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Old 03-12-2011, 11:10 PM   #1
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Best fifth wheel tires

Hi , new to forum, not rving.First fifth wheel. Need to replace 7 year old tires.Currently have Good year wrangler E rated tires. Need advice on best brands to buy? Trailer gvwr is 15250. Would like to stay with existing steel rims. Is it possible to go upgrade to H or g rated tires? 30 ft New Horizons RLSSS.
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Old 03-13-2011, 07:57 AM   #2
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First things first - welcome to iRV2. We're glad to have you join us.

I can't believe you have E-rated tires on a 15,250 lb GVWR 5th wheel - unless, of course, you have triple axles. The Goodyear Wranger LT235/85R-16E tires I had on a previous 13,500 GVWR 5th wheel were only rated for 3042 lbs @ 80 PSIG so would only provide 6084 lbs of load carrying capacity per axle, or 12,168 lbs on a tandem axle 5th wheel. Even with 20% or so of the 5th wheel's loaded weight being applied to the truck as pin weight, these tires would be running right at the ragged edge of their load carrying capacity in your (assumed) tandem axle application. At 7 years of age, I'd say you're running on borrowed time.

Our tandem axle 5th wheel (see signature) has a 16,000 lb GVWR and came with G-rated Goodyear G614 RST tires (LT235/85R-16G) with a load carrying capacity of 3750 lbs @ 110 PSIG which provided a tire rating of 7,500 lbs per axle or 15,000 lbs total tire rating for 4 tires. Although these tires will physically replace the load range E tires of the same size, they DO require a special wheel rated for the higher pressures and loads.

Even with the G-rated Goodyears, we experienced two (2) tread separations within 3 months of each other as the original tires approached 3 years old. Goodyear paid to repair the $2500 damage to our 5th wheel from the second failure and replaced all 4 tires, but when the replacements were approaching 3 years of age and we were scheduled to make a July trip from Houston to Arizona, I bit the bullet and replaced these tires and wheels with a more capable setup.

We're now running 17.5" Michelin XTA load range J tires in 215/75R-17.5 size rated 4805 lbs @ 120 PSIG on aluminum wheels rated for this pressure and load. The 17.5" Michelins fit with no problem as they are actually slightly smaller in diameter than the 16" Goodyear G614s (30.5" for the Michelins; 30.8" for the Goodyears). We bought the tire and wheel package pre-mounted and balanced, with lug nuts and center caps, from Trailer Tires and Wheels and have been exceptionally happy with both the vendor and the tire/wheel packages. No problems whatsoever. Give Scott a call and talk your situation over with him.

If you stick with a LT235/85R-16E tire, I'd highly recommend the all-steel construction Michelin XPS Rib or, as a less expensive alternate, the BF Goodrich Commercial T/A.

Rusty
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Old 03-13-2011, 07:59 AM   #3
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Chances are, the wheels you have won't be rated for the psi of an H or G tire. If you want to talk to someone who changes out tires/wheels on fivers regularly, give Scott a call at www.trailertiresandwheels.com He puts together sets of tires/wheels and ships all over the country. I have Michelin J tires/wheels from him for 3 years now and really happy with them, but it will take a little knowledge of what you have now as to what you can upgrade to. Remember, with 20% of the GVWR on the truck, the tires on your trailer are only seeing about 12-12500lbs--divided by 4 is 3100lbs/tire and you should be good with an E running at 80lbs pressure--the E tires I had on my last truck were rated at 3402 each.
What is the max load rating of each tire currently?
EDIT: Rusty above answered in more detail and has made the same changeout on tires/wheels that I did.
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Old 03-13-2011, 09:14 AM   #4
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You've gotten some good advice, I'll just add that, what ever you do, do not get tires made in China!
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Old 03-13-2011, 10:27 AM   #5
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I used to be in exactly your situation. Our 5er has a GVW of 15,500#. Two 7,000# axles running 235/80R16, LR "E" tires. Never did wear one out, they came apart first. I switched to Sailun S627 LR "G" tires last fall http://www.sigmatires.com/catalogs/truck.pdf . My aluminum rims are stamped 100psi on the inside of the web, and that is what air pressure I run. Not many miles accumulated on them yet so I can''t say much more.
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Old 03-16-2011, 07:54 PM   #6
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You've gotten some good advice, I'll just add that, what ever you do, do not get tires made in China!
Other than being patriotic, Why do you say not to use tires made in China? For your info many major tire companies tires are made in China. Good Year, Michlin, and carlyle are 3 that I know of. Most trailer tire failures are caused by Driving to fast (over 60 MPH), underinflated tires, Overloaded tires, and tires that are to old 5 plus years or more. The only tire problems I have ever had in 50 years of RVing, were my fault. All 3 of my tire blowouts were caused by one or more of the above. All of the tires involved were made in the USA. I have had carlyle tires on 2 fivers. No problems. I had a 22,000 Lb Mtr HM with Double Coin (made in China tires. 44,000 Miles no problems.
Just my 02 cents worth.
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Old 03-16-2011, 09:16 PM   #7
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mhbell,
You will need to monitor several of the RV forums to acquire a general drift in them that tires originating in China (no matter the mfg name) have more blowout problems than those not made in China. That is what I have gathered from my looking at 4 of the more active forums.
And you say Michelin are made in China? I was not aware of that.
Is there a definitive study that verifies that China-made tires are more prone to problems than US-made tires--?? Don't know that answer.
Stay tuned, and look at the threads that involve tire problems and see how many have 'Chinese' somewhere in the post.
Joe
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Old 03-16-2011, 11:41 PM   #8
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mhbell,
You will need to monitor several of the RV forums to acquire a general drift in them that tires originating in China (no matter the mfg name) have more blowout problems than those not made in China. That is what I have gathered from my looking at 4 of the more active forums.
And you say Michelin are made in China? I was not aware of that.
Is there a definitive study that verifies that China-made tires are more prone to problems than US-made tires--?? Don't know that answer.
Stay tuned, and look at the threads that involve tire problems and see how many have 'Chinese' somewhere in the post.
Joe
Here are a couple of things to consider. Could it be that most of the tires on Trailers including goodyear and michlin are made in china? I have heard that all ST trailer tire no matter what brand name are made in china. A certain percentage of tires will fail no matter who makes them. I have been RVing for over 50 years and belong to several RV forums as well as a few truck forums. I find that most posts are from people who have had problems or are having problems. you hardly hear from those who are not having a problem. I still say that most tire problems are lack of care and maintenance. No matter what country they are made in.
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Old 03-17-2011, 06:30 AM   #9
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Your experience with Chinese-made tires is not typical. It's your money and your choice, so good luck with the rubber on your RV, but OEM Chinese tires supplied with many RVs have a much higher failure rate than, say, Michelins. Because most manufacturers skimp on tire and axle capacity, it's not unusual to see 5th wheel tires operating at 95% of their rated load - certainly a contributor to the abnormally high failure rate.

I've had tread separation failures over the past 20 years with Goodyear Marathons and Goodyear G614RSTs that came as OEM standard equipment on various 5th wheels. Another 5th wheel that came with Goodyear Wrangler HTs probably didn't experience any failures because I replaced them early in the game with Michelin XPS Ribs. By the way, both the Wrangler HT and G614 RST Goodyears are LT tires with the latter being trailer-specific. You'll find that most 16" 5th wheel tires carry the LT, not the ST designation, and larger tires (see below) carry neither.

Our current 5th wheel experienced 2 tread separations within 3 months of each other when the Goodyear G614s were approaching 3 years of age. Both failures were on ~80 degF days on the Interstate at speeds of ~62 MPH (the tires were rated for 75 MPH) with the pressures checked before pulling out that day. Contrary to your assertion, Goodyear admitted that the tires had a design/manufacturing problem, paid $2500 to repair the damage from the 2nd failure and replaced all 4 tires. The replacement G614s provided 3 years of uneventful service, but when faced with a July trip from the Texas Gulf Coast to Arizona, I decided not to push my luck and upgraded to 17.5" wheels with Michelin XTA load range J tires (rated 4805 lbs @ 120 PSIG).

I've never had a failure with any of the Michelins I've used on our 5th wheels, and none of them have been manufactured in China. Tires are one area where I refuse to "cheap out" - the investment in quality more than repays itself in peace of mind, as far as I'm concerned.

Rusty
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Old 03-17-2011, 12:10 PM   #10
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My post on the Chinese tires is based on being a long time 5th wheel/TT owner and member of a brand name forum where 95% of all tire problems are with Chinese tires. The experience I had was an odd wear pattern which turned out to be the tread separating. Been driving/towing for many years no tire problems except for that one. Most 5th wheel owners go to American/Japanese made LT tires rather than the Chinese STs. I went to Bridgestones and they did fine.
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Old 03-17-2011, 04:33 PM   #11
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I own and full time in a 2006 30' New Horizons 5'er that weighs 15,000 lbs with all my stuff in it and has a GVW of 17,500 Lbs. Last summer I had the second blowout on G614 G rated tires. I replaced them with 17.5" J rated Michelins. These four tires will carry 19,000 lbs. This is what you should use. IMHO all Rv's should have tires heavy enough to carry 125% of the GVW.
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Old 03-17-2011, 07:02 PM   #12
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Carlisle ST bias-ply tires are U.S. made. Want to know where your tires were made? http://www.tirelitigation.com/html/tirecodelist.html
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Old 03-17-2011, 11:37 PM   #13
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Carlisle ST bias-ply tires are U.S. made. Want to know where your tires were made? http://www.tirelitigation.com/html/tirecodelist.html
Thanks for the link. I have copied and pasted it in a folder.
Mel
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Old 03-18-2011, 11:58 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Ricky D View Post
Hi , new to forum, not rving.First fifth wheel. Need to replace 7 year old tires.Currently have Good year wrangler E rated tires. Need advice on best brands to buy? Trailer gvwr is 15250. Would like to stay with existing steel rims. Is it possible to go upgrade to H or g rated tires? 30 ft New Horizons RLSSS.
You have not provided enough information for any accurate recommendations. Have you always owned the trailer? The past owner could have just put some old truck tires on there for the sale. Where did you find the GVWR information? If it's posted somewhere on the trailer you may also have a tire placard that would depict the size tires that actually came on the trailer. If you cannot find any such information call the manufacturer and request the tire information for your year and model trailer. While at it also ask them for their recommendations.

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