actual lb rangs these days.

I'm guessing your tires are in the 1400-1500 lb range and it should not be difficult to find a 205 radial that will carry 1400-1500 lbs. But maybe I am underestimating what you now have...might be as high as 1850 lbs.

Cooper makes ST tires. Loadstar is another brand.

http://shop.easternmarine.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=catalog.catalog&categoryID=163
 

blueblood

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gtown said:
My 24 ft fifth wheel has Goodyear Marathon tires that I suspect are original equipment, and the trailer is a '96 model.? (No, I didn't keep 'em on this long, I just bought the trailer last summer!)? Anyhow, browsing across the internet, I've really read some horror stories about Goodyear Marathons, and there doesn't appear to be any other well-known manufacturer that makes travel trailer tires.? I found a few references to brands that sounded Chinese or Japanese, but none that I'd heard of except Goodyear.

Can any of you folks recommend any alternative brands, or are the complaints about the Goodyears overblown?? In any case, I don't want to take off from Ohio toward Texas on ten year old tires.

John in SW Ohio

The GY Marathon are good TT tires (GY also uses the Marathon name for LHS tires which are not for TT) and yes there are some horror stories on the net. However, it is impossible to know how they were treated i.e. undersized, underinflated, stored on ground causing rusting of steel belts and failure, not UV protected, oversped, etc.  They have twin steel belts and a polyester body. The tread design is shaped to ensure the tire center rib is in good road contact. The new design part is I believe simply a re-compounding to improve its energy efficiency. I don't know how many miles whoever owned TT before but if he got 10 years that sounds like a good endorsement.
 

gtown

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Continuing our discussion of RV trailer tires, RV Roamer offered up:

"I'm guessing your tires are in the 1400-1500 lb range and it should not be difficult to find a 205 radial that will carry 1400-1500 lbs. But maybe I am underestimating what you now have...might be as high as 1850 lbs."

My 205/75R15C's are rated 1820 lbs.  This seems (to me) to cut things pretty thin!  See if you agree with my math:  My TT's rated gross weight (which I'm assuming is the trailer, water, and all my stuff) is 6000#.  Assuming 15% of that is on my kingpin, that leaves 5100# to be shared among my four tires, or 1275# per tire.  (TT has tandem axles).  That leaves about a 43% reserve to handle impacts,  cornering loads, etc.  Probably enough, but certainly not an excessive safety margin.

As for the other poster's comment that ten years is a pretty good endorsement for the Goodyear Marathons, I can only respond, "Maybe so, maybe not!"  We bought the TT last summer, and it looked like it had hardly ever been used.  The interior is like new.  I think it spent most of its time in storage.  We were really looking for something newer, but when we saw the condition of this unit, its price was just too good to pass up.  We've already made a 1200 mile trip on the old tires, not knowing that we were really treading on thin ice.  (Ignorance is bliss, we hadn't hooked up with this forum yet, so we took off down the road, fat, dumb, and happy with ten year old tires and a truck radiator that was about 90% blocked)

Lady luck was smiling, and we completed the trip without incident, other than a truck that ran kinda warm!

Thanks for the reply, and for the info that Cooper makes ST tires.  They've got a distribution center local to me, so I'll check on their offerings.  I really appreciate all the info I've been able to glean from this forum.  There's a wealth if info available here, and it's pretty easy to see who's "shooting from the hip" and who's "been there, done that" 


Thanks again, folks

John is SW Ohio


 

Gary RV_Wizard

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My 205/75R15C's are rated 1820 lbs.  This seems (to me) to cut things pretty thin!  See if you agree with my math:  My TT's rated gross weight (which I'm assuming is the trailer, water, and all my stuff) is 6000#.  Assuming 15% of that is on my kingpin, that leaves 5100# to be shared among my four tires, or 1275# per tire.  (TT has tandem axles).  That leaves about a 43% reserve to handle impacts,  cornering loads, etc.  Probably enough, but certainly not an excessive safety margin.

You do not have to add a margin to the carrying capacity for cornering, etc. That has already been factored in the rating and an 1820 lb tire will carry 1820 lbs under all "normal operating conditions". Obviously road hazards can still occur, but it's safe to operate with tires that are within about 10% of your actual load.  I say 10% because loads may grow while tires do not and also because there is often a side-to-side load imbalance on an axle such that one end is always carrying more of the weight than the other. It's best to weigh the rig side by side to discover just what the max weight on each tire really is. But allowing a 10% margin should cover that on a travel trailer.

As for the other poster's comment that ten years is a pretty good endorsement for the Goodyear Marathons, I can only respond, "Maybe so, maybe not!"  We bought the TT last summer, and it looked like it had hardly ever been used.  The interior is like new.  I think it spent most of its time in storage.

Tires deteriorate whether in use or in storage. They actually deteriorate somewhat faster if unused, because motion (flexing) helps distribute the chemicals in the ruber that keep the tire "alive". The conventional wisdom is that a tire is dead by the age of 7, regardless of wear, cracking, usage, whatever.  A 7 year old tire will fail, often catastrophically,within just a few thousand miles of normal use, e.g. driving down the highway on a warm summer day.

 

gtown

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May 29, 2006
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RV Roamer said:
Tires deteriorate whether in use or in storage. They actually deteriorate somewhat faster if unused, because motion (flexing) helps distribute the chemicals in the ruber that keep the tire "alive". The conventional wisdom is that a tire is dead by the age of 7, regardless of wear, cracking, usage, whatever.? A 7 year old tire will fail, often catastrophically,within just a few thousand miles of normal use, e.g. driving down the highway on a warm summer day.

Yes, that's why I want to replace my 10 year old tires before making any trips this season. Thanks to this group, I found out the "why" before having a catastrophic failure out on the road. 

John in SW Ohio
 

debbieb

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Jul 22, 2006
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Just experienced a bad blow out and damage to the trailer.  You know by reading although too late, Kendra tires made from China are known to blow. All those tires need to be shreaded and off the road. I bought the trailer new two years ago and you would think new trailer, new tires, no problem.
 

rbell

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There is some good reading about tire care on Goodyears web site. I had a blowout with a 4 year old Goodyear Marathon. After reading everything I could find and talking to tire people I sorta believe it was from the way I stored them during storage season even though I'd always been careful about pressure when using them.
 

Tinner

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May 29, 2006
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Holland, Texas
Before I would buy ST tires I would consider LT tires.  They have stronger sidewalls and are all around better tires.
 
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