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14 inch trailer wheels?

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#1 Phil Saran

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 11:59 AM

Any Forest River Rockwood trailer owners out there? The new travel trailer we are looking at comes with 14" tires/wheels on it,
any problems with this setup?

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#2 Mark & Dale Bruss

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 01:05 PM

It is not the wheels, it is the tires.

Check the maximum load rating of the tires mounted on those wheels. Does the total tire load capacity equal or exceed the GVWR of the trailer.?

It is a common problem that trailer manufacturers deliver trailers with just enough load capacity to cover the dry weight of the trailer. Also, many 5th wheel manufactures subtract the pin weight from the GVWR on the premise that they only need to supply enough load capacity for the portion of the trailer weight that is on the axles.

Since the pin weight is about 20% of the total weight, that is a good safety margin. There are times when the tires on the trailer will have a greater load due to going over bumps, etc.

It costs little to add tire load capacity to a new trailer in higher rated ties or larger rims with higher rated tires than it does later on.

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#3 trailertraveler


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Posted 26 March 2012 - 02:09 PM

Don't own a Forest River product, but I do own a travel trailer (not a 5er) that came equipped with 14" wheels and know many other RVers that do also. Some good information already. However, the brands of quality tires in 14" are limited. Maxxis seems to currently have the best reputation. Most 14" tires of any size are load range C and the variation in load capacity between the common 205s and 215's is relatively small. Also. as far as I know, there are only two companies that manufacturer load range D tires in 14" that are available in the USA.. You need to check the ratings of the rims as these are 65psi tires versus the 50psi of the load range C's. Changing to the large profile load range C tires may not be as simple as it sounds as there may not be enough room in the wheel wells or between the tires. This may also be true for switching to 15" rims and tires. In addition, the increased tire size may result in a significant enough change in the geometry of how the tire meets the road to cause uneven wear and require re-alignment of the axles. This may not be an issue if you don't tow many miles before the tires need to be replaced for age.

One other thing to consider when evaluating all the horror stories about multiple tire failures is that when one tire blows, the second one in the pair is subject to nearly double the maximum load. I rarely see recommendations to replace both on RV forums, but there are numerous accounts of sequential blowouts or failures.

Edited by trailertraveler, 26 March 2012 - 02:18 PM.

#4 Stanley P. Miller

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 04:02 PM

I'm not a 14" fan except for the lighter trailer that are well under the tire rating when fully loaded. Even then I'd really rather have a larger tire/rim that gave me more selection of replacements when the time comes.

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#5 Phil Saran

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 07:23 PM

Thank you all for the responces.

I got to contact a factory rep at Forest River and according to him, they have had NO problems over the past 10 years with these 14" wheels/tires.
and there is NOT enough room to swap to 15" wheel/tires unless I move the axles down for more clearance, then I would run into problems with
the center of gravity or balance for the trailer.

Like others I've always had RV's with at least 15" wheel/tires and I am still a bit leary about this. My problem is my wife has fallen in love with this
particular floor plan. And we all know that what the wife wants is what we want......right?!?

Phil & Alberta Saran

#6 trailertraveler


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Posted 27 March 2012 - 06:13 AM

I would do a search on the brand of tires that are OEM equipment on the Rockwood. If you are interested in having the dealer upgrade to Load Range D tires, checkout the metric size commercial tires by Kumho and the trailer tires by Hankook. They are available in sizes that are the same width and diameter as the common 205 and 215 radial tires, have a higher load capacity and are speed rated to either Q or R which is around 100MPH instead of the 65MPH of ST trailer tires.

#7 geysergazers


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Posted 28 March 2012 - 12:04 PM

We tow a 3000# TT (22,000Mi in three years) which has 14" load range "C" tires on a single axle. No problems. The tires are just now 4yrs old and we will set out for the Pacific Northwest and points South and East with these tires. I also have TPMS from TST (w/ temp sensing) and would not tow without it. Now I know what is going on back there. I can tell you which side the Sun is shining on as well as knowing that the passenger side has slightly more weight on it than the driver side. How do I know this? In order for the temps to run the same on both sides I have to inflate the passenger side tire 2lb more than the driver side (47PSI vs 45PSI).


Edited by geysergazers, 28 March 2012 - 12:22 PM.

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