Time for Tires - advice welcomed

Discussion in 'Tires / Brakes / Bearings / Axles' started by BayMom, Jul 28, 2018.

  1. BayMom

    BayMom Member

    Jul 2, 2018
    Northern NJ
    OK, so for our upcoming trip DH and I just:
    re-packed the axle grease (probably the only PUP maintenance we stay up to date on)
    checked/adjusted the tire pressure
    tightened all the lug nuts to the appropriate 90 ft/lbs
    I also researched and fixed our awning (see below if interested in those details)
    changed a blown fuse
    tomorrow I will attempt to fix some drawer slides :(

    For this next trip (I95 from NJ to FL) I have my fingers crossed about our tires, because I think we're past needing new ones. The tread is good, but I've read (articles published by companies that sell trailer tires) that trailer tires should be changed every 5 or so years. Years ago I killed a bunch of goldfish by following the advice on the fish food jar; I fed them 3 times a day. Then when I asked why my fish kept dying the pet store guy told me feedings 3 times a day was crazy, and said "of course the fish food jar would say that, they want to sell more fish food." This trailer tire advice might be like the fish food advice, but I'll add that we don't use axle lifts when the trailer sits for prolonged periods in our side driveway, so I'm sure there is some uneven wear. Maybe it's just that I read too much about blow-outs on these boards, and would pay good, hard earned money to avoid that, if at all possible. So onto our tires..

    Currently we have the original (purchased in 2012 with the PUP):
    AKURET HF188 ST175/80R13
    it's a 5 on 4.5 lug nut pattern
    I think they are KENDA Loadstars

    There are perhaps too many choices on etrailer.
    Do I want Load Range B, C or D? I think C. Technically B is fine, but we're too close to the threshold for my comfort. D is expensive and the associated weight rating is both more then my PUP weighs, more then the axle can hold, and more then my TV can pull.

    Do I want aluminum wheels, boat trailer wheels, galvanized steel wheels or powder coated steel wheels? What type of wheel corrosion resistance do I need? I'm in inland Northern NJ, but we camp at the beach 1-2 times/year.

    My wheels/rims seem fine to me, but it works out to be cheaper to buy wheels with tires pre-mounted, then it would cost to buy tires only, and have them mounted on my existing rims. No, we don't have the tools for this particular job, and I'm not interested in getting them. I do change over to my own snow tires annual, but I have a 2nd set of rims for them to make this a DIY job.

    Do I want Bias Ply or Radial? I think I want radial, but I don't know why. Long trips, less heat build up?

    And, I would like a higher speed rating, but there seems to be nothing. Maybe I'm shopping on the wrong site?

    Lastly, my master plan is to order the tires to be delivered to our destination, and have them installed for our ride home. Is that over-kill? We're in Orlando for 2 weeks, then home for a week, and then back in the PUP for a week at the beach. It seems like it has to be Orlando or September. I'm kicking myself for not ordering sooner, but it is what it is.


    Awning fix details for interested folks:
    The needed part (aluminum bracket that connects the upright pole to the front awning edge/channel) was not available, without all new hardware. All the historic wisdom on this board seems to indicate that Dometic Awnings are not worth fixing. I went to Lowes to see if I could find something that could work, and while I didn't find anything, I realized that the broken bracket would still work under compression (i.e. would hold the weight of the awning) if I cut off the bent bit, which would allow it back into the channel to sit on the bolt/hinge. Then I just needed something to keep it from flying off in an instance of windy uplift, so I threaded some zip ties, between the hinge bolt and pole bolt, and VIOLA, our awning functions again without copious amounts of duct tape. This is a "buy some time until we get a new awning fix" but I'm good with that as there is still some life in the old awning.
  2. joet

    joet Well-Known Member

    Mar 16, 2011
    Elkins WV area
    I would go with a LR D tire. Overkill is just like extra insurance. Kendra is a good tire. Check with Eastern Marine on pricing. I have found their pricing is better than etrailer
    BayMom and myride like this.
  3. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

    May 31, 2018
    I.just did the same thing, I went with the radial tires. I haven't towed it yet, lol. Pups don't go fast, max speed ratings are in the 70 mph range. I think I saw 1 tire rated for 78? Mph. As for changing before or during the trip, I probubly would do it before. Most say the age gets the tire before the tread ware. But that's up to you. I went with the cheap, steel rims.
    BayMom likes this.
  4. theseus

    theseus Centerville, OH

    Feb 6, 2007
    Centerville, OH
    LR D with cheap rims that look good on your camper. Change before you go and you won't have to change on the road.

    I use bias ply tires. I don't think that radials are worth the extra money when you replace tires long before they wear out. Besides my camper tows better with bias ply...
    BayMom likes this.
  5. CampStewart

    CampStewart Member

    Nov 3, 2017
    I would recommend taking your tires off and doing a good visual inspection of your current tires with little consideration to their age. I would watch a videos from known reputable sources about what you should be looking for. As the vids should be stressing you should be looking for structural issues, not cosmetic ones. If you are replacing than get the highest load range that you can but keep your current inflation pressure. If your current rims are not rusting badly than I would get the same which are probably the cheapest option. If you are going to replace the rims every 6 years or so why spend extra.
    BayMom likes this.
  6. jmkay1

    jmkay1 2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah

    Oct 10, 2013
    Northern Virginia
    Now if the tire date code is older than 7 years I would be more worried. If they are at the 5 year mark it's getting close and should be looked at top to bottom. What is the date code on the tires. There should be a four number code printed on the tires. That will tell you their actual age. Personally on a really long trip like that I would probably get them done. Then again my biggest fear is a blowout on the side of the road. Much less a blowout that could cause more damage to the popup than new tires.
    BayMom and myride like this.
  7. BayMom

    BayMom Member

    Jul 2, 2018
    Northern NJ
    Update - visual inspection looked fine. I got confused with the date code, because apparently dh replaced 2 of the tires in summer 2016 (after a bubble turned blow out - I thought the new tire became the spare, hint "thought = was told"). The spare, mounted on the back, is the original tire from TT purchase in 2012. The spare (original from purchase) is D rated. DH really has to tell me these things, because he only remembers when I find evidence and if there's evidence to be found I find it, me "according to the date code the tires are newer then the trailer, this makes no sense." DH "oh yeah, I think I.." I think he knew I would be annoyed with going from D's to C's (that sounds bad even when I type it) so he kept that detail to himself. He's also fine with cheap tires and mismatched tires, a known area of contention in our house. I wish Michelin made trailer tires, because I like them: I've only ever had a problem once (excessive wear), and even then the warranty replacement was super easy.

    So, like everything these days, not an emergency, but I'm getting it taken care of, because I want matching tires (I'm just like that - scarred from too much car drama as a kid) and I have no confidence in the spare being OK (or anything more than something to get us off the highway at a low speed) as it's so old, AND I don't like that we switched from a D rated tire to a C rated tire. That being said, the C rated tires that are on the TT list the single load weight at 1560 lbs, whereas C load rated tires I see online are more in the 1350 range.

    It looks to me like EasternMarine has better prices even after you factor in the cost of shipping, but etrailer has a much better filter search.

    And, after all this reading up on tires, trailerlegs (to store the trailer off the wheels) are on my short list of items to buy post season. My latest purchase was a trailer dolly, which (once I cleared the overgrown bushes neighboring our driveway) allowed me to turn the PUP 180, so the door faces our garage, which makes packing so much easier!!!
  8. crackerJack

    crackerJack Well-Known Member

    Jan 6, 2014
    Scottsville, KY
    My camper pulls better with lrD. I have Duro’s right now but I want to switch to some Kendra Loadstar’s that have a 80mph speed rating. My TV is way oversized for my camper.
  9. joet

    joet Well-Known Member

    Mar 16, 2011
    Elkins WV area
    Tires are like oats, if you want nice clean oats, be prepared to pay the price. But if you are willing to settle for oats that have been through the horse, you can always get them cheaper. There are tires for every budget and most are China bombs
  10. xxxapache

    xxxapache Well-Known Member

    Jul 30, 2008
    Are there any American made trailer tires? I believe they are all foreign soil "bombs".
    theseus likes this.
  11. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

    Dec 26, 2009
    Albuquerque, NM
    The Goodyear Endurance tires we put on the TT last fall are American made. Not sure what sizes they make them in, though. We were happy to be able to go up to a Load D tire from the Load C Kenda Loadstar ones for the first two sets on the TT. We'd also had Kenda Loadstars on the pup. We liked the Kenda tires on both, but the Endurance just "feel" better.
  12. xxxapache

    xxxapache Well-Known Member

    Jul 30, 2008
    Goodyear had to do something after all the complaints from their Marathon line. Perhaps, the endurance will be a better tire.
  13. kcsa75

    kcsa75 Well-Known Member

    Sep 9, 2013
    Kansas City
    I replaced the tires on the Eagle 12 with Kenda Loadstars (175/73/13R, Load Range D) that I bought at Walmart pre-mounted on wheels. Had them delivered to the store so shipping was free. Total cost for both tires was about $100 and I changed them out at the campsite.

    I'm having the tires and wheels on the TT replaced tomorrow morning with Carlisle Radial HDs. Carlisle has a long history and good reputation making specialty tires for trailers and off-road equipment. Walmart sells these for $67 each, but said they we're equipped to deal with the TT. So I went across the street to Discount Tire, which matched the price and didn't bat an eye about working on the TT. [:)C]
  14. xxxapache

    xxxapache Well-Known Member

    Jul 30, 2008
    I have had the prior generation of Carlise, the Radial RH, on my TT for a little over 3 years. No complaints. I like that my size has a 87 mph speed rating.
  15. Sneezer

    Sneezer Well-Known Member

    Aug 8, 2015
    DFW, TX
    I had some Carlisle's and they failed catastrophically. Using Kenda Loadstars right now but I mistakenly bought bias ply last year (grabbed from the wrong pile) and am not to happy with that style. The bias ply get hotter than the older radials and I noticed a sidewall bubble today on my return trip home. I'll be swapping back to radials as a result.
  16. gatorbait

    gatorbait Upstate, SC

    Jan 7, 2006
    Spartanburg, SC
    Replaced my Duros (rated 63 mph max) with Kendas (rated 81) from etrailer.com Free shipping and arrived in 2 days. Really should go back to Ds. Not worth taking a chance.

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