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Open Roads Forum  >  Tech Issues

 > Replacing Trailer Tires

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Francesca Knowles

Port Hadlock, Washington

Senior Member

Joined: 02/23/2011

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Posted: 02/21/12 06:57pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Expanding a bit on my earlier post that it's best to go to a tire place you trust and follow their advice:

This is based on my own experience, and due to having a very longstanding relationship with the same tire provider for ALL our vehicles, from wheelbarrows to farm machinery to cars to trailers- you name it.

I also trust my local RV repair outfit, who in fact correctly diagnosed handling problems with my (then new to me) trailer as being caused mostly by it having the wrong (though brand new) tires installed on it when I bought it.
They sent me to my local (Les Schwab) tire man, who fitted the trailer with tires correct for MY application. That first set aged out of service and has been replaced by a second set. Over five years and 30,000 miles I haven't had the slightest problem with them.
By the way, they're made in Korea.

I realize that not everyone has the benefit of these kinds of local relationships, but for those that do, they're the best place to go for advice as to what to put on your trailer.

Meanwhile...

JanVanDen wrote:

I am getting nervous now.. American or foreign? radial or bias? 8 ply or 10 ply? Our trailer is a 26 ft travel trailer and it tows beautifully on our f150. Should I just get the same kind of tires? I am so confused...

If you're in a frame of mind where you're willing to become even MORE confused...
There's another thread discussion going on right now that's over 26 pages long, where folks are posting all kinds of theories and opinions on this subject.
Separating the wheat from the chaff is an uphill climb, but there are some nuggets of good information there!


" Not every mind that wanders is lost. " With apologies to J.R.R. Tolkien

ExRocketScientist

Laurel, MD

Senior Member

Joined: 11/11/2010

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Posted: 02/22/12 05:25am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Francesca Knowles wrote:

Expanding a bit on my earlier post that it's best to go to a tire place you trust and follow their advice:

This is based on my own experience, and due to having a very longstanding relationship with the same tire provider for ALL our vehicles, from wheelbarrows to farm machinery to cars to trailers- you name it.

I also trust my local RV repair outfit, who in fact correctly diagnosed handling problems with my (then new to me) trailer as being caused mostly by it having the wrong (though brand new) tires installed on it when I bought it.
They sent me to my local (Les Schwab) tire man, who fitted the trailer with tires correct for MY application. That first set aged out of service and has been replaced by a second set. Over five years and 30,000 miles I haven't had the slightest problem with them.
By the way, they're made in Korea.

I realize that not everyone has the benefit of these kinds of local relationships, but for those that do, they're the best place to go for advice as to what to put on your trailer.

Meanwhile...

JanVanDen wrote:

I am getting nervous now.. American or foreign? radial or bias? 8 ply or 10 ply? Our trailer is a 26 ft travel trailer and it tows beautifully on our f150. Should I just get the same kind of tires? I am so confused...

If you're in a frame of mind where you're willing to become even MORE confused...
There's another thread discussion going on right now that's over 26 pages long, where folks are posting all kinds of theories and opinions on this subject.
Separating the wheat from the chaff is an uphill climb, but there are some nuggets of good information there!

Curious as to what tires were the wrong tires that caused handling problems. Don't hear too many cases of where handling problems are caused by the tires on a trailer, so this information might be helpful to someone who has been scratching their head.


ERS

Francesca Knowles

Port Hadlock, Washington

Senior Member

Joined: 02/23/2011

View Profile



Posted: 02/22/12 12:56pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

ExRocketScientist wrote:

Francesca Knowles wrote:



I also trust my local RV repair outfit, who in fact correctly diagnosed handling problems with my (then new to me) trailer as being caused mostly by it having the wrong (though brand new) tires installed on it when I bought it.
They sent me to my local (Les Schwab) tire man, who fitted the trailer with tires correct for MY application. That first set aged out of service and has been replaced by a second set. Over five years and 30,000 miles I haven't had the slightest problem with them.
By the way, they're made in Korea.

I realize that not everyone has the benefit of these kinds of local relationships, but for those that do, they're the best place to go for advice as to what to put on your trailer.

Curious as to what tires were the wrong tires that caused handling problems. Don't hear too many cases of where handling problems are caused by the tires on a trailer, so this information might be helpful to someone who has been scratching their head.

You've probably heard of this kind of situation, though hopefully only rarely...it's a classic case.

The P.O. had taken the rims to Walmart and had new tires mounted, probably (and innocently) without mentioning that they were for a trailer.
When I bought the it, the tires on it were brand new. The first time I took it out and got up above 40mph it started swaying badly.
This being my first travel trailer, I knew little about towing, but enough-or so I thought- to self-diagnose that I needed some kind of sway control device.
I turned around and went straight back to my local RV guy (30 years in business: NOT a dealership). He took one look at the tires and said that while he'd be happy to fix me up with whatever I wanted to buy, in his opinion the main cause of the sway was the fact that the tires installed were passenger car tires, and being designed for that use were much too "flabby" for use on a trailer.
Until that moment I had no idea that other than size and perhaps number of layers there was any difference whatsoever between vehicle tires, except size of course.
He advised me to go to my tire man and get the trailer fitted with tires designed for the application.

I did, and the difference was as between night and day. Problem solved! So dramatically, in fact, that I've never had to install a mechanical sway control system.

* This post was edited 02/22/12 01:07pm by Francesca Knowles *

ExRocketScientist

Laurel, MD

Senior Member

Joined: 11/11/2010

View Profile



Posted: 02/22/12 03:17pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Francesca Knowles wrote:

ExRocketScientist wrote:

Francesca Knowles wrote:



I also trust my local RV repair outfit, who in fact correctly diagnosed handling problems with my (then new to me) trailer as being caused mostly by it having the wrong (though brand new) tires installed on it when I bought it.
They sent me to my local (Les Schwab) tire man, who fitted the trailer with tires correct for MY application. That first set aged out of service and has been replaced by a second set. Over five years and 30,000 miles I haven't had the slightest problem with them.
By the way, they're made in Korea.

I realize that not everyone has the benefit of these kinds of local relationships, but for those that do, they're the best place to go for advice as to what to put on your trailer.

Curious as to what tires were the wrong tires that caused handling problems. Don't hear too many cases of where handling problems are caused by the tires on a trailer, so this information might be helpful to someone who has been scratching their head.

You've probably heard of this kind of situation, though hopefully only rarely...it's a classic case.

The P.O. had taken the rims to Walmart and had new tires mounted, probably (and innocently) without mentioning that they were for a trailer.
When I bought the it, the tires on it were brand new. The first time I took it out and got up above 40mph it started swaying badly.
This being my first travel trailer, I knew little about towing, but enough-or so I thought- to self-diagnose that I needed some kind of sway control device.
I turned around and went straight back to my local RV guy (30 years in business: NOT a dealership). He took one look at the tires and said that while he'd be happy to fix me up with whatever I wanted to buy, in his opinion the main cause of the sway was the fact that the tires installed were passenger car tires, and being designed for that use were much too "flabby" for use on a trailer.
Until that moment I had no idea that other than size and perhaps number of layers there was any difference whatsoever between vehicle tires, except size of course.
He advised me to go to my tire man and get the trailer fitted with tires designed for the application.

I did, and the difference was as between night and day. Problem solved! So dramatically, in fact, that I've never had to install a mechanical sway control system.

The passenger car tires seem to cause more problems on the higher profile units like yours. I ran two mismatched used passenger car tires on a pup once until the rusty wheels just wouldn't hold air anymore. Never a problem. Back in the 70s, the tires they had for trailers were essentially the same as passenger car tires. I remember sway was a big issue on TTs as small as 17 feet. These days, the transporters leave the factories in Indiana towing stuff in excess of 30 feet with no weight distribution or sway control without problems.

Francesca Knowles

Port Hadlock, Washington

Senior Member

Joined: 02/23/2011

View Profile



Posted: 02/22/12 05:03pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

ExRocketScientist wrote:

Francesca Knowles wrote:

I knew little about towing, but enough-or so I thought- to self-diagnose that I needed some kind of sway control device.
I turned around and went straight back to my local RV guy (30 years in business: NOT a dealership). He took one look at the tires and said that while he'd be happy to fix me up with whatever I wanted to buy, in his opinion the main cause of the sway was the fact that the tires installed were passenger car tires, and being designed for that use were much too "flabby" for use on a trailer.

The passenger car tires seem to cause more problems on the higher profile units like yours. I ran two mismatched used passenger car tires on a pup once until the rusty wheels just wouldn't hold air anymore. Never a problem. Back in the 70s, the tires they had for trailers were essentially the same as passenger car tires. I remember sway was a big issue on TTs as small as 17 feet. These days, the transporters leave the factories in Indiana towing stuff in excess of 30 feet with no weight distribution or sway control without problems.

Why- thank you VERY much, Kind Sir!
I'm used to my 1978 Trillium being called "Higher Class"...
but believe it or not, no one has ever called it "Higher Profile" to boot!

Pleased to hear that transporters also use/need no "sway control" devices...preventing its occurrence seems to me to be so much more sensible than attempting to "control" it once it occurs!

ExRocketScientist

Laurel, MD

Senior Member

Joined: 11/11/2010

View Profile



Posted: 02/22/12 05:32pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Francesca Knowles wrote:

ExRocketScientist wrote:

Francesca Knowles wrote:

I knew little about towing, but enough-or so I thought- to self-diagnose that I needed some kind of sway control device.
I turned around and went straight back to my local RV guy (30 years in business: NOT a dealership). He took one look at the tires and said that while he'd be happy to fix me up with whatever I wanted to buy, in his opinion the main cause of the sway was the fact that the tires installed were passenger car tires, and being designed for that use were much too "flabby" for use on a trailer.

The passenger car tires seem to cause more problems on the higher profile units like yours. I ran two mismatched used passenger car tires on a pup once until the rusty wheels just wouldn't hold air anymore. Never a problem. Back in the 70s, the tires they had for trailers were essentially the same as passenger car tires. I remember sway was a big issue on TTs as small as 17 feet. These days, the transporters leave the factories in Indiana towing stuff in excess of 30 feet with no weight distribution or sway control without problems.

Why- thank you VERY much, Kind Sir!
I'm used to my 1978 Trillium being called "Higher Class"...
but believe it or not, no one has ever called it "Higher Profile" to boot!

Pleased to hear that transporters also use/need no "sway control" devices...preventing its occurrence seems to me to be so much more sensible than attempting to "control" it once it occurs!

Definitely preventing it is 1000 times better than stopping it once it starts for sure.

BTW: I hope you don't park like that on a regular basis. There are a few unkind people out there that will pull in right behind your trailer. I'm sure you don't want to go curb hopping. The trick is (especially where you have a curb at the end of the row -- which makes this trick even better) to have the trailer like you have it, but the tow vehicle cocked at an angle heading out of the space and the front end only halfway into the parking space. With your unit, you should be able to pull right out. Worse case, you start pulling out to get the front of your trailer away from the curb, then go back in reverse and jacknife the tow vehicle and trailer as much as you can, then pull out again. It's not a nice thing to do with a tandem axle trailer, and on TTs like yours, you have to be careful that you don't hit the tongue with the corner of your tow vehicle bumper (I use the GOAL method -- Get Out And Look), but it will certainly get you out of the jam. I've had to do it once with the fiver.

Francesca Knowles

Port Hadlock, Washington

Senior Member

Joined: 02/23/2011

View Profile



Posted: 02/22/12 07:06pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

No worries!

The shot posted is of the VIP spot at the Coos Bay Oregon Campus of that most exclusive of "Class ALL Only" Resorts: Camp Walmart!
As you can see, they provided me with a (small but vicious) Security Dog to block entry to the git-gone spot directly behind the rig.
As an added Courtesy and perhaps only in my honor, the next spot off-camera to the right was temporarily occupied by a Walmart Employee who was sleeping in his car!

It's good to be me...

ExRocketScientist

Laurel, MD

Senior Member

Joined: 11/11/2010

View Profile



Posted: 02/23/12 05:17am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Francesca Knowles wrote:

No worries!

The shot posted is of the VIP spot at the Coos Bay Oregon Campus of that most exclusive of "Class ALL Only" Resorts: Camp Walmart!
As you can see, they provided me with a (small but vicious) Security Dog to block entry to the git-gone spot directly behind the rig.
As an added Courtesy and perhaps only in my honor, the next spot off-camera to the right was temporarily occupied by a Walmart Employee who was sleeping in his car!

It's good to be me...

I had noticed the dog. Not sure if he/she could hold their own against someone who has a mean spirit in their heart and several thousand pounds of steel, rubber, plastic, and glass. But I'll take your word for it.

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