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Old 09-14-2015, 09:40 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, 09:49 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, 01:56 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, 01:59 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, 02:21 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, 08:04 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, 11:31 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, 12:15 PM   #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, 12:44 PM   #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, 12:52 PM   #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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