Any good trailer tires still available?

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Nov 5, 2018
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NM
Save yourself the headache and buy G rated tires there's a company that builds that size of tire in G rated here in the USA.
 
Joined
Sep 26, 2005
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Odessa, TX
My Grand Design Travel Trailer came with Westlake tires. About 4000 miles of towing and no issues, but I watch the tire pressure closely and drive a maximum of 65-68 mph while towing. Out here in West Texas with the hot summer temps, I see many blowouts on trailers thinking they can tow at 75-85 mph. Excessive speed while towing will generate too much heat for most tires.
 

CKN

Joined
Oct 14, 2014
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9,086
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Utah
My Grand Design Travel Trailer came with Westlake tires. About 4000 miles of towing and no issues, but I watch the tire pressure closely and drive a maximum of 65-68 mph while towing. Out here in West Texas with the hot summer temps, I see many blowouts on trailers thinking they can tow at 75-85 mph. Excessive speed while towing will generate too much heat for most tires.
THIS^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
 
Joined
Jan 15, 2006
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Canada
Allow me to explain where I am coming from.

When I was working I had access to fairly reliable data - quantity of tires produced, quantity returned, and the condition of each tire returned. We grouped the returns into 3 categories: 90 day returns (typically appearance issues and vibration), road hazards (beyond our control), and endurance (any structural failure not caused by a road hazard). Interestingly, there was a time related pattern to the returns for each group. In other words we could predict based on early returns what the future volume would be.

In the case of endurance returns, the volume peaked in the 3rd and 4th year after production and tapered off slowly after that. The typical failure mode was a belt leaving belt separation where the top belt would detach from the bottom belt and with partial or completely detachment from the rest of the tire - the top belt taking the tread with it. In about the year 2000 (the year of the Ford/Firestone debacle), the failure rate was on the order of 1 in 10,000 (0.01%), improving each year.

By contrast, a typical road hazard was a "Run Flat" where the sidewalls would detach from the tread. The result was 3 pieces (2 sidewalls and a tread), each otherwise intact. In particular, no belt separation.

The company I worked for didn't make ST tires, but I am familiar enough with tires to make reasonable predictions based on the other types of tires the company did make. (If you follow Formula 1, you'll understand that I found what happened in Baku very interesting!)

What this all means is that the average guy isn't likely to see an honest to goodness tire failure, even on a failure prone ST tire. I have heard of lots of folks who have had good luck with even tires clearly identified as failure prone.

The first 4 items on your list are not things that can be tracked. But it's a reasonable assumption that these would be the same regardless of who manufactured the tire. If those things affect tire failures, then it would affect each brand equally.

I am aware that many ST tires NOW have cap plies, where, before, none of them had them. I consider this a major upgrade and possibly the reason why we don't hear about ST failure much anymore.

What I had been tracking is reports on the internet of ST tire failures. In the past, Goodyear Marathons were clearly identified as having issues. I suspected that the reason for the large number of reported failures was because of their huge volume in the marketplace, but I didn't have a good handle on how big their percentage was - just that lots of people reported buying them (or coming on new trailers). Interestingly, ST tires made in China were also clearly identified as problematic - and the one thing that seemed to be a pattern was the brand name changed every year!

In the fall of 2017, Goodyear Introduced the Endurance series, and since that time I have yet to see any reports of Endurance failures - road hazards, yes, but no failures I couldn't identify as road hazard related. I also was aware that they had cap plies. I also could tell that since 2017, lots of people had purchased these and I was confident that if there was an issue, it would have surfaced.

What I am not confident of is the rest of the ST marketplace. I don't have a good feel for how many of the other brands have been purchased, nor if their presence in the marketplace is large enough to discern that their lack of reported failures is anything more than just a statistical anomaly.

Over the years, the advice that CapriRacer provided regarding trailer tires has been a huge part of what helped me make decisions regarding the tires to equip the two different trailers I have owned. This is on top of some of the stories shared on the internet regarding ST tires, my own observations on what my trailers were equipped with from the factory, and connecting some of the dots.

The short version of what has led me to use LT tires (or the nearly identical "C" commercial van tires) both times came down to these factors, with my tire shopping happening in 2013, and then again in 2017 for the two trailers, with information that was available at those times:

  • Most major manufacturers don't make ST tires. Apparently no profit margin on it for them.
  • ST tires are mainly by companies that have little to no quality control, usually based in China. Being based in China, where there seem to be virtually no laws to compel a minimum bar for quality means proliferation of companies that don't care.
  • That means virtually no R&D money going in to ST tires
  • ST tires typically are speed limited to 65 mph
  • The one major brand, Goodyear, also had problems with their Marathon trailer tires
  • ST and LT tires are closely related, construction wise. LTs must also be able to withstand a lot more than ST tires need to (braking, steering and cornering on a truck, versus the trailer just going along for the ride)
  • ST tires theoretically are designed specifically for trailers, and include rubber that can withstand sitting still for long periods
  • Reality is ST tires are mostly from no-name companies with no QC, so the above doesn't really matter
  • LT tires are available from all the major brands
  • LT tires have speed ratings usually "Q" or beyond, much higher than you would need on a trailer application, versus just barely adequate on most ST tires
  • LT tires for a given size, load range, and construction, by definition, are rated to carry less than an equivalent ST, because the LTs go on a driven vehicle. Had that same LT been marked ST, they would also have the higher load rating. This means you are getting an over-engineered tire for your trailer.
  • Remember lawyers and insurance companies. That should come into play so that you choose something that is actually marked with a load rating at least what is indicated on your tire placard. What it can do, versus what is marked as a rating are irrelevant for lawyers and insurance companies.
  • In both cases, I found LT tires to fit my application
What I've learned since: the Goodyear Endurance ST seems to be a viable option. My personal preferences would still keep me away from Goodyear, though. Sailun, a Chinese manufacturer, actually seems to care about their market in North America, are aggressively pursuing the value end of the tire market, and putting out a quality product. They have an ST trailer tire that is basically a mini version of a semi-truck's trailer tires, and have a huge overkill factor in load rating. Many trailer users are now considering this tire to be the gold standard, but they only come in ST235/85R16 as far as trailers such as RVs or horse trailers are concerned. Maxxis and Carlisle now also seem to be putting out better quality ST tires.
 
Joined
Nov 5, 2018
Messages
119
Location
NM
You have to have wheels that support a higher PSI.
No need to run them at max psi, I run mine at 65 psi, if loaded to max on the trailer 80 psi is more than enough especially on an axels that are rated no more than 3500-lbs.
So Like I said to the OP save yourself the head ache and buy G rated tires.
 

CKN

Joined
Oct 14, 2014
Messages
9,086
Location
Utah
No need to run them at max psi, I run mine at 65 psi, if loaded to max on the trailer 80 psi is more than enough especially on an axels that are rated no more than 3500-lbs.
So Like I said to the OP save yourself the head ache and buy G rated tires.
The RIMS have to be able to support "G" rated tires. We have no information-since apparently the OP hasn't told us what the wheel capacity is. He may not be able to run "G" rated tires without upgrading his wheels. The lower the PSI-the hotter the tire will run.
 
Joined
May 9, 2006
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1,461
Location
Grand Rapids, MI
Over 3 years and 10,000 miles of towing I have not yet had any issues with the Goodyear Endurance on my trailer. I previously put about 10,000 miles over 2 years on a set of Maxxis trailer tires also. Both seem to be good quality tires but neither match the original specifications of the trailer. I think RV companies in particular are well known for putting the bare minimum on their trailers.

My trailer has a GVWR (of which I'm sure I had nearly maxed out) of nearly 8,000 lbs. It came with 2 3500 lb axles and had a tongue weight of about 1200-1300 lbs. So the axles were pretty much maxed out and if there was any side to side imbalance (which there surely was) one side of the trailer was probably overloaded. The tires were 205/75R15 load range C bias tires (max 1820 lbs each), also pretty close to maxed out. I bought the trailer new in 2014 and on my first trip of about 3200 miles shortly after buying it I had a flat tire and found my new spare on the new trailer had leaked down to 5 psi due to previous damage and a non-professional repair (whomever towed it from the factory to the dealer I assume). My flat was due to a wire in the tread. It seemed to be less damaged and leaking slowly so I just added air on the return voyage of the trip at each stop for gas and decided not to use the damaged spare tire. I replaced both of those with new Maxxis tires. The next spring I bought 3 more Maxxis tires. These were the same 205/75R15 size but LR D (2150 lbs each). I replaced all the original tires because they were wearing very poorly.

In 2017 I had a axle (brake or bearing) failure, I saw smoke and pulled over. The wheel was coming loose at the bearing level and there were flames coming out all around the drum brake. I had greased the axles myself and am pretty confident that was not the issue. Likely maxed out in too many days of 105-115 deg. F heat. The spring of 2018 I replaced both 3500 lb axles for 2 5200 lb axles and upsized the tires on new steel rims to 225/75R15 LR E (2,830 lbs). They seem to run cool and wear good at about 70 psi. They are enough overkill for the weight they are holding I don't fill them up to the max of 80 psi. Before changing out the axles and spring, the trailer was sagging and one tire often would rub on the floor of the trailer going in and out of gas station driveways or hitting large bumps. I repaired the damage of the floor liner (plastic cover) and see no more issues with rubbing.

I never had an issue with either the Maxxis or GY Endurance tires. I do like buying products made in the USA so I'll stick with the Endurance.
 
Joined
Oct 23, 2017
Messages
894
Location
VA
I have Maxxis trailer tires on my boat trailer and toy hauler, no issues at all. They both had 15" wheels and the RV forums seemed to say Maxxis was the way to go unless I wanted to buy new wheels too.
 

GON

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Hi Ladies and gents, we have an older Gore 3 horse trailer with small tack room, etc. Its not too heavy at 7000lbs and we rarely haul more than 2 horses. I have had 3 trailer tire blow outs this year on it with practically new tires. No punctures, no sidewall damage. First set was Trailer King ST225/75/15's less than a year old and now I just lost a "Provider" which was a tad over a year old. 99% of the time its my wife driving to horse shows here in FL and its getting old receiving that phone call at work that shes stuck on the side of the interstate with another blow out and yes, shes a very good driver and takes her horses lives seriously! The last tire cost me $350 because we forgot the spare and it was Thanksgiving day when it popped and had to call roadside assistance for that one...

I just bought a set of Carlisle tires for it today, as shes headed on a 4 hour ride to GA in the morning and I didn't want to chance the other "Provider" on there.

I'm buying 10 ply radials and all are rated for well in excess of the trailer GVWR. Is it just junk Chinese tires these days?
Regrettably, had a Carlisle class "D" trailer tire one week old and 750 miles on it blow on I77 in South Carolina last month. Conditions were tough, enclosed trailer loaded close to its max weight (axles specked for Class "C" tires), 95 degrees outside, 65 MPH, and hot interstate. The blowout took out a Ram truck behind me windshield, which cost me $450 to replace.

I moved from Utah to South Carolina last month, using two trailers, a enclosed Look 22 foot bumper pull, and a Featherlight 20 foot gooseneck horse trailer (converted into a cargo trailer). Had five blowuts. Only tires that did not fail were two Class "E" tires on the horse trailer.

My suggestion is only class E tires, replaced annually. If you lived in Seattle, Portland- not so worried. You live in the Southeast with hot weather and sun burning down on the interstate. Safety is what I learned.
 

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Joined
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VA
Regrettably, had a Carlisle class "D" trailer tire one week old and 750 miles on it blow on I77 in South Carolina last month. Conditions were tough, enclosed trailer loaded close to its max weight (axles specked for Class "C" tires), 95 degrees outside, 65 MPH, and hot interstate. The blowout took out a Ram truck behind me windshield, which cost me $450 to replace.

I moved from Utah to South Carolina last month, using two trailers, a enclosed Look 22 foot bumper pull, and a Featherlight 20 foot gooseneck horse trailer (converted into a cargo trailer). Had five blowuts. Only tires that did not fail were two Class "E" tires on the horse trailer.

My suggestion is only class E tires, replaced annually. If you lived in Seattle, Portland- not so worried. You live in the Southeast with hot weather and sun burning down on the interstate. Safety is what I learned.
Our toyhauler came with Carlisle D "Maypop" tires, I brought it directly from the dealer to the tire shop to have the Maxxis E tires put on it.
 
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CKN

Joined
Oct 14, 2014
Messages
9,086
Location
Utah
Regrettably, had a Carlisle class "D" trailer tire one week old and 750 miles on it blow on I77 in South Carolina last month. Conditions were tough, enclosed trailer loaded close to its max weight (axles specked for Class "C" tires), 95 degrees outside, 65 MPH, and hot interstate. The blowout took out a Ram truck behind me windshield, which cost me $450 to replace.

I moved from Utah to South Carolina last month, using two trailers, a enclosed Look 22 foot bumper pull, and a Featherlight 20 foot gooseneck horse trailer (converted into a cargo trailer). Had five blowuts. Only tires that did not fail were two Class "E" tires on the horse trailer.

My suggestion is only class E tires, replaced annually. If you lived in Seattle, Portland- not so worried. You live in the Southeast with hot weather and sun burning down on the interstate. Safety is what I learned.
5 blowouts on a single trailer points to other issues. Did you weigh that trailer ? How old were the tires? Were the blow outs on one side of the trailer?
 
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