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Old 11-21-2012, 03:21 PM   #1
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Tire Life

What s the criteria for replacing the tires on the trailer? Is it min. tread depth, or shelf life? I've read elsewhere that trailer tires should be replaced at 5 years of age, but is that just someones bad experience coming out? Our tires are 5 years old, but have plenty of tread left on them & appear in good condition. I have no idea how much mileage is on them as there's no odometer on the unit!
If i do replace them, what's a good brand? Thanks, Gary
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Old 11-21-2012, 03:50 PM   #2
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I'm sure you will find many opinions, but the consensus seems to be 5 years. Tires older than that tend to fail more often, sometimes with trailer damaging result. I won't get the chance to try - mine are 2 years old, have 33,000 miles on them and are worn out.

Again, on brand, you will hear many opinions. Many suggest going to LT (Light Truck) tires rather than ST (trailer tires). In my case I'm going to replace my Goodyear Marathon ST205/75R15 tires with the same size Maxxis tires. Still deciding whether to stick with "C" load tires (what was on the trailer when I bought it) or go a little heavier with "D" range. Either would be sufficient for my axle weight - 2800 lbs.
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Old 11-21-2012, 07:44 PM   #3
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First, I would confirm the age of the tires by looking at the date code stamped on the inside sidewall. While you are there look at all the tires, then check out the code on your spare. By being sure of all your tire manufacture dates there will not be any surprises waiting for you.

Jon is correct that the generally accepted life expectancy is five years and its time to replace. It does not matter how they look, what shape the tread is or how many miles. It is simply age, nothing more. It does not matter if you store out of the sun, jack the tire up in the winter or use Armorall the tire life is still five years, or less.

If you drive fast, by that I mean speed limit or over, or if you drive or have driven in temperatures exceeding 95 degrees I would consider an even earlier replacement.
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Old 11-22-2012, 12:29 AM   #4
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Hi: GaryH... Had mine replaced this year before our trips to Tenn. and then the Maritime's. Tire Mfg'd. date was near the build date of the trailer July '07. I put on the same brand and size and got a set of chrome rims too.
The only issue I had with the tires was all 3 of the stems went bad!!! During 2007 I still maintain a lot of tire failures were a result of bad stems. I caught that by reading of it on the forums. This time I got brass stems. Alf
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Old 11-22-2012, 08:37 AM   #5
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So … how can you know whether you’re getting a new tire, or an old tire that’s never been used?

Check the Tire Identification Number. It’s on the sidewall of every tire sold, and it’s pretty easy to find. First, look for the letters “DOT” followed by a 4-character code. Following that code, or on the opposite sidewall, you’ll see an 8-character code, four letters and four numbers.

Look at the four numbers. The last two tell you what year the tire was manufactured, and the first two tell you what week of that year the tire was made. So, if you see “1211,” you know the tire was manufactured in the third or fourth week of March, 2011.
BornOnDate.jpg

I'm from the old skool and would suggest buying two of the very best tires (or four for you double-axle folks) that you can afford and the cheapest spare that will work. To me a spare is only for getting off the road and get me to the tire store. If you're that type that faithfully rotate all the tires on your trailer, then this doesn't apply. But, I'm betting most people never rotate the tires and the spare will never hit the road.

YMMV
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Old 11-22-2012, 12:15 PM   #6
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I will check out the date on the tires (after the driveway dries up a bit). So, the 5 year shelf life is because the rubber deteriorates? or ? I've had tires on cars that were older than that.

edit......Just googled it & here's my answer.......
http://www.discounttire.com/dtcs/inf...rTireFacts.dos
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Old 11-22-2012, 12:40 PM   #7
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Gary, I have old tires one some of my tugs. But, they don't have fiberglass wheel wells. If you've ever seen the damage that can be done to a trailer when a tire blows, you'd save yourself a lot of grief by replacing them when dated. Trust me, tires are cheaper than those kinds of repairs.

All the years I've followed the molded fiberglass forums, it seems there is a lot more problems with the 14" tires than 15". I don't really know why, other than weight limits and perhaps, of course, there are more trailers hauling around on 14" tires.

Better to be safe than sorry... YMMV
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Old 11-22-2012, 02:17 PM   #8
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Only a tire with a trailer designation should be used on a trailer, "LT" tires or light truck tires are just that , for light trucks. the sidewall construction in trailer tires is much different than that of passenger car tires or light truck tires. Using "LT" or "P" rated tire on a trailer will likely result is a sidewall failure.
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Old 11-22-2012, 10:59 PM   #9
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Yeah, I would never use anything other than trailer tires, most often pressurized to near maximum. There is a reason that tire manufacturers and trailer manufacturers both recommend this for trailers like ours. I really don't understand why some folks seem to want to justify using LT tires, and keeping the pressures down. Trailer axles, like the torsion type, work better with pressured up trailer tires too.
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Old 11-22-2012, 11:24 PM   #10
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It's the same reason that people use gluten-free mayonnaise instead of Windex to clean windows.
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