My parents bought a 2006 Cardinal 34TS, which is 37' long with a GVW of 14,410 lbs., and it has 6k lbs. axles. It came from the factory with aluminum wheels and Kenda Karrier ST235/80-16 tires rated to 3,500 lbs.@90 PSI. (Also, the aluminum wheels are rated to 3,100 lbs. @ 80 PSI.) I replaced those tires in 2011 with Bridgestone Duravis R250's in the LT245/75R16 size. After some local miles and an uneventful (at least tire-wise), ~3,000 mile trip last summer, we now have about 3,500 miles on the tires, and we have had no problems so far. I'm not promoting anything, just conveying my experience.
Maybe I misread the long tire thread started by Capriracer, but I recall it being suggested that ST tires be loaded to only 85%-88% of rated capacity to maintain a safety margin, or "reserve". If that's the case, then a ST235/80-16 tire, with a rated capacity of 3,420 lbs. @80 PSI, should be loaded to only 2,907 lbs.-3,009 lbs. to maintain a margin of safety. The LT tires I used are rated to 3,042 lbs. @ 80 PSI (at 99 MPH, also).
Your camping options will be determined by the weather at that time. As far as camping in the parks is concerned, you'll probably be limited to Azalea at Grant Grove in Kings Canyon (snow on ground will be determinant) and Lodgepole in Sequoia. There will be no dump stations available up high during the winter and early spring; you'll have to drive down to the mobile home park across from the Hume Lake Ranger Station to dump your tanks.
National Forest camping opens around May 31, depending on snow levels. Big Meadows is our preference, and it will be the last to open as its elevation is ~7700ft. There are five camping units in Big Meadows. There are no designated individual campsites and no piped water. We disperse camp outside the units with our 37ft 5er.
The campground in Three Rivers mentioned by some is a good choice if you mostly prefer to visit Sequoia NP. I believe it's right around 1,000ft in elevation, so it'll be comfortable.
Last year, I installed LT245/75R16 LRE tires on our Cardinal 34TS 5er. It has a GVW of 14,410 lbs. on a pair of 6k axles. I went with the 245's over the 235's because I was more comfortable with the distance between the front and rear tires the 245's would yield. Before I made the decision, I checked wheel well clearances inboard and outboard of the tires, as well as in front of and behind them. I checked the distance between the wheels and the suspension components, also.
This past summer, we took a 3,000+ mile trip around the northwestern states. I bought a tpms before the trip to help monitor the pressures and temperatures as we traveled. We didn't have a single problem related to the tires. They even performed well during a heckuva downpour in eastern Idaho. The tpms showed that the PSI and temp were very even across all four tires. (Also, the tire pressure gauge I carry in the pickup was within ~2PSI of the tpms sensors.)
For the trip, my GCW was ~21,500 lbs. with ~10,700 lbs. on the axles. I don't know the individual weights of the TV and 5er as I didn't have a chance to separate the combo.
I replaced ST235/80-16 tires on our 5er with LT245/75R16's last year. I opted for the 245's as I have tire spacing concerns as well and mounted them on the original 6" wide aluminum wheels. For me, after ~3k miles this summer, the wheel width is not an issue. Just make sure you have enough room in the wheel well for the added width of the tire.
Dorst Creek Campground will close just after Labor Day. Hunting season will be opening soon, and the FS campgrounds will be filling up with hunters on opening weekend. Deer and bear seasons in this zone open on 9/22 or 9/29.
You'll be able to camp at Lodgepole, possibly Stony Creek, and Big Meadows all depending on weather. Azalea will be open for a while.
As stated, you will have to come up to the parks via Hwy 180.
Again, what you want to do/see will determine where you want to camp.
I replaced the original tires on a Cardinal 34TS 5er last year with Bridgestone R250's in LT245/75R16 size. This year, we were finally able to take a decent trip with the trailer. We covered about 3,000 miles on this trip with a mix of Interstate and two-lane highway driving in temperatures ranging from the low 50's *F to just over 100*F.
The tires performed flawlessly with tire temps rising, at most, only about 10-12*F over ambient temps (per TST 507 tpms), and that was while driving that turd of a road commonly known as HWY99 (and I5 from above Shasta to Sacramento to a lesser degree) in temps ranging from 95-102*F. Most of the trip saw tire temps at <8*F over ambient.
The tires tracked well and carried the 5er nicely even while driving 10 miles over a somewhat washboard gravel road.
I'm satisfied with their performance so far.
We have Verizon, and we get good service in Grant Grove. Anywhere else between there and Sequoia is spotty. We get signal bars wherever there is a view of the valley, but getting connected is hit or miss.
For what it's worth, we get service (it's weak) at a couple places just past the first gate on the way into Big Meadows.
If you want to take your 5er into the parks, you'll have to use the HWY180 entrance to get there. Once up there, there are numerous options for camping, you just need to decide what you want to do. Lodgepole and Dorst Creek campgrounds (elevations for both are around 6500') are in Sequoia NP, are paved, and have restrooms and water (not at each site). I don't know about Lodgepole, but Dorst Creek will fill up, probably by midday Friday, if not sooner. Your options really open up if you don't mind Forest Service campgrounds. We like to stay near Big Meadows (~7500') because it doesn't get too hot during the day, and it cools down nicely in the evenings. Depending on the length of our stay, we can drive over to Dorst Creek to dump our tanks and fill our water (both are free).
The area of Kings Canyon profdant139 is referring to is called Cedar Grove. It'll take you more than an hour to drive there from Grant Grove. It's a beautiful area (somewhat like a small version of Yosemite), but the elevation down there is ~4300', and it gets hot. The temperatures are expected to be 103*-105* down in the valley this weekend, so the lower elevations are going to be very nearly that hot. You'll be more comfortable staying at the higher elevations. Have fun!
I guess it's a little late now, but if you're wanting to camp at the higher elevations, you'll have to come up HWY180 through the Kings Canyon entrance. HWY198 above Three Rivers is a no go with a trailer that size.
They have an introductory price on the flow thru right now. The 507 system with 4 flow thru for $259. incl. shipping. Mine should be here Friday!!!
I just received mine last Wednesday (same sweet deal). They're mounted and seem to work well. The setup was easy. I was concerned about the sensors sticking out past the tire, but they're not too bad...about 1/4". I think I will get some adapters like Myakka TT linked above.
These sensors are longer then my original TST sensors and actually stick outside the tire about 1/8". I am contimplating using a 90 degree
adapter like for a dually.
I was thinking about the same thing for my setup to keep the sensors tucked in close to the wheel. Let us know how it works for you.
Keep in mind there is still road construction between the Ash Mountain entrance and Giant Forest in Sequoia NP; there could be some long delays. Also, August is still a hot month here, and daytime temperatures can still be in the 100's even at the lower elevations. I recommend using the HWY 180 entrance and staying at one of the several high elevation campgrounds. You will fit into most of the campgrounds with a 35' 5er.