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View Poll Results: Replace or not?
Do it! 15 37.50%
Not really necessary. 25 62.50%
Voters: 40. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 03-31-2012, 06:11 PM   #1
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Let's play 'Replace or Not Replace' (tires)

TowMax tires on a fifth wheel, ST-235/80R-16E. Date code of mid-2009, still have lots of tread left, no visible signs of deterioration. I also use a TPM system.

Going to be leaving later this year for what we hope will be a long (at least one year) trip. Something is gnawing at me that says spend the money and change out the tires (I've experienced what a blowout can do, not pretty.) OTOH they will be only 3 years old at that point and in seemingly good condition. What say ye?

And if I replace... with what? There isn't a single tire brand that isn't described multiple times as 'junk' in various threads. I guess there are no good tires made anywhere on the planet anymore?
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Old 03-31-2012, 06:18 PM   #2
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Old 03-31-2012, 06:29 PM   #3
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3 years isnt old enough to warrant a change
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Old 03-31-2012, 06:33 PM   #4
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If you do decide to replace them, consider replacing them with LT tires. We ran Maxxis LT tires on our last fifth wheel and they performed flawlessly. Our current fifth wheel has GY Marathons on it and they are 4 years old. They will be getting replaced with LT tires ASAP.
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Old 03-31-2012, 07:20 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EMD_Driver View Post
If you do decide to replace them, consider replacing them with LT tires. We ran Maxxis LT tires on our last fifth wheel and they performed flawlessly. Our current fifth wheel has GY Marathons on it and they are 4 years old. They will be getting replaced with LT tires ASAP.
I see a lot of this but I have a hard time overlooking the fact that virtually every tire and trailer manufacturer recommends using ST tires. And so far my OEM tires have performed flawlessly (meaning they roll down the road and haven't blown up yet ) I want to keep an open mind though... did you have any blowouts with the Marathons? Why do you feel that the Maxxis are a better choice? And FWIW (and it isn't much because all of this is anecdotal) I've seen blowout reports on Maxxis too...

It seems to me that probably the main reason for the high incidence of towable tire failure is simply that they are often run near or at their limits for their entire life, which would be rare for an automotive or light truck tire. Hence my thought that the best thing you can do is just keep 'em young.
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Old 03-31-2012, 09:29 PM   #6
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Do a google on ST tires or Marathons ST tires you will have hundreds of pages of issues with these tires. And not just from RV websites but trailering webs of all types. Its not pretty.

ST tires are a niche tire. Before they hit the streets all we had was car tires ( P ) tires or truck tires (LT) for our trailers.
Many trailer manufactures use them simply because their a cheap tire.
Some trailer manufactures use LT tires as OEM or have a upgrade option to a LT tire depending on the units axle rating.

Your ST235/80-16 E @ 80 psi and has approx a 3500 lb rating which work best for trailers with 7k axles.
The LT235/85-16 E @ 80 psi 3042 lb rating works best on 6k axles and smaller. The Michelin XPS Rib LT tire is recommended for commercial trailer use which is one reason its so popular with RV folks.

Many folks with 7k axles go with the Goodyear G614 LT235/85-16 E at 3750 lb rating at 110 psi. This tire is designed for trailer use.

The ultimate upgrade for trailers with 7k axles, and heavier, is the 17.5" trailer wheel and commercial grade LT tires. These tires, dependin on size, are about the same diameter as your present tires.

ST tire are speed restricted to 65 mph so if you go on that long trip keep that in mind.
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Old 03-31-2012, 10:18 PM   #7
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Thanks for the specific recommendations JIMNLIN. Yes, I have read a lot of bad things about the Marathons but then again sometimes the most common products end up with the most complaints just due to the sheer number of them out there. But it is hard to ignore the negative comments.

One of the main reasons I would consider an LT tire is the much wider choice of product. I would like to go with Michelin LTX as I don't think I've ever had a Michelin tire fail on me, ever. LTX's are on my tow vehicle and they have been confidence inspiring, would love to have them on the trailer as well. Not the cheapest solution but it will only hurt once. I have 5200 lb. axles so the LT235/85-16E size should provide capacity to spare. The XPS rib looks bulletproof but very costly and overkill for my application I think, and a G-rated tire wouldn't provide me much advantage unless I changed out my wheels (which are rated at 80 psi I believe), and I see no reason to do that since I can get a 15-20% max capacity cushion with an LT235/85-16E on 5200 lb. axles.

So if I do it I think I may go that way (unless anyone sees any fault in that) as I'd really like to have Michelins back there.
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Old 03-31-2012, 10:36 PM   #8
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I ran BFG Commercial TA radials in that size...........worked great

I will not use an ST tire again if at all possible
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Old 03-31-2012, 10:43 PM   #9
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Depends on the date code. Tires run a MAX of 7 years on my trailer.

Other issue...what are the tires on?
How close are you to running at the limits of the tire rating?

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Old 03-31-2012, 11:08 PM   #10
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Date code shows tires to be 3 years old. This is on a Keystone Cougar 325SRX with 5200-lb axles so the ST235/80R-16E are not running even close to their rating (about 3500 lbs. each) even at full gross weight.

One more question for anyone... the spare is untouched and I'd like to retain it, at least for a while. If necessary could I temporarily run an 235/80 with a 235/85 series tire on tandem axles, just long enough to get a replacement? (Tires would be about one inch difference in diameter.)
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Old 04-01-2012, 06:30 AM   #11
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I had multiple failures with several brands of 15" ST tires. I wasted my money on a TPMS system when I went to Yokohama 215/85-R16 LT tires. Never had a need for a TPMS after I changed.
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Old 04-01-2012, 07:59 AM   #12
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Dunner, but the TPMS is good insurance. A tire is cheap when you look at the thousands of $$$$ damage that be done with a radial failure.

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Old 04-01-2012, 08:46 AM   #13
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If you are considering Michelins do not buy until you check the pricing at Costco. Also they have an annual sale on Michelins inquire as to when it will occur; later in the year I believe.

Michelins are not as pricey as you may think. Food for thought.
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Old 04-01-2012, 09:24 AM   #14
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It was a pun. I meant that after going to LT tires, I didn't need a TPMS any more. The LT tires didn't blow out or separate every 2-3 trips like the ST tires did. I was 2060 lbs under the tire weight rating with the ST tires and only 1460 lbs under with the LT tires on my 12.1K GVWR 5er and never had another tire failure. I checked my tires before every trip.

I tried load range "E" GY Marathons, Titan II, Maxxis and Denman and they all died an early death and caused trailer and fender damage. I actually rebuilt fenders with fiberglass and epoxy. After Skyline quit making or supplying fenders for my trailer, I had to buy the closest ones I could find that would fit.

My buddy called last night and said he had two ST tire failures last weekend with 3 year old ST tires. One threw the rubber and he found a separated one when he got home. He put Yokohama LT tires on his other trailer and never had another failure. I toad with Stinky(diesel) at 72 where my motor got happy and he drives at <65.

The first thing I bought for my MH and 20' enclosed was a TST 10 tire TPMS system. The price was right, the batteries are replaceable in the senders, the monitor is about the size of a thin pack of Camel cigarettes, I can hear the alarm tone, you can carry the monitor with you if you need to adjust air and great CS.

I do not work for TST, but get 32.7 Walmart parking points every time I recommend them.
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