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Best Fifth Wheel Tires and Rims


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#1 Av8r

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Posted 04 August 2012 - 10:37 PM

Greetings Folks:

I'm towing a 2011 Keystone Alpine 3500RE that has a max gross weight of 15,500. Factory tires are Power King Radial Tow Max ST235/80R16E. I run them at 80PSI and check the pressure frequently.

I have been told by several people where I store my trailer that these tires have had some problems with blow outs. Some people suggest going with Goodyear 16E, and other's recommend upgrading to 17.5" tires which obviously requires changing the rims too.

My interest is safety first. So, if changing out the rims is necessary, I have no issuers with that.

Can someone suggest what would be my best tire and rim for my rig?

Thanks very much.

Dave
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Columbus, Ohio
2011 Keystone Alpine 3500 RE
2010 Ford F-350 King Ranch Dually
2001 Harley Wide Glide
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#2 Atchafalaya_man

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Posted 04 August 2012 - 11:34 PM

For years, the Goodyear Marathons were the king of high quality tires, but now even they are not what they used to be.

Edited by Atchafalaya_man, 04 August 2012 - 11:47 PM.


#3 NH2

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Posted 05 August 2012 - 04:07 AM

Asking RVers about tires is close to asking them which woman would make the best wifePosted Image I'll give you my answer but understand that my solution might not match those of others.
In my youth, I changed tires for one of the largest tire retailers east of the Mississippi. I saw a lot of junk being placed on the wheels of cars, trucks & trailers and the consequences of doing so. So much is riding on those relatively small patches of rubber; you owe it to yourself to provide the safest equipment available.
We own a very heavy 5th wheel trailer tipping the scale at 21,000 lbs. I replaced my original 16" tires with 17.5" Michelin XTA2 Energy
Other folks will tell you that Goodyear has a better warranty. That is true. In the event of tire failure, Goodyear will almost always cover the entire cost of damage to your coach. For me, I'd rather have a tire that doesn't blow out in the first place. Other folks will mention that Michelins are junk. Again, that has not been my experience. Whenever possible, we try to buy products made in the USA. However, I feel more comfortable on Michelins than any other tire. I wish Michelins were made in the USA but they are not.
A less expensive solution for your situation might be the 16" Michelin XPS Rib
Please keep in mind that #1 enemy of any tire is heat. Excessive heat can be caused by underinflation and overloading. However, one more factor must be considered; the tires tread design. A tire with a simple tread design will squirm less going down the road than a tire with a lot of cuts, ribs & grooves. More squirm = more heat. Here's a picture of the Michelin XPS rib. Here's a picture of your Power King Radial Tow Max. It's clear which one will run hotter.
We spend a lot of money on insurance. We do so because insurance offers us peace of mind. I view the purchase of quality tires as another form of insurance.
Hope this helps,
Mark

Edited by NH2, 05 August 2012 - 04:09 AM.

Mark & Sue---SKP#86611
'06 International 4400LoPro DT570 310hp 950ft-lbs.-Allison--3.70 gears
'05 36' Teton Liberty
'12 BMW F650 twin
Pedalin'-Cannondale T1000(his)-'dale R1000(hers)-Santana Ti700 Tandem(ours) w/B.O.B. trailer for the long hauls
View some of our adventures at: Mark & Sue's pics

#4 grumpydoc

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Posted 05 August 2012 - 08:01 AM

Like Mark we upgraded to 17.5" rims and tires and have been very happy with that decision. We went with the Hi-Spec aluminum rims and GY G114 tires. If you check out Dale and Mark Bruss' webpage there is a nice section on tires and changing sizes etc., just click on the quick links in the upper right hand corner and go to tires. We bought the mounted and balanced tires and rims with new lug nuts and hub caps from the trailer wheel and tire company mentioned in Mark's web page. Sorry for not giving a link but that is beyond my very limited computer skills, maybe someone else can give to you. Upgrading is more expensive so I would not recommend it if you are not reasonably sure you will be keeping the rig for long enough to justify the additional cost. Hard to say what the break even point would be, but if I thought I was getting rid of the rig within 5 years I would probably just go with the 16" Michelin Ribs as Mark recommends rather than spending the extra on 17.5s, Best wishes, Jay
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#5 Mark & Dale Bruss

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Posted 05 August 2012 - 08:36 AM

Those Power King Radial Tow Max ST235/80R16E have a high load rating at 3520 lb @ 80 psi. The more typical Load Rating E is 3042 lbs. There are rated almost as much as a Load Range G rated tire at 3750 lbs.

For me, I am wary of tired that are rated out of the normal ranges.

The first thing you should do is verify what you real tire loading is by having your trailer weighed by wheels. It is easy to exceed the GVWR for one and it is easier to have imbalanced loading from side to side.

Once you know the tire load capacity, then you can determine what Load Capacity tires you need. I use a quick rule of thumb of taking the GVWR and divide by the number of tires which for you would be 3875 lb per tire assuming you are at or under the GVWR.

The trailer manufacturers will say that the tires never carry the GVWR because of either the pin weight or the front jack load when off the pin. This is why a 20,000 GVWR trailer can be delivered on four Load Range D tires.

While the pin carry somewhere between 20-25% of the total weight is true, it is also true that there are times when a tire will have an increased loading from road bumps, hole, railroad track, etc. My simple rule builds in a safety factor and I can think of nothing better than more safety factor in your tires as your trailer rides on just four of them.

Once you have tire loading determined, then you can select tires. Keep in mind that you are on 80 psi rims and just like under rated tires, trailer manufacturers seldom put 110 psi rated 16" rims on a trailer unless they are putting Load Range G rated tires on the trailer. This might well be the reason for the Power King tires, Keystone didn't have to put more expensive 110 psi rims on. Higher tire load capacity comes with higher air pressure, typically up to 110 psi for Load Range G tires and up to 125 psi for Load Range H tires. Hence almost any tire load capacity improvement will require rim changes.

When you have excess tire load capacity, you can adjust your tire pressure to it the exact load desired determined from weighing) for a better ride.

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#6 Leslie

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Posted 05 August 2012 - 01:28 PM

Buy a set of Michelin XP-Ribs and be happy. My 2006 Carraige came with the same tire you have. They lasted 7,000 miles before one developed a bubble on the side and all four started to grow. My Xp-Ribs are 5 years old this year and I just bought 5 new ones. I had no problem out of them since I put them on. They are not cheap . But a lot cheapter then a blow out and all the damage to the side of the trailer. I weighed my trailer at a truck stop fully loaded water and everything. I have 3100lbs hitch weight on the truck and 11,600 on the trailer tires.

#7 Mark & Dale Bruss

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Posted 05 August 2012 - 08:25 PM

I will reiterate, the first thing is to get your RV weighed so you know what tire load capacity you need, for your trailer. Then select tires based upon your needs.

A recommendation like "Buy a set of Michelin XP-Ribs and be happy" doesn't take into account the conditions of your rig, how much your trailer weighs, how much stuff you carry.

Just a quick comparison, the Michelim XPS Rib LT235/85R16/E has a Load Rating of 3042 lbs @80 psi which wowuld giove a total tire load capacity thjat is 1912 lbs less that there is now with the Power King Radial Tow Max ST235/80R16E tire. Nothing wrong with XPS Ribs, it is just that a ton less capacity is probably not the direction you want to go.

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Red Rover - 2000 Volvo 770, Tige - 2006 40' Travel Supreme
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#8 Av8r

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Posted 05 August 2012 - 11:48 PM

I will reiterate, the first thing is to get your RV weighed so you know what tire load capacity you need, for your trailer. Then select tires based upon your needs.

A recommendation like "Buy a set of Michelin XP-Ribs and be happy" doesn't take into account the conditions of your rig, how much your trailer weighs, how much stuff you carry.

Just a quick comparison, the Michelim XPS Rib LT235/85R16/E has a Load Rating of 3042 lbs @80 psi which wowuld giove a total tire load capacity thjat is 1912 lbs less that there is now with the Power King Radial Tow Max ST235/80R16E tire. Nothing wrong with XPS Ribs, it is just that a ton less capacity is probably not the direction you want to go.



Correct. I would definitely want more tire than I need than less. So far, I'm liking the idea of going with 17.5" XTA 2 ENERGY.
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Columbus, Ohio
2011 Keystone Alpine 3500 RE
2010 Ford F-350 King Ranch Dually
2001 Harley Wide Glide
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#9 Av8r

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Posted 05 August 2012 - 11:50 PM

Asking RVers about tires is close to asking them which woman would make the best wifePosted Image I'll give you my answer but understand that my solution might not match those of others.
In my youth, I changed tires for one of the largest tire retailers east of the Mississippi. I saw a lot of junk being placed on the wheels of cars, trucks & trailers and the consequences of doing so. So much is riding on those relatively small patches of rubber; you owe it to yourself to provide the safest equipment available.
We own a very heavy 5th wheel trailer tipping the scale at 21,000 lbs. I replaced my original 16" tires with 17.5" Michelin XTA2 Energy
Other folks will tell you that Goodyear has a better warranty. That is true. In the event of tire failure, Goodyear will almost always cover the entire cost of damage to your coach. For me, I'd rather have a tire that doesn't blow out in the first place. Other folks will mention that Michelins are junk. Again, that has not been my experience. Whenever possible, we try to buy products made in the USA. However, I feel more comfortable on Michelins than any other tire. I wish Michelins were made in the USA but they are not.
A less expensive solution for your situation might be the 16" Michelin XPS Rib
Please keep in mind that #1 enemy of any tire is heat. Excessive heat can be caused by underinflation and overloading. However, one more factor must be considered; the tires tread design. A tire with a simple tread design will squirm less going down the road than a tire with a lot of cuts, ribs & grooves. More squirm = more heat. Here's a picture of the Michelin XPS rib. Here's a picture of your Power King Radial Tow Max. It's clear which one will run hotter.
We spend a lot of money on insurance. We do so because insurance offers us peace of mind. I view the purchase of quality tires as another form of insurance.
Hope this helps,
Mark


I'm liking your suggestion on the 17.5" Michelin XTA2 Energy. Is there a particular rim manufacturer that you would suggest?

Thanks.

Dave
______________________________
Dave Koch
Columbus, Ohio
2011 Keystone Alpine 3500 RE
2010 Ford F-350 King Ranch Dually
2001 Harley Wide Glide
______________________________

#10 Mark & Dale Bruss

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 05:09 AM

As mentioned before, here is the article on changing rims, Tire Size Change which lists the optional rim sellers.

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Red Rover - 2000 Volvo 770, Tige - 2006 40' Travel Supreme
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#11 bigmike

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 06:00 AM

Asking RVers about tires is close to asking them which woman would make the best wife[img]


Love this answer. And it is so true! The one thing I have decided after a number of years on the forums is that trying to find "the answer" about tires is truly an excercise in futility. For every positive post you can find about (insert your size and brand here), I can find a matching post about how these were the worse tires ever made. I suspect a big part of this is that there are just so many variables in after purchase use, that peoples experiences are not very helpful.

But as I mentioned somewhere else, its not the person who develops the "better mousetrap" that will be the millionaire. Its the person who develops and makes marketable the tire that doesn't need air, never goes flat or will blowout, and is functional for vehicle/RV use. They have these for bicycle use now, and with all the technology available today I'm amazed they haven't figured it out for vehicles yet. Someone did post a prototype that had been developed but didn't know why it never made it to market. One can only keep wishing.

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#12 NH2

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 07:38 PM

I'm liking your suggestion on the 17.5" Michelin XTA2 Energy. Is there a particular rim manufacturer that you would suggest?
Thanks.
Dave


Dave, I do a lot of research for most everything I purchase. However, I do not claim to be nearly as thorough as the information I have found HERE. Sue & I had the pleasure of meeting Mark & Dale Bruss at a Life on Wheels conference in (I'm guessing) 2004. Both Sue & I were impressed with the quality & depth in which they approach every aspect of their lives on the road.
So now I'll give the the quick answer (which I got from their website) We've had these rims & tires since 2008. We've logged over 45,000 trouble-free miles on 'em; from New Hampshire to North Carolina through Texas on to Alaska & back.
Trailer Tire & Wheel Supermarket - Hi-Spec Series 03.

As with any alloy wheel...

be sure to check the lug nut torque on a regular basis.
Mark


Edited by NH2, 06 August 2012 - 07:49 PM.

Mark & Sue---SKP#86611
'06 International 4400LoPro DT570 310hp 950ft-lbs.-Allison--3.70 gears
'05 36' Teton Liberty
'12 BMW F650 twin
Pedalin'-Cannondale T1000(his)-'dale R1000(hers)-Santana Ti700 Tandem(ours) w/B.O.B. trailer for the long hauls
View some of our adventures at: Mark & Sue's pics

#13 Mark & Dale Bruss

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 08:39 PM

Its the person who develops and makes marketable the tire that doesn't need air, never goes flat or will blowout, and is functional for vehicle/RV use.


It would be a nice dream but the Michelin air-less tire has been in test for quite a few years and hasn't gotten into the marketplace. And I don't think the issue is keeping air compressors in business.

If an air-less tire doesn't work for automobiles, it sure will take a long time before they work on RV trailers where we do something a car never does to its tires, twist them sideways like when we rotate the trailer backing it. Since that action has shown to be really hard on G614 tires, I could see the same twist just ripping the webs out of the air-less tire.

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Red Rover - 2000 Volvo 770, Tige - 2006 40' Travel Supreme
Sparky II - 2012 Chevy Equinox, Living on the Road since 2006

Useful HDT Truck, Trailer, and Full-timing Info at
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#14 Tee Jay

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 09:50 PM

Interesting discussion. We replaced the axles with the Mor=Ryde IS, put on the hydraulic brakes, and replaced all 5 wheels with 17.5" wheels and J rated tires. The wheels and tires will now support 4850# per tire, or nearly 20,000lbs. Gross on the trailer is 15,500lbs. What a concept, the wheels and tires actually will hold the RV, and at less than 100% of the load rating. It also eliminated a lot of the sidewall flex when backing into tight places.

We go to and from Alaska every year, and may do the Arizona desert as well. There is a distinct lack of emergency roadside service north of Ft St John, and a tow could well be 200 miles each way. So for the cost of the tow we eliminated the most likely cause of the problem.

Others will clearly have a different decision.

#15 FastEagle

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 12:49 AM

Greetings Folks:

I'm towing a 2011 Keystone Alpine 3500RE that has a max gross weight of 15,500. Factory tires are Power King Radial Tow Max ST235/80R16E. I run them at 80PSI and check the pressure frequently.

I have been told by several people where I store my trailer that these tires have had some problems with blow outs. Some people suggest going with Goodyear 16E, and other's recommend upgrading to 17.5" tires which obviously requires changing the rims too.

My interest is safety first. So, if changing out the rims is necessary, I have no issuers with that.

Can someone suggest what would be my best tire and rim for my rig?

Thanks very much.

Dave



Like a lot of other ST tires used as OEM, the Towmax STR is often abused by the vehicle manufacturer.

Although you probably have 7000# axles Iíll bet the certification label says less, most likely 6850#. And thatís the figure the vehicle manufacturer uses to fit the tire/rim assemblies. The bottom line is, you only have a grand total of 380# of tire load capacity above GAWR. Your TowMax STR tires will not last long, even if you're not now traveling heavy.

You are right to be concerned. I really donít like to make recommendations because thatís the vehicle manufacturers responsibility. Did you ask them for replacement recommendations?

I will offer suitable options. Wheelwell and axle separation distance are factors you must first determine to be acceptable.

The easiest option is the ST235/85R16E rated at 3640# at 80 psi. That sized tire is finding itís way into the mainstream ST market and can be found at numerous retailers.

The LT235/85R16G rated at 3750# at 110 psi is probably the best option for your GAWR. It has a very good track record when it is not being operated near itís full load capacity. But, itís tire pressure MUST be maintained at 110 psi to insure itís durability. It often gets into trouble when itís owners fiddle around with itís pressures. Right after GY started building that tire the off shore manufacturers jumped onto the bandwagon. Today there are numerous brands and some are desirable. When purchased as tire/rim units they also become much more economical.

There are a lot of options when going to the 17.5Ē tire/rim configuration. Itís best to do a lot of homework when researching that size. Availability and individual tire speed restrictions must be considered. Truck tires - even those for low platform trailers - with manufacturer speed restrictions below 65 MPH CANNOT be manipulated with any combination of weight or tire pressure to exceed their manufacturer imposed speed limit. (So says the TRA).

FastEagle

Edited by FastEagle, 08 August 2012 - 12:49 AM.

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#16 Mark & Dale Bruss

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 05:44 AM

Right after GY started building that tire the off shore manufacturers jumped onto the bandwagon. Today there are numerous brands and some are desirable.


Pretty bold statement. While Goodyear tried Chinese manufacture of the Goodyear branded tires, the quality problems brought that manufacturing back into the US. When I was still running G614s, I needed a tire to replace one that had taken a nail in the sidewall and the Goodyear plant was on strike. A major search of the country yielded the fact that in the LT235/85R16G category there was the G614, the G614, and a Chinese brand the tire dealer would not even sell me because of my trailer loading. The limited offering in the LT235/85R16G size is one of the best reasons for skipping the Load Range G tires and going to Load Range H. The tires cost less and the rims are the same price.

I just did a Google search and it seems that it is still G614, G614, and off the wall.

You don't go to Load Range H tires for the whole tire load capacity because you have limitations in hubs, and axles. If you need a big tire load capacity boost, then you have to think about axles changes too. But you can get the full axle capacity with a tire running at less that maximum load and have a variety of quality manufactures to buy from by going to the 17.5" rims.

The 215/75R17.5H has the same diameter as the LT235/85R16G so wheel wells are not a problem. Actually the super rated Load Range E tires have bigger diameters and can cause issues with wheel wells and inter-tire spacing. Since the Rim of the 215/75R17.5H is 1.5" larger, the height of the tire is 3/4" less and that results in a more stable sidewall when we are twisting the trailer while backing up, noticeably less sidewall roll.

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Red Rover - 2000 Volvo 770, Tige - 2006 40' Travel Supreme
Sparky II - 2012 Chevy Equinox, Living on the Road since 2006

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#17 FastEagle

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 10:24 AM

Pretty bold statement.


Here is just three recognizable name brand tires that started building the LT235/85R16G tire after itís initial market introduction. A much larger following can be found with names like Double Coin etcÖ

Some of these, like Saliun, are being used in the OEM RV trailer market.

http://www.greenball...p?products_id=9

http://www.sailuntir...tires/s637.html

http://www.powerking...ial Trailer/311

Because I find and post information like this does not mean I am pro or con about any of the information. Iím just posting options others may not have searched out.

There are other - model specific - forums that now use or have used the GY G614 tire exclusively on their 7000# RV trailer axles. Visiting them and doing some searching through their archives reveals a lot about that particular tire and itís reported history on those trailers.

FastEagle

p.s Nothing an owner changes to make their RV trailer more durable can change the units GVWR/GAWR values as depicted on it's certification label. The vehicle manufacturer is the only one that can change those values.

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#18 Av8r

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 07:47 PM

Dave, I do a lot of research for most everything I purchase. However, I do not claim to be nearly as thorough as the information I have found HERE. Sue & I had the pleasure of meeting Mark & Dale Bruss at a Life on Wheels conference in (I'm guessing) 2004. Both Sue & I were impressed with the quality & depth in which they approach every aspect of their lives on the road.
So now I'll give the the quick answer (which I got from their website) We've had these rims & tires since 2008. We've logged over 45,000 trouble-free miles on 'em; from New Hampshire to North Carolina through Texas on to Alaska & back.
Trailer Tire & Wheel Supermarket - Hi-Spec Series 03.

As with any alloy wheel...

be sure to check the lug nut torque on a regular basis.
Mark


Thanks for everyone's input so far. I spoke with the folks at Trailer Tire & Wheel Supermarket. The Michelin XTA 2 ENERGY won't fit my rig because of wheel well clearances. They're recommending either Michelin XTA 215/75R17.5 or Goodyear G114 215/75R17.5 LRH. The 17.5x6.75 865 Hi-Spec aluminum Series 03 wheel will accommodate either tire. The Michelin has a max speed rating of 62 MPH, which is a little concerning to me, and the Goodyear has a maximum speed rating of 75 MPH. The Michelin has a load capacity of 4,805 Lbs, while the Goodyear is 4,540 lbs. Consequently, either tire will provide loading that exceeds the max gross weight of the trailer and/or the axles. The gentleman I spoke with said that the Michelin has additional sidewall supporting material, which makes the ride a bit stiffer. His concern is that it may transfer too much road vibration to the rig, thereby giving the rig a very shaky ride. He seems to lean toward the Goodyear and said that many of his customers have both tires and both without any major issues. Four tires mounted on the above rims, balanced and installed on my rig are within $100.00 of each other. Comments & suggestions appreciated. Any idea what I should receive as trade on the current wheels and tires? The wear is even, and total mileage on these tires is around 7,500 miles.

Dave
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Columbus, Ohio
2011 Keystone Alpine 3500 RE
2010 Ford F-350 King Ranch Dually
2001 Harley Wide Glide
______________________________

#19 NH2

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 08:22 PM

Dave,
You'll sleep comfortably with either the Goodyear or the Michelin tires. Their load carrying capacity plays a major role in your peace of mind. Your goal, if I understand you correctly, is to provide you & your family a greater margin of safety than the OEM tires can offer. My main concern relates to folks who run their equipment at close to 100% capacity 100% of the time. It looks as though the mentioned Goodyears or Michelins will provide you with the capacity "cushion" you're looking for.
Will the Michelins provide a "stiffer" ride? I can't say for sure but my guess would be "probably." The Goodyears have a load range "H" rating; the Michelins have a load range "J" rating. Logically, the higher the rating the stiffer the ride.

My initial response to this thread included the words,

"I'll give you my answer but understand that my solution might not match those of others."


We cruise at 58 mph. Our coach is equipped with Mor-ryde IS (independent suspension) which has the added feature of absorbing road irregularities & vibration. The Michelins XTA2 Energy tires are a better match for my situation. It looks as though the Goodyears would be a better match for yours.
Hope to see you on the road,
Mark
Mark & Sue---SKP#86611
'06 International 4400LoPro DT570 310hp 950ft-lbs.-Allison--3.70 gears
'05 36' Teton Liberty
'12 BMW F650 twin
Pedalin'-Cannondale T1000(his)-'dale R1000(hers)-Santana Ti700 Tandem(ours) w/B.O.B. trailer for the long hauls
View some of our adventures at: Mark & Sue's pics

#20 NH2

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 08:22 PM

Dave,
You'll sleep comfortably with either the Goodyear or the Michelin tires. Their load carrying capacity plays a major role in your peace of mind. Your goal, if I understand you correctly, is to provide you & your family a greater margin of safety than the OEM tires can offer. My main concern relates to folks who run their equipment at close to 100% capacity 100% of the time. It looks as though the mentioned Goodyears or Michelins will provide you with the capacity "cushion" you're looking for.
Will the Michelins provide a "stiffer" ride? I can't say for sure but my guess would be "probably." The Goodyears have a load range "H" rating; the Michelins have a load range "J" rating. Logically, the higher the rating the stiffer the ride.

My initial response to this thread included the words,

"I'll give you my answer but understand that my solution might not match those of others."


We cruise at 58 mph. Remember, heat is the enemy. The faster you travel, the hotter the tires get.
Also, our coach is equipped with Mor-ryde IS (independent suspension) which has the added feature of absorbing road irregularities & vibration. The Michelins XTA2 Energy tires are a better match for my situation. It looks as though the Goodyears would be a better match for yours. Find comfort in knowing you'll have increased you "buffer" by a considerable amount. That's a good feeling, isn't it.
Hope to see you on the road,
Mark

Edited by NH2, 08 August 2012 - 08:27 PM.

Mark & Sue---SKP#86611
'06 International 4400LoPro DT570 310hp 950ft-lbs.-Allison--3.70 gears
'05 36' Teton Liberty
'12 BMW F650 twin
Pedalin'-Cannondale T1000(his)-'dale R1000(hers)-Santana Ti700 Tandem(ours) w/B.O.B. trailer for the long hauls
View some of our adventures at: Mark & Sue's pics