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Old 09-14-2015, 08:40 PM   #1
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tire replacement questions

I am planning to replace the Goodyear Marathon 205/75/R14 tires, which I believe were original equipment on my 2008 17B. Questions for those of you with experience: 1) Would the spare, which has apparently never been used, be OK as a primary tire? 2) What are the pros and cons for changing to 15" wheels and tires? 3) If I go to 15" tires, is it best to stick with the 205 width, or will a slightly wider tire fit and add performance? 4) Lastly - best brand ideas? Thanks, Glenn. Oops, one more: If I were to change to 15" wheels, will a 14" spare work in a short mileage emergency scenario?
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Old 09-14-2015, 08:49 PM   #2
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Glenn - I would not use a spare that old as a primary tire, as they say trailer tires should be replaced at 5-6 years regardless of use. I replaced my Goodyears with Carlisle 15" (ST205/75R15D1) I wanted D rating and the 15" size to get the higher load rating.

In my opinion, the small size difference between the 14 and 15 would be ok for emergency use. I did buy a new wheel and tire for my spare, but I had use for the old ones on my utility trailer.
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Old 09-15-2015, 12:56 AM   #3
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I replaced my Goodyears with Carlisle 15" (ST205/75R15D1) I wanted D rating and the 15" size to get the higher load rating.
That looks like the bizarre notation used by Discount Tire - it should be ST205/75R15 Load Range D (or LR-D). The final "1" doesn't mean anything.

I don't know the purpose of a higher load range, since even a pair of the Load Range C tire of that size has a bit more capacity (3640 lb) than the axle rating (which is 3500 pounds). If you don't inflate them above 50 psi (the maximum for LR-C), you don't gain any load capacity at all. If you do inflate them more (up to 65 psi), you get less traction and a harsher ride. What's the point?
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Old 09-15-2015, 12:59 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by soultrek View Post
I am planning to replace the Goodyear Marathon 205/75/R14 tires, which I believe were original equipment on my 2008 17B.
Likely, yes - that sounds like the original spec, and unless they were damaged or the trailer was towed an exceptionally high amount, the originals would probably last until about now.

Since then, Escape has changed the size to ST205/75R15, and changed brand/model to Carlisle Radial Trail RH.
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Old 09-15-2015, 01:21 AM   #5
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3) If I go to 15" tires, is it best to stick with the 205 width, or will a slightly wider tire fit and add performance?
A wider tire should provide better lateral response, matching the dynamics of the trailer better to the tow vehicle. Other than that, the wider tire would have higher load capacity, allowing lower inflation pressure and thus smoother ride (or not depending on your inflation philosophy). In ST tires, if you go wider you usually get taller as well, because of the narrow range of available sizes.

The exception to the wider-means-taller issue in ST tires is the Carlisle Ultra Sport RH, which you can get in ST235/60D15. I don't know if that's too wide to fit properly in the wheel wells of an Escape 17 (or any other Escape model).

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Originally Posted by soultrek View Post
4) Lastly - best brand ideas?
I think that for every brand of ST (Special Trailer) tire there are a bunch of tire failure horror stories on web sites. I think this mostly due to the tendency for trailers to come with barely-big-enough tires that are overloaded if not inflated to their maximum, and owners who are not accustomed to keeping that much pressure in a tire. This is usually not an Escape problem, although the ST205/75R14 does need to be kept right up to 50 psi if you load the trailer to its limit. Of course, it might just be that ST tires are mostly cheap junk.

The only brand of ST tires for which I have heard only good experiences is Maxxis, but that might be because they are not very common, and the reports are just anecdotes in forums rather than a systematic analysis.

I note that Goodyear is the only tire company known for making car tires which makes any ST tires at all.
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Old 09-15-2015, 07:04 AM   #6
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Soultrek - LOL - I knew I was living dangerously posting any tire opinion here. In my opinion - and ( I don't pretend to have an advanced degree in tire engineering) the D rated tires provide an extra safety margin in weight capacity. I've personally noticed no harsher ride, nor loss of traction at higher psi - but then again, I think I'll just stop there......
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Old 09-15-2015, 10:31 AM   #7
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Eric,
I don't know much about tires, but most OTR truck drivers will advise you to run D rated tires on trailers if they're available. I'm assuming they know something. I'll run D's when it is time to replace.
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Old 09-15-2015, 11:15 AM   #8
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Soultrek - LOL - I knew I was living dangerously posting any tire opinion here.
It can get ugly. I think this topic drew blood over at the Casita forum!
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Old 09-15-2015, 11:44 AM   #9
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It can get ugly. I think this topic drew blood over at the Casita forum!
And at the FGRV forum, and at the Airstream forum, and...............
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Old 09-15-2015, 11:52 AM   #10
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Only, on the FGRV forum, the popular solution was to remove ( gut ) the tires and use the wheel wells for storage instead.
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Old 09-15-2015, 11:56 AM   #11
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Old 09-15-2015, 06:20 PM   #12
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Tires and Wheels | etrailer.com
carries some D rated tires in 14" and 15" that I have been looking at. Since they are a trailer store and sell a lot of tires and rims you would think they would sell a good tire. They seem to have good reviews for the most part and
Trailer Tires at Trailer Parts Superstore
also sells the same tires.

I have used Etrailer a lot over the years and find their sevice and products to be very good but I would hate to be the guinea pig on tires on the camper although I think most ST tires are created equal an the biggest thing is just keeping them inflated properly and covered when in storage. I am about to need a set for my utility trailer and I think I may try a set for it.

I would not put that 7 year old spare on the ground and would just replace it.

This subject is always like playing Russian Roulette on these forums and I usually steer clear of them but I feel frisky tonight.
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Old 09-15-2015, 10:01 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thoer View Post
Soultrek - LOL - I knew I was living dangerously posting any tire opinion here. In my opinion - and ( I don't pretend to have an advanced degree in tire engineering) the D rated tires provide an extra safety margin in weight capacity. I've personally noticed no harsher ride, nor loss of traction at higher psi - but then again, I think I'll just stop there......
Yes, tire discussions certainly bring out a range of positions and opinions, coming from a broad range of different perspectives.

Do you run those Load Range D tires at a higher pressure than 50 psi? If not, you have no more load margin than with Load Range C, since they get their load capacity from the ability to handle more air pressure.

If you do pump then up, and haven't noticed a difference in behaviour, try pumping your car tires up to their maximum (if the correct inflation pressure is well below maximum), and see how it rides - a good demonstration of tire inflation effects, and easier to appreciate using the tires more directly connected to the driver. In amateur motorsports competition we paid significant attention to tire air pressure, but of course the average driver on the street wouldn't go as far. Even on the street, forums dedicated to specific models of car routinely contain discussions of optimal tire pressure, because ordinary drivers notice the effect... but with the tires on the trailer instead of the tug, differences are much less noticeable. Given the many threads discussing rough ride effects on the trailer interior - including refrigerator doors that need straps to stay closed - it seems to me that ride harshness in the trailer matters, but I suppose that's a matter of personal opinion.

Trailer tire traction is only noticeable in those times that life on the road gets really hairy. What is not noticeable in normal driving may matter in an emergency.
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Old 09-15-2015, 10:10 PM   #14
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Tires and Wheels | etrailer.com
carries some D rated tires in 14" and 15" that I have been looking at. Since they are a trailer store and sell a lot of tires and rims you would think they would sell a good tire...
I get the logic, but I think they sell what they can make money selling. They appear to make more money selling Kenda and Taskmaster than they would selling other brands. That may have more to do with the deal they made with the manufacturer than with the quality of the product.

Over at TireRack.com - another online vendor with a solid repuation, but specializing in tires - they appear to make money selling Goodyear (probably popular due to name recognition) and Power King Towmax (probably for those shopping for the least expensive option).

Neither of these vendors sell Carlisle (a very popular brand, currently used by Escape) or Maxxis (the brand of ST tire I've seen most commonly mentioned positively in these forums).
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