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Old 02-28-2010, 11:04 PM   #1
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Need new tires

Hey everybody! I just got my first new-to-me travel trailer a couple weeks ago (1973 Prowler 17'), with no manuals, and no longer does Fleetwood have the manuals for it.

I spent this weekend going through everything and making sure it was all in working order. It looks pretty good. The heater heats, the refrigerator cools (120 and LP), the stove cooks, the toilet flushes, and the hot water heater gets toasty. I only have to figure out why my oven won't light (pilot stays on, but gas doesn't flow when oven is turned on).

One thing I'm going to need to do is put new tires on it. Two are visibly weather worn and cracked, the other two seem to be in pretty good shape. Of the four tires, there are four different sizes (from memory, 195/75R14, 195/70R14, 205/70R14, and some size that I hadn't seen before). My question is this: What what kind of tires do people think _should_ be or know is supposed to be on a trailer of this size.

Regards... Todd
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Old 02-28-2010, 11:08 PM   #2
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Moderators, please delete this, I posted in the wrong location. Reposting in correct location. Thanks.
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Old 02-28-2010, 11:16 PM   #3
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First, welcome to our form. There are a lot of very knowlegable people here. I will give you my opinion. I would put the biggest size (most load capacity) tire on that has adequate clearence. That will give you better control and better handling. A 2 axle trailer that size shouldn't be much trouble anyway but that is what I would do.
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Old 03-01-2010, 12:24 AM   #4
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I second CD's reply. The largest that will fit.

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Old 03-01-2010, 06:38 AM   #5
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Not to insult your intelligence but I just wanted to say, make sure to get a trailer tire and not a passenger or LT tire. There really is a difference in the way they are constructed, and they will cut down on the bounce and sway of the trailer.
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Old 03-01-2010, 08:13 AM   #6
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Sadly almost all ST rated tires are junk. They are made in China or some other off shore places and the quality is very poor. There are literally hundreds of posts to support this. So sorry Buckeyefarm I totally disagree with your comments. Do a lot of research if you do pick an ST tire, there is only about two manufacturers that have even a good rating. Personally I would be more secure with a P metric tire than an ST tire. No matter what, you need to have a tire that is rated to carry the trailers load. Look on the left front corner of the trailer and you should see the DOT sticker that will list the axle ratings and the trailers GVWR. With that information you can choose an appropriate tire.
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Old 03-01-2010, 12:09 PM   #7
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Sadly almost all ST rated tires are junk. They are made in China or some other off shore places and the quality is very poor. There are literally hundreds of posts to support this. So sorry Buckeyefarm I totally disagree with your comments. Do a lot of research if you do pick an ST tire, there is only about two manufacturers that have even a good rating. Personally I would be more secure with a P metric tire than an ST tire. No matter what, you need to have a tire that is rated to carry the trailers load. Look on the left front corner of the trailer and you should see the DOT sticker that will list the axle ratings and the trailers GVWR. With that information you can choose an appropriate tire.
I can't comment on the merits of todays tires but I can relate my own experience. About 1970 we bought a new 17' TT (single axle) that towed terrible. It had 245-14 4ply tires (biased). At 45 it was all over the road. I determined that it was the tires. (I'm not sure how any more). I later saw that the tires capacity was 300 lbs more than the DRY weight of the TT. I had a 1/2T ford HD PU with 700-16 6ply tires so I decided I would like to have common spare. When I deterimed that the hubs would only take a Ford car wheel , I got 2 wheels for a big Ford that I could install 700-16 6ply tires on. That trailer towed like it was part of the PU and any speed I wanted. I later had a wheel split @ 70mph and the TT didn't wiggle. The tube had a big split in it but the tire wasn't hurt. It was still on the trailer when I got rid of it years later. I am convinced that a lot of RV handling problems are due to inadequate tires. They only use the min. to be legal.
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Old 03-02-2010, 09:41 PM   #8
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Thanks all of you for the feedback. When the guy sold the trailer to me he said that he thought it would be a good idea to change the tires and that it would cost about $40 per tire. After researching it a bit, it's obvious now that I won't get anything for less than $55, and I don't want the $55 tires because those are not going to be (steel belted) radials. I'm going to end up probably spending $85 per tire to get a good one, and I'll be replacing two immediately. Interestingly, the two that have issues (dry cracks, and slow leak) are the two non-radials. Coincidence?
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Old 03-11-2010, 04:17 PM   #9
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Eventually did...

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Originally Posted by mrballcb View Post
I'm going to end up probably spending $85 per tire to get a good one, and I'll be replacing two immediately. Interestingly, the two that have issues (dry cracks, and slow leak) are the two non-radials. Coincidence?
For the record, I ended up just going to Big-O Tires and getting two 205/75-14 trailer tires on the left side. It cost $80 per tire, and was about $114 installed. I've also got a new 14" rim ordered, should be here in a week or so. Next paycheck, I'm getting the two tires on the right side replaced, and the best condition old tire will be relegated for use as a spare.

We're taking a short (1 hour drive) trip this weekend for the main purpose of hammering out a routine of what supplies and tools and general procedure / order-of-operations to do when setting up and when breaking camp. Close enough that if there's an issue, I just unhook and handle whatever issues there are.

First trip. CASE O BEER!!
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Old 03-11-2010, 06:16 PM   #10
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I'm just going to point out a few basics here. With a little luck you may have hit on the right tire load range wise I have no idea without knowing your axle load capacity. Under todays guide lines your tires must at the very minimum equal your axle rating. Next is fitment and placement. You should have mounted your new tires on the same axle and all tires should be the same size, load range and design - in other words radial or bias but never mixed.

Good luck with that trailer. You're going to learn a lot about it by the time you get up to speed with it. It's fun, enjoy the experiance.

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Old 04-27-2010, 08:58 PM   #11
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Even if the weight sticker is readable I would take the RV to a scales and weight it both empty (dry weight) and then loaded (wet weight) prior to purchasing any tires. Sticker weight on most RV's are usually unreliable
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Old 04-28-2010, 08:47 AM   #12
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Even if the weight sticker is readable I would take the RV to a scales and weight it both empty (dry weight) and then loaded (wet weight) prior to purchasing any tires. Sticker weight on most RV's are usually unreliable
Good advice. Back when I was getting the tires, I brought it to a scale and it weighed 3320 pounds. I was surprised since the guy I bought it from said it was 2800 pounds. The guy I bought the tires from said the frame for a dual axle trailer would be rated for 6000 pounds, and it already had 14" rims, and with that info the standard 1750 pound rated tire was appropriate.

So far so good, I made a 4200 mile trip with it (California to Louisiana and back). It rides well as long as I keep the weight on top of and forward of the axles.
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Old 04-28-2010, 09:02 PM   #13
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Obtaining an original owners manual may be possible. Check Art Knapp's list RV Manuals
of owners manual resources. Many trailer owners manuals seem to be generic in nature. For manuals for appliances and accessories, bookmark this: Aero-Rv.com - Aerolite Ultra Lite RV Travel Trailer and Expandable Hybrid Campers

Forgot, Never use the unloaded/empty weight for anything. It is useless, unless you plan to tow the trailer empty.
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