To balance or not to balance ??

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PerroSucio

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I just purchased a set of Carlisle ST tires for my 26’ Dutchmen. I have a neighbour who swears by balancing the tires. I asked for the tires to be balanced, and they didn’t do it, citing the fact that trailer tires don’t require balancing. I‘ve been pulling travel trailers off and on for 30 years. Does anybody have any real life experience in this situation. I’m tempted to get my wife to drive while I ride in the trailer just to see how bad the vibrations are ? I personally think half of my travel trailer repair problems are from vibration? Gracias…..
 

alan6051964

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Apr 9, 2017
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Trailer tires can be balanced ?, but most shops will not do it, they will tell you what this shop said. either way, it won't hurt the tires if they aren't balanced ?, but it will improve the wear over the miles/years. if you really want them balanced ?, shop around, find a tire shop that will balance them. personally, i have pulled a few trailers in my life, and some were balanced when i got the trailer, and some were not ?, i could not tell the difference between them ?. i guess it boils down to a personal preference ?.
 

Rene T

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You know what it feels like in a car when one tire is out of balance. Imagine if all 4 were out of balance what it would feel like. IMHO, trailer tires are no different. I have always balanced them. I don’t know why a shop would not do them if they have the equipment. That’s a chance for them to make more $$$.
 

phil-t

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I recently purchased a new 7X16 enclosed trailer and had the seller balance the tires. He argued against it and I told him it was my money and there were other trailer dealers in the area. Asked him if he had ever ridden in a trailer - "no". Said, lets go for a test drive, you me will get in the trailer and you have a tech do the driving/hauling, then we balanced the tires and did another test drive - he changed his mind! Now recommending balancing and is balancing tires on all new units he gets.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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As they come from the tire factory, trailer tires aren't any less likely to be out-of-balance than a car tire. Trailer tires don't "require" balancing because it makes little difference in terms of steer & traction safety if they bounce around a bit, but they still run smoother and avoid some types of uneven wear if they are balanced. So yeah, it's probably worth the cost to balance RV trailer tires. One could debate the value for low-mileage trailers, e.g. 1-2 thousand miles/year, though. It's a financial decision, cost vs value. Make your own call.
 

TheBar

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The no-balance theory is about solid axle vs independent suspension. A solid axle inherently does not allow nearly as much "bounce" therefore balancing has much less effect. Same used to be said about not balancing tires on the rear axle of older cars and trucks. Many decades ago I had some bad rear tires that had to be balanced but with most tires I usually could not tell the difference. Nowadays many have coil springs and independent suspension in the rear axle and they need balancing for sure. Balancing will no doubt add "some" life to the tires and cut down on vibration but nowhere near what your thinking it would be like to have unbalanced tires on the front axle. Its doesn't cost much so I have all tires balanced these days and the front rebalanced when rotated. On our hot rods we always did burnouts to get the rear tires rounded out which did make a difference.
 

solarman

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Texas
Trailer tires can be balanced ?,
correct, they can..

but most shops will not do it
only in your neck of the woods, the last set of tires I purchased for my small TT from Discount Tire were balanced without me even asking.
, they will tell you what this shop said. either way, it won't hurt the tires if they aren't balanced ?, but it will improve the wear over the miles/years. if you really want them balanced ?, shop around, find a tire shop that will balance them. personally, i have pulled a few trailers in my life, and some were balanced when i got the trailer, and some were not ?, i could not tell the difference between them ?. i guess it boils down to a personal preference ?.
 

Babe2201

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234
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Walpole, NH
Tire balancing has nothing at all how your tires wear. It is all about ride comfort. I have sold a lot of them for almost 20 years and rarely balance them with no complaints at all. With the amount of weight on your travel trailer the little bit of vibration will not transfer to your tow vehicle.
 

Rene T

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Tire balancing has nothing at all how your tires wear. It is all about ride comfort. I have sold a lot of them for almost 20 years and rarely balance them with no complaints at all. With the amount of weight on your travel trailer the little bit of vibration will not transfer to your tow vehicle.
I thought a tire out of balance makes a tire cup
 

Rene T

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I just found this online about symptoms of unbalanced tires:

  • 1. Unusual Vibrations. Definitely, the most observable symptom of unbalanced tires is unusual vibration from your steering wheel.
  • 2. Difficulty in Steering Properly.
  • 3. Unequal Wearing of Tires.
  • 4. Consumption of More Fuel.
  • 5. Problems With Bearing and Bad Shocks.
 

PerroSucio

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Winnipeg, Manitoba
Tire balancing has nothing at all how your tires wear. It is all about ride comfort. I have sold a lot of them for almost 20 years and rarely balance them with no complaints at all. With the amount of weight on your travel trailer the little bit of vibration will not transfer to your tow vehicle.
I was more worried about the vibration from unbalanced tires vibrating loose nuts, bolts, screws, and wiring connections. Last year on this trailer I took in the factory Microwave because it quit working. The repair guy phoned me to tell me a wire came off it’s connector…..
 

Babe2201

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Walpole, NH
I just found this online about symptoms of unbalanced tires:

  • 1. Unusual Vibrations. Definitely, the most observable symptom of unbalanced tires is unusual vibration from your steering wheel.
  • 2. Difficulty in Steering Properly.
  • 3. Unequal Wearing of Tires.
  • 4. Consumption of More Fuel.
  • 5. Problems With Bearing and Bad Shocks.
That is fine. How many travel trailers have steering wheels? Go to a tire manufacturers web site and look at non warranty issues and cupping is caused by suspension issues. You are entitled to your opinion but I don't think a few ounces of weights on each tire is going to make a difference in a trailer. It is not going to transfer the way it does on a vehicle. It is definitely not going to wear out suspension parts or use any more fuel. I also have not seen where it wears tires unevenly. I replace hundreds of them a year. I do occasionally have a customer ask for it and I do it and charge my regular fee but I never push it even though I could make more money.
 

Babe2201

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Walpole, NH
I was more worried about the vibration from unbalanced tires vibrating loose nuts, bolts, screws, and wiring connections. Last year on this trailer I took in the factory Microwave because it quit working. The repair guy phoned me to tell me a wire came off it’s connector…..
I have put tires on vehicles that are being traded in 2 days later and the customer wanted to save money by not balancing them. The next time I saw them I asked how it rode and most said surprisingly not that bad. I have driven some and certainly was not enough vibration to do any of the damage mentioned. My guess is the loose wire from the microwave was the pounding on the road and a few wheel weights would not have helped.
 

phil-t

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Ogdensburg, NY
A lot of people wouldn't know tie imbalance if it was staring them in the face! Steer tires or not the imbalance causes wear on the tire and the suspension parts. Maybe imperceptable to/by most but the car/trailer parts "feel" it. I'll even go so far as to request "road balancing" on all my vehicle and trailer tires. Could not find anyone with the equipment to do the motorhome though.
 

Bearcatrp

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Jul 11, 2019
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Suggest using nitrogen in the tires to keep them at a stable temp. My 2 year old tires on my 5th wheel look almost new with this stuff after 2 years. Regular air expands and retracts allot. its worth the investment.
 
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