13" Tires - A Problem?

Discussion in 'Tires / Brakes / Bearings / Axles' started by EvTech, Oct 24, 2008.

  1. EvTech

    EvTech Vancouver (not BC), WA (not DC)

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    We're looking at buying a 99 Jayco. I pretty much like everything about the pup except the fact that it has 13" tires. My brother, a long-haul trucker, says that he's seen many, many pups by the side of the road with tire problems. I've had the opposite experience but still I worry that they will not stand up to the rigors of long drives as well as would larger diameter tires. Logically I concede that they must be OK if so many small trailers have them but still I worry. I normally do not exceed 60 to 65 mph while towing. Am I right to be concerned? Does anyone know if there is a history of these smaller tires being less dependable than their larger cousins? (I guess the same question would apply to the wheel bearings?)

    1999 Ford Ranger 4.0L V6

    SW Washington State <img src=../Images/flags/us-army.jpg border=0 align=middle alt="US Army">
     
  2. Goldens

    Goldens Member

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    Those 13" tires are huge compared to the little 8" tires I have. How long of a trip are you talking about? We did our 1st trip this September, one way 250 miles, and the tires and bearings never got hot with our max speed being 65mph. From what I have read on this forum in the short time I've been here, 13" tires can be a difficult size to find if your stuck somewhere, and going up a size is a good thing if you have the clearance. Also replace tires that are more than 5 yrs old and grease the bearings yearly, if you don't you could have a problem.

    Steve & Tucker (Golden Retriever)
    1988 Palomino Colt <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_pu.gif border=0 align=middle alt="PopUp">
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  3. EvTech

    EvTech Vancouver (not BC), WA (not DC)

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    We rarely go more than about four hours away from home because the DW is still working. As regards upgrading to larger tires, I don't have sufficient information yet to know if that is possible. It's a 1999 Jayco Heritage Laurel.

    1999 Ford Ranger 4.0L V6

    SW Washington State <img src=../Images/flags/us-army.jpg border=0 align=middle alt="US Army">
     
  4. Rustyk

    Rustyk New Member

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    Most tire problems happen because people either DRIVE TOO FAST when towing,don't pay close enough attention to their tire pressure BEFORE they leave for their trip or they don't give their wheel bearings the proper attention and heat develops then they seize and boom blow up a tire. 13" tires are really fine.

    Rusty, Paula & Nuts aka Zak
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  5. mgwerks

    mgwerks New Member

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    Just took a 2000 mile trip this summer on my 13" tires. There are no size-relates issues to worry over. There are some things you must do, however, for any trailer's tires.

    1. Ensure your popup has the correct tires mounted. Mine were wrong from the dealer when new. Of course, I didn't know any better and found out much later. Make sure that they are the correct Load Rating for your gross camper weight. Underrated tires are prime for failure. Never use anything but type ST (special trailer) tires, not car or truck tires. They are built differently.

    2. Ensure that your tires aren't suffering from age-related issues. The most serious of these is cracking in the sidewalls due to dry rot, ozone exposure or age. Many people replace these every 3 to 5 years to be safe. Sometimes the symptoms are not obvious. One safe plan is to rotate all three tires (spare included) annually, and buy a new tire every year discarding the oldest. Do this, and you won't ever have an outdated tire.

    3. When you replace tires, replace valve stems. If you have high pressure tires, make sure you get the higher-pressure rated valve stems, there is a difference. Plus, when you are rotating the tires, you can adjust and replace your brakes if needed and grease the wheel bearings.

    4. Keep your tires at the correct air pressure. Trailer tires should be inflated to the Max Pressure Rating molded into the rubber on the tire's sidewall. You must do it when the tires are dead cold - before driving anywhere. Do this daily when on the road. Running tires under-inflated de-rates the weight capacity of the tire, as well as making them run hotter form the added sidewall flexion.

    5. Drive safely. Don't exceed the speed rating of the tires - again listed on the sidewall - which is usually 65 MPH. Excessive speed generates excess heat, the big enemy of tires.

    6. Not tire related, but it is good practice to re-grease your wheel bearings annually. This also gives you an opportunity to inspect them for wear or damage. This will keep your bearings from running hot and possibly seizing, resulting in an axle replacement.

    __________________________________________________________
    1999 Jayco Eagle 12SO pushing a F350 PowerStroke CrewCab 4WD long bed monster

    Here are my Jayco lift docs, they're now on the Portal for you!
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  6. PopUpGPa

    PopUpGPa New Member

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    Another possible option is use a 13" with higher load capacity. Our Coleman's 13" tires were ST175/80D13. The listed diameter is 24.2" with a rated load capacity of 1360lb @ 50psi.

    Checking clearance I could use a tire with about 3/4" larger radius (1 1/2" dia). A ST185/80D13 has a 25.8" so it wouldn't fit but I found a radial ST185/80R13 would. It's dia. was 24.6" plus it's rated load capacity is 1480Lb @ 50psi.

    So I gained a radial which should have lower rolling resistance and plus another 240lbs of capacity.

    But as others have pointed out, do maintain their proper pressure

    Northern AZ
    02 Coleman Timberlake
    Tow Veh: 03 GMC Envoy

    Edited by - PopUpGPa on October 25 2008 21:50:03
     

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